19800412 Srimad-Bhagavatam.4.16.11 First Class Presentation @ New Orleans, USA
The following is a class given by His Holiness Jayapataka Swami Maharaja on April 12th, 1980 in New Orleans, Louisiana. The class begins with a reading from the Srimad-Bhagavatam, Canto 4, Chapter 16, Text 11.
āsanno ’pi vidūravat
durāsadaḥ — unapproachable; durviṣahaḥ — unbearable; āsannaḥ — being approached; api — although; vidūra-vat — as if far away; na — never; eva — certainly; abhibhavitum — to be overcome; śakyaḥ — able; vena — King Vena; araṇi — the wood that produces fire; utthitaḥ — being born of; analaḥ — fire
Translation by Srila Prabhupada:
Jayapataka Swami: “King Prthu was born of the dead body of King Vena as fire is produced from arani wood. Thus King Prthu will always remain just like fire, and his enemies will not be able to approach him. Indeed, he will be unbearable to his enemies, for although staying very near him, they will never be able to approach him but will have to remain as if far away. No one will be able to overcome the strength of King Prthu.
Purport by Srila Prabhupada:
Arani wood is a kind of fuel used to ignite fire by friction. At the time of performing sacrifices, one can ignite a fire from arani wood. Although born of his dead father, King Prthu would still remain just like fire. Just as fire is not easily approached, King Prthu would be unapproachable by his enemies, even though they would appear to be very near him.”
Thus end the purport by Srila Prabhupada:
“King Pṛthu was born of the dead body of King Vena as fire is produced from arani wood. Thus King Pṛthu will always remain just like fire, and his enemies will not be able to approach him. Indeed, he will be unbearable to his enemies, for although staying very near him, they will never be able to approach him but will have to remain as if far away. No one will be able to overcome the strength of King Prthu.”
No one will be able to overcome the strength of King Prthu. And even though the enemies of King Prithu are very near, they have to remain as if they are far away. Of course Lord Prthu is a Saktyavesa avatara of Krishna, so wherever there is Krishna, Maya cannot stand.
krsna — surya-sama; maya haya andhakara yahan kṛṣṇa, tahan maya nahi adhikara
So this Krishna consciousness movement, Srila Prabhupada says is an incarnation of Krishna, Caitanya Mahaprabhu. It is a branch of His transcendental tree. The tree of which He is the gardener as well as He is the tree. So this movement, although situated in so many countries, so many cities around the world right in the midst of civilizations based upon rajo-guna and tamo-guna. Although envious-minded people are very near, still they have to stay as if far away. You see. That is the perfection which Krishna gives.
Srila Prabhupada so often said that purity is the force. We must maintain our purity and then Krishna always protects us. Because this movement is non-different from Krishna every preacher, every book distributor, every devotee who is going out, sticking his neck out so to speak, to present Krishna consciousness not for any ulterior motive, but for the benefit of the conditioned souls in this material world who are bound up in ignorance, they are protected by the mercy of Krishna.
So of course purity has many connotations. Purity we study of course is there’s internal purity and external purity. We take a bath that is for external purity & we chant Hare Krishna, and worship the Deities for internal purity.
Internal purity of course means much more because with chanting comes the deep obligation we have to our spiritual master. Everyone in this material world is living in a very abominable condition. Because they are taking that this body, this mind & this intelligence which has been received due to so many repetitions of birth and death in this material world, they are taking that this polluted body, mind & intelligence is their self & therefore they are suffering.
In so many bodies in so many situations they are suffering, in anxiety, in desire, in so-called misery and so-called enjoyment they are being tossed around this ocean of material world. Therefore their existence is most abominable. So the spiritual master he gives one the seed of pure devotion.
brahmanda bhramite kona bhagyavan jiva guru-krsna-prasade paya bhakti-lata-bija .
Krishna sends the spiritual master & by the mercy of the spiritual master one gets the seed of devotion. And that seed of devotion is so valuable, it saves one from that abominable condition, you see. So the devotee has two obligations. One is he has to tend the seed which sprouts and turns into plant, into a tree. He has to tend that because that is the service given to him by his spiritual master. And with that, which is part of the tending, itself, he has to fulfil whatever orders, whatever responsibilities the spiritual master gives to him.
Just like in the description of taking initiation, when one chants Hare Krishna for some time and is very strict, then the spiritual master gives Gayatri mantra, and Srila Prabhupada says that when this Gayatri mantra is given that does not mean that he is already perfect. That means now he is ready to make further progress. From that point now he can become more sincere, more advanced.
The spiritual master gives his mercy, seeing the good qualities in someone, you see. Not that there is no bad quality. Or that taking second initiation means that, “Having gotten our thread now there are no more bad qualities, everything about me is perfect.” Doesn’t mean that. That means your spiritual master has seen some sincerity of purpose. Therefore, to reinforce that he is giving some special mercy.
