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720923 - Lecture SB 01.03.18 - Los Angeles

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(Redirected from Lecture on SB 1.3.18 -- Los Angeles, September 23, 1972)
His Divine Grace A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada



720923SB.LA - September 23, 1972


Prabhupāda:

caturdaśaṁ nārasiṁhaṁ
bibhrad daityendram ūrjitam
dadāra karajair ūrāv
erakāṁ kaṭa-kṛd yathā
(SB 1.3.18)

So in the previous verses all the incarnations of God, they have been given there—father's name, mother's name. Kṛṣṇa avatāra also, His father's name, mother's name is there. But here, Narasiṁha, there is no name of the father and mother. This verse is peculiar that there is no names. Why? Because this Narasiṁha incarnation came out of a column. Hiraṇyakaśipu was so angry talking with his son. He saw that his son is very strongly Kṛṣṇa conscious; he could not induce him to forget Kṛṣṇa. So he was very angry. So he was ready to kill him with his sword. At that time Prahlāda Mahārāja, the little boy, five years old, he was just looking at the column in the hall. So his father marked it and immediately asked, "Do you think your God is there in the column?" He said: "Yes, my father." Immediately he broke the column, and Nṛsiṁha came out.

Therefore God is everywhere, not that because God takes birth as human being, from the womb of a human being, it does not mean that He is ordinary human being. He can come out from any source—not necessarily that He has to, but when He plays like a human being, He comes out like that, as if Devakī has become pregnant and the child is there within the womb. But that was simply a conception. Actually, when Kṛṣṇa appeared before His father and mother, He appeared as Lord Viṣṇu, four-handed. So later on, He became like ordinary child.

So the purport is, God is everywhere. That's a fact.

eko 'py asau racayituṁ jagad-aṇḍa-koṭiṁ
yac chaktir asti jagad-aṇḍa-cayā yad-antaḥ
aṇḍāntara-stha-paramāṇu-cayāntara-sthaṁ
govindam ādi-puruṣaṁ tam ahaṁ bhajāmi
(Bs. 5.35)

He is even within the atom. So He can come out from anywhere, provided He is called by a pure devotee. And He is all-powerful. He can come out from anywhere and everywhere. He is everywhere. And this word is nara—from human being—but He is not nara; He is nara, meaning He is appearing like human being, half human being, and siṁha, half lion. And the nails of the hands, and this great, giant atheist was killed within a second. And keeping Brahmā's promise, he took benediction that he would not be killed by any man, any demigod, any animal, by any weapon, in daytime, in night, so many things, definition by negation.

First of all he wanted directly, "Kindly make me immortal." So Brahmā said that, "I am not immortal. How can I make you immortal? You can ask something else?" So he thought, "Let me become immortal indirectly. I shall not die in daytime, nighttime," because he has no idea that beyond day and night there is also another time. That he forgot.

This is Kṛṣṇa's māyā. We are very intelligent to surpass the law of the Lord, but Kṛṣṇa is so much more intelligent that you cannot surpass. You can conceive in different ways that, "I shall get out of the laws in this way or that way." But you cannot do so, you will forget something. That is explained in the Bhagavad-gītā.

sarvasya cāhaṁ hṛdi sanniviṣṭo
mattaḥ smṛti jñānam apohanaṁ ca . . .
(BG 15.15)

"I am situated in everyone's heart. Memory, knowledge, forgetfulness, they are coming from Me." If you want to forget Kṛṣṇa, He will give you good intelligence how to forget. But if you want to serve Kṛṣṇa, He will give you good intelligence how to serve. It depends on your choice. Therefore our business is to surrender. "Kṛṣṇa, God, now I am surrendering. I have experimented with all my knowledge, all my intelligence, everything. They have all become failures."

They are sure to become failures, because our knowledge, our intelligence, our talent, strength, opulence, everything depending on God. Kṛṣṇa, He gives you a little knowledge; therefore, you can become very proud of your knowledge. He gives you a little intelligence; therefore, you can become proud of your intelligence. But as soon as He likes, He can withdraw immediately, and you become forgetful.

Just like Hiraṇyakaśipu, just a strong atheist. He thought, "I am the biggest atheist. People are after God. They should come to me and worship me as God. I am God." But his godship or his lordship was finished within a second. Therefore Prahlāda Mahārāja, his son, when he was offered a benediction by the Lord, "My dear Prahlāda, you have undergone severe penances, suffering for My sake. Now you can take any benediction from Me, whatever you like," first of all he said, "My dear Lord, I am not a businessman, that I serve You for getting some profit. I am born of a father—rajo-guṇa, passion—so naturally my body is made of the modes of passion. And You are so powerful You can give me anything I want. So if You allure me in that way, I think You should not do that. I may be allured, because my body is passionate."

