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The Nectar of Devotion

Vrndavana, November 4, 1972
Pradyumna: (reading): ...from page number two. " 'Relief from Material Distress.' In the Bhagavad-gita, the Lord says that one should surrender unto Him, giving up all other engagements. The Lord also gives His word there that He will protect such surrendered souls from the reaction of all sinful activities. Srila Rupa Gosvami says that the distresses from sinful activities are due both to the sins themselves and to sins committed in our past lives."
Prabhupada: Now, "Relief from Material Distress." There are two kinds of activities, pious activities and impious activities. Generally we understand by performing impious activities, we suffer, and by performing pious activities, we enjoy. But actually, in the material world there is no enjoyment. Krsnadasa Kaviraja Gosvami explains that dvaite bhadrabhadra sakali samana. In the material world, in the world of dualities, either we think "This is pious" or either we think "This is impious," they are practically on the same platform. We take it as pleasure. Just like several times I have explained, people here in this material world, they are working very hard all day and night. And, when they gain some material profit, after working so hard, they think that "This is profit. This is happiness." Actually, where is the happiness? If one is working very hard, where is the happiness? So this is called illusion. In the sastra it is said, "Generally, people in this material world, they are in..., in the rajo-guna." Therefore hard-working activities, they take it as pleasure. If some saintly persons do not work, he is engaged in devotional service or meditation or chanting. Sometimes devotional service or meditation or chanting, sometimes it is misunderstood that these people are escaping, because they take it very nice to work very hard. Unless you work very hard, they take it as a process of escaping: "They, they're escaping the social obligation and other obligations by taking to mendicant life and living at the cost of others." So many things. So they like it, to work very hard.
But our Krsna consciousness movement is transferring that hard working to the business of Krsna. That tendency for hard working may be utilized. Just like the Mayavadi philosophers, they think that lust and anger, these are our enemies. Kama-krodha-lobha-moha-matsarya. But Narottama dasa Thakura says that the kama also can be utilized for Krsna's service. Kamam krsna-karmarpane. If one is very much attached to work for Krsna, that tendency for the karmis to work very hard for sense gratification, it can be utilized. It can be... Similarly, krodham bhakta-dvesi jane. Krodha, anger, is not good, but anger also can be utilized for Krsna's service. Just like Hanuman, he became angry upon Ravana for the sake of Lord Ramacandra, and he set fire in the golden city of Ravana, Lanka. So that anger was utilized for Lord Ramacandra's service. He never utilized anger for his personal sense gratification. In this way, everything can be dovetailed in the service of the Lord, and as I was explaining to other, there are six items, how devotional service, pure devotional service, is the only means to attract Krsna. To attract Krsna you cannot utilize your spirit or jnanis or yogis. You can attract Krsna simply by devotional service. Bhaktya mam abhijanati [Bg. 18.55]. Krsna says plainly that "Simply by devotional service, one can understand Me." Bhaktya mam abhijanati. So the activities of the karmis, when dovetailed in the service of Krsna, even by working so hard, our tendency, we can...
Actually, devotional service depends on the main principles, sravanam kirtanam visnoh smaranam pada-sevanam, arcanam vandanam dasyam [SB 7.5.23]. But within the category of dasyam,... Just like Hanuman, Hanumanji: he was engaged in the platform of dasyam. Arjuna was engaged in the platform of sakhyam. So they were also working very hard. The Battlefield of Kuruksetra, it was not a place of sitting down very easily and silently. When he was fighting, he was fighting just like a soldier. He took all the duties of a soldier. But it was being fought for Krsna. That is the attraction. That is pure devotional service. Krsna also gave him certificate: bhakto 'si priyo 'si [Bg. 4.3]. "My dear Arjuna, you are My dear friend and devotee." So by any action, if it is dovetailed for the satisfaction of Krsna, that is devotional service, and one can attract Krsna, attention of Krsna. Attention of Krsna can be attracted by pure devotional service, without any personal motive. If it is... And that motive, that order, is received through the disciplic succession of the spiritual master, how Krsna will be pleased. In the present condition, we do not know how Krsna will be pleased, but we know from the sastras... We can know also from the direction of the spiritual master how Krsna will be pleased. Yasya prasadad bhagavat-prasadah **. So Visvanatha Cakravarti Thakura says you have to follow the direction of the spiritual master. He's guiding as a leader. And if he's pleased, that means Krsna is pleased. Yasya prasadad bhagavat-prasadah **.
