SDA: Translation and purport, by His Divine Grace, Srila Prabhupada.
"O King, being thus informed by the demigods, the most powerful Lord Brahma, accompanied by Bhrgu, Daksa and other great sages, immediately started for the place where Hiranyakasipu was performing his penances and austerities."
Purport: Lord Brahma was waiting for the austerities performed by Hiranyakasipu to mature so that he could go there and offer benedictions according to Hiranyakasipu's desire. Now, taking the opportunity of being accompanied by all the demigods and great saintly persons, Brahma went there to award him the benediction he desired.
caksur unmilitam yena tasmai sri-gurave namah
caksur unmilitam yena tasmai sri-gurave namah
svayam rupah kada mahyam dadati sva-padantikam
svayam rupah kada mahyam dadati sva-padantikam
So, it is stated that there are three types of persons, who should all approach Krishna to fulfill their desires. There are persons who desire kama, sense gratification. Sarva-kama, who have all lusty desires. There are those who have become frustrated with lusty desires, and who desire moksa, moksa-kamis. Sarva-kamis, moksa-kamis, those who desire moksa, and then, there are akamis. Those whose desire is to become free from all desire. Akamis, devotees. Scriptures tell us that all three groups, actually, should approach Krishna to fulfill their desires. So, obviously, Hiranyakasipu is not in the category of akami. He is sarva-kami. But, still, he is understanding to get higher authorities. He's approaching higher authorities, doing penance, and austerities.
So, we always depend on higher authority. This concept, whether we approach a demigod, or we approach Krishna, still we are dependent on higher authorities. Of course, demigods, they are dependent on Krishna also. So, the intelligent person doesn't go to demigods. This is for less intelligent people. Those who are hrta-jnana, who have lost their intelligence. But, still, there's some idea of approaching higher authorities. A controlling deity. That is some degree of Vedic understanding, to do that. But it is incomplete. Even in ordinary material affairs, we see the example of Wal-Mart. This Sam Walton, he had a very good idea. Why should I go to some distributors to get my goods. I'll just go straight to the manufacturers. In that way, I'll have better business So, why should we go to some middle person? The demigods are simply distributors for the benedictions coming from Krishna. Why should we go to some middle person and not be so well situated? The demigod may give us some temporary boon, but still we are caught up in birth and death. Hiranyakasipu was a classic example of that. He is getting, what he thought was immortality, by some trick. Even though he was told, no, I cannot give immortality, but still he was thinking he was getting immortality. But of course, he did not get immortality. So, instead of going to some middle person, to Lord Brahma, to Lord Siva, to Indra, to Ganesa, to Sarasvati, we should go directly to Krishna. This is intelligence. We see that digvijaya pandita Kesava Kasmiri. He was a great devotee of Sarasvati. He was thinking he was very well situated. Now, no one can defeat me! Because I am so totally dedicated to goddess Sarasvati. But, he was defeated. So, those who take shelter of demigods, they may get some temporary benefit, but ultimately, they are defeated. Nowadays, they don't even have that high of a conception. They want to take shelter of some politician Some athlete Some movie star. Some rock star. That's who they want to take shelter of. They're so crazy. But, those persons who actually take shelter of Krishna, the Supreme Personality of Godhead, from whom all benedictions are coming, their situation is pakka. Its a very solid situation, absolutely solid. That person from whom everything is coming
aham sarvasya prabhavo
mattah sarvam pravartate
mattah sarvam pravartate
That person from whom everything is coming, who provides absolutely everything to everyone.
Nityo nityanam cetanas cetananam
That one supreme conscious eternal, amongst the plural conscious eternals. He is supplying everything for everyone. So, if we are actually intelligent, we will make our relationship with that Supreme Personality of Godhead. This is intelligence. That is actual advancement of knowledge. Not this 747, this microchip, so-called high-tech. This is low technology.
