Lecture: Srimad Bhagavatam 7.3.19
Denver, Colorado - 18 January 2005
- 18 January 2005
Srimad-Bhagavatam Canto Seven, Chapter 3, Hiranyakasipu's Plan to Become Immortal, Text number 19.
naitat purvarshayas cakrur
-- not; etat -- this; purva-rishayah -- the sages before
you, such as Bhrigu; cakruh -- executed; na -- nor;
karishyanti -- will execute; ca -- also; apare --
others; nirambuh -- without drinking water; dharayet --
can sustain; pranan -- the life air; kah -- who; vai
-- indeed; divya-samah -- celestial years; satam -- one
Translation and purport by Srila Prabhupada.
Even saintly persons like Bhrigu, born previously,
could not perform such severe austerities, nor will anyone in the future
be able to do so. Who within these three worlds can sustain his life
without even drinking water for one hundred celestial years?
It appears that
even if a yogi does not drink a drop of water, he can live for many,
many years by the yogic process, though his outer body be eaten by ants
and moths. [end of purport]
These yogis are very very powerful and they can do this. As we mentioned yesterday, one devotee in our temple in Gainesville, when I was there, back in the '70s had recently come back from India. He read in a newspaper that there were some yogis who were very very angry. They had buried themselves underground. They were completely buried underground, and they were doing yogic meditation there. They figured they wouldn't be disturbed. Someone came along to build a building there. The bulldozers, or whatever they used came there, and dug up the yogis by accident. They were so angry that their meditation had been broken.
Even today there are yogis who have great powers. But this type of meditation is not really suitable for the general population. Only very rare persons can undergo the necessary austerities. Brahmaji says only Hiranyakasipu could perform this degree of austerity. Even if we do some yogic austerities, what will we gain by it? We may get some siddhis. We might be able to convince some people that we're God by our siddhis. But we become simply more implicated in the laws of karma. (drinks water) I cannot live without water. Even as the body of Hiranyakasipu was eaten away by the insects, we should try to have our bodily conception eaten away by transcendental knowledge. That's a nice poetic simile for us as we're bhakti-yogis. For us, let the eating away process be the exposure to the process of Krishna consciousness, transcendental knowledge, devotional service, the holy name. Because this bodily conception is a very big problem for us. Its an extremely difficult problem. Very difficult.
We're thinking, I'm a man, I'm a woman. Now we see a big thing coming up, someone's in a man's or a woman's body, but they think actually even though I'm in a man's body, I'm actually a woman, or a woman is thinking, I'm actually a man. This transgenderism is now coming up more in the kali yuga. In the kali yuga even gender is not clearly defined. Everything becomes topsy-turvy in this age. What we don't realize is that we have nothing to do with either of these genders. We shouldn't be hung up about, oh, I'm a this or I'm a that, or I'm a this whose thinking that I'm a that, or whatever. We should come to the actual liberated position.
Sometimes people say why do we have to hear this again and again that I'm not the body. They find it hackneyed. But that means they have no realization. Someone who's actually advanced in Krishna consciousness, relishes every single syllable of Vedic wisdom as the sweetest nectar. The ultimate gulabjamun of the consciousness. Psychic gulabjamun. The psyche becomes super enlivened and stimulated by every single syllable of Vedic wisdom, so much so as we see with our great acarya of hearing, Pariksit Maharaja, he could sit for seven days. He was absolutely completely enlivened even though he knew he was going to die. He was not afraid. He was just absolutely in total bliss. This is the art we need to cultivate. As we've been explaining recently, Prabhupada is pointing out in the Bhagavad-Gita introduction, that of all the nine processes of bhakti, hearing from a realized soul is the easiest thing.
If you can find a person, who's highly realized in Krishna consciousness, and if you can sit and hear from them, that hearing is the easiest access point to the Krishnanet. The world of Krishna. Krishna, and His transcendental kingdom. The easiest access point is hearing. If there is static in that hearing, as we've been discussing recently, which is keeping us from being ecstatic, then we simply have to intensify that hearing, just like a laser beam. If we can actually laser focus our hearing propensity, laser focus it finer and finer and finer and finer and more and more and more and more laser focused, that can actually burn a hole through the coverings of this material world. Krishna will actually be able to pull us out of this through the power of hearing.
