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Lecture on Gurvastakam
at Upsala University
Stockholm, September 9, 1973
Prabhupada: So in order to enter into spiritual life, two things are required, as enunciated by Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu.
ei rupe brahmando bhramite kona bhagyavan jiva
guru-krsna-krpaya paya bhakti-lata-bija
[Cc. Madhya 19.151]
The living entities, they are wandering throughout the universe, changing bodies, transmigrating from one body to another, one place to another, one planet to another, but they are rotating within this universe, material universe, brahmando bhramite. This science is unknown to the modern education department, how the spirit soul is transmigrating from one body to another and how he's being transferred from one planet to another. We have got our book, Easy Journey to Other Planets. So guru can help you to transmigrate from this planet directly to the spiritual sky, where there are innumerable spiritual planets. They are known as Vaikunthaloka. And the topmost planet in the spiritual sky, that is called Goloka Vrndavana. That is Krsna's planet. By Krsna consciousness movement we are trying to give information how one can be transferred directly to the Goloka Vrndavana planet, Krsnaloka. That is our mission.
So what is the difference between this material world and the spiritual world? The difference is that in the material world you have to change your body, although you are eternal. Nityah sasvato na hanyate hanyamane sarire [Bg. 2.20]. You are not destroyed after the annihilation of this body, material body, but you transmigrate to another body. And that body may be one of the 8,400,000's of forms. There are 8,400,000's of forms. Jalaja nava-laksani. There are 900,000 forms in the water, two millions forms of trees and plants, eleven hundred thousand forms of the insect, and then one million forms of the birds. And then three million forms of the beasts. And then we come to this human form of life. Now it is our choice, whether you are going to be transferred again through the cycle of this transmigration of the soul from the one body to another in the lower species of life, or you want to be transferred to the spiritual sky. And you can transfer yourself to the highest spiritual platform, which is known as Goloka Vrndavana. That is your choice. You have been given the chance of this human form of body to make your choice. You are completely under the control of material nature, but the material nature gives you a chance to get this human form of body. Whatever you like, you can do. That is stated in the Bhagavad-gita:
yanti deva-vrata devan
pitrn yanti pitr-vratah
bhutani yanti bhutejya
mad-yajino 'pi yanti mam
The purport is that those who are going, trying to be elevated to the higher planetary system, which is called Devaloka, or the planets of the demigods... There the standard of living, duration of life, is very, very large. Or if you want to be transferred to the Pitrlokas, or in the lokas of the ghosts, bhutejya, or if you want to be transferred to the loka where Krsna lives—mad-yajino 'pi mam—now it depends on your practice. But the rotating, wandering within this material world from one body to another or from one planet to another, that is not advised. That is called samsara. Samsara means material existence. That is called samsara. Bhutva bhutva praliyate [Bg. 8.19]. You take your birth once in some form of body. You live for some time. Then you have to give up this body. Then you have to accept another body. Then again live for some time. Then give up that body. Again accept another body. In this way, it is going on. That is called samsara, rotating within this material world.
That is compared with davanala. Davanala means forest fire. Forest fire. You have got experience. You have seen, might have. In the forest, nobody goes to set fire, but it takes place. Everyone knows it. Similarly, within this material world, nobody wants to be unhappy. Everyone is trying to be very happy, but he is forced to accept unhappiness. This is the position. Therefore it is called davanala. Davanala means nobody willingly sets fire, but there is fire in the forest. Similarly, in this material world, everyone is trying from time immemorial—even at the present moment. There is some occasional war, world war, and they manufacture some means. In our days, when we were young men, there was a League of Nations. Perhaps some of you may know. When the nineteen hundred, nineteen..., when the First World War was finished, these nations, they formed a League of Nations. League of Nations means just to arrange for peaceful living between the nations. So there was forest fire again. Nobody wanted war, but there was Second World War. Again. And again they are trying to, the League... What is that? United Nations. But the war is going on. The Vietnam war is going on, the Pakistan war is going on, and many others are going on. So you may try your best to live very peacefully, but nature will not allow you. There must be war. It is not possible. In the history, especially in European history, there were so many wars—Carthagian War, Greece War, Roman War, Seven Years' War between France and England, and Hundred Years' War..., so..., so far we have read in the history. And the war feeling is going on, not only between nation and nation, between man to man, neighbor to neighbor—even between husband and wife, father and son, this war is going on. This is called davanala, forest fire. Forest fire means in the forest nobody goes to set fire, but automatically, by the clash, friction of the dried bamboo, there is electricity and it catches fire. Similarly, although we do not want unhappiness, still, by our dealings we create enemies and friends, and there is fight, there is war. This will continue. This is called samsara-davanala. Try to understand.
