721103 - Lecture NOD - Vrndavana

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His Divine Grace A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada



721103ND-VRNDAVAN - November 03, 1972 - 35:40 Minutes



Pradyumna: (reading) "4) Pure devotional service is rarely achieved. 5) Those in pure devotional service . . ."

Prabhupāda: Page number? Page number?

Pradyumna: Page 2. "Those in pure devotional service deride even the conception of liberation. (microphone feedback) 6) Pure devotional service is the only means to attract Kṛṣṇa. Kṛṣṇa is all-attractive, but pure devotional service attracts even Him. This means that pure devotional service is even transcendentally stronger than Kṛṣṇa Himself, because it is Kṛṣṇa's internal potency."

Prabhupāda: Hmm. So six advantages. These are the immediate result of taking to Kṛṣṇa consciousness. Pure devotional service brings immediate relief from all kinds of material distress. There is a song of Bhaktivinoda Ṭhākura: mānasa deha geha yo kichu mora, arpilūn tuyā pade nanda-kiśora (Śaraṇāgati). The purport of this song is when we surrender to Kṛṣṇa, prāṇair arthair dhiyā vācā (SB 10.22.35), then we get relief from all kinds of anxieties. This is very simple to understand.

Everyone is, in the material world, here, everyone is full of anxiety. That is the nature of material existence. One after another, problems. So if somebody says, assures, that "You just depend on me. I take charge of all your problems," how much relief you will feel, just imagine. So a ordinary man, if some ordinary human being says a friend that "Don't worry. I shall take charge of your all affairs. Don't worry," so we may doubt an ordinary man, because we know the capacity of an ordinary man.

But when Kṛṣṇa says that "I take charge of you," then how much relief you should feel. Kṛṣṇa is not ordinary man. Kṛṣṇa is all-powerful, the Supreme Personalty of Godhead. He's Yogeśvara. He's the Absolute Truth. So when He assures that "I take charge of you . . ." ahaṁ tvāṁ sarva-pāpebhyo mokṣayiṣyāmi (BG 18.66), gives assurance that "I shall get you liberated, delivered, from the reaction of all sinful activities . . ."

We suffer due to our sinful activities. That is the general meaning of suffering. For pious activities we enjoy. But in this material world, either we enjoy or suffer, the common factor is suffering. Suppose if for my pious activities I get good birth, janmaiśvarya-śruta-śrī (SB 1.8.26). By pious activities, we get birth in good family, janma; aiśvarya, we get sufficient riches, wealthy family, wealthy parents; janmaiśvarya-śruta, good education; and śrī, beauty. These are the result of pious activities.

But to take birth in the family of a king or very rich man, the sufferings of taking birth is the same. As the poor man suffers within the womb of his mother, similarly the rich man also suffers within the womb of his mother. The sufferings of taking birth is equal to the poor man and rich man. There is no difference. When there is disease, fever, it is not it is less painful to the rich man and very painful to the poor man. The pain is the same.

So actually, so long there is material existence, the so-called suffering and enjoying, they're on the same level. There is no difference. But if we take to Kṛṣṇa consciousness, as Kṛṣṇa assures, ahaṁ tvāṁ sarva-pāpebhyo mokṣayiṣyāmi (BG 18.66), "I shall get you relieved, released from all kinds of sinful activities . . ." That is real auspiciousness. Means when Kṛṣṇa takes charge, He gradually educates the devotee buddhi-yogam, in devotion service, so that he may go back home, back to Godhead, Kṛṣṇa. That is real auspicity.

In the material world, so-called auspicity—to become very rich, to become very educated, to become very beautiful, high parentage—they are also, in material consideration, they are auspicity, undoubtedly. But they are also adulterated with so many sufferings, threefold miseries: ādhyātmika, ādhibhautika, ādhidaivika. So actually such position is not auspicity. Real auspicity is go back to home, back to Godhead. Therefore it is said, pure devotional service . . . Pure devotional service means without any material motive. Anyābhilāṣitā-śūnyaṁ jñāna-karmādy-anāvṛtam (Brs. 1.1.11).

So pure devotional service is the beginning of all auspiciousness. All-auspiciousness means go back to home, back to Godhead. So if we stick to pure devotional service, follow the rules and regulation, chant sixteen rounds, be engaged always in the service of the Lord, then ultimate gain is that tyaktvā dehaṁ punar naiti mām eti kaunteya (BG 4.9).

