Go to Vaniquotes | Go to Vanipedia | Go to Vanimedia

Vanisource - the complete essence of Vedic knowledge

721114 - Lecture NOD - Vrndavana

His Divine Grace
A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada

721114ND-VRNDAVAN - November 14, 1972 - 32:11 Minutes

Pradyumna: Page number 21. (reading) "Another part of sādhana-bhakti is called rāgānugā. Rāgānugā refers to the point at which, by following the regulative principles, one becomes a little more attached to Kṛṣṇa and executes devotional service out of natural love. For example, a person engaged in devotional service may be ordered to rise early in the morning and offer ārātrika, which is a form of Deity worship."

"In the beginning, by the order of the spiritual master one rises early in the morning and offers ārātrika, but then he develops real attachment. When he gets this attachment, he automatically tries to decorate the Deity and prepare different kinds of dresses and thinks of different plans to execute his devotional service nicely. Although it is within the category of practice, this off . . ."

Prabhupāda: Katha koibena. (Please don't talk.)

Pradyumna: "Although it is within the category of practice, this offering of loving service is spontaneous. So the practice of devotion, the practice of devotional service, sādhana-bhakti, can be divided into two parts—namely, regulative and spontaneous."

Prabhupāda: Hmm. Go on.

Pradyumna: "Rūpa Gosvāmī defines the first part of devotional service, or vaidhi-bhakti, as follows: 'When there is no attachment or no spontaneous loving service to the Lord, and one is engaged in the service of the Lord simply out of obedience to the order of the spiritual master or in pursuance of the scriptures, such obligatory service is called vaidhi-bhakti.' These principles of vaidhi-bhakti . . ."

Prabhupāda: Neither attachment nor detachment. That is the primary stage. One has no very much attachment in the material affairs, but at the same time, he has no strong detach . . . attachment for devotional service. This marginal state is called . . . what is that? Vaidhi-bhakti. Means he is offering devotional service under the instruction of the spiritual master as a professional. He has not developed the spontaneous love of God, Kṛṣṇa, but he is obliged to serve under the instruction of the spiritual master. And that is the first stage of vaidhi-bhakti.

Go on.

Pradyumna: "The principles of vaidhi-bhakti are also described in the Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam, Second Canto, First Chapter, verse 35 (SB 2.1.35), where Śukadeva Gosvāmī instructs the dying Mahārāja Parīkṣit as to his course of action. Mahārāja Parīkṣit met Śukadeva Gosvāmī just a week before his death, and the King was perplexed as to what should be done before he was to pass on. Many other sages also arrived there, but no one could give him the proper direction."

"Śukadeva Gosvāmī, however, gave this direction to him as follows: 'My dear King, if you want to be fearless in meeting your death next week (for actually everyone is afraid at the point of death), then you must immediately begin the process of hearing and chanting and remembering God.' If one can chant and hear Hare Kṛṣṇa and always remember Lord Kṛṣṇa, then he is sure to become fearless of death, which may come at any moment."

Prabhupāda: Ante nārāyaṇa-smṛtiḥ (SB 2.1.6). That is the success of life. Somehow or other, if one can remember Nārāyaṇa, Kṛṣṇa, that is success of life. The . . . in Bengal there is a proverb: bhajana kara, pūjāna kara, martye janle haya. Your devotional service will be tested at the time of death. Because yaṁ yaṁ vāpi smaram loke tyajaty ante kalevaram (BG 8.6). At the time of death, if we can remember Kṛṣṇa, nārāyaṇa-smṛtiḥ, that is all success.

The practice of devotional service means so that we may be so accustomed to chanting Hare Kṛṣṇa mantra that at the time of death we may remember it. Otherwise . . . not like parrot. The parrot also imitates chanting. But when the cat catches, he does not say "Hare Kṛṣṇa." He says (imitates parrot sound), "kanh, kanh." So not that kind of . . . we should be accustomed to chant Hare Kṛṣṇa that whenever the death point is there, he would chant, "Hare Kṛṣṇa, Hare Kṛṣṇa." Then that is success. So practice means to remember. Sadā tad-bhāva-bhāvitaḥ (BG 8.6). If we practice always thinking of Kṛṣṇa, naturally, at the time of danger, we shall chant Hare Kṛṣṇa.

