Srimad Bhagavatam 8.12.36
om namo bhagavate vasudevaya
Srimad Bhagavatam, Eighth Canto, Chapter number 12 "Mohini Murti bewilders Lord Shiva" Text number 36.
atha — thus; avagata — being fully convinced about; mahatmyah — the greatness; atmanah — of himself; jagat-atmanah — and of the Supreme Personality of Godhead; aparijñeya-viryasya — who has unlimited potency; na — not; mene — did consider; tat — the miraculous activities of the Supreme Personality of Godhead in bewildering him; u ha — certainly; adbhutam — as wonderful.
“Thus Lord Siva could understand his position and that of the Supreme Personality of Godhead, who has unlimited potencies. Having reached this understanding, he was not at all surprised by the wonderful way Lord Vishnu had acted upon him”.
The Supreme Personality of Godhead is known as all-powerful because no one can excel Him in any activity. In Bhagavad-gita (7.7) the Lord says, mattah parataram nanyat kincid asti dhananjaya: "O conqueror of wealth, there is no truth superior to Me." No one can equal the Lord or be greater than Him, for He is the master of everyone. As stated in Caitanya-caritamrta (Adi 5.142), ekale isvara krsna, ara saba bhrtya. The Supreme Personality of Godhead, Krishna, is the only master of everyone, including even Lord Siva, what to speak of others. Lord Siva was already aware of the supreme power of Lord Vishnu, but when he was actually put into bewilderment, he felt proud to have such an exalted master. [End of purport]
Sankarshan Das Adhikari: We have been speaking out recently against the great enemy of the Vaisnavas and that enemy is pride. But here we see Lord Shiva being spoken of very nicely, how he was feeling proud. This is not a criticism, this is actually a glorification. So, there are two types of pride. There is material pride and there is spiritual pride. The pride which is being spoken of here is spiritual pride that Lord Shiva felt proud to have such an exalted master. So this means we should never feel proud of ourselves but we should always feel proud to have such an exalted master as Lord Sri Krishna, the Supreme Personality of Godhead. We are not bashful to glorify God. [Aside: Sri Sri Radha Damodara ki jaya! Sri Sri Gaura Nitai ki jaya!] We are proud that we have Gaura Nitai and Radha Damodara. If someone comes to attack them, we will defend them because we are very proud of them. If someone comes to attack a devotee, we will defend that devotee because we are proud of the devotees. They are very wonderful. Amongst ourselves we may have many disagreements, but if some outsider comes to attack, we would stand together tightly as one family because we are proud of Krishna, we are proud of Srila Prabhupada, we are proud of the devotees, we are proud of ISKCON. Just like Lord Shiva was proud to be the servant of Lord Vishnu. So the question is why was Lord Shiva proud? He has just been embarrassed and humiliated. He was running like a madman, after Mohini Murti, passing semen. It was a very embarrassing situation. Someone else might be very angry that they were so much embarrassed. But yet He was feeling very, very proud of Lord Krishna. This is the sign of actual humility.
