19821226 Bhagavad-gita.7.19 Sunday Feast @ Atlanta, USA
The following is a Sunday Feast lecture given by His Holiness Jayapataka Swami on December 26th, 1982 in Atlanta, Georgia. The class begins with a reading from the Bhagavad-gita, Chapter 7, Verse 19.
bahūnāṁ janmanām ante
jñānavān māṁ prapadyate
vāsudevaḥ sarvam iti
sa mahātmā su-durlabhaḥ
Translation by Srila Prabhupada:
After many births and deaths, he who is actually in knowledge surrenders unto Me, knowing Me to be the cause of all causes and all that is. Such a great soul is very rare.
Translation by His Divine Grace, with repetition:
After many births and deaths, he who is actually in knowledge surrenders unto Me, knowing Me to be the causes of all causes and all that is. Such a great soul is very rare.
Purport: The living entity, while executing devotional service or transcendental rituals after many, many births, may actually become situated in transcendental pure knowledge that the Supreme Personality of Godhead is the ultimate goal of spiritual realization. In the beginning of spiritual realization, while one is trying to give up one's attachment to materialism, there is some leaning towards impersonalism, but when one is further advanced he can understand that there are activities in the spiritual life and that these activities constitute devotional service. Realizing this, he becomes attached to the Supreme Personality of Godhead and surrenders to Him. At such a time one can understand that Lord Śrī Kṛṣṇa's mercy is everything, that He is the cause of all causes and that this material manifestation is not independent from Him. He realizes the material world to be a perverted reflection of spiritual variegatedness and realizes that in everything there is a relationship with the Supreme Lord Kṛṣṇa. Thus he thinks of everything in relation to Vāsudeva, or Śrī Kṛṣṇa. Such a universal vision of Vāsudeva precipitates one's full surrender to the Supreme Lord Śrī Kṛṣṇa as the highest goal. Such surrendered so… great souls are very rare.
This verse is very nicely explained in the Third Chapter of Śvetāśvatara Upaniṣad:
“In this body there are powers of speaking, of seeing, of hearing, of mental activities, etc. But these are not important if not related to the Supreme Lord. And because Vāsudeva Krishna is all-pervading and everything is Vāsudeva, Krishna, the devotee surrenders in full knowledge.
Thus end the Purport by His Divine Grace, Srila A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada on the Text 19 of Chapter 7 of the Bhagavad-gita As It Is in the matter of Knowledge of the Absolute.
So this is a very important verse from the Bhagavad-gita, the song of God, spoken over 5,000 years ago, in India, in the sacred place of pilgrimage called Kuruksetra. Even to this day pilgrims are visiting Kuruksetra where the Bhagavad Gita was spoken. It is a historical place. Its very easily accessible from Delhi… New Delhi, the capital… current capital of India. Actually in those days, New Delhi was also the capital. At that time it had a different name. It was called Hastinapur. So this is not a fiction or a legend or mythology, but it’s a history. The places are still there, and this book which is famed all over the world Bhagavad-gita was spoken there by Lord Krishna. So there He explained what is the material world in a nutshell, what is the position of the living entities in the world. Thus He explained how matter and spirit are related in this world and also He gave some information how to get out of material life and achieve liberation, how to achieve the full consciousness as well as He also gave information even about the spiritual world which lies beyond this material world and which is reached by pure souls who have completed their cycles of repeated birth and death or reincarnation.
So here we are discussing after many births and deaths bahūnāṁ janmanām ante, ante means after. After completing many births and many deaths, a wise person comes to the full consciousness that God is everything, Krishna is everything, vāsudevaḥ sarvam iti, that is the ultimate in spiritual knowledge, when one sees everything in relation with the Supreme God, with the Supreme Absolute Truth. And this repeated birth and death, reincarnation… nowadays people are very interested in reincarnation because so many scientific proofs have substantiated it. It is basically accepted by most of the college-educated people who know about the concept of reincarnation. Most people believe in it, the educated people.
In North America over 30% of the people in a Gallup poll said they believe. In South America even though its all Catholic, 80-90% of the people believe in reincarnation there. Of course in India, in Thailand, in Sri Lanka, in Asia where the Vedic cultures, Hinduism, Buddhism is being practiced, 99.9% everyone believes in reincarnation. It’s an accepted fact. No one even doubts it, you see, doesn’t even… it’s just part of life.
So a practical example of how this repeated birth and death affects us is that how we are living our life, what desires we have, when we leave our body those unfulfilled desires compel us to take birth in a certain situation, so we can finish up our unfulfilled desires. In this way our founder observed that Ravishankar, the famous musician, he was playing sitar for nine births after taking birth again and again, each time he got more expert, more expert until now, of course he is a world famous figure. Incredible what he can do with his musical instrument. Similarly people who… childhood you see them drawing paintings, it doesn’t mean that they didn’t draw before. In their previous lives they may also have been artists. Some were musicians, some were scientists. They spent their whole life trying to figure out how to transplant the brain of a worm, right? (laughter) Then again next life they came back as scientist, then left off… took off where they left off, you see, took up where they left off. Of course the danger is that they should not think about the worm when they die, then they may even become a worm, you see. Whatever you think of when you leave your body… they may be thinking about the science aspect, they may well come back to become a scientist, if you are too over preoccupied with a particular creature so that’s dangerous, you see.
