His Grace Sankarshan Das Adhikari

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Srimad Bhagavatam 11-11-5

Boston, MA - 06-09-2005

atha baddhasya muktasya
vailakṣaṇyam vadami te
viruddha-dharmiṇos tata
sthitayor eka-dharmiṇi


Thus, My dear Uddhava, in the same material body we find opposing characteristics, such as great happiness and misery. That is because both the Supreme Personality of Godhead, who is eternally liberated, as well as the conditioned soul are within the body. I shall now speak to you about their different characteristics.


In verse 36 of the previous chapter, Uddhava inquired about the different symptoms of liberated and conditioned life. Srila Sridhara Svami explains that the characteristics of bondage and liberation may be understood in two divisions — as the difference between the ordinary conditioned soul and the eternally liberated Personality of Godhead, or as the difference between conditioned and liberated living entities in the jīva category. The Lord will first explain the difference between the ordinary living entity and the Supreme Personality of Godhead, which may be understood as the difference between the controlled and the controller. [End of Purport]

om ajnana-timirandhasya jnananjana-salakaya
caksur unmiltam yena tasmai sri-gurave namah

So, when I was first looking over this verse, I was seeing these comparisons happiness, misery, the Personality of Godhead in the jiva and that there was some comparison that made it seem like that the jiva is in a position of misery and Krishna was in a position of happiness. But then, it goes on to explain here, it’s also the difference between a conditioned and a liberated living entity. So there is hope for us. It’s not that the jiva is condemned to a life of misery, as the Christian conception tells us that, “You will burn in Hell forever.”

Here, we have a very nice understanding that if we come to this position of liberation then we can experience great happiness. This is the wonderful mercy of this Krishna Consciousness Movement. It is offering the living entities of this world who are indeed sufferings in unlimited ways, the opportunity to truly become happy. Of course, most people are thinking “I am happy. I am quite satisfied, thank you.” But if we ask them, “Are you always happy? Are you experiencing the greatest possible happiness at every moment?” Then they will hesitate. They will have to think, “Well maybe I am not really as happy as I think I am.” And everyone has to admit that they have moments, so many experiences in their life of great unhappiness.

This process of Krishna Consciousness brings us to a position, brahma-saukhyam tv anantam where we can always be happy in all times, all places and all circumstances. Nobody has this anywhere in this material world, even on the highest planet Brahmaloka. This is confirmed in the Bhagavad-gita, "from the highest planet down to the lowest, everywhere is a miserable place." We may think ourselves happy by making very nice facilities, but that facility cannot give us actual happiness. We must remain in a position of unhappiness as long as we are in this material existence.

Our great acharyas, they have passed down this wonderful, wonderful formula of how to unlock that happiness which is actually there, because constitutionally we are qualitatively one with the Supreme. Krishna is eternal. He is full of knowledge. He is full of bliss. We have the same nature, sachit-ananda-vigraha. But we have foolishly traded in sat cit ananda vigraha for asat acit nirananda. Why? Bad propaganda! Bad education! We’ve taken the greatest thing and foolishly walked away from it.

So, our great acharyas, Srila Prabhupada, Bhaktisiddhanta Saraswati Thakura, Bhaktivinoda Thakura, they have so mercifully dedicated every ounce of their energy, at every moment of their eternal existence, for waking us up from this conditioned consciousness which is causing us to suffer unnecessarily. It’s actually just foolish for us to remain in this impure state of consciousness. it is utter foolishness. Actually, we are doing nothing but torturing ourselves to remain in this conditioned state of consciousness. If we have any brains at all, we will discipline ourselves very strictly and carefully, carefully follow this process with every thought, with every word, with every deed, so that quickly we can come out of our suffering condition and come to the platform of pure devotional service.
Pure devotional service gives great happiness to the living beings. There is no limit to the happiness and satisfaction that one derives in that state of pure devotional service. As that purification of consciousness unfolds or develops in the sincere aspirant of pure devotional service, then they have the fringe benefit of satisfaction of being more and more potent as they progress along the path of purification to help others become purified in their consciousness. To the extent that we are pure, to that extent we can help others to become pure. We become potent to the degree of our own purity.