So guru means spiritual master means who can deliver one from this forest fire. Just like when there is forest fire, the animals are very much disturbed, and they die mostly. The snakes, they die immediately. So this forest fire, samsara-davanala, is going on perpetually, and the person or the authorized person who can deliver you from this forest fire of material existence, he's called guru, or the spiritual master. Samsara-davanala-lidha-loka-tranaya karunya-ghanaghanatvam. How he delivers? What is his means? The same example. Where there is fire in the forest, you cannot send fire brigade, or you cannot go there with bucketful of waters to extinguish the fire. That is not possible. Then how it will be extinguished? Fire means it requires water to be extinguished. But where the water is coming from? From your bucket or from your fire brigade? No. It must come from the sky. It must come from the sky. When there will be torrents of rain from the sky, this forest fire, blazing forest fire will be extinguished. So these rains from the sky, it does not depend on your scientific propaganda or manipulation. It depends on the mercy of the Supreme Lord. So the spiritual master is compared with the cloud. Just like from the cloud there is torrents of rain, similarly, a spiritual master is considered just like cloud. Samsara-davanala-lidha-loka **. Just like cloud takes the water from the sea-cloud hasn't got its own water; cloud takes water from the sea—similarly, a spiritual master brings mercy from the Supreme Personality of Godhead. Just see the comparison. He has no own mercy, but he carries the mercy of the Supreme Personality of Godhead. That is the qualification of spiritual master. A spiritual master will never say that "I am God. I can give you mercy." No. That is not spiritual master. That is a bogus, pretender. A spiritual master will say, "I am servant of God. I have brought His mercy. Please take it and be satisfied." This is spiritual master's business. Just like a post peon. A post peon, when he delivers you some large amount of money, it is not his own money. The money is sent by somebody else. But he honestly delivers you: "Sir, here is your money. Take it." So you become very much satisfied with the peon. Although it is not his money, but when, in case of need, you get the money sent by your father or somebody else, brought by the peon, on oh, you get very much satisfaction. Similarly, we are all suffering in this blazing fire of material existence. The spiritual master brings the message from the Supreme Lord and delivers you. And if you kindly accept, then you'll be satisfied. This is the business of the spiritual master.
vande guroh sri-caranaravindam **
So spiritual master is offered obeisances: "Sir, you have brought the mercy from the Supreme Lord. Therefore we are much obliged to you. To deliver us, you have come. We offer our respectful obeisances." This is the meaning of this verse. Vande guroh sri-caranaravindam. That means the first qualification of the spiritual master, or guru, is to deliver you some message by which immediately your blazing fire in the heart will be stopped. This is the test.
Everyone has blazing fire within the heart. That is the proof of material existence. Nobody is without anxieties. That blazing fire means anxieties, always. Everyone has got anxieties. Even the small bird, he has got anxiety. You give the small bird some grains to eat, he'll eat it. But he's not very peacefully eating. He'll see this way, that way, "If somebody's coming to kill me?" Yes. This is material existence. Everyone... Even President Nixon, he's also full of anxieties, what to speak of others. Even Gandhi, in our country, he was full of anxieties. All politicians, they're full of anxiety; although they hold very exalted post, still the material disease, anxiety, is there. So if you want to be anxiety-less, without any anxiety, then you must take shelter of the guru, or the spiritual master, and the test is that by the instruction of guru, by following the instruction of guru, you will be anxiety-less. This is the test.
vande guroh sri-caranaravindam **
Don't make a cheap guru or a fashion guru, just like you keep sometimes a dog as a fashion. Similarly, if you want to keep a dog, or if you want to keep a guru as a fashion—"I have got a guru"—that will not help. You must accept a guru who can extinguish the blazing fire of anxiety within your heart. That is the first test of a guru.
