Srila Prabhupada Lecture in Aligarh
761010SB-ALIGARH – October 10, 1976
(Translated from Hindi into English)
- sa vai puṁsāṁ paro dharmo
- yato bhaktir adhokṣaje
- ahaituky apratihatā
- yayātmā suprasīdati
- (SB 1.2.6)
We had explained this verse yesterday, that the supreme occupation (para dharma), dharma is in the English dictionary, which describes it as a “kind of faith”. Someone says I have faith in Hindu religion, someone says I have faith in Muslim religion. But actually, dharmaṁ tu sākṣād bhagavat-praṇītaṁ (SB 6.3.19), dharma or real religious principles that is enacted by the Supreme Personality of Godhead. Just like we have this material world given to us by the Lord, sun is there, moon is there, sky is there, so many things the Lord has given. So whether you believe in that or not, it will remain a fact. Similarly whether you believe in the real religious principles or not, they will remain as they are, a fact. You cannot manufacture. That is not possible.
Just like the rules made by the king are there. Whether you believe in them or not, you have to follow them. If you say that I don’t believe in this, I don’t believe in this ordinance. You can do that. (chuckles) But if you make trouble, then you will get punished. (laughter) So similarly Yamaraja in the Sixth Canto has said,
- dharmaṁ tu sākṣād bhagavat-praṇītaṁ
- na vai vidur ṛṣayo nāpi devāḥ
- na siddha-mukhyā asurā manuṣyāḥ
- kuto nu vidyādhara-cāraṇādayaḥ
- (SB 6.3.19)
Yamaraja is explaining to the Yamadutas who could not bring along Ajamila with them to Yamaraja. They know that Yamaraja is Dharmaraja and this man (Ajamila) is immoral, and has performed so many sinful activities and he has been excused. What is the reason? So they enquired about dharma that “Maharaja, what is dharma?” and in reply to this question, Yamaraja has spoken these words that dharmaṁ tu sākṣād bhagavat-praṇītaṁ (SB 6.3.19), whatever is enacted by the Supreme Personality of Godhead that is dharma, or real religious principles. dharmaṁ tu sākṣād bhagavat-praṇītaṁ na vai vidur ṛṣayo, big big sages they also do not know. dharmasya tattvaṁ nihitaṁ guhāyām (Mahābhārata, Vana-parva 313.117), so big big sages, forget about me and you, even the big big sages they also do not know. na vai vidur ṛṣayo nāpi devāḥ, and the other big big demigods like Brahma, Lord Siva, Indra, Candra, Varuna etc. big big demigods, they also do not know.
And then he says, na siddha-mukhyā, those who have acquired yogic perfections, even their leader does not know. na siddha-mukhyā asurā, the demons and the human beings, none of them also know. kuto nu vidyādhara-cāraṇādayaḥ, and the ordinary Vidyādharas and Cāraṇas, what can they understand!
So the truth about dharma is known to the representative of the Lord. Therefore it is said in the scriptures dharmasya tattvaṁ nihitaṁ guhāyām mahājano yena gataḥ sa panthāḥ (Mahābhārata, Vana-parva 313.117). The self-realized persons (mahajan’s) who have accepted the dharma, as directed by them, that is dharma. And who those self-realized persons are, that also has been stated. Hmm! The names of the self-realized persons have been given.
- svayambhūr nāradaḥ śambhuḥ
- kumāraḥ kapilo manuḥ
- prahlādo janako bhīṣmo
- balir vaiyāsakir vayam
- dvādaśaite vijānīmo
- dharmaṁ bhāgavataṁ bhaṭāḥ
- guhyaṁ viśuddhaṁ durbodhaṁ
- yaṁ jñātvāmṛtam aśnute
- (SB 6.3.20-21)
Once if a person understands dharma, guhyaṁ viśuddhaṁ durbodhaṁ, to understand this is very difficult, durbodhaṁ, yaṁ jñātvā, by understanding which what is the advantage? amṛtam aśnute, then our current position, mṛtam, our current position today, it is position of dead. This body is dead anyway, till the time the soul, jiva is there it moves around. Actually it is a lump of matter. So this body we have to accept. bhūtvā bhūtvā pralīyate (BG 8.9). We accept a body, for some time in that we jump around, that I have got this body, Indian body or American body. The dog also thinks similarly that I have got the body of a dog, the monkey also thinks likewise. So a person who is in the bodily concept of life, he is thinking like the dog or monkey only, sa eva go-kharaḥ.
- yasyātma-buddhiḥ kuṇape tri-dhātuke
- sva-dhīḥ kalatrādiṣu bhauma-ijya-dhīḥ
- yat-tīrtha-buddhiḥ salile na karhicij
- janeṣv abhijñeṣu sa eva go-kharaḥ
- (SB 10.84.13)
So one who is in the bodily concept of life, and this is how the world is working today, he is go-kharaḥ, animal. ‘go’ means cow and ‘kharaḥ’ means ass. Sa eva go-kharaḥ. So one who understands the real religious principles (dharma), just like it is said here, guhyaṁ viśuddhaṁ. Viśuddha means that it is not a material thing. The material things are all contaminated because of which it is destroyed. And viśuddha means that which is never destroyed, soul, na hanyate hanyamāne śarīre (BG 2.20), that is pure. The body is not pure. To make the body pure we have to follow real relgious principles (dharma). That is why different relgions, varnasrama dharma is called real relgion, brahmana, ksatriya, vaisya, sudra, brahmacari, grhastha, vanaprastha, because we are all in a contaminated position, so to regulate it, to go to the purified platform we should follow these divisons. If we discard them then we remain contaminated, don’t get purified.