(reads:) "Pure devotional service automatically puts one in transcendental pleasure." Transcendental pleasure and material pleasure, there is difference. Material pleasure means sense gratification, and transcendental pleasure means satisfaction of Kṛṣṇa. A devotee is satisfied seeing Kṛṣṇa is pleased. That is their satisfaction—through Kṛṣṇa. Material pleasure means direct sense perception, and spiritual pleasure means by . . . through Kṛṣṇa. If Kṛṣṇa is satisfied, then the devotee is satisfied.

Just like a tree: the leaves and twigs become satisfied through the root of the tree. So Kṛṣṇa is the root. Kṛṣṇa is the origin of everything. Ahaṁ sarvasya prabhavo mattaḥ sarvaṁ pravartate (BG 10.8). So transcendental pleasure means feeling of pleasure through Kṛṣṇa. Just like the gopīs and Kṛṣṇa. Gopīs, when they saw Kṛṣṇa is pleased, they became happy, and Kṛṣṇa, when He saw that the gopīs are happy, He became happier. Again the gopīs sees that Kṛṣṇa is happier, they, again they become more happy. In this way, there is competition of happiness. The gopīs sees Kṛṣṇa happier; they feel happiness, and Kṛṣṇa sees gopīs happier; Kṛṣṇa feels happiness. This word is described in the Caitanya-caritāmṛta: dui lagi huḍāhuḍi. This is spiritual competition.

So, "Pure devotional service automatically puts one in transcendental pleasure." In the material pleasure, if I see you happy, I am unhappy. If I see you unhappy, I become happy. This is nature. I may say otherwise, but material nature is, if one is put into difficulty, then I become very happy, and if I am happy, others become envious. This is material pleasure. Whereas spiritual pleasure means that when one sees Kṛṣṇa is happy, a devotee's happy, the other devotee becomes happier. That is spiritual pleasure.

In the spiritual world there is competition, but when one is advanced, the competitor become happy: "Oh, he's so advanced. I could not do so." There is no enviousness. In the material world, if one is advanced, other, who is not advanced, he's envious. This is the difference between spiritual pleasure and material pleasure. It is not difficult to understand. Material pleasure means if you are happy, I become unhappy; if you are unhappy, then I become happy. This is material pleasure. And spiritual pleasure means by seeing your happiness, I become happy. By seeing . . . But there is no distress in the spiritual world. Simply by seeing the happiness of other devotee, another devotee becomes happier.

"Pure devotional service is rarely achieved." That is the criterion. Pure devotional service has got so many advantages, but it is very difficult. It is very difficult. Na janma-koṭi-sukṛtibhiḥ na labhyate (CC Madhya 8.70). Pure devotional service, even after endeavoring for millions and millions of births, it is very difficult to achieve. Pure devotional service can be achieved only through the mercy of a pure devotee. Otherwise, it is not possible.

mahīyasāṁ pāda-rajo 'bhiṣekaṁ
niṣkiñcanānāṁ na vṛṇīta yāvat
naiṣāṁ matis tāvad urukramāṅghriṁ
spṛśata . . . spṛśata . . .
(SB 7.5.32)

What is that? The purpose is that unless one takes the dust of the lotus feet of a pure devotee, it is not possible to become a pure devotee. Mahīyasāṁ pāda-rajaḥ. Mahīyasām, great personality, great devotee. Pāda-rajaḥ means the dust of the lotus feet; abhiṣekam, taking to the . . . on the head. Mahīyasāṁ pāda-rajo 'bhiṣekaṁ niṣkiñcanānām. Mahīyasām, great personality, means niṣkiñcana. Bhagavad-bhakta is niṣkiñcana. He has no more material obligation. That is bhagavad-bhakta.

Caitanya Mahāprabhu says, niskin . . . niskin . . . bhagavad, niṣkiñcanasya bhagavad bhajanon mukhasya. Bhagavad-bhajanomukha means niṣkiñcana: no material obligation, no material duty. Nāyam ṛṇī na kiṅkara rājan sarvātmanā ye śaraṇaṁ śaraṇyaṁ gato mukundam (SB 11.5.41). Anyone who has completely taken shelter of the lotus feet of Kṛṣṇa, śaraṇaṁ śaraṇyaṁ gato mukundaṁ parihṛtya kartam, giving up all other duties . . . Tyaktvā sva-dharmaṁ caraṇāmbujaṁ harer (SB 1.5.17), if one takes shelter of Kṛṣṇa's lotus feet, giving up all other duties . . .