In this way the Spiritual Master gives his mercy many times, seeing some spark of hope. But the disciple, it is his duty to always remember that without the mercy of the spiritual master he was simply in the most abominable state. In the most abominable state and by the mercy of the spiritual master he has been taken out of that abominable state. Krishna is working through the spiritual master. He is present as the spiritual master. The spiritual master who is in his own right a devotee of Lord Caitanya.
So when we chant Hare Krishna, naturally we should be relishing that chanting. In fact the devotees of… the previous acaryas, in their prayers, they say that if someone is chanting and he is not crying, it must be know that when he is hearing the holy name of Krishna of Lord Caitanya, his heart isn’t melting, his heart is hard like a stone. Very unfortunate.
So the bhajananandis, they take a little taste and they want to go on relishing. But Bhaktisiddhanta Sarasvati Thakura he has revealed that actually the highest stage comes in chanting with so many devotees and in giving that devotion to others. So the responsibility that Prabhupada has given to all of his followers in disciplic succession and which has been given before him by the previous acaryas and ultimately by Lord Caitanya Mahaprabhu, is that every person, every house should be approached and they should be begged to please take-up the order of Lord Caitanya Mahaprabhu.
What is that order? To chant Hare Krishna, to worship Krishna and to study the teachings of Krishna, like the Bhagavad-gita, Srimad Bhagvata.
Bolo Krishna bhajo Krishna koro Krishna siksha
This was the ‘ajna’, the order that Lord Nityananda and Haridasa, they received. So although the Supreme Personality of Godhead has come as Lord Nityananda & Lord Brahma has come as Haridasa, they are going from every house to beg the people to chant Hare Krishna, to take up this Krishna Consciousness. So that is how we relish, is that whether it’s relishing or not, anyway we first have our first duty to our spiritual master. We can’t forget that. We are completely subordinate to his mercy. So Srila Prabhupada wanted, all the great devotees want, that every person should get the chance to take up chanting.
I remember that before I went to India in 1969-1970, I visited… at that time every… we had just moved into this New Dvaraka, Watseka Avenue address. That time the little… there were little small Radha Krishna Deities that were taken around the block, and we would give a morning report. It was very inspiring.
Devotee: Sri Sri Rukmini-Dvarakanathaji ki,
Jayapataka Swami: And all the devotees would give their report to Srila Prabhupada. It was very satisfying. So one morning, Srila Prabhupada was taking a walk and he mentioned that, it’s not that everyone will be a devotee, shaved-up and living in the temple. He didn’t say shaved-up, he said living in the temple. Not that everyone will be living in the temple. But just like there are so many churches, or so… there’ll be so many temples & some devotees who are fully giving their time for preaching & instructing, they will be living there & others, hundreds and thousands, they will be coming sometimes to the temple & in their house they will be worshipping and chanting, you see.
In 1970 I remember that he mentioned that and this is… also in the 5th Canto one place Srila Prabhupada says in the Purport that, “There’s no reason why every person, in every society all over the world cannot chant Hare Krishna in his home with his family every night.” This is the mission.
Everyone may not be able to come in our temple, although many more will, hundreds and thousands and many more temples will be made. But everyone can chant in their home. This type of preaching was started uh, by Lord Nityananda of course & it was revived by Bhaktivinoda Thakura in his Namahatta program where individual houses or in groups, anyway he would encourage them to open up little shops, sraddha kutis, houses of faith and there… many programs have started now around the society, a few programs he started to encourage people to form the broad Varnasrama base that Srila Prabhupada said was yet to be completed in his work. Contributing something every month, at least chanting in their homes to form a broad congregation.
In this way there’s so many things that should be done. So many books yet to be distributed to cultivate all these people. But Srila Prabhupada, he was very concerned about the future of the movement which he had spent so much time to cultivate. His whole life, he simple prepared, we see from Srila Gurupada’s manifested biography, how he was preparing from his youthful days, you see, simply for preaching Krishna consciousness all over the world.
I remember that in Vrindavan, Mayapur also, many times he mentioned. That, “If you can’t”, he said, “even if you don’t expand I don’t mind.” In one sense. “Even if you don’t expand, at least all the good respect, all the buildings, all the things which I have been able to expand, at least maintain. Don’t let that… that deteriorate the smallest bit.” You see. Of course, especially in Mayapura we see very striking example practically before our eyes we see the Gaudiya Matha crumble with the paint falling off the walls.
If they had just maintained the respect that Bhaktisiddhanta had established. The Viceroy of India had gone to the birth place of Lord Caitanya Mahaprabhu. If they had even maintained that respect today so many bogus philosophies will not be rampant. So, of course we are not going to be satisfied with just maintaining. We want to also expand. But the point is how deeply Srila Prabhupada felt, that every step we take must be a step forward.
