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The Nectar of Devotion
Vrndavana, November 2, 1972
Pradyumna: (reading:) "So when our senses are engaged for the actual proprietor of the senses, that is called devotional service. In our conditional state, our senses are engaged in serving these bodily demands. When the same senses are engaged in executing the order of Krsna, it is called bhakti."
Prabhupada: Hrsikena hrsikesa-sevanam bhaktir ucyate [Cc. Madhya 19.170]. Bhakti, it is very simple thing. Our relationship with Krsna is natural. Krsna says in the Bhagavad-gita, mamaivamsa jiva-bhutah. We are part and parcel of Krsna; therefore our only duty is to serve Krsna. That is natural. There is no question about it. Part and parcel means helping the whole. As we have several times explained that this finger is the part and parcel of my body, so it is the duty of the finger always serve the body, whole body. It has no other occupation. As soon as I desire, "Finger, you come to this place," immediately it comes. "Finger, you come to this place," it immediately comes. So we can study. What is the meaning of part and parcel? Part and parcel means to serve the whole. Krsna is the Absolute Truth. We are relative truth. Therefore it is our duty to serve Krsna. That is our natural position.
But at the present moment, we are engaging our senses, ourself, in designation. I am thinking, "I am American," I am thinking, "I am Hindu," I am thinking, "I am brahmana" or "I am sannyasi." So many designations. Caitanya Mahaprabhu presented Himself, how to become designationless, sarvopadhi-vinirmuktam [Cc. Madhya 19.170]. He said, "I am not a brahmana. I am not a sudra. I am not a ksatriya. I am not a brahmacari." He denied. At last He said, gopi-bhartuh pada-kamalayoh dasa-dasanudasah [Cc. Madhya 13.80]. This is our position. We are not Indian; we are not American; we are not Hindu; we are not Muslim. These are all designations. Therefore (the) Krsna consciousness movement is to make people free from designation. Just like, actually, you see. Here are American, European boys and girls. They have forgotten that they are American or European or they come from Christian group or Jewish group. Similarly, we should also forget that "I am Hindu," "I am Muslim," or "I am brahmana," "I am sudra," "I am ksatriya." No. This is the only platform, Krsna consciousness, where we can unite on spiritual platform. We cannot be united by resolutions. Just like the United Nations: they are trying for the last thirty years to become united—simply resolution. On that platform we cannot be united. On political platform or social platform, that is not possible, because the designations are there. When we are free from designation, sarvopadhi-virnirmuktam tat-paratvena nirmalam, when we are purified, then we can unite in the service of the Lord, Krsna. That is real unity. Hrsikena hrsikesa-sevanam... [Cc. Madhya 19.170]. That is Vaikuntha platform. Just like in Vaikuntha, the Vaikunthesvara, Narayana, or Krsna, He's the central point of service. Just like in Vrndavana... The Vrndavana... The animals, the birds, the beasts, the water, the trees, the flowers, the cowherds boy—everyone—center is Krsna. That is Vrndavana. They did not know that Krsna is the Supreme Personality of Godhead, but they loved Krsna with their heart and soul. That is Vrndavana. So if we come to this point of Krsna consciousness and simply learn how to love Krsna, then we can create the whole world as Vrndavana. Unfortunately, even in the Vrndavana, at the present moment, because our desires have been something else other than serving Krsna, there are so many factions. The center is missing.
So Krsna consciousness movement means to purify our senses from the designation and engage the senses in the service of the Lord. Hrsikena hrsikesa-sevanam bhaktir ucyate [Cc. Madhya 19.170]. That is described here. That is wanted. It is called bhakti. "In our conditional state our senses are engaged in serving these bodily demands. When the same senses are engaged in executing the order of Krsna, it is called bhakti." This is bhakti. Just like Arjuna. Arjuna served Krsna by his talent. He was a soldier; he knew how to fight. So by, for his personal consideration, he was thinking not to fight, not to kill the other side, because the other side happened to be his kinsmen, his grandfather, his brother, his nephews. So he was thinking in terms of his own sense gratification, because "The other side, if they are killed, I'll be unhappy." That was his consideration. Therefore he was not willing to fight. And to induce him to become Krsna conscious, the whole Bhagavad-gita was explained. And at the end Krsna asked Arjuna, "What is your decision?" Yathecchasi tatha kuru [Bg. 18.63]. "You can do whatever you like. I have given you instruction, full instruction. Now whatever you like, you can do." This means every living entity has got a little independence. Krsna, or God, does not interfere with that independence. Yathecchasi tatha kuru. At the last, also, Krsna says, sarva-dharman parityajya mam ekam saranam vraja [Bg. 18.66]. "You do it." Krsna can instruct us, "You do it." If I don't do it, that is my option. That option is always there. Krsna does not oblige me. Otherwise, what is the difference between me and the stone? The stone has no independence. But I am a living entity; I have got my independence. So do you... Krsna does not interfere with my independence. Voluntarily, if we surrender to Krsna, voluntarily if we serve Him, then our life is successful. Voluntarily. Hitva anyatha-rupam svarupena vyavasthitih [SB 2.10.6]. We can become immediately liberated if we give up our designated post. If we simply come to the platform of Krsna consciousness, then immediately we become liberated. So many sages and saintly persons are trying to become liberated, mukta, to merge into the existence of impersonal Brahman. But because they have no information of Krsna, or they do not like to surrender to Krsna, they fall down. Aruhya krcchrena param padam tatah patanty adhah [SB 10.2.32].
