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The Nectar of Devotion

Vrndavana, October 23, 1972
Pradyumna: (reading) "Generally, neophyte devotees are anxious to see Krsna, or God, but God cannot be seen or known by our present materially blunt senses. The process of devotional service as it is recommended in The Nectar of Devotion will gradually elevate one from the material condition of life to the spiritual status wherein the devotee becomes purified of all designations. The senses can then become uncontaminated, being constantly in touch with bhakti-rasa. When the purified senses are employed in the service of the Lord, one becomes situated in bhakti-rasa life, and any action performed for the satisfaction of Krsna in this transcendental bhakti-rasa stage of life can be relished perpetually. When one is thus engaged in devotional service all varieties of rasas or mellows turn into eternity. In the beginning one is trained according to the principles of regulation under the guidance of the acarya or spiritual master, and gradually, when one is elevated, devotional service becomes automatic and spontaneous eagerness to serve Krsna. The... There are twelve kinds of rasa, as will be explained in this book, and by renovating our relationship with Krsna in five primary rasas we can live eternally in full knowledge and bliss."
Prabhupada: So there are three kinds of devotional stages: kanistha adhikara, lower stage, and the madhyama adhikara, middle stage, and uttama adhikara. So the kanistha adhikara means:
In the lower stage, the devotee is engaged in Deity worship. It is not that Deity worship is lower than meditation. We don't mean that. Deity worship is the beginning of devotional service, as it will be mentioned in the Bhakti-rasamrta-sindhu, how to approach the Deity, how to cleanse the floor, how to change the dress, flower, how to make aratrika, everything in detail there are.
So in the beginning certainly one who is not advanced, he cannot see Krsna properly. Krsna, when we speak of Krsna, Krsna is not alone. Just like if we speak of king, "The king is coming," it does not mean the king is coming alone. The king is coming, his ministers, his secretaries, his military commanders, his queens, his servants, so many other servitors of the king, they are also coming. Similarly, when we speak of Krsna, Krsna does not mean alone Krsna. Krsna says in the Bhagavad-gita, aham sarvasya prabhavah [Bg. 10.8]. Krsna is the root of all emanations. Krsna's energies, Krsna's expansion, Krsna's different types of energies, parasya saktir vividhaiva sruyate [Cc. Madhya 13.65, purport]. He has got multi-energies, out of which the acaryas have taken three principal energies, the external energy, the internal energy, the marginal energy. Krsna's incarnation, expansion. All together means Krsna. So the kanistha adhikari, in the lower stage, he thinks that he's worshiping the Deity very nicely, he has realized Krsna. No. Na tad-bhaktesu canyesu sa bhaktah prakrtah smrtah. We have to make further advancement. Krsna does not mean alone. Especially Krsna's devotees. They are always with Krsna. Therefore when we can recognize a devotee of Krsna and offer him the respect as devotee of Krsna, that is further advancement.
In the madhyama adhikari, or in further advancement of devotional service, one can see four categories.
Isvara. When we are further advanced, we do not see only Krsna, but we see His devotees also. We can recognize, "Here is a pure devotee of Krsna." But in the lower stage, a, the devotee's concerned with the Deity worship, but he does not take much care of the devotees. But when one is advanced further, he can see Krsna and His devotees also. Isvara tad-adhina. Tad-adhina means devotees. Devotees are always under the service of Krsna. So anyone who is giving service to Krsna, we should take care of them also. We should offer our respect in... You'll find in Bhakti-rasamrta-sindhu, it is stated somewhere, that if, if a devotee is coming, then another devotee who is engaged in worship of the Deity may stop Deity worship for the time being and should go immediately to receive the devotee. So Krsna also says, mad-bhakta-puja abhyadhika. Krsna is satisfied more when a devotee worships His devotee. Krsna says, "If one is worshiping Me and one is worshiping My devotee, then the person who is worshiping the devotee, he's more important than the person who is worshiping Krsna."
