741212 - Lecture SB 03.25.44 - Bombay

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His Divine Grace A. C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada



741212SB-BOMBAY - December 12, 1974 - 36:56 Minutes



Nitāi: Oṁ namo bhagavate vāsudevāya. Oṁ namo bhagavate vāsudevāya. Oṁ namo bhagavate vāsudevāya. (devotees repeat) (leads chanting of verse, etc.) etāvā... (break)

etāvān eva loke 'smin
puṁsāṁ niḥśreyasodayaḥ
tīvreṇa bhakti-yogena
mano mayy arpitaṁ sthiram
(SB 3.25.44)

(break) (01:08)

"Therefore persons whose minds are fixed on the Lord engage in the intensive practice of devotional service. That is the only means for attainment of the final perfection of life."

Prabhupāda:

etāvān eva loke 'smin
puṁsāṁ niḥśreyasodayaḥ
tīvreṇa bhakti-yogena
mano mayy arpitaṁ sthiram
(SB 3.25.44)

This is the conclusion of bhakti-yoga. Kapiladeva has explained bhakti-yoga. In the last verse we have discussed jñāna-vairāgya-yuktena bhakti-yogena (SB 3.25.43). Bhakti-yoga is not the business of the foolish or ignorant. One who is advanced in jñāna-vairāgya, knowledge and renunciation... Another name of bhakti-yoga is renunciation. Vairāgya-vidyā. Bhakti-yoga means the education of renouncement. Sarvabhauma Bhaṭṭācārya, he explained bhakti-yoga, vairāgya-vidyā. Vairāgya-vidyā-nija-bhakti-yogam (CC Madhya 6.254). Yes. The bhakti-yoga begins when we accept Kṛṣṇa's instruction, sarva-dharmān parityajya mām ekaṁ śaraṇaṁ vraja (BG 18.66). We have to renounce all nonsense engagement. That is called sarva-dharmān. We have accepted everything as dharma—saṁsāra-dharma, gṛhastha-dharma, rāja-dharma, samājika-dharma. There are so many we have created. And we are still going on.

Dharma means function, characteristic. So we are planning, one after another, various plans to be very happy in this material world. But they will not make us happy—that's a fact—because this place is certified by the Supreme Personality of Godhead as duḥkhālayam aśāśvatam (BG 8.15): "This is a place for misery." This material world is a place for misery. This body is meant for suffering miseries, and the land is meant for suffering miseries. That we do not understand. But we are placed in a miserable condition all round. That is material life. Duḥkhālayam aśāśvatam. But we have got attachment for this material happiness—even it is duḥkhālayam, it is very much painful, miserable—and we are making plans how to become happy here. This is called struggle for existence. It is going on perpetually. We are making some plan to be happy, and it is dismantled by the laws of nature. You study the whole history of the world: it is simply struggling. We are making some plan to be out of miserable condition, but it is causing another miserable condition. Therefore it is called daivī hy eṣā guṇamayī mama māyā duratyayā (BG 7.14). This is māyā. We are simply planning to overcome some problem, some difficulties, but it is becoming more difficult. This is the fact.

Therefore our determination should be to renounce this association of this world. That is called mukti. Renounce this material association and come to the spiritual platform. Because we are spirit soul, our real place is spiritual platform. Our activities should be on the spiritual platform. Then we will be happy. The same example, as I have given many times, that we are animals of the land, so if we are put into the water, then however expert swimmer I may be or you may be, it is simply struggle for existence. There cannot be any happiness in the water. But if you are taken out of the water and put again into the land, then you get relief. So that is the position. We have come to this material world for sense gratification. The more expertly we make plan for our sense gratification, it will never be successful. So we have to come out of these material activities and act on the platform of spiritual life. That will make us...

Therefore it is said, etāvān eva loka 'smin puṁsāṁ niḥśreyasa udayaḥ. Udayaḥ means rising. Just like sūryodayaḥ. In the darkness... At night, we are in the darkness. In the morning there will be sūryodayaḥ, and then there will be light. So this is conclusion, that in this material world we are simply struggling for existence with a hope, future hope, that "We shall be happy by this plan." But it will never be possible. Simply you will be bewildered. Just like the animal goes to the desert, and he sees mirage, a shadow of water in the desert. He is thirsty. He goes to the water, and the water goes again, farther away. And he jumps over, jumps over. In this way, being thirsty and in the hot sand he dies. This is called māyā-marīcikā. Our struggle for existence is like that. We are thinking, "Let me go little farther, and we shall be happy." But actually, where is the water? There is no water in the desert. But those who are less intelligent, like animal, they seek happiness here in this material world, just like the animal running after water in the desert. Māyā-marīcikā.