It is not that potency is based on, “Well, he is a good singer, he is a good speaker, he dresses very nicely.” There is no material qualification for spiritual potency. It is simply based on the purification of that person; how much they are actually pure. It is quite amazing. Prabhupada explains... it never ceases to amaze me his statement in Caitanya caritamrita. There he says, “A person who purely chants the holy name of the Lord without any offense becomes jagad-guru and under his influence the whole world takes up the chanting of Hare Krishna.”

So, what does Prabhupada wants us to do? Does he want us to become pure chanters or remain impure chanters? Prabhupada wants us to become as potent as possible in our ability to deliver others by becoming as absolutely as pure as we possibly can be. So, this is a great responsibility. Each and every one of us has to become completely pure in our Krishna Consciousness. As far as we possibly can, we have to beg for the mercy of the Vaishnavas, beg for the mercy of our spiritual master, beg for the mercy from Srila Prabhupada and all the acharyas, that we may become completely, solidly, totally fixed in pure devotional service as soon as possible.

We have to overcome all the anarthas that have been lingering in our hearts for countless lifetimes and causing us untold sufferings and anxieties. Enough is enough! Why do we go on in this way holding on to our material attachments? Is this an intelligent thing? It’s foolish. We have to give up holding on to these attachments which are tormenting us. This is the real nectar, to come to this platform of pure devotional service.

We may think that we can make facilities for ourselves in this world, but what will these facilities give us? Simply a false sense of happiness. That’s all. Any so-called happy arrangement we make here is simply illusory, maya sukhaya. The only arrangement that will satisfy us is to come purely to Krishna Consciousness. Someone might think, “Well, I need to be married, I need to have this position. I have been asked to do this service which is not according to my nature,” but actually making these adjustments are not the real solution. Those adjustments may be made but they won’t really solve the problem of why we are not experiencing the nectar that we are supposed to be experiencing. There is only one adjustment that will bring us to the point of actually tasting that nectar and that is when we come to the platform of pure devotional service completely free of any desire for profit, adoration, distinction, wealth, woman or followers. That’s the position.

So, we have to pray for that mercy, we have to beg Krishna to bring us to pure devotional service and what is that prayer begging for pure devotional service?

Hare Krishna, Hare Krishna, Krishna Krishna, Hare Hare,
Hare Rama, Hare Rama, Rama Rama, Hare Hare.

And so many wonderful prayers of our great acharyas are there. Recently one of my disciples asked me if she can make her own prayers or “you just have to repeat the prayers.” One time Prabhupada said, “You should not make your own prayers, you should just repeat the prayers,” but then other times he said, “You can make your own prayer.” So the idea is that one must study the prayers of the great acharyas. One has to understand the mood of pure devotional service. Then when you understand that mood by studying the beautiful prayers in the Bhagavatam, Nectar of Devotion, etc. then one can actually compose their own prayers to the Lord, as long as it’s in the line of pure devotional service. Not that I am praying, “Please give me this, please give me that, give me, give me, give me, me, me” but rather “How can I serve you, Krishna? How can I get free from this foolish tendency I have to try to lord it over the material nature, trying to squeeze one last drop before I really get serious about this pure devotional service? Let me have one last drop of sense gratification, punah punas carvita-carvananam and then tomorrow I will take up the pure bhakti."

No, we really have to realize that Krishna consciousness is actually here and now. Mayavadis misuse that. But actually Bhaktivinoda is the original propounder of the ‘Here and Now’ philosophy. He says, “Forget the past that sleeps and act in times that eith you and ne'er the future dream at all.” In this way he says, “progress we shall cause.” So in our philosophy this is where the real nectar is, right here and  right now. We are thinking, “Well, it’s going to be later on when I get this position, later on when I get married or later on when I get free from marriage.” We are thinking it is somewhere else. We are not realizing it is right here and it is right now. We just have to really tune in and really purify our consciousness.

We have to be very introspective. Prabhupada said, “A gentleman thinks twice before speaking anything.” We have to very introspectively observe what's going on in my mind right now. Just like sometimes there was one person and he put one camera in front of himself on the holder and he put himself on the Internet 24 hours a day. But just imagine if there could be an Internet broadcast of your thoughts that the whole world could see or all the devotees in ISKCON could see, every one of your thoughts at every minute, 24 hours a day. Would you be totally devastated and embarrassed? Could you actually stand up to that scrutiny that, “Yes, I am Krishna Conscious.” So this is a kind of purification of consciousness we seriously have to develop that we can stand up to that kind of scrutiny of having every one of our thoughts observed by all the devotees of our society and not have to hide our head in shame in a closet for all of our dirty, lusty, angry, envious thoughts.

