Friday 10 January 2014

Bhakti Charu Swami Maharaja on Uddhava Gita


Founder- Ācārya: His Divine Grace A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupāda


Seminar On Uddhava-Gītā Given By His Holiness Bhakti Charu Swami In Gita-Nagari, US Retreat, 31 May 2013, Second Day, Mid Morning Session.


nama om visnu-pādāya krsna-presthāya bhū-tale
śrīmate bhaktivedānta-svāmin iti nāmine

namas te sārasvate deve gaura-vānī-pracārine

śrī-krsna-caitanya prabhu nityānanda 
śrī-advaita gadādhara śrīvāsādi-gaura-bhakta-vṛnda

Hare Kṛṣṇa Hare Kṛṣṇa Kṛṣṇa Kṛṣṇa Hare Hare
Hare Rāma Hare Rāma Rāma Rāma Hare Hare

Hare Kṛṣṇa. So are you all ready for the next session? Are you all taking notes? Are you enjoying this seminar?

Devotees: Yes.

BCS: So the last chapter we did was the instruction of the Supreme Personality of Godhead as Haṁsāvatāra. The Lord, upon Brahmā’s prayer, appeared as Haṁsāvatāra and instructed Brahmā and his sons: Sanaka, Sanātana, Sanandana and Sanat-kumāra.  In the fourteenth chapter, the next chapter describes or Krsna explains the yoga-system to Uddhava. And about what kind of yoga is Krsna speaking here? This is the yoga of devotional service, bhakti-yoga. Krsna explained that the most excellent method of spiritual practice is devotional service to the Supreme Personality of Godhead. Thank you. Can everybody hear me?

Devotees: Yes

BCS: I can see some new faces this morning, this session. Welcome to all of you to this wonderful Gita-Nagari, in this seminar on Lord Krsna’s teachings to Uddhava, which is known as the Uddhava-Gita in the eleventh canto of the Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam.  

So in this chapter, the fourteenth chapter of the eleventh canto, Krsna is describing about the process of devotional service as the most excellent way to make spiritual advancement. And he also speaks about the process of meditation. Actually, in this Kṛṣṇa is instructing upon Uddhava’s inquiry, upon Uddhava’s question. Uddhava asked: “What is the best way of making spiritual advancement?” You remember? In Bhagavad-gītā Arjuna also asked Him the same question. Among the personalists and impersonalists, which process is better? And what did Kṛṣṇa say: “Evaṁ satata-yuktā ye bhaktās tvāṁ paryupāsate” Then what is the next line? Teṣāṁ ke yoga-vittamāḥ The best yoga-vittamāḥ , the best way to become connected to Kṛṣṇa is ‘evaṁ satata-yuktā ye bhaktās tvāṁ paryupāsate’. One who is rendering devotional service unto Me constantly, satata-yuktā, being constantly engaged, one who is constantly engaged in my devotional service, he is the most intimately connected to Me or that is the best way to become connected to Me: yoga-vittamāḥ. Here also Uddhava is asking the similar question. Of all these processes, which is the best? And Kṛṣṇa is pointing out: devotional service is the best.

This is how when we properly study the scriptures, then it becomes very, very clear. Devotional service is the best possible way, not only the best possible way, there is no other way, no other way, no other way… By other means one cannot actually become situated in such loving relationship with Kṛṣṇa. If the goal of life is to become connected to the Supreme Personality of Godhead, then besides devotional service there is no other way. In this Uddhava-Gita we will come at that point when Kṛṣṇa is saying: “By this process of devotional service Kṛṣṇa becomes conquered. Kṛṣṇa becomes sold out. Kṛṣṇa becomes conquered, Kṛṣṇa becomes his possession. No other process actually enables that. Here we know, the Uddhava-Gita, are we not getting this point time and time again? Previously also Kṛṣṇa mentioned: “Sāṅkhya, yoga, charity, austerity, performance of sacrifice, all these are not going to derive the same benefit. Devotional service is THE way. So when Uddhava asked which process of spiritual advancement is the best, then Kṛṣṇa made it very, very clear.  Devotional service is the way.

Kṛṣṇa explained that this process he gave to Brahmā. At the time of annihilation even the knowledge was lost. Not only at the beginning of creation Kṛṣṇa gave this knowledge. This knowledge gets lost at the time of annihilation and at the beginning of a new creation, when the new creation begins, then Kṛṣṇa imparts this knowledge to Brahmā. Then Brahmā gives this knowledge to his eldest son Manu. And Manu spoke this to Brighu Muni. This is the disciplic succession. Our disciplic succession: Brahmā, then Nārada, Nārada to Vyasadeva and so forth.  But here Kṛṣṇa is talking about another process and that process is, this line is: Brahmā to Manu, Manu gave it to Brighu Muni. Brighu Muni also is a son of Brahmā, Nārada’s brother. Ten sons of Brahmā: Pulaṣṭa, Pulaha, Atri, Marici, Angira, Vasistha, Brighu. This line is coming from Brighu and Brighu then gave it to the demigods. Brighu then gave it to the sages. And the sages gave it to the demigods.

