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  1. <CENTER> Chapter Sixteen </CENTER> <CENTER>Bilvapaksa and Bharadvaja-tila </CENTER><CENTER>All glories to Sri Gauracandra, the wanderer of Nadia's groves! All glories to Sri Nityananda, the master of Ekacakra! All glories to Advaita Isvara, the master of Santipura! All glories to Gadadhara of Ramacandrapura! And all glories to Gaura-bhumi, the essence of cintamani, where Krsna wandered in Kali-yuga.</CENTER>The son of Padma, Sri Nityananda, after crossing the Ganges and going some distance, said to the devotees, "See this attractive place named Bilvapaksa. Generally people call it Bela Pukhariya. The place known in the scriptures as Bilvavana in Vraja is situated here in Navadvipa. "One time some brahmana devotees of Siva worshipped him by offering the leaves of his favorite tree, the bilva. or bael, tree for a fortnight's duration. Siva was pleased with the brahmanas and gave them krsna-bhakti. Amongst those worshipers was Nimbaditya, who had been very attentive in the worship. Siva spoke to him, 'At the edge of this village is a sacred bilva forest. Within that forest, the four Kumaras are sitting in meditation. By their mercy, you will receive transcendental knowledge. They are your gurus. By serving them, you will receive all that is of value. Saying this, Lord Siva disappeared. "Nimbaditya searched and found that place. On an attractive platform in the forest near Siva, he saw the four brothers-Sanaka, Sanandana, Sanatana, and Sanat-kumara sitting unseen by others. They were young, naked, and noble in character. Nimbarka cried out in excitement, 'Hare Krsna! Hare Krsna!' "On hearing the holy name, the Kumaras' meditation broke. 'They opened their eyes and saw before them an ideal Vaisnava. Satisfied by this sight, one after another they embraced Nimbaditya. 'Who are you:'' they asked. 'Why have you come here? We will certainly fulfill your prayers. "Nimbarka offered his obeisances and humbly introduced himself. Sanat-kumara smiled and said, 'The all-merciful Supreme Lord, knowing that Kali-yuga would be very troublesome, decided to propagate devotional service. He empowered four men with devotional service and sent them into the world to preach. Ramanuja, Madhva, and Visnusvami are three of these men. You are the fourth of these great devotees. Sri, Laksmi, accepted Ramanuja, Brahma accepted Madhvacarya, Rudra accepted Visnusvami, and we, meeting you today, have the good fortune to teach you. This is our intention. Previously we were engaged in meditating on the Brahman, but by the Lord's mercy that sinful act has gone away. Now that I know the sweet taste of pure devotional service, I have written one book named Sanat-kumara Samhita. You should receive initiation into its teachings. "Seeing his guru's mercy, the wise Nimbarka quickly took his bath in the Ganges and returned. He offered obeisances and humbly said, 'O deliverer of the fallen, please deliver this low rascal. "The four brothers gave him the Radha-Krsna mantra and instructed him how to worship Radha and Krsna filled with sentiments of great love, called bhava-marga. Having obtained that mantra, Nimbaditya resided at this sacred place and worshipped according to the injunctions of that samhita. "Radha and Krsna bestowed Their mercy by appearing before Nimbarka. Lighting up all directions and gently smiling, They said, 'You are very fortunate. You have performed sadhana in Navadvipa, Our dear abode. Here We take on one form, as the son of Sacidevi. "While saying this, They combined in one form as Gauranga. Nimbarka was astounded on seeing that form and exclaimed, 'Never have I seen or heard of such a remarkable form anywhere!' "Mahaprabhu said, 'Please keep this form secret now. Just preach krsna-bhakti and the pastimes of Radha and Krsna, for I am very happy in those pastimes. When I appear as Gauranga, I will enjoy educational pastimes. At that time, you will take birth in Kashmir and tour India as a champion scholar out to defeat all opponents. Your name will be Kesava Kasmiri, and you will be celebrated everywhere for your great learning. While wandering on tour, you will come to Mayapur. The learned scholars of Navadvipa will flee when they hear your name, but I will be intoxicated with learning and take pleasure in defeating you. By the mercy of Sarasvati, you will realize My identity, give up your pride, and take shelter of Me. Then I will give you the gift of bhakti and send you out to preach devotional service again. So you can satisfy Me now by preaching the philosophy of dvaitadvaita (monism and dualism), keeping My identity secret. "'Later, when I begin the sankirtana movement, I Myself will preach the essence of the four Vaisnava philosophies. From Madhva I will receive two essential items: his complete defeat of the Mayavada philosophy, and his service to the Deity of Krsna, accepting the Deity as an eternal spiritual being. From Ramanuja I will accept two great teachings: the concept of bhakti unpolluted by karma and jnana, and service to the devotees. From Visnusvami's teachings I will accept two main elements: the sentiment of exclusive dependence on Krsna, and the path of raga-bhakti And from you I will receive two excellent principles: the necessity of taking shelter of Radha, and the high esteem for the gopis' love of Krsna.' " "When Gauracandra disappeared, Nimbarka wept out of love. After worshipping the feet of his gurus, he left for preaching krishna-bhakti." Nityananda then pointed out to Jiva in the distance, Ramatirtha, where Lord Balarama killed the Kolasura demon and then took bath with the Yadus. This place is now known as Rukmapura, and it is situated on one end of the Navadvipa parikrama. During the month of Kartika this place is especially glorious. Leaving behind Bilvapaksa, Nityananda Prabhu and the devotees went up to Bharadvaja-tila village. Nityananda explained, "After seeing Ganga-sagara, Bharadvaja Muni came to this place. The great muni stayed here for some days and worshipped Lord Gauracandra. Satisfied by the worship, Lord Visvambhara mercifully appeared before the muni and said to him, 'Your desire will be fulfilled. When I advent, you will see Me.' "After speaking these words, the Lord disappeared and Bharadvaja fainted in great ecstasy. After staying on this hill for some days, the muni departed to see other tirthas. The common people call this place Bharuidanga. The scriptures consider this a major tirtha." While speaking these topics, they returned to Mayapur, where Isana Thakura came forward to welcome them back. Nityananda Prabhu, in unprecedented prema, danced and sang amongst the devotees. That day, in the house of Jagannatha Misra, the best of all holy places where Gauranga appeared with the holy name, the Lord`s own mother fed the Vaisnavas. How to describe the bliss at that place? The sound of the kirtann resounded loudly. Desiring the shade of the feet of Nitai and Jahnava. Bhaktivinoda sings these pastimes of Navadvipa.
  2. Vrajanatha: You said earlier that the cit world is eternal, and so are the jivas. If this is true, how can an eternal entity possibly be created, manifested or produced? If it is created at some point of time, it must have been non-existent before that, so how can we accept that it is eternal?<?xml:namespace prefix = o ns = "urn:schemas-microsoft-com:" /><o:p></o:p> Babaji: The time and space that you experience in this material world are completely different from time and space in the spiritual world. Material time is divided into three aspects: past, present and future. However, in the spiritual world there is only one undivided, eternally present time. Every event of the spiritual world is eternally present.<o:p></o:p> Whatever we say or describe in the material world is under the jurisdiction of material time and space, so when we say – “The jivas were created,” “The spiritual world was manifested,” or “There is no influence of maya in creating the form of the jivas,” – material time is bound to influence our language and our statements. This is inevitable in our conditioned state, so we cannot remove the influence of material time from our descriptions of the atomic jiva and spiritual objects. The conception of past, present and future always enters them in some way or another. Still, those who can discriminate properly can understand the application of the eternal present when they comprehend the purport of the descriptions of the spiritual world. Baba, be very careful in this matter. Give up the inevitable baseness, or the aspect of the description that is fit to be rejected, and have spiritual realization. <o:p></o:p> All Vaisnavas say that the jiva is an eternal servant of Krsna, that his eternal nature is to serve Krsna, and that he is now bound by maya, because he has forgotten that eternal nature. However, everyone knows that the jiva is an eternal entity, of which there are two types: nitya-mukta and nitya-baddha. The subject has been explained in this way only because the conditioned human intellect being controlled by pramada (inattentiveness), is unable to comprehend a subject matter. Realized sadhakas, though, experience transcendental truth through their cit-samadhi. Our words always have some material limitation, so whatever we say will have some mayika defects. My dear son, you should always endeavor to realize the pure truth. Logic and argument cannot help at all in this regard, so it is futile to use them to try to understand inconceivable subject matters.<o:p></o:p> I know that you will not be able to understand these subjects in a moment, but as you cultivate these transcendental moods within your heart, you will realize cinmaya-bhava more and more. In other words, all the transcendental moods will manifest themselves in the core of your purified heart. Your body is material, and all the activities of your body are also material, but the essence of your being is not material; you are an atomic conscious entity. The more you know yourself, the more you will be able to realize how your svarupa is a tattva superior to the world of maya. Even if I tell you, you will not realize it, or simply be hearing you will not attain it. Cultivate the practice of chanting hari-nama as much as possible. As you go on chanting hari-nama, these transcendental bhavas will begin to manifest in your heart automatically, and to the degree that they do so, you will be able to realize the transcendental world. Mind and speech both have their origin in matter, and they cannot touch the transcendental truth, even with the greatest endeavor. The Vedas say in Taittiriya Upanisad (2.9)<o:p></o:p> yato vaco nivartante aprapya manasa saha<o:p></o:p> The speech and the mind return from brahma, being unable to attain Him.<o:p></o:p> I advise you not to inquire about this matter from anyone, but to realize it yourself. I have just given you an indication (abhasa).
