19800430 Srimad-Bhagavatam 4.17.9 What Am I Not Able to Surrender @ Los Angeles, USA
The following is a class given by His Holiness Jayapataka Swami Maharaja on April 30th, 1980 in Los Angeles, California. The class begins with a reading from the Srimad-Bhagavatam, Canto 4, Chapter 17, Text 9.
… at the time King Pṛthu was enthroned by the great sages and brāhmaṇas and declared to be the protector of the citizens, there was a scarcity of food grains. The citizens actually became skinny due to starvation. Therefore they came before the King and informed him of their real situation.
Information is given herein concerning the selection of the king by the brāhmaṇas. According to the varṇāśrama system, the brāhmaṇas are considered to be the heads of the society and therefore to be situated in the topmost social position. The varṇāśrama-dharma, the institution of four varṇas and four āśramas, is sci… very scientifically designed. As stated in Bhagavad-gītā, varṇāśrama-dharma is not a man-made institution, but is God-made. In this narration it is clearly indicated that the brāhmaṇas used to control the royal power. When an evil king like Vena ruled, the brāhmaṇas would kill him through their brahminical powers and would select a proper ruler by testing his qualifications. In other words, the brāhmaṇas, the intelligent men or great sages, would control the br… monarchical powers. Here we have an indication of how the brāhmaṇas elected King Pṛthu to the throne as the protector of the citizens. The citizens, being skinny due to hunger, approached the King and informed him that necessary action should be taken. The structure of the varṇāśrama-dharma was so nice that the brāhmaṇas would guide the head of state. The head of state would then give protection to the citizens. The kṣatriyas would take charge of protecting the people in general, and under the protection of the kṣatriyas, the vaiśyas would protect the cows, produce food grains and distribute them. Śūdras, the working class, would help the higher three classes by manual labor. This is the perfect social system.
Maharaja Prthu was enthroned to protect the citizens. That is the duty of the king, to protect the citizens. The duty of the brahmanas is to engage in self-realization to guide the society in religious principles and especially to guide the king who is responsible to manage the society. The brahmanas are not subject to the limitations of the king’s law. They are above the king’s law. But they have to act according to religious principles. Should they act outside of the codes intended for brahmanas then they are subject to being punished. But the king cannot control the brahmanas, he respects them as his superior advisors and spiritual masters.
So this brahminical culture was going quite well for millions of years. And in the brahminical culture simply the brahmanas, and the vaisyas and the sudras, they would all live very simply in grass huts. In fact except for the kings no one else would basically live in big palaces or brick houses. It was unnecessary. Climate was nice, simple living, high thinking. There was no necessity.
Even today actually grass hut is in many ways more comfortable than the brick and stone house. When Srila Prabhupada was living in the grass hut at Sri Mayapur in 1972, at that time our construction had begun, ‘72-‘73. And he pointed to the concrete-steel structure rising on the eastern side and said, “That building is in the mode of passion. That building is in the rajo-guna and this grass hut, this is in the mode of goodness.” This is perfect for practicing spiritual life. This is all that one needs. We can simply live by the side of the Ganges in such a grass hut and chant
Hare Krsna Hare Krsna
Krsna Krsna Hare Hare/
Hare Rama Hare Rama
Rama Rama Hare Hare
… is enough. That is all we need for ourselves. But in order to preach, in order to attract people to the shelter of Sri Krsna Caitanya Mahaprabhu, therefore we must construct these big buildings which are in the mode of passion. Because who will come in this Kali-Yuga to this grass hut? But if we have guest house, temple, if we have facility, people will come. Therefore we are building these structures. Not for our own comfort, not for our own living, but to attract the neophytes, to attract the new devotees to come and reside in the holy Dhama.
So Prabhupada, he liked very much the grass hut. Grass hut has very thick roof, it is cool in the hot summer and it is warm in the winter. It has very nice insulation. ‘Specially with thick mud walls, one feels very comfortable. In fact in the hot weather, the concrete buildings become very hot. You can put your hand on the wall; it will feel heated. But the grass hut with mud wall, mud is always cool. And over the mud one places little cow dung with water made into slurry and it is spread over the floor and the walls. And it appears freshly plastered, very smooth and it is a natural repellant for flies. Flies do not like to land upon it. So in every way it is very sattvic, very good, very aesthetically pleasing and it immediately makes one’s mind peaceful.