But another thing happened actually due to this line, due to different individuals developing or receiving this knowledge, they also developed different branches of philosophy. Some are even atheistic philosophy, gross materialistic philosophy. And different philosophies arose, including various atheistic doctrines. Kṛṣṇa is saying: various atheistic doctrines also developed from this Vedic concept. Therefore there is a need to select.  There is a mixture. What we are getting now, is a lot of concepts, a lot of ideas, a lot of philosophies.  Now from this mixture we have to select the right one. Tough job. That’s why the living entities on their own cannot figure out what is the right way. The general tendency is that whatever tends to be a little better, we tend to think: “yes, this is the best.” It may be better than the other but that is not the best. The best one we have to understand from the instructions of the Supreme Personality of Godhead. That again flows in a specific disciplic succession.

‘Because the living entity bewildered by illusion is incapable of ascertaining his eternal benefit, he mistakenly identifies ordinary vows of penance, austerity etc. to be the topmost spiritual practice.’ This is actually the bewildering aspect. Because the living entities are bewildered themselves. Therefore they cannot figure out what is the actual process to adopt. Because they are deluded they cannot ascertain their eternal benefit. The only true means of achieving happiness is to meditate on offering everything to the Supreme Personality of Godhead. This is the simple spiritual consideration. Generally people are identifying themselves with their bodies, therefore they think that the goal of life is to enjoy through this body. If we look at this world today, what do we find? Everywhere we read newspapers, we read books, fictions, we see movies, we see TV’s, all these… What are they broadcasting through these media? They are simply broadcasting to enjoy.  And that enjoyment also is a very gross form of enjoyment. Sinful enjoyment.

What is being broadcast all over is a promotion of sinful enjoyment: meat eating, intoxication, illicit sex and gambling. Mostly, mainly illicit sex.  That is what is being promoted all over the world.  But when we step into the spiritual realm, when we come across a bonafide spiritual teacher, what does he tell us? Like Prabhupāda, what is the qualification to enter into spiritual life? Four regulative principles. No to all those sinful activities. Today the world is saying those four activities are the most important activities. And Iskcon is saying no to these four activities.  And yes to everything else.  We have only four no’s. Otherwise everything is yes. No meat eating, no intoxication, no illicit sex, no gambling.  Otherwise everything is all right, provided you engage them in service to Kṛṣṇa. 

So offering the goal of life is to do everything for Kṛṣṇa, offer everything to Kṛṣṇa because He is the Proprietor.  Īśāvāsyam idaṁ sarvaṁ yat kiñca jagatyāṁ jagat. A very, very simple understanding. Everything belongs to Kṛṣṇa. And not that He is the…, although He is the Supreme Enjoyer but He is also taking care of us. Yat kiñca jagatyāṁ jagat. He is taking care of everybody. He is giving everybody his quota. Whatever we need, Kṛṣṇa has provided. In this way Kṛṣṇa is the suhṛdam sarva bhūtānām. When we enter into the platform of devotional service and receive knowledge, the proper information, then what do we get to see? Immediately we get to see that Kṛṣṇa is the Enjoyer. At the same time Kṛṣṇa is providing for everybody... Kṛṣṇa is the Supreme Master, at the same time He is the dear most Friend.  Now we can understand this concept from our relationships with our seniors like the father. In the house the father is the proprietor but the father is taking care of everybody’s need in the house. So the father is not an irresponsible enjoyer. The father is the care taker. On our part we know that he is the enjoyer.  But the father is not demanding: “I am the enjoyer. Do everything for me.” The father’s caring attitude is: “What do you need? He does not even have to ask. And we do not even have to tell. He knows what we need. Even better than we do. The child does not know that he needs to go to a private school. He does not even know the difference between a public school and a private school, or a good school and a bad school. But the father says: “Okay, he should go in such and such school.” And in order to do that… I was talking to some parents the other day. In order to send the child to a private school the mother decided to take up a job. The father’s income was not enough to send the child to a private school. So the mother took up a job.

(Jaya Sri Sri Radha-Dāmodara Ki Jaya! Jaya Sri Sri Gaura-Nitai Ki Jaya!)

So Kṛṣṇa’s attitude is something like that. Or not something like that, from that we can see what Kṛṣṇa’s attitude must be towards the living entities. Kṛṣṇa is THE Father, the Supreme Father of all living entities. And therefore He is taking care of everyone.  He sees what is the need of different living entities. And therefore He takes care of them. Even before the living entities can consider or understand.  So when we have a Father like that, when we have a Master like that, when we have a Friend like Him, why should we worry? Isn’t it natural that we should surrender to Him? And that is the beginning of devotional service. Just surrender unto Kṛṣṇa. “Mām ekaṁ śaranaṁ vraja”.  And what does that devotional service do? It destroys the countless sinful reactions of the living entity. The moment the living entity accepts this process of devotional service it immediately destroys his mountainous sinful reactions, which is otherwise impossible to get rid of. Like yesterday we considered one example:  “A seed giving rise to a tree, a tree producing fruits, the fruits have seeds, in those seeds there are innumerable trees, in each tree there are innumerable seeds and possibility of trees. And Prabhupāda pointed out our karmic reaction is like that. Once I asked Srīla Prabhupāda about karmic reactions and Prabhupāda pointed out it is extremely complex. And Prabhupāda gave this example. This is how complex our karmic reactions are. Just one little karma can tie us up eternally. How will you get rid of it? But Kṛṣṇa consciousness destroys all these karmic reactions. As Kṛṣṇa said: “Aham tvam sarva pāpebhyo, sarva pāpebhyo I will deliver you from all your sinful reactions. karmāṇi nirdahati kintu ca bhakti-bhājāṁ. “Nirdahati” burnt out. This is also another consideration.  If you cut the tree, “You may say: “I cut the tree.” If you cut the tree, again there is the possibility of branches growing or seeds falling on the ground. But if all the seeds are burnt out, you fry the seeds, you roast the seeds, they won’t germinate. So that is what Kṛṣṇa consciousness does. It burns out all the sinful reactions.