  3. <TABLE style="BACKGROUND-COLOR: #e0e0e0" cellSpacing=0 cellPadding=1 width="100%" border=0><TBODY><TR class=aolmailheader><TD vAlign=top width="10%"></TD><TD>CC Antya-Lila Ch.7 Text 53 </TD></TR><TR class=aolmailheader><TD vAlign=top width="10%">Date:</TD><TD></TD></TR><TBODY id={604B15AF-70DC-40DA-9F69-7A4EA28FC2A8}><TR class=aolmailheader><TD vAlign=top noWrap width="10%"></TD><TD></TD></TR><TR class=aolmailheader><TD vAlign=top noWrap width="10%">To:</TD><TD></TD></TR></TBODY></TABLE> TEXT 53 bhattera hrdaye drdha abhimana jani' bhangi kari' mahaprabhu kahe eta vani SYNONYMS bhattera hrdaye--in the heart of Vallabha Bhatta; drdha--fixed; abhimana--pride; jani'--understanding; bhangi kari'--making a hint; mahaprabhu--Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu; kahe--spoke; eta vani--these words. TRANSLATION Knowing that Vallabha Bhatta's heart was full of pride, Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu spoke these words, hinting at how one can learn about devotional service. PURPORT Vallabha Bhatta was greatly proud of his knowledge in devotional service, and therefore he wanted to speak about Lord Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu without understanding the Lord's position. The Lord therefore hinted in many ways that if Vallabha Bhatta wanted to know what devotional service actually is, he would have to learn from all the devotees He mentioned, beginning with Advaita Acarya, Lord Nityananda, Sarvabhauma Bhattacarya and Ramananda Raya. As Svarupa Damodara has said, if one wants to learn the meaning of Srimad-Bhagavatam, one must take lessons from a realized soul. One should not proudly think that one can understand the transcendental loving service of the Lord simply by reading books. One must become a servant of a Vaisnava. As Narottama dasa Thakura has confirmed, chadiya vaisnava-seva nistara payeche keba: one cannot be in a transcendental position unless one very faithfully serves a pure Vaisnava. One must accept a Vaisnava guru (adau gurv-asrayam), and then by questions and answers one should gradually learn what pure devotional service to Krsna is. That is called the parampara system. Adi-lila Ch.1 TEXT 58 jive saksat nahi tate guru caittya-rupe siksa-guru haya krsna-mahanta-svarupe SYNONYMS jive--by the living entity; saksat--direct experience; nahi--there is not; tate--therefore; guru--the spiritual master; caittya-rupe--in the form of the Supersoul; siksa-guru--the spiritual master who instructs; haya--appears; krsna--Krsna, the Supreme Personality of Godhead; mahanta--the topmost devotee; sva-rupe--in the form of. TRANSLATION Since one cannot visually experience the presence of the Supersoul, He appears before us as a liberated devotee. Such a spiritual master is none other than Krsna Himself. PURPORT It is not possible for a conditioned soul to directly meet Krsna, the Supreme Personality of Godhead, but if one becomes a sincere devotee and seriously engages in devotional service, Lord Krsna sends an instructing spiritual master to show him favor and invoke his dormant propensity for serving the Supreme. The preceptor appears before the external senses of the fortunate conditioned soul, and at the same time the devotee is guided from within by the caittya-guru, Krsna, who is seated as the spiritual master within the heart of the living entity.
  4. Vijaya: What is the result of namabhasa, and what will it not give? <?xml:namespace prefix = o ns = "urn:schemas-microsoft-com:" /><o:p></o:p> Babaji: Namabhasa will give all kinds of enjoyment, happiness, liberation and the eight kinds of perfections (siddhis), but it will not give krsna-prema, which is the highest goal of human life. However, by giving up bad association, and by associating constantly with suddha-bhaktas and following their instructions regularly, one may quickly become a madhyama Vaisnava. Then even within a few days he can obtain suddha-bhakti and krsna-prema. <o:p></o:p> Vijaya: Prabhu, many who are vaisnava-abhasa bear the outward signs of a Vaisnava, and constantly perform namabhasa. Even so, despite engaging in this way for a long time, they still do not receive prema. What is the reason for this?<o:p></o:p> Babaji: There is one secret here. The vaisnava-abhasa-sadhaka is qualified to receive pure devotion, but he does not have pure, one pointed bhakti. It may be that he is associating with a person whom he thinks to be a sadhu, but who is actually a Mayavadi and not a suddha-bhakta. Due to this undesirable association, the sadhaka will follow the Mayavadi’s apasiddhantika instructions, and as a result, whatever bhakty-abhasa he had will vanish, and he will gradually fall down into the category of vaisnava-aparadhi. In that condition, it is quite difficult – indeed practically impossible –for him to succeed in his practice. Yet, if his previous sukrti is strong, it will remove him from that bad association and place him in the association of saintly persons; and from that sat-sanga he can obtain pure Vaisnavism again.<o:p></o:p>
  5. "Dissolve Your Mind" - Buddha Then another class of philosophy is that of Buddha: "Only the combination of different things has created your mental system. With the dissolution of the mental system, nothing remains. So, somehow, we must dissolve the mental system. Practice ahimsa, nonviolence, satya, truthfulness, and so on." It is seen that all these philosophers are talking either of renunciation or of exploitation (bhukti, mukti). And by setting different types of enchanting traps, they arrange to capture the jiva soul. Bhaktivinoda Thakura says, "But I have come to realize that these fellows are all cheaters. And they all have this common stand: they have no touch of Your devotion, Your service. There, they are one. They cannot deliver any real good. They are common to oppose Your devotional service and supremacy. And ultimately they leave us in chaos. "But from the ultimate standpoint, I see that they are agents engaged by You to segregate the seriously diseased persons to another ward, for the good of the less seriously diseased patients. It is Your arrangement to segregate the hopeless persons to another side for the benefit of the good side. That is Your design, and they are playing at Your hand like so many dolls. They are Your agents and they are also serving You in some way, because nothing is outside You." Bhaktivinoda Thakura concludes saying, "I bid good-bye to them all. I feel in my heart that I shall show respect to all these so-called good agents from a distance, however my only real capital is the dust of the holy feet of Your devotees. I rely on that dust as the source of all my prospects. I seek to put all my energy into taking the dust of their holy lotus feet upon my head. This is everything for me."
  6. Vrajanatha said, “Prabhu, when I remember your sweet instructions, my heart becomes restless and the entire world seems to be devoid of all substance. My heart is becoming eager to take shelter at Sri Gaurangadeva’s lotus feet. Please be merciful to me and tell me who I really am according to tattva, and why I have come to this world.”<?xml:namespace prefix = o ns = "urn:schemas-microsoft-com:" /><o:p></o:p> Babaji: My dear son, you have blessed me by asking such a question. The day that the jiva first asks this question is the auspicious day on which his good fortune arises. If you will kindly hear the fifth sloka of Dasa-mula, all your doubts will be dispelled.<o:p></o:p> sphulingah rddhagner iva cid-anavo jiva-nicayah<o:p></o:p> hareh suryasyaivaprthag api tu tad-bheda-visayah<o:p></o:p> vase maya yasya prakrti-patir evesvara iha<o:p></o:p> sa jivo mukto ‘pi prakrti-vasa-yogyah sva-gunatah<o:p></o:p> <o:p></o:p> Just as many tiny sparks burst out from a blazing fire, so the innumerable jivas are like atomic, spiritual particles in the rays of the spiritual sun, Sri Hari. Though these jivas are non-different from Sri Hari, they are also eternally different from Him. The eternal difference between the jiva and Isvara is that Isvara is the Lord and master of maya-sakti, whereas the jiva can fall under the control of maya, even in his liberated stage, due to his constitutional nature. <o:p></o:p> <o:p></o:p> Vrajanatha: This is an exceptional siddhanta, and I would like to hear some Vedic evidence to support it. Sri Bhagavan’s statements are certainly Veda, but still, people will be bound to accept the teachings of Mahaprabhu if the Upanisads can substantiate this principle. Babaji: This tattva is described in many places in the Vedas. I will cite a few of them:<o:p></o:p> <o:p></o:p> yathagneh ksudra visphulinga vyuccaranti<o:p></o:p> evam evasmad atmanah sarvani bhutani vyuccaranti<o:p></o:p> <o:p></o:p> Brhad-aranyaka Upanisad (2.1.20)<o:p></o:p> <o:p></o:p> Innumerable jivas emanate from para-brahma, just like tiny sparks from a fire.<o:p></o:p> tasya va etasya purusasya dve eva sthane<o:p></o:p> bhavata idan ca paraloka-sthanan ca<o:p></o:p> sandhyam trtiyam svapna-sthanam<o:p></o:p> tasmin sandhye sthane tisthann ete ubhe<o:p></o:p> sthane pasyatidan ca paraloka-sthanan ca<o:p></o:p> Brhad-aranyaka Upanisad (4.3.9)<o:p></o:p> <o:p></o:p> There are two positions about which the jiva-purusa should inquire – the inanimate material world, and the spiritual world. The jiva is situated in a third position, which is a dreamlike condition (svapna-sthana), and is the juncture (tatastha) between the other two. Being situated at the place where the two worlds meet, he sees both the jada-jagat (inert world) and the cid-jagat (spiritual world).<o:p></o:p> This sloka describes the marginal nature of jiva-sakti. Again, it is said in Brhad-aranyaka Upanisad (4.3.18):<o:p></o:p> tad yatha maha-matsya ubhe kule ‘nusancarati<o:p></o:p> purvan caparan caivam evayam purusa etav ubhav antav<o:p></o:p> anu sancarati svapnantan ca buddhantan ca<o:p></o:p> <o:p></o:p> Just as a large fish in a river sometimes goes to the eastern bank and sometimes to the western bank, so the jiva, being situated in karana-jala (the water of cause that lies between the inert and conscious worlds), also gradually wanders to both banks, the place of dreaming and the place of wakefulness. <o:p></o:p> <o:p></o:p> Vrajanatha: What is the Vedantic meaning of the word tatastha? <o:p></o:p> Babaji: The space between the ocean and the land is called the tata (shore), but the place that touches the ocean is actually nothing but land, so where is the shore? The tata is the line of distinction separating the ocean and the land, and it is so fine that it cannot be seen with the gross eyes. If we compare the transcendental realm to the ocean, and the material world to the land, then tata is the subtle line that divides the two, and the jiva-sakti is situated at the place where the two meet. The jivas are like the countless atomic particles of light within the sunrays. Being situated in the middle place, the jivas see the spiritual world on one side and the material universe created by maya on the other. Just as Bhagavan’s spiritual sakti on one side is unlimited, maya-sakti on the other side is also very powerful. The innumerable subtle (suksma) jivas are situated between these two. The jivas are marginal by nature because they have manifested from Krsna’s tatasthasakti (marginal potency).<o:p></o:p> Vrajanatha: What is the tatastha-svabhava (marginal nature)? <o:p></o:p> Babaji: It is the nature that enables one to be situated between both worlds, and to see both sides. Tatastha-svabhava is the eligibility to come under the control of either of the saktis. Sometimes the shore is submerged in the river because of erosion, and then again it becomes one with the land because the river changes its course. If the jiva looks in the direction of Krsna – that is, towards the spiritual world – he is influenced by Krsna sakti. He then enters the spiritual world, and serves Bhagavan in his pure, conscious, spiritual form. However, if he looks towards maya, he becomes opposed to Krsna and is incarcerated by maya. This dual-faceted nature is called the tatastha-svabhava (marginal nature). http://bvml.org/SBNM/JaivaDharma/15.html