In this way, we have to be very, very introspective and very serious to really kick out the crud. What does Bhaktisiddhanta say? Give that rascal mind a beating every morning a hundred times, take that dirty old shoe and beat it, wham, wham, one hundred times. And if that wasn’t enough, before you go to bed then go to the broom closet, grab that broom and give it again one hundred times. This is the program of Krishna Consciousness. Knock the living crud out of that rascal mind; really give it a good beating because this mind is really, really the cause that gives me so much difficulty lifetime after lifetime. The gross body is not a big deal. You automatically get rid of it. At the time of death it’s gone, it is finished. The problem is the subtle body, the mind, that’s what is keeping us caught up here.

The real problem is the mind. But I remember reading in our books that one who has advanced in Krishna Consciousness makes progress just by associating with his mind. So alss we read that the mind is the best friend and the worst enemy. We really have to bring the mind from the position right now where it’s such an enemy of our progress and bring it to the point where it’s really our best friend; when it’s always Krishna Conscious. From the mind we have thinking, feeling, willing and acting. The thoughts that are going on in your mind is your thinking and then if you are thinking long enough, then you start feeling like doing or saying whatever you’re thinking about. You start feeling that that would be a good idea, then you will to actually say that or do that and then you actually do that.

There is a Hindi saying that, “if you can conquer your mind, you can conquer the world.” So it’s a big fight but if we can be successful in conquering over the mind then there’s no limit to how much we can become happy in Krishna Consciousness and how much we can impact others also to become happy on this path of back to home, back to godhead, and the wonderful shelter of the lotus feet of His Divine Grace Om Vishnupada Paramhamsa Pravijakacarya Astotara-sata Sri Sriman A.C. Bhaktivedanta Tridandi Gosvami Maharaja Prabhupada.

So we have a very nice help from the poet, Govinda Das. He is saying, “bhajahu re mana sri-nanda-nandana abhaya-caranaravinda re”. So, he’s giving us a very nice demonstration on how to bring that mind under control. “O my dear mind, you just engage yourself in the devotional service to the divine son of Nanda”. Prabhupada wonderfully expands on these writings of our great acharyas. In the final verse where the nava vidha bhakti is expounded by the poet Govinda Das, Srila Prabhupada explains that this is the answer of Govinda Das because the mind will complain. Prabhupada says, "The mind will complain to Govinda Das, 'You are taking away all my happiness and you are leaving me with nothing, what will I do?' And then Govinda das answers the mind, 'sravana, kirtana, smarana, vandana, pada-sevana, dasya re'." So this is a very nice program to follow, the way of our great acharyas, to charm the mind.

There are two different approaches. Bhaktisiddanta’s teaching is to take the approach of beating: “You rascal mind here you take this.” But Govinda Das, he has given us another tactic, “ O My dear mind, you just engage yourself in the service of the divine son of Nanda Maharaja.”
So there are different techniques and methods given by our acharyas and you can take which method works best for you in a particular time, place or situation. Just like a powerful ksatriya, he has so many types of weapons for so many different types of situations. We’ve been given many astras to conquer over the mind by our great acharyas. We just have to study very carefully all the different techniques and methodologies of conquering the mind and build up nice arsenals.

So when we have this kind of attack from the mind we can conquer it, and if we have that kind of attack from the mind we can conquer that one. Any kind of attack... The mind can never throw an astra at us that we don’t have an astra to counteract it with. Prabhupada actually explains that to take up Krishna Consciousness is to declare war on Maya. This is actual warfare. We have to be very enthusiastic to conquer the mind. Actually, it’s fun. When you take it enthusiastically that, "here is an opportunity to show my spiritual master, to show Srila Prabhupada, to show the acharyas, to show Krishna that I’m very serious to be actually your devotee and receive your blessings for sincerely doing everything I possibly can to surrender at your lotus feet." If we have this mood, then it becomes a great adventure, a great exciting pastime to bring this mind under control. To just subdue it becomes a very wonderful exciting adventure and expanding the consciousness beyond the limited, imprisoned situation within the three modes of material nature - sattva guna, raja guna, tamo guna.