So in those days the brahmanas would live in such houses. Everyone would live in such houses except for the kings. In fact even till today, the name of the brick layer in India, brick layer, mason is known as raja-mistri, raja means king and mistri means craftsman, the king’s craftsman, because the brick layer would only work for the king. Only king would be that uh, ambitious to use a brick layer and build a brick house and palace and castle and so on. So he was exclusively the raja-mistri or the king of all mistris, the one who worked for the king. No one else required a brick layer because they live in mud-houses.
For them they used the gharamis, or the bamboo craftsmen. So when the anthropologists or the historians, they’re looking for the traces of the great civilizations, of course they find a few palaces and they wonder that therefore they wonder that there were no human beings beyond 3000 years that had any intelligence. “They are all Nethanderfal.”, or whatever they call them, you know. So this is simply their illusion. That they are not understanding therefore literally millions of years there has been intelligence, far more cultured people than we have today living on this planet. But their standard of living was on a higher platform.
They believed in simple material facility and philosophically, psychically, mystically spiritually they were far advanced and cultured. There are temples in South India which are standing so long that no one can say. There are some temples that are coming from the time of Maharaja Kulaksetra. Maharaja Kulaksetra as well as Lord Ramachandra from Treta Yuga.
Kulaksetra was from the Satya Yuga. The story of Kulaksetra is that one of the Deities, of Padmanaksha, lotus eyed- padma-aksha. He sings a prayer that let my mind be attracted to Your lotus feet just like the lotus are attravtive to the swans. So Maharaja Kulaksetra, his temple we can find about 30 miles from Tiruchirappalli.
One sage was worshipping those Deities and he was immediately promoted to the Satya-loka, that Maitreya or someone, which sage was worshipping I forget now, must not be Maitreya. And he was immediately elevated to the Satya-loka. Lord Brahma sent down his vimana and he was whisked away. And so he requested Kulaksetra to take care of the Deities. So then Kulaksetra Raja who was a great king and devotee, he worshipped those Deities.
The Deities of Sri Ranganath are personal Deities of Ramachandra which were taken by Vibhisena, the younger brother of Ravana, on his way to Sri Lanka and by the tricks of Ganesa, they… and Lord Brahma, They are still today at the Sri Rangam island in the center of the Kaveri river. So these temples, they are standing there for millions of years and they are going under reconstruction and addition, but the main temple rooms, are there solid stone and the Deities are there for millions of years. In those times, simply the temples and the Kings’ palaces, these were the only things which were…and kings’ palaces were not maintained because they were always warring. The ruins of king palaces in Vijayanagar in Karnataka, they are still standing since thousands and thousands of years.
So in this way, it is a bewilderment how historians come up with these formulas saying that there were no civilized people, when the Sanskrit literature like the Bhagavatam give us the atomic theory in Sanskrit and so many things, we can just understand that they are talking through their hat. So we simply accept the Vedic evidence and not the scientists’ and the historians’ concoctions based upon the way they like to see things in terms of Darwin’s theory and so on and so forth.
The brahminical culture during the time of Lord Caitanya in the Kali Yuga had undergone tremendous changes. They had become very rigid. They had become very stifled in their concepts. They were claiming simply by birth right that they were brahmanas. Therefore when the Mohammedan rulers came and started sprinkling water, then they would not accept them back, anyone who was sprinkled. It was such an easy thing to convert someone. If you simply took some water, drank in it… drank from it, or spit in it, if you are Mohammedan and sprinkle it on somebody, he was considered to be contaminated. If he went to the brahmanas and said ‘What is the cure?’ then they said, ‘There is a cure. You take lead and you boil it and drink it. Then you will be absolved of your sin.” So this was a very wonderful cure which very few people were eager to accept very readily. (devotees laughing) although some did, even. So most of the people, the lower class people, they saw that, “These brahmanas are so envious of us, and they are not accepting us back and on top of that the Mohammedan rulers, they are offering us such nice facilities, so alright, let us stay Mohammedan.”