There are so many duties. You have got duty towards your family, towards your kinsmen, towards your country, towards the animals, other living entities, your obligation to the demigods, great saintly persons, ṛṣis. We are reading Vedas, but it is given by Vyāsadeva, so we are indebted to him. Similarly, many other śāstras we read.

So we are indebted. Devarṣi, ṛṣi, devatā, the demigods. We are taking sunshine; we are obliged to sun-god. We are taking moonshine; we are obliged to moonshine, uh, moon-god, the air-god, Varuṇa. Everyone, they are helping us. We cannot do without this. You cannot live without water. You cannot live without light. You cannot live without heat. So who is supplying? Of course, Kṛṣṇa is supplying, but we cannot see Kṛṣṇa directly. They are being supplied by different demigods. Therefore deva-yajña is recommended. Deva-yajña means ultimately to satisfy Kṛṣṇa.

So these are the processes. But if one takes to Kṛṣṇa consciousness, he has no more obligation to all these devatās. Devaṛsi-bhūtāpta-nṛṇāṁ pitṟṇām (SB 11.5.41). We have got so many obligations, but if you take to Kṛṣṇa consciousness, everyone will be pleased, and you haven't got to oblige them by your service to them. Otherwise, you are bound to give them obeisances for their beneficial contribution.

So devotional service is rarely achieved. Rarely achieved means if you achieve, then you become free from all obligation. Na janma-koṭibhiḥ sukṛtibhiḥ. Tatra laulyam eka-mūlyaṁ na labhyate yad janmabhiḥ sukṛtibhiḥ (CC Madhya 8.70). Kṛṣṇa consciousness can be achieved simply by your intense desire that "This life I shall try to achieve favor of Kṛṣṇa." Kṛṣṇa will help you. Teṣāṁ satata-yuktānāṁ bhajatāṁ prīti-pūrvakam, buddhi-yogaṁ dadāmi tam (BG 10.10). If you are actually seriously engaged in Kṛṣṇa consciousness, then Kṛṣṇa gives us intelligence how to approach Him.

So pure devotional service is rarely achieved. But by chance, guru-kṛṣṇa-kṛpāya pāya bhakti-latā-bīja (CC Madhya 19.151), if we somehow or other come in contact with bona fide guru and Kṛṣṇa . . . Kṛṣṇa is already there. We are already in touch. And if we are serious, then by grace of Kṛṣṇa, we get niṣkiñcana, devotee, and by his grace we achieve to the platform of devotional service. Otherwise it is very difficult. Not by executing karma, jñāna, yoga. No. Bhaktyā mām abhijānāti (BG 18.55). Simply you have to take pure devotional service.

Therefore it is very difficult. People do not wish to come to the pure devotional service. They want hodgepodge: something this, something that, something that. No. Sarva-dharmān parityajya mām ekam . . . (BG 18.66). That is the beginning of pure devotional service. No other engagement. Simply Kṛṣṇa. That is pure devotional service. But that is very difficult to achieve.

People will not accept the simple thing. You give them big, big formulas, yoga system, aṣṭāṅga-yoga, they'll like it: "It is something." Just like in homeopathic medicine, because it has no taste, there is no trouble to drink, people do not believe in it. But if you give them some very bitter, pungent medicine, "Oh, it is something."

Similarly, if you give the simple process, as Caitanya Mahāprabhu has given us, harer nāma harer nāma harer nāma eva kevalam, kalau nāsty eva nāsty eva nāsty eva gatir anyathā (CC Adi 17.21), they'll not take it very seriously. "Oh, simply by chanting Hare Kṛṣṇa mantra, one will be liberated, and he'll to go back . . .? Oh, this is exaggeration," they will say. But if you give them some difficult job, that "You press your nose in this way, you make your head downwards, and you exercise in this way, do . . ." they'll think, "Yes, it is something."