That is why in our Vedic civilization to follow the principles of varnasrama dharma is the preliminary duty of human form of life. And one who does not understand varnasrma dharma and does not strive for it, he remains contaminated. For many births he leaves one body, accepts another one, work for some time and then die and again accept another body, this cycle of birth and death, the same contaminated state.
So that is why it is said in the scriptures, tapo divyaṁ putrakā yena śuddhyed sattvaṁ (SB 5.5.1), the human life is meant for purifiying existence. It is not that sometime we get the body of a monkey, and sometime of a demigod, jump aorund for some time, then die and again get another body, this is not human life. Athāto brahma-jijñāsā (Vedānta-sūtra 1.1.1). Human life is meant for understanding the Absolute Truth. Therefore Rsabhadeva has said, when He was preaching to his sons, before retirement, He had hundred sons to whom He was preaching, Maharaja Rsabhadeva, He said this only that, son
- nāyaṁ deho deha-bhājāṁ nṛloke
- kaṣṭān kāmān arhate viḍ-bhujāṁ ye
- (SB 5.5.1)
Son, this body, ayam dehaḥ nṛ-loke, in the human society everyone gets a body, a dog also gets, a monkey also gets, a human being also gets, a tree also gets, a mosquito also gets a body. But this body, especially the human form of life, ayam dehaḥ nṛ-loke, the body you have got in this human society, nāyaṁ deho deha-bhājāṁ nṛloke kaṣṭān kāmān arhate, just working very hard, accepting inconveniences to gratify ones senses, na arhate, that is not correct. Today’s civilization, even till today it is advertised by the government “hard labor”. Is it not done nowadays? Just see, human being started pulling carts, pull rickshaws and they want still more hard labor! This is education. Is it the work of a human being to pull carts and pull rickshaws? It is the work of an ass, the work of an animal. They have degraded human beings to such a lowly position and yet they say do more hard labor, do more hard labor. See what kind of civilization this is. sa eva go-kharaḥ. It is all a civilization of asses and hogs. It is said in the scriptures that this is a civilization of hogs. What is the civilization of hogs? To work very hard day and night and eat stool, that’s all. Where is stool? Where is stool? Work very hard day and night and wherever stool is available eat that, become fat and then sex. That is why it is prohibited, that to work very hard and satisfy one’s senses, that is not the aim of human form of life.
- nāyaṁ deho deha-bhājāṁ nṛloke
- kaṣṭān kāmān arhate viḍ-bhujāṁ ye
- (SB 5.5.1)
This civilization of hogs, this is not civilization of human beings. The civilization of human beings is to become purified, guhyaṁ viśuddhaṁ durbodhaṁ, it is difficult to understand. But to purify our existence, that is the only business.
- tapo divyaṁ putrakā yena śuddhyed sattvaṁ
- yasmād brahma-saukhyaṁ tv anantam
- (SB 5.5.1)
The happiness that you seek, is not there in the material world. Happiness really means unending spiritual happiness. That happiness which cannot be ever destroyed, that is known as happiness.
- ramante yogino ’nante
- satyānande cid-ātmani
- iti rāma-padenāsau
- paraṁ brahmābhidhīyate
- (Padma Purana)
This is the meaning of Rama as explained. Rama means to take pleasure in unlimited true pleasure. So this is all there in the scriptures.
So Yamaraja is also saying the same thing, that to purify one’s existence, viśuddhaṁ, durbodhaṁ, it is very difficult to understand. But if once you understand what the real religious principles are then what is the advantage? yaṁ jñātvāmṛtam aśnute (SB 6.3.21). Then he attains eterna life. That is dharma.
Therefore the Lord Himself advents, and having come, yadā yadā hi dharmasya glānir bhavati (BG 4.7), when does the Lord come? yadā yadā hi dharmasya glānir bhavati, this true dharma, viśuddhaṁ, yaṁ jñātvāmṛtam aśnute, he does not understand this and makes up his own nonsensical religions. Is it not? He had made Hindu religion, Muslim religion, Christian religion, Buddhist relgion, Jain religion, and so many more such religions.
Bhagavata says we are not interested in these types of religions. dharmaḥ projjhita-kaitavo ’tra (SB 1.1.2), this type of cheating religions, we are not interested in these. dharmaṁ tu sākṣād bhagavat-praṇītaṁ (SB 6.3.19), we are interested in this. We are not interested in cheating type of religion. dharmaḥ projjhita-kaitavo ’tra paramo nirmatsarāṇāṁ (SB 1.1.2), one who becomes truly religious he will become non envious. And what is the business of this world? Matsaratā. Sridhara Swami has commented on this, para utkarshanam asahanam iti matsaratā. To be unable to bear the prosperity of others, this is called enviousness or matsaratā. And the true religion is paramo nirmatsarāṇāṁ satām vāstavam atra vastu (SB 1.1.2).
