The Nectar of Devotion
Vrndavana, October 18, 1972
Pradyumna: (reading) "...cannot steadily remain either in sense enjoyment or in renunciation. Change is going on perpetually, and we cannot be happy in either state because of our eternal constitutional position. Sense gratification does not endure for long and it is therefore called capala-sukha, or flickering happiness. For example, an ordinary family man who works very hard day and night and it successful in giving comforts to the members of his family thereby relishes a kind of mellow, but his whole advancement of material happiness immediately terminates along with his body as soon as his life is over. Death is therefore taken as the representative of God for the atheistic class of men. The devotee realizes the presence of God by devotional service, whereas the atheist realizes the presence of God in the shape of death. At death, everything is finished, and one has to begin a new chapter of life in a new situation, perhaps higher or lower than the last one."
Prabhupada: Yes. This is very important point. The atheist class men, they say, "Can you show me God?" There are statements of atheist class, or sannyasi even, that he demanded his spiritual master "Whether you can show me God?" So God cannot be seen by such demand. In the sastras it is said, atah sri-krsna-namadi na bhaved grahyam indriyaih [Cc. Madhya 17.136]. Sri-krsna-namadi. Sri Krsna is present by His name, by His form, by His pastimes, by His paraphernalia, by His qualities. Anything about Krsna is non-different. Krsna and Krsna's name, it is the same. There is no difference. In the materialistic view, there is difference between the substance and the name. Just like water. If you are thirsty, simply if I chant, "Water, water, water," it will not quench your thirst. You require the substance, water. So similarly, a, a person's photograph or a statue is different from the person. If there is a photograph of a certain gentleman and if you want to do business with the photograph, it is not possible. You'll have to seek for the actual person. But in case of Krsna, it is not like that. Krsna, the person, and Krsna's name, Hare Krsna, the same thing. It is not that we are chanting "Krsna, Krsna" and this Krsna, the Supreme Personality of Godhead, is different. No. Nama rupe krsna avatara. The name of Krsna and Krsna, the person, identical.
Just like we are worshiping the form of Radha-Govinda, Radha-Madhava, Radha-Damodara. So this form, atheists will say that "This is statue." But a theist person, who knows Krsna, he will see this form of Krsna not different from the original person, Krsna. Just like Caitanya Mahaprabhu, when He entered the Jagannatha temple, He immediately fainted, "Here is My Lord." Others who are going in the Jagannatha temple, they are seeing something made of wood. Therefore sastra forbids, arcye sila-dhir gurusu nara-matir vaisnave jati-buddhir sa eva narakah. Arcye sila-dhir. Arca-murti, the form worshiped in the temple, if somebody thinks it is made of wood, it is made of stone, that is naraki-buddhih. No devotee will say. Only the nondevotee, atheist class of men will say it, that "They are worshiping wood. They are worshiping stone." But a devotee knows that His worshipable Lord is present here personally. It is a question of revising, of reforming this perception. The whole Krsna consciousness process is reforming or purifying the senses.
sevanam bhaktir ucyate
[Cc. Madhya 19.170]
Bhakti means to purify the senses.
santah sadaiva hrdayesu vilokayanti
yam syamasundaranam acintya-guna-svarupam
govindam adi-purusam tam aham bhajami
Real devotee, santah, saintly persons, their eyes are purified by the ointment of love of Godhead. Premanjana-cchurita-bhakti-vilocanena santah sadaiva hrdayesu vilokayanti [Bs. 5.38]. They are seeing Krsna or his worshipable God... Krsna has many forms. Ramadi-murtisu. Krsna has His form as Lord Ramacandra, as Varaha, as Kurma, as Nrsimha. Ananta-koti. Innumerable forms He has got. All of them are Krsna. So a devotee, on account of his eyes being smeared with the ointment of love of God, he sees Krsna twenty-four hours within his heart. That is the vision of the devotee. Atheist class will say, "Where is God?" Because he has no eyes to see the God. But a theist class or a devotee, he sees God, or Krsna, twenty-four hours. He does not see anything else. In the Caitanya-caritamrta it is said, sthavara jangama dekhe na dekhe tara murti [Cc. Madhya 8.274]. A devotee, maha-bhagavata, highly advanced devotee, he sees trees, but he does not see the tree. He sees Krsna. How? Has he gone mad? No. Actually he sees. But what is this tree? The tree, outwardly, is Krsna's energy. Your body, my body, the trees's body, the dog's body, the cat's body. What are these bodies? The bodies are made of the external, material energy. Krsna says in the Bhagavad-gita, bhumir apo 'nalo vayuh kham mano buddhir eva ca, bhinna me prakrtir astadha [Bg. 7.4]. The material elements, they are simply Krsna's external energy. So as soon as a devotee sees anything material, he sees immediately the energy of Krsna, and along with the energy of Krsna, he sees immediately Krsna. Reactory. He actually. With reference to the context.