So things are very easy, and one can achieve very easily, but they are reluctant to take the easiest process given by Kṛṣṇa, given by Caitanya Mahāprabhu. Kṛṣṇa is giving the easiest process, that "You surrender unto Me. I give you all possible help." We are not prepared to do that. Caitanya Mahāprabhu says that "You simply chant Hare Kṛṣṇa. You'll achieve the highest perfection." Not we are prepared. Therefore it is said, "Pure devotional service is rarely achieved." People will not accept the simple thing. They want to make something very difficult; then it is all right.

"Those in pure devotional service deride even the conception of liberation." Yes. Muktiḥ mukulitāñjali sevate asmān (Kṛṣṇa-karṇāmṛta 107). A devotee does not care for mukti. Mukti . . . Why they will care for mukti? As soon as he's a pure devotee, mukti is on his leg. Why he should try for mukti? Bilvamaṅgala Ṭhākura says, muktiḥ mukulitāñjali sevate asmān. There is no need of separate endeavor for getting liberation. It is already there. Muktiḥ mukulitāñjali sevate asmān dharmārtha-kāma-mokṣa samaya-pratīkṣāḥ (SB 4.8.41).

(indistinct remark by devotee) Eh?

Devotee: It's broken.

Prabhupāda: Eh? So don't try it. It is working? (taps microphone)

Śyāmasundara: The fixture is broken. (conversation about light or something in background: "It doesn't have anything to do with the bulb")

Prabhupāda: Yes. So "Pure devotional service is the only means to attract . . ." "Those in pure devotional service deride even the conception of liberation." Mukti. Prabodhānanda Sarasvatī . . . Kaivalyam. Mukti's another name is kaivalya. "Everything is one. One, knowledge." That's all. So Prabodhananda Sarasvatī says, kaivalyaṁ narakāyate (Caitanya-candrāmṛta 5). This conception of liberation, that "I have become one with the Supreme," it is, to a devotee, just like hell. Kaivalyaṁ narakāyate. They do not give very much value to such conception, to become one with the Supreme, or liberation, mukti.

And the, this is.. Mokṣa-kāmi, those who are aspiring after . . . Nirbheda-brahmānu-sandhana, without any difference with the Supreme Brahman. That is called mukti, liberation. And tridaśa-pūr ākāśa-puṣpāyate. And the karmīs, they're aspiring after heavenly planets, tri-daśa-pūr. Tri-daśa means thirty. So there are more than thirty millions of demigods in different planetary system. They are called heavenly planets. So they are ākāśa-puṣpa. Ākāśa-puṣpa means a flower does not grow in the sky; it is something imaginary, phantasmagoria. Tri-daśa-pūr ākāśa-puṣpāyate. So karmīs are interested in the ākāśa-puṣpa, heavenly planet. And the jñānīs are interested in mukti. Karmī, jñānī . . . And yogīs are interested how to control the senses.

So tri . . . Prabodhananda Sarasvatī Mahārāja says that durdānta indriya-kāla-sarpa-paṭalī-protkhāta-daṁṣṭrāyate. The senses are our enemies. That's all right. We also admit. The yogīs try to control the senses and mind because they think of the senses just like serpent. Serpent, little touch by the lip, I mean, the tongue, immediately it causes death. So it is very dangerous. But Prabodhananda Sarasvatī says that "We are not afraid of these serpents, because protkhāta daṁṣṭrāyate, the serpent is so long dangerous as long as it has got the poison teeth." Poison teeth. Protkhāta-daṁṣṭrāyate. So if you take away the poison teeth, then, however big serpent it may be, nobody will be afraid.

In the Bengali it is said, visnai kulapana cakra. If a serpent is known that his poison teeth has been taken away, so his big hood, phans-phans, nobody will be afraid, one who knows that he has no poison teeth. A child may be afraid, but anyone knows . . . So for a devotee, the senses are there, but it is not like serpent. The dangerous point of sense, for sense gratification, that is taken away. That poison teeth is taken away.

So therefore a devotee's not afraid of the senses. They can easily handle the senses, because the senses are engaged in the service of the Lord, which means the poison teeth of the serpent of sense is taken away. Durdānta indriya-kāla-sarpa-paṭalī protkhāta-daṁṣṭrāyate (Caitanya-candrāmṛta 5).

