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The Nectar of Devotion
Vrndavana, November 7, 1972
Pradyumna: (reading:) "By performing Vedic ritualistic activities, by giving money in charity and by undergoing austerity, one can temporarily become free from the reactions of sinful activities, but at the next moment he must again become engaged in sinful activities. For example, a person suffering from venereal disease on account of excessive indulgence of sex life has to undergo some severe pain in medical treatment, and he is then cured for the time being. But because he has not been able to remove the sex desire from his heart, he must again indulge in the same thing and become a victim of the same disease. So medical treatment may give temporary relief from the distress of such venereal disease, but unless one is trained to understand that sex life is abominable, it is impossible to be saved from such repeated distress. Similarly, the ritualistic performances, charity, and austerity which are recommended in the Vedas may temporarily stop one from acting in sinful ways, but as long as the heart is not clear, one will have to repeat sinful activities again and again."
Prabhupada: So, according to Vedic ritualistic ceremony, there is recommendation of prayascitta, condon... What is called?
Prabhupada: Atonement. Yes. Atonement. So the example is given, just like a thief, he knows that stealing is not good. He has got experience that in the past he committed stealing, committed criminal offense by stealing, and he was arrested. Then he was punished. Still, he's stealing again. A man knows that stealing is not good. By ordinary law, stealing is punished, and in the scriptures also, stealing is prohibited because it is sinful. And one has seen that a person who is a thief was arrested and was punished. Everything he knows, but still, he commits stealing. Why? Therefore Bhagavata says through Sukadeva Gosvami that prayascittam vimarsanam. Simply official prayascitta will not help a man ceasing from sinful activities. Official. In Christian religion also, they accept, confess their sinful activities, and again they commit the same sinful activities. So Sukadeva Gosvami recommends that prayascittam vimarsanam. Unless one understands his constitutional position, unless he's convinced that why should he commit sinful activities simply for this body, which does not belong to him... It is a foreign. Actually, he has no connection with the body. Vimarsanam means cultivation of knowledge. So one has to cultivate knowledge. Then he can be stopped from sinful activities.
People, generally, they identify this body as self, and for bodily interest, he commits so many sinful activities, simply for satisfaction of the senses. But if he's cultured, if he's given proper knowledge that "Bodily concept of life is not your interest. You are spirit soul," aham brahmasmi, in this way, if he cultivates knowledge... That is very easily possible simply by engaging oneself in the service of the Lord. Kevalaya bhaktya. Simply by devotional service, one can raise himself to the position of perfect knowledge, and thus he can renounce all sinful activities.
In ignorance—means in bodily concept of life—we commit sinful activities, but if we actually come to the platform of knowledge, jnana, then naturally there is vairagya, renunciation. Renunciation means renunciation of sinful activities. Renunciation does not mean renunciation of devotional service. Renunciation means that unwanted things, anartha-nivrttih. That is renunciation. Adau sraddha tatah sadhu-sanga atho bhajana-kriya, tato anartha-nivrttih syat [Cc. Madhya 23.14-15]. If one is actually advanced in spiritual life, execution of regular spiritual life, then automatically anartha-nivrttih, things which are not required, that becomes automatically stopped. Anartha-nivrttih syat. So that anartha-nivrttih is possible by sraddha, sadhu-sangah, bhajana-kriya, then anartha-nivrttih, then nistha, ruci, asakti, bhava. In this way, we develop our Krsna consciousness, love of Godhead. Go on.
Pradyumna: "Another example is given in the Srimad-Bhagavatam of the elephant who enters into a lake and takes a bath very seriously, cleansing his body thoroughly. Then, as soon as he comes out onto shore, he again takes some dust from the earth and throws it over his body. Similarly, a person who is not trained in Krsna consciousness cannot become completely free from the desire for sinful activities. Neither the yoga process, nor philosophical speculations, nor fruitive activities can save one from the seeds of sinful desires. Only by being engaged in devotional service can this be done."