Lord Caitanya Mahaprabhu, He came at such a time when there were a lot of stringent caste considerations amongst the Brahmin… Brahmanas. So before Lord Caitanya cam e of course in the line of Sri Madhvacarya, there was an understanding of Lord Krsna. Of course Krsna… the Udupi temple in South India was established by Madhvacarya. Madhvacarya was a worshipper of Krsna. And he translated the Bhagavatam and gave his commentary or gave his commentary in Sanskrit. The followers of Madhvacarya however up until about 550, 600 years had not entered into the actual understanding or the active propagation of what is Krsna’s uh… relationship with Srimati Radharani. That was first revealed by Madhavendra Puri.
Madhavendra Puri… Sripad Madhavendra Puri, he came as a forerunner to Caitanya Mahaprabhu and introduced, by his own realization and by the scriptural evidence the worship of Radha-Krsna, and he was completely absorbed in worshipping Radha-Krsna. He had many disciples of which the prominent disciple was Isvara Puri.
Isvara Puri was not the prominent disciple in terms of uh, constant association, in terms of uh, high learning. There were other people who considered themselves more advanced in learning, who considered themselves more advanced in learning, who considered themselves more intimate. But Isvara Puri was very eager to get the mercy of Madhavendra Puri. So Madhavendra Puri, in his uh… he would every day go and have his nature call at a particular place. And Isvara Puri would go that particular place after he finished and cleaned it up personally with his own hands.
And, of course Madhavendra Puri’s stool smelled just like roses. They were completely pure because of the purity of Madhavendra Puri. But other people were not eager for such a service. They were happy enough to prepare the prasad or the other things. But they just more or less avoided that particular service. While Isvara Puri he was very eager to take the most menial position with his spiritual master. So he was looking at every chance he could get to do the most insignificant menial service he could do for Madhavendra Puri. And in the end of Madhavendra Puris’ manifested pastimes, he was absorbed in ecstatic symptoms that even where he would lay, he wouldn’t get up for anything. He would, so… those… That was also cleaned up Isvara Puri. In this way he actually got the full blessing of Madhavendra Puri for his complete humility and surrender and service and therefore he was so fortunate as to be the spiritual master of Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu.
So today is a very wonderful day. Because Sri Madhavendra Puri, actually… by his mercy, one can become immediately enthused with pure devotional service. He is the one who has brought first the worship of Radha-Krsna into this world, as a forerunner of Lord Caitanya who introduces it on a broad scale. But Lord Caitanya allowed Madhavendra Puri to manifest that first and give His devotee therefore some special recognition.
Madhavendra Puri was never interested in personal recognition. He was always… in fact, he became very famous as a great devotee and so crowds would come to have his darsana. And he would always have to run away because he did not want to get so much attention. There was no organization as such to protect people on those days from, uh… no private quarters. It was a different time, a different situation, and when that many people came crowding, then uh, it was a disturbance for ones’ devotional service, because most of the people they want some quick blessing so that they can… I remember I was walking down the street in one town and one lady came and right in the middle of the street gave her complete full dandavats. I had to stop, she was like… laid right across the road. Then jumped up and grabbed my feet and she started wailing and saying, “Please, please, my daughter has got a stomach disease. You have to cure her. Please give me the blessing.” You know… and then if you don’t give the blessing or some… you know, the magic… you have to give the talisman or blessing or something, then, you are on the quarterback tackle. So you can understand that there are all kinds of people. As soon as someone in India has advertised as being a sadhu, then all kinds of people come to get blessings. 90% + are for blessings which have nothing to do with spiritual life. So it becomes a great disturbance in many ways for the active preaching.
So Madhavendra Puri, he would avoid the big crowds. He wasn’t interested in recognition and cheap fame. But if someone was sincerely serious about spiritual life then he would impart it to him and engage him in Krsna’s service. And of course we know that he was so intimate that the Deity would personally give orders to Madhavendra Puri and send him to different places and engage in His service.