If the disciple is very proud, when the spiritual master shows him what a fool he is, he will be angry. "Oh, how Guru Maharaja could do that? He is nonsense". That is not a proper disciple. But when one actually feels happy, to be defeated by his spiritual master, that is Krishna consciousness. What is my proof? Srila Prabhupada. Wasn't he defeated by Bhakti Siddhanta Sarasvati Thakura? Of course, for Srila Prabhupada it was simply a pastime. He is a very pure devotee from birth. But Srila Prabhupada, he is playing the role of a Gandhian, a follower of Mahatma Gandhi's independence movement. At that time the buzz word was ‘non-cooperation movement’. Just like during the sixties in America, ‘anti-establishmen’t was the buzz word. During the twenties in India, ‘anti-British’ was the buzz word. So if you wanted to be a cool youth in those days, you wore a white khadi, which is a dhoti not produced by a machine; it was a dhoti produced by hand. That is how you could show that you were really cool and you were a part of the anti-British movement. So as a young college student, Prabhupada was doing that along with all the other radical youth. This is all a pastime. Remember actually he is a pure devotee. But Prabhupada actually was displaying the lila of someone who had a anti-British attitude. So when he came to meet Srila Bhakti Siddhanta Saraswati Thakura and Bhakti Siddhanta Sarasvati Thakura ordered him that "You should preach this message of Krishna to the English speaking world", instead of immediately accepting it on the spot, Prabhupada argued with him that, “As long as we are under British influence who will want to hear it from us? First we must have independence. And then we can think about spreading Krishna’s message”. But Srila Bhakti Siddhanta Saraswati Thakura convinced him that this has nothing to do with politics. The prime urgency is to broadcast the message of Krishna. It doesn't matter who is in political power. So in this way, Srila Prabhupada was... of course he was not known as Prabhupada then, he was Abhay Charan. But he was defeated by his Guru Maharaja. And he felt so happy, “I have been defeated". And he was always thinking - even though he was not initiated for eleven years - he was always thinking, "I have met such a nice saintly person". So Prabhupada said, "Practically he initiated me". Just by hearing those words from Bhakti Siddhanta, he practically was an initiated disciple already. Then eleven years later in 1933, he got his formal diksha. Then three years later, Prabhupada wrote him a letter. Because he was a householder, living outside the temple, he was engaged in his pharmaceutical business and whatever free time he had, he would help the devotees in their preaching work. But still he was very, very busy in his household duties. He didn't have full time for preaching like the brahmacaris and the sannyasis. So he wrote to Bhakti Siddhanta Sarasvati Thakura one letter and asked him, "My dear Guru Maharaja, how may I serve you?" And the reply was just the same instruction he had gotten in the very first meeting. “You spread this Krishna message to the English speaking world.” And shortly after receiving that letter Bhakti Siddhanta Sarasvati Thakura departed from this world.
So, this is the wonderful feature of the Supreme Lord and the Supreme Lord's representative. He can take away all of our pre-conceptions of what is the most important thing. And bring us to the point of understanding that there is nothing more important, more essential, more necessary than completely surrendering to Krishna and spreading Krishna consciousness.
Many people want to be devotees. But they don't know how to come to the second class platform of being a preacher. They approach Krishna to have their material desires fulfilled. They come to the temple, they go to the church, they go to the synagogue, they go to the mosque and their motive is to fulfill their material desires. These are called kanistha adhikaris. A devotee who only knows how to respect the deities and does not know how to respect the devotees, he is called a kanistha adhikari. He will bow down to the deities. He will meditate on the deities. But he doesn't know how to respect the devotees. That is called kanistha adhikari or materialistic devotee. When they come to the platform of actually knowing how to respect Krishna's devotees, how to preach to the innocent persons and how to avoid getting entangled with the non-devotees, demons, that is called the madhyama adhikari platform or the second class platform. And then out of all those devotees, the devotees who are completely free from the tendency to criticize other devotees, who are fully absorbed 24 hours a day, thinking how to expand this Krishna conscious movement, who not only have full faith in the scriptures but they also have the ability to present the scriptures in a logical way, to defeat all those in arguments, Srila Prabhupada describes such devotees as uttama adhikaris or the first class devotees.
So we should all endeavor to come to a higher level. If we are kanistha adhikaris, we should strive to become madhyama adhikaris and if we are madhyama adhikaris, we should strive to become uttama adhikaris. Krishna consciousness means we are always trying to advance ourselves more and more and more. Not that I remain complacent. Thinking, “Well, now I am properly situated in Krishna consciousness”. Actually the more you become properly situated in Krishna consciousness the more you will feel that you are improperly situated. Do you understand my point? The more you are advanced, the more you will feel how low you are. If we are thinking "Yes, I am very advanced", then you are actually very fallen. But if someone genuinely feels that “I am a very, very fallen devotee, I just have to beg the mercy of the devotees to bless me so that I can get out of my fallen condition.” That is advanced. You know what Prabhupada said in Boston? He said that "I am simply praying to Krishna that I won't fall down." Prabhupada was begging Krishna, "Please protect me from falling down." So try to understand what is spiritual advancement. The more we become humble, the more we become eager to be instructed by senior devotees, the more we can feel love and respect for all of the devotees, this is our spiritual advancement.. Not being able to give a powerful lecture or to beat an incredible rhythm on the mrdanga or play sophisticated melodies on the harmonium. Actual Krishna consciousness is how much your heart is very, very soft.
