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721101 - Lecture NOD - Vrndavana

His Divine Grace
A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada

721101ND-VRNDAVAN - November 01, 1972 - 38:33 Minutes

Pradyumna: (reading) ". . . as given by Rūpa Gosvāmī in Bhakti-rasāmṛta-sindhu, can be summarized thus—his service is favorable and is always in relation to Kṛṣṇa. In order to keep the purity of such Kṛṣṇa conscious activities, one must be freed from all material desires and philosophical speculation. Any desire except for the service of the Lord is called material desire."

"And philosophical speculation refers to the sort of speculation which ultimately arrives at a conclusion of voidism or impersonalism. This conclusion is useless for a Kṛṣṇa conscious person. Only rarely by philosophical speculation can one reach the conclusion of worshiping Vāsudeva, Kṛṣṇa. This is confirmed in the Bhagavad-gītā itself."

"The ultimate end of philosophical speculation, then, must be Kṛṣṇa, with the understanding that Kṛṣṇa is everything, the cause of all causes, and that one should therefore surrender unto Him. If this ultimate goal is reached, then philosophical advancement is favorable, but if the conclusion of philosophical speculation is voidism or impersonalism, that is not bhakti."

Prabhupāda: There is a verse in the Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam: vāsudeva-parā vedā vāsudeva-paraṁ jñānaṁ vāsudeva-paraṁ gatim (SB 1.2.28-29). So unless one is led to the conclusion vāsudevaḥ sarvam iti (BG 7.19), jñāna-vairāgya-karma, anything that you are trying to achieve, if it is not targeted to the realization of Vāsudeva, then it . . . śrama eva hi kevalam (SB 1.2.8). That is the conclusion of Bhāgavata.

Whatever you do, the ultimate goal should be realization of Vāsudeva, Kṛṣṇa. Vedaiś ca sarvair aham eva vedyam (BG 15.15). All Vedic conclusions should be ultimately to realize Vāsudeva, Kṛṣṇa. Bahūnāṁ janmanām ante (BG 7.19). This realization is achieved after many, many births of philosophical speculation, mystic yogic exercise or fruitive activities. Koṭi-karmī-madhye eka jñānī śreṣṭha (CC Madhya 19.147). To become karmī is the third-class stage of life. One has to make progress further, so that one may become self-realized, brahma-bhūtaḥ (BG 5.24).

So out of many, many karmīs, one jñānī, or one who has realized his identification, he's better. And out of many millions of jñānīs who are trying to realize his self by philosophical speculation, brahma-jñāna (CC Adi 4.67), so one mukta, or liberated soul, is better. And out of many thousands of liberated souls, it is said by Caitanya Mahāprabhu it is very rare to find out a pure devotee of Kṛṣṇa.

The conclusion is, a pure devotee of Kṛṣṇa is picked up out of many, many liberated person. Mukta-saṅgasya jāyate (SB 1.2.20). Kṛṣṇa realization, bhagavat-tattva-vijñānam, mukta-saṅgasya jāyate. Bhagavat-tattva, the truth, the Absolute Truth, which is the Supreme Personality of Godhead, bhagavat-tattva-vijñānam. Tattva means truth, and that is Bhagavān. Brahmeti paramātmeti bhagavān iti (SB 1.2.11).

Brahman realization is not all. One has to go further. Paramātmā realization—one has to go further. When one comes to realization of Bhagavān, ṣaḍ-aiśvarya-pūrṇa-bhagavān (CC Madhya 25.33)—Bhagavān means full with six kinds of opulences, person, sac-cid-ānanda-vigrahaḥ, sarva-kāraṇa-kāraṇam (Bs. 5.1)—that is ultimate goal of life. Vāsudevaḥ sarvam iti sa mahātmā su-durlabhaḥ (BG 7.19). Such kind of mahātmā is very rare.

That is the verdict of all Vedic literature, and confirmed by Śrī Caitanya Mahāprabhu: koti-mukta-madhye durlabha kṛṣṇa-bhakta (CC Madhya 19.148). Kṛṣṇa-bhakta, a pure devotee of Kṛṣṇa, is very rarely to be found out amongst the muktas, amongst the liberated soul. Others are trying to become liberated, but a kṛṣṇa-bhakta is above liberation. Pañcama-puruṣārtha (CC Adi 7.85). People are busy for dharma artha kāma mokṣa (SB 4.8.41, CC Adi 1.90). Some of them are busy to become religious. Of course, without religious life, there . . . there is no human society. Dharmeṇa hīna paśubhiḥ samānāḥ (Hitopadeśa 25). Unless a society takes to religiosity, it is not human society.

