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The Nectar of Devotion
Vrndavana, November 12, 1972
Pradyumna: (reading:) "How Krsna becomes attracted by the devotional service of His devotees is described by Narada in the Srimad-Bhagavatam, Seventh Canto, Tenth Chapter, 37th verse. There Narada addresses King Yudhisthira while the King is appreciating the glories of the character of Prahlada Maharaja. A devotee always appreciates the activities of other devotees. Yudhisthira Maharaja was appreciating the qualities of Prahlada, and that is one symptom of a pure devotee. A pure devotee never thinks himself as great; he always thinks that other devotees are greater than himself. The King was thinking, 'Prahlada Maharaja is actually a devotee of the Lord, while I am nothing,' and while thinking this, he was addressed by Narada as follows: 'My dear King Yudhisthira, in this world you, the Pandava brothers, are the only fortunate people. The Supreme Personality of Godhead has appeared on this planet and is presenting Himself to you as an ordinary human being. He is always with you in all circumstances. He is living with you and covering Himself from the eyes of others. Others cannot understand that He is the Supreme Lord, but He is still living with you as your cousin, as your friend and even as your messenger. Therefore you must know that nobody in this world is more fortunate than you.'
In the Bhagavad-gita when Krsna appeared in His universal form, Arjuna prayed, 'My dear Krsna, I thought of You as my cousin-brother, and so I have shown disrespect to You in so many ways, calling You Krsna, or friend, but You are so great that I could not understand.' So that was the position of the Pandavas; although Krsna is the Supreme Personality of Godhead, the greatest among all greats, still He remained with those royal brothers, being attracted by their devotion, by their friendship and by their love. That is the proof of how great this process of devotional service is. It can attract even the Supreme Personality of Godhead. God is great, but devotional service is greater than God because it attracts Him. People who are not in devotional service can never understand what great value there is in rendering service to the Lord.
'The First Stages of Devotion.' The three categories of devotional service which Srila Rupa Gosvami describes in Bhakti-Rasamrta-Sindhu are listed as devotional service in practice, devotional service in ecstasy and devotional service in pure love of Godhead. There are many subheadings in each of these categories. Generally, it is understood that in the category of devotional service in practice there are two different qualities; devotional service in ecstasy has four qualities; and devotional service in pure love of Godhead has six qualities. These qualities will be explained by Srila Rupa Gosvami later on. In this connection, Srila Rupa Gosvami suggest that the person..., that the person eligible for Krsna consciousness or devotional service can be classified by his particular taste. He says that devotional service is a continual process from one's previous life. No one can take to devotional service unless he has had some previous connection with it. For example, suppose in this life I practice some devotional service to some extent. Even though it is not one hundred percent perfectly performed, still, whatever I have done will not be lost. In my next life, from the very point where I stopped in this life, I shall begin again. In this way there is always a continuity. But even if there is no continuity, if only by chance a person takes interest in a pure devotee's instruction, he can be accepted and advance in devotional service. Anyway, for persons who have a natural taste for understanding books like the Bhagavad-gita and Srimad-Bhagavatam, devotional service is easier than for those who are simply accustomed to mental speculation and argumentative processes."
