Badger, California: May 18, 2004 (Part 3)
Sri Srimad Bhaktivedanta Narayana Maharaja
Hearing the inquiries of the sages, regarding what the people of this Iron Age of quarrel and hypocracy can do for their ultimate benefit, so that their very souls can become happy, Sri Suta Gosvami became very happy and uttered this sloka:
sa vai pumsam paro dharmo
yato bhaktir adhoksaje
["The supreme occupation (dharma) for all humanity is that by which men can attain to loving devotional service unto the transcendent Lord. Such devotional service must be unmotivated and uninterrupted to completely satisfy the self." (Srimad-bhagavatam 1.2.6)]
jnana karmadi anavritam
["The cultivation of activities that are meant exclusively for the pleasure of Sri Krsna, or in other words the uninterrupted flow of service to Sri Krsna, performed through all endeavours of the body, mind and speech, and through the _expression of various spiritual sentiments (bhavas), which is not covered by jnana (knowledge aimed at impersonal liberation) and karma (reward-seeking activity), and which is devoid of all desires other than the aspiration to bring happiness to Sri Krsna, is called uttama-bhakti, pure devotional service." (Sri Bhakti-rasamrta-sindhu 1.1.11)]
(To Prem Prayojan dasa - You should give the translation of this verse and explain its meaning from Bhakti-rasamrtra-sindhu-bindu.
[Prem Prayojan dasa spoke: *See Endnote 1]
[Srila Narayana Maharaja:] Do not think there is no need of accepting or engaging in this verse knowledge of "anyabhilasita sunyam jnana karmadi anavritam" that he has just given you. You should know that without this knowledge, nagara-sankirtana and book distribution alone will not suffice. One day you will surely have to come in this process. Then, knowing all these philosophical truths, you will surely have to accept pure bhakti, uttama-bhakti. Without uttama-bhakti you cannot have vaikuntha-bhakti (service of the Lord in the spiritual realm of Vaikuntha), what to speak of vraja-vilasa-bhakti (serving the Lord in the topmost spiritual realm of Goloka Vrndavana).
Wait for this knowledge to come in your heart. In the meantime, go on book distribution and nagara-sankirtana, serve in the book publishing department, and preach here and there. Continue all these activities. Continue, and wait until ruci (taste for bhakti and bhajana) manifests in your heart. The position from sraddha to ruci is very critical - very critical. So many devotees of Parama-pujyapada Srila Bhaktivedanta Svami Maharaja, including sannyasis in the renounced order, became bewildered and gave up bhakti.
Bhakti is very easy - for who? For those who have taken shelter of a bona fide Guru. If Gurudeva is not authentic or qualified, you cannot attain that pure bhakti. You will have to change your Guru. If Guru is favorable but cannot help you, then offer pranama to him and tell him, "I want to take shelter of that bona fide Guru or any living bona fide Guru." One day you will have to come in this process.
janayaty asu vairagyam
jnanam ca yad ahaitukam
["By rendering devotional service unto the Personality of Godhead, Sri Krsna, one immediately acquires causeless knowledge and detachment from the world." (Srimad-bhagavatam 1.2.7)]
Who is Vasudeva? The son of Vasudeva Maharaja is Vasudeva. Moreover, the son of Vasudeva - Nanda Baba - is Vasudeva. Bhagavati means the Supreme Personality of Godhead. He is a "black boy" in Vrndavana, and He is controlled by an "ordinary gopi" like Mother Yasoda and by His friends. But who is He? He is full with the six opulences of God. Similarly, He has all kinds of madhurya-bhava (sweet, human-like pastimes). Scriptures tell us the definition of madhurya-bhava: "Whether or not there is a manifestation of opulence, there is always laukika-sadbandhuvat-bhava. Lord Krsna acts with His devotees like a worldly bosom friend. He may be Bhagavan, but by the influence of His desire potency, Yogamaya, this godhood is covered and He becomes like an ordinary cowherd boy in Vrndavana. As a baby lying on the bed of Mother Yasoda, He cannot turn over or remove mosquitoes and flies and other things from His body. He cannot independently take the breast-milk of Yasoda-maiya. She requires to put her breast in Krsna's mouth, as Putana gave hers.
He appears ignorant, but who is He? He is the Supreme Lord. His supremacy is covered now. He is that Vasudeva-bhagavati referred to in the above-mentioned verse.
If bhakti is applied to this cowherd boy - this ignorant black boy - then, "janayaty asu vairagyam", vairagya (detachment from worldly desires) very soon comes. It will come at once, but "at once" means you have to give it some time to come. If you plant a seed in the ground, it will take three, four, five or six days to sprout. After four, five, six or ten months, leaves and creepers will come, and then flowers, and then fruits will manifest. You will have to give this process at least fifteen years. This is "asu". This is the meaning of "immediately". If you can attain a taste in bhakti, then one life may be sufficient.
