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The Nectar of Devotion
Vrndavana, October 28, 1972
Pradyumna: (reading) "...divided into four parts, just as the ocean is sometimes divided into four parts, and there are different sections within each of these four divisions. Originally in Bhakti-rasamrta-sindhu, the ocean is divided like the watery ocean into east, west, north, and south, while the sub-sections within these different divisions are called waves. As in the ocean, there are always different waves, either on the eastern side, the western side, the northern side, or the southern side, so similarly Bhakti-rasamrta-sindhu has different waves. In the first part there are four waves, the first being a general description of devotional service. The second concerns the regulative principles for executing devotional service and the third wave is devotional service in ecstasy. In the fourth is the ultimate goal, love of God. These will be explicitly described, along with their different symptoms. The authorized description of bhakti, or devotional service..."
Prabhupada: Caitanya Mahaprabhu compared bhakti as the, a great ocean. So when He was speaking before Rupa Gosvami, He said that "It is just like a ocean. So I'll take a drop of it, and you taste it, and you'll understand what is this ocean." Just like by tasting one drop of sea water we can understand the taste of the whole ocean, similarly Caitanya Mahaprabhu described a small portion of Bhakti-rasamrta-sindhu. Bhakti rasa amrta. Bhakti, devotional service, there is a rasa, taste, and the taste is amrta, eternal.
Here also, we have got taste for any relationship. Just like we have got our relationship with master and servant. So this relationship is a perverted reflection of the real master and servant. Here it is perverted because the master also does not love the servant, and the servant also does not love the master. The servant serves the master so long there is payment. If the payment is stopped, then no more the servant will be available. But in the eternal world, the Krsna's servant... So that is eternal, without any payment. Mama janmani janmanisvare bhavatad bhaktir ahaituki [Cc. Antya 20.29, Siksastaka 4]. Ahaituki. The servants of God, or Krsna, they serve Krsna not for any material gain. Ahaituki. Therefore this word is used, ahaituki, without any cause of motive. This is real bhakti. Therefore this bhakti word is applicable only in relationship with God, or Krsna. In the material world, there cannot be any use of the word bhakti. Because here the so-called devotional service is motivated. So this bhakti word is monopolized by Krsna, and nobody else. Go on.
Pradyumna: "The authorized description of bhakti, or devotional service, following in the footsteps of previous acaryas can be summarized in the following statement of Srila Rupa Gosvami: 'First-class devotional service is known by one's tendency to be fully engaged in Krsna consciousness, serving the Lord favorably.' "
This is the first statement of bhakti given by Srila Rupa Gosvami. The... "First class devotional service is known by one's tendency to be fully engaged in Krsna consciousness, serving the Lord favorably." Not unfavorably. Anukula, pratikula. Anukulyasya sankalpa pratikulyam vivarjanam. Bhakti means we should simply accept what is favorable to Krsna. What is not favorable to Krsna, that we shall not accept.
Just like Arjuna. In the beginning he declined to fight. He was thinking favorably to his own senses, that "If I kill my brother, grandfather, nephews, those who are on the other side,... They have come to fight with me. So I can kill them. I can own victory over them. But what is the profit? If my relatives, friends, and all others die, then what is the use of my become victorious?" That was his... That means he was thinking in his favor. Krsna wanted that "You must fight. You are a ksatriya. It is your duty to fight. You are My friend. If you go away, fly away from this battlefield, what people will say? That 'Krsna's friend has gone away.' So this is not good." So when he could not be convinced, then Krsna had to speak the whole Bhagavad-gita. Then after hearing Bhagavad-gita, Krsna inquired from Arjuna "What is your decision now? Are you going to fight or not?" Arjuna said, "Yes, my illusion is over." Nasto mohah smrtir labdha tvat-prasadan madhusudana. So karisye vacanam tava [Bg. 18.73]. "Yes, I shall fight." So this is favorable to Krsna.
So we have to see what is favorable to Krsna, not sense gratification, not favorable to me. Or to my country, or to my society. No self-interest. Only Krsna's interest. That is bhakti. So by fighting, Arjuna became a great devotee. Bhakto 'si priyo 'si me [Bg. 4.3]. Krsna certified that "You are My greatest devotee. You are My very confidential friend." But what did he do? He did not read Vedanta philosophy. He was a grhastha, a king, engaged in fighting. He knew how to fight only. He did not know what is Vedanta philosophy. But still, he became a great devotee of Krsna. Bhakto 'si. So what is the criterion? The criterion is that he fought favorably. He did favorably to Krsna consciousness.