Prabhupada: So Narada Muni instructed to Vyasadeva under the verse, tyaktva sva-dharmam caranambujam harer: [SB 1.5.17] "Even one takes to devotional service, takes shelter of the lotus feet of Lord Krsna, some way or other..." Kamad lobhad bhayat, as it is stated in the Srimad Bhagavatam. Just like the gopis, they took shelter of Krsna superficially by lusty desire. But it was not lusty desire. It was pure love. But in the material world same thing will be considered as lusty desire. So where is the difference between love of God and lusty desire? Because ordinary men will consider that gopis were attracted by Krsna in lusty desire. So Caitanya-caritamrta Kaja, Krsnadasa Kaviraja Gosvami, he says that there is difference between material lusty desire and love of God. He has compared that love of God is just like gold, and lusty desire is just like iron. So the difference between lusty desire and love of God is: in the material world, which is going on as love, that is lusty desire. Because the party, both the parties are interested in individual sense gratification. But here, the gopis, or any devotees, they want to satisfy the senses of Krsna. That is the difference between material lusty desire and love of Godhead. Atmendriya-priti-vancha tara nama kama [Cc. Adi 4.165]. When one desires one's own sense gratification... In the material world, suppose a boy loves a girl and a girl loves a boy. That is personal sense gratification. As soon as the personal sense gratification is not satisfied, immediately the so-called love is divorced. No more love. In the Kali-yuga, it is stated in the sastras, dampatye ratim eva hi. In... Love between husband and wife will be disturbed as soon as there is no satisfaction of sex desires. Dampatye ratim eva hi. And in the Western countries, we find... In our country also, it has already begun; there are so many divorce cases. Mostly the divorce cases take place when there is disturbance in sex, sex satisfaction. So that is lust. But here, in the case of Krsna and gopis, that is different thing. The gopis used to dress themselves so that Krsna will feel satisfied, satisfaction. For Krsna's satisfaction. They used to dress for Krsna's satisfaction. That is, of course, very difficult to understand. But we should learn from the sastras. The gopis had no sense gratification desire. They wanted to satisfy Krsna.
krsnendriya-priti-vancha tara nama prema
atmendriya-priti-vancha dhare, tare nama kama
[Cc. Adi 4.165]
So that is the difference. Love of Krsna means to satisfy Krsna, not satisfy sense gratification. We... The practical example is from Bhagavad-gita. Arjuna, Arjuna, in the beginning, he wanted to satisfy his senses. He declined to fight with his grandfather, with his teacher, with his nephew and brother on the other side. He thought that upon their death, he'll not be satisfied. That means sense, his sense gratification. But at the end, when he understood Bhagavad-gita, the essence of Bhagavad-gita, sarva-dharman parityajya mam ekam saranam vraja [Bg. 18.66],... Our duty is to satisfy the senses of Krsna. So then he, to satisfy Krsna, he killed his kinsmen, his grandfather, his teacher. So that is required—satisfaction of Krsna, not satisfaction of personal interest. Go on reading.
Pradyumna: "To support this statement there are many authoritative assertions by the learned scholars of bygone ages. According to their general opinion, a person may become governed by certain convictions derived by his own arguments and decisions. Then another person, who may be a greater logician, will nullify these conclusions and establish another thesis. In this way, the path of argument will never be safe or conclusive. The Srimad-Bhagavatam recommends therefore that one follow in the footsteps of the authorities. Here is the general..."
Prabhupada: Mahajano yena gatah sa panthah [Cc. Madhya 17.186]. You cannot come to the conclusion what is sraddha and sadhana by simply argument. Tarko apratistha. By argument, we cannot establish. Srutayo vibhinna. The scriptures are many varieties. Srutayor vibhinna nasau munir yasya matam na bhinnam. And every philosopher must differ with another philosopher. Therefore, mahajano yena gatah sa panthah: We have to follow the footprints of great authorities. They are also mentioned in the Srimad-Bhagavatam, great authorities:
svayambhur naradah sambhuh
kapilah kumaro manuh
prahlado janako bhismo
balir vaiyasakir vayam
Yamaraja said that "These are the eight authorities." Therefore we have got sampradaya: Brahma-sampradaya, Rudra-sampradaya, then Laksmi-sampradaya, Sri-sampradaya, and Kumara-sampradaya. The present acaryas, they are Ramanuja-sampradaya, Sri-sampradaya, Madhva-sampradaya, Brahma-sampradaya. In this way... So we have to follow the footprints of the sampradaya. Just like we are Gaudiya, Madhva-Gaudiya-sampradaya. We are following the footprints of Caitanya Mahaprabhu, as enunciated by the six Gosvamis,
So we have to follow the authorities. We cannot manufacture. There is no need of research work. Simply if we follow the chalked-out path given by the great authorities, that will help us. Yes, go on.