That’s another science that when a person leaves this… when the soul you see, we are the consciousness and this mind, this body, it’s a very complex machine. So when the consciousness which is symptomized… symptom of the soul leaves the body that we call death. Well for us you see there is no death. We don’t mind talking about it once in a while because we don’t believe in death. There is no such thing as death. What is known as death, is just death of the body. That just means the soul transmigrates from one body to the next you see, goes into the womb of the mother in the semen of the male, this is described in great length you see. How the semen is carrying little spirit souls and when it combines with the ovum then the body is uh, created because of the presence of a soul you see. Right from conception life is there. Life means soul is present, atma, spirit is present, it’s a spark of life. It’s a spiritual energy. That energy is what makes the body look so nice, look so attractive. You take out that spiritual essence the body is not very attractive.
Actually one time Prabhupada was going in a village and he was preaching and he was explaining to the villagers this concept. He told them all of you have parents, you have grandparents. Have you ever seen your grandparent who died. So that time everybody in the village all you people you are all crying, “My friend, my uncle, my cousin, my brother, my husband, my granddad, my pop.” whatever the different relationship, you are all crying he’s gone! He’s gone! He was of course saying in Hindi “Cala gaya or Cale Gache!” forget whether it was Bengali or Hindi he was speaking. He was dramatizing this. How they are all saying he's gone. Then the question is who is gone? This is the same hair, same body, same foot, same hand, everything is the same. Then who has gone? Who are we lamenting for? Who have we known our whole life? Body is there. So if the body is the self then why lament, why cry you see? Because the body is not the real person. The real person was the spirit, atma or soul, the living entity, living consciousness in the body which is more subtle than even the finest matter. And then has left the body and gone on to his next birth.
So this Krishna consciousness basically is science. People ask are you a religion? Are you yoga? Are you a philosophy? What are you? You see. Well we are all of those, we are also science. This is also one science that unfortunately in our modern educational institutions there is no courses being taught: The science of the self, of self realization, it’s a science. Science means that if you do ABC just according to the procedure, formula, you are going to get a predictable result. Similarly if you practice this process of self-realization just according to the procedures laid down you can predict exactly what result you are going to get. It can be verified. The only difference is that it has to be verified subjectively. One can verify it himself. You can see the symptoms of a person advancing spiritually. That way if you have any friends and you see them chanting Hare Krishna, becoming more aware of spiritual subject matters, more knowledgeable, you will see that in their character there is a difference. They become more peaceful, they become more sober, they become more satisfied.
In fact one of the leading psychiatrists in a country one time did a secret study which turned out to be… then he just proclaimed himself and then he did a open study of our devotees in some of the temples. He took new people visiting, he took people that were there for six months, one year, five years, the Swamis who were there for ten years and he gave them IQ tests, creativity tests and so many tests, psychological tests that they have. He did a complete study. He did charts, graphs, everything as a scientist. So he came up with a conclusion that the Hare Krishna devotees generally above average intelligence, and remarkable creativity. Such a high level of creativity you don’t find in any singular group of people in general, in society, far above the average. And that they are equally dependant and independent. But the speciality that he found was that they have a high amount of self-esteem. That they have especially no anxiety, no fear. So his conclusion was that actually the Western world would do well to study and utilize the meditational techniques of the Hare Krishna movement so that they… cause in this world the type of anxiety, the symptomatic depression he didn’t find in the devotees, that type of depression was not there, you see. So this is what we are reading today in Bhagavata-gita that after many many births when a person is developing, in the transmigration of the soul and comes up to the spiritual understanding there is nothing beyond the reality of the Supreme Truth or the Supreme Lord, you see. That is the topmost of all knowledge. And that person naturally when he achieves that level of consciousness becomes peaceful, becomes stable and becomes self-satisfied so that actually that person is able to work for the welfare of the others. If a person is obsessed with his own problems how can he work for the welfare of others.
Of course I am sorry to quote a psychologist in this august assembly because we don’t put that much weight by what the psychiatrists say considering the high rate of suicides they’re enjoying. (laughter) They have as much problems as everyone else. But since one of them took the trouble to analyze at least they came up with some conclusions, so we just voiced it. The real test of course every individual has to make. Don’t take any psychiatrists’ word for it. If you want to take anyone’s word for it, take Krishna’s word for it. He is the supreme authority. But even if you don’t want to take Krishna’s word for it just try chanting
Hare Krishna Hare Krishna
Krishna Krishna Hare Hare
Hare Rama Hare Rama
Rama Rama Hare Hare
There is no obligation. Its an open secret, you see. Its open, but still it’s a secret, even those who chant don’t realize or understand, how is it working. But that much secret of course remains always a mystery. More and more it is revealed but if you try chanting, see what effect it brings, you see that it will bring a change about, it will bring a positive spiritual strength and realization.