Just like you are reading some portion of a book. As soon as there is some reference, immediately you see the person. Suppose you are phoning, talking on telephone with somebody. As soon as hear the body, as soon as hear his sound, immediately you see your friend. It is not very difficult to understand. Simply one has to know the person or one has, must have the knowledge. So one who has got knowledge, perfect knowledge of the constitution of this material body, he does not see the body. He sees Krsna. So anything, sthavara jangama... Sthavara means moving, and jangama... Sthavara means "not moving," and jangama means "moving". There are two classes of living entities. Some of them are moving and some of them not moving. So a devotee either sees a living entity moving or a living entity's not moving, he does not see the outward covering, but he sees within, the spirit soul, part and parcel of Krsna, and without, the body, the material body, he sees Krsna's energy. And because everything is in reference with Krsna, therefore he sees Krsna only and nothing else. So this is the statement in the Caitanya-caritamrta. Sthavara jangama dekhe na dekhe tara murti [Cc. Madhya 8.274]. He does not see the external form, but he sees the actual essence of the person and therefore he sees Krsna. In the Bhagavad-gita it is confirmed,
Panditah, those who are actually panditas, learned, knowledge, they see everyone on the equal level. Panditah sama-darsinah. Vidya-vinaye-sampanne. He sees one very learned scholar, brahmana, and sees a cow, sees one elephant, sees one dog, sees one dog eater, the lowest of the human kind, but he's sama-darsinah. He sees everyone of them as spirit soul, the body as Krsna's energy. Therefore he has no different vision for different persons. Vidya-vinaya-sampanne brah..., panditah sama-darsinah [Bg. 5.18]. This is called Brahman realization vision. Brahman realization, God.
na socati na kanksati
samah sarvesu bhutesu
mad-bhaktim labhate param
This is brahma-bhutah vision. A pandita. Actually, when one becomes learned scholar, he becomes Brahman realized. That is the meaning of brahmana. Brahmana is one who has realized the Brahman.
na socati na kanksati
samah sarvesu bhutesu
mad-bhaktim labhate param
So before beginning of pure devotional life, one must be Brahman realized. That is pure bhakti. That is actual, actually the platform of devotional service. Means one must be above the brahminical qualifications, a Vaisnava. A Vaisnava... Mad-bhaktim labhate param. One who attains the devotional service, param, para bhakti... There are three stages of devotional life. Arcye sila-dhir...
A person who is worshiping the Deity in the temple with all regulative principles, arcayam eva haraye yat pujam sraddhaya, with devotion, he's executing the service, but he does not know how to respect a devotee, na tad bhaktesu... He has concentrated his mind on the arca-murti, the Deity form of the Lord within the temple... That is very nice. But if he does not now how to worship a devotee, na tad-bhaktesu canyesu, and he does not know how to elevate other persons, sa bhaktah prakrtah smrtah, such kind of devotee is to be considered as material, prakrtah. Gradually, one has to become aprakrtah. So there are different stages of devotional service. Everything is explained in the scriptures.