Pradyumna: "Here is a general description of devotional service given by Sri Rupa Gosvami in his Bhakti-rasamrta-sindhu. Previously it has been stated that devotional service can be divided into three categories—namely, devotional service in practice, devotional service in ecstasy, and devotional service in pure love of God. Now Sri Rupa Gosvami proposes to describe devotional service in practice. Practice means employing our senses in some particular type of work. Therefore devotional service is practice means utilizing our different sensory organs in service to Krsna. Some of the senses are meant for acquiring knowledge, and some are meant for executing the conclusions of our thinking, feeling and willing. So practice means employing both the mind and the senses in practical devotional service. This practice is not for developing something artificial. For example, a child learns or practices to walk. This walking is not unnatural. The walking capacity is there originally in the child, and simply by a little practice he walks very nicely. Similarly..."
Prabhupada: Nitya-siddha krsna-bhakti sadhya kabhu naya. Not that by practicing something external, not natural, we become accustomed. That is also sometimes there. But this devotional service, Krsna consciousness, is not that type of practice. It is there already. Nitya-siddha krsna-bhakti sadhya kabu naya. Not actually by artificial prac... It is there. Sravanadi-suddha-citte karaye udaya. It is to be awakened. Exactly just like the, the child, by nature, he can walk, but still, if some help is offered to the child, he walks very nicely. So this practice, vidhi-marga, devotional service, is simply to awaken the dormant Krsna consciousness within the human being. Just like it is happening in our preaching work in the Western countries. These European, American boys, they never heard the name of Krsna four years ago, but they have taken to Krsna consciousness seriously because it was already dormant in them. It has been simply awakened. By chanting the Hare Krsna mantra, this pure vibration of transcendental sound has enlivened them, and they are awakened to Krsna consciousness. It is not that artificially they have taken. It is sure. Anyone can test how much they have advanced in Krsna consciousness, how they are firmly convinced in Krsna consciousness. Because it has been awakened. The nature, which was dormant, that has been awakened by...
That is the propaganda work of Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu. He wanted that in every town and every village of the world, on the surface of the globe, His name, the preaching of sankirtana movement, inaugurated by Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu, should be preached. The purpose was the dormant Krsna consciousness is there everywhere. That we are experiencing. Now in Africa also, who are supposed to be not very advanced in civilization, they're also very nicely taking part in this Krsna consciousness movement. European, Americans, they are advanced, civilized people, but even in Africa we are having very good success. They are becoming Vaisnavas. So... And it is, in the Srimad-Bhagavatam it is said, kirata-hunandhra-pulinda-pulkasa abhira-sumbha yavanah khasadayah [SB 2.4.18]. So these kiratas are the Africans. So they are also becoming interested, huna, andhra and others who are considered to be low-born according to Vedic civilization. But still, the Vedic civilization does not prohibit anyone to come to Krsna consciousness. By our karma, we may be high born or low born. That does not matter. Ahaituky apratihata. Krsna consciousness cannot be checked by any material impediment. That is not possible. Ahaituky apratihata. It is natural. And Krsna says, mam hi partha vyapasritya ye 'pi syuh papa-yonayah [Bg. 9.32]. He says that even though some people are considered to be papa-yoni, low-born, it doesn't matter, but he can accept the shelter of the lotus feet of Krsna. Prabhavisnave namah. Prabhavisnave namah. Kirata-hunandhra-pulinda-pulkasa abhira-sumbha yavanah khasadayah, ye 'nye ca papa. Still more low-born than these people, sudhyanti, they can be purified if they actually take shelter of a pure devotee. They can be purified. That is the injunction of the sastras, Sukadeva Gosvami. Sudhyanti. People may argue how such low-born people can be purified. That reply is: prabhavisnave namah. It is the supreme power of Lord Visnu. It is possible.