So we must stick to Krsna consciousness without any designative ideas. We must stand on the transcendental platform. Sa gunan samatityaitan brahma-bhuyaya kalpate [Bg. 14.26]. Transcendental platform means above the three modes of material nature, which is called brahma-bhutah. So this position, brahma-bhutah's position... Without being in brahma-bhutah position, liberated stage, nobody can be engaged in devotional service.
na socati na kanksati
samah sarvesu bhutesu
mad-bhaktim labhate param
Bhakti begins when is..., one is actually liberated from the influence of the modes of material nature. That is real bhakti. Otherwise, when you are, we are in training, that is called prakrta-bhakta. Actually, we are in the material state, but we are being trained up, the Deity worship. This is, following the rules and regulations under the instruction of spiritual master. Or Vedic injunction, this is training period. But even in the training period, if one is sincere and serious, he's liberated. He's liberated. It is so nice. Krsna consciousness is so nice that even in the training period, although he's not mature, and even one falls immature stage, there is no loss. That is also confirmed by Narada Muni: tyaktva sva-dharmam caranambujam harer patet tato yadi apakva... [SB 1.5.17]. There is a verse like this—I don't exactly remember—that if one is engaged in Krsna consciousness and, and without being mature, somehow or other, if he falls down, there is no loss, whereas other persons, who are sticking to their sva-dharma, but has no idea of Krsna consciousness, he does not gain anything. These are the statements of Narada. Therefore our position should be, our real active life begins when we begin to serve Krsna with our senses without being designated, without being situated in designation. This is transcendental stage.
Therefore a bhakta, Vaisnava, Vaisnava should not be considered that he's coming from European group or this group or that group. No. Vaisnave jati-buddhih. Vaisnava should not be considered belonging to any jati. Vaisnave, arcye sila-dhir gurusu nara-mati. Just like we worship Deity. Everyone knows that Deity is made of stone, but do we worship the stone? Do we construct so big, big temples for worshiping a piece of stone? No. Unless one has got this connection, that "Here is the Supreme Personality of Godhead, Saksad brajendra-nandana..." Just like Caitanya Mahaprabhu saw Jagannatha Temple and immediately fainted. He saw saksad brajendra-nandana Hari, Krsna, immediately. So we have to learn how to see Vaisnava and Visnu. That is Krsna consciousness movement. That means we have to purify our senses. Then we can see Krsna always.
santah sadaiva hrdayesu vilokayanti
yam syamasundaram acintya-guna-svarupam
govindam adi-purusam tam aham bhajami
One has to smear the eyes with the ointment of love, how to love Krsna. Then one can see Krsna always within his heart. And one who has learned this art, how to see Krsna within himself, within his heart always... Krsna certifies, "He's the topmost yogi."
These are clear things. There is no hazy idea. Everything is clear. We have to become designationless, free from designation. We shall forget. Not that "Here are some foreigners. Pick up some quarrel with them and try to drive them away. Why they have come?" So many nonsense things are going on, for want of actual spiritual education. This is not good, at least, for Vrndavana. This is not good. People have not been educated properly with the Vrndavana spirit. Therefore things are happening like that. Sarvopadhi-vinirmuktam: [Cc. Madhya 19.170] how to engage the senses, being freed from designation, in the service of the Lord. That is Vrndavana life. That is Vrndavana atmosphere. If there is any other purpose than this, then it is very difficult to utilize the opportunity, the fortune of living in Vrndavana. One has to be designationless. Go on.