So these attachments, this false attachment, has to be given up. And that is possible when we engage ourself in the bhakti-yoga. Bhakti-yoga.

etāvān eva loke 'smin
puṁsāṁ niḥśreyasodayaḥ
tīvreṇa bhakti-yogena...
(SB 3.25.44)

Tīvreṇa means very seriously, not superficially. Tīvreṇa bhakti-yogena. Kṛṣṇa wants to see that "Whether he has finished his all material desires." Then He is very much pleased. He says, sarva-dharmān paritya... (BG 18.66). Sarva-dharmān means we have created so many dharmas. That is not dharma; that is... Dharma, we generally become so-called religious for artha, for money. Dharma-artha. Artha, money, is required. Why? For sense gratification, kāma. And when we are dissatisfied, then we want mokṣa. Therefore, we are actually busy with four kinds of activities: dharma-artha-kāma-mokṣa (SB 4.8.41, CC Adi 1.90). And above these, when we go above these, then bhakti begins. That is the beginning of bhakti. That wanted.

Niḥśreyasa. Śreya. Śreya means ultimate good. There are two things: preya and śreya. Śreya means ultimate good. If you act in such a way that ultimately you actually become happy, that is called śreya. And if you want immediately some happiness—never mind what it will be in future—that is called preya. So less intelligent person or children, they want preya. They do not want śreya. A child is playing whole day. He likes it. That is preya. And if you want to send him to school to be educated, he doesn't like. That is śreya, ultimate good. So nobody is interested. Still, the śāstra gives us instruction that "You try for this śreya. Don't be captivated by the preya." Preya and śreya. And this śreya, the supreme śreya, is bhakti-yoga. Therefore it is said that etāvān eva loke 'smin puṁsāṁ niḥśreyasa udayaḥ. Śreyasa and niḥśreyasa. Niḥśreyasa means ultimate. Niḥśreyasa udayaḥ. As soon as you take to Kṛṣṇa consciousness, then your ultimate good or ultimate perfection begins immediately.

And the bhakti-yoga means,

śravaṇaṁ kīrtanaṁ viṣṇoḥ
smaraṇaṁ pāda-sevanam
arcanaṁ vandanaṁ dāsyaṁ
sakhyam ātma-nivedanam
(SB 7.5.23)

These are the nine different processes of bhakti-yoga, of which the most important thing is śravaṇam, hearing. Śravaṇaṁ kīrtanaṁ viṣṇoḥ. And about whom? About Viṣṇu, not for anyone else. That is śravaṇaṁ kīrtanaṁ viṣṇoḥ. Everything bhakti means devotional service, loving devotional service, for Viṣṇu or Kṛṣṇa. That is not any other service. That is not bhakti. Bhakti, the word, can be used only in relationship with the Supreme Personality of Godhead. It cannot be... If you say, "I am deśa-bhakta. I am very devotee of my country and of my society, of my family, of my cat, of my dog," that is not applicable. Bhakti is not applicable anywhere except in relationship with the Supreme Personality of Godhead. That is bhakti. Therefore śāstra particularly says, śravaṇaṁ kīrtanaṁ viṣṇoḥ, not any other śravaṇaṁ kīrtanam. If you say that "I am hearing about my country's welfare, about my society's welfare, about humanity's welfare, and I am preaching this," that is not bhakti. That is māyā. It is very difficult to understand.

But if you talk about Kṛṣṇa and hear about Kṛṣṇa, then your other services will include. It is all-pervading. Just like one is interested in the flower of the tree. If he wants... If he says that "I shall water the flower because I am interested with the flower," or "I shall water the fruit," but that will not help you. If you water on the fruit or on the flower because you are interested, the fruit also will dry and the flower also will dry. But if you water on the root of the tree, which carries the fruit and flower, your fruit and flower automatically will live. Similarly, if you render service to Kṛṣṇa, bhakti, then your so-called social service, country's service, family's service—everything will be performed perfectly. You don't have to endeavor separately for social service or any other service. Therefore it is said, tīvreṇa bhakti-yogena: without any deviation. You don't think that "If I simply become devotee of Kṛṣṇa and worship in the temple, then what will happen to my country? What will happen to my family? What will happen to my so many other things?" That will be automatically served. If you serve here Kṛṣṇa, then you'll give the best service to your family, to your society.