That is described in the Caitanya-caritamrta. What is the difference between kama and... Kama means lust; and love. Kama and prema. Prema is love, and kama is lust. It appears similar. In the material world, lust is going on in the name of love. A boy loves a girl, a girl loves a boy, but actually the boy also wants sense gratification and the girls also want sense gratification. That is not love. As soon as there is any difficulty in sense gratification, immediately there is divorce. So there is no love. There is only lust. In the material world there is no love. Therefore Caitanya-caritamrta Kaja, the author of Caitanya-caritamrta, he has distinguished between love and lust. He says, atmendriya-priti-vancha tare nama kama [Cc. Adi 4.165]. When you want to satisfy your senses, that is called lust. Krsnendriya-priti vancha dhare prema nama. When you want to satisfy the senses of Krsna, that is love.
Just like Arjuna. In the beginning he wanted to satisfy his own senses. "I shall not fight because if the other party, my brothers and grandfathers, they live, I shall be happy." So that is kama. That is not prema. But when he agreed to fight because Krsna wanted it... Nimitta-matram bhava savya-sacin. So that is prema. So Krsna-prema can be executed in so many ways. Simply Krsna should be satisfied. That is prema. That is Krsna consciousness. So at the present moment, Krsna, in the Bhagavad-gita wanted: sarva-dharman parityajya mam ekam saranam vraja [Bg. 18.66]. Krsna wanted Arjuna—Arjuna means everyone—that they should surrender to Krsna and be engaged in the service of Krsna. So people... Krsna, when we speak of Krsna, means God, the Supreme Personality of Godhead.
So this Krsna consciousness movement is propagating that to serve Krsna. When Krsna was present He demanded that "You surrender unto Me," and we are preaching, "You surrender unto Krsna." What is the difference? There is no difference. So the same thing, what was spoken five thousand years ago by Krsna personally, we, Krsna cons..., we, Krsna conscious men... Because we are known in the world as Hare Krishna People. They write in the newspaper, "The Hare Krishna People." So our preaching is the same. We don't change. We present, therefore, Bhagavad-gita As It Is. Krsna says that everyone should surrender unto Him. We are preaching the same philosophy, that "You surrender to Krsna." Krsna says, man-mana bhava mad-bhakto mad-yaji mam namaskuru [Bg. 18.65]. We say the same thing. We ask everyone that "You become a devotee of Krsna. You think of Krsna constantly. You worship Krsna. You offer you obeisances unto Krsna." So this is favorable. If we preach what Krsna said five thousand years ago, that is favorable. That is Krsna consciousness. To act in favor Krsna means Krsna consciousness movement. Go on.
Pradyumna: "The purport is that one may also be in Krsna consciousness unfavorably, but that cannot be counted as pure devotional service. Pure devotional service should be free from the desire for any material benefit or for sense gratification as these two desires are cultivated through fruitive activities and philosophical speculation."
Prabhupada: Yes. Sense gratification... I, as I was explaining, a few minutes (I finished?) before. Caitanya-caritamrta Kaja says, bhukti-mukti-siddhi-kami sakali asanta. Bhukti. Bhukti means karmis. They want sense enjoyment. So long they live here in this body, they enjoy their senses to the topmost, and they make provision for the next life, to be elevated in the heavenly planet to enjoy in the Nandana-kanana with the demigods. More standard of living, enjoyment more opulent. That is the desire of the karmis. Jnanis, they say, brahma satyam jagan mithya. "This world is false. There is no enjoyment. Actual enjoyment, to merge into the existence of Brahman." So that is also a subtle sense enjoyment. Leave this world, and enter into Brahman. Then you feel happy. So that is also sense enjoyment. Similarly, yogis, they also want power, material power. Anima laghima siddhi. Asta-siddhi. So if you have some power, you can fly in the air, you can walk over the water, you can get anything you desire immediately. These are yoga-siddhi. So that is also satisfying own sense gratification. So except bhakti, everything is for sense gratification. That is unfavorable. Krsna does not want to satisfy anyone's senses. That is not Krsna's business. Krsna is the Supreme. He wants everyone should serve Him. He's not going to serve anyone. That is Krsna's position. Therefore anyone who serves Krsna and preaches this philosophy, to serve Krsna, that is favorable. Anukulyena krsnanusilanam [Cc. Madhya 19.167]. Go on.
Pradyumna: "Generally, people are engaged in different activities to get some material profit, while most philosophers are engaged in proposing transcendental realization through volumes of word jugglery and speculation. Pure devotional service must always be free from such fruitive activities and philosophical speculations. One has to learn Krsna consciousness, or pure devotional service..."