Ksira-chora Gopinath, the name Ksira-chora came when Gopinath stole some ksira for Madhavendra Puri. These are all very wonderful pastimes. These are also to reinforce to everyone what is the position of the Deity. It says that guru na matih, and the vigraha-silasu, that if we think that the murti is made of stone or that the guru is an ordinary human being then its as we are residents of hell. That the Deity is Krsna and the Deity reciprocates with His devotee.
I remember Srila Prabhupada, one time he entered into the temple and he asked the pujari, after darsana that, and the pujari… “How are the Deities? How are the Deities feeling today?” And the pujari looked little bewildered. “You do not know! Pujari must know how the Deities is feeling.” That the pujari should be so sincere that the Deity should reveal His mind. Since the pujari is revealing his mind to the Deity, the Deity will reveal His mind to the pujari. Just like when Sanatana Goswami was worshipping his Deity, he said. “Why don’t you give me a little salt in the bread?” Because he was just making the wheat balls and throw them in the charcoal as they were. So very kind of austere type of what do you call them? Canon balls. (Devotees lauging) So Deity was saying, “If I could just have a little salt. I know that you are very poor, butter is very difficult to come by, but a little salt!”
Sanatana Goswami said, “If I start giving salt then the next thing it will be butter, then You will want vegetable and then I will have to get a job. (Devotees laugh) There is no end to it. So You should just excuse otherwise it will end up with that I won’t be able to perform the other services, I have to write, I have to serve my Guru’s orders, I have to excavate these holy places so many things. If I have to go out and get salt and everything then it will be very difficult.” So, of course then eventually Lord Krsna sent a salt merchant with a whole shipload of salt. So Sanatana Goswami could at least put a little salt in his bread. And uh, the salt merchant was stuck and by Sanatana Goswami’s blessing he was able to be freed and he built one big temple for Madana-Mohana.
So Deity is of course for a non-believer… for an unfaithful person, he may not be able to understand that Krsna is there, present. But actually He is present. It is not an idol. When the missionaries went to India, their whole intention was to crush the Hindu-dharma. Great scholars like Max Mueller and others, their intention was to translate the Vedic literatures into English in such a way that people would become completely uh, contaminated by a crisis of faith in their own culture. They would translate ‘murti’ as ‘idol’. And when you look in the English dictionary ‘idol’ it would say an imaginary form made up by pagans for worshipping… you know, so on and so forth. So by the words they would use I translating the Vedic texts, they would try to… they were trying to break up the basic faith in Vedic culture. So of course we know there are many instances. We know how in Orissa one Deity walked all the way from Vrindavan to… Sakshi Gopal. The city itself is now named Sakshi Gopala… walked all the way to Orissa, nearly 1,000 miles or maybe even more than 1,000 miles just for His devotee. And there are so many instances.
So we should understand that Krsna, Rukmini-Dvarakadish, Guru-Gauranga, Nitai-Gaura, Jagannath Subhadra Balaram, They are actually present. If we are not able to see that, we are not able to understand their intention, that is our misfortune, we should lament that. Generally material life we lament when a husband or wife, speak harsh words to us, we lament when we are not getting some nice situation for eating, sleeping and so on. In these things we lament. But actually devotional service we also lament that we are not very advanced in our Krsna consciousness, that we are not able to please the Deity, please our spiritual master. But that lamentation, that anxiety is actually blissful because it is a real consideration. It is based on love.