There are many instances. Just like Prahlāda Mahārāja was giving service to the Lord, and his father was very angry, and there was very much misunderstanding between the father and mother, er, the father and the son. Ultimately, the father was killed by Nṛsiṁha-deva. And Prahlāda Mahārāja saw it. But does it mean...? Superficially, it appeared that Prahlāda Mahārāja did wrong because his father was killed before him. Suppose if your father is killed before you and if you stand only, if you don't speak any protest to protect the father, who will agree with your endeavor? Nobody. Everyone will say, "You are such a coward that your father was killed before you? You did not protest? You did not try to give any protection?" This is superficial. But actually, the son, Prahlāda Mahārāja, was giving the best service to his father. Best service. Because in the śāstra it is said that if a person, if a demon, is killed by God, he immediately is liberated. Even though he was not liberated, thinking that he was very, very sinful... Of course, he was liberated. But Prahlāda Mahārāja was thinking that "My father was so sinful, so much against God consciousness, he might not be liberated."

So therefore Prahlāda Mahārāja, when he was requested..., when he was, rather, offered any benediction he wanted to take from Nṛsiṁha-deva, he refused: "My dear Lord, please do not induce me in that way. I am born in a family, demonic family. To gain some material profit is my natural propensity. And You are the offerer. You are offering me. I can take anything from You. But this is not my business. Because I have rendered service to You, it does not mean that I will take some remuneration for You. This is business." Vaṇik. Sa vai vaṇik: "This is mercantile man's... But I am Your eternal servant. I do not expect any reward from You." But that Prahlāda Mahārāja, later on he asked Nṛsiṁha-deva, "My dear Lord, one thing I may ask from You." "What is that?" "Now, my father was atheist number one, and he has committed so many offenses at Your lotus feet. Now he is killed. So I want that he may be excused and given liberation." So he was already liberated. Still, as affectionate son, he was anxious to know, "Whether my father will be liberated or not?" So this was confirmed by the Lord: "Not only your father—his father's father, his father, his father, up to fourteen generations—everyone is liberated, because a Vaiṣṇava son like you is born in this family."

So my point is: by serving the Supreme Lord, one gives the best service to the family, because if one becomes a Vaiṣṇava, pure Vaiṣṇava, the whole family, up to fourteen generation, they become liberated. Therefore tīvreṇa bhakti-yogena. We should not divert our attention for any other service. We should simply concentrate for rendering service to the Supreme Lord. This is the conclusion. Tīvreṇa bhakti-yogena mano mayy arpitam. Mayi, "unto Me, the Supreme Lord, Kṛṣṇa." This is Kṛṣṇa consciousness. Always thinking of Kṛṣṇa, mayi. That will help. Tīvreṇa bhakti-yogena. Always... That is also advised in Bhagavad-gītā: man-manā, mad-bh... Man-manā bhava mad-bhaktaḥ (BG 9.34). Your mind should be engaged always in Kṛṣṇa—Kṛṣṇa or Rāma, which form ever you like, Viṣṇu form, or Lord Viṣṇu, Nārāyaṇa, Kapiladeva. There are innumerable forms of God. Advaitam acyutam anādim ananta-rūpam (Bs. 5.33). So Rāma, Nṛsiṁha, Varāha, Kṛṣṇa, Kapiladeva, Balarāma—there are so many forms. So any one of Them, whichever you like... Everyone is... Just like Hanumān. He liked Rāmacandra forms, and Arjuna liked Kṛṣṇa's form. But there is no difference between Rāma and Kṛṣṇa. Rāmādi-mūrtiṣu kalā-niyamena tiṣṭhan nānāvatāram akarod bhuvaneṣu kintu (Bs. 5.39).