So when there is discrepancy in this true religion, then the Lord advents. yadā hi dharmasya glānir bhavati (BG 4.7), glānir means that it is not true religion, but is going on in the name of religion with the intention of cheating, kaitavaḥ. kaitavaḥ means cheating. So the cheating type of religion, has been kicked out by the Srimad Bhagavatam. (laughter) Projjhita, prakrsta rupena ujjhita. Just like we sweep the room to remove all the dirty things. So that is called dharma in Bhagavad gita also. Otherwise what is the need for the Lord to say, sarva-dharmān parityajya mām ekaṁ śaraṇaṁ vraja, (BG 18.66), the Lord has earlier said, dharma-saṁsthāpanārthāya sambhavāmi yuge yuge (BG 4.8), to establish the principles of religion He advents in every millennium, to teach. So that same Lord says, sarva-dharmān parityajya. So all these different religions that we have invented, Hindu religion, Muslim religion, this religion, to protect these religions, the Lord does not advent. The Lord is not interested in these. The Lord is interested in the real religion, which is dharmaṁ tu sākṣād bhagavat-praṇītaṁ (SB 6.3.19). The discrepancy which occurs in the real religious principles given by the Lord, that is why the Lord descends. Just like the state or government becomes interested when you break their law. Then they control you, try to explain to you. But if you make your own religion at home and break the rules and make rules again, in such type of activity the government is not interested.
So in the same way, the Lord descends to establish real religious principles, they are not Hindu religion, Muslim religion, Jain religion, no! These are not religion, the Bhagavata calls them kaitavo ’tra (SB 1.1.2). The real religion is yato bhaktir adhokṣaje (SB 1.2.6). By which one attains devotional service unto Adhoksaja, the Lord, that is real religion, yato bhaktir adhokṣaje. The Lord when He says, sarva-dharmān parityajya mām ekaṁ śaraṇaṁ vraja, (BG 18.66), who will surrender unto the lotus feet of Lord Krishna? If one is not a devotee of the Lord then why will he surrender? He will not like to do so. They all say so, that he is very great that he has given up everything so that he can surrender everything at the lotus feet of krishna, they speak like this, big big so called scholars, they speak like this that there are other Gods, this is my God, that is my God, nowadays Gods are manufactured, so there are so many God’s, why only Krishna, they say like that. You are all very sectarian, you speak only about Krishna and nothing else. So this is going on.
But in reality God is Krishna only. (laughs) Rest are all thieves. (laughter). But they do not know this. Why?
- manuṣyāṇāṁ sahasreṣu
- kaścid yatati siddhaye
- yatatām api siddhānāṁ
- kaścin māṁ vetti tattvataḥ
- (BG 7.3)
Is it an ordinary thing to understand the Lord? Manufacture lots of Gods! No! its not such a cheap thing? That is why the Lord advents Himself, to explain who He is, whether He has form or is He formless, is He a man or an ass, what He is, He advents Himself and speaks face to face. But the foolish persons they think that He is just like one of us, avajānanti māṁ mūḍhā mānuṣīṁ tanum āśritam (BG 9.11). Because He plays the part of a human being, comes as Lord Ramachandra, Lord Krishnachandra comes, Lord Caitanya Mahaprabhu comes, according to scriptures. So the religious principles that they enact we should accept those and otherwise it will become useless labor. That’s why it is said, (Aside: water!),
- dharmaḥ svanuṣṭhitaḥ puṁsāṁ
- viṣvaksena-kathāsu yaḥ
- notpādayed yadi ratiṁ
- śrama eva hi kevalam
- (SB 1.2.8)
What religion do you follow? I follow Hindu religion. What religion do you follow? I follow Brahmana religion. You? I follow Muslim religion. You? I follow Buddha religion. You? I follow Jain religion. You take each of these people. They follow very nicely, according to the rules and regulations of their religion. For us Hindus, to go to the temple; someone goes to the mosque; someone goes to some other place. So it is said, svanuṣṭhitaḥ dharmaḥ, dharmaḥ svanuṣṭhitaḥ puṁsāṁ, they follow their religions diligently. viṣvaksena-kathāsu yaḥ notpādayed yadi ratiṁ, so they followed their religion nicely but viṣvaksena, another name of the Lord, there is no attraction for that. Ask them what is God to all these flag bearers of religion, the each carry a flag of their religions and stand, ask them to tell what is God. So they say, can God be described, He is formless, no one can describe Him. (laughs) Actually there is no knowledge there.
And our knowledge, bhagavata dharma, if someone asks us, immediately we will reply, that kṛṣṇas tu bhagavān svayam (SB 1.3.28), His address is Vrindavana, His fathers name is this, so what else do you want now? (laughter) This is dharma. Everything is stated very clearly. And ask anyone else and they will say can God be described? He is formless, He is this, He is that, etc.
