Srimad Bhagavatam 2.7.14
trai-pistaporu-bhaya-ha sa nrsimha-rupam
daityendram asu gadayabhipatantam arad
urau nipatya vidadara nakhaih sphurantam
Translation and Purport by His Divine Grace Srila Prabhupada
The Personality of Godhead assumed the incarnation of Nrsimhadeva in order to vanquish the great fears of the demigods. He killed the king of the demons [Hiranyakasipu], who challenged the Lord with a club in his hand, by placing the demon on His thighs and piercing him with His nails, rolling His eyebrows in anger and showing His fearful teeth and mouth.
The history of Hiranyakasipu and his great devotee-son Prahlada Maharaja is narrated in the Seventh Canto of Srimad-Bhagavatam. Hiranyakasipu became very powerful by material achievements and thought himself to be immortal by the grace of Brahmaji. Brahmaji declined to award him the benediction of immortality because he himself is not an immortal being. But Hiranyakasipu derived Brahmaji's benediction in a roundabout way, almost equal to becoming an immortal being. Hiranyakasipu was sure that he would not be killed by any man or demigod or by any kind of known weapon, nor would he die in day or night. The Lord, however, assumed the incarnation of half-man and half-lion, which was beyond the imagination of a materialistic demon like Hiranyakasipu, and thus, keeping pace with the benediction of Brahmaji, the Lord killed him. He killed him on His lap, so that he was killed neither on the land nor on the water nor in the sky. The demon was pierced by Nrsimha's nails, which were beyond the human weapons imaginable by Hiranyakasipu. The literal meaning of Hiranyakasipu is one who is after gold and soft bedding, the ultimate aim of all materialistic men. Such demonic men, who have no relationship with God, gradually become puffed up by material acquisitions and begin to challenge the authority of the Supreme Lord and torture those who are devotees of the Lord. Prahlada Maharaja happened to be the son of Hiranyakasipu, and because the boy was a great devotee, his father tortured him to the best of his ability. In this extreme situation, the Lord assumed the incarnation of Nrsimhadeva, and just to finish the enemy of the demigods, the Lord killed Hiranyakasipu in a manner beyond the demon's imagination. Materialistic plans of godless demons are always frustrated by the all-powerful Lord. [End of Purport]
Such ridiculous conceptions that I am thinking that “I’m some big, big personality” actually we may laugh but we are all good people. Until you come to the level of completely pure devotion to Krishna we are still tinged by a greater or lesser extent, with the concept that “I’m the centre of enjoyment, everything is for my enjoyment, I’m the centre”. As we advance along the pathway of bhakti, gradually we start to realize, “I’m not really the centre after all.”
Actually in our mother’s womb, we were begging, “Krishna, you kindly deliver me from this hellish condition, and I promise, my dear Lord, I will be your surrendered devotee”. But as soon as we came out from our mother’s womb, all the family members came running and they said, “Oh, isn’t he so cute, koo chi koo chi koo! (cuddling expression) Isn’t he so cute?” and we thought, “Ah! This is the life. Whenever I cry they come running. I’m God!” In this way we forget our promise we made to Krishna that “I will become your devotee”. So we become completely enamoured by this material existence. “Yes, I’m great”, “I’m God”, “I’m the centre”, “and everything revolves around me”.
And then the little bubble is broken we are sent to school. But then we think, “I’ll become God by becoming great in this material world. I’ll become great. I’ll become wealthy, I’ll become famous. I’ll become the best of this, the best of that.” So in this way we go on in the false conception that “I’m great, I’m the centre”. So this enjoying spirit is the most dangerous enemy for the transcendentalist on the pathway back to home, back to Godhead that I am trying to be the enjoyer.
This is actually foolishness, because you can enjoy. we are meant to enjoy. Just like we gave our disciple the name Vilasini the other day; the one who enjoys with Krishna. So we are meant to enjoy, there’s no doubt. But the trouble is we are trying to enjoy separately from Krishna. That is the difficulty. And that causes so much anxiety upon our own self, we put anxiety in other people’s hearts, as long as we try to enjoy illegitimately. Just like in the government, there are facilities for the law-binding citizens to enjoy. They have their days off, they have parks, and they have cinemas. Even though it is non-sense enjoyment, still law-binding citizens have the ways that they can enjoy legitimately within the laws of the state. And there are others who want to enjoy illegitimately, by illegal drugs, by prostitution (oh, that may be legal in some places, but anyway), stealing, robbing people, etc.
