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The Nectar of Devotion

Vrndavana, November 1, 1972
Pradyumna: (reading:) "...as given by Rupa Gosvami in Bhakti-rasamrta-sindhu, can be summarized thus: his service is favorable and is always in relation to Krsna. In order to keep the purity of such Krsna conscious activities, one must be freed from all material desires and philosophical speculation. Any desire except for the service of the Lord is called material desire. And philosophical speculation refers to the sort of speculation which ultimately arrives at a conclusion of voidism or impersonalism. This conclusion is useless for a Krsna conscious person. Only rarely by philosophical speculation can one reach the conclusion of worshiping Vasudeva, Krsna. This is confirmed in the Bhagavad-gita itself. The ultimate end of philosophical speculation, then, must be Krsna, with the understanding that Krsna is everything, the cause of all causes, and that one should therefore surrender unto Him. If this ultimate goal is reached, then philosophical advancement is favorable, but if the conclusion of philosophical speculation is voidism or impersonalism, that is not bhakti."
Prabhupada: There is a verse in the Srimad-Bhagavatam: vasudeva-para veda vasudeva-param jnanam vasudeva-param gatim. So unless one is led to the conclusion vasudevah sarvam iti [Bg. 7.19], jnana-vairagya-karma, anything that you are trying to achieve, if it is not targeted to the realization of Vasudeva, then it... Srama eva hi kevalam [SB 1.2.8]. That is the conclusion of Bhagavata. Whatever you do, the ultimate goal should be realization of Vasudeva, Krsna. Vedais ca sarvair aham eva vedyam [Bg. 15.15]. All Vedic conclusions should be ultimately to realize Vasudeva, Krsna. Bahunam janmanam ante [Bg. 7.19]. This realization is achieved after many, many births of philosophical speculation, mystic yogic exercise or fruitive activities. Koti-karmi-madhye eka jnani srestha. To become karmi is the third-class stage of life. One has to make progress further, so that one may become self-realized, brahma-bhutah. So out of many, many karmis, one jnani, or one who has realized his identification, he's better. And out of many millions of jnanis who are trying to realize his self by philosophical speculation, brahma-jnana, so one mukta, or liberated soul, is better. And out of many thousands of liberated souls, it is said by Caitanya Mahaprabhu, it is very rare to find out a pure devotee of Krsna.
The conclusion is, a pure devotee of Krsna is picked up out of many, many liberated persons. Mukta-sangasya jayate. Krsna realization, bhagavat-tattva-vijnanam, mukta-sangasya jayate. Bhagavat-tattva, the truth, the Absolute Truth, which is the Supreme Personality of Godhead, bhagavat-tattva-vijnanam. Tattva means truth, and that is Bhagavan. Brahmeti paramatmeti bhagavan iti [SB 1.2.11]. Brahman realization is not all. One has to go further. Paramatma realization—one has to go further. When one comes to realization of Bhagavan, sad-aisvarya-purna-bhagavan-Bhagavan means full will six kinds of opulences, person, sac-cid-ananda-vigrahah, sarva-karana-karanam [Bs. 5.1]that is ultimate goal of life. Vasudevah sarvam iti sa mahatma su-durlabhah [Bg. 7.19]. Such kind of mahatma is very rare. That is the verdict of all Vedic literature, and confirmed by Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu: koti-mukta-madhye durlabha krsna-bhakta. Krsna bhakta, a pure devotee of Krsna, is very rarely to be found out amongst the muktas, amongst the liberated souls. Others are trying to become liberated, but a Krsna-bhakta is above liberation. Pancama-purusartha. People are busy for dharma artha kama moksa [SB 4.8.41, Cc. Adi 1.90]. Some of them are busy to become religious. Of course, without religious life, there..., there is no human society. Dharmena hina pasubhih samanah. Unless a society takes to religiosity, it is not human society. Therefore we see any civilized human society, there is a kind of religious system. It doesn't matter whether it is Hinduism, Christianism, or Buddhism, or Muhammadanism, but there must be a religious system. Without this system, that human society is not considered as human society. That is animal society. In the... Even I understand that in America the Red Indians, who are supposed to be not civilized, they had also a religious system. So maybe a perverted form of religious system. Similarly, in India also there are primitive races in the jungles, they have also... Religious system means approving the authority of some Supreme Being. That is religious system. So in the animal society there is no such conception that "There is God. We have got some relationship with God," what is that relationship. This type of discussion cannot be present in the animal society. So dharma artha kama moksa. Generally religious system is taken for improving social and economic condition. Artha. Artha means economy. Artha is required for sense gratification. We require economic development for our sense gratification. And when one is completely satisfied, then he can cultivate about spiritual realization, moksa, apavarga.