Now our point was that how to see Krsna in everything? Atah sri-krsna-namadi na bhaved grahyam indriyaih [Cc. Madhya 17.136]. By these blunt, material senses, we cannot appreciate, or we can see, the Supreme Personality of Godhead. It has to be purified. Sarvopadhi-vinirmuktam [Cc. Madhya 19.170]. One must be relieved from all designations. So long one thinks that "I am Hindu. I am Christian. I am Muhammadan. I am this. I am brahmana. I am sudra. I am ksatriya. I am man. I am woman. I am black. I am white." These are all designations. One has to become free from all these designations. That is called sarvopadhi-vinirmuktam. If you see God, Krsna, from the Hindu angle of vision, if you see God from Christian angle of vision, then you cannot see God. That is not seeing God. You have to become freed from all these designations. Just like Caitanya Mahaprabhu taught us, naham vipra na ca nara-patir na yatir va. Caitanya Mahaprabhu says, "I am not a brahmana. I am not a ksatriya. I am not a vaisya. I am not a sudra. I am not a sannyasi. I am not a grhastha. I am not a brahmacari." Then "What You are?" Because within these eight categories, we are living. But Caitanya Mahaprabhu says, "I don't belong to all these categories." Then "What You are, Sir?" Gopi-bhartuh pada-kamalayor dasa-dasanudasah [Cc. Madhya 13.80]. "I am the servant of the servant of the servant of the servant of Krsna, the maintainer of the gopis."
So unless you come to this stage, free from all designations, he cannot serve Krsna. Krsna accepts service from the devotee. Bhaktya mam abhijanati [Bg. 18.55]. Patram puspam phalam toyam yo me bhaktya prayacchati [Bg. 9.26]. Krsna is not beggar, that He has come to your place and asking some food from you. No. But Krsna accepts your food, provided you are a devotee. That is Krsna. You can offer Krsna patram puspam phalam toyam. You do not require to become very rich man. The poorest of the poor can offer Krsna something. What is that? Patram puspam phalam toyam. A little flower, a little fruit, a little leaf and little water. Everyone can collect a little flower, a little water. And from any part of the world. Not that Krsna can be worshiped in India. Krsna can be worshiped in Vrndavana. Wherever Krsna is worshiped, that is Vrndavana. Otherwise, if Krsna is not worshiped, that is not Vrndavana. So how Krsna is worshiped? Krsna says, patram puspam phalam toyam yo me bhaktya prayacchati [Bg. 9.26], "Anyone who offers Me these things with bhakti, with devotion, with love," tad aham asnami, "then I eat it." Not that an abhakta will offer something and Krsna will accept. No.
tat paratvena nirmalam
sevanam bhaktir ucyate
[Cc. Madhya 19.170]
This is the definition of bhakti in the, in the Narada Pancaratra, that when one is freed from the designations, sarvopadhi-vinirmuktam... "Sir, I am a brahmana. Therefore I can offer You something." No. Krsna is not exposed to anyone except to the devotees. Naham prakasah sarvasya yogamaya-samavrtah [Bg. 7.25]. Krsna is covered by yogamaya. He's not revealed to any, anyone, except to the devotees. There are many other instructions in the sastras. Atah sri-krsna-namadi na bhaved grahyam indriyaih [Cc. Madhya 17.136]. That I explained. Krsna is not approachable by our these blunt senses, material senses, with designation. Unless one is freed from all designations. Just like Caitanya Mahaprabhu instructs, "I am not a brahmana, I am not a sudra, I'm not a ksatriya, I'm not a brahmacari, I'm not a grhastha, but I am the servant of the servant of the servant of Krsna, who is the maintainer of the gopis." Gopi-bhartur pada-kamalayor dasa-dasanudasa [Cc. Madhya 13.80]. So Krsna is not visible to the atheist class of men. Krsna's only visible to the devotees. And the devotee sees Krsna and nothing but Krsna, and twenty-four hours. It is not that Krsna is... A devotee sees Krsna while he's worshiping only, and other times, he's not seeing. No. He's seeing twenty-four hours. But the atheists, they ask, "Can you show me Krsna? Can you show me God?" The reply is, "Have you got the eyes to see Krsna?" It is not so easy, Krsna. In the Brahma-samhita it is said,
panthas tu koti-sata-vatsara-sampragamyo
vayor athapi manaso muni-pungavanam