We are thinking we have come out of the dark ages, with our high technology. But actually we are in the dark, dark ages now. If you want to be high-tech, Bhagavatam, that is high-tech. Why? Because, the Bhagavatam will take us to the other side of reality. The impersonalists, the Buddhist's they say that this world is unreality, but that is not at all true. This material world is not unreality. This is simply the inferior reality of the greater reality. There are two sides to reality: the superior side, and the inferior side. So, the Krishna consciousness process is how to go from this side, the inferior side of reality, to the superior side. Not by the mistaken means promoted by one rock and roll star. He had a song, break on through to the other side. You can't gate-crash your way into the other side of reality, by some rocket ship, or by some LSD. You have to be invited. You have to have an invitation. You can't just go on your own. Because I want to go there. You have to qualify yourself to enter that other reality, that superior reality.
So, that transcendental dimension, beyond time and space, that Vaikuntha-dhama the transcendental world is going on right now. Just like here in Denver, outside of this temple, there are so many activities. People are getting up. They're driving to work. There are so many busy activities happening. The airport planes are coming in. Planes are taking off. The luggage is going around the luggage thing. So many things are going on. So, right now, at this very second, in Goloka Vrindavana, there are so many activities going on. Krishna has just gotten His lunch, packed by mother Yasoda. The cowherd boys also, they are all taking off, into the forest, with the calves, playing some games. One cowherd boy, he is stealing the lunch bag from another cowherd boy, and tossing it to someone else. In this way, they are having so many childhood pastimes. And the gopis are waiting, when dark will come, so they can again go to the forest with their beloved Syamasundara, and have so many wonderful, nocturnal forest pastimes. So, all of these things are going on at every minute. All of those pastimes are there. As Prabhupada points out in his Bhagavad-Gita introduction, there is what is called svarupa-siddhi.
We all actually have an identity in the spiritual world. We shouldn't try to guess what it is, or go to someone who can tell us what it is, that is bogus. That is sahajiya. But we know that if we simply follow the wonderful instructions that Srila Prabhupada has given us, that that day will come when we will actually become reestablished in our eternal identity in the spiritual world, on the other side of reality. So, its there right now, waiting for us. Whats holding us back? Ahankara. False ego. We're very very proud. We're encrusted with layers and layers and layers of false ego. That's our deplorable condition at this very second. So, how do we get out? We have to pray for the mercy. Hare Krishna, Hare Krishna, Krishna Krishna, Hare Hare/Hare Rama, Hare Rama, Rama Rama, Hare Hare. We have to pray for the mercy of Srila Prabhupada. Pray for the mercy of Guru. Because by this means, the combined mercy of Guru, and Krishna, we can escape this material world.
We can get to that other side of reality, which Hiranyakasipu, in spite of all his many many penances, and austerities, for such a long time, he was standing on his tip-toes, to try to make himself God, he was an utter failure. We don't have to do such rigorous, rigorous austerities as Hiranyakasipu, going up into the Rocky Mountains and standing on our tip-toes through all types of weather. Sometimes people try to imitate these yogis. These people that do the austerities in the mountains thinking they'll get great powers. Sadly, one boy who used to come to our center in Austin, he graduated from college, and thought, now I'll become a great yogi. So, he went to the Rocky Mountains down there in New Mexico. He went up in the mountains and took all his clothes off to do meditation. A few days later, they found him dead. So, instead of trying to do some artificial austerities, if we will simply do this simple austerity, chant Hare Krishna, follow these principles, join in this wonderful, nectarian, sweet, ever-more-enlivening, transcendental festival known as the International Society for Krishna Consciousness. This is the most exciting thing happening in the history of the world, this society that Prabhupada has created. There's nothing more wonderful, more enlivening, more nectarian, then to be a participant in ISKCON at this time. Actually I can't think of anything more exciting than to be a member of ISKCON. Its the greatest adventure. Isn't it? There's nothing more enlivening than this.
Just consider that Srila Prabhupada is truly the greatest spiritual master in the history of the universe, because he is doing, through his movement, what no one else in the history of the world has ever done. Taken the Vaisnava movement, and spread it all over the world. Even Caitanya Mahaprabhu only spread it within India. Prabhupada has told us that there will be a 10,000 year period, in which Krishna consciousness will inundate the entire world. This 10,000 year period began 500 years ago, when Caitanya Mahaprabhu appeared. So, it remained, in one sense, in a seed-like form within India. For, those five centuries, and Prabhupada has brought that seed, and he's expanded it all over the world.