So dharmasya apavargyasya arthah na arthaya upakalpate. So dharma is not meant for developing economic condition. That is secondary. But dharma is meant for ultimate goal of liberation. People do not know that. People are not educated that what is the ultimate goal of life. Still, they take to religious life as a compromise between the contending elements, that "We must live peacefully under religious system." The aim is how to live in this material world peacefully. Sometimes religion and God is conceived in that way, that is, "If we have some conception of God, then we shall be moral, we shall be peaceful. Otherwise, there is no need of presenting God in the society." There are so many different opinions, different philosophers, different religious system, according to the modes of nature. But actually every system must be targeted towards realization of Krsna, or God. Vedais ca sarvair aham eva vedyam [Bg. 15.15]. That is Bhagavata-dharma. Bhagavata-dharma means realization of the Supreme Personality of Godhead. Prahlada Maharaja recommended culture of this Bhagavata-dharma from the very beginning of life: kaumara acaret prajno dharman bhagavatan iha [SB 7.6.1]. That is the success of human form of life, to execute Bhagavata-dharma. The, the process... And dharma, as we have several times explained, dharma means the codes of Bhagavan. Dharmam tu saksad bhagavat-pranitam [SB 6.3.19].
So this Krsna consciousness movement is directly touching the point. Not step by step. There is no time. In the Kali-yuga there is very little time to go step by step. Otherwise, there are twenty different types of religious scriptures, vimsati-prakasa, dharma-sastra. So who will read, and who will try to understand? There is no time. Prayena alpayusah kalau asmin yuge janah. People who are very short-living and they are not very enthusiastic for self-realization. Manda. Even they, somebody becomes interested in self-realization, they accept some wrong path. Mandah sumanda-matayo [SB 1.1.10]. They have got different matah, opinion or path. And the so-called swamis, they also support that "Whatever opinion you have got about religious system, that is all right." Yata mata tata patha. But actually, the fact is different. The fact is that one should take simply to the devotional path, bhaktya mam abhijanati [Bg. 18.55]. If you are actually serious to know God, or Krsna, then you must take to this process of devotional service. Without this you cannot understand. Not through karma, not through mystic yogic exercises, but through devotional service. Bhaktya mam abhijanati, yavan yas casmi tattvatah [Bg. 18.55]. That is clearly stated in the Bhagavad... But people do not know it. Anartha upasamam saksad bhakti-yogam adhoksaje. Bhakti-yogam, execution of bhakti-yoga, is the means of anartha upasama, subduing the anarthas. Material life means we have accumulated some unwanted things. Just like this material body—this is also not wanted. But somehow or other, we have developed this, and as we have got this material body, we have got so many material necessities of life. So it is not that abruptly we have to give it up. But by yukta-vairagya, everything, the material activities, dovetailing with Krsna consciousness, it becomes gradually purified, and we come to the final stage of understanding Krsna. That is our success of life. Go on.
Pradyumna: "Karma, or fruitive activities, are sometimes understood to be ritualistic activities. There are many persons who are very much attracted by the ritualistic activities described in the Vedas. But if one becomes attracted simply to ritualistic activities without understanding Krsna, his activities are unfavorable to Krsna consciousness. Actually, Krsna consciousness can be based simply on hearing, chanting, remembering, etc. Described in the Srimad-Bhagavatam are nine different processes, besides which, everything done is unfavorable to Krsna consciousness. Thus one should always be guarding against falldowns."