so 'pyasti yat-prapadya-simny avicintya-tattve
govindam adi-purusam tam aham bhajami
Govinda. Panthas tu koti-sata-vatsara-sampragamyo. Pantha means road. If you walk over the path of Krsna... Suppose Krsna, there is Krsnaloka. Above this material universe, there is another spiritual sky, paravyoma. It is called paravyoma. That is confirmed in the Bhagavad-gita, paras tasmat tu bhavah anyah 'vyakta 'vyaktat sanatanah [Bg. 8.20]. There is another nature. As this is material nature, there is spiritual nature. And in that spiritual nature there are innumerable spiritual planets. They are called Vaikuntha planets. And the highest Vaikuntha planet is called Krsnaloka, or Goloka Vrndavana. This Vrndavana is replica of that original Vrndavana. When Krsna comes on this planet or within this universe, He comes in this Vrndavana. This is called Bhauma-Vrndavana. Of course, there is no difference between Bhauma-Vrndavana and Paravyoma-Vrndavana. So if we want to see Krsna, then we must be freed from designations. That is the process. Not only designations, but from all kinds of desires.
These are the definitions given by Srila Rupa Gosvami. We Gaudiya Vaisnavas, Madhva-Gaudiya Vaisnavas, we are followers of Srila Rupa Gosvami and others, Sad-Gosvami.
Unless one has followed strictly the path of the Sad-Gosvamis, we cannot accept him as guru. Because Narottama dasa Thakura says, ei chay gosai yara tara mui dasa. One who has followed strictly the principles of Rupa Gosvami. Rupa Gosvami, of course, he lived very simply, mendicant. A small loincloth and simple underneath a tree. But simply by imitating his loincloth one does not become Rupa Gosvami. One has to follow the principles of Rupa Gosvami. Then he's called rupanuga. Unless you become rupanuga, you cannot understand the Gaudiya philosophy. Ei chay gosai yara tara mui dasa. So this is called parampara system. Evam parampara-praptam imam rajarsayoh viduh [Bg. 4.2]. If you follow the path of Rupa Gosvami, Sanatana Gosvami... Not that simply by imitating his cloth. You must follow in principle all the rules and regulations given by...
This is the definition given by Srila Rupa Gosvami in his Bhakti-rasamrta-sindhu. So one must be freed from all material desires. You cannot earn your livelihood by showing the Deity. This was not the business of Rupa Gosvami. Rupa Gosvami did not do any business by showing the Deity. Therefore you have to follow strictly the principles of Rupa Gosvami, Sanatana Gosvami. Then you become Rupanuga Vaisnavas. And Narottama dasa Thakura says, "One who is following the principles of the Rupa Gosvami and Sanatana Gosvami, tara mui dasa, I accept him as spiritual master." Tan-sabara pada-renu mora panca-gras.
So radha-krsna nitya-lila karila prakasa. By the, writing so many books, hundreds of books, Rupa Gosvami, Sanatana Gosvami, especially Jiva Gosvami... Nana-sastra-vicaranaika-nipunau sad-dharma-samsthapakau lokanam hita-karinau. They wrote, they wrote books for the benefit of the whole world. Lokanam hita-karinau. They did not write books only for the Hindus or for the persons who are in India or in Vrndavana. Lokanam hita-karinau, nana-sastra-vicaranaika-nipunau. There were very, very expert. You'll find in the Bhakti-rasamrta-sindhu, wherever Srila Rupa Gosvami has stated something, immediately he has given reference from the sastras. He did not manufacture anything which is against the sastras. That is Rupanuga, Rupanuga Vaisnava. So in order to see God, in order to serve God, we have to follow. Sri Narottama dasa Thakura, he has said,
Rupa-raghunatha-pade haibe akuti. Unless one becomes very, very much eager to follow the path of Srila Rupa Gosvami, Sanatana Gosvami, he cannot understand what is the love affairs of Radha and Krsna. Without following the principles of Rupa Gosvami, if we wants to understand what is Radha and Krsna, then we shall understand a boy, ordinary boys' and girls' affairs. That is not Radha-Krsna. Therefore in the sastra it is said, atah sri-krsna-namadi na bhaved grahyam indriyaih [Cc. Madhya 17.136]. Do not try to understand Radha and Krsna with these blunt eyes and senses; try to understand through the instructions of Srila Rupa Gosvami, Srila Sanatana Gosvami.