So pure devotional service . . . In this way, the point is that pure devotee does not give very much value to so-called liberation. Because so-called liberation, so-called . . . It is in this sense, that we have seen many so-called liberated person, muk . . . vimukta-māninaḥ. They considered that . . . Vimukta-māninaḥ (SB 10.2.32).

Now, you'll be pleased to hear that one of the Māyāvādī sannyāsīs in India, very well known, his disciples came to me to invite me because they are now seeing that their Māyāvāda philosophy has not been so much effective as devotional service. Practically. So they are now taking gradually to devotional service. They are trying to read Bhāgavata, although they are habituated to malinterpret. But they have no other. They have finished their job. Now they are gradually coming to bhakti-mārga. That is natural. If one is actually sincere, after suffering the distress of impersonalism, gradually they'll come to surrender to the person. Bahūnāṁ janmanāṁ ante jñānavān māṁ prapadyate (BG 7.19).

So when one becomes devotee . . . Jñānīs, they give too much value to liberation, mokṣa, nirbheda-brahmānusandhana. But yogīs, they give too much value for controlling the senses. Karmīs, they give too much value to, to the acts of promotion to the heavenly planets. But for a devotee, these things are very teeny. They don't care for these things. Neither for the karmīs or for the jñānīs or for the yogīs.

They . . . Yaṁ labdhvā cāparaṁ manyate nādhikaṁ tataḥ (BG 6.22). A bhakta who has come to Kṛṣṇa consciousness, pure devotional service, he has no more any desire for the resultant action of karmīs, jñānīs and yogīs. He's so fixed up. There are many examples. Just like Dhruva Mahārāja, when he was offered, "Anything you want," he wanted . . . Actually he wanted the kingdom of his father. But when he actually became fixed up in devotional service, he said, svāmin kṛtārtho 'smi varaṁ na yāce (CC Madhya 22.42): "I have no more to ask anything material benediction, varam. No, I don't want." So Kṛṣṇa consciousness is so nice that automatically one feels fulfillment of all desires. Therefore what they'll desire for liberation, for mukti? It is most insignificant thing.

The next is: "Pure devotional service is the only means to attract Kṛṣṇa." You cannot attract Kṛṣṇa. Kṛṣṇa is the Supreme Personality of Godhead, with full opulences. So you cannot attract Kṛṣṇa by your richness, by your reputation, by your education, by your beauty or by your strength or renunciation. No. You cannot attract Kṛṣṇa by all these things, because He's already full. You cannot attract by anything, any opulence, Kṛṣṇa, because He's ātmārāma. But if you offer something to Kṛṣṇa, it is for your benefit.

The example is given: just like the original person is decorated, in the mirror the reflection of the person is also decorated. Similarly, if you decorate the Deity gorgeously, you will feel happy. Kṛṣṇa has many devotees, or many things for being decorated. But if you, in the temple, if you offer Kṛṣṇa all nice things, all nice flowers, all nice dress, all nice food, everything all nice, then you will feel happy. That is your interest.

Therefore pure devotional service is the only means to attract Kṛṣṇa. Attract Kṛṣṇa . . . Kṛṣṇa will be happy in this way, that you are doing so much for Kṛṣṇa. Kṛṣṇa has everything, but your devotional service, that sincerity of purpose, will attract. My Guru Mahārāja used to say that "Do not try to see Kṛṣṇa. Render your service in such a nice way that let Kṛṣṇa see you." When Kṛṣṇa sees you, then your mission is perfect.

We cannot see . . . Ataḥ śrī-kṛṣṇa-nāmādi na bhaved grāhyam indriyaiḥ (CC Madhya 17.136). We cannot perceive Kṛṣṇa by our senses, but when our senses are engaged in satisfying Kṛṣṇa, then Kṛṣṇa sees us. Svayam eva sphuraty adhaḥ (Brs. 1.2.234). And when Kṛṣṇa sees us, then our life is successful. And how Kṛṣṇa can see us? Simply by our devotional service. Otherwise, you cannot satisfy Kṛṣṇa by opulence, by education, by scholarship, by beauty, by riches. No. These things Kṛṣṇa has all perfectly. He's full with all these opulences. Bhaktyā mām abhijānāti (BG 18.55). If you want to attract Kṛṣṇa, then be engaged in pure devotional service.

Thank you very much. Hare Kṛṣṇa.

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