Pradyumna: "As long as one identifies himself as belonging to a certain family, a certain society, or a certain person, he is said to covered with designations. When one is fully aware that he does not belong to any family, society, or country, but is eternally related to Krsna, he then realizes that his energy should be employed not in the interests of so-called family, society or country, but in the interests of Krsna. This, this is purity of purpose and the platform of pure devotional service in Krsna consciousness."
Prabhupada: So our purpose... The Krsna consciousness movement is started with this summary idea, that nobody should think himself as belonging to certain family or sect or religion or country or nation. All these designations have created havoc in the world, these false designations. When I think that "This country is mine," it is a false designation. Country is not mine. I am a guest here. If I stay in a country, in a place, for, say, twenty years, fifty years, hundred years, does it, does it mean that it belongs to me? Because they have no Krsna conscious idea, they are misled in thinking in that way. Some group of men are thinking that "This is our country. We are American," "We are Indian," "We are German." This is the false... Illusion. Actually, everything belongs to Krsna. Krsna says, bhoktaram yajna-tapasam sarva-loka-mahesvaram [Bg. 5.29]. He's the proprietor. But because people are not educated in Krsna consciousness, they are thinking, "I am the proprietor." Aham mameti janasya moho 'yam [SB 5.5.8]. This aham mama, increasing the aham mama, is illusion. It is maya. And that is going on. Therefore there is great need of spreading Krsna consciousness in the human society. Those who are actually welfare workers, they should come forward and join this movement to spread it. Actually, it is being accepted very nicely. Although not nicely, they have begun to accept it all over the world. This is our experience. And if we present the philosophy in correct viewpoint, people will accept it. And people will accept it, and people from all parts of the world will come to Vrndavana. Because they are hearing about Vrndavana, about Krsna, naturally they are very much anxious to visit. But if we do not receive them nicely, if we remain sectarian, oh, it will be an unfortunate thing. That is my request. Those who are inhabitants of Vrndavana, they should be prepared to receive these foreigners, who are being educated in Krsna consciousness. They should come here to visit; so they should be received, they should be welcomed. That is my request. Yes. Next.
Pradyumna: " 'The Characteristics of Pure Devotional Service.' In the Srimad-Bhagavatam, Third Canto, Twenty-ninth Chapter, 10th verse, Srila Kapiladeva, while instructing His mother, has given the following characteristics of pure devotional service: 'My dear mother, those who are My pure devotees, and who have no desire for material benefit or philosophical speculation, have their minds so much engaged in My service that they are never interested in asking Me for anything—except to be engaged in that service. They do not even beg to live in My abode with Me.' "
Prabhupada: Yes. This is pure devotional purpose. Natural. "Here is a Krsna devotee." How much one should be glad to see a Krsna devotee. Naturally, his love for a Krsna devotee should enhance. That is pure devotion. Just like in foreign country, when one Indian meets another Indian, naturally, he has got some tendency: "Oh, wherefrom you are coming? How long you are here?" This conversation goes on. Similarly, natural flow of Krsna consciousness is that as soon as one sees a person in Vaisnava symptoms, he should be eager to welcome him. He should be very much anxious to talk with him about Krsna, Krsna-katha. Bodhayantah parasparam tusyanti ca ramanti ca. Krsna conscious people should be so nice that as soon as they meet together, they talk about Krsna, they try to understand about Krsna, and they feel pleasure in that way. That is Krsna consciousness society. We are trying to make a Krsna consciousness society to give this opportunity to these people, how one should be engladdened by seeing one devotee and talk with them, one another, about Krsna, forgetting their designations. That is Krsna consciousness. Go on.
Pradyumna: "There are five kinds of liberation, namely, to become one with the Lord, to live with the Supreme Lord on the same planet, to have the same features as the Lord, to enjoy the same opulences as the Lord, and to live as a companion of the Lord. A devotee, not to speak of rejecting material sense gratification, does not even want any of the five kinds of liberation. He is satisfied simply by discharging loving service to the Lord. That is the characteristic of pure devotion."