Therefore we see any civilized human society, there is a kind of religious system. It doesn't matter whether it is Hinduism, Christianism or Buddhism or Muhammadanism, but there must be a religious system. Without this system, that human society is not considered as human society. That is animal society.

In the . . . even I understand that in America the Red Indians, who are supposed to be not civilized, they had also a religious system. So may be a perverted form of religious system. Similarly, in India also there are primitive races in the jungles, they have also . . . religious system means approving the authority of some Supreme Being. That is religious system. So in the animal society there is no such conception that, "There is God. We have got some relationship with God," what is that relationship. This type of discussion cannot be present in the animal society.

So dharma artha kāma mokṣa (CC Adi 1.90). Generally religious system is taken for improving social and economic condition. Artha. Artha means economy. Artha is required for sense gratification. We require economic development for our sense gratification. And when one is completely satisfied, then he can cultivate about spiritual realization, mokṣa, āpavarga.

So dharmasya āpavargyasya arthaḥ na arthāya upakalpate (SB 1.2.9). So dharma is not meant for developing economic condition. That is secondary. But dharma is meant for ultimate goal of liberation. People do not know that. People are not educated that what is the ultimate goal of life. Still, they take to religious life as a compromise between the contending elements that, "We must live peacefully under religious system."

The aim is how to live in this material world peacefully. Sometimes religion and God is conceived in that way that, "If we have some conception of God, then we shall be moral, we shall be peaceful. Otherwise, there is no need of presenting God in the society." There are so many different opinions, different philosophers, different religious system, according to the modes of nature.

But actually every system must be targeted towards realization of Kṛṣṇa, or God. Vedaiś ca sarvair aham eva vedyam (BG 15.15). That is Bhāgavata-dharma. Bhāgavata-dharma means realization of the Supreme Personality of Godhead. Prahlāda Mahārāja recommended culture of this Bhāgavata-dharma from the very beginning of life: kaumāra ācaret prājño dharmān bhāgavatān iha (SB 7.6.1). That is the success of human form of life, to execute Bhāgavata-dharma. The, the process . . . and dharma, as we have several times explained, dharma means the codes of Bhagavān. Dharmaṁ tu sākṣād bhagavat-praṇītam (SB 6.3.19).

So this Kṛṣṇa consciousness movement is directly touching the point. Not step by step. There is no time. In the Kali-yuga there is very little time to go step by step. Otherwise, there are twenty different types of religious scriptures, viṁśati-prakāśa, dharma-śāstra. So who will read, and who will try to understand? There is no time. Prāyeṇa alpāyuṣaḥ kalāu asmin yuge janāḥ (SB 1.1.10).

People are very short-living, and they are not very enthusiastic for self-realization. Manda. Even they, somebody becomes interested in self-realization, they accept some wrong path. Mandāḥ sumanda-matayo. They have got different mataḥ, opinion or path. And the so-called svāmīs, they also support that, "Whatever opinion you have got about religious system, that is all right." Yata mata tata patha.

But actually, the fact is different. The fact is that one should take simply to the devotional path, bhaktyā mām abhijānāti (BG 18.55). If you are actually serious to know God, or Kṛṣṇa, then you must take to this process of devotional service. Without this, you cannot understand. Not through karma, not through mystic yogic exercises, but through devotional service. Bhaktyā mām abhijānāti, yāvān yaś cāsmi tattvataḥ (BG 18.55). That is stated clearly in the Bhagavad . . .

But people do not know it. Anartha upaśamaṁ sākṣād bhakti-yogam adhokṣaje (SB 1.7.6). Bhakti-yogam, execution of bhakti-yoga, is the means of anartha upaśama, subduing the anarthas. Material life means we have accumulated some unwanted things. Just like this material body—this is also not wanted. But somehow or other we have developed this, and as we have got this material body, we have got so many material necessities of life. So it is not that abruptly we have to give up. But by yukta-vairāgya (CC Madhya 23.105), everything, the material activities, dovetailing with Kṛṣṇa consciousness, it becomes gradually purified, and we come to the final stage of understanding Kṛṣṇa. That is our success of life.

Go on.

Pradyumna: "Karma, or fruitive activities, are sometimes understood to be ritualistic activities. There are many persons who are very much attracted by the ritualistic activities described in the Vedas. But if one becomes attracted simply to ritualistic activities without understanding Kṛṣṇa, his activities are unfavorable to Kṛṣṇa consciousness. Actually, Kṛṣṇa consciousness can be based simply on hearing, chanting, remembering, etc. Described in the Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam are nine different processes, besides which, everything done is unfavorable to Kṛṣṇa consciousness. Thus one should always be guarding against falldowns."