Prabhupada: Yes. Jnana-karmady-anavrtam [Cc. Madhya 19.167]. Pure devotional service should be uncovered by the motive of nirbheda-brahmanusandhana, the motive of karma and motive of jnana. That is pure devotional service. No motive.
Pradyumna: "One has to learn Krsna consciousness or pure devotional service from the authorities by spontaneous loving service."
Prabhupada: Spontaneous. This service should be spontaneous, not forced. Just like a father loves his son spontaneously. A young man likes to love a young girl spontaneously. So bhakti should be like that. As soon as one hears the name of Krsna, immediately, spontaneously, he should be ready to serve Him. That is pure devotion. Not that forced. In the beginning, we have to force, that "You rise early in the morning. There is mangala aratrika. You have to perform it." But when this function will be done spontaneously, "Oh, this is the time to offer mangala aratrika to my Lord..." That is wanted. That is wanted. Not that "Oh, it is a heavy burden to rise early in the morning and to offer mangala aratrika." That is not spontaneous. But one has to act under the direction of spiritual master and sastra, which is called vidhi-bhakti, regulative devotional service, he comes to the platform of spontaneous service.
We have got an example in this connection. Formerly there was child-marriage. Boys and girls were married at the age of ten years, twelve years. So at that time, there was no practically love. But the guardians, they induced the girl to go and offer her husband some eatables, to give her some service. In this way... That was just like regulative. But when they actually come in the platform of attraction, there is no need of direction. So the spontaneous love, when spontaneously we shall serve Krsna, without any obligation, without any force, that is required. Spontaneous love, raga-marga. Go on.
Pradyumna: "This devotional service is a sort of civilization. It is not simply inaction for people who like to be inactive or devote their time to silent meditation. There are many different methods for people who want this, but civilization of Krsna consciousness is different. The particular word used by Srila Rupa Gosvami is this connection is anusilana, or cultivation by following the predecessor teachers, or acaryas. As soon as we say 'cultivation,' we must refer to activity. Without activity, consciousness alone cannot help us.' "
Prabhupada: Yes. People say that inactivity, silence, that is perfection. But no. In bhakti cultivation, there is no such thing silence. Always active. The same example can be given that Arjuna... Arjuna became devotee not by silence, but by being active. Activity, spontaneous activity. "I have to do this. My Lord will be pleased. So I have to do this." Activity. But if I have no idea what is Lord, what does He want, how He's pleased, if we do not know all these things, naturally there will be no activity. But one who knows what is this Lord, what does He want, what is my relationship with Him, then there is activity. So actually, that bhakti, bhakti is not silence. Bhakti is activity.
Just like personally, up to seventy years, I was practically doing nothing. But at the age of seventy years, by the grace of God, Krsna, there was inspiration. I went to western countries. Not to sit down there silently. So bhakti, the path is not inactivity. Actual activity begins when one is situated on devotional service. It is explained in the Bhagavad-gita, brahma-bhutah prasannatma. When one is brahma-bhutah, self-realized, he's prasannatma, joyful, anandamaya. Brahma-bhutah prasannatma na socati na kanksati [Bg. 18.54]. He has no desire to fulfill, neither he has lamentation. Here, in the material world, we hanker after things which we do not possess. "I want this. I want that." And we cry when the thing is lost. Na socati. But a brahma-bhutah, when one is self-realized, when one knows that he's not this body, he's spirit soul, he's part and parcel of Brahman, at that time, he becomes joyful. Brahma-bhutah prasannatma na socati na kanksati, samah sarvesu bhutesu. And he sees everyone on the equal footing. Because Brahman-realized. He knows everyone is not this body. He's spirit soul, part and parcel of Supreme Brahman. This position, when one comes to this platform, brahma-bhutah stage, mad-bhaktim labhate param. That is the stage to be promoted to the Brahman activity.
The nirvisesa, impersonalists, they want to stop activity, but actually Bhagavan, Krsna, says that real activity begins when one is self-realized, one is situated in Brahman realization. Brahman realization does not mean to stop. Brahman realization means to act for Krsna, not for sense gratification. That is Brahman realization. Mad-bhaktim labhate param [Bg. 18.54]. And in that bhakti stage, bhaktya mam abhijanati yavan yas casmi tattvatah [Bg. 18.55]. Actually, simply by executing devotional service, being freed from all material contamination, when one is engaged in devotional service, bhakti, that process, bhakti process can help one to understand what is God. Bhaktya mam abhijanati. It is not said that by karma, "karmana mam abhijanati." No. "Jnanena mam abhijanati." Abhijanati, tattvatah, if one wants to know God in truth, then he must take to devotional service. And this devotional service, actual devotional service begins when one is Brahman realized.