Prabhupada: So we should directly take to the nine different processes of devotional service, sravanam kirtanam visnoh [SB 7.5.23]. That we are stressing specifically every time, that hearing about Krsna is very important. Sravanam. As it is described in the Bhagavatam, srnvatam sva-kathah krsnah [SB 1.2.17]. Srnvatam. Simply hearing, srnvatam, those who are hearing... Caitanya Mahaprabhu has also recommended, sthane sthitah sruti-gatam tanu-van-manobhih. One may stay in his position as a brahmana, as a ksatriya, as a vaisya, or as a sudra. Everyone can hear about Krsna. This assembly which we are holding, there is no such thing that only the brahmanas will come here, or the ksatriyas will come here. Anyone can come and hear about Krsna. That is the process of Krsna consciousness movement. We try to invite everyone, from every corner of the world, to hear about Krsna. And that is becoming successful also. Simply by hearing about KrsnaHare Krsna, Hare Krsna, Krsna Krsna, Hare Hare/ Hare Rama, Hare Rama, Rama Rama, Hare Hare—and reading Bhagavad-gita, Srimad-Bhagavatam, simply talking about Krsna, they are becoming successful. So we should take... In the Kali-yuga it is very difficult to go step by step. It is not possible. Therefore by Caitanya Mahaprabhu, the easiest path has been recommended:
harer nama harer nama harer nama eva kevalam
kalau nasty eva nasty eva nasty eva gatir anyatha
[Cc. Adi 17.21]
Actually, we cannot accept various paths for self-realization. That is not impossible. Sometimes, because we give stress directly to accept this devotional service, people are not very happy that we do not give any importance to the process of jnana and karma and yoga. We do not condemn, but they're very difficult. The yogic process... Especially in Western countries, they are very much fond of the word yoga. We are therefore publishing this book, Krsna Consciousness Is the Topmost Yoga. Actually it is so. So the yoga system or the jnana system or the karma-kanda system, we do not make them null and void, but it will be very much slow form of progress. It will take long, long time. Neither it is possible to execute yoga system or karma system very properly in this age. Therefore the best contribution to the people of this age is Krsna consciousness. Immediately take to... Directly take to Krsna and your life will be successful. Krsna also says, sarva-dharman parityajya [Bg. 18.66]. The yoga system, karma system, jnana system, they may be taken as different types of religious path, but Krsna recommends—not only at the present moment, but eternally He recommends—five thousand years ago, He said, sarva-dharman parityajya mam ekam saranam vraja [Bg. 18.66]. "I'll give you protection," aham tvam sarva-papebhyo. Go on.
Pradyumna: "Srila Rupa Gosvami has also mentioned in this definition of bhakti the word jnana-karmadi. This karmadi, or fruitive work, consists of activities which are unable to help one attain to pure devotional service. Many forms of so-called renunciation are also not favorable to Krsna conscious devotional service."
Prabhupada: Yes. Karma... Rupa Gosvami has directly recommended, anyabhilasita-sunyam jnana-karmady-anavrtam [Brs. 1.1.11]. Actually, we find so many yogis, jnanis, karmis, they cannot understand even what is the benefit of this Krsna consciousness movement. Because we say directly, "You take to devotional service," sometimes they are not satisfied. But what can be done? This is the process recommended. And we are preaching through the mercy of Caitanya Mahaprabhu. Caitanya Mahaprabhu has recommended that this process of Krsna-kirtana..., param vijayate krsna-sankir..., sankirtanam.