Krishna gives all help. Even one little step towards Krishna, He reciprocates ten times. Where do you find that kind of investment? I see here in Boston, you have your financial district. Fidelity Investments has now invaded Commonwealth Pier, where Prabhupada landed. So, we can see this is also an investment. We’re investing our time and our energy. So, where is that investment that you can put one dollar down and get ten dollars back? Just imagine if there were such an investment then everyone would be running. You put one dollar down and you get ten back, you put ten down you get a hundred back, you put hundred down you get a thousand back and very quickly you will become the wealthiest person in the whole universe and your wealth would exceed the wealth of Kuvera, the treasurer of the demigods by this method. This is the investment opportunity that Srila Prabhupada has given us. Whatever we endeavor towards Krishna, ten times reciprocation is coming from Krishna. So there is no greater investment opportunity. Then, you may say, where is the opulence? Normally investment means opulence. Successful investment means you become very, very opulent.

But do you think a pure devotee of the Lord is not opulent? He may appear to be a mendicant. Prabhupada presented himself as a beggar. He may appear to be a mendicant. But, actually the real fact is that when you fully surrender yourself unto Krishna, then what do you possess? You give up all false conceptions of possession. There is one thing that you possess. You possess Krishna. When you have totally, wholly given yourself to the Supreme Personality of Godhead, then He becomes your personal possession. You may say how is that possible? We see here Mother Yasoda, she is tying up Krishna. We see Arjuna he is instructing Krishna , “You drive my chariot here and drive my chariot there.” When you give yourself completely to Krishna, then Krishna becomes your property and if you own that person who owns everything, who controls everything, then is it ever possible for you to be in any difficulty?

It may appear that a pure devotee is sometimes in difficulty but actually, he is never in difficulty. He is absolutely never in any difficulty. Everything is there just as the arrangement of Krishna to glorify His pure devotee more and more, that’s all. A pure devotee is never in any difficulty. So, now we are thinking that we are experiencing so many difficulties, but the only difficulty is our lack of Krishna Consciousness. There was one householder and he wrote a letter to Prabhupada that he wanted to change his asrama. He was a brahmacari and he wasn’t happy there. “If I get married then I can become happy." The next thing, he is thinking, "Well, I am not happy as a householder. Now I need to be a sannyasi then I can be happy.” The 'grass is greener on the other side of the fence' syndrome. (laughs). Srila Prabhupada told him, "Actually your anxiety is not due to an external situation, but it is simply due to your lack of Krishna Consciousness. That is your anxiety." I always remember that because it not only applies to him but it applies to every single situation that we may face in this sojourn in material existence; it applies to everything actually. Kunti was going through the greatest distress and difficulty during those years of exile. When it was all, over she said, “I want more of that. That was actually great. Give me more Krishna. Give me more calamity, more calamity. I don’t like this comfortable position because I don’t feel as Krishna conscious now. Give me more difficulty.”

Prabhupada advised one gentleman who was coming to him for advice and he said, “Do not to seek security, seek opportunity instead.” Our tendency in this world is to make a nice comfortable nest for ourselves in this material existence, some secure position. But there is no such thing as security. You may think you have security here but there is absolutely no security in this material existence. Therefore, instead of seeking security, we should seek the opportunity how to completely conquer the impurities in our hearts and become pure devotees and spread this as far as possible to everyone that we possibly can. Prabhupada was very much pushing us again and again to make a revolution on this planet.

One time, he gave  the definition of the word of digvijaya, conquering pandita. Of course in the Caitanya lila, we know there is Kesava Kashmiri the digvijaya pandita, who was conquering all the panditas all over India. Prabhupada told us that actually we should become digvijaya. He described what this digvijaya is. He said you go village to village, town to town and you make digvijaya, "There is God and I can prove there is God.“Who are you to say there is no God? Come on!" That is digvijaya. Prabupada wanted us to go head to head with these atheistic rascals and to establish the existence of God. So he encouraged us like that to become digvijaya pandita.