Sometimes foolish people question us that "You are worshiping Kṛṣṇa. Why you do not worship Rāma?" Rāma and Kṛṣṇa, there is no difference. But anyone has got his liking. Just like Hanumān has liking to worship Lord Rāmacandra, and the gopīs had the liking to worship Kṛṣṇa. That does not make any difference. It is like... Ye yathā māṁ prapadyante (BG 4.11). Kṛṣṇa, the Lord, appears in different way. Sometimes the gopīs... The Kṛṣṇa went away from the gopīs, and the gopīs were searching out Kṛṣṇa. So in some place Kṛṣṇa was sitting in the Viṣṇu form. So the gopīs passed through that Deity, and they did not offer much respect: "Oh, He is Viṣṇu. All right, namaskāra." Because they wanted to see Kṛṣṇa. There is no difference between Kṛṣṇa and Viṣṇu, but every devotee has got some inclination, love Kṛṣṇa. Rāmādi-mūrtiṣu kalā-niyamena tiṣṭhan (Bs. 5.39).

So therefore Kṛṣṇa is all-pervading in different mūrtis. Therefore in the Vaiṣṇava-sampradāya some of them, they worship Rādhā-Kṛṣṇa, and some of them worship Sītā-Rāma. And some of them worship Lakṣmī-Nārāyaṇa. Some of them worship Rukmiṇī-Kṛṣṇa. There are so many devotees. But all of them are the same, Vaiṣṇava. All of them are the... But not demigods. Viṣṇu. So chanting, bhakti-yoga means to chant "Viṣṇu." Śravaṇaṁ kīrtanaṁ viṣṇoḥ (SB 7.5.23). And Viṣṇu has got so many forms. So either you chant Hare Rāma or you chant Hare Kṛṣṇa, it is the same. There is no difference. Sometimes they first of all place "Hare Rāma, Hare Rāma, Rāma Rāma, Hare Hare," And sometimes they place "Hare Kṛṣṇa, Hare Kṛṣṇa, Kṛṣṇa Kṛṣṇa..." There is no difference. Sometimes they say, "No, it should be Hare Rāma first." Sometimes they..., "No, Hare Kṛṣṇa." But that is not very important; childish. Any, either you say Hare Rāma or Hare Kṛṣṇa, the same. So this is to be done. Tīvreṇa bhakti-yogena.

So bhakti-yoga begins with hearing, śravaṇam, śravaṇaṁ kīrtanam. And if you have heard from the right source and if you are convinced, then automatically you will try to perform kīrtana. Kīrtana means glorifying. If you have attained like... Or to preach. Anyone who has listened from right person, authority, about Bhagavad-gītā or Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam, about Kṛṣṇa or about Rāma, he would like to preach that. That is automatic, glorifying. That preaching is equal. That is called kīrtana. Kīrtana... Simply preaching, glorifying, or speaking about the Lord, that is also kīrtana. And performing kīrtana as we do here in the temple, with mṛdaṅga and karatāla, chanting, that is also kīrtana. Śukadeva Gosvāmī explained the Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam to Parīkṣit Mahārāja. So... And Parīkṣit Mahārāja simply listened to him carefully. This is śravaṇaṁ kīrtanam. The Parīkṣit Mahārāja is hearing, and Śukadeva Gosvāmī is performing kīrtana, describing all the glories of the Lord. That is kīrtana.

So śrī-viṣṇoḥ śravaṇe parīkṣit, how one devotee became liberated by performing one item only. There are nine items of devotional service:

śravaṇaṁ kīrtanaṁ viṣṇoḥ
smaraṇaṁ pāda-sevanam
arcanaṁ vandanaṁ dāsyaṁ
sakhyam ātma-nivedanam
(SB 7.5.23)

So Parīkṣit Mahārāja simply listened, śravaṇam. He did not do other things. Still, he was liberated. And Śukadeva Gosvāmī, he simply chanted or described the glories of the Lord. He also became liberated. Śrī-viṣṇoḥ śravaṇe parīkṣid abhavad vaiyāsakiḥ kīrtane (Brs 1.2.265). Similarly, śravaṇaṁ kīrtanaṁ viṣṇoḥ smaraṇam. Pṛthu, Pṛthu Mahārāja, he was simply remembering. No, pṛthuḥ pūjane. And pāda-sevanam. Lakṣmī-devī, she simply gave massage to the Viṣṇu's lotus feet. And Arjuna, simply he made friendship. And Hanumānjī, he simply served the order of Lord Rāmacandra. Dāsyaṁ sakhyam ātma-nivedanam. Ātma-nivedanam: offering everything. Bali Mahārāja, whatever he had, he gave to Vāmanadeva. Everything. Whatever he possessed, even his body, he gave to Vāmanadeva. Sarvātma-snapane, abhavad bali... Bali Mahārāja. So there are different examples.