So one may argue, "Does it mean that all the bhaktas... We see they are not even educated... How he has realized Brahman?" That answer is given in the Bhagavad-gita that
mam ca avyabhicarini
bhakti-yogena yah sevate
sa gunan samatityaitan
This very platform of serving Krsna, avyabhicarini, without any adulteration, means without any motive... When one is engaged in Krsna's service without any motive... Not that "I establish a Deity in the temple with a motive that people will come, will give money, and I shall make it a path of earning my livelihood." That is not devotion. Devotion is without any motive. Anyabhilasita-sunyam [Brs. 1.1.11]. So without any motive, when one is engaged in devotional service, that is brahma-bhutah stage. That is liberated stage. According to Bhagavata, liberation, mukti, means to be situated in one's constitutional position. That is called mukti. Muktir hitva anyatha rupam svarupena vyavasthitih [SB 2.10.6]. Hitva anyatha rupa.
Now because we are designated, we have got this body, designation, therefore we are situated in different positions. Somebody's working for his family. Somebody's working for his community. Somebody's working for his nation. But this is anyatha rupam. This is depending on the bodily designation. "I am American. I am Indian. Therefore I must sacrifice everything for my country, for my nation." This is anyatha rupam. And when we engage ourself that "I am Krsna's part and parcel. Krsna is my master. I am His eternal servant. I must work for Krsna." That is mukti. That is liberation. So anyone who is working for spreading Krsna consciousness, he has no other motive than to satisfy Krsna. He has no other motive than to satisfy the representative of Krsna. Therefore they are hitva anyatha rupam.
These European, American boys, they are working for Krsna. It is practical. They are not working for their community, country or nation. Neither Krsna is their God. According to common understanding, in the Dictionary it is said Krsna is Hindu God. But they are not working for Hindu God. They are working for Krsna. Krsna says that
sambhavanti murtayah yah
tasam mahad-yonir brahma
aham bija-pradah pita
They have understood this philosophy that Krsna is neither Indian nor Hindu or this or that. Krsna is Supreme Personality of Godhead. He's father of everyone. They've understood in this spirit. Therefore they're working for Krsna. Without any motive. This is practical. Not only Europe and... Everywhere. Everywhere, all over the world. Why? Because Krsna consciousness is there in everybody.
Nitya-siddha krsna-bhakti. This devotional service of Krsna is dormant in everyone. It is, it has to be awakened. That's all. Sravanadi-suddha-citte karaye udaya. Simply by hearing, srnvatam sva-kathah krsnah punya-sravana-kirtanam [SB 1.2.17]. If you simply hear Bhagavad-gita, Srimad-Bhagavatam from the representative of Krsna... As Caitanya Mahaprabhu directed, bhagavata paro diya bhagavata sthane. One should hear about Bhagavata from the devotee. There are two kinds of Bhagavata, the book Bhagavata and the person Bhagavata. So we have to relish the Srimad-Bhagavatam, the contents of Srimad-Bhagavatam, from a devotee who is self-realized. Then it will be very nice. Satam prasangad mama virya-samvido bhavanti hrt-karna-rasayanah kathah. When you hear about Krsna from a Krsna devotee, it becomes very pleasing to the ear and the heart. Hrt-karna-rasayanah kathah. Therefore to become Krsna conscious, to become a devotee of Krsna... Tad-vijnanartham sa gurum evabhigacchet [MU 1.2.12]. Tad vidhi pranipatena pariprasnena sevaya. This is the process. So this Bhakti-rasamrta-sindhu is the science of devotional service. If one wants to become a devotee of Krsna, the Supreme Personality of Godhead...
When we speak of Krsna, Krsna means all Visnu forms, all Visnu forms. Ramadi-murtisu kala-niyamena tisthan nanavataram akarod bhuvanesu kintu, krsnah svayam samabhavad paramah puman yo [Bs. 5.39]. All incarnations, they are also Krsna, expansion of Krsna. But Krsna, this Personality of Godhead, Krsna, He's the Supreme Person. Isvarah paramah krsnah [Bs. 5.1]. So these things are explained in the Bhakti-rasamrta-sindhu, as they are in the Bhagavad-gita, Srimad-Bhagavatam. The summary, the juice of Srimad-Bhagavatam, Bhagavad-gita, devotional service is given in the Bhakti-rasamrta-sindhu. We have translated this book as Nectar of Devotion. And you'll be pleased to hear that in some of the universities in U.S.A. this book has been recommended as study book in the religious class. They're now reading regularly.
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