Therefore in, in the Gurvastaka by Visvanatha Cakravarti Thakura, it is said there: yasya prasadad bhagavat-prasado. Yasya prasadad bhagavat-prasado yasya aprasadad na gatih kuto 'pi **. The best devotee is the spiritual master. Unless one is devotee, pure devotee, how he can be spiritual master? Spiritual master means representative of God. So who can become representative of God. Unless he is twenty-four hours engaged in the service of God, Krsna, how he can be spiritual master? This is also explained by Visvanatha Cakravarti Thakura saksad-dharitvena samasta-sastraih. The spiritual master is described as good as Hari, the Supreme Personality of Godhead. Because the, the spiritual master is representative of Krsna because he's most confidential servant of Krsna. Kintu prabhor ya priya eva tasya. Yasya pra... Saksad-dharitvena samasta-sastrair uktas tatha bhavyata eva sadbhih **. The spiritual master is worshiped as good as the Supreme Person. Saksad dharitvena. This is not artificial, but in all the sastras, this is recommended. Saksad-dharitvena samasta-sastrair uktas tatha bhavyata eva sadbhih **. Those who are learned devotees, advanced devotees, they also accept this that spiritual master should be treated as good as Hari, the Supreme Person. Why? Now...
But the spiritual master does not think of himself as Hari. Although he's offered the respect of Hari, he thinks himself as humble servant of Hari and all others. A spiritual master takes his devo..., disciples as his spiritual master. That is the position. He thinks that "Krsna has sent me so many spiritual masters." He does not think himself as spiritual master. He thinks himself their servant. Because they have to be trained. Krsna has appointed him to train them. Therefore he thinks himself as servant of the disciples. This is the position. So when one is advanced, he can see the importance of devotees.
Advanced devotee never disobey or disrespect another devotee. Disrespect to another devotee is a great offense. Vaisnava aparadha. Vaisnava aparadha is very serious offense. Therefore we teach to address amongst the devotees, "Prabhu", "Prabhu", "Such and such Prabhu." This should not be simply spoken by the lips. It should be realized. Everyone should think other devotee as his prabhu, master. Not he should try to become master.
Manadena. We should be always ready to offer respect to all, not only devotees, but everyone. Everyone. Because every living entity is originally a devotee of Krsna. But circumstantially, being covered by the coat of maya, he's playing like demon. But his original nature is a devotee of Krsna. Jivera svarupa haya nitya krsnera dasa [Cc. Madhya 20.108-109]. Everyone is eternally servant of Krsna. But being influenced by maya, when he gets this body, given by maya... Prakrteh kriyamanani gunaih karmani sarvasah [Bg. 3.27], when he's conducted by the three gunas of maya, he thinks himself otherwise. He thinks himself independent of Krsna. But actually, nobody is independent of Krsna. I've given this example that the prisoners, the criminals in the jail, they go to jail thinking themselves to be independent of the state laws, outlaws. A criminal thinks, "I don't care for the state laws." But after all, for his activities, criminal activities, he's put into the jail. So at that time he's forced to obey the state laws. Outside the state laws, he's disobeyed. But within the prison, he's forced by punishment. Similarly, those who are defying the authorities of the Supreme Lord, they are all criminals, and they are being punished by Durga-devi. Chayeva yasya bhuvanani bibharti durga [Bs. 5.44].
So nobody is independent of the laws of Krsna. Everyone is under the obligation of the laws of the Krsna. But one is voluntarily accepting and one is whimsically rejecting. Rejecting means to be under the control of maya, and voluntarily accepting the service of the Lord means to be under the protection of spiritual energy. Daivim prakrtim asritah. In the Bhagavad-gita it is said, mahatmanas tu mam partha daivim prakrtim asritah: [Bg. 9.13] "Those who are mahatma, they are under the protection of the spiritual energy." And those who are not mahatmas, duratmas, they are under the protection of the material energy. And the living entity is called marginal energy. Because he has to remain under the control or under the supervision of one of these two energies, material energy and spiritual energy. And he can select whether to remain under the control of material energy or under the control of spiritual energy. Therefore he's called marginal. The living entity's position is marginal, in between the two energies. So he can select. So Krsna therefore comes to canvass that "Why you are working under material energy..."
