Collaborate with us to invoke and fully manifest Srila Prabhupada's Vani-presence.
720304 - Lecture Bengali - Calcutta
(Translated from Bengali)
(Not recorded from the beginning.)
Pray, then you may be forgiven, else there is no other solution.
Then he (Durvāsā Muni) returned to meet Ambarīṣa Mahārāja after one year. After traversing the universe, he returned after one year. So, you can imagine the speed he travelled at. According to modern astronomers, it has been estimated that to travel to the furthermost planet, it would take forty-thousand years. One can estimate the speed of travel by mystic powers. This is possible for those who have mystic powers. However, even such great mystic powers are inconsequential to the devotees. Durvāsā had to return and beg for forgiveness at Ambarīṣa Mahārāja’s feet saying, "Please forgive me."
Even though Ambarīṣa Mahārāja was empowered mystic himself, however, by the dint of devotional service to the Supreme Lord, he considered himself extremely lowly. Those who are Vaiṣṇava devotees, they factually do not need endeavour to attain mystic powers because the devotional service they render, is far more advanced than mystic powers. Their work is of such nature.
When a young child who is a son of a very powerful man, if someone touches him, the father would then spend whatever it takes to capture that person. Similarly, the Supreme Person, is all-powerful. Those who have surrendered themselves and dedicated their lives to the service and shelter of the Supreme Person, they do not need any mystic powers. Because, one of the names of the Supreme Person is Yogeśvara, master of the mystic power... Yogeśvara. "Yatra yogeśvara hariḥ" ((BG 4.12). Therefore, where is the need for mystic powers when the master of all mystic powers, Yogeśvara, is protecting that person? Hence, such a person does not need mystic powers. That person is automatically (indistinct).
One person works very hard to earn two or ten lakhs, or two crores. Another person is the son of a millionaire, who has no need to work hard and earn two, ten lakhs, or two or four crores. The entire arrangement is the Supreme Person's... "Yasmin sthite guruṇāpi duḥkhena na vicālyate" (BG 6.20-23). This is stated in the Bhagavad-gītā, that if someone takes shelter of the Supreme Person, then even during very bad times, the devotee is never disturbed. Because the devotee does not see anything else other than the Supreme Person. When a calamity arises, even that is seen as being sent by the Supreme Person. "Tat te 'nukampāṁ su-samīkṣamāṇo" (Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam 10.14.8). Therefore, there is no reason for unhappiness or fear.
The reason for stating this is that, after killing Hiraṇyakaśipu, and seeing the fierce form of the Supreme Person, Bhagavan Nṛsiṁhadeva - Brahmā, Lakṣmī, Śiva, everyone was terrified. However, five year old Prahlāda was not frightened because he is a devotee.
Thereafter, seeing the Supreme Person appear in his terrifying form, Brahma and everyone present, realised that their prayers at calming His anger would not work, so they said, "Prahlāda, even though you are a younger than us, you are a devotee of the Supreme Person, so you calm the His anger in His terrifying Form." So, we will now discuss the some of the prayers offered by Prahlāda, who said,
- brahmādayaḥ sura-gaṇā munayo 'tha siddhāḥ
- sattvaikatāna-gatayo vacasāṁ pravāhaiḥ
- nārādhituṁ puru-guṇair adhunāpi pipruḥ
- kiṁ toṣṭum arhati sa me harir ugra-jāteḥ
- (Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam 7.9.8)
Exalted demigods and even Brahmā were not able to satisfy the Supreme Lord and their words and prayers are not ordinary. For us to write a verse or a poem about the Supreme Person, needs much thought and effort. Brahmā is 'ādī-kavī' or the topmost-poet in the entire universe, and even he was unable to satisfy the Bhagavān with his erudite offering. "Brahmādayaḥ sura-gaṇā"... 'sura-gaṇā' means 'deva-gana' or the demigods.