gauranga bolite habe pulaka-sarira
When your heart melts when chanting Hare Krishna and Gauranga then you are advancing in Krishna consciousness. Our present state of consciousness is that our hearts are like steel. They don't melt. We can hear the name Krishna and our heart don’t melt. But that name Krishna is Krishna Himself. He is directly manifesting Himself to us in the form of His name and we are taking it just like any other name, like Riga, Latvia... Krishna. It is just like we are taking some other name. We have to understand that Krishna and His name are absolutely the same. The name is called a person actually. Prabhupada refers to the name as "Nama Prabhu". Just like we have Ananta Nitai Prabhu sitting here, we have Nama Prabhu, the Holy Name. We have to understand that Krishna is actually present. He is a Person and He is present, Nama Prabhu. We offer our respectful obeisances to Nama Prabhu. He is the Supreme Personality of Godhead, and here He is, Hare Krishna. That is Nama Prabhu. He is present right here in this room. He is God. He is the One who knows everything. He is the One who controls everything. He is the One who supplies all the necessities. Eko bahunam yo vidadhati kaman - “He is that one supreme conscious eternal being who supplies all the necessities to all the plural conscious eternals”. He is our eternal master. He is the bewilderer of Lord Shiva in this Mohini Murti pastime. And unless and until we can properly re-establish our relationship with Him in true pure devotion, we are going to suffer. Who here would like to increase their suffering? Would anybody like some extra suffering today? No. So why do we keep heaping suffering on ourselves by forgetting Krishna at every minute. Aren't we foolish to do that?
We keep forgetting Krishna. We think about our bodily needs. We think about our egotistic needs. And we keep forgetting Krishna and therefore we suffer. So what is the way out? How do we purify our consciousness? By the darshana of Sri Sri Gaura Nitai and Sri Sri Radha Damodara, by Their mercy, we can remember Krishna. By the mercy of Srila Prabhupada we can remember Krishna. By the mercy of the Vaisnavas we can remember Krishna. So in this way we have to understand how much we need mercy. We have to understand that we personally have no good qualifications whatsoever. Whatever spiritual opulence we possess, or any opulence, is simply the mercy of Krishna. So in the state of complete total gratitude, we must bow down at the feet of Lord Sri Krishna and intensely beg Him, fervently pray to Him that He will kindly accept us as His eternal servants and never allow us to ever again to deviate from His service. In this way we must cultivate bhakti at every minute. If we become lackadaisical, if we become casual, if we say, “Oh, I'll just take it easy about Krishna consciousness. I am not going to try very hard. I'll just be stubborn and hang on to my enjoying spirit in the garb [dress] of a devotee". Then people may think you are a devotee, but you won't taste the nectar.
So, the spiritual master is very kind upon us poor fallen souls. He simply comes to teach us how to taste the nectar. The bona fide spiritual master has no desire for profit, adoration or distinction. He simply wants to teach us poor diverted souls how to really taste the nectar of Krishna consciousness, that taste for which we are always anxious. Just consider this point. We should live each day as if it were our last day on this planet. Why? Because one day it will be. What if you had a notification? I can ask this prabhu here. If you were notified that today you will be leaving your body for sure, what would you be doing right now? What is your answer?
Devotee: It would be the same as what I am already doing.
SDA: And what is that?
Devotee: Chant sixteen rounds.
SDA: Would you chant any extra rounds?
Devotee: If I had more time I would.
SDA: Would you increase the intensity of your rounds if you knew you were leaving the body? Would you try to chant with more focus?
Devotee: I would try to chant with extreme attention.
SDA: Yes. That is right. Very good. [Claps hands]. Very good. At any time anyone of us can leave this body. So we should always be trying to increase the focus of how we are chanting and how we are serving and how we are doing everything. Consider some famous big name in the material world. Just like in America they have this crazy sport called baseball. And there was this famous baseball player, his name was Babe Ruth. He was very famous for hitting the most home runs. You swing the bat, and you hit what is called a home run. When he would swing that bat, he would do it with great focus, with great attention. He was very intensely focusing his consciousness on how he would swing the bat to hit that ball in a most powerful way. So, this is how we should focus ourselves in bhakti. We want to practice Krishna consciousness with ever increasing accuracy, ever increasing care. In this way we have to very, very seriously walk this pathway back to home, back to Godhead.