And the second test is, mahaprabhoh kirtana-nrtya-gita-vaditra-madyan manaso rasena. The guru... Second system, symptom, is that guru is always engaged in chanting Mahaprabhu, glorifying Lord Caitanya Mahaprabhu. That is his business. Mahaprabhoh kirtana-nrtya-gita. He's dancing and chanting in the... By chanting the holy name of the Lord... Because this is the remedy for all calamities within this material world at the present moment. At the present moment, nobody can meditate. The so-called meditation is humbug. It is very difficult to meditate in this disturbing age of Kali. Therefore sastra says, krte yad dhyayato visnum [SB 12.3.52]. Meditation means dhyana, dhyayato. So Krte, in the Satya-yuga, when people used to live for 100,000's of years... The Valmiki Muni, he got perfection by meditation after meditating for sixty thousands of years. So there is no guarantee whether we are going to live for sixty years or sixty hours. So meditation is not possible in this age. That was possible in the Satya-yuga. Then the next path is performing rituals as they are enjoined in the Vedic sastra. Krte yad dhyayato visnum tretayam yajato makhaih. Yajato makhaih. Makhaih means performing big, big sacrifices. It requires huge lots of money. They, in this age, people are very poor. They cannot perform. Dvapare paricaryayam. And in the Dvapara-yuga it was possible to worship the Deity in the temple. But nowadays, in this Kali-yuga, that is also very impossible fact. Therefore, the general recommendation is, kalau tad dhari-kirtanat: "In this age of Kali, simply by chanting the holy name of the Lord, you can get all perfection." All perfection. That is the... Our this movement, Krsna consciousness movement, is meant for that purpose. Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu... The picture is there, Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu. Here, Sad-bhuja. So He inaugurated this movement five hundred years ago, chanting. Chanting and dancing. So this is going on for the last five hundred years. In India it is very popular, but in the Western countries, we have just introduced five or six years ago, and people are taking to it, and they are feeling happy. So this is the only process. Therefore, the guru is always engaged in chanting. Mahaprabhoh kirtana-nrtya-gita **, Chanting and dancing. Unless he performs himself, how he can teach his disciple?
So first symptom is that he will give you such instruction that immediately you will feel relief from all anxieties. And the second symptom is that he's personally engaged also in chanting and dancing the holy name of the Lord. Mahaprabhoh kirtana-nrtya-gita-vaditra-madyan manaso rasena. And enjoy the transcendental bliss within the mind by chanting and dancing. Unless you become blissful, very happy, you cannot dance. It is not... Artificially, you cannot dance. These dances, they are not artificial. They feel some transcendental bliss; therefore they dance. It is not they are dancing dog. No. They dance from the spiritual platform. Vaditra-madyan manaso rasena. Romanca-kampasru-taranga-bhajo. And there are sometimes transformation of the body with spiritual symptoms—sometimes crying, sometimes there is, I mean to..., swelling on the end of the hairs. There are so many symptoms. These are later. These are not to be imitated. But when one is spiritually advanced, these symptoms are visible. This is the second symptom of guru. And the third is:
yuktasya bhaktams ca niyunjato 'pi
vande guroh sri-caranaravindam **
The spiritual master's duty is to engage the disciples in Deity worship, sri-vigraha. Sri-vigraha. In our centers, all centers... We have got about..., more than one hundred centers all over the world. We have got the method of Deity worship. Here we have not yet established, but we worship the picture of Lord Caitanya and guru. But in other centers... In London, we have got two centers, two temples. In America we have got about forty centers. In this way, in each and every center, there is Deity worship. Sri-vigraharadhana-nitya-nana: to worship the Deity, to dress the Deity very nicely; to cleanse the temple very nicely; to offer nice foodstuff to the Deity and accept the remnants of the foodstuff as our eating. In this way, there is method of Deity worship. The Deity worship is done by guru himself, and he engages the disciple also in that business. This is the third symptom. Sri-vigraharadhana-nitya-nana-srngara-tan-mandira-mar janadau, yuktasya bhaktams ca niyunjato 'pi. Not that he is not engaged. He is also engaged. His disciples are engaged. He's always showing, "Do like that. Do like that. Do like that." Or sometimes, if he cannot, the guru shows how to do it. That is the business of guru.