That is why all the sages say that, you have followed your religion nicely and you do not know what God is. notpādayed yadi ratiṁ śrama eva hi kevalam (SB 1.2.8), you have certainly toiled uselessly. You have not gained anything else. By following the true religious principles, because dharmaṁ tu sākṣād bhagavat-praṇītaṁ (SB 6.3.19), so one who has enacted the laws, just like we accept the government laws, we know that Indira Gandhi is the Prime Minister, she has enacted the laws, we know this. So true religion means to understand the laws enacted by the Supreme Personality of Godhead. So if we don’t know who is God, and don’t know the what has been spoken by Him, then following all this Hindu religion, Muslim religion, what is the use of this? śrama eva hi kevalam (SB 1.2.8). There is no gain by doing this.
In another place it is said,
- śreyaḥ-sṛtiṁ bhaktim udasya te vibho
- kliśyanti ye kevala-bodha-labdhaye
- teṣām asau kleśala eva śiṣyate
- nānyad yathā sthūla-tuṣāvaghātinām
- (SB 10.14.4)
One hasn’t understood the real import of the purpose of true religious principles, sa vai puṁsāṁ paro dharmo yato bhaktir adhokṣaje (SB 1.2.6) and the Lord says, bhaktyā mām abhijānāti (BG 18.55]]) if one does not learn about devotional service, and haven’t understood about the Lord, for this purpose it is said that all these types of religions are all cheating religions and in this there is no gain. The only gain is the hard labor you put into following these. Nothing else is gained. So that’s why the scriptures say,
- vāsudeve bhagavati
- bhakti-yogaḥ prayojitaḥ
- janayaty āśu vairāgyaṁ
- jñānaṁ ca yad ahaitukam
- (SB 1.2.7)
In the human form of life, two things are to be acquired, one is knowledge and the other is detachment. This is the purpose of true religion. Other things will be said, knowledge and detachment. So knowledge…. this ignorance, that I am this body, this is ignorance. And one should acquire knowledge that I am not this body ahaṁ brahmāsmi, I am pure spirit soul, brahma-bhūtaḥ prasannātmā (BG 18.54)
So these laws are there, Lord Vasudeva, bhakti-yogaḥ prayojitaḥ…so the gain in this is janayaty āśu vairāgyaṁ and jñānaṁ ca yad ahaitukam. When we get this knowledge that that I am not this body, so the whole life we have worked hard for this bodily conception of life. And he is worried about this only. Then he comes to know that he is not this body, this is real knowledge. When the Lord explained to Arjuna, the first thing that he explained was this,
- aśocyān anvaśocas tvaṁ
- prajñā-vādāṁś ca bhāṣase
- gatāsūn agatāsūṁś ca
- nānuśocanti paṇḍitāḥ
- (BG 2.11)
You are so worried about this body, that is not a jnani’s knowledge, nānuśocanti paṇḍitāḥ. This is Vedic civilization. Take care of your body in some way or another. It is not that, one should not neglect one’s body. But wherever required one must take care of it, take some effort for this. But to work like a hog whole day and night only for the purpose of this body, that is not correct. This is prohibited by the scriptures. nāyaṁ deho deha-bhājāṁ nṛloke kaṣṭān kāmān, just to work hard day and night for the body, that is not correct, this is done even by a hog.
This true religious principle is taught, this is Vedic dharma, vedaiś ca sarvair aham eva vedyaḥ (BG 15.15), to understand God, yato bhaktir adhokṣaje (SB 1.2.6), and if done from the beginning, vāsudeve bhagavati bhakti-yogaḥ prayojitaḥ (SB 1.2.7), and in another place it is said in the story of Ajamila,
- kecit kevalayā bhaktyā
- aghaṁ dhunvanti kārtsnyena
- nīhāram iva bhāskaraḥ
- (SB 6.1.15)
One should accept the worship of Vasudeva, vāsudeve bhagavati bhakti-yogaḥ prayojitaḥ janayaty āśu vairāgyaṁ (SB 1.2.7), the attraction that we have for this material world, we will develop renunciation towards that. That is the symptom of devotional service, bhaktiḥ pareśānubhavo viraktir anyatra ca (SB 11.2.42), this is common sense that what I am not, why do I have so much interest in that? I am not this body, and to work hard day and night for this like a hog, like an animal, that is not correct. But one must inquire into the Absolute Truth, Athāto brahma-jijñāsā (Vedānta-sūtra 1.1.1), this is the injunction of the Vedanta sutra, jijñāsuḥ śreya uttamam (SB 11.3.21), one who is inquisitive about this, he needs a spiritual master. tasmād guruṁ prapadyeta jijñāsuḥ śreya uttamam (SB 11.3.21), about the highest good. The highest good is this only, the soul. apaśyatām ātma-tattvaṁ gṛheṣu gṛha-medhinām (SB 2.1.2). Sukadeva Goswami has said, when Maharaja Pariksit told him that – Maharaja, I have only seven days to live, what should I hear, what should id do, you please tell me. So at that time Sukadeva Goswami said,
- śrotavyādīni rājendra
- nṛṇāṁ santi sahasraśaḥ
- apaśyatām ātma-tattvaṁ
- gṛheṣu gṛha-medhinām
- (SB 2.1.2)
One who is a too materially engrossed, who has no other business other than looking after family affairs, such a person is called a gṛha-medhi. And who is a grhastha, there is the grhastha asrama, sanyasa asrama, brahmacari asrama. Grhastha is also an asrama. They stay with their wife, children, and family, but intention is to realize God, he is a grhastha. And one who is not like this is called a grha-medhi. So who is a grha-medhi? apaśyatām ātma-tattvaṁ, one who does not have knowledge of self, the ultimate truth. What is his business?