Prabhupāda: So we should directly take to the nine different processes of devotional service, śravaṇaṁ kīrtanaṁ viṣṇoḥ (SB 7.5.23). That we are stressing specifically every time, that hearing about Kṛṣṇa is very important. Śravaṇam. As it is described in the Bhāgavatam, śṛṇvatāṁ sva-kathāḥ kṛṣṇaḥ (SB 1.2.17). Śṛṇvatām. Simply hearing, śṛṇvatām, those who are hearing . . . Caitanya Mahāprabhu has also recommended, sthāne sthitāḥ śruti-gatāṁ tanu-vāṅ-manobhiḥ (SB 10.14.3). One may stay in his position as a brāhmin, as a kṣatriya, as a vaiśya or as a śūdra. Everyone can hear about Kṛṣṇa. This assembly which we are holding, there is no such thing that only the brāhmins will come here or the kṣatriyas will come here. Anyone can come and hear about Kṛṣṇa.

That is the process of Kṛṣṇa consciousness movement. We try to invite everyone, from every corner of the world, to hear about Kṛṣṇa. And that is becoming successful also. Simply by hearing about Kṛṣṇa—Hare Kṛṣṇa, Hare Kṛṣṇa, Kṛṣṇa Kṛṣṇa, Hare Hare/ Hare Rāma, Hare Rāma, Rāma Rāma, Hare Hare—and reading Bhagavad-gītā, Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam, simply talking about Kṛṣṇa, they are become successful. So we should take . . . in the Kali-yuga it is very difficult to go step by step. It is not possible. Therefore by Caitanya Mahāprabhu, the easiest path has been recommended:

harer nāma harer nāma harer nāma eva kevalaṁ
kalau nāsty eva nāsty eva nāsty eva gatir anyathā
(CC Adi 17.21)

Actually, we cannot accept various path for self-realization. That is not important. Sometimes, because we give stress directly to accept this devotional service, people are not very happy that we do not give any importance to the process of jñāna and karma and yoga. We do not condemn, but they're very difficult. The yogic process . . . especially in Western countries, they are very much fond of the word yoga. We are therefore publishing this book, Kṛṣṇa Consciousness Is the Topmost Yoga. Actually it is so.

So the yoga system or the jñāna system or the karma-kāṇḍa system, we do not make them null and void, but it will be very much slow form of progress. It will take long, long time. Neither it is possible to execute yoga system or karma system very properly in this age. Therefore the best contribution to the people of this age is Kṛṣṇa consciousness. Immediately take to Kṛṣ . . . directly take to Kṛṣṇa, and your life will be successful.

Kṛṣṇa also says, sarva-dharmān parityajya (BG 18.66). The yoga system, karma system, jñāna system, they may be taken as different types of religious path, but Kṛṣṇa recommends—not only at the present moment, but eternally He recommends—five thousand years ago, He said, sarva-dharmān parityajya mām ekaṁ śaraṇaṁ vraja (BG 18.66). "I'll give you protection," ahaṁ tvāṁ sarva-pāpebhyo.

Go on.

Pradyumna: "Śrīla Rūpa Gosvāmī has also mentioned in this definition of bhakti the word jñāna-karmādi. This karmādi, or fruitive work, consists of activities which are unable to help one attain to pure devotional service. Many forms of so-called renunciation are also not favorable to Kṛṣṇa conscious devotional service."

Prabhupāda: Yes. Karma . . . Rūpa Gosvāmī has directly recommended, anyābhilāṣitā-śūnyam jñāna-karmādy-anāvṛtam (Brs. 1.1.11). Actually, we find so many yogīs, jñānīs, karmīs, they cannot understand even what is the benefit of this Kṛṣṇa consciousness movement. Because we say directly, "You take to devotional service," sometimes they are not satisfied. But what can be done? This is the process recommended.

And we are preaching through the mercy of Caitanya Mahāprabhu. Caitanya Mahāprabhu has recommended that this process of kṛṣṇa-kīrtana . . . paraṁ vijayate kṛṣṇa-saṅkir . . . saṅkīrtanam.

ceto-darpaṇa-mārjanaṁ bhava-mahā-dāvāgni-nirvāpaṇaṁ
śreyaḥ-kairava-candrikā-vitaraṇaṁ vidyā-vadhū-jīvanam
ānandāmbudhi-vardhanaṁ prapti-padaṁ pūrṇāmṛtāsvādanaṁ
sarvātma-snapanaṁ paraṁ vijayate śrī-kṛṣṇa-saṅkīrtanam
(CC Antya 20.12)

This is Caitanya Mahāprabhu's blessings, paraṁ vijayate śrī-kṛṣṇa-saṅkīrtanam. So go anywhere and everywhere, chant Hare Kṛṣṇa mantra, and you'll become victorious. This is Caitanya Mahāprabhu's blessings. It is not our invention. And practically we are getting result. All over the world, our only means is to chant Hare Kṛṣṇa mantra.