  7. Vijaya: What does it mean to relish Srimad-Bhagavatam in the association of rasika-bhaktas? (#61)<?xml:namespace prefix = o ns = "urn:schemas-microsoft-com:" /><o:p></o:p> Babaji: Srimad-Bhagavatam is the very sweet rasa of the desire tree of the Vedas. By associating with people averse to rasa one will be unable to taste the rasa of Srimad-Bhagavatam and the result will be aparadha. One must taste the rasa of the slokas of Srimad-Bhagavatam in the association of those who are rasa-jna, who are conversant with, and are drinking that rasa, and who are qualified for suddha-bhakti. Speaking or hearing Srimad-Bhagavatam in general assemblies will not award pure bhakti.<o:p></o:p> Vijaya: What is the association of bhaktas who are of the same mood (svajatiya) and affectionate (snigdha)? (#62)<o:p></o:p> Babaji: Associating with abhaktas (non-devotees) in the name of sat-sanga will not bring elevation in bhakti. The goal that bhaktas desire is to obtain service in Krsna’s aprakrta (unmanifest) lila, and one who has this desire should be known as a bhakta. Elevation in bhakti comes from associating with members of this group of bhaktas who are superior to oneself. Without this sanga, the development of bhakti stops, and one acquires the nature of the class of people with whom one has sanga. In relation to sanga, Hari-bhaktisudhodyaya (8.51) says:<o:p></o:p> yasya yat-sangatih pumso manivat syat sa tad-gunah<o:p></o:p> sva-kularddhye tato dhiman sva-yuthany eva samsrayet<o:p></o:p> <o:p></o:p> Just as a jewel reflects the colors of objects around it, similarly, a persons nature becomes like that of those with whom he associates.<o:p></o:p> <o:p></o:p> Therefore, one only becomes a pure sadhu by the association of pure sadhus. Sadhu-sanga (the association of advanced bhaktas) is beneficial in every way. Where sastra gives advice that we should be free from mundane companionship, the purport is that one should associate with sadhus.<o:p></o:p>
  8. Vrajanatha: It is said in the Dasa-mula sloka, “The good fortune of the jiva who is wandering aimlessly in the material world arises when he meets a rasika Vaisnava who relishes the nectar of Hari.“ One might raise the objection that one could eventually attain hari-bhakti by performing pious activities, such as astanga-yoga and cultivating brahma-jnana.<?xml:namespace prefix = o ns = "urn:schemas-microsoft-com:" /><o:p></o:p> Babaji: These are Sri Krsna’s own words:<o:p></o:p> na rodhayati mam yogo na sankhyam dharma eva ca<o:p></o:p> na svadhyayas tapas tyago nesta-purttam na daksina<o:p></o:p> vratani yajnas chandamsi tirthani niyama yamah<o:p></o:p> yathavarundhe sat-sangah sarva-sangapaho hi mam<o:p></o:p> <o:p></o:p> Srimad-Bhagavatam (11.12.1-2)<o:p></o:p> <o:p></o:p> Sri Bhagavan said, “I am not controlled by those who perform yoga, study sankhya philosophy, perform religious duties and pious activities, study the Vedas, perform penances and austerities, practice renunciation or accept sannyasa, perform sacrifice and welfare activities, give donations in charity, practice fasting and other vows, perform yajna, chant confidential mantras, go on pilgrimage, and follow all the rules and regulations for spiritual life. However, one who accepts sat-sanga, which destroys all material attachments, can control Me. How much can I say? Astanga-yoga can slightly satisfy Me indirectly, but sadhu-sanga controls Me completely.”<o:p></o:p> It is also stated in Hari-bhakti-sudhodhaya (8.51):<o:p></o:p> yasya yat-sangatih pumso manivat syat sa tad-gunah<o:p></o:p> sva-kularddhyaitato dhiman sva-yuthany eva samsrayet<o:p></o:p> <o:p></o:p> Just as a jewel or crystal reflects the color of the object with which it is in contact, so a person develops qualities according to the company he keeps.<o:p></o:p> Therefore, by keeping association with pure sadhus, one can become a pure sadhu. Thus the association of pure sadhus is the root cause of all good fortune.<o:p></o:p>
  9. In another poetry Rupa Gosvami says, krsna-bhakti-rasa-bhavita matih kriyatam yadi kuto 'pi labhyate. The, our this Krsna consciousness, I have taken this from this word krsna-bhakti-rasa-bhavita matih. This is actual translation in Sanskrit or... Krsna-bhakti-rasa-bhavita matih. So Rupa Gosvami advises that "Krsna consciousness, if it is possible, please purchase. Don't delay." Krsna-bhakti-rasa-bhavita matih kriyatam. "Purchase immediately!" Krsna-bhakti-rasa-bhavita matih kriyatam yadi kuto 'pi. "Where it is available? It is very nice thing.Yes, it is available. You can purchase. The movement is going on.And what is the price?Price?It is such a nice thing; you have to pay price.Yes, there is price.What is that?" Tatra laulyam ekalam mulyam: "Simply your eagerness. That is price. This price you have to pay." Then you get Krsna. Immediately. Krsna is not poor. And the Krsna-seller, the Krsna devotee, he is also not poor. He can distribute Krsna free. And he's doing that. Simply you have to purchase by your eagerness. That is wanted. Tatra laulyam. "Oh, eagerness? I have got eagerness.Oh, it is not so easy." Tatra laulyam ekalam mulyam janma-koti-sukrtair na labhyate: "This eagerness cannot be achieved even by pious activities for millions of births." If you simply go on doing pious activities... Because without being pious, you cannot approach Krsna. So if you go on doing simply pious, janma-koti-sukrtaih... Sukrti means pious activities, simply pious. Still, this eagerness is not awakened. So this eagerness is very important thing. But it can be awakened by the association of devotees. Therefore we are giving chance to everyone to invoke that eagerness. Then you will see God eye to eye. It is not difficult. Tac chraddadhana munayah. Those who have developed that eagerness, faith, that "I must see Krsna in this life..." This life is meant for seeing Krsna. It is not meant for becoming dogs and hogs. Unfortunately, the whole civilization is going on, they are being trained to become dogs and hogs. It is the only institution that is teaching people how to see Krsna. This is the only institution, this Krsna consciousness movement. It is so important. Tac chraddadhana munayo jnana-vairagya-yuktaya [sB 1.2.12]. By eagerness, automatically you will be enriched with knowledge and detachment. Knowledge does not mean, "Now we have discovered this atomic bomb." That is not knowledge. What knowledge this is? People are dying. You have discovered something which will accelerate death. But we are giving some knowledge to stop death. That is Krsna consciousness. This is knowledge. Jnana-vairagya-yuktaya. And as soon as you get this knowledge, automatically you become detached to all this nonsense material happiness. Hare Krsna. Thank you very much. Hare Krsna. (devotees offer obeisances) Chant Hare Krsna. (end) >>> Ref. VedaBase => Srimad-Bhagavatam 1.2.12 -- Los Angeles, August 15, 1972 complete lecture http://www.prabhupadavani.org/Bhagavatam/text/028.html
  10. Devidasa: I have studied many sastras since my childhood, but today, by your grace, I have understood their purpose in an entirely new light.<?xml:namespace prefix = o ns = "urn:schemas-microsoft-com:" /><o:p></o:p> Lahiri: It is written in Srimad-Bhagavatam (11.8.10):<o:p></o:p> <o:p></o:p> anubhyas ca mahadbhyas ca sastrebhyah kusalo narah<o:p></o:p> sarvatah saram adadyat puspebhya iva satpadah<o:p></o:p> <o:p></o:p> An intelligent person will take the essence of all the sastras,<o:p></o:p> whether they are great or small, just as a bumblebee gathers<o:p></o:p> honey from many different types of flowers.<o:p></o:p> <o:p></o:p> My dear son, I used to call you an atheist. Now I don’t criticize anyone, because faith depends on adhikara. There is no question of criticism in this regard. Everyone is working according to their own adhikara, and they will advance gradually when the time is appropriate. You are a scholar of the sastras dealing with logic and fruitive action, and since your statements are in accordance with your adhikara, there is no fault in them.<o:p></o:p>
  11. <CENTER><CENTER><H1>The Glories of Sadhu-sanga</H1></CENTER><CENTER><H3>A lecture on Srimad Bhagavatam 1.18.10–13 delivered by Sri Srimad Bhakti Sri-rupa Siddhanti Gosvami Maharaja Excerpt </CENTER></H3> Our Inability to Actually Associate </CENTER>Real sadhus, however, are extremely rare and therefore difficult to find; and if they are found, it is very difficult to associate with them in the real sense. Although people of this world may attain the association of a bhagavad-bhakta, they remain unable to comprehend his bhava-dhara, line of thought that is his moods. We may, by the accumulation of previous sukriti, come close physically to a bhagavad-bhakta; but we then discover that we cannot associate with him in any real sense. If those who have attained the sanga of bhagavad-bhaktas find themselves unable to benefit from it, what can be said of the predicament of those who have not even attained such sanga. Why is this so? Why can we not properly associate with bhagavad-bhaktas despite being in their company? Sanga means “samyak rupena gamana – to completely follow the bhagavad-bhakta.” It is difficult for us to comply with their instructions. Moreover, the foundation of sanga is priti. Without priti, there can be no sanga. We go to the market and see, meet and talk with many people, but can this be called sanga? No. Priti is the real requirement. What is priti? Srila Rupa Gosvami has written: dadati pratigrihnati guhyam akhyati pricchati bhunkte bhojayate caiva shad-vidham priti-lakshanam Sri Upadesamrita (4) Offering pure devotees items in accordance with their requirements, accepting remnant items given by pure devotees, revealing to devotees one’s confidential realizations concerning bhajana, inquiring from them about their confidential realizations, eating with great love the prasada remnants given by devotees and lovingly feeding them prasada – these are the six symptoms of