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 [in his maturity], 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)]
What is the meaning of "tat-ksanat" here? Immediate. It has the same meaning as "asu". Everything is there in the atma, but you cannot realize it at first. You will be able to realize the fruits and flowers afterwards, when taste will come. You will have to wait. First detachment from this world will come. If you are chanting, remembering Krsna and serving your Gurudeva, then, by his mercy, detachment from this world will be seen. But first bhakti will come.
vikriditam vraja-vadhubhir idam ca visnoh
sraddhanvito 'nusrnuyad atha varnayed yah
bhaktim param bhagavati pratilabhya kamam
hrd-rogam asv apahinoty acirena dhirah
["Anyone who faithfully hears or describes the Lord's playful affairs with the young gopis of Vrndavana will attain the Lord's pure devotional service. Thus he will quickly become sober and conquer lust, the disease of the heart." (Srimad-bhagavatam 10.33.39)]
This is very good and high class siddhanta. Sri Krsna performed the Rasa dance in Vrndavana on the full moon night, and that night was brahma-ratri. It lasted for the duration of Lord Brahma's night, which is hundreds of trillions of years long. It seemed, however, that it was over in a moment. That night passed after thousands of thousands of thousands of years in actual time, but the gopis and Krsna thought, "The entire night was over in a moment, as if it were a dream." In this way, a yuga (millennium) became like a moment. Conversely, in separation from Krsna, a moment seems like a millennium. The stage of love of God at which this phenomenon is experienced is called maha-bhava.
sunyayitam jagat sarvam
["My Lord Govinda, because of separation from You, I consider even a moment a great millennium. Tears flow from My eyes like torrents of rain, and I see the entire world as void." (Sri Siksastakam verse 7)]
First you will experience vairagya (detachment); worldly desires will disappear.
How long have you been following bhakti? Some have been following for about forty years - when you met your Prabhupada in 1966. Has detachment come to you or not? You will have to see that this world is like a dream and that what you are doing other than bhakti is foolishness.
You will have to taste the fruit of what you have done in the past. Even if you don't want to taste the fruit of your past bad activities and you only want to taste the result of your good activities, you will have to taste both.
You cannot take even one hair with you when you die. You cannot take your wife, sister, money, position, wealth, reputation or any possession from this world. You should therefore perform bhakti, chanting the holy name and remembering Krsna:
aradhyo bhagavan vrajesa-tanayas tad-dhama vrndavanam
ramya kacid upasana vraja-vadhu-vargena ya kalpita
srimad bhagavatam pramanam amalam prema pum-artho mahan
sri-caitanya mahaprabhor matam idam tatradarah na parah
["The Supreme Personality of Godhead, the son of Nanda Maharaja, is to be worshiped along with His transcendental abode, Vrndavana. The most pleasing form of worship for the Lord is that which was performed by the gopis of Vrndavana. Srimad-Bhagavatam is the spotless authority on everything, and pure love of God is the ultimate goal of life for all men. These statements, for which we have the highest regard, are the opinion of Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu." (Srila Visvanatha Cakravarti Thakura)]
Suffering comes automatically, whether or not you want it to come, and if anything good is destined to come, it will automatically come.
kalav asmin yuge janah
manda-bhagya hy upadrutah
["O learned one, in this iron age of Kali men have but short lives. They are quarrelsome, lazy, misguided, unlucky and, above all, always disturbed. (Srimad-bhagavatam 1.1.10)]
Don't endeavor for material things. Chant and remember Lord Krsna, and He will fulfill all your desires. Whatever you need and want, He will carry on His head and His shoulders. He has promised this in Bhagavad-gita. Have strong faith in Bhagavad-gita and in Krsna's words. Also, have faith in Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu - in what He told to Srila Rupa Gosvami, and which, in turn, Rupa Gosvami wrote in his books.
smrtyoh kramena rasana-manasi niyojya
tisthan vraje tad-anuragi jananugami
kalam nayed akhilam ity upadesa-saram
["The essence of all advice is that one should utilize one's full time - twenty-four hours a day - in nicely chanting and remembering the Lord's divine name, transcendental form, qualities and eternal pastimes, thereby gradually engaging one's tongue and mind. In this way one should reside in Vraja [Goloka Vrndavana dhama] and serve Krsna under the guidance of devotees. One should follow in the footsteps of the Lord's beloved devotees, who are deeply attached to His devotional service." (Sri Upadesamrta, verse 8)]
So jnana and vairagya must come. If they are not coming, it means you are at a very critical stage. Try to serve your Gurudeva and try to be more and more near to him. Be in sadhu-sanga. I will explain about sadhu-sanga - what is its meaning, who are sadhus, and what is sanga.*[See endnote2] I have called you here so that very patiently, with care, you will listen to these topics and try to practice bhakti in your life.
Life is very short. I recently heard that one of my disciples died at a very young age. Some are even dying in the womb of their mothers. There is no certainty when you will die, become mad, or be covered with diseases. So don't waste your time; practice bhakti-yoga.