So this way we can see that Kṛṣṇa consciousness in one hand frees us from all our karmic reactions and offers us a wonderful possibility of developing our loving relationship with Kṛṣṇa.  And this loving relationship is the source of joy. This is an important thing to remember. That love and joy are interlinked. And attraction and love are interlinked. Do you love somebody who is not attractive to you? Attraction leads to love. And love is the basis of joy. In the material platform people try to derive joy from these loving exchanges. They derive some joy but that joy is temporary. But the real joy is derived from developing our loving relationship with Kṛṣṇa. We love Kṛṣṇa, the result is joy. And the question is: “Why love Kṛṣṇa? “ Because you won’t be able to help it. Because He is all attractive. Attraction, love, joy. Now say Kṛṣṇa is all-attractive.

So this is how this is undoubtedly the best possible, spiritual process. Because the devotee is very close to the Lord and he is able to purify the entire universe. Kṛṣṇa is making this point. ‘Because the devotee of the Lord is very dear to the Lord and very close to the Lord, therefore he is able to purify the whole world, the whole universe. Do you have to go very far? Śrīla Prabhupāda. What did he do? He purified the whole universe. How did he do it? Because he carries the power, because he is dear to Kṛṣṇa. As a matter of fact, what Kṛṣṇa does not do, his devotee does. Kṛṣṇa does not go out of his way to purify somebody. Do you remember, probably, I mentioned that yesterday by quoting Śrīla Vishvanatha Chakravarti Thakur: “If Kṛṣṇa purified somebody and Kṛṣṇa did not purify somebody else, then Kṛṣṇa would be considered to be partial. Therefore Kṛṣṇa says: “Okay, I won’t do it. I am neutral, it is up to you.”  But Kṛṣṇa’s devotees go out of their way to purify others. And when one wants to do that, then Kṛṣṇa empowers him. That’s the wonderful thing. Kṛṣṇa empowers the devotee when the devotee wants to preach, when a devotee wants to sanctify others, when a devotee wants to propagate Kṛṣṇa’s glory everywhere, then Kṛṣṇa empowers him, Kṛṣṇa facilitates him. Devotee desires and Kṛṣṇa fulfills his desires. Another important point Kṛṣṇa is making in this chapter, is that at the beginning if a devotee is not able to purify himself completely, at the beginning if the devotee is lacking, still Kṛṣṇa will help him to make advancement. At the beginning one may fail to execute devotional service properly. Kṛṣṇa will help him to gain control over his senses. Kṛṣṇa will help him to become capable. Again we can go back to that relationship between father and child. If the child makes some mistakes in his early age, does the father reject the child? What does the father do? He helps him to correct himself. Don’t you see father and mother acting when children have difficulty in their home work? Then the parents help them. Mother assists, okay, helps them to overcome those mistakes. This is how Kṛṣṇa takes care of a living entity.

And when one wants to seriously make spiritual advancement, Kṛṣṇa advises him to give up all material possessions and other material attachments. In this way one will be able to constantly think of Kṛṣṇa. Finally Kṛṣṇa instructs Uddhava about the true object of meditation. What is the true object of meditation? Kṛṣṇa. “yogīnām api sarveṣāṁ mad-gatenāntar-ātmanā śraddhāvān bhajate yo māṁ” sa me yukta-tamo mataḥ. And in this chapter Kṛṣṇa makes a very, very wonderful statement. Kṛṣṇa is saying: “Uddhava, no one is as dear to Me as you are. Not even Brahmā, Lord Shiva, Lakxmi, or even I Myself, I am not as dear to Me as you are. Meaning, a devotee of Kṛṣṇa is more dear to Him than Himself.  Na tathā me priya-tama atma-yonir na sankarah. Atma-yoni, one who is self borne. Who is that? Brahmā. Śaṅkara.  Na Śaṅkara. .. as you are dear to Me. Na caivatma… So this shows how dear Uddhava was to Kṛṣṇa.