So now we can ask if there are some questions.
Devotee: In Jaiva Dharma it is explained that the kanishta adhikari, he sees only the Lord, the Deity and Guru. And with the other devotees he can neglect them or cheat them even. So you can't really have a real friendship with him because in everything he behaves in material ways.
SDA: You cannot.
Devotee: Yes. So, how to deal with kanishtas?
SDA: Hmmm. This is a very nice question. Your question has very good practical value. Actually it could be answered in two words, "With compassion". That is the actual statement of the scripture. Those who are more advanced they are merciful upon those who are less advanced. We are very, very kind to those persons even though they don't take proper advantage of the kindness. They may try to use our kindness for their own selfish advantage even. But in spite of their abusing our kindness we go on giving, giving, giving, giving, giving. And if they have any sincerity whatsoever in their heart, gradually that sincere giving by the madhyama bhakta and the uttama bhakta will penetrate through their kanishta mentality and they will become a madhyama bhakta by the mercy of their seniors. But if they are stubborn and pigheaded they will remain kanishta if they are lucky, because they might even go below that and stop Krishna consciousness altogether. If you have a body of water which does not flow, what happens to that water? It stagnates. For the water to be clean and clear, it must always be flowing. That means we must always be trying to advance in Krishna consciousness. If we become static, we become stagnant foul putrid water.
Devotee: What is the importance of giving the child a spiritual name and how does it make him to progress spiritually?
SDA: If the child is given a spiritual name, you will call that child by his name and you will make advancement just by calling out his name. If you name your son Govinda Das and you say, "Govinda Das" then you have just chanted the name Govinda. You made progress by saying Govinda. He made progress by hearing the name Govinda. And when he goes to school and the teacher says "What is your name"? And he says "I am Govinda Das". He may advance by saying Govinda Das. The teacher makes advancement by hearing the child say Govinda Das. In fact Srila Prabhupada explains in our Krishna consciousness movement, we name our disciples after Krishna and His devotees. Prabhupada says if a disciple can simply remember his own name at the time of death, he will go back to Godhead. So giving these spiritual names is very, very important.
Devotee: Speaks in Latvian. [All devotees laugh]
SDA: [Comments on the laughter and laughs himself]. Bomb just dropped in my lap or what?
Translator: Mataji is telling that she has started once again to read all the books of Srila Prabhupada and in Srimad Bhagavatam there is a story how Narada muni met four sannyasis when he was a child in his home and he heard in his home Krishna-katha for four months and how his mother served all these four sadhus and even after he met the Lord face to face he got confirmation that for whole life you will not meet me again any more. You are not qualified. What hope do I have?
SDA: What hope do you have? Actually he had Krishna's darshana briefly. And by that darshana of Krishna, he was absolutely purified and then after that darshana, that hankering for again seeing Krishna elevated him to the highest level of Krishna prema. It is called vipralambha seva. This is the way the gopis were feeling great anguish in being separated from the darshana of the Lord. Sri Narada muni was also feeling that anguish of separation from the Lord. This mood of transcendental anguish is appreciated by the great acharyas as the highest level of transcendental ecstasy. He did see Krishna and that experience of seeing Krishna has carried him even to this very day in the highest ecstasy of Krishna prema. If you will simply follow in the footsteps of Sri Narada muni and take the mercy of the bhaktivedantists, and who are the bhaktivedantists? That is first and foremost His Divine Grace A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada. And who are the other bhaktivedantists? They are the followers of Bhaktivedanta, the ISKCON devotees. So if you will take the mercy of the bhaktivedantists, then we can absolutely guarantee you that, by following in the footsteps of Sri Narada Muni, you will see God face to face.
So our time has run out. Our translator has to go somewhere so we will stop here.
We thank you very much.
[Transcribed by Her Grace Bhaktin Priya]