So devotional service is the only way. Karmi, karmi means they are working very hard for their personal benefit. Not for Krsna's benefit. Similarly, jnanis, they are also trying for personal benefit, mukti. He wants mukti, liberation, nirbheda-brahmanu-sandhana. And similarly, yogis also, they want personal benefit, some material power, asta-siddhi-yoga, anima-laghima-siddhi. Bhukti-mukti-siddhi-kami sakali asanta. Caitanya-caritamrta Kaja says except pure devotee, who only wants to satisfy Krsna, everyone is working for his personal benefit, karmi, jnani, yogi. But Krsna says, "Pure devotional service..." Not... Rupa Gosvami says, "Pure devotional service is the only means to attract Krsna." Now... But ignorance is no excuse. Go on reading. Next. "Generally, one commits sinful activities..."
Pradyumna: "...due to ignorance. But ignorance is no excuse for evading the reactionsinful activities."
Prabhupada: Yes. Generally we commit sinful activities knowingly; if not knowingly, unknowingly. Just like we are walking on the street, we are killing so many ants, unknowingly. So that is also sinful activities. You do not know, you do not want to kill the ants, but still, unknowingly, you are killing. When you take water from the jug, there are so many animals encircling the water jug, and when you take water some of them die. When we make paste on the pestle and mortar, spices, so many small insects die. That is going on. So knowingly or unknowingly, we are committing sinful activities. So how to save? That is replied in the Bhagavad-gita: yajnarthe karma anyatra loko 'yam karma-bandhanah [Bg. 3.9]. If you do not act, or if you do not engage yourself in Krsna consciousness business, then you are becoming implicated with so many sinful activities. That is sure. Therefore one has to take to Krsna consciousness without fail. Otherwise he'll be entangled, karma-bandhanah. Even if he's doing pious activities, he's becoming entangled in karma-bandhanah, in bondage. He has to take birth. Pious activities means he has to take birth in nice family, rich family. That is also bandhana. He has to enter into the womb of the mother and live there for ten months, in compact, air-tight, compact bag. That is not very good living condition. But we forget all these things, neither we do not care for all these things. But actually fact is, knowingly or unknowingly, we are becoming implicated. But if we simply take to Krsna consciousness and if we engage ourself in His unalloyed devotional service, if we try to understand Krsna, His activities, His form, His name, His quality, His paraphernalia, then the result will be, as Krsna says, tyaktva deham punar janma naiti mam eti [Bg. 4.9]. There is no question of reaction. Because Krsna says... Even we are doing... That we are bound to do, as I have already explained, that, knowingly or unknowingly, we are committing sinful activities. But Krsna gives His assurance: aham tvam sarva-papebhyo moksayisyami [Bg. 18.66]. So if he ... Of course, a devotee never does anything knowingly sinful, but unknowingly, he's doing. But Krsna is taking charge of him. Aham tvam sarva-papebhyo moksayisyami. So there, there is no question of grief.
Therefore the subject matter is relief from material distress. If you take to Krsna consciousness without any motive, sincerely, then your position is secured. Krsna takes charge of you. Kaunteya pratijanihi na me bhaktah pranasyati [Bg. 9.31]. His devotee will never be vanquished. Just like Arjuna. Arjuna was considering how he could kill his kinsmen, his familymen, his nephew, his brother, his grandfather, on the other side. Actually, this killing business is not very good. It is sinful. But the same thing he committed after understanding Bhagavad-gita. He agreed: karisye vacanam tava [Bg. 18.73]. "Yes, I shall fight." So does it mean...? In the beginning he was considering about the sinful effects of his activities. Why did he engage himself in the same business although he knew this is sinful? No. If you... Even it is acted so-called sinful activities, for Krsna, under the order of Krsna, for pleasing Krsna, then that is also devotion. It is very difficult. We should not manufacture such concoction. But the fact is that, if actually one is acting for Krsna, there is no question of sinful reaction. That's a fact. "Relief from material distress." And material distress means it is due to sinful activities. In another place, also, in the Brahma-samhita it is said, karmani nirdahati kintu ca bhakti-bhajam [Bs. 5.54]? Karmani. Everyone is being caught up by the action and reaction of karma, but a devotee is protected from the action and reaction of karma. Karmani nirdahati kintu ca bhakti-bhajam [Bs. 5.54]. So a devotee, a Krsna conscious person, remains free always, provided he's fully engaged in Krsna conscious activities for pleasing the Supreme Personality of Godhead. Go on.