loving association with pure devotees. Are we able to deal with bhagavad-bhaktas with these six symptoms of priti? We can have these six exchanges with worldly people, but not with bhagavad-bhaktas, because maya does not let us do so. Such is the oppression of maya that she will not allow us to associate with sadhus. Hence, the sanga of bhagavad-bhaktas is very rare; we are unable to attain it even after attaining their company. This is our misfortune. Why is this so? Man is the sangi (associate) of maya and likes associating with her. Ordinary people may come close to a bhagavad-bhakta, but they will prefer to discuss worldly topics with him and go away. They are not influenced by his association. It is very difficult for them. Therefore it is said that the result of associating with a bhagavad-bhakta for a single moment cannot be compared to the attainment of Svarga and moksha. What a significant matter! What a precious commodity is sadhu-sanga. Is such a highly worshipable and desirable thing attained in the course of everyone’s fate? It is said in Sri Caitanya-caritamrita (Madhya-lila 22.54): ‘sadhu-sanga’, ‘sadhu-sanga’ sarva-sastre kaya lava-matra sadhu-sange sarva-siddhi haya The verdict of all revealed scriptures is that by even a moment’s association with a sadhu, one can attain all success. <CENTER>Smearing One’s Body with a Sadhu’s Foot Dust </CENTER>In Srimad-Bhagavatam, Bharata Maharaja speaks as follows to King Rahugana: r ahuganaitat tapasa na yati na cejyaya nirvapanad grihad va na cchandasa naiva jalagni-suryair vina mahat-pada-rajo-’bhishekam Srimad-Bhagavatam (5.12.12) How significant are the words spoken by Bharata Maharaja to King Rahugana. “O Rahugana, you want to know Bhagavan, but He cannot be known by austerity (tapasya), nor by worship, nor by giving up one’s home, nor indeed by living in one’s home. He cannot be known by reciting the Vedas nor by worshiping the demigods such as the Sun-god, Varuna and so on. Why? Because vina mahat-pada-rajo-’bhishekam: as long as one does not smear himself with the foot dust of the mahat, great saintly personalities, one cannot achieve any result by performing all these other activities. So one should first seek the sanga of a great saintly personality, and only when he can smear himself with the foot dust of this personality, can Bhagavan be known to him.” Prahlada Maharaja gave the same instruction to the sons of his guru: naisham matis tavad urukramanghrim sprisaty anarthapagamo yad-arthah mahiyasam pada-rajo-’bhishekam nishkincananam na vrinita yavat Srimad-Bhagavatam (7.5.32) Prahlada Maharaja told the sons of his teacher that they should give up everything. “What benefit can you derive from your father Sukracarya, who you consider a great pandita?” he asked. “His consciousness is unable to touch the lotus feet of Bhagavan, who performs uncommon activities. These lotus feet have the effect of removing a person’s anarthas and awarding him complete perfection. They deliver to him his prayojana, or goal. “So how can we attain Bhagavan? Can everyone attain him? Mahiyasham pada-rajo-’bhishekam: one must smear himself with the dust of the lotus feet of mahat, a saintly personality. Who is such a saintly personality? Niskincananam na vrinita yavat: one who possesses no wealth other than Bhagavan. As long as we do not accept and smear upon our bodies the foot dust of a niskincana mahapurusha, we will achieve nothing at all.” The essence of the whole subject, in the language of my gurupada-padma Srila Bhaktisiddhanta Sarasvati Thakura Prabhupada, is that the jiva’s supreme auspiciousness comes about by hearing hari-katha in sadhu-sanga. This is because sadhusanga is the sole means to attain krishna-bhakti: krishna-bhakti-janma-mula haya ‘sadhu-sanga’ Sri Caitanya-caritamrita (Madhya-lila 22.84) The root cause of bhakti to Sri Krishna is association with sadhus. Hare Krishna. Original Bengali lecture transcribed and translated into English. Audio recording courtesy of the disciples of Sri Srimad Bhakti Pramoda Puri Gosvami Maharaja. Audio recording courtesy of the disciples of Sri Srimad Bhakti-Pramoda Puri Gosvami Maharaja RAYS OF THE HARMONIST No. 12 Gaura Purnima 2003 RAYS OF THE HARMONIST No. 13 Karttika 2003 The Complete article can be read here http://bvml.org/SBSSM/tgoss-NB.html
  12. When a person realizes himself to be an eternal servitor of Krsna, he loses interest in everything but Krsna's service. Always thinking of Krsna, devising means by which to spread the holy name of Krsna, he understands that his only business is in spreading the Krsna consciousness movement all over the world. Such a person is to be recognized as an uttama-adhikari, and his association should be immediately accepted according to the six processes (dadati pratigrhnati, etc.). Indeed, the advanced uttama-adhikari Vaisnava devotee should be accepted as a spiritual master.
  13. TEXT 58 jive saksat nahi tate guru caittya-rupe siksa-guru haya krsna-mahanta-svarupe SYNONYMS jive--by the living entity; saksat--direct experience; nahi--there is not; tate--therefore; guru--the spiritual master; caittya-rupe--in the form of the Supersoul; siksa-guru--the spiritual master who instructs; haya--appears; krsna--Krsna, the Supreme Personality of Godhead; mahanta--the topmost devotee; sva-rupe--in the form of. TRANSLATION Since one cannot visually experience the presence of the Supersoul, He appears before us as a liberated devotee. Such a spiritual master is none other than Krsna Himself. PURPORT It is not possible for a conditioned soul to directly meet Krsna, the Supreme Personality of Godhead, but if one becomes a sincere devotee and seriously engages in devotional service, Lord Krsna sends an instructing spiritual master to show him favor and invoke his dormant propensity for serving the Supreme. The preceptor appears before the external senses of the fortunate conditioned soul, and at the same time the devotee is guided from within by the caittya-guru, Krsna, who is seated as the spiritual master within the heart of the living entity.
  14. Ultrasonic Sound The ability to recognize divinity descends from above. We cannot see God with our mundane senses. What to speak of being able to see the infinite, our senses are so limited that our ears can only hear sound of a particular wavelength. We are told that the sun, the moon, and all the stars and planets are all revolving and creating a huge sound, but our ears cannot hear that high degree of ultrasonic sound. Nor can we hear subsonic sound with our ears. Our eyes are designed to catch only a particular wavelength of light. We cannot see either ultraviolet or infrared light. Our material senses are limited to a particular plane of perception. Student: The guru accepts the responsibility to take his disciples back to godhead. So, when the guru departs, how does the disciple maintain contact with the guru? Srila Sridhara Maharaja: You see, it comes to the same point. Who is guru? And why is he guru? Guru, sastra, and sadhu are one and the same thing, and we have to appreciate that. Otherwise, should we think that our onward march will be guaranteed only by the vision of our eyes? The photo of our spiritual master is not our guru, although the photo has some connection with the real guru. The eye experience and the ear experience of a person is not the whole experience. The real experience is through the words, the idea that the guru has given. That is Krsna consciousness. If I have a real interest in Krsna consciousness, I have to adjust all other things accordingly. Otherwise, if I miss the real thing that the guru came to give me, everything will be dull idol worship. To follow the form alone will be idolatry. There are so many human figures; why is he guru? Because he is a mediator, a medium of divine knowledge. That is the criterion to be tested everywhere. Put this test anywhere and everywhere. What is the interest for which we came to Krsna consciousness? And what is Krsna consciousness? There is your guru. He is guru only because he is in Krsna consciousness, and there are different degrees of Krsna consciousness. So, we must not make much about the form.
  15. <CENTER>TEXT 97 </CENTER><CENTER> surya candra bahirera tamah se vinase bahir-vastu ghata-pata-adi se prakase </CENTER><CENTER>SYNONYMS </CENTER>surya--the sun; candra--the moon; bahirera--of the external world; tamah--darkness; se--they; vinase--destroy; bahih-vastu--external things; ghata--waterpots; pata-adi--plates, etc.; se--they; prakase--reveal. <CENTER>TRANSLATION </CENTER>The sun and moon dissipate the darkness of the external world and thus reveal external material objects like pots and plates. <HR> <CENTER>TEXT 98 </CENTER><CENTER> dui bhai hrdayera ksali' andhakara dui bhagavata-sange karana saksatkara </CENTER><CENTER>SYNONYMS </CENTER>dui--two; bhai--brothers; hrdayera--of the heart; ksali'--purifying; andhakara--darkness; dui bhagavata--of the two bhagavatas; sange--by the association; karana--cause; saksat-kara--a meeting. <CENTER>TRANSLATION </CENTER>But these two brothers [Lord Caitanya and Lord Nityananda] dissipate the darkness of the inner core of the heart, and thus They help one meet the two kinds of bhagavatas [persons or things in relationship with the Personality of Godhead]. <HR> <CENTER>TEXT 99 </CENTER><CENTER> eka bhagavata bada----bhagavata-sastra ara bhagavata----bhakta bhakti-rasa-patra </CENTER><CENTER>SYNONYMS </CENTER>eka--one; bhagavata--in relation to the Supreme Lord; bada--great; bhagavata-sastra--Srimad-Bhagavatam; ara--the other; bhagavata--in relation to the Supreme Lord; bhakta--pure devotee; bhakti-rasa--of the mellow of devotion; patra--the recipient. <CENTER>TRANSLATION </CENTER>One of the bhagavatas is the great scripture Srimad-Bhagavatam, and the other is the pure devotee absorbed in the mellows of loving devotion. <HR> <CENTER>TEXT 100 </CENTER><CENTER> dui bhagavata dvara diya bhakti-rasa tanhara hrdaye tanra preme haya vasa </CENTER><CENTER>SYNONYMS </CENTER>dui--two; bhagavata--the bhagavatas; dvara--by; diya--giving; bhakti-rasa--devotional inspiration; tanhara--of His devotee; hrdaye--in the heart; tanra--his; preme--by the love; haya--becomes; vasa--under control. <CENTER>TRANSLATION </CENTER>Through the actions of these two bhagavatas the Lord instills the mellows of transcendental loving service into the heart of a living being, and thus the Lord, in the heart of His devotee, comes under the control of the devotee's love. <HR> <CENTER>TEXT 101 </CENTER><CENTER> eka adbhuta----sama-kale donhara prakasa ara adbhuta----citta-guhara tamah kare nasa </CENTER><CENTER>SYNONYMS </CENTER>eka--one; adbhuta--wonderful thing; sama-kale--at the same time; donhara--of both; prakasa--the manifestation; ara--the other; adbhuta--wonderful thing; citta-guhara--of the core of the heart; tamah--darkness; kare--do; nasa--destruction. <CENTER>TRANSLATION </CENTER>The first wonder is that both brothers appear simultaneously, and the other is that They illuminate the innermost depths of the heart.