This hearing process is of the utmost importance. This is how we've come to Krishna consciousness. By hearing and of course by prasadam. Prabhupada said that in Miami. He said, you've all come to this movement by prasadam. Abhirama prabhu was the temple president at that time, so Prabhupada said, you too Abhirama? Abhirama said, yes Prabhupada! Actually this prasadam is bringing us all. After taking prasadam, then we become enlivened to hear something about Krishna. We see how the restaurant is potent like that. Someone can come, take prasadam, and be purified. They can also read a book, or hear what a devotee has to explain to them about our philosophy. That prasadam can prime the pump of the hearing process, which is actually the real way that we can easily and quickly advance along the pathway of Krishna bhakti.
We have to hear our rounds very nicely. We have to hear our older prabhus preaching to us, we also have to be very kind and preach to those who are less advanced than us. We should be very kind to them and try to help them come up to a higher level. With those who are equal, we should become Krishna katha buddies.
The devotees of the Lord are constantly enlivened by hearing and chanting My glories. They're very enlivened by this process. They enlighten one another in this way. This process of Krishna katha is the supreme nectar. If we take it very seriously, that I can always be absorbed in Krishna katha. Day in, day out, minute by minute, hour by hour, somehow or other, always be connected with this process of Krishna katha. This will bring us to the perfectional stage very very quickly.
Why should we be unnecessarily foolishly, holding ourselves back from spiritual advancement, and suffering unnecessary disturbance of the mind and anxieties? If we simply take this process of Krishna katha very seriously, then the flesh and blood of material consciousness will be eaten away by this wonderful process. The pure spirit soul will remain, instead Hiranyakasipu just ended up with the bones. But, if we engage in this hearing and chanting process, very very nicely, then all this crud of ahankara will be eaten away, and the pure spirit soul will then come out.
Actually, everyone's a pure devotee right now. Its just covered. Your pure bhakti is already there. Its just covered by millions and millions of lifetimes of accumulation of so much lust, so much anger, so much greed. If, for just one lifetime, we can take this process very seriously, in one lifetime, we can burn off all this crud, and become reinstated in our svarupa, our eternal identity as the servant of Krishna.
Is there anything more worthwhile than this? Isn't that what we're here for? We should never forget why we're here. Prabhupada one time said, some so-called devotees in India, their ashram was a common mess. Just like in the military, there is the mess hall. That doesn’t mean you're supposed to make it a mess, it refers to a common eating place. The mess hall. They would make the ashram simply a facility for a common mess. Where everyone gets together to share the meals. That was the whole basis of their ashram. Prabhupada wanted us to make sure that we did not make our temple into some facility for common eating.
This is actually a facility for common hearing and chanting. That’s the real point. Its not that for prasadam, everybody's there, fired up, ready, punctual. But when there's hearing and chanting going on, everyone is here and there and everywhere, but not here, like we saw last night. Even this morning, I went down to access the internet There was a boy sleeping in the room. He missed mangala arati, and I said make sure to come to class. I see that he didn't come even though he spent the night here at the temple.
Prabhupada always said this should not be a free hotel. If you can't even come to class, then he might as well sleep in the bushes somewhere in the park. He should not sleep here if he's not willing to hear the Bhagavatam class. Not that he said, well, I slept through it. He was woken up. He could have easily come. So, we have to make the iskcon centers a place where hearing and chanting is the center. We all come together enlivened to share realizations about Krishna consciousness. To dive into the nectar of sankirtana together. Just go deeply and deeply and deeply into the kirtan. Not, when will the kirtan be over so I can take breakfast? No, we're just diving in the kirtan with so much absorption that we can actually go on chanting for millions of years, and forget about everything else. Go that deeply into kirtan.