So if you simply... At the present moment in this Kali-yuga, if you simply hear about Kṛṣṇa, śravaṇam, you don't require any education. You don't require to be a Ph.D. and M.S.C. God has given you the ear. You go to a person, realized soul, and hear from him. Simply hear from him. That is recommended in this age, because people are very, very fallen. They have no education. They have no inclination how to make perfect life. They do not know what is perfection of life. They think, "If I can eat sumptuously, that is perfection of life." Udaraṁ bharita. Svārtham udaraṁ bharita. In this age, if one man can eat very voraciously, he thinks, "My all interest are finished." He thinks. Because people are so, I mean, hungry, that they think, "If I can get a sumptuous food, that is perfection of life." This is Kali-yuga. Kali-yuga. Svārtham udaraṁ bharita. That is stated in the Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam. One will feel that "My all interest is now fulfilled because I am voraciously eating."

So we are hearing. This is wanted. Caitanya Mahāprabhu recommended this process, that whatever condition you are, it does not matter; you simply search out a devotee and hear from him. That is recommended. Ihā haya. Sthāne sthitāḥ śruti-gatāṁ tanu-vāṅ-manobhiḥ (SB 10.14.3). Sthāne sthitāḥ. You, whatever you are, there is no need of change, because it is very difficult to change position. Better remain your position, but you hear about Kṛṣṇa. That is our movement. Kṛṣṇa consciousness movement is to give chance people to hear about Kṛṣṇa, so many ways. Then, even Kṛṣṇa is Ajita—nobody can conquer Him—simply by hearing, you will conquer Kṛṣṇa. Kṛṣṇa will be very, very intimate friend of you, simply by hearing. That is said also in the Śrīmad-Bhāgavata: śṛṇvatāṁ sva-kathāḥ kṛṣṇaḥ puṇya-śravaṇa-kīrtanaḥ (SB 1.2.17). Śṛṇvatām. Śṛṇvatām means hearing. Kṛṣṇa is within everyone's heart. As soon as He sees that "This man is hearing about Me," śṛṇvatāṁ sva-kathāḥ kṛṣṇaḥ... Kṛṣṇa is the subject, nominative. Śṛṇvatām. When He sees that a person is interested in hearing, then He takes care of him. Because that is the beginning of bhakti. Śṛṇvatāṁ sva-kathāḥ kṛṣṇaḥ puṇya-śravaṇa-kīrtanaḥ. Even if we do not understand, if we do not understand the philosophy, what Kṛṣṇa says, still, if we hear, then you will be purified. You will be purified. That is the process of hari-saṅkīrtana. It doesn't require anybody to understand what is this Hare Kṛṣṇa. But if he's simply given the chance of hearing, he becomes purified.

That is wanted. Because without being purified, nobody can understand, "What is God, what is my relationship with God, who is God, what does He do, what is His name...," nothing interest. Dirty things within the heart, they cannot understand, dirty things, on account of sinful life. Na māṁ duṣkṛtino mūḍhāḥ prapadyante narādhamāḥ (BG 7.15). We are so much in this age engaged in sinful activities. The sinful activities are generally... The four pillars of sinful activities are illicit sex life, meat-eating, intoxication and gambling. So this whole world is now full of all this business. There is regular gambling house, there is regular intoxication centers, regular slaughterhouse and regular prostitution. This is the whole world. Which are sinful life—illicit sex life, meat eating, intoxication and gambling—that is prevalent all over the world. You will find organized by government. This is going on. And within this dangerous condition of the human society we have to push on Kṛṣṇa consciousness. How difficult it is, just imagine. But still, it is going on. But so many obstacles. So many obstacles. But we do not care for these obstacles. We must push on. This is our determination. Therefore it is called tīvreṇa bhakti-yogena (SB 3.25.44). Tīvreṇa. There may be so many obstacles, but you must push on your movement. Tīvreṇa bhakti-yogena. That is our duty.

Thank you very much.

Devotees: Haribol. (end)