You can go anywhere and everywhere and establish Caitanya Mahaprabhu’s mission. Then in one lecture he was saying, "In the present time, the world is being managed by rogues and demons." He says, “Now, you just make your life successful and you take the management.” He is not talking about political management here. He’s talking about the actual leadership of the world. In the Vedic culture, the brahmanas are the actual leaders of the world. Of course, he also wanted that political leaders should follow but the first principle of leadership is the brahmanas. We should become so pure and so fixed in our Krishna Consciousness that the leaders of the world would come to us to know how to rule the country. President Bush would call up Jayadeva Swami and say, “Maharaja, how can I run this country? Please come to the White House and guide me.” We should come to that standard in our Movement. Our leading scholars and realized devotees like Jayadeva Swami would be sought after by the world leaders. “Will you please come to my country and guide me how to run this country in Krishna Conscious way?” So, in this way we have to very seriously take up our duty as followers of Srila Prabhupada to become very, very pure and very, very fixed to actually become realized in Krishna Consciousness. Not just sit on the surface but actually go very, very deep into the ocean of Krishna Consciousness. Prabhupada was pushing me to become like that because previously I’d been a song-writer before coming to our Movement. One time I asked Prabhupada about song writing. He actually encouraged me to come to the level where I can write songs like Bhaktivinoda Thakura. He said, “Now you just qualify yourself to see Krishna face to face then you can actually write songs about Krishna.” So, that’s a very high standard. I wasn’t talking about going back to Godhead, I was asking about writing songs now in this body and Prabhupada was telling me that you should come to the point where you can actually see Krishna face to face and then you can really write realized songs.

Prabhupada is actually wanting us to come to that level of pure devotional service not to remain mixed devotees, still having material desires, just basket cases, mercy cases that are allowed out of kindness to go back to Godhead. Of course, it’s not so easy actually. Prabhupada does say that you have to become completely pure. Because if there is even one tinge of material desire left you have to take birth again. Absolute purity is there. So we really should push for it. We should take inventory of our own Krishna Consciousness and lack thereof. Every day we should be inventorying our heart of how much Krishna Consciousness is there and how much are we are lacking in it and fill up the warehouse. Get rid of all those empty shelves in our heart where Krishna consciousness is not manifest. And you know what the position is when Krishna Consciousness is not manifest? You know who fills up the missing gaps? None other than Srimati Mayadevi. She very happily comes into the empty places where we don’t have Krishna consciousness in our hearts and sits there very nicely. Once Prabhupada was speaking with Vishnujana Maharaja in his quarters in Los Angeles and he pointed to his harmonium, he said, “No gaps for maya, if I have nothing else I can sing some bhajans.” This is how we have to discipline ourselves, that our 24 hours at every minute we are connected with Krishna every second. It’s not that my few gaps here and there are okay. It’s not. We have to close all the gaps. Just like now the Department of Homeland Security is trying to close all the gaps in the US to keep the terrorists out. Good Luck! (Laughs) So, we have to be a better Homeland Security Department than the US Homeland security to keep all the terrorism out of our hearts. We were sent to this material world because we were terrorists actually. We had a terrorist mentality and immediately we were gone. Actually that mentality of a terrorist, coup d’état mentality does not exist in the spiritual world. As you have that mentality come, you are already gone. Spiritual world is completely pure. So that impure tendency to want to lord it over, to rebel against the Supremacy of Krishna is there. As soon as it is in your heart you are already here, there is no doubt, instantaneous. So, now we have to get back to our original position, back to home, back to Godhead. We have to realize that if we can come to pure devotional service then we will taste the sweetest nectar at every minute. Actually every single instance of our eternal existence will be absolutely delicious. We simply have to come to the position of pure devotional service.

If someone offers you two plates... there is a plate full of nice prasada and there is a plate of stool. Right now we are eating from both plates. We’ve taken up Krishna consciousness, we are thinking this is great but stool is pretty good too and I’ll have some of that along with my meal. We’re still eating the stool. Can you imagine how foolish we are? Prabhupada has given us a pure devotional service. Mayadevi has given us a plate of stool and we are still sampling the stool, “Well, it’s pretty good; it kind of mixes well with the prasadam”. Common! Time to get out of this psychotic condition that stool tastes good. It doesn’t. It’s horrible. It’s abominable. But still we are thinking, “Ah, yes.” See the mentality of the hog, “That stool is very nice... yummy, yummy into tummy”. Time to give it up, Prabhus and Matajis and Maharajas. Of course, Maharajas are already there. But we have to give it up.