Of course, we have our duties, but we should get so much into kirtan that we could just go on for millions of years, diving deeper and deeper and deeper into the bliss of the holy names. That's the spirit. That's the mood that we should cultivate, and try to develop within our heart. That's where the bliss is in Krishna consciousness. Its not having a nice quarters in the ashram, its not having some money so you can get some health food or something like that. The real relishing of Krishna consciousness is to come together in the association of devotees and just dive unlimitedly deep into that sweet nectar of hearing and chanting in the association of devotees. That's the essence of our Krishna consciousness movement.
We should never lose sight of what we're here for. We're here to hear and chant the glories of the Lord in the association of devotees. That's the whole purpose of our being here. Not for any other reason. If we keep that in the forefront of our consciousness, and ourselves, just deeply deeply relish this wonderful ecstatic activity of being together with devotees, hearing and chanting the glories of Krishna, then I can assure you the whole world will become attracted to our Krishna consciousness movement. This is because nowhere is there any nectar like this. This is called deathless nectar. Anyone who can actually taste this nectar of Krishna's holy names achieves immortality.
The greatest fear that everyone has in the material world is death. Someone who can actually experience what is this Hare Krishna, what it actually is, they become absolutely fearless of death. They enter into immortality. As Prabhupada said, someone who has actually tasted the nectar of the name of Krishna, and realized what is this Hare Krishna, for them, death means you simply go to sleep, then you wake up with Krishna. Just like in our temple, we do a hard day of service, and finally, alright, now its time to take rest. In the same way, you put in a whole life of dedicated service to your guru maharaja, to Prabhupada, and now, when you're a little tired, alright, I've put in a lifetime of service, now I'm tired, I want to take some rest. Then you wake up with Krishna.
Just imagine to wake up in Krishna's pastimes, to find out what did Mother Yasoda put in Krishna's lunch bag today. What kind of sandesa does He have in His lunch bag today? Just imagine whats going on in his pastimes. As cowherd boy, or cowherd girl or a flute or a rock that Krishna can sit on when he takes his lunch. Just imagine that we can actually wake up at the end of this lifetime. If we just put one lifetime, in spite of whatever impurities, and imperfections we have, if we just remain dedicated to serving this wonder mission of Prabhupada, then we will simply go to sleep, and then wake up with Krishna. No more anxiety.
Haven't we had our fill of anxiety? Then why are we still foolishly running after anxiety? Give me more anxiety! More anxiety! If you want anxiety, take transcendental anxiety. Do you know what Prabhupada says in one of his purports in the Bhagavatam? He says that a Krishna consciousness being is always thinking how to deliver all of the suffering humanity back to Godhead. And the even if he is not successful, his perfection is guaranteed and anyone who follows him will also become perfect. So, I ask you this question, Are we supposed to be Krishna conscious, or not?
We're supposed to be Krishna conscious beings. The actual definition of a Krishna conscious being, is a person who is always thinking how to deliver all the suffering humanity back to Godhead. So, we can see how un Krishna conscious we are. We're just thinking about so many other things, about our own situation. Unfortunately, that's our position. We're thinking about our own situation instead of how can I live this day for the greatest benefit for all the fallen conditioned souls on this planet. How can I benefit them in the best possible way today, to help them back to home, back to Godhead? This is one of Bhaktivinoda Thakura's prayers.
Bhaktivinoda, taking our position of the fallen jiva, says, when will that day be mine, when I will set out to preach the divine command? When oh when will that day be mine? He's putting himself in our position, that right now, I'm caught up in material affairs. But, when will that day come when I will really take seriously, delivering the fallen conditioned souls? Kabe ha'be bolo se dina mar. At the conclusion of the song, he's praying that way. When will I set out to preach the command divine, when oh when will that day be mine?
So, even if we don't feel that way right now, even if we're not on that level yet, which certainly we're not, we can hanker to come to that level, where we're fully dedicated that at every minute, in all times all places and all circumstances, with every thought, with every word and every deed, we're doing everything we possibly can do, to benefit all the fallen conditioned souls within this planet. By doing so, as Prabhupada explains in the Caitanya Caritamrta, Lord Caitanya is in great anxiety about seeing so many fallen souls caught up in this material existence. Prabhupada's explaining that a devotee who takes up this anxiety of spreading Krishna consciousness, they're actually relieving Lord Caitanya of some of His transcendental anxiety. They're taking some of the burden off of His shoulders, and they become very very dear to Lord Caitanya.
