661228 - Lecture CC Madhya 20.354-358 - New York

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His Divine Grace A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada



661228CC.NY - December 28, 1966


Prabhupāda:

avatāra nāhi kahe-'āmi avatāra'
muni saba jāni' kare lakṣaṇa-vicāra
(CC Madhya 20.354)

So Lord Caitanya says that incarnation, He never advertises Himself that He is avatāra. But experienced muni, those who are liberated souls, those who are expert in Vedic knowledge, they understand that this is avatāra, or incarnation, by the symptoms, as they are stated in the scriptures. In the scripture, the color, the activities, the time and the place and the parents—everything is described about the incarnation.

So, so that just like everything has to be understood by the symptoms, that is the scientific advancement. Just like a drug is tested in the laboratory and the drug, the symptoms and the taste, how it is, how the color changes, how it tastes in the tongue, everything is described there, so scientists proves, understands, the genuineness of a particular chemical by testing. Similarly, nobody should be accepted as incarnation. That is foolishness. Incarnation, they are stated in the scriptures. Their symptoms, everything is there, and one should understand from that. The avatāra never advertise. And anyone who advertises himself that "I am incarnation," he should be at once rejected. He should be at once rejected.

yasyāvatāra jñāyante
śarīriṣv aśarīriṇaḥ
tais tair atulyātiśayair
vīryair dehiṣv asaṅgataiḥ
(CC Madhya 20.355)

The first thing is that avatāra, incarnation, He hasn't got this material body. The first symptom is. And still, the avatāra appears before us. Because, so far our senses are concerned, we can see the material objects. We can see a stone. We can see, I mean to say, wood. We can see water. We cannot see even air, the finer material things. We cannot see mind. We know that mind there is in every soul, every body. Every one of us has got mind, but we cannot see. We cannot see the sky. So the . . . in the material world also, there are so many finer things which we cannot see. And what to speak of spiritual?

So that spiritual, Supreme Spirit, when He appears before us, seeable, so that we can see, so that is His mercy. That is His mercy. Because we cannot see even the soul within ourself; we are seeing only the body. So what to speak of the Supreme Spirit? That is not possible. Yasyāvatāra jñāyante śarīriṣv aśarīriṇaḥ. Therefore it is the inconceivable power that the incarnation of God appears before us.

'svarūpa'-lakṣaṇa, āra 'taṭastha-lakṣaṇa
ei dui lakṣaṇe 'vastu' jāne muni-gaṇa
(CC Madhya 20.356)

The symptoms are analyzed in two divisions. Svarūpa-lakṣaṇa means the symptom which (is) always present. That is called svarūpa-lakṣaṇa. And taṭastha-lakṣaṇa, the symptoms which are sometimes present and sometimes not present. They are called . . . in this way, the experienced sages, they analyze the characteristics of the avatāra, or God—two symptoms. One symptoms is always there. As soon as there is God, that constant symptom is there. And there are other symptoms which may appear sometimes or may not appear.

ākṛti, prakṛti, svarūpa—svarūpa-lakṣaṇa
kārya-dvārā jñāna—ei taṭastha-lakṣaṇa
(CC Madhya 20.357)

Ākṛti, prakṛti. The form and the activities, all uncommon. Just like Kṛṣṇa. Kṛṣṇa, He married sixteen thousand wives and He divided Himself into sixteen thousand Kṛṣṇa. This is called ākṛti. This is uncommon. God can expand Himself in any number of forms. We cannot do that. That is the symptom of God. Ākṛti, prakṛti. Prakṛti is His nature, supreme nature. As soon as He likes anything to do, He'll do it. There is no impediment. Parāsya śaktir vividhaiva śrūyat . . . and He does in such nice way that we cannot conceive how it is being done, nature's way. Ākṛti prakṛti, these are taṭastha lakṣaṇa, uh, svarūpa lakṣaṇa, personal symptoms of God.