- ātma-sainyeṣv asatsv api
- teṣāṁ pramatto nidhanaṁ
- paśyann api na paśyati
- (SB 2.1.4)
This is a grha-medhi. He thinks that my house, my strong body, beautiful body, dehāpatyam, my children are very beautiful also, kalatra, wife is also beautiful and good in all respects, dehāpatya-kalatrādiṣv, he thinks that all this will save me. ātma-sainyeṣv, just like someone wages a war with his soldiers, like that he thinks that all these people are my soldiers. dehāpatya-kalatrādiṣv, and they don’t understand that all these soldiers are fallible, these soldiers will be vanquished. Then who will save me? This he doesn’t understand. dehāpatya-kalatrādiṣv ātma-sainyeṣv asatsv api, everyone knows that all these will be vanquished. But still they are engrossed in this only. They don’t understand what is God, what is spirit soul, all this they don’t understand. This is called pramattaḥ, mad, pramatto nidhanaṁ paśyann api na paśyati. One who is mad, hee sees that there is man sleeping on the street and wounded by something, and he thinks I dont care for it, sometimes mad people sleep on the road. So pramatto nidhanaṁ paśyann api na paśyati.
So we have to contemplate on all these matters, on what is dharma, and the Lord is Himself adventing to tell us that – the real religious principle is to surrender unto My lotus feet.
- sarva-dharmān parityajya
- mām ekaṁ śaraṇaṁ vraja
- ahaṁ tvāṁ sarva-pāpebhyo
- mokṣayiṣyāmi mā śucaḥ
- (BG 18.66)
You will achieve highest good by doing so. To achieve that religious principle should be the aim of human form of life because without dharma, he remains an animal. One must follow dharma but one must understand what is true dharma. That dharma is yato bhaktir adhokṣaje (SB 1.2.6).
Devotional service unto the Lord, our connection with the Lord is now broken, how can it be reestablished, for that, vāsudeve bhagavati bhakti-yogaḥ prayojitaḥ (SB 1.2.7), that is real dharma. And it is not so simple and yet at the same time simple also. Because if someone is told surrender unto the lotus feet of Vasudeva, giving up all other varieties of religion, they become angry on hearing this. They don’t listen. But the point is the same. He will not understand today but if continues to discuss true dharma and one day if he becomes a jnani, then he will understand. bahūnāṁ janmanām ante jñānavān māṁ prapadyate (BG 7.19). Same work has to be done but after many many births. In one day he did not understand. The Lord Himself is coming and endearing him to, sarva-dharmān parityajya mām ekaṁ śaraṇaṁ vraja, Vasudeva Himself, he did not understand. But if he is a true jnani, what is dharma, who is God, what is the aim of life, if we keep on researching on this topics then one day after many many births, that day will come when they will understand that, vāsudevaḥ sarvam iti sa mahātmā su-durlabhaḥ (BG 7.19). bahūnāṁ janmanām, so who is intelligent? Who after many births, to surrender unto the lotus feet of Krishna is the only business of this human life, then why should we waste our time taking so many births? This is intelligence. The Lord Himself is endearing, why we should not accept this? Why should we waste many births? This is intelligence.
Hence the author of Caitanya Caritamrta says, krsna ye bhaje sei bada catur, one who worship Krishna is intelligent, rest are all foolish, asses, that’s all.
Thank you very much. Hare Krishna.
Devotee: Please ask some question, any of you gentlemen wants to question, any doubt, solution.
Audience: Please explain kaitava dharma more elaborately.
Srila Prabhupada: kaitava means that in which there is no gain, cheating, so why would you get entangled in cheating?
Audience: Are fruitive desires included in that?
Srila Prabhupada: Hmm?
Audience: The desires that we have – oh! Hanumanji, please fulfill this desire; Oh! Lord, fulfill this desire! I will worship you nicely. Is this also kaitava?
Srila Prabhupada: ahaituky apratihatā (SB 1.2.6), that is why it is said, ahaituky, if you worship the Lord with these desires, then that is not devotional service. That is business. (laughter) That you give me this much money and I will do the job. (laughter)
Audience: If I offer prasada for five annas, then our job will get done. (laughter)
Srila Prabhupada: That is business, that is not bhakti.
Audience: It is said,
- catur-vidhā bhajante māṁ
- janāḥ su-kṛtino ’rjuna
- ārto jijñāsur arthārthī
- jñānī ca bharatarṣabha
- (BG 7.9)
So this includes ārtaḥ one who wants to escape the dangers, and arthārthī one who wants to do business also.