So this is the process. Bhakti-rasamrta-sindhu, which we have translated into English, Nectar of Devotion, is very important book. It is the science of devotional service. If you want to be engaged in devotional service, then you must read the Bhakti-rasamrta-sindhu. And then we shall be able to see God. Premanjana-cchurita-bhakti-vilocanena [Bs. 5.38], by following the rules and regulations and the direction laid down in the Bhakti-rasamrta-sindhu, we shall be gradually elevated to the platform of loving God. Srila Rupa Gosvami therefore says, adau sraddha. Adau sraddha. First of all, faith. That is the basic principle. And this word, sraddha, has been described in the Caitanya-caritamrta by Kaviraja Gosvami,
This is called sraddha, that "If I surrender to Krsna, then all business of my life is done." This is called sraddha. Not that sometimes I worship Lord Krsna, sometimes Lord Siva, sometimes goddess Kali, sometimes this, sometimes that. That is not sraddha. Sraddha means sudrdha niscaya visvasa. What is that visvasa? Krsne bhakti kaile sarva-karma krta haya. If I worship only Krsna, then all other duties are performed. Automatically. The example is just like if you pour water on the root of the tree, the transmission of the water is automatically done to the other branches, leaves, and everything. If you supply food to the stomach, then the energy is distributed automatically to the eyes, ears and other parts of the body. Similarly, if you simply offer Krsna surrender and worship Him, sarva-dharman parityajya mam ekam saranam vraja [Bg. 18.66], then you worship all other demigods. You don't have to exert yourself for worshiping other demigods. That is automatically done. Therefore the whole concentration should be given to Krsna.
That is the specific significance of Vrndavana. In Vrndavana, simply Krsna worshipable. Aradhyo bhagavan vrajesa-tanayah. That is the vision of Lord Caitanya Mahaprabhu, that aradhya, worshipable Deity, worshipable God, is vrajesa-tanayah, the son of Nanda Maharaja, Krsna. Aradhyo bhagavan vrajesa-tanayas tad-dhama vrndavanam. As Krsna is worshiped, similarly His place, Vrndavana, is also worshipable. Ramya kacid upasana vrajavadhu vargena kalpita. There is no more better form of worship than it was conceived by the damsels of Vraja. Srimad-bhagavatam amalam puranam. And the book, authoritative literature, to understand Krsna and His service is Srimad-Bhagavatam. Sri-caitanya-mahaprabhor matam idam. This is the mission of Lord Caitanya Mahaprabhu. And Krsna consciousness movement is exactly following the principles of Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu. Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu said, yare dekha tare kaha upadesa.
So the atheist class, they cannot see Krsna. They ca... They'll see Krsna at a certain time. What is that? That is ex..., described in the Bhagavad-gita, mrtyuh sarva-haras caham [Bg. 10.34]. When there will be death, when death will take away all our possessions, at that time, we can see Krsna. Just like Hiranyakasipu. Hiranyakasipu was atheist. He could not see God. He was Godless. But at the last, he saw God in the form of Nrsimhadeva. That is also, being father of Prahlada Maharaja. Otherwise it was not possible. So God is everywhere. Krsna is everywhere. Andantara-stha-paramanu-cayantara-stham [Bs. 5.35]. Eko 'py asau racayitum jagad-anda-koti yac-chaktir asti jagad-anda-caya yad-antah... [break] That's all. Otherwise you can see God everywhere. He is within the atom, what to speak of other things. Simply you have to smear your eyes with the ointment of love of God, Krsna. And if you want to come to that stage, then you have to follow the instructions given by Srila Rupa Gosvami in the Bhakti-rasamrta-sindhu. Thank you very much. Hare Krsna.
