śrī śrī guru gaurāṅga jayataḥ!
Year-5, Issue 4
Posted: 10 May 2012
nitya-līlā praviṣṭa oṁ viṣṇupāda
Śrī Śrīmad Bhakti Prajñāna Keśava Gosvāmī Mahārāja
Inspired by and under the guidance of
nitya-līlā praviṣṭa oṁ viṣṇupāda
Śrī Śrīmad Bhaktivedānta Nārāyaṇa Gosvāmī Mahārāja
The Fountainhead of All Things Can Set You Free
by Śrīla Bhaktisiddhānta Sarasvatī Ṭhākura Prabhupāda
We can have no better instruction from elsewhere that can give a more dependable and complete idea of the real goal. The whole thing, the exact entity, could not be realized if we took a course different from what Śrī Kṛṣṇa has dictated. Śrī Kṛṣṇa is the fountainhead of all energies. All sorts of energies – even all those energies that are opposite and conflicting – are stored in Him. He is akhila-rasāmṛta-mūrti.
We have heard His song, “ye yathā māṁ prapadyante” [C.f. Bhāgavad-gītā 4.11]. We are actuated by the influence of rasa; we require pleasant sensation. But we should see that our particular predilection is directed to a definite purpose. Śrī Kṛṣṇa is the emporium of everything. In the Gītā we are given a clearly marked and exact situation of the human soul and its relation to the phenomenal existence of His prakṛti (nature, or energy).
We have seen that there are two prakṛtis: parā and aparā. The jīvas (minute living entities) are known as parā prakṛti. But jīvas, being infinitesimally small, can be seized by aparā prakṛti – they can be overpowered by the deluding potency. Jīvas can also dissociate themselves from this undesirable situation. How? We find the solution as to how to get rid of this shackle in the śloka beginning “mām eva ye prapadyante” [C.f. Bhāgavad-gītā 7.14].
By the use of the word mām we see that the object is singular; the personality is fixed. The Lord sings, “I can set you free from the clutches of your present activity of measuring everything using your senses. I can show Myself to you fully when you no longer have any necessity of exercising your senses. I have set the engine of the three guṇas (qualities of material nature) in motion for the purpose of entrapping those who are less intelligent. But when they listen to My dictation, they realize that they can easily manage to get rid of these troublesome modes by submitting to Me, and Me alone.”
There is no other alternative for getting rid of our measuring temperament. We are now equipped with senses that are incapable of leading us to the Truth. We are liable to be deluded by the influence of māyā, and māyā is but a trap. If we want to avoid that trap, we are to submit to Him unconditionally. So prapatti, which means full submission, is the essential thing.
* * *
We can exercise our senses, but such exploits will not do any good to us in the long run unless we submit to Him, leaving aside whatever we have acquired up to this time. We are simply to surrender to Him. When we simply depend on Him, He will give us such facilities as will enable us to make quick progress. We are assured that we need not take the empirical course through our senses. Though we have the inclination to acquire knowledge through our senses, our attempts are often frustrated. Our empirical activities often fail to make much progress, for we see that whatever we have acquired by our empiricism calls for more and more additions or subtractions as we pass along the rolling tide of time.
We think we have acquired a good deal of knowledge in our thirtieth year, but soon, when we reach our fortieth year, we find that knowledge to be inadequate. If we live for ten years more, we will have to revise our knowledge again. In this way, living for any number of years will not serve our purpose; it will not make us wise. We come to the inevitable conclusion that all sorts of empirical knowledge are quite useless for the purpose of gaining the whole truth.
We should, therefore, be prapanna (fully submissive). We should simply submit, and that submission should be attended with everything we have acquired. Whatever we have acquired must be given up, considering that we will be helped by Him. But if we have no such confidence in Him, we cannot part with our acquired things. We will be making a sad mistake if we conjecture that the Lord, in the long run, may have nothing to confer on us, and that by giving up what we have acquired we will get into trouble. We forget that He is the Absolute. He is the emporium of everything. We need not be doubtful of His assurance that He will never fail us.
We have free will, which we can exercise. But we are not expected to imagine that we are independent. We are bound to accept that we are dependents. Even if we make a careful enquiry into the nature of phenomenal objects and sift through them, we will fail to get anything which can give us that sort of satisfaction, relief and poise that the Fountain-head of all things can give us. So the Gītā tells us that submission to the Supreme Authority, Śrī Kṛṣṇa is the only thing wanted; and by such submission our desired ends will be fully and duly fulfilled. The question is how – in spite of our measuring temperament, which stands against our purpose – such submission is to be achieved.
After sambandha (relationship) comes abhidheya (the process), which signifies how to reach our coveted place, or what course one should adopt for the purpose of achieving our objectives. That is the meaning of abhidheya, and there are many abhidheyas. They are classified by some authorities into sixty-four categories; by some, into nine categories; and by others, five. Though there are a multitude of courses that we may adopt by means of which we can love the All-love, the Absolute, these methods are classified into sixty-four, nine or five categories. Of the sixty-four categories, five are principal and it is with those five categories that we are to deal. These are:
(1) bhāgavata śravaṇa, kīrtana, and smaraṇa (hearing, chanting and remembering the topics of Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam)
(2) aṅghri-sevanam (serving the lotus feet) of Śrī Hari
(3) mathurā-vāsa (residence in Śrī Mathurā-dhāma)
(4) sat-saṅga (association with saints)
(5) śrī harināma saṅkīrtana (congregational chanting of the holy names)
Adapted from The Gaudiya, Volume 28, Number 7
by the Rays of The Harmonist team