Pradyumna: "Sinful activities are of two kinds: those which are mature and those which are not mature. The sinful activities for which we are suffering at the present moment are called mature. The many sinful activities stored within us for which we have not yet suffered are considered immature."
Prabhupada: Yes. This is also another position. The, the reactions of our sinful activities we are suffering. As soon as we get a material bodyit doesn't matter whether a rich man's body or a poor man's, poor man's bodythe material body is itself subjected to threefold miseries of this material condition. Therefore Arjuna was advised by Krsna: agama apayino anityah tams titiksasva bharata. You cannot avoid the miserable condition of this body. That is not possible. So we have to tolerate. There is no other excuse. But do not create another body. That is devotional service. Karmani nirdahati kintu ca bhakti-bhajam [Bs. 5.54]. Due to our past karma, we have got a certain type of body. Karmana daiva-netrena [SB 3.31.1]. By the supervision of superior order, superior vigilance, we get a certain type of body. This may be a king's body or a poor man's body, an animal body, or anything, we get. That is by superior order. So we should not create another body. That is the aim of human life. We should not create another body.
Then, another place in the Bhagavata it is said, nunam vikarma kurute, nunam, prammattah kurute vikarma. Prammattah. Prammattah. Pra means prakrsta-rupena. Mattah, mad. We are living entities. We have come here in this material world for sense enjoyment, and we are therefore mad after it, prammattah. So nunam prammattah kurute vikarma. Vikarma means which is against the laws. Just like karma, akarma, vikarma. These are explained. So vikarma means against the law. The Vedic version, they give us that "You should work in this way." But if we do not act according to the Vedic injunctions, that is called vikarma. And we become subjected to sufferings, impious activities. But we do it because we are mad after sense gratification. We do not care. Just like a thief, he knows that by stealing he'll be punished, but still, because he's mad after stealing, he'll do it, taking the risk of being arrested and being harassed. Nunam prammattah vikarma, nunam prammattah kurute, yad indriya-pritaya aprnoti. And they are mad after doing all this nonsense only for sense gratification. So Rsabhadeva says, na sadhu manye, "This is not good." Yata atmano 'yam. "As we have got this body, material body miserable..." Because as soon as you get a material body, you are put into the miserable condition of material nature. So we should not create another body so that we shall be put into, under tribulation again. That is intelligence.
So if we put ourself in the activities of devotional service, we save that risk. Not to create another body. If we do for indriya-priti, yad indriya-pritaya aprnoti, then we create another body. But if you act in devotional service, then, even there are something, sinful activities, karmani nirdahati kintu ca bhakti-bhajam [Bs. 5.54]. So for a devotee, he's saved. He's saved from creating another new material body. In this way, the stress is given that sinful or not sinful, we should not create another body. Karma-kanda. In the... Narottama dasa Thakura says:
We should not take either to karma, karma-kanda, fruitive activities for elevating to the heavenly planets; jnana-kanda, for stopping birth and death and merge into the impersonal Brahman... That is jnana-kanda. So karma-kanda jnana-kanda. Narottama dasa Thakura says everything is visa bhanda, the poison pot. Why poison pot? Karma-kanda amrta yeba baliya khaya. If we drink poison pot, thinking it as nectar, then the result will be that we have to accept another body and we have to be under the tribulation of material nature. And sometimes we get the body of the King of Heaven, and sometimes we get the body of a hog for eating stool. This is going on. Nana yoni brahman kare. We have to wander in different species of life and we have to eat all abominable things. Tara janma adhah-pate yaya.