Some beautiful statements from Kṛṣṇa. I will just read them from this chapter. With the dust of my pure devotees’ lotus feet I desire to purify the material worlds which are situated within Me. Thus I always follow the footsteps of My pure devotees who are free from all personal desires, rapt in thought of my pastimes, peaceful without any feelings of enmity and of equal disposition everywhere. Such a devotee can purify the whole universe. And Kṛṣṇa says: “I follow their footsteps.” Whereas devotees should follow Kṛṣṇa’s footsteps, but Kṛṣṇa He is saying: “I follow those devotees’ footsteps, their footsteps and wherever they go I go. Those who are free from any desire of personal gratification, whose minds are always attached to Me, who are peaceful without false ego and merciful to all living entities and whose consciousness is never affected by opportunities of sense gratification. A pure devotees’ consciousness is never affected by prospects of sense gratification. Like we see, one person, Rāmachandra Khan, sent a prostitute, an extremely beautiful prostitute to Haridāsa Ṭhākura, to make him fall down. But what did happen to Haridāsa Ṭhākura? Nothing. Because the person who got the taste of Kṛṣṇa consciousness, why would he be attracted to some mundane flesh and blood? A form made out of flesh, blood, pus and urine? Rather she became a devotee. And later on we saw that Māyā Devī herself came to test Haridāsa Ṭhākura. She failed. This is how a devotee of the Lord remains unaffected by any prospect of sense gratification. The most alluring prospects of sense gratification cannot deviate him from the path that he has established himself. Then again I point out: “If my devotee has not fully conquered his material senses, he may be harassed by his desires but his unflinching devotion for Me, he will not be defeated by sense gratification. Even if a devotee by his immaturity, by his neophyte situation, even if he becomes a victim of sense gratification, still it does not matter. Of course that does not mean that a devotee should fall down. One should not take advantage of these statements. Sometimes I noticed it happened. Somebody had spiritual difficulty and he was quoting this verse that even if a devotee has spiritual difficulty he should be considered as a saint. Which verse is that?

Devotee : Api cet su-durācāro bhajate mām ananya-bhāk

BCS: Yes, sādhur eva sa mantavyaḥ saṁyag vyavasito hi saḥ. He should be treated as a sādhu. That may be. But he should not take advantage of that. I am a sādhu, therefore I have a license to fall down. That should not be the situation. A devotee should never deviate from Kṛṣṇa consciousness. At a neophyte stage or apparently it may happen like that but it is not factual. Then that consideration comes.

This is another very beautiful statement: “Just as gold when smelted in fire gives up its impurities and returns to its pure, brilliant state, similarly the spirit soul absorbed in the fire of bhakti-yoga is purified of all contamination caused by fruitive activities and returns to its original position of serving Me in the spiritual world. Just as fire purifies gold, similarly Kṛṣṇa consciousness, devotion to Kṛṣṇa purifies the soul from all its impurities. And eventually he becomes originated in his original position and goes back to the spiritual world.

Next one also is very beautiful. When a diseased eye is treated with medicinal ointment it gradually recovers its power to see. Similarly when a conscious living entity purifies himself cleanses himself by hearing and chanting the pious narrations of My glories, he regains his ability to see Me, the absolute truth in my subtle spiritual form. We may not be able to see Kṛṣṇa now, but if we keep on hearing about Kṛṣṇa’s glory and chanting Kṛṣṇa’s glory, the pious narrations of Kṛṣṇa’s activities, then we will regain our ability to see Kṛṣṇa. Premāñjana-cchurita-bhakti-vilocanena. When the eyes become anointed with love or bhakti, then santaḥ sadaiva hṛdayeṣu vilokayanti, one sees the Personality of Godhead constantly in his heart.  Just as if one remembers Kṛṣṇa in his mind, then his mind will become absorbed in Kṛṣṇa.  So constant hearing is very important. One should make it a point to hear about Kṛṣṇa as much as possible. Just as by meditaiting upon the objects of the senses we become attracted to sense gratification: dhyāyato viṣayān puṁsaḥ saṅgas teṣūpajāyate saṅgāt sañjāyate kāmaḥ.  Due to saṅga one develops desires to enjoy that object, kāmaḥ.  Just as by meditating upon the objects of senses we become attracted to sense gratification, meditating upon Kṛṣṇa we will become attracted to Kṛṣṇa consciousness. Through Uddhava Kṛṣṇa is instructing us what to do. satataṁ kīrtayanto māṁ, constantly hear and chant the glory of Kṛṣṇa.

In the fifteenth chapter Kṛṣṇa describes the process of mystic yoga. Mystic yoga is commonly known as aṣṭāṅga-yoga. Kṛṣṇa describes that this process has eighteen mystic perfections which are known as yoga-siddhis. Out of them eight are primary and ten are minor or secondary. Generally it is considered to be eight yoga-siddhis, aṣṭa-siddhi. Aṣṭa, eight kinds of sidhhis. Siddhi means yogīc perfection, mystic power one achieves. And out of them, out of these eight, three are pertaining to the body. Aṇimā, mahimā and laghimā. Aṇimā is the process by which one becomes smaller than the smallest. One can become smaller than the smallest, very small… Like it is a mystic power. By performing aṣṭāṅga-yoga one receive these siddhis, one can become small. When Hanumān was entering Laṅkā, he became very small, he became small like a cat. But still the lady of Laṅkā puri, the guardian of Laṅkā personified, she  detected Hanumān. And she slapped Hanumān. And Hanumān slapped her back. [Laughter] That way a struggle ensued between the two of them. And then this lady, who was guarding Laṅkā, she admitted that she knew that when someone will slap her, then Laṅkā will be destroyed. She could recognize that this Hanumān has come to destroy Laṅkā.