Go on.

Pradyumna: "In the statements of Śukadeva Gosvāmī it is said that the Supreme Personality of Godhead is Kṛṣṇa. Therefore Śukadeva recommends that one should always hear about Kṛṣṇa. He does not recommend that one hear and chant about the demigods. The Māyāvādīs, or the impersonalists, say that you can chant any name, either that of Kṛṣṇa or those of the demigods, and the results will be the same."

Prabhupāda: Śukadeva Gosvāmī recommended:

tasmād bhārata sarvātmā
bhagavān harir īśvaraḥ
śrotavyaḥ kīrtitavyaś ca
smārtavyaś ca nityaśaḥ
(SB 2.1.5)

He recommended this, that tasmād bhārata sarvātmā bhagavān harir īśvaraḥ. Sarvātmā. The Kṛṣṇa is situated in everyone's heart; therefore He's known as sarvātmā. So sarvātmā is Bhagavān, the Personality, Supreme Personality of Godhead, Hari, who takes away all our miserable condition. Hari. And īśvara, controller. Tasmād bhārata sarvātmā bhagavān harir īśvaraḥ. So He's to be always remembered. Satato smārtavyo viṣṇuḥ. Always we have to remember Viṣṇu. Nityada, always. Kīrtanīyaḥ sadā hariḥ (CC Adi 17.31), Caitanya Mahāprabhu said:

tṛṇād api sunīcena
taror api sahiṣṇunā
amāninā mānadena
kīrtanīyaḥ sadā hariḥ
(CC Adi 17.31)

Kīrtanīyaḥ, to chant the glories of the Supreme Personality of Godhead, there are so many impediments. You are experiencing that our only business is to chant Hare Kṛṣṇa mantra, but there are so many enemies also. There are many friends—we have got more friends than enemies; still, there are so many enemies also, criticizing.

Therefore Caitanya Mahāprabhu predicted that this criticism would be there. Even when Caitanya Mahāprabhu was preaching this Hare Kṛṣṇa mantra . . . He was chanting Hare Kṛṣṇa mantra very loudly. Some brāhmins from Navadvīpa, they lodged complaint to the magistrate, Kazi that, "This Nimāi Paṇḍita has discovered a new type of religion, chanting loudly Hare Kṛṣṇa. This is the period of . . . sleeping period of Nārāyaṇa, and He's chanting so loudly. So Nārāyaṇa will be disturbed and there will be so much catastrophe. So kindly stop this chanting Hare Kṛṣṇa loudly."

And Kazi, he took steps. He first of all warned the disciples of Caitanya Mahāprabhu to stop chanting. But when Caitanya Mahāprabhu disregarded the order, then the . . . some constables came and broke the mṛdaṅga. Then Caitanya Mahāprabhu started the civil disobedience movement. About one lakh of people, chanting Hare Kṛṣṇa mantra, reached the house of Kazi, and there was some compromise.

So there is always impediments in this process. If you chant Hare Kṛṣṇa mantra, the atheist class of men, they cannot tolerate. In . . . nowadays also, we are being harassed. In Australia, the Melbourne city authorities, they brought a civil suit against us not to chant on the street. And our men were being taken to the police custody.

So this harassment was going on, and our men asked my permission, "What to do? The lawyers want two thousand dollars for defending." So I advised them that, "Why you should defend? Better go to jail and chant Hare Kṛṣṇa there." That's all. So they followed this instruction. Later on, the Archbishop of Melbourne city, he advised the authorities, "Don't harass these men. They are actually devotees of God." So now there is no disturbance.

So similar disturbance is to happen to everywhere. Therefore, Caitanya Mahāprabhu gave us instruction that you should be tolerant. Tṛṇād api sunīcena taror api sahiṣṇunā. Because there will be so much impediments. Amāninā mānadena kīrtanīyaḥ sadā hariḥ (CC Adi 17.31). We must chant; we must always do our business, despite all objection, obstacles. That is our business.

Go on.