And kārya-dvārā jñāna—ei taṭastha-lakṣaṇa. And the activities . . . just like Kṛṣṇa, when comes as incarnation, His activities and activities of Rāma, or activities of Nṛsiṁha, activities of Vāmana, these activities may differ according to time, according to place, according to the mission. The activities may be different. But Their, Their ākṛti, Their feature and Their power—extraordinary. We should understand very nicely that incarnation means Their feature and Their nature, uncommon.

There may be difference. Just like Buddha's. Buddha's activities and Kṛṣṇa's activities, there is difference. Buddha's activity was different because, according to the place, according to the time, according to the audience, the activities are . . . avatāra, incarnation, comes when there is necessity. Yadā yadā hi dharmasya glānir bhavati (BG 4.7).

When there is discrepancies in the discharge of dharma . . . dharma means the prescribed rules by which one can elevate himself to the transcendental life. That is dharma, religion.

Why in human society there is religion? The purpose is to elevate himself to the transcendental position. That is religion. Where there is no such aim to raise one from the fallen condition to the liberated state, that is not religion; that is sentiment. Religion means that one should be raised from the fallen condition to the highest elevated condition. Therefore there are so many rules and regulation. In the Bhagavad-gītā the Lord says, yad icchantam, yad icchantam brahmacaryaṁ caranti. Yad icchantam.

(aside) Just open the . . . I think it is in the Eighth Chapter. Eighth Chapter, fifteenth verse. Open it.

(pause) Read it.

Devotee: Mām upetya punar janma (BG 8.15).

Prabhupāda: No. Then, before that.

Devotee: Ananya cetaḥ . . .

Prabhupāda: Before that.

Devotee: Oṁ iti . . .

Prabhupāda: Yad icchantam. The śloka is yad icchantaṁ brahma . . . you don't find it? Let me. Let me have the book.

(pause) Yes, here. Eleventh.

yad akṣaraṁ veda-vido vadanti
viśanti yad yatayo vīta-rāgāḥ
yad icchanto brahmacaryaṁ caranti
tat te padaṁ saṅgraheṇa pravakṣyāmi
(BG 8.11)

Here is the transla . . . "I shall briefly describe to thee that state which the knowers of the Vedas call the imperishable, which the ascetics, freed from passion, enter, and desiring which, they lead a life of self-control." Not . . . Brahmacarya is celibacy. Translation is not here. Celibacy means completely ceasing from sex life. Yad icchanto brahmacarya. Brahmacarya means celibacy. No sex life. Therefore the brahmacarya āśrama is recommended.

The first basic principle of religious life, according to Vedic principle, the students are expected to go to the spiritual master's place and learn there how to live without any sex life. For twenty-five years or at least for twenty years, the student is trained up in that way. Then he's allowed to enter into the gṛhastha life to marry. So there is a process. Religion means there must be process. It is not simply mental speculation. Yad icchantaṁ brahmacaryaṁ caranti. Yad icchantaṁ brahmacaryaṁ caranti tat te padaṁ saṅgraheṇa pravakṣyāmi. These things are described in the Bhagavad-gītā.

So to understand, to elevate oneself from the fallen condition to the highest liberated condition, one has to be trained up, one has to follow the rules and regulation as they are prescribed. Otherwise, simply some recreation, spiritual recreation, talking something—"This is that; this is that," "Neti neti"—and I lead my life like anything, that will not help us. Therefore the taṭastha lakṣaṇa.

Therefore we accept anyone and everyone as incarnation, because we are not trained up who is incarnation, to see. And, because we want to be cheated, there are so many cheaters who comes as incarnation and this and that, and the society's going on like that. Not only here—in everywhere, every part of the world. They are not very serious, what is the ultimate aim of spiritual life.

Spiritual life and material life is that when you want to enjoy, when we want to be lord of these material resources, that is material life. And when you want to become servant of God, that is spiritual life. They . . . there is no much difference between the activities of material life and spiritual life. Only the consciousness has to be changed.