This sankirtanam is very ancient system based on sravanam, kirtanam, hearing and chanting. One person sings, another hears. Another sings, he hears. Sravanam is hearing, kirtanam is singing, or speaking, glorifying, you see. By hearing our consciousness is awakened. We are easily awakened by our ears. Just like this bell might remind you of your alarm clock. When we are asleep we hear the alarm. You can’t see the picture on your wall, other senses are quite dormant. But the ear is more awake. So the ear is the most spiritual of all our senses. These material eyes they are not very spiritual. They are able to see a certain wave length of vibration, but… Krishna He can make Himself visible within those wavelengths. But actually His normal existence is far far away in a different dimension. You can call it the fourth dimension if you like. So to come tune with that higher dimension, the spiritual dimension, one has to use a spiritual medium. That doesn’t mean like some ghost what do you call it, seances and all that. Some vehicle to transform our, to tranport our consciousness from the gross material consciousness to actually being aware on the transcendental level. So that is done by transcendental vibration.
So this transcendental vibration most powerful especially intended for this particular age. Why is Hare Krishna an open secret? There are many mantras in the Vedas. You can ask the various Indians, they will tell you there are many Gayatri’s, secret mantras, those are not to be spoken out loud to uninitiated people. Those are kept secret. We also have some secret mantras which we give in the proper time and place. But this Hare Krishna is very powerful. Therefore even a person is not very expert in chanting or may make some mistake in other respect of Vedic culture or of yogic practice. But Hare Krishna is so powerful that it can overlook all such mistakes, rather counteract them. For other mantras one has to be more adept in these yoga practices to be able to chant. That is the difference. Therefore Hare Krishna chanting is equally as effective or at least as usable for a beginner, newer… neophyte, or for someone who is very advanced or even for liberated soul. Just that their level of realization of the different chanters will vary depending on the amount that their consciousness is expanding.
A liberated person is full expanded to his original consciousness. And as a person advances his consciousness is expanding. Of course someone in the beginning his consciousness, her consciousness is simply limited to the body. “I am this body, there are these other bodies, we are having these interactions, and that’s about it.” And then to go beyond the body, to the psyche, beyond that to the spirit, immediately this chanting of Hare Krishna takes one to that spiritual platform because it is coming right down from the spiritual platform.
So we thank you all for coming here and chanting with us. This is your temple. Krishna’s house is your house. During the holidays we are very pleased that you could come and share this time with us and we hope that you will always come every Sunday, every holiday, even yesterday we had a special feast, many guests came, had a big Christmas birthday cake. (laughter) We didn’t have 1983 whatever it is candles, so, we had to make do with... That way you see, for us we have many such appearance days because uh, Krishna comes again and again in different forms, in different incarnations. Just like Ramachandra, Varaha, Kurma, Matsya, then Caitanya Mahaprabhu, these avataras and partial avataras and empowered avataras, incarnations of Godhead, you see. So we worship the Lord in all of His uh, transcendental forms, you see. Ultimately its only one Supreme Lord. But He has the power to appear at different times, at different places. So like that we also respect Jesus Christ as a spiritual master, you see… empowered by God as a spiritual master. Prabhupada in this way respected him. So in this way we hope that you all take this house of Krishna to be your own. Bring your friends here, partake in the feast of the sacred Krishna prasadam foodstuffs, if you feel like dancing when the chanting is going on get up and dance. (Jaya!) No one minds, you see. If you don’t feel like dancing, that’s all right, you can just sit, you see. If you feel like singing, sing:
Hare Krishna Hare Krishna
Krishna Krishna Hare Hare
Hare Rama Hare Rama
Rama Rama Hare Hare
If you want to just listen, its all right, you can listen. (laughter) And if you like to ask any questions you are also welcome to ask any questions about this philosophy, about life. The Vedas are so complete that they have given a very broad picture of the world we live in. Its amazing that it has been written in Sanskrit language thousands and thousands of years ago. And that that teaching has been kept intact and translated now into the English language by Srila Prabhupada and now its in over 35-40 languages all over the world. In fact even in many languages which many people have never even heard about I can say.
So if any one has any question that they would like to know what is Krishna’s opinion as He’s given in the Vedic literatures has been handed down in the line of guru disciple, guru disciple disciplic succession that we are able to answer according to that disciplic succession you see. Not that we are creating our own new idea or that we are coming up with our own opinion. We are simply trying to represent what is the original opinion given by Krishna, given by the great spiritual masters following in the line of Krishna like Madhvacarya, Madhavendra Puri, Caitanya Mahaprabhu, Rupa and Sanatana Goswamis.
Any one have any questions?
Jayapataka Swami: Happy Holiday! (laughter)
Question: How is it possible to detect a spiritual sound vibration with the material sense if the ears are made of matter how is it that we are receiving the spiritual sound vibration?
Jayapataka Swami: You see that vibration goes from gross to subtle. Just like within a certain vibration there may be other sounds other sound vibrations which contain cannot hear. Just like within light we know there is ultra violet and there is infra red light, but we cant see it. So the vibration Hare Krishna which you are hearing with your material ears, that vibration is not only heard by the ears but its also heard by the soul. And it has a uh… that’s what is actually happening is by chanting enough… the soul has been actually dormant and its been practically just relegating all the functions to the material mind and intelligence and has not identified with itself at all. So what happens by continually chanting that vibration is actually reaching the actual consciousness, the root, the spirit spark of life, the soul, it awakens the soul to its original spiritual identity, original spiritual position.