Prabhupada: The elephant... Hasti-snana, hasti-snana. This is very practical example. The elephant takes bath in the lake, very profusely throws water on his body, and becomes cleansed, and as soon as he comes on the shore, he takes again dust and spreads over his body. So these are natural examples. Similarly, there are different processes for getting out of the reaction of sinful activities, but you..., we take it. But if we again commit those sinful activities, then what is the use of such penance or prayascitta? Hasti-snana. The example is given as hasti-snana. Take, for example, it is said by chanting Hare Krsna mantra one is released from all sinful activities immediately. Eka hari nama yata papa kare, papi haya tato papa kari bare nare. It is a fact. Just like Ajamila. His whole life was full of sinful activities, but at the time of death, because he uttered the holy name of Narayana, he became immediately released. That's a fact. But if we commit again sinful activities, then what is the use of chanting Hare Krsna mantra? Namno balad yasya hi papa-buddhih. This is one of the ten offenses. If anyone thinks that "I am chanting Hare Krsna mantra. It is reacting all the effects of my sinful life. Then again I can commit and chant Hare Krsna. It is very good business..." No. That is great offense. Namno balad yasya hi papa-buddhih. One should not indulge in such a way. Jagai-Madhai was accepted by Lord Caitanya only on the promise that they would not commit any more any sinful activities. Lord Caitanya Mahaprabhu's mercy is there for everyone. He can accept everyone. One who is sinful, that is not disqualification. Because in this age, Kali-yuga, more or less, everyone is sinful. Then nobody can be claimed to be liberated by chanting Hare Krsna mantra. Hare Krsna mantra will give you, give you relief from all sinful activities, provided you don't commit it again. Otherwise, it will be like hasti-snana, the example of the elephant, and it will be a great offense. If on the strength of chanting Hare Krsna mantra we continue to commit sinful activities, that is great offense. We should not do that. The idea is by chanting Hare Krsna mantra, we become free from the reaction of sinful life, but that does not mean we shall again indulge in sinful life and counteract it by chanting Hare Krsna mantra. No. Not like that. Once you take to Hare Krsna mantra, you should make rapid progress, without committing any sinful activity, and retard the progress. Don't do that. Go on.
Pradyumna: "There is another evidence in the Fourth Canto of Srimad-Bhagavatam, Twenty-second Chapter, 37th verse, wherein Sanat-kumara says: 'My dear King, the false ego of a human being is so strong that it keeps him in material existence as if tied up by a strong rope. Only the devotees can cut off the knot of this strong rope very easily, by engaging themselves in Krsna consciousness. Others, who are not in Krsna consciousness but are trying to become great mystics or great ritual performers, cannot advance like the devotees. Therefore it is the duty of everyone to engage himself in the activities of Krsna consciousness in order to be freed from the tight knot of false ego and engagement in material activities.' "
Prabhupada: Bhaja vasudeva. There is a verse like that, that as by taking shelter at the lotus feet of Vasudeva, Sri Krsna, the Supreme Personality of Godhead, one can get released from all kinds of material tribulations, such kind of immunization is not possible by practicing yoga, tapasya, jnana. This is the statement in the Srimad-Bhagavatam. In all ways, it is recommended that we have to, we should take shelter...
samasrita ye pada-pallava-plavam
mahat-padam punya-yaso murareh
bhavambudhir vatsa-padam param padam
padam padam yad vipadam na tesam
If one takes shelter of mahat-padam punya-yaso murareh... Murari is Krsna's another name. So punya-yaso, His name is famous as piety. Punya-yaso murari. If anyone takes shelter of His lotus feet, then the great ocean of nescience becomes a small pit, and one can jump over it very easily. Go on.