So there is legitimate enjoyment and there is illegitimate enjoyment. In Krishna consciousness, we actually legitimately enjoy. We have unlimited facilities to enjoy! So we can easily give up the illegitimate enjoyment of material existence.
“One may restrain the senses from the objects of the senses, but the taste for sense objects will still remain. But if you can cease such enjoyment by experiencing a higher taste, then you are fixed in Krishna consciousness.”
So we are not being asked to give up our enjoying spirit. We are just being asked to give up the foolish, illegitimate enjoyment, illegal enjoyment which is against the religious principles. We are just being asked to give that up even though you might be attached to it. That is there; we may have that lingering attachment to illegitimate enjoyment like sexual intercourse, like taking intoxication. These desires may be there – just like somebody may have been smoking marijuana before they joined the movement, and they gave it up then they are out on sankirtan, preaching to some hippies, and the marijuana, it’s agitating.
So when one feels that agitation from ones previous illicit activities, then you just have to say, “Oh, wait a minute. Krishna, Krishna, Krishna!”, and just fight it off. Sometimes people will intentionally try to agitate devotees. I had an amazing experience. I was going door to door in Coconut Grove; it’s a hippie neighborhood in Miami. Some couple, they saw me, “Oh, Here comes a Hare Krishna brahmachari. Let’s blow his mind”. So they actually came to the door stark naked, and they embraced and kissed each other in front of me, trying to agitate my brahmachari vrath. (Chuckles) I just laughed, and went to the next house. But there are people sometimes who want to break our vow. So we have to be very staunch. There may be sometimes materialistic people, for whatever purpose who wants to break our vow of austerity and chastity. Just like sometimes during the days of our deprogramming when Ted Patrick would kidnap a devotee, they would bring some woman to induce the devotee to have sex, or they bring some kind of unfit eatables. So we have to be very staunch; somehow or the other, if we are given the opportunity for illicit enjoyment, if that’s offered to us, we’ll just say no. “Maya Devi, I don’t want it. I just want Krishna!”. So even if we are given all facility for enjoyment, we will say no.
This reminds me of when Prabhupada told Tamal Krishna Maharaja when he was Tamal Krishna Das Brahmachari. He said, “Krishna can give you all America within one minute. But what will you do with it?” So this is one reason why our movement has not inundated the world yet. We are not equipped to handle it. We are not pure enough to handle all that money, all those women and all those followers. Lord Caitanya said na dhanam na janam na sundarim –“I don’t want wealth, I don’t want women, I don’t want followers. I just want bhakti”.
So we’ve even seen in our movement. Someone becomes a big spiritual master or a leader and then they fall down for illicit sex connection. So they are carried away by women worshipping them; so much money is offered to them, and they get carried away. So if we want our movement to become very strong, especially the leaders of our movement who are in leadership positions, we have to be very staunch and detached from all forms of sense enjoyment. Even if we have facilities for sense enjoyment, we have to be very, very detached from it, because this is actually holding back the spread of our Krishna consciousness movement.
This movement will spread to the extent, as Prabhupada indicated to Tamal Krishna Maharaja, that we are pure enough to actually handle it. So we should strive for the utmost purity, as we explained the other day. Prabhupada said that one pure chanter can actually deliver the whole world. That is the potency of pure devotional service, pure bhakti. One devotee, it could be a Mataji, it could be a sannyasi, it could be a householder, a brahmachari; it could be even a small child! Any one devotee who completely becomes pure chanter, Prabhupada said, can become jagad guru and under their influence the whole world to take up chanting Hare Krishna.
So how much important it is that each and every one of us become very pure that even if we have all opportunities for sense enjoyment offered to us, we will say ‘no’. Just consider Haridas Thakur, what an opportunity he had. That prostitute is not like the prostitutes we saw in Netherlands around the corners from the temple, some sleazy, grotesque prostitute. In Netherlands, it’s so open right there in Amsterdam you go around the corner for japa walk here around the block and there is a prostitute inside the window waiting for somebody to ring the bell. She’s just sitting there at the window, waiting. So nowadays these prostitutes are very grotesque. But this prostitute who went to Haridas Thakur, she was very beautiful actually. But Haridas, he was not at all attracted. No. He was simply thinking, “How I can make her a pure devotee!” He was completely detached, and he was actually having a fun tricking her into staying there and becoming purified by the sound of the holy name. So we all leaders have to have that degree of purity, that degree of staunchness that even if all facilities are given for sense enjoyment. As actually we heard in New Vrindavan, there was one nice point made in one seminar that integrity is what you do when nobody is looking. That’s integrity. When nobody is around and no one is seeing you, what do you do then? That’s called integrity.