If we can strive and endeavor like this, to think, how I can benefit the fallen conditioned souls, how I can dedicate my life for pushing forward this preaching movement of Caitanya Mahaprabhu, then we will become very very dear to the Lord, very very dear to Prabhupada, very very dear to our guru maharaja, very very dear to the Vaisnavas. It doesn't matter what our position is in the society.
It doesn't matter. Any person who takes very seriously this process of spreading Krishna consciousness, becomes a very powerful leader. I don't care if they have an official position or not. By dint of their sincere desire to push forward this movement, they become a powerful spiritual leader on this planet. We should all try to become, as Prabhupada always talked about, the pillars of iskcon. We should all try to become a pillar. Just like here, you have some pillars holding up the ceiling. Each one of us should try to become a pillar. We're doing our share to help this movement be successful. Prabhupada always gave the example of the Indian Railways.
He said, they had one poster that every employee must see that the wheels of the train are turning. Everyone in the company was given that instruction. You have to make sure the train is rolling down the track. That is your duty. Every single employee in the Indian Railways had to meditate that way.
One person is actually sitting there in the engine, turning the throttle. Someone else is a clerk signing a paper in the office. Someone else is sweeping. But everyone’s duty is to make sure that train is rolling. In the same way, every member of iskcon has that duty to make sure that this movement is successful. Whether that means cleaning the toilet, if that means distributing a book, whether that means washing some dishes, whether that means working a job and giving as much as I can to support the temple, everyone should do as much as the possibly can, sacrifice every amount of energy they possibly can to see that the wheels of the train are turning. To see that Lord Caitanya's movement, which is manifested now, in the form of iskcon, is inundating the entire planet Earth.
If we can do this, I guarantee you, the flesh and blood of ahankara, which has kept us suffering birth after birth, will be eaten away in a much better way than Hiranyakasipu had his flesh and blood eaten away by the ants and moths.
Are there any questions? Yes
Devotee 1: Prabhu, how do we make the balance, because we see ourselves, and other devotees tottering, when we're too busy thinking of the sadhana of others?
SDA: Physician, heal thyself. If you want to be a physician, that's very nice. But your first duty is to keep your self healthy otherwise you wont have any potency. Our first duty is to make our own sadhana very strong. We have to be regularly attending the programs, regularly chanting our rounds, guarding ourselves against lusty greedy and angry thoughts. We have to cultivate pure devotional service. That's the first step. Prabhupada said that there's nothing more important than spreading Krishna consciousness, but even more important is to save yourself. So, to actually spread Krishna consciousness, you, yourself must become very spiritually strong. Your first duty is to make yourself very very strong spiritually.
Just imagine if somehow or other, every devotee in this movement left there body, and you were the only Prabhupadanuga left on this planet. You have to be so strong, and so pure in your sadhana, that you could influence this entire planet to take shelter of Prabhupada. Everyone should be thinking, to make themselves that strong and potent in their own personal sadhana, if somehow or other, every devotee went back to Godhead, and I was the only one left, it would be my duty to keep this movement going. Each one of us should take a very serious responsible attitude. Not to think, well the other devotees will do it, and I'll just kind of hang around and be a quasi surrendered soul. No, you should not do that.
Each one of us should become exemplary. Each one of us should become a pure devotee, on the highest possible level we can achieve within this lifetime. We should strive for the absolute perfection, each and every one of us. Then, when we preach, it will be very very powerful. It will be very very potent. Krishna dasa Kaviraja says that one pure devotee can deliver the entire universe. As we pointed out the other day, Prabhupada said even if one devotee can purely chant the holy names, then by his influence the whole world will take up Krishna consciousness.
You cannot simply, externally engage in busily trying to spread Krishna consciousness, while keeping yourself contaminated in the heart, that won't work. You have to purify your own heart very seriously. Then, whatever you do will be very effective. Why endeavor to spread Krishna consciousness and keep yourself impure? That's called active foolish. But to become very very pure, and then preach Krishna consciousness, will be more effective, that's called lazy intelligence.