This is Caitanya Mahaprabhu's blessings, param vijayate sri-krsna-sankirtanam. So go anywhere and everywhere, chant Hare Krsna mantra, and you'll become victorious. This is Caitanya Mahaprabhu's blessings. It is not our invention. And practically we are getting result. All over the world, our only means is to chant Hare Krsna mantra. Recently we have become victorious, very recently in Melbourne. You know, our men were being arrested and prosecuted. But one, the chief clergyman, archbishop, he has recommended that "These people are very nice people, God conscious. Don't give them trouble." Yes. And the government has stopped harassing. Now we are free to move on the street and go anywhere. This recent news we have got from Melbourne. Madhudvisa Maharaja has sent this news. Similarly, we were harassed in London also, and other places. In USA also. San Francisco. I do not know whether we were harassed in New York, but more or less... And in Japan also, they are talking that "You become bona fide religious organization. Otherwise you cannot come on the street." So although there is harassment by the governing agents, still we are coming out successful. Param vijayate sri-krsna-sankirtanam. All glories to the Sri-Krsna-Sankirtana! Practically. So you stick to this principle, go on chanting Hare Krsna mantra anywhere it is possible, and you'll be victorious. That is the blessings of Caitanya Mahaprabhu. Believe in it and you'll be successful. Yes. Go on.
Pradyumna: "Srila Rupa Gosvami has also quoted a definition from the Narada-pancaratra as follows: 'One should be free from all material designations and must be cleansed of all material contamination by Krsna consciousness. He should be restored to his pure identity, where he engages his senses in the service of the proprietor of the senses.' So when our senses are engaged for the actual proprietor of the senses, that is called devotional service."
Prabhupada: Hrsikena hrsikesa-sevanam bhaktir ucyate [Cc. Madhya 19.170]. Bhakti, devotional service, does not mean inertness. Not simply sitting down or meditate. It is activity, engaging all the senses. Hrsikena hrsikesa-sevanam. Hrsika means these senses—not these senses, but purified senses. Sarvopadhi-vinirmuktam [Cc. Madhya 19.170]. Just like pranair arthair dhiyah vaca. Prana, life; artha, riches, money; dhiya, intelligence; and vaca, speeches. So everyone using... Just like for national cause people are engaging life, they are sacrificing life. So many, for attainment of independence in India, so many Indians gave up their life. Pranaih. So many people gave up their everything. We know during national movement, Mr. C. R. Das, a great leader of the Congress group, he sacrificed everything. He was a big, very big lawyer, barrister. He sacrificed his profession, he sacrificed his life—everything. So as we are sacrificing everything for attainment of some so-called national independence, the same thing, if we sacrifice for Krsna, then our life becomes successful. Pranair arthair dhiya vaca sreya-acaranam sada.
So it is not inactivity. Caitanya Mahaprabhu or his followers, they were not inactive. They were acting. This Rupa Gosvami, he was so active that he could not sleep at night even for more than one and one half hour. They retired from the material activities. He was minister. He gave up his job and joined Caitanya Mahaprabhu in old age. He came to Vrndavana not to live a retired life, but a very active life.
nana-sastra-vicaranaika-nipunau sad-dharma-samsthapakau
lokanam hita-karinau tri-bhuvane manyau saranyakarau
vande rupa-sanatana raghu-yugau sri-jiva-gopalakau
Here is, sitting, Sri Gosvamiji. He's coming from Gopala Bhatta Gosvami. So all these six Gosvamis, they were not inactive. They were always active. As we are active in the karma, karmi life, so bhakti life is also activity. It is not sitting down idly or gossiping. One must find out some job to serve Krsna. That is bhakti life. Hrsikena hrsikesa-sevanam [Cc. Madhya 19.170]. Sevanam means activity. Sevanam does not mean sit down idle, inert. No. As soon as seva... Seva means activity. One has to preach, one has to write, one has to do this, do that, cook, offer the prasadam, everything. Seva, activity.