So, each one of us has to have a very good integrity, because actually we are being observed. Everything we are doing is being seen by the demigods. That’s a fact. Everything we do is being seen by Krishna. So we have to be very, very staunch and very, very fixed in our Krishna consciousness and that will make us very strong. Even if sometimes we have slipped, and we pick ourselves up then we are still considered saintly, but that doesn’t mean we can go on slipping again and again and again and again and again.
Prabhupada actually personally instructed me about this. He said that a devotee, he may fall once or twice or thrice, or I think he said once or twice. But he said, beyond that, he runs the risk of completely ruining his spiritual life. So it’s not that just because I’ve sometimes fallen by my past tendencies overpowering me, that doesn’t mean my devotional life is finished. But if that happens, now I have to become even more determined to control myself, because I understand I have a tendency to fall down. I have to become even more determined to control myself, and then Krishna sees that we are making that extra effort, we are trying really hard, we’re praying really hard, then Krishna will be so happy that this soul, even though they have this tendency, they are trying to conquer it’, and Krishna will give all help, He’ll give all blessings.
I’m doing this e-course. I get so many letters from people who are trying to conquer over sex desire. They just can’t stop indulging in illicit sex, and they just beg me. “Please, please guide me how I can get over this.” In fact, in today’s thought for the day, there is one such request. This young man, I explained to him, “All you have to do is become fixed in Krishna consciousness and because Krishna consciousness is more enlivening than sex, then automatically you can give it up.” So that’s how I answered the inquiry that came in. It is out there today that’s broadcast all over the world.
This is actually the formula. If we become Krishna conscious, if we get that higher taste, then all the lower taste will go away, and we’ll relish so much more happiness. All the anxiety, being subject to the actions and reactions of material nature will be removed. You will just be so happy and so blissful in Krishna consciousness, relishing pleasure far, far beyond any enjoyment of this material world.
If you take all the enjoyment that people ever had throughout the whole history of the material world, every delicious eatable, every act of sexual intercourse, every beautiful this, every enjoyable that, and you put it all together in one big lump; and you put it on one side of the scale and you put one pure utterance of Hare Krishna on the other side of the scale.[sound effect] In other words, one pure utterance of Hare Krishna will give you more pleasure than all the enjoyment ever experienced by even the demigods in the heavenly planets. So the idea to go after material enjoyment was realized by Yamunacharya, to simply spit on it. (Spitting expression) “Spit on it. Simply spit on it! What is this?” he says.
yad-avadhi mama cetah krishna-padaravinde
“Ever since I’ve been engaging in the service of Sri Sri Radha and Krishna, deriving ever-increasing pleasure in their service, whenever the thought of having sex appears in my mind, my lips curl with distaste and I spit it out.”
So this is actually liberation, this is nectar. To come to that position is the most enlivening experience to reach that level where you’re not agitated by sex anymore. When the thought comes, you just spit on it. “Oh, here comes Maya again trying to allure my mind away from Krishna, Manohar’s lotus feet”. So you can take it as a competitive sport also. Just like two athletes they’re having a wrestling match. See who’s going to win? So we are having a wrestling match with Maya right now. Who’s going to win the match? So Maya comes in and she tries to play a wrestling trick on us and catches us in a wrestler’s hold, but we out maneuver Maya. “I know Maya, you have your tricks but I have Manohar! He has stolen my mind away and He’s holding it securely between His lotus toes, and you can’t get it now. My mind is now stuck between the Lotus toes of Manohar. So you can’t have my mind. Sorry.” So in this way we have to out maneuver Maya if she tries to capture us and engage us in activities which are not according to religious principles.
In this way we will no longer be subjected to this Hiranyakasipu-gold-and-soft-bed mentality which has gone with us for millions of lifetimes. Of course, it’s not an easy thing. Prabhupada explains that, to give up that lust for women and money, of course for women it would be men and money; but to give up that lust, is not an easy thing, because we have been polluted for millions of lifetimes with this lust in our heart. But if we take shelter of our spiritual master, we take shelter of Srila Prabhupada, we take shelter of the holy name, with great intensity, as we described in our three-hour seminar yesterday, if we actually are serious to take up pure bhakti, then we will rise above all of this non-sense insanity which has been polluting us and torturing us for millions of lifetimes.