They... "munayo tha siddhāḥ" all the exalted sages and ascetics could not succeed in calming the Supreme Person's anger, with their offering of prayers. "sattvaikatāna-gatayo vacasāṁ pravāhaiḥ." Spoken words must be in the mode of goodness. In this material world, speech is in the three modes... goodness, passion and ignorance. The Supreme Person cannot be pleased with words in the mode of ignorance, neither words in the modes of passion. Goodness... means words that are full of transcendental knowledge, that involves the names, pastimes, qualities, form, opulence.
Prayers to the Supreme Person must be free from lust and greed. Not to ask, "Bhagavān, give me what I want." This is what happens most of the time. Most people, when they go to the temple to pray to the Supreme Person... that is why people go to temples of various demigods. Because prayers to the various demigods are granted quickly. "kāṅkṣantaḥ karmaṇāṁ siddhiṁ, yajanta iha devatāḥ (BG 4.12)
Just as, in the villages, there are many demigods worshipped, like Mā Sītala, Mā Mansa, Mā Durgā, or Kāli, to whom they are praying, "If you fulfil my desires, I will worship you by offering you a goat in sacrifice" etc. These are prayers in the modes of passion and ignorance. Those who are in the modes of passion and ignorance, are effected by two influences; lust and greed.
Those who are in the mode of goodness will become spiritually enlightened by knowledge of the Supreme Person; such persons will be able to understand their relationship with the Supreme Person, and after understanding that knowledge, being situated in the mode of pure-goodness, they are able to engage in unalloyed devotional service to the Supreme Person. This is the conclusion. Lust and greed.
- naṣṭa-prāyeṣv abhadreṣu nityaṁ bhāgavata-sevayā
- bhagavaty uttama-śloke bhaktir bhavati naiṣṭhikī
- tadā rajas-tamo-bhāvāḥ kāma-lobhādayaś ca ye
- ceta etair anāviddhaṁ sthitaṁ sattve prasīdati
- (Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam 1.2.18-19)
There is a verse that states that, as soon as irrevocable loving service is established in the heart, the effects of nature's modes of passion and ignorance, such as lust, desire and hankering, disappear from the heart. Then the devotee is established in goodness, and he becomes completely happy.
When people become attracted to this science of the Supreme Person, then the modes of goodness, passion and ignorance, that afflict their hearts... not the mode of goodness... the modes of passion and ignorance that most people in this world are afflicted by, in fact the mode of goodness is practically non-existent, hence most overcome by lust and greed.
The prayers of ones who are Brahmā and the demigods in the mode of goodness, are not affected by lust and greed. That is the mode of goodness. Hence, it was said that even those in the mode of goodness who offered their prayers to the Bhagavān, were unable to please Him. "Nārādhituṁ puru-guṇair adhunāpi pipruḥ kiṁ toṣṭum arhati sa me harir ugra-jāteḥ (Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam 7.9.8). I am born in a demonic family. My father is Hiraṇyakaśipu who is completely in the modes of passion and ignorance, lust and greed - I am his son. What qualification do I have to offer prayers and satisfy the Supreme Person?"
Please observe the gentleness of the devotee of the Supreme Person. He, Prahlāda Mahārāja is the top-most devotee of the Supreme Lord, for whom the Supreme Person Himself appeared as Nṛsiṁhadeva to protect him, and to kill Hiraṇyakaśipu. He is the most exalted devotee and a Vaiṣṇava guru.
In the Vaiṣṇava disciplic succession, he is one of the twelve authorities. The twelve authorities are, "svayambhūr nāradaḥ śambhuḥ" (Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam 6.30). "Svayambhūr" is Brahmā who was born without parents from a lotus flower, that emanated from the navel of his father, the Supreme Person. However, he had little connection with his Mother Lakṣmī, who was sitting in front. The Supreme Person gave birth to Brahmā out of a lotus flower created from His navel, not as the man and woman unison creates.
From this we may conclude that the Supreme Lord does not need the association or help of another, to manifest creation. In the human form, man and wife need to unite to procreate. There is an adage in Bengali that says, “If you want a child, you need a wife.” However, the Supreme Person does not have such needs. When the Supreme Person wants to procreate, He does not require a wife. His wife, Lakṣmī Devi Herself serves Nārāyana’s lotus feet, however, he can procreate by Himself, hence He is known as the Supreme Controller. This means that He does not need any external energies.