So, we can ask now if there is any question.

Devotee: I like what you said about the mind. In the story pastime of Jada Bharata I think it is in 11th chapter of the 5th canto in the last verses, Prabhupada talks about controlling the mind. In the purport he says there’s another way to control the mind. He says, “neglect.”

SDA: Ah, some of the other astras, neglect.

Devotee: We have to learn to neglect the demands of the mind instead of giving in, responding to it.

SDA: Yes. That is also a very good technique. The mind is screaming and screaming; just don’t pay any mind to the mind.

Devotee: A little child he is tugging on to your dhoti. You just have to neglect, after a while don’t pay any attention to it.

SDA: It is very good. That’s a fact. That’s a very good technique. The urges of the senses are there and just like an itch. Prabhupada said you tolerate that itch, you don’t scratch. The mind is nagging, nagging, just let it sit there and nag until it gets tired of nagging. If you just let it sit there long enough without paying attention to it then it will stop. That’s a fact, because we have that higher taste in Krishna consciousness. We have some engagement as Govinda Das and Prahlada Maharaja are giving us. We have that alternative pleasure of higher taste. So, it’s a do-able thing to conquer the mind.

Devotee: But how do we beat our mind with shoe every morning and broom in the evening?

SDA: Literally, no. Actually I just recently read the description of that. I forget who wrote that. I think it was Bhaktisiddhanta. It means you just have to... I forget the exact description. The point is you just have to tell the mind, “it is nonsense and I don’t want to take any more of this distracting business that you are engaging me in.” I forget the exact description but it’s a philosophical point. The point is that we are not literally doing that. I am sure the media would really get excited, they would come to the temple and film the broom and shoe rituals to show that we are indeed the most crazy people in the whole world. It is actually allegorical. Basically you chastise your mind, “You rascal, stop bothering me. Stop it! You are just nonsense.” It is allegorical thing.

Devotee: "Do not seek security but seek opportunity." This is wonderful. I am thinking particularly preaching. I tend to err for the security when it comes to preaching rather than opportunity. Could you give your thoughts on that?

SDA: It’s a very enlivening statement coming right from the lotus mouth of His Divine Grace Srila Prabhupada. If we stretch our comfort zone for the sake of preaching then we reap incredible results. That’s a fact.

Questions more? So everybody’s realized in pure devotional service.

Devotee: There’s a very nice point also, just a comment: security seems to be very static and closed but opportunity is open and dynamic.

SDA: And ecstatic. Actually we have a great opportunity here. The real fact is that this is the most opportune moment in history; right now! Prabhupada has just come here and he has planted these seeds for complete transformation of world history. He has given us everything we need to actually to do the greatest service to Lord Caitanya by revolutionizing the planet. We have all the tools. He has given us everything we need. He’s given us the temples, Deities, books, Hare Krishna Mantra, each other, prasadam... all the tools for completely changing world history and bringing spiritual renaissance on this planet. He’s given us everything and now we just have to go with it.

Bill Gates was once asked about his own material success and he said. “If you find yourself in the right place at the right time, take massive action.” That’s what he did. He was a dropout from Harvard College, and he got a contract for an operating system for the IBM PC, a very opportune position when the PC revolution was taking off. So, he capitalized on that.

So we have an even greater opportunity now. The whole world is actually dying for Krishna Consciousness and His Divine Grace Srila Prabhupada has devised a formula of how the whole world can be made Krishna conscious and he left us with it. He said, “Here now, you do it and make the world Krishna conscious. This is my order to you; spread Krishna consciousness all over the world and inundate this planet with Krishna bhakti.” So is there any greater opportune moment in the history of the world if we can give pleasure to the Srila Prabhupada and the great acharyas and Lord Caitanya? This is the greatest moment in the world history and we are here right now, so let’s capitalize on it by taking massive action, going after opportunity instead of security.

So, we’ll stop here. We thank you very much for your kindness upon us.

All Glories to Srila Prabhupada! Hare Krishna!


Transcribed by bhaktin Shalabh

Revision by Prema Bhakti dasa


Index of Transcribed Lectures