So we should not spoil our life in that way, for creating another body. We should be very careful that we may not create another material body. And what is that safety position? Krsna says, janma karma me divyam yo janati tattvatah [Bg. 4.9]. If you simply try to understand Krsna, how Krsna takes His birth, how He becomes the son of Devaki, son of Nanda Maharaja, how He becomes the son of Yasoda, these things, if we study, if we try to understand Krsna, if we don't accept Krsna as ordinary manavajanati mam mudhathen, in this way, if we understand the science of Krsna, yei krsna-tattva-vetta sei guru haya [Cc. Madhya 8.128], if one understands the science of Krsna, he is spiritual master. Kiba vipra kiba sudra nyasi kene naya. It doesn't matter whether one is brahmana or one is a sudra or one is a sannyasi or one is a grhastha. It doesn't matter. If he knows the science of Krsna, yei krsna-tattva-vetta sei guru haya [Cc. Madhya 8.128], if he knows the science of Krsna... Yo janati tattvatah. Janma karma me divyam yo janati tattvatah [Bg. 4.9]. How that tattvatah, the truth can be understood, that is also explained by the Lord Himself: bhaktya mam abhijanati yavan yas casmi tattvatah [Bg. 18.55]. You cannot understand in truth, you cannot understand Krsna in truth by other process, karma, jnana, yoga. No. Bhaktya mam abhijanati [Bg. 18.55].
So we have to take to devotional service. Then we shall understand Krsna. Krsna will reveal. If you are engaged in Krsna's service constantly, tesam satata-yuktanam bhajatam priti-purvakam [Bg. 10.10]. If you have devoted, heart and soul, for service of Krsna, then Krsna is within your self. He'll give you intelligence. Buddhi-yogam dadami tam. He'll give you intelligence. He'll purify your heart. He'll purify your position. As you have read in the beginning of the Srimad-Bhagavatam:
If you simply hear about Krsna. The process... To... Krsna-tattva-vetta means to hear about Krsna. That's all. Try to hear about Krsna. Satam prasangad mama virya-samvidah. That is very, what is called, potential. Simply if you hear from the right source of Krsnanot from the professional, or from jnanis, karmis, or politicians. No. Pure devotee. Satam prasangad: in pure devotional service, in pure devotional mood. Then the potency will act and you will, we shall become more devotees. Khanera gita diya mora me pasile mora me pasile (?). It will act. And as soon as it will act, you become Krsna conscious, then your life becomes successful, above all sinful or pious activities. What is that? Samatityaitan. Mam ca avyabhicarena bhakti-yogena yah sevate, sa gunan samatityaitan [Bg. 14.26]. Samatitya. Samyag atitya. You can perfectly overcome the influence of the gunas, the three modes of material nature.
Because our suffering is due to association of the three gunas. Karanam guna-sango 'sya sad-asad-janma-yonisu [Bg. 13.22]. We are getting different types of body, either as a king or as a dog. Sat, asat. We think, "The king's body is very nice. Dog's body is not good." But whatever body we get, material body, that is not very good. Na sadhu manye yata atmano 'yam asann api klesada asa dehah [SB 5.5.4]. Any body, any type of body you get, you must suffer. It doesn't matter, European body, American body or Indian body or this body or that body. If we think, "Now we are Americans. We are very happy. You are Indians. You are poor..." No. Either poor or happy, it is all unhappiness. Karanam guna sango 'sya sad-asad. That is, means association with the modes of material nature. But if you engage yourself twenty-four hours in Krsna consciousness business, in devotional service, then sa gunan samatityaitan brahma-bhuyaya kalpate [Bg. 14.26], immediately you are on the brahma-bhutah position, liberated position. So just like one man is suffering from disease. Some way or other, if he comes in the, what is called, convalescent stage? Means freed from the diseased condition. But if he keeps that convalescent stage rightly, he do not, what is called, again...?
Devotee: Relapse.