- parāsya śaktir vividhaiva śrūyate
- svābhāvikī jñāna-bala kriyā ca
- (Śvetāśvatara Upaniṣad 6.8)
- [Śrī Caitanya-caritāmṛta Madhya 13.65 purport]
We may thus conclude, that the Supreme Person has unlimited powers and absolute knowledge, and all these energies are in Him. People who have little intelligence, are not able to understand how the Supreme Lord's energy is working. We have discussed this many times. If we were to create a painting of a beautiful flower, we would need so many tools like paints, brushes, and despite all our effort, we are unable to recreate the beauty of a rose, as it is found in nature on a rose plant. And there are many millions flowers on millions of trees, created by the energies of the Supreme Person. (indistinct). We can see that the the Supreme Lord's energy is everywhere.
Just like an electronic machine that is activated by pressing a button. This may be unbelievable to a person of little intelligence but those acquainted with its engineering knows how this is possible. The fool may wonder how this may be possible, however, those who understand the science, know how electronics function. Similarly, through the Supreme Lord's energy everything is functioning perfectly, and how this is taking place is known to the person who is acquainted with the Supreme Person.
The others do not understand, and attribute explanations like, "Nature that is functioning on its own. It is happening by chance." Everything is functioning by the Supreme Person's brain. Those who are unable to understand are declaring the Supreme Person as formless. They accept material nature as factual and all in all, but refuse to accept the Supreme Person, as the creator and source of nature. "mayādhyakṣeṇa prakṛtiḥ, sūyate sa-carācaram (BG 9.10)
This they are unable to grasp. And because they are unable grasp this fact, they are becoming demonic. "Māyayāpahṛta-jñānā" (BG 7.15). All the so-called scientific knowledge acquired by such people is not helping them understand or grasp this truth.
The other day, I met a scientist in Madras and asked him, "According to scientific calculation if you know the mixture of hydrogen and oxygen creates water, are you able to estimate how many tons of hydrogen and oxygen must have gone into creating the ocean? And who has supplied these ingredients for the water? What do you have to say about this?" What did he reply? He just kept quiet. Is there any scientist here who can offer an explanation? Who has supplied the millions of tons of hydrogen and oxygen? You have to accept that water is a combination of hydrogen and oxygen, and so the chemists state. And there are so many such phenomenon that the Bhagavad-Gita has answers to,
- bhūmir āpo 'nalo vāyuḥ
- khaṁ mano buddhir eva ca
- bhinnā prakṛtir aṣṭadhā
- (Bhagavad-gītā 7.4)
"All these energies are My energies," the Supreme Lord is saying. All these creations are manifest by the transcendental energies of the Supreme Person. That is why he (Prahlāda Mahārāja) says, "brahmādayaḥ sura-gaṇā munayo 'tha siddhāḥ sattvaikatāna-gatayo vacasāṁ pravāhaiḥ" (Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam 7.9.8). "Streams of excellent words" . Just as the number of waves of the ocean break one after the other which are unaccountable, similarly, Brahmā and the demigods offered prayers in pure goodness with no traces of passion or ignorance. So, if such exalted personalities have not succeeded in pleasing the Supreme Person, then how is it possible for me, whose body is born of a father in the mode of passion and ignorance, please the Supreme Person?” This is the humility of a Vaiṣṇava.
In the Caitanya-caritamṛta (Kṛṣṇa dāsa Kavirāja Gosvāmī) said, "purīṣera kīṭa haite muñi se laghiṣṭha" (Śrī Caitanya-caritāmṛta Adi 5.205). He says, "I am lower than that worm in the stool." "Purīṣera kīṭa haite muñi se laghiṣṭha...jagāi mādhāi haite muñi se pāpiṣṭha" - Jagāi and Madhāi have many good qualities. I am a thousand times more sinful than them. Caitanya Mahāprabhu saved Jagāi and Madhāi but how will I be saved because I am even more sinful than them." He prayed to the Lord in this manner. However, he did not do this to make a show of his humility to people. He expressed himself in this manner which is a symptom of a Vaiṣṇava. He is an exalted Vaiṣṇava - still he is thinking, "Everyone is chanting the Holy Names of the Supreme Person but I have failed to do so."