So now if that chanting is say sung by some kind of professional man who is just doing it as a… not as a yoga not as a meditation but then if one hears that vibration actually from the him the spiritual… ‘cause his soul is not awakened, he is just doing it for money he benefits by chanting but the persons who hear they get material good karma, beca… anything connected with Krishna is good. But because the person singing or speaking if he is not a pure devotee, or real pure yogi just some kind of professional person or say someone’s doing it in ridicule or some other mood then by hearing that the best you can get is material good karma. But by hearing the vibration from a spiritually awakened soul that vibration has a special potency. And a person by chanting himself then a special facility is given no matter what level he is on by chanting oneself one will benefit oneself and if one is chanting purely that will also benefit others. So although the vibration is audible on a material platform but it also has a spiritual effect if it is heard by oneself or by one who is spiritually advanced person, who is Krishna conscious.
Just like when the devotees chant that chanting has some special potency. Immediately you feel a lot of energy by vibration becomes very intense. Person feels sometimes like dancing or like clapping or rocking you see. Sometimes if you hear… if you see some other people you don’t have here, but in India like sometimes there are some professional group their… because Hare Krishna chanting in some states is very popular. So some you know, just like you have bands, they have groups that chant Hare Krishna 24 hours a day. They are called astam prahara, sholo prahara, they have 24 hour harinama, 24 hour chanting of Hare Krishna, 48 hour, 72 hour, up to 56 hour, non-stop. They will start in the morning at sunrise and then they will have 5, 10 groups. So each take 2 hour turns and they will come in two hours, if some one may come in, they will… point is that you can never let the chanting stop for whatever period you’re contracted. (laughter)
Of course the people who are promoting the whole thing they are doing it as a service to Krishna because nowadays people they do not all recognize a pure devotee and some one who is doing it for money, you see. That’s a question of some fine spiritual distinction. So I am just telling the overall system of what they do. Say there’s one group. We also have 24 hour kirtana-yajna at our, but we don’t pay them, they are all village devotees. They come and do it as a service. One group is all children, beautiful about 12 years old, so they will be singing say for 2 hours and when it is time for another group to come in, before hand they will be singing prayers to their guru’s, to the spiritual masters, they will be singing sri krsna caitanya, other chants, get warmed up. Then they will come in chanting Hare Krishna and they will all chant Hare Krishna, the two groups together will be chanting. They will make one circumambulation around the temple, or the tulasi, whatever, they are chanting and then as the one who comes in then the other one goes out. (laughter) So there is never a cessation, you see. So it goes like this for the whole day and night and people stay up and just hear Hare Krishna chanting the whole night you will see thousands of people chanting sitting there, families with the kids just camped through the whole night, hearing Hare Krishna, you see. (Jaya!) So they get… they like to hear the chanting of Hare Krishna so much. It’s the, one of the most popular entertainments, spiritual entertainment.
So by hearing the vibration according to who speaks it that will have a certain effect but in any case anyone who hears Hare Krishna it always has a good effect. But when its heard from the lips of pure devotees that has not only good but also has a transcendental effect. Actually no words can describe Krishna fully. One of His names is Adhoksaja. Adhoksaja or Adhokhaja, depending on how you pronounce it means… in Sanskrit the first letter is ‘a’, a aa, u, oo, like that. So then the first ‘a’, a, aa, i, ii, u, oo, so ‘a’ is the first. So ‘a’ adhoksajah. Aha visarga is the last letter so its like 'a to z', you see.
They are saying that adhoksajah means that from the first letter to the last letter of the alphabet. You cannot describe… if you use all the letters you cannot describe by any of those words, what is the supreme person. So then how can we say any name of Krishna is transcendental? It’s a very good question you see. The point is although Krishna cannot be fully described by any singular word, its not that you can completely define Him. Its not that you can draw the perfect picture because whatever vibration that you will transmit through sound or through drawings or whatever will always be short of what Krishna is in His fullness is, you see, but what happens is that there are certain vibrations which cannot be assigned to anything else or to any other object.
Just like the word Krishna means… krs means all attractive, and na means reservoir of all pleasure. So who can claim to be all attractive for everyone or to be the reservoir of all pleasure except for Supreme Truth. Like that there are certain vibrations, just like “Adhoksaja”, He who cannot be described in any word. That vibration is transcendental because the only person who cannot be described by any words is a transcendental person. So there are certain words which themselves directed out of this world and so those words chanted by the devotees, by yogis, they bring down that spiritual energy. They become empowered vibration. Not that we are confining Krishna within those words but that those words are so powerful, they don’t denote anyone else except for Him. Not that they can fully define Him but they define one aspect of Him. He has unlimited aspects, unlimited qualities, you see. Hare Krishna. Thank you.
Devotee: Jaya Acaryapada!
Jayapataka Swami: Yes you had a question.
Guest: Yes, since Srila Prabhupada dissappeared from this planet has anybody heard from him? Do you know where he is?