So Hanumān became so small. And this is how he entered into Laṅkā. This is Hanumān’s yoga-siddhi, aṇimā-siddhi. One can become so small that he can even pass through a key-hole. Another siddhi is mahimā. Become so big like a mountain. And laghimā: become lighter than the lightest. Become so light that he can fly. So these are the mystic powers that one yogī achieves. There are other mystic powers. They are known as prāpti… Prāpti is a mystic power by which  he can get whatever he wants. Whatever he wants he can get that. Prākāmya, one can experience any enjoyable object, either in this world or the next. īśīta, one can manipulate the sub potencies of māyā, not the principle potencies of bewildering the living entities. Yoga-siddhi cannot overcome the primal influence of māyā. But the material nature has other sub potencies. Vāsita, then one becomes unimpeded, unaffected by the three modes of material nature. And kāmāvasāyitā: one can obtain anything from anywhere to the highest possible limit. Prabhupāda once mentioned that he encountered a yogī like that. Those days, pomegranates did not grow in India. Pomme granates used to grow in Aghanistan. And this person sitting in Kolkata he just  moved his hand and produced a pomegranate. He could pick up a pomegranate from Afghanistan and … So these are yoga-siddhis. And he is pointing out that one can get anything from anywhere, to the highest possible limit.

Then Kṛṣṇa is pointing out that these yoga-siddhis are actually not important. Rather these yoga-siddhis are impediments for a devotee, for his devotional practice. Because by yoga-siddhi one may get carried away by these siddhis. Or by these yoga-siddhis sometimes one can get a lot of false prestige; people may come not for the sake of devotion but for these siddhis. Like we see, in the material world, people are generally impressed with material things. Like there are some yogīs who have some yoga-siddhis. They perform some miracles. And thousands of people follow them. Not even yoga-siddhis, we have seen some people who can do some magic. They can perform some magic and people become attracted. One such person was Sai Baba. He would produce something like that, not even a pomegranate from Afghanistan. He would produce some watch, not even a Rolex, because that is expensive. Like a Sika-watch. At one time, those days Sikha watches were very, among moderately priced watches, Sika-watches were very popular. And Sai Baba was very expert at producing Sika-watches. And most of the time he produced ash and sometimes he produced some cash.  [Laughter] But people became so impressed with that. There was a big article once in one magazine in India called “Illustrious Weekly”.  It was a very popular magazine. And it described about a musicians’ encounter with Sai Baba. I don’t know if you all know. There was a very famous musician called Pishi Sarkar. He was very famous worldwide. Pishi Sarkar died some time ago. Pishi Sarkar’s son, he also was a magician. He was also a pilot of Indian Airlines. We used to know him. A very nice man. He used to come to Māyāpura.  He once also gave a performance in Māyāpura, a very impressive performance. Anyway, this person went to meet with Sai Baba. And he wrote about… They need their name and identity. So he wrote: “Magician.” Sai Baba refused to see him. Then next day he went again but did not give his actual name.  He gave his nickname and did not mention anything. This time he got his interview. When he went there Sai Baba waved his hand in the air and produced a sandesh. He gave it to him. And he also waved his hand and he produced a rasagula. [Laughter] Sai Baba was furious. And he told him: “Look you are just a cheap magician, I am also a magician, but I never claim to be spiritual. But you are cheating people by saying that you are … By just showing this magic trick you are just bewildering people. It was a big article in the early eighties I think. But inspite of the article, people keep following because they are just bewildered.  Now what to speak of these yoga-siddhis, mystic power. But then again Kṛṣṇa is saying that these mystic powers are actually an impediment on the path of devotion. Now we can see why it is an impediment. We see so many people are becoming so popular in countries like America. They do some mystic display, not even mystic powers, some such display and thousands of people become attracted by them. But when they speak you see, they hardly have any substance. So at least we understand that yoga-siddhi is not the goal of life.

Now one important thing Kṛṣṇa is mentioning here. These yoga-siddhis are automatically achieved by the devotees. There is one incident. You see Śyāmānanda prabhu had a disciple Rasikānanda Prabhu. Rasikānanda Prabhu was a very powerful person, he was a king, a prince actually but he became a devotee of Śyāmānanda Prabhu. Do you remember Śyāmānanda Prabhu? Jīva Gosvāmī had three śikṣā disciples: Śrīnivāsa Ācārya, Narottama dāsa Ṭhākura and Śyāmānanda Prabhu. They were the three stalwart preachers after Śrī Caitanya Mahāprabhu. Very, very powerful preachers. So Śyāmānanda Prabhu’s disciple was Rasikānanda Prabhu. And one day Śyāmānanda Prabhu was (Jaya Sri Sri Radha-Dāmodara Ki Jaya). One morning Rasikānanda Prabhu was brushing his teeth, he was sitting on a stone. You see, in India people generally brush their teeth by the side of a pond. They wash their mouth. So he was sitting on a slab, a stone slab. He was brushing his teeth. Brushing not with tooth brush but they used to brush their teeth with twigs, neem twigs. And at that time somebody came and told him that: “You know, a big yogī has come riding on a tiger.” It’s true, I mean, a yogī he tamed even a tiger, he came riding on a tiger. So Rasikānanda Prabhu said: “So, is that so? So let me go and see him.” Saying that he went flying sitting on this stone slab. This stone slab was flying. And that yogī who came riding on a tiger became a disciple of Rasikānanda Prabhu. So he admitted, he recognized that his potency is far superior than his.