So we can open up now for some questions, if there are indeed any questions. Yeah?
Devotee: When sinful thoughts come in to the mind what one has to do more than chanting?
SDA: Yes, there is something more than chanting, and that is chanting without offense.
In Hawaii, there was one split-up where they said, “We don’t want to be part of ISKCON we will just chant Hare Krishna.” And they were chanting Hare Krishna and they were smoking marijuana, and they were having illicit sex with their girlfriends, and they were thinking, “Well, gradually by the power of the name, we’ll become purified. So, the devotees in ISKCON are becoming purified by chanting and we are also becoming purified by chanting, so what’s the difference? We’re just going a little slower, but we’re also going to get there.” That was their idea, but Prabhupada very strongly preached against this philosophy. He said, he quoted this verse, Namno balad yasya hi papa buddhih that the greatest offense against the holy name is to sin on the strength of chanting. So if one is thinking, “Well, I’m sitting now and having illicit sex and smoking marijuana, but we are chanting Hare Krishna, so I’m gradually getting purified. It’ll take millions of lifetimes for such a program. You have to give up sinful activity. So, along with chanting, you must chant without offense.
VPM: <question not clear>
SDA: Accidental fall down is forgiven by Krishna. Accidental means, you’re not making a plan, “Ok, I’m going to fall down tonight and then tomorrow morning I will really chant some extra rounds to make up for it.” That’s called pre-meditated. That sort of thing will be the death of one’s spiritual life. You may make a show for some time but you will be finished. But if one is sincerely trying to be Krishna conscious, and because of past tendencies one is overwhelmed, without really wanting to be overwhelmed, but just gets carried away, that is accidental fall down, and one can pick up oneself from an accidental fall down and again take up pure devotional service and he’s considered to be a saint.
VPM: <not clear> how does japa chanting help us in devotional service, if we fall down?
SDA: if one accidentally fall downs from the principles, you could take advantage of that fall down. After it has already happened you could become even more serious about chanting understand that that’s the most horrible thing that just happened to me. Now I have to chant with even greater intensity to protect myself from ever falling down again. In this way, a devotee can use everything to his advantage. Even if had some fall down, he could say, “Now, oh Krishna! I fell down!” “Oh, Krishna please save me!” You become even more intense in your service.
VPM: <not clear> The mind is always dwelling on the actions. Our mind meditates on the activities that we do. How much we can focus on the japa and our devotional service if we are still meditating on sinful thoughts?
SDA: No, no. One has to disentangle the mind from sinful thoughts by fixing it.
yato yato niscalati
yato yato niscalati
Krishna says, “From wherever the mind wanders away from Krishna consciousness, you must just grab it and bring it back.”
That’s what Bhaktisiddhanta says, "one hundred times in the morning you beat your mind with shoes, and one hundred times in the evening you beat with broom!" You must bring that mind under control. You cannot allow yourself to be mentally unstable. You have to make your mind stable.
Devotee: Bhakti once said, “When you’re chanting, and your mind starts going, you just let it go”. Meaning you stay on chanting.
SDA: Sometimes you hear if your mind is going wild, and you can’t bring it under control, at least keep the chanting going at the same time. That was the idea. I have read that in the chapter of one notebook.
The idea is, if your mind is so absolutely out of control that you can’t
do anything, just say, “Ok mind, just have your dance over here, but I’m
going to keep chanting over here, ‘Hare
Krishna’.” While the mind is going here and there but if you could
just keep the mantra going
the mind will finally say, “Well, I’m tired of playing around. Alright,
I’ll come back to the Name”.
The idea is, even if the mind is running wild, keep the mantra going at the same time, like you know, two things happening at once, like you keep it going on the other track, like a stereo – you have two tracks on a stereo tape. So keep the mantra going there, at least so the mind finally gets tired of its little escapades, it’ll have something to come back to again.
Okay, maybe one more question.
Devotee: I was thinking about enthusiasm and start thinking of living outside the temple, like going to school, going to work. Should we wait a bit or should we just do that, and what is our position?
SDA: You’re saying should we wait to do, what?
Devotee: Should we not jump into it right away and sit?