Jayapataka Swami: Well we know that he is with Krishna. And many devotees that had dreams of Srila Prabhupada. In fact I wont go too far to say almost most devotees have had some dream or another but most, or many have had and in these dreams… especially to those who are Prabhupada disciples, and even some of the grand disciples, they also had this type of dream and in the dream Prabhupada gives certain instructions and those instructions are also accepted, that the spiritual master may communicate through direct personal, saksat, personal association as well as through dream, as well as through meditation, in the heart through meditation one may also get. In this way there are different ways that the spiritual master, Krishna may communicate some teaching, or some lesson, or instruction to the disciple or the devotee.
So in this way Prabhupada has given many instructions. Also Krishna Himself says that, “I am present wherever My devotees are present and glorifying Me.” And there is a body that Prabhupada personally appointed called the Governing Body Commission of very senior preachers from all over the world and when they meet together one can definitely feel the presence of Srila Prabhupada. They are like the supreme ecclesiastical, supreme spiritual authority of the movement who protect the teachings of Prabhupada from changing in any way. You met Prabhupada personally?
Guest: No, I almost did but unfortunately haven’t. I have heard many times that spiritual masters transcending from the causal or astral plane to the disciples and speaking, after leaving their material body, that was basically what I was…
Jayapataka Swami: You see, the point is that if even if Prabhupada does that or even if a devotee has a dream they would only tell that experience to another peer. Because the Krishna conscious movement has been trying to avoid any type of this type of spiritual sensationalism because what happens is that it leaves the door open for a lot of speculation and sentimental ideas to be inserted, you see. We are trying to keep that… actually Prabhupada whenever he spoke, was spoken by Krishna, you don’t find any contradiction. So to substantiate you know, different teachings which do not have any scriptural base, don’t have any Vedic base or not authorized by the chain of disciples and spiritual masters. Some groups may even produce this type of phenomena or present it as this happened and who can say that it happened or didn't.
Even, one of our devotees in India came and told me that he went to some group meditational program where the guru who was there you know told everyone to meditate and those who are you know feeling, when you are feeling some kind of spiritual experience then you should just call out. This is the sign of you know great advancement. So then you know one after another, “Oh! I feel something! I feel…” Everyone is saying. And this one person is sitting there, trying very hard. He is thinking, “I am not sincere or something but I am not feeling anything.” you know. (laughter) Guru would come over and do you know. And everyone else is “Oh! Yes I feel.” He didn’t know whether they were really faking it or just to show, no one wanted to be left out. But he was you know trying to be sincere. He didn’t feel anything you know he didn’t say, he was like the odd ball. (laughter)
Maybe he was the only sincere one, we cant say you know. That way the symptoms of ecstasy, of spiritual realization are given but there are some that are superficial, you could show off you see. And actually we are trained that if we feel that, if we feel tears coming, if we feel we are going to faint in ecstasy then we are supposed to subdue that in public. Because if we, its easy in one sense to just let it go but then what happens is that person can start to develop some type of an ego like that, that I am showing off or by this stunt I am going to attract people or something and it opens a door for encouraging people who don’t actually experience ecstasy who are not on that spiritual platform just to pantomime that and then get cheap followers.
So that way we try to keep it strictly by the books you see. Although realizations are there, there are many mystic realizations, there are many pastimes, countless pastimes, like that where there are ac… where the Deities even have appeared to the devotees in the dream have spoken to them, where the Deities… where the devotees have done some thing wrong and just immediately there is a reaction you know which is directly attributed to the mistake the devotee made and many visions its not from the astro platform but its on the spiritual platform. But these things are not generally voiced in public you see. The devotees know that certain things may happen but its not like promoted because we don’t want to cheapen the things or leave the door open for people just to make up. If you have some experiences mainly told to keep it to yourself or if you want to discuss it with your guru or very senior person to get all the spiritual significance about it. But don’t just like talk it about because then what happens is it can get like that when a person well “I saw this, I saw that.” we don’t really know whether did or didn’t. Ordinary people creates a bad situation or bad example.
But there are many many experiences. And Prabhupada definitely is with us that his presence, even the deity of Prabhupada is so alive that even in India sometime… even here sometime people they just stand and look and they say “When is he going to speak?” (laughter) “He is in deep meditation.” Have you experienced that? I know during Ratha Yatra many people were saying that.
Comment: “How long that guy has been sitting there?” (laughter)
Jayapataka Swami: Actually the Deities, many pastimes not only is Prabhupada with us but Krishna, Prabhupada has brought Krishna, the Deities, these are actually one of the incarnations of Krishna, there is five incarnations of God you see and the fifth is called the installed Deity. Its not some kind of idol or something. Its actually one of the incarnations of God. Therefore we worship directly that Krishna is there. And many experiences, mystical experiences have happened around these Deities. Each Deity has His own pastimes. And this temple is called New Panihati because of the pastimes which happened in Panihati, an ancient place of Lord Caitanya’s pastimes. So even today there are Deities which are worshiped there from 500 years ago and many pastimes connected with all these Deities. Devotees actually develop personal relationship with the Deity. Yes?
Question: You mentioned that Prabhupada accepted Lord Jesus as spiritual master. Was that …..still considered a spiritual master for today?