Those who are neophyte devotees, they consider themselves elevated devotees, and everyone else non-devotees. This is a description of a neophyte devotee. "Na tad-bhakteṣu cānyeṣu sa bhaktaḥ prākṛtaḥ smṛtaḥ" (Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam 11.2.47). These are some scriptural conclusions.
Prahlāda Mahārāja is an exalted devotee, one who sees the Supreme Person in everything. He is an authority, "brahmādayaḥ sura-gaṇā". (Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam 7.9.8) Brahma is an authority. There are twelve authorities, and Prahlāda is one of them. He is not show-off to people, he means it genuinely. He actually believes that his body has been acquired through passion and ignorance. "Ugra-jāteḥ" means, due to the dominance of the modes of passion and ignorance, the person is always agitated and arrogant, "Who is greater than me? I am the greatest!" Comparatively, one who is in the mode of goodness, is enlightened, hence has realized that no one is greater than the Supreme Person, hence such a person is meek and humble.
- tṛṇād api sunīcena
- taror api sahiṣṇunā
- amāninā mānadena
- kīrtanīyaḥ sadā hariḥ
- (Caitanya-caritāmṛta iAd 17.31)
This is the difference between the devotee of the Supreme Person, and the agitated and arrogant people. So, Prahlāda Mahārāja is saying, "They are asking me to offer prayers to satisfy the Supreme Lord, but I have no good qualities to do so because I belong to the ferocious class, or a low-class person’s son. What can I do? However, because they are asking me to,"
- manye dhanābhijana-rūpa-tapaḥ-śrutaujas-
- nārādhanāya hi bhavanti parasya puṁso
- bhaktyā tutoṣa bhagavān gaja-yūtha-pāya
- (Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam 7.9.9)
We can comprehend from this verse, that to satisfy the Supreme Person, then all these - "manye dhanābhijana-rūpa-tapaḥ-śrutaujas" - wealth, which is a result of performing pious activities, beauty, birth in an good family, bodily beauty etc., all these... 'tejaḥ' means power, 'prabhāva' influence, 'bala' bodily strength, diligence, buddhi' intelligence and mystic powers – all these attributes are not enough to satisfy the Supreme Person. Someone may think, "I have a lot of wealth. I will buy the Supreme Person with my wealth. I am very learned, so I will through knowledge acquired from the Vedic scriptures, will impress the Supreme Person, or with bodily strength."
All these are material possessions Prahlāda Mahārāja is stating, "manye dhanābhijana-rūpa-tapaḥ-śrutaujas-tejaḥ-prabhāva-bala-pauruṣa-buddhi-yogāḥ". All these material possessions are, Prahlāda Mahārāja says, "nārādhanāya hi bhavanti parasya puṁso," all these things for the transcendental Supreme Person, who is above the influence of material nature. The Supreme Person is not material. Transcendental. This fact people are unable to understand. Śankaracarya, whose beliefs are different from the Vaiṣṇava understanding, even he has stated that the Supreme Lord is beyond the material encirclement. Nārāyana has nothing to do with the material creation.
Kṛṣṇa says, "Avajānanti māṁ mūḍhā mānuṣīṁ tanum āśritam – because I have appeared and perform My pastimes in this material creation, the foolish, consider Me to be a human being." However, He is not made of matter, that is why the Supreme Person, cannot be satisfied with any material object."
Someone may be able to control the human beings of this world with the power of money. If someone belongs to aristocracy or an affluent family, people become enthused when their progeny is married, and eagerly participate in such wedding ceremonies because there is attraction. Or if there is a beautiful man or woman, people becoming attracted. These things may be effective in the mundane world, but in devotional service and satisfying the Supreme Person, these material objects are useless.
Hence, it is said, "Bhaktyā tutoṣa bhagavān gaja-yūtha-pāya", citing the incident when the elephant had fallen into difficult situation... Gajarāja... and he was saved by the Supreme Person. He was not human but an animal but because he was a devotee, the Supreme Person, protected him. Like Hanumān, who is not human, he is an animal... monkey... however, because he had such great devotion, as a devotee of Rāma, he is blessed with such great fortune, respected that even till today he is worshipped as Vajrāṅgajī Hanumān.