  16. Types of Discussions In the Priti-sandarbha, Srila Jiva Goswami explains why. He says there are three types of discussions- vada, jalpa, and vitanda. In a vada discussion the motive of all concerned is to find out the truth. This is the ideal kind of discussion. It is for persons who are sober and impartial about the outcome; they simply want to know what is the truth of the matter. They are in the mode of goodness. Jalpa is a discussion wherein one is not interested in what is said by others, whether it has some truth or all of the truth, because one simply wants to be heard. Any other view or contribution is of no interest. This is the way for a person in the mode of passion. A vitanda discussion is in the mode of ignorance. In this version the truth is of no value. One simply wants to win at all cost. Excerpt from introduction to In Vaikuntha not even the leaves fall By Satya Narayana Dasa & Kundali Dasa
  17. http://bvml.org/SBRSM/holyname.html
  18. Cudamani: Look here, the provision found in our sastras for determining caste by birth seems to me to be superior. One who has taken birth in a brahmana family comes to the platform of knowledge by regular practice of sandhya-vandana, and in the end he is destined to obtain liberation. I cannot understand how sraddha develops. Bhagavad-gita and Srimad-Bhagavatam explain that Bhakti arises from sraddha, but I would like to know clearly what the jiva should do to attain this sraddha.<?xml:namespace prefix = o ns = "urn:schemas-microsoft-com:" /><o:p></o:p> Vaisnava dasa: Sraddha is the jiva’s nitya-svabhava (eternal nature), but faith in the performance of varnasrama duties does not arise from this eternal nature; rather it arises from naimittika-svabhava<o:p></o:p> (the circumstantial or temporary nature). It is said in the Chandogya Upanisad (7.19.1):<o:p></o:p> <o:p></o:p> yada vai sraddadhaty atha manute, nasraddadhan manute,<o:p></o:p> sraddadhad eva manute, sraddha tv eva vijijnasitavyeti<o:p></o:p> sraddham bhagavo vijijnasa iti<o:p></o:p> <o:p></o:p> Sanat-kumara said, “When a person develops sraddha, he think about a subject and understand it, whereas one cannot do so without sraddha. Indeed only a person who has sraddha can reflect upon anything. Therefore you must inquire very specifically about sraddha.” Narada said, “O Master, I particularly wish to know about this sraddha.”<o:p></o:p> <o:p></o:p> Some people who are learned in the conclusions of the sastras have explained that the word sraddha means to have faith in the Vedas and in the words of sri-guru. This meaning is not wrong, but it is not entirely clear. In our sampradaya the meaning of the word sraddha is given as follows:<o:p></o:p> <o:p></o:p> sraddha tv anyopaya-varjam<o:p></o:p> bhakty-unmukhi citta-vrtti-visesah<o:p></o:p> <o:p></o:p> Sraddha is the characteristic function of the heart that<o:p></o:p> strives toward bhakti alone, which is totally devoid of karma<o:p></o:p> jnana, and which desires nothing other than the exclusive<o:p></o:p> pleasure of Krsna. (Amnaya-sutra 57) <o:p></o:p> <o:p></o:p> When the sadhaka regularly hears the instructions of sadhus in the association of suddha-bhaktas, a conviction arises in his heart that he cannot obtain his eternal welfare by the methods of karma, jnana, yoga, and so on, and that he has no means of success unless he takes exclusive shelter at the lotus feet of Sri Hari. When this conviction appears, it may be understood that sraddha has arisen in the sadhaka’s heart. The nature of sraddha is described as follows:<o:p></o:p> <o:p></o:p> sa ca saranapatti-laksana<o:p></o:p> <o:p></o:p> Sraddha is characterized by its external symptom known as<o:p></o:p> saranagati, surrender to Sri Hari. (Amnaya-sutra 58) <o:p></o:p> <o:p></o:p> Saranagati is described in these words.<o:p></o:p> <o:p></o:p> anukulyasya sankalpah pratikulyasya varjanam<o:p></o:p> raksisyatiti visvaso goptrtve varanam tatha<o:p></o:p> atma-niksepa-karpanye sad-vidha saranagatih<o:p></o:p> (Hari-bhakti-vilasa 11.47)<o:p></o:p> <o:p></o:p> There are six symptoms of self-surrender. The first two are anukulyasya sankalpa and pratikulyasya varjanam: “I will only do that which is favorable for unalloyed bhakti, and I will reject all that is unfavorable.” This is called sankalpa or pratijna, a solemn vow. The third symptom is raksisyatiti visvaso, faith in Bhagavan as one’s protector: “Bhagavan is my only protector. I can derive absolutely no<o:p></o:p> benefit from jnana, yoga, and other such practices.” This is an expression of trust (visvasa). The fourth symptom is goptrtve varanam, deliberate acceptance of Bhagavan as one’s maintainer: “I cannot obtain anything, or even maintain myself, by my own endeavor. I will serve Bhagavan as far as I am able, and He will take care of me.” This is what is meant by dependence (nirbharata). The fifth symptom is atma-niksepa, surrender: “Who am I? I am His. My duty is to fulfill His desire.” This is submission of the self (atma-nivedana). The sixth symptom is karpanye, meekness: “I am wretched, insignificant, and materially destitute.” This is what is meant by humility (karpanya or dainya).<o:p></o:p> When these moods become established in the heart, a disposition arises that is called sraddha. A jiva who has this sraddha is eligible for bhakti, and this is the first stage in the development of the svabhava like that of those pure jivas who are eternally liberated. Therefore this is the nitya-svabhava of the jivas, and all other svabhavas are naimittika.<o:p></o:p> Cudamani: I understand. But you still have not explained how sraddha developes. If sraddha develops from sat-karma, virtuous deeds, then my argument is still stronger, because sraddha cannot arise without properly performing the sat-karma and svadharma of varnasrama. Muslims do not perform sat-karma, so how can they be eligible for bhakti?<o:p></o:p> Vaisnava dasa: It is a fact that sraddha arises from sukrti, pious deeds. It is stated in the Brhan-Naradiya-Purana (4.33).<o:p></o:p> <o:p></o:p> bhaktis tu bhagavad-bhakta-sangena parijayate<o:p></o:p> sat-sangah prapyate pumbhih sukrtaih purva-sancitaih<o:p></o:p> <o:p></o:p> The inclination for bhakti is awakened by association with<o:p></o:p> Bhagavan’s bhaktas. The jiva obtains the association of<o:p></o:p> suddha-bhaktas by the accumulated effect of spiritually pious<o:p></o:p> activities performed over many lifetimes. <o:p></o:p> <o:p></o:p> There are two types of sukrti: nitya and naimittika. The sukrti by which one obtains sadhu-sanga and bhakti is nitya-sukrti. The sukrti by which one obtains material enjoyment and impersonal liberation<o:p></o:p> is naimittika-sukrti. Sukrti which bears eternal fruit is nityasukrti. Sukrti which bears temporary results which are dependentupon some cause is naimittika or anitya-sukrti.<o:p></o:p> All types of material enjoyment are non-eternal because they clearly depend on some cause. Many people think that mukti is eternal, but this is only because they do not know the actual nature of mukti. The individual atma (soul) is suddha (pure), nitya (eternal), and sanatana (primeval). The cause (nimitta) of the jivatma’s bondage is association with maya, and mukti is the complete dissolution of this bondage. The act of deliverance or release from bondage is accomplished in a single moment, so the act of release is not in itself an eternal action. All consideration of mukti ends as soon as emancipation is attained, so mukti is nothing more than the destruction of a material cause. Therefore, since mukti is only the negation of a temporary material cause, it is also naimittika, causal and temporary.<o:p></o:p> On the other hand, rati, or attachment, for the feet of Sri Hari never ends once it is established in the heart of the jiva. Therefore, this rati or bhakti is nitya-dharma, and if we analyse its practices (angas) correctly, none of them can be said to be naimittika. The type of bhakti that terminates at the point that it bestows mukti is only a type of naimittika-karma, while bhakti that is present before, during and after mukti is a distinct and eternal truth, and it is the nitya-dharma of the jivas. Mukti is but an irrelevant, secondary result of bhakti. It is said in the Mundaka Upanisad (1.2.12):<o:p></o:p> <o:p></o:p> pariksya lokan karma-citan brahmano<o:p></o:p> nirvedam ayan nasty akrtah krtena<o:p></o:p> tad-vijnanartham sa gurum evabhigacchet<o:p></o:p> samit-panih srotriyam brahma-nistham<o:p></o:p> <o:p></o:p> A brahmana who has exhaustively studied the sastras will become disinterested in the performance of karma by carefully examining the temporary, impure and miserable nature of Svarga-loka and the other celestial planets which are attainable by performing material pious deeds. This is because the nitya-vastu, Bhagavan cannot be obtained by worldy karma, for He is beyond the reach of karma. To<o:p></o:p> gain factual knowledge and realization of that eternal supreme Person, one should find a qualified guru who is learned in the Vedas, who is firmly established in the service of Bhagavan, and who knows the Absolute Truth. One should then approach that guru carrying wood for kindling a sacrificial fire, and should surrender body, mind, and words to him with faith and humility.<o:p></o:p> <o:p></o:p> Karma, yoga, and jnana all produce naimittika-sukrti. Bhaktasanga, the association of bhaktas, and bhakti-kriya-sanga, contact with acts of devotion, produce nitya-sukrti. Only one who has accumulated nitya-sukrti over many lifetimes will develop sraddha. Naimittika-sukrti produces many different results, but it will not lead to the development of faith in unalloyed bhakti.<o:p></o:p> Cudamani: Please explain clearly what you mean by bhakta-sanga and bhakti-kriya-sanga (contact with acts of devotion). From whattype of sukrti do these arise?<o:p></o:p> Vaisnava dasa: Bhakta-sanga means conversing with suddha-bhaktas, serving them, and hearing their discourses. Suddha-bhaktas perform the activities of bhakti such as public congregational chanting of sri-nama. Participation in these activities or performing them on one’s own is called bhakti-kriya-sanga, contact with acts of devotion.<o:p></o:p> In the sastras, activities such as cleansing the temple of Sri Hari, offering a lamp to Tulasi, and observing Hari-vasara (Ekadasi, Janmastami, Rama-navami, and other such days) are called bhaktikriya.<o:p></o:p> Even if one performs them accidentally or without pure sraddha, they still create bhakti-posaka sukrti, virtue that nourishes devotion. When this sukrti acquires strength after many lifetimes, sraddha for sadhu-sanga and ananya-bhakti (exclusive devotion) develops.<o:p></o:p> It must be acknowledged that every vastu, substance, has some particular potency which is known as vastu-sakti, the inherent potency of that substance. The potency to nourish bhakti is found only within the activities of bhakti. These activities produce sukrti even if they are performed indifferently, what to speak when they are being performed with faith. This is expressed in the Prabhasakhanda quoted in Hari-bhakti-vilasa (11.451):<o:p></o:p> <o:p></o:p> madhura-madhuram etan mangalam mangalanam<o:p></o:p> sakala-nigama-valli-sat-phalam cit-svarupam<o:p></o:p> sakrd api parigitam sraddhaya helaya va<o:p></o:p> bhrgu-vara nara-matram tarayet krsna-nama<o:p></o:p> <o:p></o:p> Sri-krsna nama is the sweetest among all things that are sweet, and it stands supreme amongst all that is auspicious.It is the eternal, fully ripened spiritual fruit of the wishfulfilling tree of the Vedas. O best of the Bhrgus, if anyone even once offenselessly chants sri-krsna nama, either with faith or indifference, sri-krsna nama immediately delivers that person from the ocean of material existence.<o:p></o:p> <o:p></o:p> Thus, all types of sukrti that nourish bhakti are nitya-sukrti. When this sukrti becomes strong, one gradually develops sraddha in ananya-bhakti (unalloyed bhakti), and one attains sadhu-sanga. Birth in a Muslim family is the result of naimittika-duskrti, or temporary impious deeds, whereas faith in ananya-bhakti is the result of nitya-sukrti, eternal pious deeds. What is surprising about this?<o:p></o:p>