And in this respect also Prabhupāda once told me that the yoga-siddhi, how the devotees achieve them. I asked Śrīla Prabhupāda how the devotees achieve the yoga-siddhi without performing, without practicing. Because the yogīs, they make such an endeavor to achieve those siddhis. Then Prabhupāda first made one point. He said yogīs, real yogīs never practice yoga to achieve the yoga-siddhi. But as they make advancement the yoga-siddhis automatically become manifest to them. Yoga-siddhis automatically become available to them. Just as the kuṇḍalinī energy or you can say spiritual energy. Generally for ordinary human beings this energy functions only from the base which is situated at the end of the spinal column to the chakra which is opposite to the genetic organ. But a yogī, through the practice, it rises from one chakra to another. And that’s why it is so important that in order to make spiritual advancement one must abstain from sex life. So in order for the energy to rise one must seal that, one must prevent that possibility. And as the energy rises the yogī achieves his power. And then Prabhupāda pointed out: for a devotee one does not have to make a special effort to make the energy rise. By his devotional practice the energy automatically rises. He does not make any separate endeavor to make the energy rise from one chakra to another and so forth. And then Prabhupāda gave an example of an ordinary person trying to become rich. An ordinary person trying to become rich he will have to make so many endeavors to make money. But a person who has been born as the son of a rich man, he does not have to make any endeavor.  Just by his birth in a rich family he already inherited the wealth. Now, although the child is a millionaire, he does not get the million straight away. When he comes to his proper age, he gets his inheritance. So devotees are like that. The yogīs are people, those who are trying to make advancement by their own endeavor whereas the devotees already inherited it by their birth right. Devotees are the ones, those already borne not in a family of any other billionaire or trillionaire or zillionaire. Far beyond that. It’s only a matter of time. In due course of time devotees will automatically inherit that wealth. That’s the difference between a yogī and a devotee. And these are so insignificant for this rich man’s son. He does not really care about that. A person may be making a lot of endeavor to become rich, to buy a house in Beverly Hills. But a person who has his own palace in his father’s kingdom, will he be interested to buy an apartment in Beverley Hills? That is the difference between a yogī and a devotee. Devotees just by establishing their connection with Kṛṣṇa they automatically inherited an inconceivable amount of wealth. There is a beautiful statement here also that Kṛṣṇa is making: “Just like the body of aquatics cannot be injured by water.” Can the body of an aquatic be injured by water? No. Similarly the body of a yogī whose consciousness is purified by devotion to me – Kṛṣṇa is talking about the real yogī – the devotee, yogī, whose consciousness has been purified by devotion to Me, who is fully developed in the devotional science, cannot be injured by fire, sun, water, poison and so forth. A yogī’s body, a devotee’s body is invincible, invulnerable to any such condition. A learned devotee who worships Me through yoga meditation certainly obtains all the mystic potencies that I have described. See that is also what Śrīla Prabhupāda describes, a learned devotee who worships Me through the process of devotional service certainly obtains in all respects the mystic perfections that I have described, that means these eight siddhis, aṣṭa yoga-siddhis, aṇimā, laghimā, mahimā, prāpti, prākāmya, īśitva, vaśitva and kāmāvasāyitā. Learned experts in devotional service state that the mystic perfections of yoga that I have mentioned are actual impediments and are a waste of time for one who is practicing the supreme yoga by which one perceives all perfection in life directly from Me. Whatever mystic perfection can be achieved by good birth, herbs, austerities and mantras can all be achieved by devotional service to Me. The point is that by devotional service everything can be achieved. For a devotee nothing will be unobtainable. Everything will be obtainable for a devotee.

So then we go to the next chapter. Okay, I will go through this chapter and then I will invite questions. If you have any questions while I am going on, please write it down.  So in this chapter Kṛṣṇa describes His various opulences. In Bhagavad-gītā Kṛṣṇa spoke about His opulences in which chapter? The tenth chapter. So here also Kṛṣṇa is speaking about His opulences. The Supreme Personality of Godhead does not have any beginning or end. He is the Cause of birth, maintenance and destruction of all living entities. Kṛṣṇa is the Cause of everyone’s birth, maintenance and destruction. He is the soul of all beings. And by secretly taking a residence in the heart of all living beings He sees everything. Kṛṣṇa is saying that He secretly situates His residence in the living body, where? In the heart. Secretly because nobody knows that, only He knows that. Kṛṣṇa is sitting in our heart but we don’t know. But His sitting in our heart has two purposes: upadraṣṭā and anumantā. Kṛṣṇa is witnessing and Kṛṣṇa is approving. We have desires and Kṛṣṇa sanctions some desires and Kṛṣṇa does not approve some other desires. That is one reason why Kṛṣṇa is in the heart of the living entities. But the other reason for Kṛṣṇa being in the heart of the living entities is that Kṛṣṇa sitting in the heart is waiting for us to turn our face towards Him. And Prabhupāda pointed out that the real reason for Kṛṣṇa being in our hearts is that He is waiting to see when we are going to turn our face towards Him. In this respect we can consider one analogy. The child says: “Daddy, daddy I want to go and play with my friends.” The father says: “Okay, come.” And the father takes the child to the field, to the park. And there he meets his friends and he plays with them and he has completely forgotten everything else. He is so absorbed in its play with His friends. And what does the father do at that time? He is sitting by the side of the park and watching his son. The son has completely forgotten the father. He is so absorbed in his game with his friends. But the father is just sitting there and watching. And then when the child becomes hurt or the child gets afraid when it becomes dark and all the friends have gone, then what does the child do? “Daddy, daddy, where are you?” Then he remembers. And then the father comes and picks him up and says: “Come, let’s go home.” Similarly Kṛṣṇa in our heart is just watching us playing our games with our friends. Sometimes we win and we are happy, sometimes we lose and we become morose. That’s the game we are playing in this world. But at some point when we call out to Kṛṣṇa : “Kṛṣṇa, Kṛṣṇa, where are you?” Then Kṛṣṇa comes and He says: “Come, let’s go.” That’s how kind Kṛṣṇa is. So that is the main reason why Kṛṣṇa is in our hearts. He is just waiting when we are going to call out to Him. And when we do call out to Him with all sincerity: “Kṛṣṇa, Kṛṣṇa, where are you?” then Kṛṣṇa says: “Okay, come, let’s go.”