Those who are under the material energy, they are pulled by the ear of the person by the material energy. Bhramayan sarva-bhutani yantrarudhani mayaya [Bg. 18.61]. Yantrarudhani. This body is a yantra, is an automobile, mechanical car. Just like I, we are placed on the motorcar and the driver moves us in different places, similarly, according to our karma, we are given a certain type of body, cat's body, dog's body, human body, this body, that body8,400,000 species. So we are moving. Bhramayan sarva-bhutani yantrarudhani mayaya [Bg. 18.61]. So actually, we are under the control of the material nature. But ahankara-vimudha atma. Those who are fools and rascals, they are thinking "I am independent, I am God, I don't care for God," this or that... So many. So this is called mati-cchanna, madness. The Vaisnava Kavi says therefore,
Just like when a man is ghostly hauntedin Bengal it is called bhute pava (?)and he speaks nonsense, even his father is before him, he wants to attack his father without any respect. Madman, crazy. So anyone under this protection of the material energymore or less, crazy. More or less. It is not only our words. It is scientifically true. I know, there was one case, a man was condemned to death and his pleader presented that "This man was in, in insanity condition. Therefore he committed this act. He may be excused." So the, a civil surgeon was invited to examine him, whether he's, actually he was in sanity condition. The civil surgeon gave evidence that so far he had treated so many patients, he saw everyone is more or less crazy." Under the circumstances, if this man is crazy, that depends on your judgement, what to do. But in my opinion, every man is a crazy man." So this is a fact. This is a fact. Anyone who is under the control of the material energy, he's a crazy man. He's thinking "I am this, I am that, I am this," "I am American," "I am Indian," "I am Hindu," "I am a Muslim," "I am so on, so on, so many things." But he's nothing of all this. These are all creation of maya.
Just like if I am sitting on a certain type of motorcar, does it mean I am that motorcar? If I am... Suppose I am sitting on a Rolls Royce motorcar. If I say, "I am Rolls Royce," is that my identification? No. Actually... And this is a fact. If a man is driving a very nice car, and if in his front there is a thela walla... I've seen it. The driver says, "He thela." As is if that man has become thela. And he has become motor. So actually, this is the fact. Pisaci paile yena mati-cchanna haya. Neither he's thela, nor he's motorcar. He's living entity, pure living entity. Therefore in Bhagavad-gita it is said, brahma-bhutah prasannatma [Bg. 18.54]. When one actually is self-realized, that "I am not American, not Indian, not Hindu, not Muslim, not man, not woman. I am spirit soul. Aham brahmasmi," at that time, he does not lament. Na socati na kanksati. We are fighting with one another, lamenting and hankering due to this misidentification of the self with this body.
yasyatma-buddhih kunape tri-dhatuke
svadhih kalatradisu bhauma-ijya-dhih
yat-tirtha-buddhih salile na karhicij
(janesv abhijnesu) sa eva go-kharah
[SB 10.84.13]
The Bhagavata says that any person who is misidentifying himself with this body, kunape tri-dhatuke... Yasya atma-buddhih. This body is made of three dhatus, kapha pitta vayu, and if we identify that "I, I am kapha pitta vayu," then certainly he's a go-kharah. He's nothing more than a cow and an ass. So bhakti, devotional service begins when one is actually self-realized. Before that, sa bhaktah prakrtah smrtah. Anyone who has got the identification of this body, he is engaged in Deity worship, but he does not actually realize his self, he does not know who is a devotee, and he does not know his duty to other persons, he remains a prakrta-bhakta. Prakrta-bhakta means he's situated on the material platform, but under the direction of spiritual master, under the direction of the sastras, he's trying to improve his condition of material existence. That is called prakrta-bhakta, sa bhaktah prakrtah smrtah.
So we should not remain perpetually a prakrta bhakta. We must improve, madhyama-bhakta. Madhyama-bhakta means he knows what is God, what is Krsna. He knows what is Krsna's devotee. He knows the people in general, and he knows the atheistic persons. Four categories of persons manifest before him. It is not that the... Artificially, if we say that "In my view, everyone is the same..." That is, of course, higher stage. Panditah sama-darsinah [Bg. 5.18]. But we should not imitate that stage. Because we are in the neophyte stage, we should not imitate the vision of maha-bhagavata. Maha-bhagavata does not see anyone nondevotee. He sees everyone better devotee than himself. Just like Krsnadasa Kaviraja Gosvami. He writes in the Caitanya-caritamrta:
So he's not pretending. Actually, a maha-bhaga, bhagavata, thinks like that, that "I am the lowest." But he's the highest. One who thinks like that, humble...