Recently we have become victorious, very recently, in Melbourne. You know, our men were being arrested and prosecuted. But one, the chief clergyman, archbishop, he has recommended that, "These people are very nice people, God conscious. Don't give them trouble." Yes. And the government has stopped harassing. Now we are free to move on the street and go anywhere. This recent news we have got from Melbourne. Madhudviṣa Mahārāja has sent this news.

Similarly, we were harassed in London also, and other places. In USA also, San Francisco. I do not know whether we were harassed in New York. But more or less . . . and in Japan also, they are talking that, "You become bona fide religious organization. Otherwise you cannot come on the street."

So although there is harassment by the governing agents, still we are coming out successful. Paraṁ vijayate śrī-kṛṣṇa-saṅkīrtanam. All glories to the śrī-kṛṣṇa-saṅkīrtanam! Practically. So you stick to this principle, go on chanting Hare Kṛṣṇa mantra anywhere it is possible, and you'll be victorious. That is the blessings of Caitanya Mahāprabhu. Believe in it and you'll be successful. Yes.

Go on.

Pradyumna: "Śrīla Rūpa Gosvāmī has also quoted a definition from the Nārada Pañcarātra as follows: 'One should be free from all material designations and must be cleansed of all material contamination by Kṛṣṇa consciousness. He should be restored to his pure identity, where he engages his senses in the service of the proprietor of the senses.' So when our senses are engaged for the actual proprietor of the senses, that is called devotional service."

Prabhupāda: Hṛṣīkeṇa hṛṣīkeśa-sevanaṁ bhaktir ucyate (CC Madhya 19.170). Bhakti, devotional service, does not mean inertness. Not simply sitting down or meditate. It is activity, engaging all the senses. Hṛṣīkeṇa hṛṣīkeśa-sevanam. Hṛṣīka means these senses—not these senses, but purified senses. Sarvopādhi-vinirmuktam. Just like pranair arthair dhiyaḥ vaca. Prana, life; artha, riches, money; dhiya, intelligence; and vaca, speeches.

So everyone using . . . just like for national cause people are engaging life, they are sacrificing life. So many, for attainment of independence in India, so many Indians gave up their life. Pranaiḥ. So many people gave up their everything. We know during national movement, Mr. C. R. Das, a great leader of the Congress group, he sacrificed everything. He was a big, very big lawyer, barrister. He sacrificed his profession, he sacrificed his life—everything. So as we are sacrificing everything for attainment of some so-called national independence, the same thing if we sacrifice for Kṛṣṇa, then our life becomes successful. Prāṇair arthair dhiyā vācā śreya-ācaraṇaṁ sadā (SB 10.22.35).

So it is not inactivity. Caitanya Mahāprabhu or his followers, they were not inactive. They were acting. This Rūpa Gosvāmī, he was so active that he could not sleep at night even for more than one and one half hour. They retired from the material activities. He was minister. He gave up his job and joined Caitanya Mahāprabhu. In old age he came to Vṛndāvana not to live a retired life, but a very active life.

nana-śāstra-vicaraṇaika-nipunau sad-dharma-samsthapakau
lokanam hita-karinau tri-bhuvane manyau saranyakarau
vande rupa-sanātana raghu-yugau śrī-jīva-gopālakau
(Śrī Śrī Ṣaḍ-gosvāmy-aṣṭaka 2)

Here is, sitting, Śrī Gosvāmījī. He's coming from Gopāla Bhaṭṭa Gosvāmī.

So all these six Gosvāmīs, they were not inactive. They were always active. As we are active in the karma, karmī life, so bhakti life is also activity. It is not sitting down idly or gossiping. One must find out some job to serve Kṛṣṇa. That is bhakti life. Hṛṣīkeṇa hṛṣīkeśa-sevanam (CC Madhya 19.170). Sevanam means activity. Sevanam does not mean sit down idle, inert. No. As soon as seva . . . sevā means activity. One has to preach, one has to write, one has to do this, do that, cook, offer the prasādam, everything. Sevā, activity.

So that activity and karmīs activity, there is difference. The karmīs activity is on upādhi. "I am American," "I am Indian," "I am Hindu," "I am Muslim," "I am Christian." With this upādhi we are acting. But bhakti means without upādhi. Sarvopādhi-virnirmuktam. Activity without upādhi. Working not as American. Working not as Indian. Working not as Hindu. Working not as Muslim. That is sarvopādhi-vinirmuktaṁ tat-paratvena nirmalam (CC Madhya 19.170).