Prabhupada: Yes. This is instructed by Lord Caitanya Mahaprabhu. He rejects: na dhanam na janam na sundarim kavitam va jagadisa kamaye [Cc. Antya 20.29, Siksastaka 4]. The karmis, they want all these things. Na dhanam. Great riches, and beautiful wife, great followers. So Caitanya Mahaprabhu is rejecting these, and He's rejecting also liberation. Dhiyamanam na ghrnanti (?). A pure devotee is not interested even in liberation. That is pure devotee. That... Just like Bhaktivinoda Thakura, he says, kita janma ha-u yatha tuya dasa, bahir mukha brahma janme nahi mora asa. A devotee does not pray that "Give me this, give me that, give me that." No. He prays that "Whatever you like, if you like me to take birth as an insect, that's all right. But my only request is that I may become an insect in the house of a devotee so that I may get the chance of prosecuting my devotional service. I may eat the remnants of foodstuff eaten by the devotee." Just like Bharata Maharaja, he became a deer, but he was associating with saintly persons. He understood that "I was formerly King Bharata. My chance, my mind being absorbed in the thinking of a deer, I have become a deer. All right. Doesn't matter." So he was associating with devotees. Similarly, a devotee is not interested to become liberated, go back to home, back to Godhead. Of course, even if he's not interested, Krsna takes him. Tyaktva deham punar janma naiti mam eti [Bg. 4.9]. That is natural. But that is not our... We don't pray to Krsna for anything of sense gratification. Caitanya Mahaprabhu therefore said, mama janmani janmani isvare bhavatad bhaktir ahaituki tvayi. Ahaituki apratihata. Our simply, simple desire is how to be engaged in the service of the Lord. Janmani janmani. When, when Caitanya Mahaprabhu speaks janmani janmani, that means He rejects liberation also. Na dhanam na janam na kavitam va yace. This is the karmi's, jnani's... And even liberation. He rejects liberation. Mama janmani. If one is liberated, then where is the question of janmani janmani? So liberation is also not aspired by a devotee. These are the characteristics of pure devotion. This chapter is "Characteristics of Pure Devotional Service." Pure devotional service should be without any desire, anyabhilasita-sunyam [Brs. 1.1.11]. The others, they are trying to make Krsna-sunyam, sunyavadi; our attempt should be to make our desires sunyam. Simply we be engaged in the service of the Lord. That is pure devotion. Go on, one paragraph more. What is the time now?
Pradyumna: "In the above statement by Kapiladeva from the Srimad-Bhagavatam, the actual position of a pure devotee is described, and the primary characteristics of devotional service are also defined. Further characteristics of devotional service are described by Rupa Gosvami with evidences from different scriptures. He states that there are six characteristics of pure devotional service, which are as follows: (1) Pure devotional service brings immediate relief from all kinds of material distress. (2) Pure devotional service is the beginning of all auspiciousness."
Prabhupada: Srila Prabodhananda Sarasvati has described,
visvam purna-sukhayate vidhi-mahendradis ca kitayate
yat-karunya-kataksa-vaibhavavatam gauram eva stumah
When actually one comes in the platform of devotional service, for him, there is no problem. The whole world is disturbed, agitated with so many problems, but for a devotee, there is no problem. Visvam purna-sukhayate. And they are trying, the whole world is trying to become very big man. Somebody's trying to be very big merchant or big industrialist, or minister, or this or that, and others, they are trying to occupy the post of Indra, Candra, devata. That is competition, going on. As soon as there is some competition, even persons, demigods, like Indra, Candra, they become disturbed, and they try to stop it. But a devotee has no such concern. He's not disturbed. Because he's engaged in the service of the Lord, he feels so much happy that he has no disturbance. Visvam purna-sukhayate. Neither he is anxious to occupy any very big post. Because for a devotee, vidhi-mahendradis ca kitayate. He knows that "What is this position? Say, for some years, ten years, twenty years, fifty years, hundred years, millions years." It is limited. As soon as the limited span of life is finished, either in this world, either in this planet, or in other planets... Suppose I go to the heavenly planet, I occupy the post of Indra. What is that? It is also limited. Ksine punye martya-lokam visanti [Bg. 9.21]. So long you have got assets of pious activities, you can occupy such post; then again come down. A-brahma-bhuvanal lokah punar avartino 'rjuna [Bg. 8.16]. So in this way we are wandering from up, down, down, up. In this way. Caitanya Mahaprabhu therefore said,
We are wandering, life after life, in different species of life, different forms of life, in different planetary system. And that is going on. This is not progress. Where is progress? You are conditioned within this universe. Where is your progress? Suppose you... Just like if I jump with a limited space, where is my progress? Real progress is Krsna consciousness. Tyaktva deham punar janma naiti [Bg. 4.9]. If we actually want to make progress, then we must take to Krsna consciousness so that after leaving this body there is no more coming down to accept a material body. That is real progress. Otherwise, there is no progress. It is simply wandering with a limited space. That is not progress at all. But because we are in illusion, we are thinking it is progress. It is not progress.
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