Pradyumna: "The Māyāvādīs, or impersonalists, say that you can chant any name, either that of Kṛṣṇa or those of the demigods, and the result will be the same. But actually this is not a fact. According to the authorized version of Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam, one has to hear and chant about Lord Viṣṇu, Kṛṣṇa . . ."

Prabhupāda: Yes.

Pradyumna: ". . . only."

Prabhupāda: Śravaṇaṁ kīrtanaṁ viṣṇoḥ (SB 7.5.23). There are other demigods. It is not recommended śravaṇaṁ kīrtanam the name of other demigods. And to compare or to equalize the Supreme Personality of Godhead with other demigods, that is pāṣaṇḍī-matam, means atheistic opinion.

yas tu nārāyaṇaṁ devaṁ
samatvenaiva vīkṣeta
sa pāṣaṇḍī bhaved dhruvam
(CC Madhya 18.116)

This is a quotation from Caitanya-caritāmṛta, from Śāśvata Purāṇa. So we should not compare the Supreme Personality of Godhead Nārāyaṇa equal to any other demigod. That is offense. That is also nāma-aparādha. But the Māyāvādīs, they do that. Therefore, they do not derive any benefit. The Māyāvādīs also chant Hare Kṛṣṇa mantra, but—just to attract people—but actually they think that the name of any other demigod and the name of Nārāyaṇa, Kṛṣṇa, all the same. That is nāma-aparādha.

Go on.

Pradyumna: "So Śukadeva Gosvāmī has recommended to Parīkṣit Mahārāja that in order to be fearless of death, one has to hear and chant and remember the Supreme Personality of Godhead, Kṛṣṇa, by all means. He also mentions that the Supreme Personality of Godhead is sarvātmā. Sarvātmā means the Supersoul of everyone. Kṛṣṇa is also mentioned as īśvara, the supreme controller who is situated in everyone's heart. Therefore, if some way or other we become attached to Kṛṣṇa, he will make us free from all danger."

"In the Bhagavad-gītā it is said that anyone who becomes a devotee of the Lord is never vanquished. Others, however, are always vanquished. Vanquished means that after getting this human form of life, a person does not come out of the entanglement of birth and death and thus misses his golden opportunity. Such a person does not know where he is being thrown by the laws of nature."

Prabhupāda: Yes. That's a great problem. People do not know. People in general, they do not know what is after death. There are so many things after death, but there is no education. Therefore they are in darkness. So this human form of life is misused in darkness. If anyone does not know the value of life, then it is misused. In the śāstra it is called ātma-hā, committing suicide. The same quotation from Narottama dāsa Ṭhākura:

hari hari biphale janama goṅāinu
manuṣya-janama pāiyā, rādhā-kṛṣṇa nā bhajiyā
jāniyā śuniyā viṣa khāinu

It is the committing suicide. If we do not come to Kṛṣṇa consciousness, even getting this valuable human form of life, then certainly we are committing suicide. We are drinking poison knowingly.

Go on.

Pradyumna: "Suppose one does not develop Kṛṣṇa consciousness in this human form of life. He will be thrown into the cycle of birth and death involving 8,400,000 species of life, and his spiritual identity will remain lost. One does not know whether he is going to be a plant or a beast or a bird or something like that, because there are so many species of life. The recommendation of Rūpa Gosvāmī for reviving our original Kṛṣṇa consciousness is that somehow or other we should apply our minds to Kṛṣṇa very seriously, and thus also become fearless of death."

"After death we do not know our destination, because we are completely under the control of the laws of nature. Only Kṛṣṇa, the Supreme Personality of Godhead, is controller over the laws of nature. Therefore, if we take shelter of Kṛṣṇa seriously, there will be no fear of being thrown back into the cycle of so many species of life. A sincere devotee will surely be transferred to the abode of Kṛṣṇa, as affirmed in the Bhagavad-gītā."

Prabhupāda: Mām eva ye prapadyante māyām etāṁ taranti te (BG 7.14). Tyaktvā dehaṁ punar janma naiti mām eti kaunteya (BG 4.9). These statements are there. If we actually take to Kṛṣṇa consciousness, then māyā, the laws of nature, will not act. And . . . otherwise, we shall be put into the cycle of birth and death.