Krsna says... Now, Krsna says that everyone can be delivered simply by the process of Krsna consciousness. So whose duty is to enlighten them to Krsna consciousness? I was just talking with Gosvamiji, Harijana Gosvamiji. Whose duty it is to enliven people to Krsna consciousness? It is the duty of guru. We came to this conclusion. And who is guru? Srotriyam brahma-nistham [MU 1.2.12]. That means perfectly learned in Vedic literature and firmly convinced in Brahman realization. That means first-class brahmana. So if the first-class brahmanas do not take care of these papa-yoni, then who will deliver them? We are the... Some agitation is going on that this movement, Krsna consciousness movement, is killing Hindu religion. You see. Just see the poor fund of knowledge. It is the duty of the first-class brahmana to enlighten these papa-yoni. Otherwise who will enlighten them? Guru will enlighten. And who is guru? Srotriyam brahma-nistham [MU 1.2.12]. Brahma-nistham means he must be brahmana. So if the so-called brahmanas, they do not take care of them, and if they remain brahmanas, limited, within some limited areas, do not go outside, then who will deliver them? So these are not very sound arguments. It is very, what is called, crippled ideas. The brahmana means udara. The opposite word of brahmana is krpana, who is very miserly. A brahmana cannot be miser. Even a hundred years ago the brahmana would give chance to anyone to become brahmana. I have got so many instances. That is the duty of brahmana. Pathana pathana. The brahmana should be learned, and a brahmana should make others learned, other brahmana, not that be simply satisfied that he's brahmana and nobody should become brahmana. No. He should make others brahmana. Just like a big lawyer, he makes his assistants lawyer. A professor, learned professor, he makes others professor. Otherwise, it is called jnana-khala, miser. The knowledge should be distributed. Any scientist discovering, they distribute it. Similarly, brahmana should be udara. Not only he should personally know what is Brahman, but he should distribute the knowledge. Therefore Caitanya Mahaprabhu said,
It is the duty of the brahmana. Paropakara. And without being human being, how he can become a brahmana? Cats and dogs cannot become brahmana. The perfect human being means brahmana, the first-class, perfect being. That is brahmana. And brahmana's duty is for paropakara. Pathana pathana yajana yajana dana pratigraha. Sat-karma-nipuno vipro mantra-tantra-visaradah, avaisnava-gurur na sa syat. A... One who is Vaisnava... Just like Caitanya Mahaprabhu. He becomes guru because He's udara. Vaisnava means para-duhkha-duhkhi.
[I offer my respectful obeisances unto all the Vaisnava devotees of the Lord. They can fulfill the desires of everyone, just like desire trees, and they are full of compassion for the fallen souls.]
So we have become crippled. Therefore we are talking this, that "This Krsna consciousness movement is killing our Hindu principles." No. It is really, actually Vedic principle that one should be learned, and he should distribute the knowledge for paropakara. That is brahminism. Para-duhkha-duhkhi. Krpambudhir yas tam aham prapadye [Cc. Madhya 6.254]. Lokanam hita-karinau. These are the statements in the sastra. Nana-sastra-vicaranaika-nipunau sad-dharma-samsthapakau lokanam hita-karinau. These Gosvamis, they compiled this... Rupa Gosvami compiled this Bhakti-rasamrta-sindhu not for the study, a few selected persons. Lokanam hita-karinau: for the benefit of the whole human society. And actually that is happening. We have translated this Bhakti-rasamrta-sindhu in English, and we have got the greatest sale of this book. Everyone is picking up. It is a study book in the Temple University of United States. They like it. So it is required. We have got so much treasure-house of knowledge. They should be, each and every book should be..., at least, Vaisnava literature, Bhagavata literature, should be translated into English and distributed all over the world. That is lokanam hita-karinau, to benefit the whole human society. Not to remain crippled within a boundary. That is not brahminism, that is not Vaisnavism.
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