Srila Prabhupada: They are being referred to as su-kṛtino, pious persons. He is not a devotee. (laughter) He is pious because somehow or another he has come to the shelter of the Lord. Just like if you come near a fire, you will definitely feel the heat. Similarly in the scriptures it is said that even if you have desires, you perform devotional service. In that way your desires will be fulfilled and you will gain devotional service also. It is said in the scriptures,
- akāmaḥ sarva-kāmo vā
- mokṣa-kāma udāra-dhīḥ
- tīvreṇa bhakti-yogena
- yajeta puruṣaṁ param
- (SB 2.3.10)
There are three types of people with desires. They are, one who has no desires, he is also there. And one who desires liberation. That is karmi, jnani, yogi, bhakta. So a karmi has desires. And jnani he also has desire, they want liberation. To become one with the Lord, he has also a demand. And the karmi wants material benefits, wealth, beauty, wife, fame, etc. and the jnani when he is fed up of all this, that I became wealthy, became a minister, became this, became that, but did not find any happiness. Then he says, forget all this, brahma satya jagat mithya. So in that also there is a desire, that I will become one with God, liberation, will become one with God.
And the yogi, he also wants perfection, asta siddhi, aṇimā, laghimā, mahimā, prāpti, siddhi, vaśitva, īśitva. They show big big magic, they want all this, they want this perfection. And the akama, he does not want anything, he is a devotee. So therefore the author of Caitanya Caritamrta says, bhukti-mukti-siddhi-kāmī – sakali ‘aśānta’ (CC Madhya 19.149), those who want material enjoyment (bhukti) the karmis, and those who want liberation (mukti) the jnanis, and those who want yogic perfection the yogis, they are all not peaceful. bhukti-mukti-siddhi-kāmī – sakali ‘aśānta’
Audience: But the devotee also wants devotion?
Srila Prabhuapda: No that is natural. Just like, bhakti, there is eternal relationship between the Lord and His devotee mamaivāṁśo jīva-loke (BG 15.7), that is service, seva. Just like the business of hand is to serve the body. That is not a demand, it is natural. Similarly it is svarupa, the real identity of a living entity to serve the Lord. And when we give up the service of the Lord and are engaged in serving Maya, then we must pray to the Lord for deliverance from this situation, that kindly free from this. We are now entangled in service to maya, we must pray for deliverance from this. ayi nanda-tanuja kiṅkaraṁ patitaṁ māṁ viṣame bhavāmbudhau, I have fallen into this ocean of material nescience, kṛpayā tava pāda-paṅkaja- sthita-dhūlī-sadṛśaṁ vicintaya, I have forgotten that I am Your eternal servant, I have fallen into this ocean of material nescience and am being tormented, please consider me as a particle of dust at Your lotus feet. So this prayer one must do as this is his business. And bhukti-mukti-siddhi-kāmī, (chuckles) that is getting entangled in maya. That is why he will remain disturbed. bhukti-mukti-siddhi-kāmī – sakali ‘aśānta’. But even if to get bhukti-mukti-siddhi he approaches the Lord, one day he will attain devotional service.
Just like Dhruva Maharaj, just like you said, catur-vidhā bhajante māṁ, Dhruva Maharaja went to do devotional service in the jungle to attain a kingdom. Narada tried to advise him that you are a child, why so much anger, what honor and dishonor with mother and father, he advised a lot. But he said, no! I don’t want to understand all these things. Please tell me if there is a solution, I will take darshan of the Lord and will ask from him. (chuckles) so he had the audience of the Lord and when he did meet the Lord and Lord said what do you want tell me, take what you want, and He says, svāmin kṛtārtho ’smi varaṁ na yāce (Hari-bhakti- sudhodaya 7.28), now I am completely satisfied. What more could I want?
So this is the gain. If someone approaches the Lord for bhukti-mukti-siddhi-kāmī, then when they get the mercy of the Lord, then they do not want all this, they say Lord we don’t want all this. svāmin kṛtārtho ’smi, I am fully satisfied just be seeing You. kācaṁ vicinvann api divya-ratnaṁ (Hari-bhakti- sudhodaya 7.28), I was searching after a piece of glass, I have got a valuable diamond. Now what more can I want? kācaṁ vicinvann api divya-ratnaṁ svāmin kṛtārtho ’smi, yaṁ labdhvā cāparaṁ lābhaṁ manyate nādhikaṁ tataḥ (BG 6.22), when one gets the mercy of the Lord, then rest is all considered to be of no value. (chuckles) tyaktvā tūrṇam aśeṣa-maṇḍala-pati-śreṇīṁ sadā tuccha-vat, the Goswamis were ministers but they gave it all up, sadā tuccha-vat, bhūtvā dīna-gaṇeśakau karuṇayā kaupīna-kanthāśritau, they became mendicants, kaupīna-kanthāśritau.
So these teachings are there, paraṁ dṛṣṭvā nivartate (BG 2.59), when you get the superior things, then the pale things, the lowly things of the material world ….
Srila Prabhupada: that’s why all scriptures recommend that if you desire material enjoyment, liberation, yogic perfections, even then you perform devotional service and for the devotee there is no question at all, he will do devotional service anyway.
Audience: Maharaja, please tell us a little about dhyana yoga.