Then fourth symptom is:
krtvaiva trptim bhajatah sadaiva
vande guroh sri-caranaravindam **
The fourth symptom is that a guru, the spiritual master, encourages prasada distribution, remnants of foodstuff distributed to the public. Ours is not dry philosophy, simply we talk and go home. No. We distribute prasadam, very sumptuous prasadam. In every temple, anyone who comes, we can offer prasadam. In each and every temple, we have got already from fifty to two hundred devotees. And outsiders also, they come and take prasadam. This is an... This introduction is also another symptom of guru, prasada distribution. Catur-vidha. Not ordinary. Catur-vidha means four kinds of eatables: carvya, cusya, lehya, peya. Something is chewed, something is swallowed up, something is licked up. In this way, there are different kinds of palatable dishes. Catur-vidha-sri... Catur-vidha means four kinds of different types of varieties of prasadam. Catur-vidha-sri... Sri-bhagavat-prasadam. Sri means opulent. If you eat bhagavat-prasadam, then gradually you become spiritualized. It has got the potency. If you eat the prasadam. Therefore it is said that realization of God can be done by the tongue. Sevonmukhe hi jihvadau [Brs. 1.2.234]. If you engage your tongue in the service of the Lord, then you realize God realization. So what is that tongue engagement? The tongue engagement is you chant the holy name of the Lord, and you take the prasadam, remnants of foodstuff given to the Lord. Then you become self-realized, God realized. By these two methods. You don't require to be very highly educated philosopher, scientist, and a rich man and..., to realize God. If you sincerely engage your tongue only in the service of the Lord, you realize Him. It is so simple thing. It is not very difficult. Therefore, this prasadam program is there, introduced by the guru, spiritual master. Sri-vigra... Catur-vidha-sri-bhagavat-prasada-svadv-anna-trptan hari-bhakta-sanghan. Hari-bhakta-sanga means association of the devotees. These things are done... Outside we cannot do it. But if there are some devotees, we can order, "Please do it. Distribute like this. Do like this." Therefore hari-bhakta-sanghan. Krtvaiva trptim bhajatah sadaiva. And when he's fully satisfied that the prasada distribution is going on, he's very much pleased and engages himself in the devotional service of the Lord by chanting and dancing. This is the fourth symptom.
And fifth symptom is:
What is that? Anyway. Vande guroh sri-caranaravindam. And the spiritual master is always thinking of the pastimes of Krsna. Sri-radhika-madhavayor apara: with Srimati Radharani, His consort, and the gopis. That is always his thinking. Sometimes he's thinking about His pastimes with the cowherds boys. That means that he's engaged always thinking of Krsna, engaged in some kind of pastime. Sri-radhika-madhavayor apara-madhurya-lila-guna-rupa-namnam pratiksana asvadana lolupasya. Pratiksana, twenty-four hours, he's thinking. That is Krsna consciousness. One must be engaged twenty-four hours in thinking of Krsna. You have to make your such program. Just like we have, at least, made such program. All these boys and girls, those who are engaged in Krsna consciousness movement, they are engaged twenty-four hours. Not officially, once in a week, they meditate or go to some temple. No. Not like that. Twenty-four hours. Twenty-four hours. They have got engagement twenty-four hours. Ask anyone how they are engaged. You can ask.