  19. The Fire has Come to Test Us What we have received from our spiritual master we understood only in a rough estimation. Now, things have come in such a way that we have to scrutinize ourselves in every position. We have to analyze ourselves.Atma-niksepa, self-analysis has begun. We are under trial. What we have received from our spiritual master, in what way have we received it? Properly, or only showingly? The time has come to purify us, to test whether we are real students, real disciples, or his disciples only in face and confession. What is the position of a real disciple? If we live in a society, what is the depth of our creed? In what attitude have we accepted his teachings? How deep-rooted is it within us? The fire has come to test whether we can stand. Is our acceptance real? Or is it a sham, an imitation? This fire will prove that. So, this is the real field of sadhana, or practice. Our practice, our advancement needs these difficulties. Otherwise, we may not know what is progress, and we will become hypocrites, and give the adulterated thing to others. So, to purify ourselves, it is necessary that so many disturbances come. And God has no error. He commands the environment. It is not our responsibility. The responsibility of the environment does not rest upon us. If I am sincere, then I have to adjust myself with this environment and put my faith before Him. "Everyone may leave me, but I shall stand alone!" With this attitude we must march on, whatever the circumstances may be. Then the recognition may come in my favor, that "Yes, under such trying circumstances he is still there." Our superiors will be pleased with us. The relative and absolute considerations are always coming in clash. The absolute should be accepted and the relative sacrificed. Still the relative is necessary. After graduation from primary school another teacher is accepted for higher education, but that does not mean that the primary teacher is neglected or insulted. For our own interest, whatever we find which is akin to what was given to us by our guru maharaja, whatever we find that will enlighten us further, and whatever will help us to understand more clearly what we heard from our guru maharaja, must be accepted. Is my realization a living thing, or is it dead? Anyone who has come in connection with the infinite cannot but say this: "I am nothing." That should be the salient point. We have left all social concerns and so many other shackles. For what? For the Absolute Truth. And wherever I shall find that, I must bow down my head. And if a great soul shows us, "This is the path to where you will find your thirst quenched. The line is in this zigzag way," we must accept that for our own interest. We are worshipers not of this form, but of substance. Wherever I feel the presence of my Lord in an intense form, I must be attracted to that side. Krsna says, sarva dharman parityajya mam ekam saranam vraja. Wherever we shall find Him, we must run in that direction. My interest is with Him. Not that we can challenge, "Why did Krsna appear here, and why is He appearing there?" If a man in a boat is passing through the current and finds himself in danger, then from whatever side help may come, he must run to that side. If we are worshipers of Siva, when we understand the special superiority of Narayana, should we stick to Siva? And then Krsna? In the Brhad-bhagavatamrta the story is told of how Gopa-kumara, by chanting his Gopala mantra, gradually leaves one stage and progresses to the next. There, the gradation of devotion is traced from the karma-kanda brahmana, to a devotee king, then to Indra, then to Brahma, then to Siva, from him to Prahlada, then to Hanuman, then the Pandavas, then to the Yadavas, to Uddhava, and finally the gopis. In this zigzag way he is passing. In the sincerity of his quest, his thirst is not being quenched until he goes to Vrndavana. So, the Brhad-bhagavatamrta has shown us the line of guru parampara, or the real line of our quest, of our search.
  20. Srimad Bhagavatam tat te 'nukampam susamiksamano bhunjana evatma-krtam vipakam hrd-vag-vapurbhir vidhadhan namas te jiveta yo mukti-pade sa daya bhak Srimad-Bhagavatam (10.14.8) gives us a most hopeful suggestion for all stages of life: blame yourself and no one else. Maintain your appreciation for the Lord, seeing everything as His grace. At present we think our circumstances undesirable because they do not suit our present taste. But medicine may not always suit the taste of the patient. Still it is conducive to health. This verse is the highest type of regulation given by the sastra. If you can follow this law, then in no time you will have a very good position. We must be careful not to blame the circumstances, but to appreciate that Krsna is behind everything. Krsna is my best friend; He is in the background of everything. Everything is passing through His attentive eyes. So therecannot be any defect there. Even Srimati Radharani says, "He is not to blame. This long separation from Krsna is only the outcome of My fate. He should not blamed for this." Although outwardly it is admitted by all that He had cruelly left the gopis, Radharani is not prepared to blame Krsna. "No wrong can be found in Him," She thinks. "There must be something wrong in Me which has brought about this unfortunate situation." The competition between the groups of gopis in the service of Krsna is also harmonized in this way by Radharani. Krsnadasa Kaviraja Goswami has explained this most important point. According to him, it is not that Radharani does not like any other party to serve Krsna in competition with Her, but She feels that they cannot satisfy Krsna as well as She can. And this should be noted very carefully. She knows that they cannot give proper satisfaction to Krsna, so She cannot appreciate their trying to take Her place. That is Her contention. She thinks, "If they could serve Krsna well and fully satisfy Him, I would have no complaint. But they can't. And still, aggressively they come to serve? I can't tolerate this." The Brahmin Leper Kaviraja Goswami has cited as an example of this sort of devotion a historical reference from the Puranas. There was once a chaste wife whose brahmana husband was a leper. She always tried her best to serve Him. One day, while she was bathing her husband at a holy river, he became infatuated with the extraordinary beauty of a prostitute by the name Laksahira. Her name indicated that she possessed the luster and beauty of a hundred thousand diamonds. The leper brahmana was irresistibly charmed by her. Upon returning home, his chaste wife detected some dissatisfaction within her husband, and inquired, "Why are you so unhappy?" Her husband replied, "I felt some attraction for the beauty of that prostitute. And I can't take my mind off her.Oh. You want her?" "Yes. I do.Then I shall try to make the arrangement." Then, because she was poor, the chaste lady, although a qualified brahmana, began to go to the house of the prostitute every day and work as a maidservant. Although she was aristocratic by birth, she accepted the work of a maidservant without any remuneration. And she did her duties so diligently that she attracted the attention of the prostitute, the mistress of the house, who began to inquire. "Who cleans everything so neatly and beautifully?" And she came to know that a brahmana lady was coming every morning and performing many menial tasks. The other attendants said, "We tried to stop her, but she would not hear of it. She wants to meet you." The mistress replied, "All right. Tomorrow, you may bring her to me." Then, the next morning, when she was taken to the prostitute, the brahmana lady expressed her inner motive. "My husband is so attracted to you that it is my desire that you may satisfy him. It is my concern as his devout wife that he be satisfied, and this is his aspiration. So I want to see him happy." Then the prostitute understood everything and said, "Yes. Bring him tomorrow. I invite both of you to dine in my house." This was intimated to the brahmana and the following day they came. Many dishes were prepared fitting the occasion. Two entrees were served. One was prasadam on a plantain leaf accompanied by Ganges water in an earthen pot - all pure vegetarian food. Side by side with that in gold and silver pots were so many meats and rich dishes. They were served with a very nice table arrangement and sitting places. Of the two kinds of foodstuffs, one was sattvik, pure, and the other was rajasik, filled with passion. Then, with folded palms, the prostitute invited the brahmana and his wife and indicated, "This is bhagavataprasadam, and those are rich dishes prepared with meat. Whichever you like you may take at your sweet will."Immediately the leper brahmana chose the prasadam, and began to take his meal. After he had finished taking prasadam, the prostitute said, "Your wife is like this prasadam - sattvik - and all these rajasik things - meat, rich dishes, gold, silver - this is like me. I am so low and your wife is the purest of the pure. Your real taste is for this sattvik prasadam. Externally, the meat is very gorgeous, but internally it is very impure, filthy. And therefore you are repulsed by it. So why have you come here to me?" Then the brahmana came to his senses. "Yes, I am wrong. God has sent a message to me through you. My fleeting desire has ended and now I am satisfied. You are my guru!" Kaviraja Goswami has quoted this in the Caitanya-caritamrta. The chaste lady went to serve the prostitute. Why? For the satisfaction of her husband. So Radharani says, "I am ready to serve those in the opposition camp, if they can really satisfy My Lord. I am completely ready to serve them if they can really satisfy Krsna. But they can't. Yet still they have some demand. But I differ on that point. It is not that I am concerned that My share is being lessened. That is not My attitude. Whenever any unfavorable circumstances come, I think it is always coming from within Me (durdaiva vilasa); I don't find anything corrupt to be traced outside." That should be the attitude of a true devotee of Krsna. With this attitude, we shall be able to see within ourselves that everything is ultimately part of the absolute good. Although it is not very easy, still,our energy should be devoted only to collect good will from external circumstances. In this way we should take care to see things in such away as to purify our own position. Deep Vision Reality And so, we are encouraged by Srimad-Bhagavatam to look deeper.We must try to look deeper and then we will find our friend; if we are liberal in our attitude towards the environment, we cannot but come in connection with the plane which is really liberal. That is Krsna consciousness in its ultimate reach. If we look deeply into reality with this sort of vision, we will find our real home. Prahlada boldly met all adverse circumstances and ultimately he was victorious. The calculation of Prahlada's demonic father about the environment was falsified, but Prahlada's deeper vision saw reality correctly. He saw that Krsna is everywhere. And Krsna consciousness is commanding the whole. So we must not allow ourselves to be discouraged under any circumstances, however acute they may apparently seem to us. Krsna is there. As much as the circumstances appear to oppose us, it is really not so. If only we can develop the right vision, the smiling face of the Lord will appear from behind the screen. That is Krsna consciousness. Krsna is beautiful, and He is eagerly awaiting to accept our services. God And His Men Our inner wealth can be discovered only by the help of sadhu, guru, and scripture. Our vision should be that it is all nectar, but we have drawn a screen between the nectar and ourselves and are tasting poison, thinking that it is very useful. On the whole, we must think that no blame is to be put on others, and it is actually the truth. We are responsible for our disgrace, our fallen condition. And the path to self-improvement is also similar: we must learn to critique ourselves and appreciate the environment. Our appreciation should especially be for Krsna and His devotees, and then gradually everyone else. He has not given anyone the authority to harm us. If it appears that way, it is only superficial and misleading. That anyone can do harm to anyone else is misleading. It is only true on the superficial plane. Of course, this does not condone harming others or ignoring oppression, but from the absolute standpoint there is no harm. When we reach the highest stage of devotion, we shall see that everything is friendly and that our apprehension was wrong. It was a misconception. Misconception: maya means "what is not" (mriyate anaya). When everything is measured from the standpoint of selfishness and not the universal interest - that is the cause of all our troubles. We must gradually realize, "My angle of vision was guided by selfish, not absolute, consideration. So I am suffering. But now I have come to understand that my interest is included in the absolute interest." To parody an old saying, "A bad workman quarrels with his stools." According to our karma we produce the environment. What I am blaming was produced by my own karma. When I take food, stool comes as a natural reaction. It would be foolish to blame the stool for appearing. It is the effect of my having eaten. In the same way, I have acted in different ways, and the karmic result is my present environment. So to quarrel with the reaction to our own misdeeds is a useless waste of energy. The advice of Srimad-Bhagavatam should be our guiding principle under all circumstances. Whatever is coming to us is under His sanction, under His eye, so it cannot but be good. Everything is perfect. The only imperfection is within us, and therefore we should try with all our energy to do our duty. In no time, we shall find ourselves released from all troubles. That is the key advice of the Srimad-Bhagavatam.