If I can purify myself, become very very pure in my own sadhana, then whatever preaching I do, will be very effective. So, instead of having to endeavor like anything, with very little results, let me just purify myself, then whatever I endeavor will be very potent. This is lazy intelligence. Each one of us should be lazy intelligent in that way. In our preaching, we should be very very pure, very very dedicated to guru and Krishna. In this way, whatever we do will be effective.
It may take time for that to manifest. Even Prabhupada himself, in the beginning, the results did not come. Look what happened in Jhansi. Look what happened that first year in New York City. He never gave up his determination. I must serve my Guru Maharaja's order. That's what it boils down to. Prabhupada explains in his purport in the Srimad-Bhagavatam, that Krishna is not to be found in the bushes of Vrindavana. Krishna is to be found in the order you receive from your spiritual master. That's where we'll find Krishna.
We have to understand how can I please my spiritual master. What will please him? What does he want me to do? Understand what will please my guru maharaja? Let me do that. Take that as your worshipable Deity. Knowing what your guru maharaja wants you to do, and doing that. That's how you will be highly successful.
Devotee 2: How's that considered lazy intelligence?
SDA: Prabhupada told us that lazy intelligence is the first class position. So, how is it lazy intelligence that by becoming very pure in Krishna consciousness, I can accomplish much more than if I just keep myself impure, neglect my sadhana, neglect my japa, and try to work very hard to spread Krishna consciousness? The point is that by using your intelligence, you'll be able to accomplish a lot more. You may endeavor like anything, foolishly, that I want to spread Krishna consciousness, but you don't follow the principles strictly, you don't chant your rounds, that is active foolishness. Do you understand?
By being intelligent and doing things in the proper way, even with less endeavor, you can accomplish much more. That's the point. If you foolishly do things, then you may work very hard, but the result will not be very good. Is it clear now? It doesn't mean we should become lazy. It means that we should engage ourselves in such a way that whatever we do is highly highly effective. That comes to the degree how much we become pure in our own practice of Krishna consciousness.
Questions more? (pause) Only women ask questions here? Yes.
VPM: Srila Prabhupada's purport mentioned how the devotee is always thinking about how to deliver the fallen souls, and that even if they are not successful, their deliverance is guaranteed, and those who follow them are also delivered. How does this correlate to physician, heal thyself.
SDA: The physician wants to go to the epidemic area, and he wants to save the people who are suffering the epidemic, but he knows that for it to be effective, he has to himself be healthy. If he is himself a victim of the epidemic, then he will not be able to help those who are suffering in the epidemic. He has to be strong and healthy himself. So, for the sake of being able to save others, he first of all makes sure that he's saved, that he's healthy.
VPM: Can it also be that by trying to help others, they become healed in the process?
SDA: So you're saying, I don't have to chant rounds, I don't have to follow principles. I'll just preach, and be successful just be preaching. Your asking if that could be the case. We see many examples of people who tried to do that, and they didn't make it. I don't want to bring any names, but we have case studies in our history of iskcon, of people who tried to do that. They were interested in having big big results, and big big prestige, but their own sadhana was deficient, and they didn't make it. They didn't make it. They made it for some time, but then, after a while, pshew, they were a big iskcon hero one day, and they were in the lap of maya devi the next day.
If we really want to be successful in our Krishna consciousness, it has to be based on a solid foundation of purity. It has to be based on a solid foundation of purity. Without the purity, no matter what we do, we may have big big meetings, and big big conferences, big big discussions about expanding Krishna consciousness in this way and expanding it in that way, just like now some big meetings are coming up in Dallas this weekend, but if we neglect the foundation of everything, which is our own personal purity, no matter how many committees we form, and how many big big discussions we may have, this movement's not going to go anywhere.
This movement will only grow to the extent that we, the members of it, have cultivated our own personal purity. That's the only extent this movement will grow, not beyond that.
Any other questions?
Devotee 4: We have seen senior devotees who convince others to chant their rounds and follow the principles, but they themselves still fall down.