Pradyumna: "This tight knot of false ego is due to ignorance. As long as one is ignorant about his identification, he is sure to act wrongly and thereby become entangled in material contamination. This ignorance of factual knowledge can also be dissipated by Krsna consciousness, as it is confirmed in the Padma Purana as follows: 'Pure devotional service in Krsna consciousness...' "
Prabhupada: Srila Rupa Gosvami is giving evidences from different Vedic literatures to support his statement. Here is a statement from Padma Purana. Srila Jiva Gosvami, in his Tattva-sandarbha, has proved it, without any doubt, that the Puranas are supplementary to Vedas. They are... Just like Upanisads is part and parcel of the Vedas, similarly, Puranas are also part and parcel of the Vedic literature. There are philosophers, the Mayavadi philosophers, they do not accept Puranas as Vedic literature, but Srila Jiva Gosvami has proved in his Tattva-sandarbha, in the beginning, that Puranas, Mahabharata, itihasa-purana, they are part and parcel of the Vedic literature. Supplementary. Purana means that which supplements. So evidences from Purana is as good as the evidence from the Vedic quotation. That is the verdict of Srila Jiva Gosvami. Srila Jiva Gosvami is not prepared to accept any statement which does not refer to the Vedic literatures: Vedas, Puranas, Upanisads, Mahabharata, Ramayana, like that. Srila Rupa Gosvami also says in another place, sruti-smrti-puranadi-pancaratriki-vidhim vina [Brs. 1.2.101]. So he has taken puranas also as evidences, Vedic evidences. So sruti, the Vedas, smrti, the Puranas and other literatures, dharma-sastra, smrti-sastra and Purana, pancarati-vidhi—without reference to all these authentic literature, any kind of devotional activities are not accepted by the Gosvamis. They say, "Without any reference to these all Vedic literatures, any kind of devotional service is simply disturbance." Pancaratri-vidhim vina aikantiki harer bhaktir upatayaiva kalpate. Utpat, disturbance. Go on.
Pradyumna: " 'Pure devotional service in Krsna consciousness is the highest enlightenment, and when such enlightenment is there, it is just like a blazing forest fire, killing all the inauspicious snakes of desire.' The example is being given in this connection that when there is a forest fire, the extensive blazing automatically kills all the snakes in the forest. There are many, many snakes on the ground of the forest, and when a fire takes place, it burns the dried foliage, and the snakes are immediately attacked. Animals who have four legs can flee from the fire or can at least try to flee, but the snakes are immediately killed. Similarly, the blazing fire of Krsna consciousness is so strong that the snakes of ignorance are immediately killed."
Prabhupada: Go on.
Pradyumna: " 'Krsna Consciousness is All-Auspicious.' Srila Rupa Gosvami has given a definition of auspiciousness."
Prabhupada: The snakes, kala-sarpa, indriya. Prabodhananda Sarasvati has explained about these kala-sarpas, snake... Our senses are compared with the snakes. Just like a snake, as soon as it touches somebody, it kills. It is very dangerous, touching by the lip of the snake. Similarly, a, a slight sense gratification is so dangerous, kala-sarpa indriya-patali, especially in the sex matter. So one... Yogis, they are training the senses how to restrain them from sense gratification, but a devotee, on account of their senses being engaged in the service of the Lord, there is no poisonous effect of the senses. Hrsikena hrsikesa-sevanam bhaktir ucyate [Cc. Madhya 19.170]. Krsna's another name is Hrsikesa. Ratham sthapaya acyuta. Hrsikesa. In the Bhagavad-gita, this word is used, Hrsikesa. So Hrsikesa means "the master of the senses." Actually, our senses are given by Krsna. We wanted a type of instrument to enjoy certain type of material enjoyment, and Krsna has given us senses. Actually, the proprietor of the senses is Krsna; therefore His name is Hrsikesa, "master of the senses." So if we actually use the senses for the service of the proprietor of the senses, that is bhakti. Do not..., we do not want to stop the activities of the senses, but it is, they are used for the purpose of the sense proprietor, Hrsikesa. That is called bhakti. Hrsikena hrsikesa-sevanam bhaktir ucyate [Cc. Madhya 19.170]. Bhakti means don't use the senses for sense gratification. Apply the senses for the satisfaction of the proprietor of the senses. Hrsikena hrsikesa-sevanam bhaktir ucyate [Cc. Madhya 19.170]. Go on.