  21. Yadava dasa: If grhastha-bhaktas are so highly respected and dear to everyone, why do some of them renounce household life?<?xml:namespace prefix = o ns = "urn:schemas-microsoft-com:" /><o:p></o:p> Ananta dasa: Some grhastha-bhaktas are eligible to renounce their household life, but such Vaisnavas are very few in this world, and their association is rare.<o:p></o:p> Yadava dasa: Kindly explain how one becomes eligible to renounce household life.<o:p></o:p> Ananta dasa: Human beings have two tendencies: bahirmukhapravrtti, the outward tendency; and antarmukha-pavrtti, the inward tendency. The Vedas refer to these two tendencies as being focused outwards towards the external world and focused inwards towards the soul.<o:p></o:p> When the pure spiritual soul forgets his true identity, he falsely identifies the mind as the self, although the mind is really only a part of the subtle material body. Having identified with the mind in this way, the soul takes assistance from the doorways of the senses, and becomes attracted to the external sense objects. This is the outward tendency. The inward tendency<o:p></o:p> is exhibited when the stream of consciousness reverts from gross matter back into the mind, and from there to the soul proper.<o:p></o:p> One whose tendency is predominantly outward must conduct all external tendencies offenselessly with Krsna at the center, through the strength of sadhu-sanga. If one takes shelter of krsnabhakti, these outward tendencies are quickly curtailed and converted to the inward tendency. When the direction of one’s tendency is completely inward, the eligibility to renounce household<o:p></o:p> life is born, but if one gives up household life before this stage is reached, there is a significant danger of falling down again. The grhastha-asrama is a special school where the jivas may receive instructions regarding atma-tattva, spiritual truth, and be given the opportunity to develop their realization of such matters. They may leave the school when their education is complete.<o:p></o:p> Yadava dasa: What are the symptoms of a bhakta who is eligible to give up household life?<o:p></o:p> Ananta dasa: He should be free from the desire to associate with the opposite sex; he should have unrestricted mercy toward all living entities; he should be completely indifferent towards endeavors to accumulate wealth, and he should strive only in times of need to acquire food and clothing suitable for maintaining himself. He should have unconditional love for Sri Krsna; should shun the association of materialists; and should be free from attachment and aversion in life and death. Srimad-Bhagavatam (11.2.45) describes these symptoms as follows:<o:p></o:p> <o:p></o:p> sarva-bhutesu yah pasyed bhagavad-bhavam atmanah<o:p></o:p> bhutani bhagavaty atmany esa bhagavatottamah<o:p></o:p> <o:p></o:p> One who sees his own mood of attraction for Sri Krsnacandra, the Soul of all <o:p></o:p> souls, in all jivas, and who also sees all living entities residing within the shelter <o:p></o:p> of Sri Krsna, is an uttama-bhagavata.<o:p></o:p> <o:p></o:p> In Srimad-Bhagavatam (3.25.22), Bhagavan Kapiladeva describes the primary characteristics of sadhus:<o:p></o:p> <o:p></o:p> mayy ananyena bhavena bhaktim kurvanti ye drdham<o:p></o:p> mat-krte tyakta-karmanas tyakta-svajana-bandhavah<o:p></o:p> <o:p></o:p> Those who worship no one but Me, and who thereforeengage in firm and <o:p></o:p> exclusive devotion unto Me, give up everything for My sake, including all <o:p></o:p> duties prescribed in varnasrama-dharma and all relationships with their wives,<o:p></o:p> children, friends, and relatives.<o:p></o:p> <o:p></o:p> It is also stated in Srimad-Bhagavatam (11.2.55):<o:p></o:p> <o:p></o:p> visrjati hrdayam na yasya saksaddharir<o:p></o:p> avasabhihito ‘py aghaugha-nasah<o:p></o:p> pranaya-rasanaya dhrtanghri-padmah<o:p></o:p> sa bhavati bhagavata-pradhana uktah<o:p></o:p> <o:p></o:p> If one utters, even without intent, sri-hari-nama in an offenseless mood, <o:p></o:p> at once heaps of sins accumulated through many lifetimes, are destroyed. <o:p></o:p> Such a person thereby binds Sri Hari’s lotus feet within his heart with ropes <o:p></o:p> of love and is considered the best of bhaktas.<o:p></o:p> <o:p></o:p> When these symptoms are manifest in a grhastha-bhakta, he is no longer suited for engagement in karma, and he therefore renounces household life. Such nirapeksa-bhaktas (renunciants) are rare, and one should consider himself extremely fortunate to attain their association.<o:p></o:p> Yadava dasa: These days, young men often renounce household life and adopt the dress of the renounced order. They establish a place for sadhus to congregate, and begin to worship the Deity of the Lord. After some time, they fall into association with women again, but do not give up chanting hari-nama. They maintain their hermitage by collecting alms from many places. Are such men tyagis or grhastha-bhaktas?<o:p></o:p> Ananta dasa: Your question raises several issues at once, but I will answer them one by one. First of all, eligibility to renounce household life has nothing to do with youth or old age. Some grhasthabhaktas are qualified by the samskaras acquired in this life and previous lives to give up household life even while they are young. For example, Sukadeva’s previous samskaras enabled him to renounce household life from the moment of birth. One should only see that this eligibility is not artificial. If real detachment awakens, then youth is not an impediment.<o:p></o:p> Yadava dasa: What is real renunciation and what is false renunciation?<o:p></o:p> Ananta dasa: Real renunciation is so firm that it can never be broken at any time. False renunciation arises from deception, dishonesty, and the desire for prestige. Some people make a false show of renunciation to gain the respect that is offered to nirapeksa-bhaktas who have given up household life, but such false detachment is futile and completely inauspicious. As soon as such a person leaves home, the symptoms of his eligibility for detachment disappear, and depravity sets in.<o:p></o:p> Yadava dasa: Does a bhakta who has given up household life need to adopt the external dress of a renunciant?<o:p></o:p> Ananta dasa: Nirapeksa-akincana-bhaktas who have firmly renounced the spirit of enjoyment purify the entire world, whether they live in the forest or remain at home. Some of them accept a<o:p></o:p> loincloth and worn and torn clothes as external signs to identify them as members of the renounced order. At the time of accepting this attire, they strengthen their resolve by taking a firm vow in the presence of other Vaisnavas who are in the renounced order. This is called entrance into the renounced order, or the acceptance of appropriate garments for renunciation. If you refer to this as bheka-grahana or vesa-grahana, the acceptance of the dress of renunciation, then what is the harm?<o:p></o:p> Yadava dasa: What is the purpose of being identified by the signs of the renounced order?<o:p></o:p> Ananta dasa: It is very helpful to be identified as a member of the renounced order. A renunciant’s family members will no longer maintain a relationship with him, and will easily give him up. He will no longer desire to enter his house, and a natural detachment will awaken in his heart, with a consequent fear of materialistic society. It is beneficial for some bhaktas to accept the outward signs of renunciation, though this may not be necessary if detachment from household life is fully matured. It is said in the Srimad-Bhagavatam (4.29.46): sa jahati matim loke vede ca parinisthitam, “A bhakta who has received the mercy of Bhagavan gives up attachment for all worldly activities, and for all ritualistic duties prescribed in the Vedas.”<o:p></o:p> There is no injunction for such bhaktas to accept the outward dress of renunciation. It is necessary only as long as there is some dependence on public consideration.<o:p></o:p> Yadava dasa: From whom should one accept the renounced order?<o:p></o:p> Ananta dasa: One should accept the renounced order from a Vaisnava who is situated in the renounced order. Grhastha-bhaktas have no experience of the behavior of renounced bhaktas, so they should not initiate anyone into the renounced order. The following statement of the Brahma-vaivarta Purana confirms this:<o:p></o:p> <o:p></o:p> apariksyopadistam yat loka-nasaya tad bhavet<o:p></o:p> <o:p></o:p> One brings ruination to the world if he instructs others in religious principles that he himself does not follow.<o:p></o:p> <o:p></o:p> Yadava dasa: What criteria should a guru use to offer initiation into the renounced order?<o:p></o:p> Ananta dasa: The guru must first consider wether or not the disciple is qualified. He should see if the grhastha-bhakta, on the strength of krsna-bhakti, has acquired a spiritual temperament characterized by qualities such as full control of the mind and senses. Has the hankering for wealth and the satisfaction of the tongue been uprooted or not? The guru should keep the disciple with him for some time in order to examine him thoroughly, and he may initiate him into the renounced order when he finds that he is a suitable candidate. Under no circumstances should he offer initiation prior to this. If the guru offers initiation to a person who is unqualified, he will certainly fall down himself.<o:p></o:p> Yadava dasa: Now I see that it is no light matter to accept the renounced order; it is a serious undertaking. Unqualified gurus are turning this practice into a common affair. It has only just begun, and there is no telling where it will end.<o:p></o:p> Ananta dasa: Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu severely punished Chota Haridasa for a completely insignificant fault, just to protect the sanctity of the renounced order. The followers of our Lord should always remember the punishment of Chota Haridasa.<o:p></o:p> Yadava dasa: Is it proper to construct a monastery and establish the worship of a Deity after one has entered the renounced order?<o:p></o:p> Ananta dasa: No. A qualified disciple who has entered the renounced order should maintain his existence by begging every day. He should not involve himself in constructing a monastery or in<o:p></o:p> other grand enterprises. He can live anywhere, either in a secluded hut or in the temple of a householder. He should remain aloof from all affairs that require money, and he should constantly chant sri-hari-nama without offense.<o:p></o:p> Yadava dasa: What do you call renunciants who set up a monastery and then live like householders?<o:p></o:p> Ananta dasa: They may be called vantasi (those who eat their own vomit).<o:p></o:p> Yadava dasa: Then are they no longer to be considered Vaisnavas?<o:p></o:p> Ananta dasa: What benefit is there in their association when their behavior is contrary to sastra and vaisnava-dharma? They have given up pure bhakti, and have adopted a hypocritical lifestyle. What relationship could a Vaisnava have with such people?