SDA: That shows the potency of preaching. Its a fact that sometimes, someone may speak in a way that attracts people to chant Hare Krishna, but he himself is not able to maintain it. That shows you the great power of Prabhupada's words. Somehow, Prabhupada is actually acting. Just like a FedEx man, he may not be a millionaire, but he can give you a check for a million dollars.
Of course, to the extent that a person is actually sincerely following himself, there will be more potency and more effect, but the fact is that we know people who are not really practicing Krishna consciousness, but they tell people about it and people are inspired, because the potency of Prabhupada's words can even come through from someone who's not purely following it. We're seeing that many times. Just like, I know there was some devotee who was preaching here, some people joined this temple, and he wasn't even following all the principles, but he's inspiring people to join this temple He admitted he wasn't fully doing everything. So, even if someone is not completely, purely following everything. This message is so powerful that there can be an effect, but the effect will not be nearly as great as someone who is actually following it strictly. Those are the persons who will have the greatest impact on spreading Krishna consciousness.
Guest 1: You are saying that those who follow, they speak less. And that is what I am saying all the time.
SDA: In Bengal, they have a saying that he who knows doesn't speak and he who speaks doesn't know, but that actually, doesn't apply in Krishna consciousness. One Bengali man, who became a little inimical to our movement, we visited him and he told us like that. He who speaks doesn't know, and he who knows doesn't speak. So, we could have asked him, if you know, then why did you speak? Since you spoke, therefore, you must not know, according to your own philosophy. So, to say that those who aren't following Krishna consciousness speak the loudest, and those who are following it don't speak, that's not always true.
The proof is Prabhupada. How much he was speaking. How many books he has written. It could be true in some cases, but its certainly not true in all cases. There are persons who are strictly following this process of Krishna consciousness very sincerely, who do a lot of preaching. That's a fact. We shouldn't think that because someone is speaking very boldly, that they must be a hypocrite, thinking that those who are sincere just walk around humbly and don't say anything. That's a mayavadi trap, if we think that way. It could be in some cases, but in many cases we see factually that there are persons who are very very sincerely following this Krishna consciousness process, and are preaching very vigorously all over the world.
If we are sincere in our own sadhana, in our own practice, then Krishna will guide us from within to whom we should associate with the most, who we should take most seriously. If we are strictly, sincerely trying to follow, then Krishna will guide us, who are those devotees that you can trust the most to give the best possible guidance and inspiration. Krishna will give that intelligence from within the heart.
Devotee 5: Just a comment about that last point. That's very important because in our condition, we may not recognize who is preaching, and who is not preaching.
SDA: So, what's the hope, if one is so covered, that you can't even distinguish, who is giving the bona fide Krishna consciousness science, and who is presenting pseudo Krishna consciousness? What's the hope for such a person?
Prabhupada said, it's a matter of good fortune, actually. Right now, people can go to a ratha yatra and they can get a Back to Prabhupada magazine, or a Back to Godhead magazine. Whichever one they get, they may take it very seriously. So, what's going to determine which way they go? One has to be fortunate to get the real sampradaya message. Its a matter of good fortune in one sense. Its also a matter of the sincerity of the candidate. Prabhupada told Hayagriva that you don't have to search for guru. When you're actually ready, and you're sincere, then guru will find you out. It really boils down to one's own sincerity. You get what you're looking for. You get what you want. If you want to be cheated by pseudo Krishna consciousness, that's what you'll get. If you're looking for genuine pure Krishna bhakti, strictly according to Prabhupada's teachings, that's what you'll get. Krishna will put you in contact with that devotee, or those devotees who can connect you purely to Prabhupada's teachings. If you really don't want that, you're more interested in pseudo bhakti and so-called political bhakti, then Krishna will facilitate you in that way.
We really have to come to the pure platform, just like Prabhupada did. He always was, but he showed by example, that he simply stuck to the order to spread Krishna consciousness. That was the whole sum and substance of his existence He didn't care about anything else. He just wanted to push forward Krishna consciousness because that's the order he was given.
We thank you very much for your kind attention. Srimad-Bhagavatam ki Jaya! Srila Prabhupada ki Jaya! Hare Krishna.
Transcribed by His Grace Jagannatha Dasa