Now, we're right on the verge of a paradigm shift, in which, as this movement expands, Prabhupada actually told us, this movement will go down in history as having saved the world in its darkest hour. So, the actual fact is that we're sitting, this very second, in one of the most exciting moments in history. As a vast spiritual revolution, which is, you could say, a tremendously huge tsunami, getting ready to inundate the entire world, and we are the lucky persons who get to be an integral part of what's happening. We're so fortunate. We're so unqualified, but somehow or other we were in the right place, at the right time, and we got attracted by Prabhupada's mercy. So, now, we get to act, even though we're most unqualified, (aside) wake up wake up, don't sleep. Even though we are most disqualified persons, we can't even stay awake in Bhagavatam class. But, still somehow or other we are engaged in this activity of assisting Prabhupada, and Prabhupada's servants in pushing forward this movement. To give the greatest benediction to all the conditioned living entities in this material world, and simultaneously, bring the greatest benediction upon ourselves, of actually being able to, not break through, but be allowed through to that other side of reality. That's the spiritual world.
Whatever austerities and penances we may be doing right now, its worth it. Its worth it. We have to suffer anyway in this material world. Suffering is inescapable. Don't you have to suffer if you have to work a job? Isn't there so much suffering getting old, getting sick and dying? There's so much suffering we have to go through anyway, so why not do it in Krishna consciousness? Actually, when you are fixed in Krishna consciousness, its not even suffering anymore. Just consider a person whose stuck in a third-world country and a revolution breaks out. His house is broken into, its vandalized. He's running for his life in total fear, complete anxiety, and there's a bunch of U.S. citizens there in that country. The U.S. government sends in a big transport jet, to pick up all the U.S. citizens, and the word goes around, get to the airport. Somehow, or other, get to the airport, because the U.S. government has flown in a jet to fly everybody out. Get you and your family members, get there. So, you get to the airport, and you're sitting on the plane, ready to take off. You're still there in that country, where the revolution is happening. But, now, all your anxiety is gone because you're on the airplane, and you're going home. So, try to understand the analogy. We're still in the material world. The horrible, hellish Kali-yuga is still going on all around us. But, we're on the airplane. We're not home yet, but we're as good as home. Because we're sitting here on the airplane, getting ready to take off for Goloka Vrindavana at any minute. So, we're as good as home. The only thing is, whatever you do, don't get off the airplane. Fly ISKCON Airlines, back to home, back to godhead. Prabhupada is the pilot, there's wonderful prasadam. The best cuisine on any airline. There are wonderful in-flight movies of Krishna's pastimes, Lord Caitanya's lila. The most sublime in-flight movies you could ever expect. The most wonderful persons are on that plane. The ISKCON sadhus.
There are some advantages to traveling and preaching all over the world, on the ISKCON circuit. Its very graphic, you get to see the contrast between the ISKCON community, and the material community as you move from point A to point B. I remember, we were just preaching a few months ago in Riga, Latvia. Then, mataji and myself, we traveled into Amsterdam. In going through the whole scene there at the airport, I felt like I was in Aghasura's mouth, and then one brahmacari, Radha Vallabha, a very nice disciple of Prahladananda Maharaja, he showed up at the airport to greet us and take us to the temple. Just seeing him, it was like Krishna coming into Aghasura, to rescue me, from being swallowed by Aghasura. So, actually any one devotee in ISKCON, who's following the principles, chanting his or her rounds, that person is a great sadhu actually. It could be a big leader, a big name, or just a new devotee who's sincerely trying to serve Prabhupada's instructions. So, actually, any one member of ISKCON who's trying to serve Prabhupada, they are a great sadhu. That is stated in the Caitanya-Caritamrta.
lava-matra sadhu-sange sarva-siddhi haya
lava-matra sadhu-sange sarva-siddhi haya
All the scriptures declare that by having even one-eleventh of a second association with a sadhu, you can achieve all perfection.