The Supreme Person Bhagavān, Himself says, "bhaktyā mām abhijānāti, yāvān yaś cāsmi tattvataḥ" (BG 18.55)
To satisfy and please the Supreme Person, devotion is needed. There is nothing in this material existence that can do so. Does that mean that we have to discard everything material in this world? No. The devotee knows how to utilise material things. How does the devotee know this? Because the devotee knows that everything in this world belongs to the Supreme Person. This is a fact.
As I was just mentioning... "bhūmir āpo 'nalo vāyuḥkhaṁ mano buddhir eva ca" (BG 7.4). Earth, water, air, fire, the five material elements, the Supreme Person says, "Belong to Me." Therefore, when we take all these materials like wood, stone, water etc, to build a house, and furniture, and think these are our possessions. But all the raw materials are created by the Supreme Person. I may take rocks and build a massive house with a lot of money but where have the rocks come from? Which factory have these rocks been manufactured in? Who has created it? The creator of the rock is the Supreme Person.
Therefore, if the rocks have been created by God, so has your body and intelligence, so if everything belongs to the Supreme Person, then why do you build that house out of stone and call it your own? When did it become your's? This is illusion. This they do not know but the devotee of the Supreme Person, knows. The devotee of the Supreme Person knows that everything belongs to Him, "Even I belong to the Supreme Person"
Therefore, anything and everything that there is, possessions in this world... why is there so respect for Calcutta? There are many human beings here...and all these people are very busy constructing big buildings, manufacturing cars, factories. Factually, the living entity is part and parcel of the Supreme Person created by nature – His energy, and the materials that being used from nature are also created by the Supreme Person’s energy. When these two elements are coming together, creation is taking place, so how can all these material elements belong to anyone but the Supreme Person? This is an intelligent conclusion. Even the intelligence that the scientists are using to big work, is provided by the Supreme Person.
If something goes even slightly wrong with my brain...I recently experienced in Madras... Dr. Rādhakrishnan (former President of India 1962-1967) who was the President, and an eminent philosopher, he has lost his mind, and unable to recognise anyone and makes strange gestures. Where has his intelligence gone? Where has his Presidency gone? The power he was given, has been withdrawn by the Supreme Person. (indistinct). He is sitting there like statue who eats when fed. He has lost the capacity to speak. Even though he is an affluent man who is being served by everyone but there is no hope.
Therefore, we must make the most of the brain while it is functioning well, and use the intelligence to realise that everything in this world, including all of us, belong to the Supreme Person, hence we must utilise everything and dovetail it in devotional service, and this must the sole purpose of our life. This is known as Kṛṣṇa consciousness. Kṛṣṇa consciousness. This is what we are teaching. This is what we are trying to propagate in this world. Those who are intelligent are being able to understand, and are accepting.
It is my prayer and request that you too accept this. This belongs to your country, so why would you reject it? Rejecting it means a lack of intelligence. Those who are of meagre intelligence will reject, but those who are intelligent... "Kṛṣṇa ye bhaje, se baḍa catura" ?) - those who worship Kṛṣṇa are very intelligent. Unless one is very intelligent, worshiping Kṛṣṇa is not possible.
"mahājano yena gataḥ sa panthāḥ" (Caitanya-caritāmṛta Madhya 17.186) Prahlāda Mahārāja was an authority, and just as he utilised his intelligent in devotional service to the Supreme Person. Even if we do not have intelligence ourselves, if we follow in his footsteps, observe how Prahlāda Mahārāja performed devotional service, and emulate him. Just as a foolish person may not understand what engineering is, however, if an engineer guides and teaches the person how a particular device is operated, then it can be done.
Similarly, "Mahājano yena gataḥ sa panthāḥ," if we pursue in the footsteps of Prahlāda Mahārāja, taking shelter of a devotee, then we will be able understand our eternal relationship with the Supreme Person, and thereby make our life successful.