Jayapataka Swami: Well, once a spiritual master, always a spiritual master. Its not, the point is that a spiritual master, a spiritual master is someone who is present, I mean once a person is a spiritual master he is always respected. But that just as he gave instructions to his disciples, the apostles, they had disciples, they had disciples. Of course now the Roman Catholic Church has somehow maintained this in their Pope system but its not exactly the same you see. After… the, similar example is the Vedas the disciple guru disciple, this is the basic relationship. So one requires also the personal guidance of a spiritual master.
Just from a book without someone who is actually realised or studied from realised soul, its very difficult to make any spiritual advancement. Then it just leaves it open because so many people can interpret in so many different ways, you see. So one actually needs a spiritual master present, you see. Otherwise just like everybody could continue to take initiation from Prabhupada. But when we asked him what will happen in the future when you go back to Krishna. Then he said that my disciples, who are initiated by me now they are my disciples and I am going to have some of my disciples initiate and whoever they initiate will be my grand disciples you see. Because this Vedic tradition is that there must always be a living spiritual master. If there is no living spiritual master there to teach then at that moment that teaching has gone underground so to speak. Its become hidden, it may rise up again. There has to be a living teacher who can teach by example, who can actually explain the matter in detail. Just like if you want to learn to be a surgeon how are you going to read the book and go and practice. It could be very dangerous you know. You learn by seeing accomplished doctors practicing and then when you… then eventually that person can also become a surgeon. Its not that just you go in with a knife, I have read the book, now see. (laughter) Put it this way.”
This is Pedro. You look very blissful. Who is that? What’s his name?
Jayapataka Swami: (indistinct) but he is in disguise
Devotee: Maharaja pertaining to the statement that you just made. Say for instance a disciple may become very enamoured again by material sense gratification or he may become wicked or duplicitous in his performance to perform devotional service. So at that time when he becomes afraid to approach his spiritual master because of so much sinful activity what is, what should he...
Jayapataka Swami: You see there is no cause… to be afraid to approach one's spiritual master is unfounded fear you see. Of course just like a child doesn’t become afraid to see the parent, of course you do wrong you are afraid to see your parents, because you may think “They’re going to spank me or something.” they run away. But its not like that. Even the parent you see they always love their child, at least the spiritual master always love the disciple, the disciple is coming forward. Its not that the spiritual master is going to be in any way dissatisfied because the disciple is coming back. Rather when the disciple leaves it causes the spiritual master great pain. Pain not only just with the conception and the thought and the experience of how the disciple suffering in the material world but because the guru and disciple are linked in a heart to heart relationship or even in their karma everything is connected. So when the disciple is acting in that way, also even directly experienced by the spiritual master in different ways. So that way one shouldn’t be afraid to see the spiritual master rather should know that the spiritual master is the reservoir of all mercy you see. By going to the spiritual master simply he is going to give more mercy.
Its just like a little baby is there. Mother you know, baby may make a little mess on the lap but the mother is very tolerant, its her baby, like that. Guru has such a relationship with the disciple. As long as the disciple its not trying to pollute other disciples then of course one son is trying to knife the other sons then of course it creates kind of a… as long as the person is fallen personally, in difficulty naturally the spiritual parent is very concerned, is very happy when the disciple is coming back, will simply think how to help. They are the ever well-wisher, the spiritual master is the ever well wisher, doesn’t have any other motive, nothing to gain from the other disciple. Simply giving how to help the disciple advance in spiritual life.
Someone who has Krishna has everything, so then you don’t need anything else. So why they are going and accepting disciples. That's because Krishna wants to give them the mercy, so the spiritual master is taking that opportunity to give the mercy out as a service to Krishna and out of his compassion. So why he’ll be angry if the disciple is coming back? We are trained not to hate the diseased but to hate the disease. If there is any contamination any disease in a yogi who is practicing and then fell down you see, that anger is only against the disease not against the person. That person will always want to help to get back on the right path of yoga, you see. In fact what is this material life we have been in for millions of years if one even for a couple of years gets waylaid. If again that person comes back, well that still gives an opportunity for the eternal relationship with Krishna. In fact Krishna says He is more pleased, it is in the Vedas, He is more pleased when someone who has gone away comes back. Just like if you have so many cows, or sheep or whatever, and one goes away they keep a guard by the others, three four five others go looking for the one lost one. And when they get it back everyone is so happy, you see. So its not like that maybe when they are going away that time, “Where are you going? Don’t you know what you are doing? Its dangerous!” You see. Even then its only verbal. Just sentimental like that fear that whats the future of the person again falls into the chakra,a the cycle of karma of birth and death. Pretty dangerous, you see. After coming back everyone forgets that time all the mistakes, just thinks how wonderful back on the right path. Devotee: So there is no such thing as that he’s too violent to talk to the priest or…
Jayapataka Swami: No not unless, the person becomes envious and then openly says things which disturb other devotees’ faith. That’s the only, you can’t be sentimental. Say you have ten children one is sick you have to isolate, quarantine one if there is some but that’s only in a very specific situation. Ordinarily you see the soul doesn’t have any contamination, the soul, the soul doesn't become, its not that the soul becomes dirty. The soul is the pure spiritual spark you see but its covered up by various dirts. So even when one is trying to clean it off again one gets into bad association again start imitating the karmis, you see. Then again he goes and again starts to clean up, the soul itself is pure, the soul himself is pure, it’s the contamination that is over it. It has to be cleansed off. So that cleansing process until it is complete its always the danger if we don’t be careful of again acting as an ordinary fruitive worker in the material world.