So the best utilization of this human life is to elevate oneself to Kṛṣṇa consciousness and, as it is stated in the Bhagavad-gītā, janma karma me divyaṁ yo jānāti tattvataḥ: if we try to understand Kṛṣṇa in truth, then tyaktvā dehaṁ punar janma naiti (BG 4.9), then we'll not have to accept any more this material body, which is full of miserable conditions. Then we go back to home, back to Godhead.

Go on.

Pradyumna: "In the Padma Purāṇa also the same process is advised. There it is said that one should always remember Lord Viṣṇu. This is called dhyāna, or meditation—always remembering Kṛṣṇa. It is said that one has to meditate with his mind fixed upon Viṣṇu. Padma Purāṇa recommends that one always fix his mind on the form of Viṣṇu by meditation, and not forget Him at any moment. And this stage of consciousness is called samādhi, or trance."

Prabhupāda: Yogic mystic meditation means to concentrate the mind upon Kṛṣṇa or Viṣṇu. Dhyānāvasthita tad-gatena manasā paśyanti yaṁ yoginaḥ (SB 12.13.1). Yogī, those who are real yogīs, they always observe the Viṣṇu form within the heart. That is the process of meditation and samādhi.

Go on.

Pradyumna: "We should always try to mold the activities of our lives in such a way that we will constantly remember Viṣṇu or Kṛṣṇa. That is Kṛṣṇa consciousness. Whether one concentrates his mind on the four-handed form of Viṣṇu or on the form of two-handed Kṛṣṇa, it is the same. The Padma Purāṇa recommends you somehow or other always think of Viṣṇu, without forgetting Him, under any circumstances."

"Actually, this is the most basic of all regulative principles. For, when there is an order from a superior about doing something, there is simultaneously a prohibition. When the order is that one should always remember Kṛṣṇa, the prohibition is that one should never forget Him. Within this simple order and prohibition all regulative principles are found complete."

Prabhupāda: Smartavyaḥ satato viṣṇuḥ vismartavyaṁ na jātucit. This is . . . this is the principle of Kṛṣṇa conscious life. We should always remember Kṛṣṇa, or Viṣṇu, and we shall never forget Him. We shall mold our life in such a way . . . this Kṛṣṇa consciousness movement, International Society, on this process they are acting. They're publishing, they're going to saṅkīrtana party on the street—even they are arrested, they cannot forget Kṛṣṇa. Even they are put into the jail, there also, chanting Hare Kṛṣṇa or remembering Kṛṣṇa, that "For pushing on Kṛṣṇa consciousness movement, we have come to jail." And they are chanting; they're free to chant.

So ahaituky apratihatā: Kṛṣṇa consciousness cannot be checked in any condition of life, provided we are serious. It is so nice. Any condition, any circumstances, without any check, we can remember Kṛṣṇa. Satato smartavyaḥ . . . smartavyo viṣṇuḥ. Kīrtanīyaḥ sadā hariḥ (CC Adi 17.31). These are the instruction.

Go on.

Pradyumna: "This regulative principle is applicable to all varṇas and āśramas . . ."

Prabhupāda: Yes. It is not that Viṣṇu has to be remembered only by the brāhmins. No. Anyone—brāhmin, kṣatriya, vaiśya, śūdra or lower than the śūdras, any pāpa-yoni. Kṛṣṇa recommends, māṁ hi pārtha vyapāśritya ye 'pi syuḥ pāpa-yonayaḥ (BG 9.32). Kiṁ punar brāhmaṇāḥ puṇyā bhaktā rājarṣayas tathā (BG 9.33). Even pāpa-yoni, it doesn't matter. Any material condition cannot check Kṛṣṇa consciousness. Anyone can take bath in the Yamunā. It is open for everyone. There is no prohibition that those who are low-born, they cannot take bath in the Yamunā or Ganges. Similarly, for chanting Hare Kṛṣṇa mahā-mantra there is no barrier. Everyone can chant. Everyone can take advantage and thus become purified of the material contamination.

Go on.