The next symptom is... What is that?
Prabhupada: Nikunja-yuno rati-keli-siddhyai ya yalibhir yuktir apeksaniya **. So the ultimate goal of the spiritual master is that he wants to be transferred to the planet of Krsna, where he wants to associate with the gopis to help them to serve Krsna. Some, some of them are, some of the devotees, spiritual master, they are thinking of becoming assistants to the gopis, some of them are thinking to be assistants to the cowherds boy, some of them are thinking to be assistant to mother Yasoda or Nanda, and some of them are thinking to the servants of God. Or some of them are thinking how to become a flower, tree, a fruit tree or a calf or a cow in Vrndavana. There are five kinds of mellows: santa, dasya, sakhya, vatsalya and madhurya. The... Everything is there spiritual. That I shall describe next. Cintamani-prakara-sadmasu. So in the spiritual sky, the land is spiritual, the tree is spiritual, the fruit is spiritual, the flower is spiritual, the water is spiritual, the servant is spiritual, the friend is spiritual, the Lord is spiritual and His associates are spiritual. Everything. Therefore oneness, Absolute Truth, everything absolute. Although there are varieties, these varieties, the spiritual varieties, are simply reflection in this material world. Just like there is a tree on the bank of the river. That is reflected in the water. But reflected how? The top has gone down. The topmost thing has gone down. So this material world is the reflection of the spiritual world—but perverted reflection. In the spiritual world, there is love between Radha and Krsna. Krsna is always young. Nava-yauvanam ca [Bs. 5.33]. And Radharani is also always young. Pleasure potency of Krsna. We worship: sri-radhika-madhavayor apara **. Madhava. Jaya jaya Radha-Madhava. We worship not Krsna alone—with His eternal consort, Srimati Radharani. So there is eternal love between Radharani and Krsna. Therefore in the Vedanta-sutra, it is said, janmady asya yatah [SB 1.1.1]. This Absolute Truth means wherefrom everything comes, emanates. Just like here we find love between mother and son, love between wife and husband, love between master and servant, love between friends and friends, love between master and the dog or the cat or the cow. Same thing. These are only reflection of the spiritual world. The same thing is there. Krsna is also good lover of the animals, calves and cows. As we love here dogs and cats, Krsna loves there cows and calves. You have seen the picture of Krsna. So the propensity to love even an animal is there. Otherwise how it can be reflected here? This is simply shadow reflection. If, in the reality, there is nothing like that, then how it can be reflected here? So everything is there. Therefore, that mellow, to understand, you have to practice. Here we have got frustration. Here we love. A man loves a woman or woman loves a man. But there is frustration. After some time, they are separated, they divorce, because it is perverted reflection. There is no real love in this material world. It is simply lust. Real love is in the spiritual world between Radha and Krsna. Real love is between Krsna and the gopis. Real love, the friendship is there between Krsna and His cowherds boys. Real love between animal and man is there. Krsna is loving the cows and calves. Real love between trees, flowers, water, simply that is the platform of love. That is spiritual world. Everything love.
So we are simply satisfied within this material world by the shadow reflection of such thing, as in the spiritual world. Therefore we have got this opportunity of human life. Let us understand Krsna. That is Krsna consciousness movement. Let us understand Krsna. And if you simply understand Krsna, as it is stated in the Bhagavad-gita, janma karma me divyam yo janati tattvatah... Tattvatah, in truth, not superficially. Learn this science of Krsna. Janma karma me divyam yo janati tattvatah. Tyaktva deham punar janma naiti mam eti kaunteya [Bg. 4.9]. This is the instruction: if you simply try to love. The process is that you worship the Deity, you take the prasadam, you chant the holy name, you follow the instruction of the spiritual master. In this way you'll be trained up how to understand Krsna, and then you life is successful. This is Krsna consciousness movement.
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