<o:p></o:p> Yadava dasa: How can one say that they have given up Vaisnavism, as long as they don’t give up the chanting of hari-nama?<o:p></o:p> Ananta dasa: Hari-nama and nama-aparadha are two different things. Pure hari-nama is quite distinct from offensive chanting that only has the external appearance of hari-nama. It is an offense to commit sins on the strength of chanting sri-nama. If one chants sri-nama and at the same time commits sinful activities, thinking that the power of sri-nama will exempt him from sinful reactions, he is committing nama-aparadha. This is not suddha-hari-nama, and one should flee far away from such offensive chanting.<o:p></o:p> Yadava dasa: Then is the domestic life of such people not to be considered Krsna-centered?<o:p></o:p> “Never,” Ananta dasa firmly said. “There is no room for hypocrisy in a Krsna-centered domestic life. There can only be complete honesty and simplicity, with no trace of offense.”<o:p></o:p> Yadava dasa: Is such a person inferior to a grhastha-bhakta?<o:p></o:p> Ananta dasa: He is not even a devotee, so there is no question of comparing him with any bhakta.<o:p></o:p> Yadava dasa: How may he be rectified?<o:p></o:p> Ananta dasa: He will be counted amongst the bhaktas again when he gives up all these offenses, constantly chants sri-nama, and sheds tears of repentance.<o:p></o:p> Yadava dasa: Babaji Mahasaya, grhastha-bhaktas are situated under the rules and regulations of varnasrama-dharma. If a grhastha is excluded from varnasrama-dharma, is he not barred from becoming a Vaisnava?<o:p></o:p> Ananta dasa: Ah! Vaisnava-dharma is very liberal. All jivas have the right to vaisnava-dharma; that is why it is also known as jaivadharma. Even outcastes can take up vaisnava-dharma and live as grhasthas, although they are not part of varnasrama. Moreover, people who have accepted sannyasa within varnasrama, and have then fallen from their position, may later adopt pure bhakti by the influence of sadhu-sanga. Such people can become grhastha-bhaktas, although they are also outside the jurisdiction of varnasrama regulations. There are others who abandon varnasrama-dharma due to their misdeeds. If they and their children take shelter of suddha-bhakti by the influence of sadhu-sanga, they may become grhastha-bhaktas, although they are also outside varnasrama. So we see that there are two kinds of grhastha-bhaktas: one who is part of varnasrama and one who is excluded from varnasrama.<o:p></o:p> Yadava dasa: Which is superior of these two?<o:p></o:p> Ananta dasa: Whoever has the most bhakti is superior. If neither has any bhakti, then the person who is following varnasrama is superior from the vyavaharika, or relative, point of view, because at least he has some religious principles, whereas the other is an outcaste with no religious principles. However, from the paramarthika, or absolute, spiritual perspective, both of them are<o:p></o:p> fallen because they have no bhakti.<o:p></o:p> Yadava dasa: Does a grhastha have the right to wear the garments of a mendicant while he is still a householder?<o:p></o:p> Ananta dasa: No. If he does, he is guilty on two counts: he cheats himself and he cheats the world. If a grhastha adopts the dress of a mendicant, he simply affronts and ridicules genuine mendicants who wear the dress of the renounced order.<o:p></o:p> <o:p></o:p> Yadava dasa: Babaji Mahasaya, do the sastras describe any system for accepting the renounced order?<o:p></o:p> Ananta dasa: It is not clearly described. People of all castes can become Vaisnavas, but according to sastra, only those who are twice born can accept sannyasa. In Srimad-Bhagavatam (7.11.35), Narada describes the separate characteristics of each of the different varnas, and then concludes with this statement:<o:p></o:p> <o:p></o:p> yasya yal-laksanam proktam pumso varnabhivyanjakam<o:p></o:p> yad anyatrapi drsyeta tat tenaiva vinirdiset<o:p></o:p> <o:p></o:p> A person should be considered to belong to the varna whose characteristics <o:p></o:p> he possesses, even if he has appeared in a different caste.<o:p></o:p> <o:p></o:p> The practice of offering sannyasa to men who, although born of other castes, possess the symptoms of brahmanas, is occurring on the basis of this verdict of the sastras. If a man born of a different caste truly possesses the symptoms of a brahmana and is given sannyasa, then it must be avowed that this system is approved by sastra.<o:p></o:p> This verdict of the sastras supports the practice of offering sannyasa to men who possess brahminical symptoms, even though they are born of other castes, but it only applies to paramarthika affairs, and not to vyavaharika affairs.<o:p></o:p> Yadava dasa: Brother Candidasa, do you have the answer to your question?<o:p></o:p> Candidasa: Today I have been blessed. Of all the instructions that have flowed from the mouth of the most revered Babaji Mahasaya, these are the points I have been able to assimilate. The jiva is an eternal servant of Krsna, but he forgets this and takes on a material body. Influenced by the qualities of material nature, he derives happiness and distress from material objects. For the privilege of enjoying the fruits of his material activities, he must wear a garland of birth, old age, and death.<o:p></o:p> The jiva sometimes takes birth in a high position and sometimes in a low position, and he is led into innumerable circumstances by his repeated change of identity. Hunger and thirst spur him to action in a body that may perish at any instant. He is bereft of the necessities of this world, and is cast into unlimited varieties of suffering. Many diseases and ailments appear, which torment his body. In his home, he quarrels with his wife and children, and sometimes he goes to the extent of committing suicide. His greed to accumulate wealth drives him to commit many sins. He is punished by the government, insulted by others, and thus he suffers untold bodily afflictions.<o:p></o:p> He is constantly aggrieved by separation from family members, loss of wealth, theft by robbers, and countless other causes of suffering. When a person becomes old, his relatives do not take care of him, and this causes him great distress. His withered body is ravaged by mucus, rheumatism and a barrage of other pains, and is simply a source of misery. After death, he enters another womb and suffers intolerable pain. Yet despite all this, as long as the body remains, his discrimination is overpowered by lust, anger, greed, illusion, pride, and envy. This is samsara.<o:p></o:p> I now understand the meaning of the word samsara. I repeatedly offer dandavat-pranama to Babaji Mahasaya. The Vaisnavas are gurus for the entire world. Today, by the mercy of the Vaisnavas, I have acquired real knowledge of this material world.<o:p></o:p> When the Vaisnavas present had heard Ananta dasa Babaji Mahasaya’s profound instructions, they all loudly exclaimed, “Sadhu! Sadhu!” <o:p></o:p>
  22. A second point is that it is highly disgraceful for unqualified people to adopt the dress of brahmacaris, tyagis, or sannyasis, to imitate their behavior, and to consider themselves equal to great personalities situated in those asramas. Such people are like Srgala Vasudeva, the jackal who impersonated Sri Krsna, and whose narration has been described in Srimad-Bhagavatam, Harivamsa, Caitanya-Bhagavata, and other sastras. People who are situated in a lower stage, and who are attached to the path of fruitive action, should first curb the deplorable tendency towards lust by becoming lawfully married according to religious principles. The purpose of the sastra is to guide all living beings toward the path of detachment.<?xml:namespace prefix = o ns = "urn:schemas-microsoft-com:" /><o:p></o:p>The Brahma-vaivarta Purana (Krsna-khanda 115.112-113) states:<o:p></o:p> <o:p></o:p> asvamedham gavalambham sannyasam palapaitrkam<o:p></o:p> devarena sutotpattim kalau panca vivarjayet<o:p></o:p> <o:p></o:p> In Kali-yuga five activities are forbidden: the offering of a horse in sacrifice,the offering of a cow in sacrifice, the acceptance of sannyasa, offering flesh to the forefathers, and begetting children through a husband’s brother.<o:p></o:p> <o:p></o:p> Some people try to establish on the basis of this sloka that the acceptance of sannyasa is forbidden in Kali-yuga. However, this sloka has a hidden intention. The purpose of this sloka is not to forbid sannyasa altogether. Indeed, many great personalities who appeared in Kali-yuga were tyagis or sannyasis, including Sri Ramanuja, Sri Madhva, Sri Visnu-svami, and other acaryas who were well acquainted with all the sastras, as well as the crown jewels of all acaryas, the Six Gosvamis, who were bhaktas of Sri Gaura.<o:p></o:p> The pure succession of sannyasa is continuing, even today. The injunction against accepting sannyasa in Kali-yuga actually means that it is improper to accept the ekadanda-sannyasa that evolved from the unauthorized line of thought propagated by Acarya Sankara, and which is expressed in maxims such as so ‘ham (I am that brahma) and aham brahmasmi (I am brahma). It is this type of<o:p></o:p> sannyasa that has been forbidden.<o:p></o:p> Tridanda-sannyasa is the real, perpetual sannyasa, and it is applicable at all times. Sometimes tridanda-sannyasa externally appears in the form of ekadanda-sannyasa. Ekadanda-sannyasis of this type, who are actually great souls, accept the eternality of tridandasannyasa that symbolizes the three features of sevya (the object ofservice), sevaka (the servitor), and seva (service). Such people consider the ekadanda-sannyasa propagated by Sankara to be completely unauthorized and not supported by sastra. It is therefore proven, even on the basis of the Brahma-vaivarta Purana sloka cited by smarta acaryas, that it is logical for sadhakas who are pursuing the nivrtti-marga to accept sannyasa.<o:p></o:p> <o:p></o:p>
  23. Devidasa: I have studied many sastras since my childhood, but today, by your grace, I have understood their purpose in an entirely new light.<?xml:namespace prefix = o ns = "urn:schemas-microsoft-com:" /><o:p></o:p> Lahiri: It is written in Srimad-Bhagavatam (11.8.10):<o:p></o:p> <o:p></o:p> anubhyas ca mahadbhyas ca sastrebhyah kusalo narah<o:p></o:p> sarvatah saram adadyat puspebhya iva satpadah<o:p></o:p> <o:p></o:p> An intelligent person will take the essence of all the sastras,<o:p></o:p> whether they are great or small, just as a bumblebee gathers<o:p></o:p> honey from many different types of flowers.<o:p></o:p> <o:p></o:p> My dear son, I used to call you an atheist. Now I don’t criticize anyone, because faith depends on adhikara. There is no question of criticism in this regard. Everyone is working according to their own adhikara, and they will advance gradually when the time is appropriate. You are a scholar of the sastras dealing with logic and fruitive action, and since your statements are in accordance with your adhikara, there is no fault in them. <o:p></o:p>
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