Pradyumna: "Srila Rupa Gosvami has given a definition of auspiciousness. He says that actual auspiciousness means welfare activities for all the people of the world."
Prabhupada: Yes. Just like this Krsna consciousness movement: it is welfare activities for all the people of the world. It is not a sectarian movement, not only for the human being, but also for the animals, birds, beasts, trees, everyone. This discussion was made by Haridasa Thakura with Lord Caitanya. In that statement, Haridasa Thakura affirmed it that by chanting Hare Krsna mantra loudly, the trees, the birds, the beasts—everyone—will be benefited. This is the statement of Namacarya Haridasa Thakura. So when we chant Hare Krsna mantra loudly, it is beneficial for everyone. This statement was put forward in Melbourne in the court. The, the court inquired that "Why do you chant Hare Krsna mantra loudly in the street?" The reply we gave that "Just to benefit all the people." Actually, it is the fact. Of course, now there is no prosecution by the state. We are chanting very freely on the streets. That is the benefit. If we chant Hare Krsna mantra, it benefits everyone, not only human beings. My Guru Maharaja used to say if somebody complained that "We go and chant, but nobody attends our meeting," so Guru Maharaja would reply that "Why? The four walls will hear you. That is sufficient. Don't be disappointed. Go on chanting. If there are four walls, they will hear. That's all." So chanting is so effective that it benefits even the animals, beasts, birds, insects, everyone. Go on. This is the best welfare activity. In the human society there are welfare activities for some society or nation or community or human being. But this welfare activity is beneficial not only to the human society but to the birds, beasts, tree, animal, everyone. This is the best, supermost welfare activity in the world, spread Krsna consciousness. Go on.
Pradyumna: "At the present moment groups of people are engaged in welfare activities in terms of society, community or nation. There is even an attempt in the form of the United Nations for world-help activity. But due to the shortcomings of limited national activities, such a general mass welfare program for the whole world is not practically possible. The Krsna consciousness movement, however, is so nice that it can render the highest benefit to the entire human race. Everyone can be attracted by this movement, and everyone can feel the result. Therefore Rupa Gosvami and other learned scholars agree that a broad propaganda program for the Krsna consciousness movement of devotional service all over the world is the highest humanitarian welfare activity."
Prabhupada: Go on.
Pradyumna: "How the Krsna consciousness movement can attract the attention of the whole world and how each and every man can feel pleasure in this Krsna consciousness is stated in the Padma Purana as follows: 'A person who is engaged in devotional service in full Krsna consciousness is to be understood to be doing the best service to the whole world and to be pleasing everyone in the world. In addition to human society, he is pleasing even the trees and animals because they also become attracted by such a movement.' A practical example of this was shown by Lord Caitanya when He was traveling through the forest of Jharikhanda in central India for spreading His sankirtana movement. The tigers, the elephants, the deer and all other wild animals joined Him and were participating in their own ways, by dancing and chanting Hare Krsna."
Prabhupada: Yes. When Caitanya Mahaprabhu was passing through the forest of Jharikhanda, in central India, the, all the animals joined with Him. Of course, He's Krsna Himself. But if one becomes purified, there is no question that... All animals, living entities, would join in sankirtana movement. There is evidence. But one must be very sincere and powerful preacher. If we cannot preach in the, in the society of the animals, we can preach at least in the human societies, who are supposed to be uncivilized or very lower status of life. Actually, it is so happening. In Africa also, our men are going interior in the village. They are almost naked, these Africans—we have got pictures—with big, big earring. So they are also, their children, and they also dance in Krsna consciousness, in the Hare Krsna chanting. This is the wonderful movement, that anyone can take part. We see the children take part, the dogs take part, the so-called uncivilized men, they also take part. This is the universality of Caitanya Mahaprabhu's movement.
So it is (the) Lord's prediction, and that is fact. Simply we have to serve the Lord and execute His mission. That will make our life successful.
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