So this is how Kṛṣṇa is situated in our hearts. Then as in the tenth chapter of Bhagavad-gītā Kṛṣṇa mentioned that all these opulences after which there is all power, beauty, fame, opulence, humility, charity, charm, good fortune, valor, tolerance and wisdom. Wherever there is a manifestation of such opulences, they are simply a manifestation of His potency. Yad yad vibhūtimat sattvaṁ. In Bhagavad-gītā, the tenth chapter after describing that, what is Kṛṣṇa saying? Wherever there is a display of unusual opulence, yad yad vibhūtimat sattvaṁ śrīmad ūrjitam eva vā , His opulence and grandeur, they all are nothing but an expansion of a display of a fraction of My energy. Tat tad evāvagaccha tvaṁ mama tejo-’ṁśa-sambhavam.’ It has become manifest just as a manifestation of My potency.’ So that is the point that Kṛṣṇa makes here also. Material opulences are not substantially true and therefore one should not become too involved in meditating upon them. The pure devotees of the Lord utilize their intelligence to properly regulate the activities of their speech, mind and vital force and thus perfect their existence in Kṛṣṇa consciousness. And wherever one sees this kind of display of opulence he knows that it is simply a manifestation of Kṛṣṇa’s grandeur, Kṛṣṇa’s wealth, Kṛṣṇa’s opulence. They are simply an expansion from Himself. Wherever there are these manifestations of this power, beauty, fame, opulence, humility, charity, charm, good fortune, valor, tolerance and wisdom, wherever they are manifest, they are simply expansions of Kṛṣṇa. Therefore when we see them, how should we see them? If we see things with our material eyes, then we will see: “O, how beautiful that person is.” But when we see with proper Kṛṣṇa conscious vision, then how will we see? O, how beautifully Kṛṣṇa’s energy has become manifest in that person. How beautifully Kṛṣṇa’s energy has become manifest in that person. How beautifully Kṛṣṇa’s opulence has become manifest in that person. And that is how one should utilize one’s intelligence to properly regulate the activities of speech, mind and vital force. And thus people should perfect their existence in Kṛṣṇa consciousness. Speech is very important; these are the three factors of our action: our speech, our mind and our body. These are the three ways that we become active. With our speech (tongue) what should we do? Sing the glories of Kṛṣṇa and also relish Kṛṣṇa prasādam. Kṛṣṇa baḍa dayāmay, karibāre jihvā jay, sva-prasādānna dila bhāi. Now that you have relished this beautiful prasādam, should we not be grateful to Kṛṣṇa? “O Kṛṣṇa, so mercifully you gave us your prasādam, so now let me use my tongue in glorifying you!” That is the bag aspect ‘Gaya’, body. How should we utilize the body? We should utilize the body in rendering service to Kṛṣṇa. The body’s business is to work. Whatever we do, should be done to render service to Kṛṣṇa. And with mind, what should we do with the mind? The mind’s business is to think. We should always think about Kṛṣṇa. Think about Kṛṣṇa, render service to Kṛṣṇa and sing the glories of Kṛṣṇ


Thursday 20 June 2013

Lecture excerpts from Bhakti Charu Swami Maharaja's class on Nirjala Ekadasi from Lokarno, Switzerland on 20th June 2013.

Excerpts from HH Bhakti Charu Swami Guru Maharaj's class on Nirjala Ekadasi from Lokarno, Switzerland on 20th June 2013.  