So, this is the great blessing that any sincere follower of ISKCON is able to give. They can give one of Prabhupada's books. They can say chant Hare Krishna. They can say come to our ISKCON center. In this way, they can give you that seed which will bestow upon you all perfection. An invitation to the temple. A kind word. A merciful smile. So, these devotees of this movement, they are not at all ordinary. Its an amazing story, one of our God brothers was telling. He was sitting with Prabhupada in London. A number of the God brothers were there and Prabhupada was sitting there. He said, so, now we are all together again. He said, in your previous birth, you were Indian Brahmanas. Now we are together again. So, anyone who has come to this movement, they are not ordinary people. Each and every member of this society, they are very special in the eyes of Prabhupada, in the eyes of Caitanya Mahaprabhu. So, even though we may sometimes have differences of opinion, sometimes disagreements, we have to always keep that sincere love and respect for all the wonderful devotees of this movement. That's why we always offer our respects to them.
vanca kalpatarubhyas ca krpa
sindhubhya eva ca
patitanam pavanebhyo vaisnavebhyo namo namah
patitanam pavanebhyo vaisnavebhyo namo namah
Not mechanically. We should say that with feeling. Because these persons are very special because they have come to this movement. We should feel that I do not deserve to be in such exhalted company, as these ISKCON devotees. Somehow or other they're tolerating my nonsense, and allowing me to stay here by their kindness. That's how we should feel about ourselves. I don't deserve to be here. I'm so lowly, so degraded, such a rascal. But somehow they're allowing me to stay. They're giving me this opportunity to get out of my demoniac state of consciousness. My Hiranyakasipu mentality. What is that Hiranyakasipu? Soft beds and money. Gold and soft beds.
So, are there any questions? Yes (indistinct) prabhu.
Devotee: I noticed in the purport here that Srila Prabhupada said that Lord Brahma was waiting for the austerities of Hiranyakasipu to mature. Lord Brahma, it seems was quite aware of what Hiranyakasipu's intent was, so why would he want to wait for it to mature?
SDA: That's an interesting question. I haven't studied this chapter in some time. It may be answered in other purports. But, I will consider your question and see what answer can be given for that. There certainly is certain systems that work within the universe for achieving material benedictions. That's one aspect. The law of karma is there. If you want to get a certain result, within the laws of karma, there are certain things you have to do to get that. You're not really qualified for that until you've done enough. Rewards require pious or austere activities. You can't just get it causelessly. Krishna consciousness, you can get causelessly. Any material benediction requires that you actually earn it. You have to pay your dues, as they say. To get the just reward from the material energy, you have to do so many things. So, he wasn't actually qualified to receive a benediction yet. Its obvious, because we understand the laws of karma. As you sow, so shall you reap. So, he wasn't really qualified to get it yet. Its not like Lord Caitanya's mercy, or the Vaisnava's mercy which can be given causelessly to a person. In the material nature, you've got to work hard to earn every single penny. You can't just causelessly receive some benediction.
Devotee: So, would Lord Brahma be thinking, well, I hope he gives it up before it matures?
SDA: Was he thinking that? Oh, of course. Lord Brahma's a great devotee. The compiler of brahma-samhita a great, pure devotee of the Lord. This is like a thankless task for Brahma. He's not really enlivened to do this. Its just the duty he has to do, in that position. Its not nectar for him, to give some benediction. Of course, Brahma can see the greater picture also, knowing that this is a way to finally get rid of this guy. Put a stop to his nonsense.
Questions more? Yes, prabhu.
Devotee (2): (asks a question about why some devotees do austerities, especially the gosvami's giving up material things. Because one can go back to Godhead by doing anything for Krishna.)
SDA: No. It depends on how you do it. The fact is that there are two types of vairagya. There's phalgu-vairagya, and there's yukta-vairagya. Actually Rupa Gosvami, one of the persons you mentioned in your question, he taught us this principle, yukta-vairagya. So, phalgu-vairagya means that you make externally, you totally detach yourself from all material things. But this phalgu has a double meaning in the Sanskrit language. Phalgu also refers to an underground river. On the surface, it appears to be a dry river bed, but under the ground, the river is still flowing. So, you may cut yourself off. You may go to the Himalayas, and become a naga-baba. Not even attached to a kaupina. But within the heart, that underground river of material attachment is still there. But, yukta-vairagya, Rupa Gosvami is teaching, you engage everything in the service of Krishna. That is the highest form of renunciation. Now, its not in the name of doing that, that you can maintain your material attachments. That's why guru is required. You have to surrender to his instruction. If he tells you to go to the Himalayas, then you have to go. If he tells you to remain in an opulent position, and preach, then you have to do that. Whatever the spiritual master orders, that you do. That is renunciation.