He wants to give respect to everyone, but he doesn't expect any respect for him, himself. That is maha-bhagavata. And if one wants respect for him, that means he's still in kanistha adhikari. A maha-bhagavata is ready to give respect to, even to the ant. And for himself he doesn't any, want any respect. That is maha-bhagavata. As Caitanya Mahaprabhu teaches. Trnad api sunicena taror api sahisnuna, amanina. For himself, he doesn't require any respect. Manadena. But he's ready to give respect to everyone, even to the ant. That is maha-bhagavata. So generally, we are in the lower stage of devotional service. Just like generally, people come to res..., offer respect to the Deities in the temple, but one does not know how to give respect to the devotee, how to help others to become devotee. They are in the lowest stage. A devotee should not only give respect to the devotees, but he should try to make others a devotee. That is, means preaching. Preaching. The preaching...
What is the meaning of this preaching. People are engaged in material activities, and the preacher should approach them that "You are spoiling your time, my dear sir. You become devotee of Krsna." This is preaching. "You are simply spoiling. You have got this human form of life, but you are utilizing like animalseating, sleeping, mating and defending. You may be very great political leader, but your engagement is like animal." That is the fact. What these politicians do? They make arrangement for eating, sleeping, mating, and defending. That's all. They promise that "I shall give you nice eating. You give me vote. I'll... Make me minister of food. I shall give you enough food." Or so many things, they falsely promise, or rightly promise. They know. So actually, minister or minister's father cannot give you food. The food is supplied by Krsna. Eko bahunam vidadhati kaman.
So anyway, the kanistha adhikari is just learning how to become devotee and he is, by regulative principles, engaged in Deity worship, and gradually he's raised to the platform of madhyama adhikari. And madhyama adhikari means he knows what is the position of God, Krsna, what is the position of devotee, what is the position of people in general, and what is the position of a, of an atheist. Atheists, there are. So isvare tad-adhina, or the devotees, isvara tad-adhina balisa. Balisa means innocent persons. And isvare tad-adhi..., bali, dvisatsu. Dvisat means envious. There are many persons... You have experienced. As soon as they hears something about God, they become immediately irritated. That is called dvisatsu, demon. So a madhyama adhikari devotee can see these four kinds of persons, the Supreme Personality of Godhead, Krsna, His devotees, and innocent persons, and the atheist class, demons. So he treats all these four classes... So he, isvare tad, tad-adhina...
So prema. He tries to love God. He sees the Supreme Personality of Godhead. Therefore his business with the Supreme Personality of Godhead is how to increase his love for the Supreme Personality. That is one business of the madhyama adhikari. And how to make friendship with the devotees. Loving God, Krsna, and making friendship with devotees, who is devotee. Not to become envious of the devotees, but to make friendship. If the devotee is uttama adhikari, he should take lessons from him. If he's equal, then he should make friendship with him. And if he's lower, then he should try to help him to become higher devotee. This is the business of devotee. Isvare tad-adhinesu balisesu dvisatsu ca. Isvara, to love Krsna, how to increase... Yato bhaktir adhoksaje. Simply to increase. How I can better, render better service to Krsna. This is one business. Another business is to make friendship. Anyone who is devotee, to make friendship with him. And other, balisesu, those who are innocent, those who are not offender, but innocent persons... Just like child, simple, They should preach amongst them Krsna consciousness. Because they are innocent. And those who are dvisat, demons, simply against God, they should avoid them. Avoid them. Don't go there for preaching. Neither to love them. Of course, everyone should be loved, but according to the time and circumstances. So for a preacher who is trying to do good to the innocent persons, who, one who does not know how to love God, what is God, a preacher's business is to teach him. And not to waste his time with the demons, one who is not interested in the matter of God.