·        There are 26 Ekadasis :  24 in 12 months +2 (Purusottam mas)
·         14th Ekadasi takes place in the month of Jyestha (Summer)
·         This is hot season.
·         Nirjala: Ekadasi which is meant to be fasted without even drinking water.
·         In ISKCON Prabhupada did not set such lofty standard, since he had to deal with many westerners as well.
·         Every Ekadasi is meant to be fasted without drinking water.
·         Bhima had difficulty observing Ekadasi.
·         Another name of Bhima is Vrkodara, he is very famous for his appetite.
·         When Pandavas were in disguise, hiding in Ekacakra, half of the food collected was taken by Bhima.
·         Vyasdeva gave this concession to Bhima. By fasting on Nirjala Ekadasi properly, you will get the benefit of fasting in all Ekadasis in the year.
·         Even one should acamana very carefully.
·         Caranamrta also should be taken very carefully.
·         One should not try to take advantage of these things--taking more than required.
·         Brahma muhurta to Brahma muhurta--full benefit
·         Fasting full Day-- half benefit
·         We should be very careful. Ekadasi is an arrangement of the Supreme Personality of Godhead to free us from the sinful reactions.
·         We should take full advantage of this day.
·         Nirjala means without water.
·         Ekadasi means eleventh. Eleventh day of the movement of the moon.
·         Vedic calculation is based on the movement of the moon, while western one is based on the sun.
·         A month consists of 30 days, 15 days-waxing period of the moon, and 15 days-waning period of the moon.
·         Brahma-vaivarta Purana: Along with creation also came sins (people started to behave in the wrong way)
·         All the sins personified in the form of Papa Purusa, responsible for giving miseries through sinful activities.
Causes of body parts of Papa Purusa:
·         Killing a brahmana--> Head
·         Taking intoxication--> Eyes
·         Stealing gold--> Mouth
·         Sexual intercourse with wife of the Guru--> nose
·         Krishna also created Yamraj, meant to judge the living entities according to his sinful activities.
·         Subtle body is the embodiment of the sinful activities.
·         The living entity does not want to lose the body, so yamadutas whip and drag the subtle body out of the gross body.
·         Devotees do not need to worry about that, since they have taken shelter of Krishna.
·         Yamraj asks yamadutas not to trouble them.
·         Even if devotees go to Yamaraj they are happy to greet him as a mahajan.
·         Yamaraj's clerk is Citragupta, who keeps a record of all the sinful activities.
·         So we should be very careful, our activities are getting recorded.
·         Once Krishna visited Yamaraj, who was very pleased to greet Krishna and washed His feet.
·         At that time Krishna heard the terrible cries of humans from the southern side.
·         Yamaraj told Him that the sinful living entities were getting punished.
·         Krishna went to see how the living entities were getting tortured due to their sinful activities.
·         Krishna decided, I must do something to alleviate their suffering.
·         He created a personality, a beautiful young woman--Ekadasi. She is Krishna's internal potency.
·         Krishna arranged that if anyone fasts on this day, he will be free from all his sinful reactions.
·         BG: sarva dharman parityajya
·         Similarly Ekadasi is another such arrangement of Krishna to free the living entities of all their sinful reactions.
·         Dharma-sastra:  Just observe Ekadasi and be free from all sinful reactions.
·         Because there were no sins the Papa purusa was dying.
·         So when Visnu saw this, He asked him why you are in this condition.
·         Sin: You are creator, so it is Your responsibility to maintain me. Because of Ekadasi, there are no more sins.
·         Krishna: From now on all the sins on the Ekadasi day will enter into the food-grains.
·         When the crops become ripe the plant dies and grains come.
·         eg. wheat, rice, maize, pulses, beans
·         They fall in the category of grains
·         For the sake of Papa purusa Krishna made this arrangement that all the sins will enter into grains.
·         Even if a person has not committed sins, still he gets them.
·         So that is why we so strictly observe not taking grains.
·         Devotees should be very careful not to take grains on this day.
·         Ekadasi is also known as Hari-vasara--day of Hari since it is so dear to Hari.
·         Hari: Supreme Personality of Godhead, vasara: day
·         One who observes Ekadasi immensely pleases Krishna.
·         There was a demon called Mura. He was so powerful that he defeated all the demigods and assumed the control of the universe.
·         Being completely disturbed the demigods approached Lord Siva and asked him to help them.
·         Lord Siva: You can go to the SUPREME PERSONALITY OF GODHEAD--Jagannath (Lord of the Universe)

·         They went to Jagannath. He became very very angry, who dares to interfere in My arrangement.
·         Mura was extremely powerful and was also supported by millions of other asuras.
·         He counterattacked the demigods, who were unable to confront them.
·         The demons then attacked the only person standing there--Hari.
·         He released one weapon that killed many demons.
·         Mura decided to confront Him.
·         The leader themselves go forward.
·         When Lord's weapons were no longer effective, he started to fight with bare hands.
·         The Lord retreated to Badrikasram and went to a cave called Himavati (completely covered by ice)
·         Chasing Him Mura also entered the cave and found the Lord sleeping. He decided to attack and kill Him.
·         When he was about to attack, a beautiful woman appeared and stopped him.
·         A battle ensued between them. Mura's weapons were ineffective.
·         He started to fight with bare hands.
·         Vedic tradition: When enemy loses weapons, one also throws his weapons.
·         With her sharp weapon she cut the head of Mura and killed him.
·         When the Lord woke up He asked, who are you?
·         She narrated the whole story.
·         Lord: Even I could not kill Mura, you have protected Me. You ask for any boon.
·         Beautiful woman: From now on, whoever observes the austerities on this day, please free him of all sinful reactions.
·         Utpanna Ekadasi: She appeared on this day.
·         utpanna means generated
·         It is good for health also. Our system gets complete rest. We have a tendency to overeat.
·         The fire of digestion burns the undigested food and then starts burning the toxins also.
·         Our purpose should be to fast for spiritual benefit.