If we artificially try to renounce, that is actually madness. Srila Prabhupada gives the example of Bank of America. A person walks into the Bank of America. Person A walks in with a gun, to rob the bank. He is a criminal. Another person walks in and says I renounce this bank. He's a madman. Is it his bank to renounce? So, actually there's nothing to renounce, because we own nothing to begin with. Simply the false concept of ownership has to be given up. One has to see that nirmama. Nothing is mine, and sarva-loka-mahesvaram. Everything is the property of Krishna. So, if we simply utilize everything in the service of Krishna, under the blessings and instructions of our Guru Maharaja, then we are truly renounced persons. Prabhupada gives the example of using a microphone. You could say Sankarshan Prabhu is very attached, because he wants to use a microphone. Some high, technological gadget which depends on some power station supplying the energy. He must be a materialist because he's using a microphone. Of course, I am a materialist, but not because I'm using a microphone.
Prabhupada showed the example of using so many high, technological things. Just like when he had Pradyumna, and Arundati begin this editing, doing the layout for the books. He had them get the latest, high tech word processor. It was a big IBM gadget, before computers were there. Some type of a layout machine. A typesetter. We didn't go to a printer, we had our own press at that time, in New York. Prabhupada got the latest high tech gadget from IBM Corporation And even Prabhupada himself in, I believe, it was the second volume of brown Bhagavatams he published in India. He mentioned that people may criticize that what is this sannyasi doing leaving Vrindavana and going to book publishers in Delhi? This is not renunciation.
So, the real point is yukta-vairagya. We simply accept whatever is favorable for pushing forward this Krishna consciousness movement. If we can use something in the service of Krishna, then it is a mistake to give it up. But if we use it for our own sense gratification, then it is poison. So, we have to be very very careful, that whatever opulence Krishna has given us, small or big, it doesn't matter, we must use that 100% in the service of Krishna. That we must do, otherwise that attachment will kill us spiritually, and we'll have to take birth again. If you have any desire to enjoy even .001%, in this material world, then you have to take birth again. Krishna wants you to have your desires satisfied, so if you have any material desire at all, then you have to take birth again. So we have to pray to Krishna, please Lord Krishna, free me from all these material desires. Let me have one desire, and one desire only, and that is to please you. No other desire. That is real renunciation. Whether you have a little bit of material things you're using for Krishna, or a lot, that doesn't matter. What matters is what's in your heart. That's what matters.
Devotee (2): That means that the desire is the most important thing.
SDA: What is your desire? That is the most important thing. Whether you have one dollar, or a million dollars. That doesn't matter. The question is what is your desire. Is your desire to please Krishna, or is your desire to enjoy your senses? Desire must be there. So, what is the nature of your desire? That is the determining factor of whether you're qualified to go back to Godhead, or not. We have to very very carefully cultivate spiritual desire in all times, all places and all circumstances. That is our most important activity. How do your do that? You do everything to satisfy the desires of Guru and Krishna.
Devotee(2): You said that you need to have a pure desire to go back home back to Godhead.
SDA: We have to be purely fixed in that desire to please Krishna. The highest level is, as Lord Caitanya has given.
na dhanam na janam na sundarim
kavitam va jagad-isa kamaye
mama janmani janmanisvare
bhavatad bhaktir ahaituki tvayi
kavitam va jagad-isa kamaye
mama janmani janmanisvare
bhavatad bhaktir ahaituki tvayi
I have no desire for wealth. I have no desire for beautiful women. I have no desire for followers. I have no desire to even go back to Godhead. I simply want to do devotional service, birth after birth.