Prabhupada: Relapse. If you do not relapse the disease, then you are nice. Similarly, to keep in Krsna consciousness means you are not diseased condition, but do not allow the disease to relapse. That means do not deviate from the devotional service. Mam ca avyabhicarena bhakti-yogena yah sevate. Avyabhicarini. Don't misuse the devotional service. Then you are all right. Sa gunan samatityaitan brahma-bhuyaya kalpate [Bg. 14.26]. Then you keep yourself always in transcendental position, brahma-bhutah position. And then from brahma-bhutah position, you can elevate yourself to the para bhakti, spontaneous. Para bhakti means spontaneously, spontaneous devotional service. Automatically, you will be loving Krsna.
The under, after being in the brahma-bhutah stage, that devotional service is very sound. Para bhakti. Otherwise, if we stick to the devotional service of temple worship... Just like one is performing temple worship, regulative principles... That is also... We should go forward. This is kanistha-adhikari. Sa bhaktah prakrtah smrtah.
So we must elevate ourself to the second class devotee position. To become first-class devotee, that is very difficult job. We can expect after executing devotional service as a madhyama-adhikari. Then we can be promoted. But if we keep ourself simply on the lower stage of devotional service, then there is chance of falling down. Sa bhaktah prakrtah smrtah. Simply... Just like, generally, they keep in the kanistha-adhikari stage. Of course, there is no loss. In any adhikara, in any position, you are benefited because you have taken to devotional service. But our attempt should be from kanistha-adhikara to madhyama-adhikara. Madhyama-adhikara means preacher. Unless one comes to the madhyama-adhikara, he cannot preach. Because in the uttama-adhikara there is no need of preaching, because uttama-adhikara, he sees everything good. He does not think anyone is lacking Krsna consciousness. He says everyone is Krsna conscious, "Simply I am not Krsna conscious." Just like Kaviraja Gosvami says, purisera kita haite muni sei lagistha [Cc. Adi 5.205]. He sees himself lower than the worm in the stool... But he's not so, but he thinks like that. So uttama-adhikari, it is not to be imitated. One must keep himself in the madhyama-adhikari stage. Madhyama-adhikari stage means that one knows what is Krsna, isvara, one knows who is Krsna's devotee. Isvare tad-adhinesu. And one knows who is innocent, neither devotee nor nondevotee, and he knows who is nondevotee. This is preaching. In kanistha-adhikari, he knows simply how to worship the Deity. Arcayam eva haraye sraddhaya pujam sraddhayehate.
So it is the duty of the spiritual master to promote the devotees from the kanistha-adhikara to the madhyama-adhikara. Not to keep them. My Guru Maharaja, sometimes he used to lament because so many disciples he had, but nobody was coming out very nice preacher. He was lamenting, "So only kanistha-adhikaris, we are keeping simply people in the kanistha-adhikara and engaging them in the arcana-marga." So that is not required. They should not... A kanistha-adhikari does not know who is a devotee, na tad-bhaktesu canyesu, what is the duty to others. He is very busy in temple worship for his personal interest. That is also good. But one has to promote further to become a madhyama-adhikari and then analyze who is God, who is devotee, who is innocent, who is nondevotee, and behave in that way. So their business is to make friendship with devotee, to love Krsna, and to the innocent, preach, to enlighten them in Krsna consciousness. And those who are atheists, to avoid them. These four principles. So in this way, we should execute our devotional service. Then our life will be visvam purnam sukhayate. It will be very happy life. That is the heading, subject matter, "Relief from Material Distress." Immediately. If we actually keep ourself in devotional service according to the description given by Srila Rupa Gosvami, then we keep ourself fit in devotional service and there is no question of material distress.
Thank you very much. Hare Krsna.
Acyutananda: ...says first-class, second-class and third-class devotees, they are pure devotees.
Prabhupada: Yes, pure devotee is anyone who has no other motive except to serve Krsna. It doesn't matter he's first class, second class or third... Anyabhilasita-sunyam [Brs. 1.1.11]. If he has got some motive, then he's not pure devotee. He may be not advanced, but if he has not motive, then he's pure devotee. If he wants to utilize Krsna for his personal benefit, then he's not pure devotee. He's impure. So first of all he has to become pure devotee. (end)

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