When my consciousness is to lord it over the material nature, that is material life, and when my consciousness is to serve Kṛṣṇa, the Supreme Lord, Kṛṣṇa consciousness, that is spiritual life. So as there are rules and regulation for accelerating your material possession, material life, similarly, there are rules and regulation for spiritual life also.

So the basic principle is yad icchantaṁ brahmacaryaṁ caranti. One should be very regular. Vīta-rāgāḥ. Viśanti yad, viśanti yad yatayo vīta-rāgāḥ. Vīta-rāgāḥ. Vīta-rāgāḥ means completely separated from materialistic life. Vīta-rāgāḥ. Rāgāḥ means attachment, and vīta means completely freed.

Yad akṣaram, yad akṣaraṁ brahma vido vadanti. Brahma-vida. Brahma . . . those who are conversant in Vedic literature. Akṣaram. Akṣaram. Yad akṣaram. The God has His representation in three letters, a, u, m, which is sounded vibrated oṁ. There is no difference between oṁkāra and Kṛṣṇa. It is admitted in the Bhagavad-gītā that oṁkāra 'smi. Akṣaram oṁkāro 'smi: "Of all the letters, I am the oṁkāra."

So Hare Kṛṣṇa, Hare Kṛṣṇa, Kṛṣṇa Kṛṣṇa, Hare Hare / Hare Rāma, Hare Rāma, Rāma Rāma, Hare Hare and oṁkāra, there is no difference, so far the transcendental sound vibration is concerned. But the objective is different. By oṁkāra one attains impersonal existence in the brahma-jyoti, and by chanting Hare Kṛṣṇa, Hare Kṛṣṇa, Kṛṣṇa Kṛṣṇa, Hare Hare, one attains the spiritual body, and he's situated in the spiritual planets.

We have many times discussed that there are spiritual planets. That is the difference. So far quality is concerned, both of them are spiritual, oṁkāra or Hare Kṛṣṇa. So; bhāgavatārambhe vyāsa maṅgalācaraṇe, 'parameśvara' nirūpila ei dui lakṣaṇe (CC Madhya 20.358).

Now how the two different characteristics of God can be analyzed, that is mentioned in the beginning of the Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam. Lord Caitanya is referring. Lord Caitanya's mission as preaching was based on, cent percent, on the principles of Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam. And Bhagavad-gītā is the basic, I mean to say, preliminary study of Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam.

Therefore in Caitanya-caritāmṛta you'll find most of the parallel passages and evidences offered by Lord Caitanya, they are from Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam and Bhagavad-gītā and some of the Purāṇas. Just like Viṣṇu Purāṇa, Padma Purāṇa, they are called sattvika purāṇa, purāṇas in the modes of goodness.

There are eighteen purāṇas, six for each quality, modes of the nature. Six, six purāṇas for the persons who are in the modes of ignorance, six purāṇas for the persons who are in the modes of passion, and six purāṇas for persons who are in the mode of goodness, those who are actually qualified brahmins. So Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam is called Mahā-purāṇa. Mahā-purāṇa means the topmost of all the purāṇas. You have seen the review by the Theosophical Society of India of my books. They have stated this very word, Mahā-purāṇa, Bhāgavatam, the Mahā-purāṇa.

So Lord Caitanya gives evidences from the Mahā-purāṇam, Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam, that the Supreme Lord, the Absolute Truth, is analyzed in two characteristics. What are they? The, the personal characteristics and taṭastha characteristics. Taṭastha means they are sometimes manifested and they are not sometimes manifested. So this material world is the taṭastha characteristics, and the spiritual world is the personal characteristics.

So our effort is to get out of this taṭastha, or, I mean to say, taṭastha means marginal, marginal characteristics to the permanent characteristics. That is called spiritual elevation. We should not remain in the marginal state, but we should go to the permanent state.

Thank you very much. Any question? (end)