That is the qualifier for going back to Godhead. You simply want to please Krishna. That's all. That will immediately qualify you to go back to Godhead. Its not that, well, I'll agree to do all this if I can go back to Godhead. The devotee doesn't make any condition. I'll agree to perform all the activities of Krishna consciousness, if I can go back to Godhead, otherwise its no deal. I don't want to do it. No. We do this for the sake of pleasing Krishna. Not for the sake of going back to Godhead. But that mentality immediately puts you back to Godhead now actually. Back to Godhead, you can have right now. Not just the magazine, but you can actually be 100% situated in the spiritual energy, right now, by just purifying every thought, every word, and every deed, making it completely 100% dovetailed with the satisfaction of Guru and Krishna, and then you'll be in the spiritual world at this very second. Just like Prabhupada told me. I had been a songwriter before I joined the movement, so I wrote Prabhupada a question about songwriting. He encouraged me to come to the level of Bhaktivinoda Thakura. (Laughter.) To write songs. He said, now you just qualify yourself to see Krishna, face to face. He encouraged me to come to that level to write really good songs. So, Prabhupada was introducing to me this concept. Not that you have to wait until you leave your body before you can see Krishna. You can actually do it now if you become completely pure, Krishna will reveal Himself now. So, every day, at every second, we should be striving to bring ourselves to the utmost purity of consciousness, so that Krishna will be very pleased to reveal Himself to us.
Questions more? Yes.
Devotee (3): Sometimes people don't have faith in our claim that this is starting the golden age. There is so much degradation
SDA: What do they have faith in?
Devotee (3): But how do we show them that the golden age is starting?
SDA: Sometimes people don't have faith that the Caitanya Era is going to actually bring 10,000 years of spiritual bliss, on this planet. I would suggest, give them a gulab-jamun. (Laughter.) Let them taste some spiritual bliss. Prabhupada said that this is not dry philosophy that we simply talk, then go. No. We distribute sumptuous prasadam. A spiritual revolution in their mouth! That will purify their intelligence, where they can understand more things about Caitanya Mahaprabhu.
Devotee (3): Then how do we explain to them that the degradation is increasing?
SDA: Ah. By them a subscription to the newspaper. (Laughter.) Its so obvious. My God. If they can't see the degradation, they don't even know what degradation is obviously. They take increased degradation as celebration. Life is getting better, because that's their nature. The standards of sexual morality go down, certain people think this is great! Certain people thought it was great when Bill Clinton was having that affair with that girl in the White House because it gave them the credibility to do the nonsense that they were doing. If the President can do it, then must be alright. So, if somebody's attached to doing all nonsense, then they wouldn't think that an age when people don't eat meat, and they don't have illicit sex is some wonderful thing. They'd think that its a horrible nightmare. (Laughter) Like that word in the Bhagavad-Gita, viparitani. That one verse, viparitani kesava. Viparitani is a Sanskrit word that means "Just the opposite." Or as we say in English, topsy-turvy. They've got it completely backwards. So, unless they can actually understand that an atmosphere where the pleasure of Krishna is the center is superior, to an atmosphere of egotism, then how will they appreciate? Is it possible that they will appreciate? But we can try to explain to them, that wouldn't you like a world devoid of terrorism, devoid of crime, devoid of tsunamis, when the climate becomes wonderful, and there's no pestilence. There's wonderful foodstuffs available in ample supply for everyone. There's no starvation, there's no poverty, there's no corruption. Everyone's honest, everyone's loving, everyone's kind. Would you like such an atmosphere? If you explain it like that, they may say yes. That sound's very good. You can say, well you can help to bring that. That age is called the Caitanya Era, and its predicted in the Vedic scriptures that that age is starting to come now, and if you want to help to bring that age, then kindly chant these names. Hare Krishna, Hare Krishna, Krishna Krishna, Hare Hare/Hare Rama, Hare Rama, Rama Rama, Hare Hare. If you will chant these names sincerely, then you will help to bring in this golden era of Caitanya Mahaprabhu. If you will read these books, then by your intelligence, you'll be helping to bring in this age of Caitanya. If you come to our temple and sing and dance with us, in the samkirtana, you will help to bring in this age. If you will give some contribution, to support this Hare Krishna movement, then you will be bringing in this age. If you will just come to our restaurant, and taste this wonderful food, then you will help to bring in this age.
Any other questions.
So, we'll stop here Grantha-raja, Srimad-Bhagavatam ki, jaya! Srila Prabhupada ki, jaya!
Transcribed by His Grace Jagannatha Dasa