SDA: So okay, they’re living in the ashram? They’re living outside?
Devotee: Yeah, living outside.
SDA: Someone is living outside. Okay. They’re chanting Hare Krishna, they’re following the principles?
Devotee: Following the principles, but doing other things like going to school, going to work..
SDA: What are they doing now? They’re actually doing full-time service for the temple? And they’re thinking maybe they should do something outside?
SDA: That has to be consulted on an individual basis. That’s a very personal question depending on the person. She has that personal question, she can meet with me and I can discuss with her individually.
I’m staying in her house! So she can come home this morning and meet with me before we leave.
I need to cut it short today, because of certain reasons. Somebody wants to meet with me has questions, they can come personally and talk with me but the formal class needs to end now because of some time constraints that we are dealing with. But I just wanted to take this opportunity on my behalf and also Vishnupriya Mataji’s behalf to thank you all for the most wonderful, loving, sweet way that you’ve received us here in your community, and we really feel this is our home.
I mean, I was looking at Manohar this morning; I’ve never seen Him before I came here but this is absolutely the most beautiful Deity of Krishna in the world! I was really feeling that this morning. So, Manohar has really done something and you all have really done something for us here by your wonderful, sweet, loving compassion and Vaishnava hospitality. We just pray that in spite of our unlimited offenses that you will allow us to again get your association in the future.
Thank you very much. Hare Krishna!
(Devotees) Hare Krishna!
Anybody wants to ask any individual question, they can come and talk with me now.
SDA: I’m so happy you came. Hare Krishna! Tell me your name?
Devotee: It’s Jimmy Carter.
SDA: Ah! That’s an easy one to remember. You have an initiated name too?
Devotee: It’s not official initiation, but he touched me on my head.
SDA: Oh okay. You don’t have official initiation! Okay!
Devotee: Nava Yogendra Swami did touch me under [inaudible] acharya
SDA: You need some more touching!
Devotee: He gave me the name Jagannatha.
SDA: You have a nick name for now!
SDA: Now become serious and actually get formal diksha.
Devotee: I have to talk to guru.
Jaya Jagannath! Jaya Jimmy Carter! Hare Krishna!
Another devotee: Before she was eight months in the ashram, and one year out of the ashram and she finds both very difficult.
SDA: Here’s the key, Mataji. You have to intensely strive to be Krishna’s pure devotee.
“To those who are constantly devoted to worshipping me with love, I give the understanding by which they can come to Me.”
So, if you intensely desire to serve Krishna with love at every minute, then He will make it very clear to you, whether you should live outside, or whether you should live in the ashram, because you’ve not been happy in either position.
<VPM and SDA informal conversation>
Devotee: Living outside the ashramis better, however she finds herself associating a lot with non-devotees.
SDA: Living in the temple is always the best thing. But both positions are difficult for you. Can you read and write English also? In writing, can you read and write English?
You can continue to consult with me by email if you like. You can use Vilasini as a translator, if you want to. You can continue to consult with me by email.
VPM: She can write to her Guru Maharaja also.
SDA: Yeah, but he’s very busy, I know. Yeah, you can write Jayapataka Swami also. You can to write me also. But the main thing, Mataji, is this - You just have to pray to Krishna to make you His pure devote, because then you’ll have all intelligence how to do everything perfectly and you will be fully happy.
Devotee: Maybe getting married, you can be more fixed?
SDA: Yes, that’ll be very nice! It’ll be very nice if you are married.
Devotee: Sometimes she doesn’t want to get married.
SDA: She doesn’t want to get married? Does she want to get married or not?
The husband has to be good. If the husband is good, then marriage is good; if the husband is bad, that marriage is bad.
Devotee: It’s very difficult to make decisions.
VPM: The spiritual master can arrange.
SDA: If you’re thinking to be married, you should write to your Guru Maharaja. He has so many male disciples also.
Devotee: Guru Maharaja doesn’t have <talk not clear>.
SDA: Through Vilasini, she can translate for you. You can email me and I can but write your Guru Maharaja first. He has taken the prime responsibility to deliver you. But I can also assist him. You should first approach your Guru Maharaja explaining him your difficulty and ask his help. But somehow if that doesn’t work for you, then I can also fill in to be substitute teacher, if he’s too busy right now or something like that. So here’s my email address!
Now we take breakfast? Okay.
Transcribed by Bhaktin Divyapriya
Revision by Prema Bhakti dasa