Pradyumna: "There are four varṇas, namely, the brāhmins, the priest and intellectuals; the kṣatriyas, warriors and statesmen; the vaiśyas, businessmen and farmers; and the śūdras, laborers and servants. There are also four standard āśramas, namely, brahmacarya, or student life; gṛhastha, householder; vānaprastha, retired; and sannyāsa, renounced."

"The regulative principles are not only for the brahmacārīs, or celibate students, to follow, but are applicable for all. It doesn't matter whether one is a beginner, a brahmacārī, or if one is very advanced, a sannyāsī. The principle of remembering the Supreme Personality of Godhead constantly and not forgetting Him at any moment is meant to be followed by everyone without fail."

"If this injunction if followed, then all other rules and regulations will automatically fall into line. All other rules and regulations should be treated as assistants or servants to this one basic principle."

Prabhupāda: This has been practically proved in the Western countries. These boys and girls, European and Americans, they were not informed about the regulative principles in the beginning. We enforce the regulative principle when a student is serious to become initiated. Otherwise, ordinarily, in all our centers, everyone is welcome and join the chanting of Hare Kṛṣṇa mantra.

Gradually, by mixing with the devotees, by being purified on the transcendental vibration of Hare Kṛṣṇa mantra, they voluntarily offer to become serious student, initiated. In this way, we have expanded. Practically the basic principle is chanting of Hare Kṛṣṇa mantra and giving them some chance to hear about Kṛṣṇa from the Bhagavad-gītā as it is. This is our principle.

Go on.

Pradyumna: "The injunctions of rules and regulations and the resultant reactions are mentioned in the Eleventh Canto of Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam, Fifth Chapter, first and second verses (SB 11.5.1). Camasa Muni, one of the nine sages who came to instruct King Nimi, addressed the King and said: 'The four social orders, namely, the brāhmins, the kṣatriyas, the vaiśyas and the śūdras, have come out of the different parts of the universal form of the Supreme Lord as follows: the brāhmins have come out from the head; the kṣatriyas have come out from the arms; the vaiśyas have come out from the waist; and the śūdras have come out from the legs. Similarly, the sannyāsīs have come out from the head; the vānaprasthas from the arms; the gṛhasthas from the waist; and the brahmacārīs from the legs.' These different orders of society and grades of spiritual advancement are conceived in terms of qualification."

"It is confirmed in the Bhagavad-gītā that the four social orders and the four spiritual orders are created by the Lord Himself, in terms of different individual qualities. As the different parts of the body have different types of activities, so the social and spiritual orders also have different types of activities in terms of qualification and position. The target of these activities, however, is always the Supreme Personality of Godhead. As confirmed in the Bhagavad-gītā, 'He is the supreme enjoyer.' So whether one is a brāhmin or a śūdra, he has to satisfy the Supreme Lord by his activities."

Prabhupāda: Yes. The brāhmin is considered to be the mouth of the total body, and the śūdras are considered to be the legs. So by comparative position, the head is more important than the leg, but they are equally important in terms of the whole body. Because the head cannot walk. For walking, he requires the cooperation of the legs.

So, as to maintain this body we require the cooperation of the head, arms, waist and legs, similarly, for serving Kṛṣṇa, the Supreme, the whole, it doesn't matter whether one is a brāhmin or kṣatriya or vaiśya or śūdra; everyone can be engaged. Sva-karmaṇā tam abhyarcya (BG 18.46). One has to worship the Supreme by his own work. The leg has to work in his own way, the head has to work in its own way. But the aim should be to survive, to maintain this body. That is the process. If the aim is one—Kṛṣṇa—then it doesn't matter whether one is brāhmin or one is śūdra. Equally they are serving and they are sharing the equal profit out of it.

Go on.