So that activity and karmis' activity, there is difference. The karmi's activity is on upadhi. "I am American," "I am Indian," "I am Hindu," "I am Muslim," "I am Christian." With this upadhi, we are acting. But bhakti means without upadhi. Sarvopadhi-virnirmuktam. Activity without upadhi. Working not as American. Working not as Indian. Working not as Hindu. Working not as Muslim. That is sarvopadhi-vinirmuktam tat-paratvena nirmalam [Cc. Madhya 19.170]. If we think that "I am Christian," "I am Hindu," "I am American," that is with upadhi. When we purely think that "We are...," or "I am servant of Krsna. My only business is to satisfy Krsna," that activity is called bhakti. If I become interested in some party, that is not... Sometimes people criticize these American and European devotees, that they think that "They are American devotee; we are Hindu devotee. There is difference." This is not bhakti-marga. This is upadhi. Why you should think yourself as Hindu? Why you should think of others who have come from America as American? That is less intelligent. Krsna-bhakta... Vaisnave jati-buddhih. If one thinks of Vaisnava as belonging to this class, this nation, he has no vision. Naraki. That is called naraki-buddhih. Vaisnave jati-buddhih arcye siladhir gurusu nara-matir vaisnave jati-buddhih. If we think the Deity as made of stone and made of wood, arcye sila-dhir; gurusu, nara-matih, if we accept spiritual master as ordinary human being; vaisnave jati-buddhih, and if we take a Vaisnava as belonging to America or Europe or India... No. They are transcendental. Neither the Deity in the temple is stone, neither the spiritual master is ordinary human being, nor the Vaisnava belongs to any caste. This vision is perfect vision. When you come to this vision, that is bhakti. Tat-paratvena nirmalam. A bhakta has to become purified. Tat-paratvena, being dovetailed with the service of tat, om tat sat. Tat-param. This is the process of devotional service. One should not be designated "I am this," "I am that," "I am that." No. The world should unite. This Krsna consciousness movement is so nice that one should forget that he's Indian or Hindu or Christian or American or Indian. Everything should unite as servant of Krsna. That is bhakti-marga. Unfortunately, they distinguish between American Vaisnava and Indian Vaisnava: brahmana Vaisnava, sudra Vaisnava. No. A Vaisnava is Vaisnava. Visnur asya devatah iti vaisnava. One who has accepted Visnu as "my Lord," he has no designation. A Vaisnava has no such distinction. Sarvopadhi-vinirmuktam [Cc. Madhya 19.170].
So this is the sutra given by Narada. Tat tenaiva vinirdiset [SB 7.11.35]. So we must follow the path of mahajana, the instruction of the acarya. Then we can become purified. And unless we are purified, there is no question of pure devotional service. Sa bhaktah prakrtah smrta. If one does not want to become advanced, if one does not want to become purified, then he remains a prakrta-bhakta. Prakrta-bhakta means executing devotional service under the instruction of spiritual master and the regulative principles of sastra, but he's still on the platform of material understanding. That is called prakrta-bhakta. A prakrta-bhakta cannot understand how another bhakta is transcendental. A prakrta-bhakta cannot understand that Vrndavana is always transcendental. Therefore Srila Jiva Gosvami has discussed this point in his Tattva-sandarbha, that we cannot accept any manufactured ideas. Because everyone is defective by the four defects of material life, we have to accept the version of Vedas, Puranas. He has tried to establish Puranas as Vedic supplementary. Others, they reject Puranas out of the Vedas. But Jiva Gosvami established. All the Gosvamis. Just like Rupa Gosvami has given, sruti-smrti-puranadi-pancaratriki-vidhim vina, aikantiki harer bhaktir utpatayaiva kalpate [Brs. 1.2.101]. It is utpata, disturbance. If you do not follow the principles of sruti, smrti, purana, pancaratriki-vidhi... Just like we were discussing this point, sarvopadhi-vinirmuktam [Cc. Madhya 19.170]. This is pancaratriki-vidhi. So if we do not follow these principles... Without following these principles, the so-called devotional service, Hari-bhakti, utpata, simply disturbance, simply a disturbance. Therefore we have to follow the principles laid down by the Gosvamis, Sad-gosvamis. Vande rupa-sanatanau raghu-yugau sri-jiva-gopalakau. And then our attempt will be successful.
Thank you very much. (end)

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