Srila Prabhupada: dhyana yoga one thing is that it cannot be performed in this Kaliyuga. kṛte yad dhyāyato viṣṇuṁ (SB 12.3.52), krte yuga or Satya yuga in that age dhyana dharana pranayama asana could be performed. But now this is not possible.
- kṛte yad dhyāyato viṣṇuṁ
- tretāyāṁ yajato makhaiḥ
- dvāpare paricaryāyāṁ
- kalau tad dhari-kīrtanāt
- (SB 12.3.52)
The meditation performed through hari-kirtana, that is best. yoginām api (BG 6.47), dhyana is for the yogi. dhyānāvasthita-tad-gatena manasā paśyanti yaṁ yogino (SB 12.13.1), the yogis perform dhyana or meditation. So the Lord says,
- yoginām api sarveṣāṁ
- śraddhāvān bhajate yo māṁ
- sa me yukta-tamo mataḥ
- (BG 6.47)
One who constantly meditates on the form of the Lord, on Krishna, he is the top most yogi. So by chanting the Hare Krishna mantra, we are constantly meditating on the Lord, he is the top most yogi. No one is a greater meditator than him.
Audience: If we meditate on Lord Krishna?
Srila Prabhupada: That is what I am saying. (laughter) You will become the top most yogi. (laughter)
Audience: Maharaja ji, what is the time appropriate for doing for sadhana…
Srila Prabhupada: niyamitaḥ smaraṇe na kālaḥ (CC Antya 20.16, Śikṣāṣṭaka 2), there is no hard and fast rule, constantly chant Hare Krishna. It is wide open.
Audience: (indistinct) …this preaching of yours is more on the lines of nivrtti. Is it not possible that a man of this material world also achieve the Lord? So is that pravrtti or nivrtti?
Srila Prabhupada: That is why I had begun, sa vai puṁsāṁ paro dharmo, paro dharma (supreme occupation) stands for nivrtti (detachment). And pravrtii (attachment) path is not paro dharma, it is apara dharma. And we are talking about para dharma. sa vai puṁsāṁ paro dharmo yato bhaktir adhokṣaje. There are two kinds of dharma, pravrtii and nivrtti. Pravrittir esha bhutanam nivrittis tu maha-phalam, so we have to accept nivrtti based dharma.
Audience: So devotional service is not a path of attachment (pravrtti).
Srila Prabhupada: No! No devotional service is not based on attachment. bhaktiḥ pareśānubhavo viraktir anyatra ca (SB 11.2.42), then it is path of detachment.
Audience: The topic of bhagavata is based on path of nivrtii…
Srila Prabhupada. Attachment will be there, raga, there is attachment for one aspect, lowly attachment, you have to give that up and take up attachment for higher occupation, that is real attachment. paraṁ dṛṣṭvā nivartate (BG 2.59).
Audience: Maharaja ji is it not a fact that the jnana path of Vedanta has been combined with the bhakti path and stated with this pravrtii and nivrtti…
Srila Prabhupada: Yes that is called jnana misra bhakti, but pure bhakti or suddha bhakti is beyond jnana also.
Audience: Ajamila is there…(indistinct)
Srila Prabhupada: no, Ajamila, he became a pure devotee, when he chanted the name of Lord Narayana he became a pure devtoee. abhinatva nama naminoh, just like the Lord says sarva-dharmān parityajya mām ekaṁ śaraṇaṁ vraja ahaṁ tvāṁ sarva-pāpebhyo mokṣayiṣyāmi (BG 18.66), he was freed from all sinful reactions.
Audience: jnani is my own self. The jnani is glorified by the Lord.
Srila Prabhupada: Yes, the jnani bhakta. The devotee is a jnani too, a devotee is never foolish. (laughter) after the jnana stage, bhakti or devotional service comes. This belief that foolish persons are devotees and the intelligent one’s are the jnanis, this belief is also another type of foolishness. (laughs) because without jnana devotional service does not happen. That bahūnāṁ janmanām ante jñānavān māṁ prapadyate (BG 7.19), this surrender at the lotus feet of the Lord is devotional service. But who does this? One who discusses knowledge for many many births and then finally acquires complete knowledge, then after that he does. This is devotional service.
Audience: What is the meaning of ananyata?
Srila Prabhupada: Anyābhilāṣitā-śūnyaṁ jñāna-karmādy-anāvṛtam (NOD 1.1.11), this is ananya. There is no need for jnana in that, no need for karma in that, that is pure devotional service, ānakūlyena kṛṣṇānu-śīlanaṁ bhaktir uttamā (NOD 1.1.11). This is first class devotional service.
It is beyond jnana platform also. The Lord also says brahma-bhūtaḥ prasannātmā na śocati na kāṅkṣati (BG 18.54), this is jnana platform, brahma-bhūtaḥ, ahaṁ brahmāsmi. So there is no lamentation or expectation in the material world for him. samaḥ sarveṣu bhūteṣu (BG 18.54), he is equally disposed towards all living entities. mad-bhaktiṁ labhate parām (BG 18.54), after this stage, one attains devotional service.