If we think that, "I am Christian," "I am Hindu," "I am American," that is with upādhi. When we purely think that, "We are . . ." or "I am servant of Kṛṣṇa. My only business is to satisfy Kṛṣṇa," that activity is called bhakti. If I become interested in some party, that is not . . . sometimes people criticize these American and European devotees, that they think that, "They are American devotee; we are Hindu devotee. There is difference." This is not bhakti-mārga. This is upādhi. Why you should think yourself as Hindu? Why you should think of others who have come from America as American? That is less intelligence.

Kṛṣṇa-bhakta . . . vaiṣṇave jāti-buddhiḥ (Padma Purāṇa). If one thinks of Vaiṣṇava as belonging to this class, this nation, he has no vision. Nārakī. That is called nārakī-buddhiḥ. Vaiṣṇave jāti-buddhiḥ arcye śilādhīr guruṣu nara-matir vaiṣṇave jāti-buddhiḥ. If we think the Deity as made of stone and made of wood, arcye śilā-dhīr; guruṣu, nara-matiḥ, if we accept spiritual master as ordinary human being; vaiṣṇave jāti-buddhiḥ, and if we take a Vaiṣṇava as belonging to America or Europe or India . . . no. They are transcendental. Neither the Deity in the temple is stone, neither the spiritual master is ordinary human being, nor the Vaiṣṇava belongs to any caste. This vision is perfect vision.

When you come to this vision, that is bhakti. Tat-paratvena nirmalam. A bhakta has to become purified. Tat-paratvena, being dovetailed with the service of tat, om tat sat. Tat-param. This is the process of devotional service. One should not be designated, "I am this," "I am that," "I am that." No. The world should unite. This Kṛṣṇa consciousness movement is so nice that one should forget that he's Indian or Hindu or Christian or American or Indian. Everything should unite as servant of Kṛṣṇa. That is bhakti-mārga.

Unfortunately, they distinguish between American Vaiṣṇava and Indian Vaiṣṇava: brāhmin Vaiṣṇava, śūdra Vaiṣṇava. No. A Vaiṣṇava is Vaiṣṇava. Viṣṇur asya devataḥ iti vaiṣṇava. One who has accepted Viṣṇu as "My Lord," he has no designation. A Vaiṣṇava has no such distinction. Sarvopādhi-vinirmuktam (CC Madhya 19.170). So this is the sūtra given by Nārada. Tat tenaiva vinirdiśet (SB 7.11.35).

So we must follow the path of mahājana, the instruction of the ācārya. Then we can become purified. And unless we are purified, there is no question of pure devotional service. Sa bhaktaḥ prakṛtaḥ smṛta (SB 11.2.47). If one does not want to become advanced, if one does not want to become purified, then he remains a prakṛta-bhakta.

Prakṛta-bhakta means executing devotional service under the instruction of spiritual master and the regulative principles of śāstra, but he's still on the platform of material understanding. That is called prakṛta-bhakta. A prakṛta-bhakta cannot understand how another bhakta is transcendental. A prakṛta-bhakta cannot understand that Vṛndāvana is always transcendental.

Therefore Śrīla Jīva Gosvāmī has discussed this point in his Tattva-sandarbha, that we cannot accept any manufactured ideas. Because everyone is defective by the four defects of material life, we have to accept the version of Vedas, Purāṇas. He has tried to establish Purāṇas as Vedic supplementary. Others, they reject Purāṇas out of the Vedas. But Jīva Gosvāmī established. All the Gosvāmīs. Just like Rūpa Gosvāmī has given:

pāñcarātrikī vidhiṁ vinā
aikāntikī harer bhaktir
utpātayaiva kalpate
(Brs. 1.2.101)

It is utpātā, disturbance. If you do not follow the principles of śruti, smṛti, purāṇa, pāñcarātriki-vidhi . . . just like we were discussing this point, sarvopādhi-vinirmuktam (CC Madhya 19.170). This is pāñcarātriki-vidhi. So if we do not follow these principles . . . without following these principles, the so-called devotional service, hari-bhakti, utpātā, simply disturbance, simply a disturbance.

Therefore we have to follow the principles laid down by the Gosvāmīs, ṣaḍ-gosvāmī. Vande rūpa-sanātanau raghu-yugau śrī-jīva-gopālakau. And then our attempt will be successful.

Thank you very much.

Devotee: Haribol . . . (break) (end)