We should be very careful. We should be very cautions. We should be very responsible. What is responsibility? Every disciple is responsible to his spiritual master. What is the principle of devotional service? We are responsible to our spiritual master, and he is responsible to his spiritual master and he is responsible to his spiritual master. Ultimately everyone is responsible to Krishna through disciplic succession. So the order of the spiritual master, that is supreme. Everyone has to serve that order. Whether that individual is a spiritual master, or whether he is not a spiritual master. Whoever he may be. The order of the spiritual master is supreme over all the disciples.
We have seen that in our sampradaya, Bhaktivinoda Thakura had started a panchayat of 10 men. Panchayat means governing body, and he said that whatever they meet privately and decide, that is non-different from Lord Nityananda’s verdict. That is to be accepted as Nityananda’s desire, you see.
Then we saw how Bhaktisiddhanta Saraswati Thakur he ordered his disciples that you cooperate together. Make a Governing Body & failing to do so, now everything has crumbled. Just a trace is there. And Prabhupada has very lucidly expressed all these things in Caitanya Caritamrta Adi-Lila, 3d part, first few verses. When he’s describing Advaita Aharya’s six sons. Three being separated because they deviated from Aharya. & three being bona-fide because they maintained the loyalty to the order of Advaita Gosai.
Even a son of Maha-Visnu avatara, if he deviates from Maha-Visnu, he is no longer to be considered a real son. He is considered to be asara. So it’s a never-ending struggle to fight with our mind, to fight with our materialistic mind and our sense and materialistic intelligence. We have to fight with our, you see, enemies or make them our allies by simply making them subservient to the instruction of our spiritual master.
So just like our previous Acaryas, Srila Prabhupada also said that, you must make a Governing Body & he made a Governing Body in his presence. He didn’t leave it up to chance & he sat through so many initial meetings also just to make sure that everything went nicely. And when he entered into his eternal pastimes, (although he is still present here, there is no doubt about that, it’s not that he entered and left us. He’s still present, so much present, so carefully watching what is going on, so carefully giving out punishment and reward to make us aware of our mistakes and our success.) so at that time when he, Prabhupada left from our physical vision, before that, in his will, verbally, so many different ways, he said he wanted the society to go on under the Governing Body Commission. That is the order of the spiritual master.
Of course he also appointed certain devotees to give initiation. And these devotees are his disciples. So in spite of the fact that they have to be spiritual master, it is their duty to give spiritual instruction exactly as they heard it from their spiritual master. Exactly as it is bona-fide and authorized in the scripture. Definition is there. What is Guru? Guru is one who, simply repeats what he has heard from his spiritual master, from Krishna as he has realized it. That should be always completely in-lined with the sastras.
So in spite of someone is being initiating Acharya, the devotees in general should be mature enough to see that they have the order of their spiritual master to follow, and that is the highest principle. And that order is that, in this ISKCON Society, the Governing Body Commission decision is to be accepted as the desire of the previous Acaryas, the desire of Krishna, of Srila Prabhupada, especially, and therefore they have to accept that instruction, you see, even though they are absolute spiritual masters or devotees. Still, that absolute order they’ve receive from their spiritual master takes great and supreme precedence over everything else.
Srila Prabhupada he has given us so many instructions in the scriptures. In fact he has given so many instructions, how to be a devotee, how to be a disciple, how to be a spiritual master. How to be a king, how to be a ksatriya, how to be a brahmana, how to be a vaisya, how to be sudra. He has given all the instruction, how to be a grhastha, how to raise children. How to give up grhastha and be a sannyasa. He has given all the instructions. So that for 10,000 years this movement will go on expanding, and so that everyone has a clear idea how we should act, because nobody is independent of the sastra.
Lord Caitanya would sit & discuss with senior devotees sastra. Who is the great acarya of the Vallabha sampradaya, he came and wanted to present… He had so many conceptions from & his conceptions of Sastra were not accepted by Lord Caitanya. And it was very carefully given, although he was such an advanced person. Of course he couldn’t swallow it, so he went off and made his own sect. or took another initiation from Vishnu-swami sect. So therefore their sect doesn’t understand what is madhurya-rasa, they don’t understand what is the highest point. They just go up to a certain level. But they are devotees, no doubt.
So here we see how Prithu Maharaja, he was such a great ruler, that he was just like fire. Similarly every devotee should be just like fire. Fire when it’s controlled, it is very useful and it is very powerful. Uncontrolled fire means that it is very destructive. So devotees they are like fire, but that fire is applied you see, that why they get continually more fuel. It’s given down the disciplic succession & the preaching goes on expanding. As much electricity as it is required for illuminating a light, that much is give from a power house. There’s an automatic system condensers & relay switches. As much as it draws that how much is taken.