Pradyumna: "This is also confirmed in the Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam by a verse which reads, 'Everyone must be engaged in his particular duty, but the perfection of such work should be tested by how far the Lord is satisfied with such activities.' "

Prabhupāda: Yes.

svanuṣṭhitasya dharmasya
saṁsiddhir hari-toṣaṇam
ataḥ pumbhir dvija-śreṣṭhā
(SB 1.2.13)

Varṇa and āśrama, four varṇas and four āśrama, that division is always there. But it does not matter, division. It . . . of course, comparatively, the head is important than the leg. But if everyone is engaged in the service of the Lord, then everyone becomes perfect. It doesn't matter whether he's śūdra or brāhmin. It doesn't matter. Sva-karmaṇā tam abhyarcya (BG 18.46). Or svanuṣṭhitasya dharmasya saṁsiddhir hari-toṣaṇam (SB 1.2.13). That is the process of Kṛṣṇa consciousness.

Go on.

Pradyumna: "The injunction herein is that one has to act according to his position, and by such activities one must either satisfy the Supreme Personality or else fall down from his position."

Prabhupāda: Yes. The position may be . . . that is also recommended by Caitanya Mahāprabhu: sthāne sthitāḥ śruti-gatāṁ tanu-vāṅ-manobhiḥ (SB 10.14.3). Sthāne sthitāḥ. Sthāne sthitāḥ means position. You keep your position as brāhmin, you keep your position as kṣatriya or you keep your position as śūdra or vaiśya or brahmacārī. It doesn't matter. Sthāne sthitāḥ. Simply hear about the glories.

Just like we are sitting here. There are brāhmins, kṣatriyas, vaiśya or śūdra. It doesn't matter. Everyone has got the privilege to hear about the glories of the Lord. And if we take up this business, sthāne sthitāḥ śruti-gatāṁ tanu-vāṅ-manobhiḥ, prāyaśo 'jito 'pi jito asi tais tri-lokyām. Kṛṣṇa is known as Ajita, but . . . Ajita means who cannot be conquered. So He can be conquered by this process.

When Rāmānanda Raya quoted this verse from Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam, jñāne prayāsam udapāsya namanta eva (SB 10.14.3), so Caitanya Mahāprabhu confirmed it. Ya ihā haya: "It is very nice." So in this age, by the recommendation of śāstra, and confirmed by Caitanya Mahāprabhu, we should give chance to the people for hearing about the glories of the Lord. That is the program of Kṛṣṇa consciousness.

We go everywhere and we give people the chance of hearing about the glories of the Lord, and gradually they become Kṛṣṇa conscious. This is practically we are feeling it. The recommendation given by Caitanya Mahāprabhu: īhā haya, this process. Satāṁ prasaṅgāt mama vīrya-saṁvido bhavanti hṛt-karṇa-rasāyanāḥ kathāḥ.

So this process, giving chance. Of course, those who are preacher, they must be very sincere and serious. Āpani ācari prabhu jīveri śikṣāya. One must be perfectly in the Vaiṣṇava behavior, sadācāra. Because to hear from professional reciters, there will be no effect. He must be Vaiṣṇava. It is the indication by Sanātana Gosvāmī, avaiṣṇava-mukhodgīrṇaṁ pūtaṁ hari-kathāmṛtam, śravaṇaṁ na kartavyam (Hari-bhakti-vilāsa, quoting from Padma Purāṇa). One who is professional, who is not Vaiṣṇava, from him, one should not hear about the holy names of God, Kṛṣṇa. That is prohibited. Because it will not be effective. Rather, it will be dangerous.

So preaching work, this Kṛṣṇa conscious preaching work, we must be very cautious that those who are preachers, they must be pure Vaiṣṇava. Anyābhilāṣitā-śūnyam (Brs. 1.1.11). Not for money's sake, not for reputation sake, lābha-pūjā-pratiṣṭhā. Only for serving Kṛṣṇa. Ānukūlyena kṛṣṇānu-śīlanam (CC Madhya 19.167). This is pure Vaiṣṇavism. One has to satisfy Kṛṣṇa. Not for any other purpose.

So this preaching work should be taken up by pure Vaiṣṇava, anyābhilāṣitā-śūnyaṁ. And if the śāstric injunctions and the direction given by the authorities, if they are presented as they are, surely there will be effect. It has been proved. And it is being proved. So this process we should adopt, and our success of Kṛṣṇa consciousness movement is assured.

Thank you very much.

Devotees: Haribol . . . (break) (end)