Try to attend these classes, just as you attend breakfast, lunch and dinner, I know that you cannot forget the time of lunch and dinner, so don't forget to hear hari-katha. Hear not only my classes, but also those of Madhava Maharaja, Aranya Maharaja, Syamarani and others. Cooking is going on, and the prasadam will come at a certain time, whether you try for it or not. Similarly, whether you try for it or not, hari-katha is going on here. I request that you come and join the hari-katha. Even if it is not tasteful, still, join.
[*Endnote 1: Sri Bindu-vikasini-vrtti - Illumination of the meaning of Sri Bhakti-rasamrta-sindhu-bindu
"We are beginning hereafter by enumerating the symptoms of uttama-bhakti. The symptoms of uttama-bhakti, as described in this first verse, are of two kinds: (A) svarupa-laksana (intrinsic characteristic) and (B) tatastha-laksana (extrinsic characteristics). The svarupa-laksana is described in the second line of the verse: anukulyena krsnanusilanam bhaktir uttama uttama-bhakti involves the cultivation of activities favourable to Sri Krsna. This is said to be the svarupa-laksana of uttama-bhakti because it acquaints us with the inherent nature or svarupa of bhakti. The tatastha-laksana are described in the first line of the verse: "anyabhilasita-sunyam jnana-karmady-anavrtam - uttama-bhakti is devoid of all desires other than to please Sri Krsna, and it is not covered by jnana and karma." These are called the tatastha-laksana because they define those characteristics that are not part of the nature of bhakti.
(A) Svarupa-laksana - Intrinsic Characteristic
Anusilanam - Constant cultivation
Here the svarupa-laksana of uttama-bhakti will be described beginning with krsnanusilana. Just as all the various meanings of the verbal roots (dhatus), or in other words the constituent parts of words, can be understood by the ideas they express when applied as verbs (kriya), all the meanings of the verbal root sil, to do or practise, may be known by the word anusilana, to constantly practise or cultivate.
There are two meanings of any verbal root or dhatu: cesta-rupa (in every verbal root some activety is implied) and bhava-rupa (inherent in every action, or accompanying every action, there is some particular sentiment). The meaning of cesta-rupa is also of two kinds: (1) sadhana-rupa - endeavors in the stage of bhava-sadhana, leading to the manifestation of prema (comprising both vaidhi- and raganuga-sadhana) and (2) karya-rupa - endeavors that manifest as effects upon attainment of the stage of bhava, or in other words the anubhavas of bhava-bhakti. Included within this category are the eight sattvika-bhavas, such as crying and standing of the hairs on end, and the anubhavas such as singing and dancing. All these effects (anubhavas) are expressions arising from the mind that is constituted of visuddha-sattva. Sadhana-rupa is further divided into two parts: pravrtti-mulaka, that which is based on performance of positive action, and nivrtti-mulaka, that which is based on avoidance of negative action. The aspect of the verbal root that deals with the performance of positive action refers to favourable endeavours undertaken with the body (kayika), mind (manasika) and speech (vacika). The aspect of the verbal root that involves the avoidance of negative action is different in meaning from that which arises from engagement in positive activity. In other words nivrtty-atmaka-cesta-rupa involves the avoidance of all activities, also performed with body, mind and speech, that give rise to offences in service (sevaparadha), offences to the holy name (namaparadha) and offences to the holy places (dhamaparadha).
The meaning of bhava-rupa is also of two kinds: priti, love, and visada, despondency. Priti refers to the manifestation of the sthayibhava, and visada refers to the sancari-bhavas (also known as vyabhicari-bhavas). Srila Visvanatha Cakravarti Thakura has explained this same thing in his commentary to Bhakti-rasamrta-sindhu (1.3.1). There he says that bhava-rupa may be divided into two aspects: (1) sthayibhava-rupa - the permanent sentiment in one of the five primary relationships of santa, dasya, sakhya, vatsalya or madhurya, and (2) sancari-bhava rupa - the internal transitory emotions, which arise like waves from the ocean of the sthayibhava, enhance it and then submerge once again into the sthayibhava. There are thirty-three sancari-bhavas, such as visada (despondency), dainya (depression) and nirveda (self-disparagement).
Sthayibhava-rupa is again divided into two forms, which are (1) premankura-rupa - the sprout of prema, that is, rati or bhava, and (2) prema-rupa - prema, which is developed through the stages of sneha, mana, pranaya, raga, anuraga, bhava and mahabhava. All these states (bhava and so on) are completely beyond mundane worldly sentiments. They are transcendental and fully situated in unalloyed goodness, visuddha-sattva. These will be described later."]
[* Endnote 2 - This lecture was given before Srila Narayana Maharaja's classes on sadhu-sanga. The following lectures on sadhu-sanga were already sent on the harikatha mailing list and have already been posted on www.purebhakti.com and www.narayanamaharaja.com.]
Transcriber: Dhanvantari dasa
Editor: Syamarani dasi
Typists: Krsna Bhakti dasi and Narayani dasi