We have a generator in Mayapura. If we turn on 20 kilowatts of light, the generator would work on 20 kilowatts of load. It won’t produce more. And if we turn on all the lights, like at the festival. We burn the fuel. (Devotees Laugh) Because it has only 60 kilowatts load capacity, but we turned on 80 kilowatts, all on one phase, 3 phases. Visnupada went down and got everyone jumping to fix the fuel. No one even knew more than a few hours. So the point is that, as much as we can give out Krishna’s mercy, Krishna would provide so much more load, so much more electricity sakti. We simply have to see there is no short-circuits. That we are not having what they call as leak.
If you have a loose wire touching the wall, it creates a electrical leak. The ... unlimited electricity is drawn off, so much energy is expended for no useful purpose. In fact if you touch the wall you will get a shock, it can even be very dangerous. So that is where purity comes in. That by purity we are insulating our self from any leaks, from any contact with maya conductors and we will still be taking that energy right where it needs to go. Right through the conditioned soul’s heart. Igniting their wood like heart and making it like fire also. In this way the fire goes on spreading. And more and more bulbs are lit. More and more spiritual fires are ignited.
So Prabhupada knew that when a little spiritual light, little fire is started… little plant is there, it is very fragile, it can be easily destroyed. Especially the faith that he created in many countries was after a lot of effort. And very thin, it can be easily destroyed. So therefore he wanted us to be very careful. To act exactly in line with his instructions. So this goes down to every distributor, goes down to every devotee. Goes to every single person. The more that one is responsible, the more that he has to be responsible and understand how he is so liable to Srila Prabhupada. But, every single devotee, how is he presenting himself… how is he presenting Krishna? He’s not presenting himself. When someone sees a devotee he doesn’t think of that person as an individual sense. He thinks of him as a member of the ISKCON society. He’s a Hare Krishna.
Therefore we had difficulty in India one time you see, one devotee was uh, caught stealing. You know it happens sometimes. And there were some devotees from America & they said alright, throw him out of the temple. But first cut-off his sikha. This is an old pastime. But in India everybody has a sikha. So they cut his sikha off and threw him out, he went to police, that “They cut off my sikha, they took away my Hindutva, my Hinduism. & the police they came out angry, “How can you cut-off his sikha.”
“Well he was stealing, he was smoking, he was…”
“Well I smoke, I steal, (devotees laughing) I take bribes. I have got a sikha”. So it was a very touchy thing.
So in India, you see we can’t do such thing… Of course… this is ... I had to explain the other devotees. they couldn’t understand the Indian devo... “Why is this going on?” No you see, in the West nobody wears sikha but Hare Krishna devotees, so if they go out and do something, people will say, “O look it there is Hare Krishna.” In India of course it is not necessary. There you can send them out with sikha. No one will know.
So the point is that we’re a society and… we are sampradaya and actually we have very good chance. In fact we have no doubt of success, if we simply stick to these principles. There is no doubt. Just like Prthu Maharaja, he had so many enemies, they couldn’t get him . They couldn’t approach, they couldn’t find a fault, they couldn’t find an opportunity to attack him.
He was so powerful, he was so mysterious, they didn’t know where he was coming, where he was going. How much money he has, didn’t has, everything about him was opulent because he was covered by Krishna’s transcendental potency. So similarly we have to be always in the shelter of Jagannatha, Subhadra, Balaram. Subhadra is yoga-maya.
If we are under her shelter, no one can really see what is happening you see, and somehow or another we lose her shelter and Krishna’s maha-maya shelter means big trouble. So that we always have to be very careful to be under the shelter of yoga-maya. Yoga-maya samanvita, we have to be under the shelter of Krishna, and that we can only be if we are always fixed up in following the instruction of the previous Acaryas.
So I was looking forward to coming to New Dvaraka for the Ratha-yatra festival
Jayapataka Swami: But Rameshvara called me here early. Now I don’t know whether I have to fortune to be here also during the Ratha-Yatra. (devotees laugh).
I went down to the Venice beach to see the previous site. (Devotees laugh) But it is very nice to be back and have the holy darsana of Sri Sri Rukmini Dvarakadisa, Nitai-Gaur, Rukmini Dvarakanatha, Jagannatha Subhadra Balarama and be present among the great Vaisnavas of the noble and transcendental community. And to be present amongst great devotees from all over the world, to the present day Acaryas and the GBC members.
So Srila Ramesvara was saying that they always wanted to have an ISKCON festival. So by his purity this New Dvaraka has been the place of coming of so many devotees, so somehow I also slipped in just to take advantage of this association. (Devotees laugh)
Jayapataka Swami: So I think there's other programs.
Devotee: Srila Acaryapada Maharaja ki,
Jayapataka Swami: Srila Prabhupada ki,
Jayapataka Swami: Srila Ramesvara Swami ki,
Jayapataka Swami: ISKCON Vartman-acarya-vrnda ki,
Transcribed By Volunteers