Devotee: So does that mean that the spiritual master is… (inaudible) development of love, development of pure love of God, means that he’s eligible to free that person from those dirty things in the heart to where a person can bring back on the platform of pure devotional service, he may not be so concerned with helping this other person purify himself?
Jayapataka Swami: Someone who is in pure consciousness the highest asset, spiritual asset is this mood of helping others to advance spiritually. This poem by Bhaktisiddhanta which we discussed here before, where Bhaktisiddhanta says, prana ache yara, sei hetu pracara. That those who have got real spiritual asset, real spiritual life, you see, they, prana, I don’t know how you can translate prana, it’s a very big world, prana. But I would say spiritual…
Jayapataka Swami: those who have got soul, who have got life, spiritual life, or soul, those who have got their spiritual asset, because of that they are thinking how to help others advance spiritually. Its not that they are doing that because of any material reason. For material reason then there is no need of teaching pure spiritual life. Then you can compromise and you will get cheap followers, you see. But there is no use of that. To present the pure medicine, you see, then you can help people. So that people who are actually devotees, that are actually, that are spiritually Krishna conscious, that are spiritually advanced, that have real soul, they will try to help others to advance. They have achieved enough stability in their own spiritual life that they can try to help others to advance. Because they are not concerned with their own personal salvation even. They are just concerned with trying to serve Krishna and they are trying to help the other souls to advance, you see, and automatically salvation is no problem for them.
Guest: May I ask you a question, please? Did Prabhupada make statements on the rising of the kundalini? Jayapataka Swami: Yes you can find in this Srimad Bhagavatam Fourth Canto, Teachings of Prthu Maharaja, that he was both simultaneously an accomplished bhakti-yogi as well as an astanga-yogi and in the astanga-yoga process he was lifting his life air from the heart to the kundalini chakra and all the different… there are seven chakras until finally he took the sarva-jna chakra which is just here between the two eyebrows known as the third eye. That sarva-jna chakra… from there the accomplished yogi can transfer himself to any planet in the material world but if you want… with the self-same body. The body becomes purified. And if he wants to then at that time he can also take the soul out of the brahma-randra, which is on top of the head and from there he is freed from this body. And then he is freed from… and he is absorbed… he also becomes free from the subtle body and by spiritual potency, if he knows the science.
From that point you have to know bhakti yogi, bhakti yoga to be able to go to Vaikuntha planets where the spiritual world you see. So from there he applied his bhakti yoga practice and went to the spiritual world. And ultimate purpose of controlling the breath and of controlling the soul, seven different chakra, the kundalini chakra is just, you can take it, like the base of the spine or behind in that… the pelvis area there, in the center. And the base of the spine or in front of that. and like that there are another six chakras you know. One near the abdomen, by the heart, by the just… finally going up to here in the throat there is one. So these are the different chakras. So what the yogi does is that by the breathing exercise after learing how to sit, meditate, then by pranayama, pranayama by breathing exercise one controls the airs.
The spirit soul is floating on five kinds of airs called the pranas you see. And those airs by meditation he is able to shift to the different chakras you see. And the first chakra is the kundalini chakra, with that you just stay there, it goes on and then it rises. And then finally it is brought up… Now it is very dangerous if the person is not very expert and the soul comes out of the ear or any parts of the holes of the body then you are in a trouble you see. (laughter) Then you are in trouble. Then this body is finished for that time. You have to go on to the next. So one has to be, has a guru who knows all these things and it takes a great deal of practice, you see. You have to be able to sit for a long time and then do just the type of meditation, so the advantage is that at your own will whenever you want you can leave this body. And that’s not suicide. That’s completely bona fide.
So you can pick… there are certain times given in Bhagavad-gita when the sun is going to the southern side or the northern side… northern side, when its in the day, different symptoms are then when it is very auspicious to leave. So one can choose the most auspicious time and leave the body at that moment, you see. And then by one’s own choice one can go to the appropriate planet either higher planet in the material world where people have longer life, heavenly type planet or one can go beyond the material world to the spiritual sky if one is uh, qualified. Now this is very difficult. People are of course experimenting with just hatha-yoga on the lower levels, in the lower chakras but the actual process in its complete, its entirety is vey complex, its ta… very exacting, expertise to be able to control the airs in the body and to have that type of concentration. It may not be possible even in this lifetime to become that expert. One of out of thousands may be able to achieve it, and even then there is always a danger that one could make you slip up a little bitand in the modern world it is very hard to that type of quiet time you can imagine you have got your spirit soul up to that particular chakra and somebody comes and asks if you want a 7-up or something. (laughter) Its very dangerous you see. At that time what do you do so. Or the 747 is flying over and just crashes next door you see.