Devotional service is not an ordinary thing. After becoming a complete jnani, then he becomes a bhakti, devotee. And those who think that devotees are mostly foolish, he is not foolish, he is learned, but a fool considers them to be foolish (laughter), because the Lord says, teṣām evānukampārtham aham ajñāna-jaṁ tamaḥ nāśayāmy (BG 10.11), the Lord says for one who is a devotee, his ignorance is destroyed by the Lord Himself. Then how can he remain ignorant? One whose ignorance the Lord Himself takes charge and says I destroy his ignorance, can anyone be a bigger learned, jnani, than him? An ordinary jnani is a mental speculator. What is his knowledge? And for the devotee the Lord Himself says, , teṣām evānukampārtham, anukampā, he doesn’t understand, let me make him understand. sarvasya cāhaṁ hṛdi sanniviṣṭo (BG 15.15), the Lord is seated in everyone’s heart, He gives knowledge. Who is a bigger jnani than a person who gains knowledge from the Lord Himself? That is why when he gains knowledge from the Lord, he understands vāsudevaḥ sarvam iti sa mahātmā su-durlabhaḥ (BG 7.19). He is a complete in knowledge.
Audience: bhaktyā mām abhijānāti yāvān yaś cāsmi tattvataḥ (BG 18.55), through bhakti he knows Me in truth. So after doing bhakti he knows Him, or after knowing Him he does bhakti?
Srila Prabhupada: Through bhakti only he understands God.
Audience: And after understanding he does bhakti.
Srila Prabhupada: He does bhakti and that is why the devotee’s efforts and the fruits are one and the same. They are the same. Sadhana and sadhya are the same.
Audience: jnana is impassable, limitless so how can one understand that one has become a jnani.
Srila Prabhupada: It is impassable for one who has not reached the Lord yet. For him it is impassable. And one who has attained the Lord, vāsudevaḥ sarvam iti, that jnani is rare. That kind of jnani who has understood the Lord, janma karma ca me divyam evaṁ yo vetti tattvataḥ (BG 7.9), he has reached the culmination of knowledge. Otherwise knowledge is impassable.
Audience: Kindly explain the biggest contribution of Lord Caitanya Mahaprabhu briefly.
Srila Prabhupada: What is that?
Audience: What is the specialty of Lord Caitanya Mahaprabhu’s personality?
Srila Prabhupada: The special characteristic is this that when Rupa Goswami met the Lord and offered obeisances. He said, namo mahā-vadānyāya, this is the specialty. Who is called a vadānya, one who gives in charity, donor, vadānya, one who gives whole-heartedly. He is called a vadānya. Did you understand this or not?
Audience responds: Yes
Srila Prabhupada: So Rupa Goswami addresses Caitanya Mahaprabhu as namo mahā-vadānyāya, not just vadānyāya, but mahā-vadānyāya. This is Caitanya Mahaprabhu’s specialty. Why? kṛṣṇa-prema-pradāya te, You are giving love of Krishna with open hands. This is the specialty of Caitanya Mahaprabhu. namo mahā- vadānyāya kṛṣṇa-prema-pradāya te, to one who doesn’t understand Krishna itself, to such a person He gives Krishna prema, take! This is the specialty of Caitanya Mahaprabhu.
Audience: Maharaja ji, the first sloka of Mahaprabhu’s Caitanyastaka, ceto-darpaṇa-mārjanaṁ, if that can be explained by you through your lotus mouth.
Srila Prabhupada: it is this that, our real problem is that for many many births our heart is filled with dirty things. That needs to be cleansed. So the effect of hari sankirtana is such that this occurs first itself. What happens after lifetimes of doing austerities, discussing knowledge, performing yoga, all this dirt is then cleaned, that by this hari kirtana, paraṁ vijayate śrī-kṛṣṇa-saṅkīrtanam (CC Antya 20.12, Śikṣāṣṭaka 1), kīrtanād eva kṛṣṇasya mukta-saṅgaḥ paraṁ vrajet (SB 12.3.51), the injunction of the scriptures that by chanting the holy name of Krishna only, all the dirty things in the heart are destroyed. First installment of chanting Hare Krishna mantra, ceto-darpaṇa-mārjanaṁ bhava-mahā-dāvāgni-nirvāpaṇaṁ, and after cleansing of the heart, then bhava-mahā-dāvāgni, this forest fire of material existence, bhūtvā bhūtvā pralīyate (BG 8.19) to take birth, and then work hard, then one more life, one more life, this forest fire is extinguished. ceto-darpaṇa-mārjanaṁ bhava-mahā-dāvāgni-nirvāpaṇaṁ śreyaḥ-kairava-candrikā-vitaraṇaṁ (CC Antya 20.12, Śikṣāṣṭaka 1) then the good fortune in his life, that good fortune is bhakti or devotional service, sreyah-sritim bhaktim (SB 10.14.4), that develops. Just like the moonlight rays slowly develops till the time of Purnima, similarly the moonlight of bhakti develops. And gradually one experiences all bliss, that’s why paraṁ vijayate śrī-kṛṣṇa-saṅkīrtanam. This is the conclusion. The name of Krishna is the only way to gain all success.
Audience: Lets do kirtana. Jaya Prabhupada! (end)
Source : VaniSource