So Narasiṁhadeva became very happy, "Yes, here is a true devotee." A true devotee does not make any exchange business, "God, I have rendered You so much service. You give me something." People generally, they want, "I have become a devotee. I have done so much. So God must give me something as I desire. If He does not give, then I do not care for such a God." That is exchange business, that is not devotion.

anyābhilāṣitā-śūnyaṁ
jñāna-karmādy-anāvṛtam
ānukūlyena kṛṣṇānu-
śīlanaṁ bhaktir uttamā
(Brs. 1.1.11)

Devotion means no desire, not covered by knowledge and fruitive activity. Simply favorable executing devotional service, favorably, not unfavorably. This is pure devotion. Similarly, in the Nārada Pañcarātra it is said:

sarvopādhi-vinirmuktaṁ
tat-paratvena nirmalam
hṛṣīkeṇa hṛṣīkeśa-
sevanaṁ bhaktir ucyate
(CC Madhya 19.170)

One has to become pure, completely. "I am American," "I am Indian," "I am Hindu," "I am Muslim," "I am Christian," "I am this," "I am that," these are all upādhis, designation. So one has to become free from all designations, as Caitanya Mahāprabhu taught:

nāhaṁ vipro na ca nara-patir nāpi vaiśyo na śūdro
nāhaṁ varṇī na ca gṛha-patir no vanastho yatir vā
kintu prodyan-nikhila-paramānanda-pūrṇāmṛtābdher
gopī-bhartuḥ pada-kamalayor dāsa-dāsānudāsaḥ
(CC Madhya 13.80)

"I am not a brāhmin, I am not a kṣatriya, I am not a gṛhastha, I am not a vānaprastha," everything, all the eight varṇāśramas, He denied. "I don't belong to any group." Then what You are? "I am the servant of the servant of the servant of the servant—one hundred times down the servant." Of who? "The maintainer of the gopīs, Kṛṣṇa." A pure devotee does not belong to any group, and he wants to become the lowest servant, not the first-grade servant. That is pure devotion.

So Prahlāda Mahārāja, a pure devotee, he did not like to make any exchange. Then again he was offered a chance, "You can at least, whatever you have desire within your mind, you can ask from Me." So again Prahlāda Mahārāja said: "My dear Lord, in this material world, who could be more powerful than my father? I have seen it. Even big demigods, they were trembling in the presence of my father, he had so much power. Practically he was the topmost of all material power. But I have seen also that within a second You have finished everything. So what is the value of this material power? Why should I ask from You? Kindly engage me as servant of Your servant. If You want to give me something, please engage me as the servant of Your servant."

And still, because he was Vaiṣṇava, he prayed to Lord Nṛsiṁha, "For my personal, I am quite satisfied. If I can chant Your holy name, then there is nothing more I want. But there is one thing I want." What is that? "My father was a great atheist and demon, and he has committed so many offenses unto You. But I request that You forgive him." This is Vaiṣṇava son. And Lord Nṛsiṁha said: "My dear Prahlāda, before you are requesting like that, your father, his father, up to fourteen fathers, all are delivered because you are his son." Such a devotee, taken birth in a family, this is a special concession. Whatever the others may be, they are all delivered.

Therefore the best service one can do or render to his family, to his country, to his society, to his person, is to take to Kṛṣṇa consciousness. That is the best service. Ahaṁ tvāṁ sarva-pāpebhyo mokṣayiṣyāmi mā śucaḥ (BG 18.66). If anyone has become Kṛṣṇa conscious, he has finished all other business. If he simply sticks to Kṛṣṇa consciousness, then all other business is automatically finished. That is stated in the śāstra:

devarṣi-bhūtāpta-nṛṇāṁ pitṟṇāṁ
na kiṅkaro nāyam ṛṇī ca rājan
sarvātmanā yaḥ śaraṇaṁ śaraṇyaṁ
gato mukundaṁ parihṛtya kartam
(SB 11.5.41)

"Anyone who takes shelter of the lotus feet of the Lord," the Lord also says: "suppose if you do not do your duty in relationship to your country, to your family, so many we have got obligations, there may be sinful activities." But Kṛṣṇa says: "If you surrender, I will give you protection from the resultant reaction of all sinful activities." The same thing is confirmed in the Bhāgavata: "If anyone gives up all these occupational duties and simply takes to Kṛṣṇa consciousness, he is no more servant or debtor or obliged to anyone." For a Kṛṣṇa conscious person, his only duty is to serve Kṛṣṇa.

Of course, "Kṛṣṇa" means so many things—Kṛṣṇa is not alone—at least Kṛṣṇa and Kṛṣṇa's devotees. The nondevotees are also included, but directly the devotees are included. So when you serve Kṛṣṇa, then we must take consideration of Kṛṣṇa's devotees also. If we neglect Kṛṣṇa's devotees and simply try to go directly to Kṛṣṇa, Kṛṣṇa is not so cheap. Kṛṣṇa wants to see, just like there is a common word, "If you love me, love my dog." Therefore Prahlāda Mahārāja requested, "Kindly engage me in the service of Your servant."

Thank you very much.

Devotees: All glories to Śrīla Prabhupāda. (end)