Devotee (1): If one makes arrangement in this lifetime for others to render service to Krsna, but if the whole purpose of his arrangement is to simply maintain his family and if he's still attached to sense gratification, at the time of death, even though he has attraction for sense gratification, will he attain a higher birth in a family of Vaisnavas in his next life or anything like this?
Prabhupada: No. Those who are engaged in devotional service, if they cannot finish their business in this life, they are given chance next life to get birth in a Vaisnava family. Not all. Yoga-bhrastah sanjayate. Sucinam srimatam gehe [Bg. 6.41]. Those who could not finish, yoga-bhrastah, bhakti-yoga, if he falls down while executing, he has no loss because, even if he falls down, his life, next life is guaranteed in a nice family. Sucinam srimatam gehe. Either in rich family or in a devotee's family. So both ways, he gets the chance of having a human form of life, and if he's born in a Vaisnava family, naturally he becomes Vaisnava. And if he takes his birth in a rich family, he has no problem for his bread. So he can exclusively engage himself in devotional service. Provided he gets the assistance of a bona fide spiritual master. So your answer... Is that question, question is answered?
Devotee (1): Yes. But if someone has a temple and he maintains a Deity for his personal sense gratification...
Prabhupada: That, that's all right. He is kanistha-adhikari. So gradually he'll be elevated to the madhyama-adhikari and then uttama-adhikari. So in Krsna's service, either he rubs this way or that way, there is no loss. It is only giving. That is the statement of Narada. Tyaktva sva-dharmam caranambujam harer bhajann apakvo 'tha patet tato yadi, ko va aptah abhud amusya kim [SB 1.5.17]. Even one falls down, there is no loss because he'll get a chance next life to begin from the point where he failed. So there is no loss. Whereas others, because they did not know what is Krsna, simply worked very nicely, they, they, they are fruitless life. There is no gain. Ko vartha apto abhajatam sva-dharmatah. Even if one executes his occupational duties very nicely, because he's not devotee, what is the gain of his life? He does not gain anything. These are the version in the Srimad-Bhagavatam. Yes?
Devotee (1): Srila Prabhupada, what is the highest principle of the Gosvami's, by following which one will be sure of attaining love of Sri Krsna?
Prabhupada: Gosvami is controller of the sense, controller of the mind, controller of the tongue, controller of the genital, controller of anger. So many things he has to control, then he becomes gosvami. Vaco-vegam krodha-vegam udara-vegam upastha-vegam manaso-vegam, etan vegan visaheta dhirah prthivim sa sisyat. After becoming gosvami, he can make disciples all over the world. Hare Krsna.
Devotee (2): Srila Prabhupada, today is the beginning of urja-vrata. Can you describe what that is, urja-vrata, how it should be observed?
Prabhupada: What is this?
Gurudasa: He wants you to describe what it is.
Devotee (1): And how should we observe it,
Devotee (1): I don't know. (laughter)
Devotee (2): Srila Prabhupada, I may have missed a point about the atheist. He sees God at the time of death. Does he see the form of Krsna at the time of death?
Prabhupada: No. As the form of death. Krsna has many forms. So death is also Krsna's form. Ye yatha mam prapadyante tams tathaiva bhajamy aham [Bg. 4.11]. One who has become inimical to Krsna, Krsna appears as enemy. Just like He appeared as Narasimhadeva to Hiranyakasipu. So Hiranyakasipu was very great personality. He was father of Prahlada Maharaja. Ordinary man, they fear the death. That fearful death, meeting with the fearfulness is their meeting with Krsna. All right. Chant Hare Krsna. (end)
Previous: The Nectar of Devotion -- Vrndavana, October 17, 1972 Next: The Nectar of Devotion -- Vrndavana, October 19, 1972