But when you are raised to the highest platform of devotional service, then there is no more dvisatsu. No more friend, no more dvisat. Everyone, a maha-bhagavata sees that "Everyone is engaged in the service of the Lord, except myself." That is maha-bhagavatas vision. But we should not imitate that. Just like I was, I was giving the example of Caitanya-caritamrta author, Krsnadasa Kaviraja Gosvami. He's speaking that
He's not imitating, or he's speaking falsely. He feels like that. A maha-bhagavata feels like that, that "I am the lowest." Just like Bhaktivinoda Thakura has sung, amara jivana sada pape rata nahika punyera lesa (?). He says like that, that "My life is always engaged in sinful activities. I've not a trace of pious activity." Amara jivana sada ape rata nahika punyera lesa. "I have given so much distress to all other living entities." He's representing common man. But he's feeling like that. It is not that artificially speaking. He's feeling like that. Just like Radharani. She thinks always Herself as the lowest of the devotees. She thinks always. She sees always that the gopis, other gopis, they are better qualified to serve Krsna. And She is not qualified, so much qualified. Therefore in Vrndavana, you'll find, the devotees approach Radharani. "Jaya Radhe." Because if Radharani advocates for him to Krsna, it is very easily accepted. And Radharani says... If Radharani's pleased, then She represents the devotee's case that "Here is a devotee. He's better than Me. Kindly accept his service, Krsna." So Krsna cannot deny. So maha-bhava. Radharani is maha-bhava.
Caitanya Mahaprabhu displayed that maha-bhava. That maha-bhava is not possible for ordinary man. It is especially prerogative of Srimati Radharani and who played the part of Radharani, although He's Krsna, Caitanya Mahaprabhu. So maha-bhava, the ecstasies, that is not to be imitated by us, but to be aware of this fact that how maha-bhagavata, maha-bhava, they treat with Krsna. So generally, advancement, especially those who are preachers, they should remain on the second platform. Even a maha-bhagavata, when he becomes preacher, he comes down to the second platform. He does not remain on the topmost platform. He plays the part of second platform. And sometimes it is stated in the Bible, I think, that Jesus Christ said, "I had many things to say, but I am not saying." Is it not? So actually, the maha-bhagavata, he has many things to say, but because he's preacher he does not say everything to the neophyte devotees. Because they are not competent to accept that. Therefore Caitanya Mahaprabhu...
The best example is Caitanya Mahaprabhu. He's Krsna Himself, but He's playing the part of maha-bhagavata. He never discussed Krsna's rasa-lila publicly. Never discussed. You won't find any time that Caitanya Mahaprabhu is discussing rasa-lila publicly. No. Never. He was, He simply dealt with ordinary persons by chanting Hare Krsna mantra and whenever there were scholars, there were philosophers... Just like Sarvabhauma Bhattacarya, Prakasananda Sarasvati, He talked with some philosophy, Vedanta-sutra. And when there was high-class devotee like Ramananda Raya, He discussed about Krsna's lila. You'll find this. Not that with everyone He discussed Krsna's lila. No. Neither He discussed philosophy with everyone. But for the general public, so long He remained at Jagannatha Puri, every evening, He was simply organizing great sankirtana party. And for four hours, at least, He was going on sankirtana in four parties. We have studied this thing from Caitanya-caritamrta, or Teachings of Lord Caitanya, that from the dealings of Caitanya Mahaprabhu, because although He's Krsna Himself, He's playing the part of acarya, playing the part of devotee.
Bhaktakhyam bhaktavataram namami bhakta-saktikam, panca-tattvatmakam krsnam. So we should follow Caitanya Mahaprabhu, the six Gosvamis, and gradually, let us learn what is devotional service, how to execute it. Everything is very nicely explained in the Bhakti-rasamrta-sindhu which we have presented herewith as "The Devo..., Nectar of Devotion, the Complete Science for the Bhakti-yoga." So first of all, we should take advantage of these granthas, and then gradually make progress. Narottama dasa Thakura therefore says that kabe hama bujhabo sri yugala-piriti.
Without understanding, Rupa-Raghunatha, or without going through the literatures given by Rupa-Raghunatha, if we jumpingly, all of a sudden, try to become a devotee of Radha Krsna... If course, our aim is to become devotee of Radha-Krsna, but how to become Radha-Krsna, we must study these books, Bhakti-rasamrta-sindhu especially.
Thank you very much. (end)

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