Even if you go in the Himalayan mountains now they have special flight around Mount Everest. So even the yogis are meditating the tourist are flying around to see the Himalayas. (laughter) So its very difficult, very difficult but it is a, it is a bonafide process and great kings and great yogis they could practice that but its just that now the times are a bit… the current is going in the other direction and one is like swimming upstream. It’s a little bit difficult to actually perfect that type of yoga. But its good training, it helps one to train one that to become detached from the body and to start to become control the senses but I don’t know how accurately its being taught in the Western world. I think partially they may be teaching some of the aspects not the full process.
So what happens I mentioned that when we leave the body whatever we are thinking of, that we achieve. So that’s what… these yogis are able to choose when they want to leave the body, you see that’s their perfection. Thats like the final exam. You may learn how to do all the other things, but when you leave your body if you can’t concentrate on the right things or if you cant leave by your own free will, you see those yogis that are in a fix. They haven’t reached that expertise then their destination is unsure. Of course they will get another chance in next life, not that they lose their asset. But you see the benefit of chanting of this Hare Krishna… this is a finer and more superior form of yoga because it is not limited to a lot of physical exercise.
You may… even deaf and dumb people chant Hare Krishna. We have a girl in Denver who is completely, she can speak but she is completely deaf. So we ask her you know that “When you chant, what do you hear?” She says, “I don’t hear anything, I am deaf. But I feel the presence of Krishna.” So someone asks what if you cant hear, then you cant chant you see. Even if you cant speak, you can think Krishna, you will feel Krishna’s presence but it is much more fortunate to be able to hear and to be able to chant.
So the science is that yam yam vapi smaran bhavam tyajet ante kalevram, that when we leave this body that object or that existence we are meditating upon we achieve. So the devotee rather than practicing how to leave at free will rather practices how to always think of Krishna so that whenever death may come, whenever the final test may come we have to leave the body they just think of Krishna and go back to Krishna. So that means one has to be on call twenty-four hours a day that’s why you always see the devotees with those little bags in their hand. In their spare time when they are walking here there or whatever they chant. When they are working they may also sing Hare Krishna. They are just prepared if they stub their toe lot of time you hear them yell out Krishna! Ordinary people when they stub their toe they may yell out something else. Right? (laughter) So it says that if one suddenly gets frightened and says Krishna just by that one is guaranteed that their recycle or reincarnation will be over. So powerful!
So that way you see these two processes either by the mechanical process through the its described… kundalini and other chakras you have to go thorugh. Kundalini is the first chakra, then there is the other. Tantric yogis very obsessed by kundalini chakra because its just behind this place where the genitals are. So they connect that force. Actually that force if it is directed upward that’s called urdhva-reta. That instead of having the sexual energy going out or down they are directed up you see. But that whole yogic power is not that it just ends at the kundalini or that particular energy but all of the different chakras have their energy and one utilises those energies and goes up and by chanting Hare Krishna automatically all the chakras are open, and automatically one develops that spiritual power, and ratherr than fine tuning the technique, it can be done its just that now the times are now so unfavourable that its just not worth it to spend the time on practicing the hatha yoga. If you already know hatha yoga and you are also a devotee well there is no harm if you know you are going to leave times, you are going to die, you can try meditation leave your body while meditating on Hare Krishna and go back to Krishna like Bhismadeva and other great souls they were both bhakti yogis as well as astanga-yogis.
You can be just the bhakti yogi and go to Krishna or you can be a bhakti yogi and an astanga-yogi and go to Krishna. If you are just an astanga yogi and you not a devotee you cant go to Krishna. So it is better to be a devotee or bhakti yogi. In that way you are prepared at any time and its much easier. Even women children men educated uneducated whoever they can all practice. There’s no young old everyone they can practice. The other yoga is very difficult for old people unless they practice since they are young or for very young people. It is difficult to practice I believe when you are in the advanced stages of pregnancy but chanting Hare Krishna can be done under any situation So now its time for the feast.
Devotees: Jaya Acaryapada!
Jayapataka Swami: Everything is in Prabhupada’s books. You will be amazed and these Bhagavagtams, over ninety volumes he has written. If you start to read these literatures
Bringing out the tables for the prasada? You bring it right out.
You will find all the time of information on spiritual life in great detail. The point is we are very much attached to success in one sense you see. we want that if we are going to practice yoga we will like to achieve the ultimate goal of yoga. Not that we are expending our energy and then we don’t get the real result out of it. Just like you go four years to college and you go four years to college and you get your two more years, three more years you get your MSc. But then you go don’t go through your internship, by that time you give up then what is the use of all those years of college. Its a waste. So like that in yoga, bhakti yoga whatever amount you are able to do that’s already to your credit. Nothing is lost. But in this other process of yoga unless you are able to go to the extreme end where actually you are able to take your soul at least to the sarva-jna chakra and transfer your self at will. Then when you leave you have to again start all over again. Its not that when you are born again next time you are able to immediately have all those powers. Again you have to practice, learn all the asanas, do everything all over again. But whatever level you have achieved in bhakti yoga from that level you take off again. Hare Krishna.
Devotees : Jaya!
Transcribed by Suvilasi Madhavi dd Date : 24 April 2015
Revised by Jagannatha dasa Brahmcari