Actually every devotee should become so advanced that by the mercy of the spiritual master the Deity will be kind enough to bless that devotee fully. Even give personal advice. It is nothing unexpected, it can easily happen. The Lord is independent, He can do what he wants. But of course it is nothing that we ca imitate, nothing we can force. We simply have to serve, washing the floor, doing our service and serving the Deity. And when the Deity is pleased, then He can begin to advise ‘Don’t fan Me in that way, a little bit to the left. Today the sweet rice had salt in it, but it was made in great devotion, whatever.” (laughing)
So Srinivas Acarya, he was a great preacher. He didn’t have any initial temple. He was very eager to get the mercy of Lord Caitanya Mahaprabhu. So he left Bengal and he went, walked all the way down. As he approached the devotees in Bengal and they said ‘You have to go down to Orissa. That is where Lord Caitanya is.’ So he went all the way down to Orissa by walking. It takes some time. And as he was going, finally he reached Jagannath Puri. He saw there was a tumultuous crowd everywhere. People were crowding outside the temple and the doors were shut. And he came and he asked, “Where is Lord Caitanya Mahaprabhu? I want to have His darshan.” And after walking so far, people said, “You do not know! Lord Caitanya has left, He is gone. He just entered into the temple. He has never come out. That is why all these people are here. This is His disappearance ceremony. He disappeared from this earth. His lila is finished. That is why everyone is crying and weeping that no longer we can have the darsana of Caitanya Mahaprabhu.”
So Srinivas Acarya, he was completely shocked. He fell unconscious. Then he went and he tried to find ‘Who can advise me? Who can… I want to study Bhagavatam’ ‘Well Gadadhara da… Pandit, he is present, you can learn from him’. He said, “I will be very pleased to instruct you in Bhagavatam. But Our Bhagavatam is no more. We have been reading Bhagavatam and by the constant tears flowing from our eyes as we are reading the pastimes of the Lord, Our Bhagavatam is completely washed out. So We know the things by heart basically but We cannot instruct. So you should go to Navadvipa and there they can re-write the Bhagavatam and bring a Bhagavatam back here and I will teach you.” Because at that time Navadvipa was were all the big Brahmins were, all the big pandits were in Navadvipa. If you wanted to get a Bhagavatam, then you just walked up to Navadvipa and got it written for a few months and walked back. Very convenient! (Devotees laugh) You can understand that those who are reading the Bhagavatam were very great souls. So Srinivas Acarya set off back for Navadvipa and engaged some brahmanas and they had wrote the 18,000 slokas of the Bhagavatam on taal-patta: palm leaves.
Then with those palm leaves, again he departed back for Puri. When he reached Jagannath Puri again he saw there was a big festival, but everybody was crying. Then he said “What is this?” ‘You don’t know! Gadadhara Das has just disappeared!’ Had come… Again, he was completely crushed. He had come all the way and just before he reached, Gadadhara Das had wound up his pastimes. So then he tried to find out ‘Who is there that can instruct me?’ They said, “Now everyone is gone. If you got to Vrindavan there Rupa and Sanatana…”, that time one brother was left I forget, “they are still there. If you go there then they can instruct you.”, Rupa Goswami.
So then Srinivas Acarya walked to Vrindavan, walking with his Bhagavatam. There he saw outside the temple, another huge crowd doing kirtan, people crying. Rupa and Sanatana, they disappeared. This time he was just completely like a madman, wailing, crying, ‘How will I learn the Bhagavatam? Everyone is gone, everyone is gone!” He completely just fell unconscious. He woke up and he was in the house of Jiva Goswami. Jiva Goswami instructed him in the Srimad Bhagavatam. So during that time Krsnadasa Kaviraja also he was writing and completed the Caitanya Caritamrita. So Srinivas Acarya, Narottama Das Thakura and some other devotees like Ramacandra… When we say Ramacandra sanga… Ramacandra Kaviraja. There are eight Kavirajas, twelve Gopalas.
So four, five devotees, they were heading with the… a big trunk with Bhagavatam on the top, with Caitanya Caritamrita on the bottom. And they are heading back towards Bengal. As they are going, they entered into Bengal and there was one king in Bankura, this, people say. This is… this part of the story is according to the way I have heard it from other Vaisnavas, that this king had some astrologer who was very expert in finding out when the travelers coming, there carried some treasure. So he did his calculation and he said, “There are four–five sadhus coming and they have with them most valuable thing! Most valuable treasure!” So the king sent out his soldier, bandits, dacoits and while they were asleep they stole away the trunk of all the scriptures from the bullock cart. And when Srinivas Acarya woke up, he was crushed.
So Narottam Thakur separately went to Denur where he met later with Jahnava Devi. Jahnava Devi was in charge of the preaching for some time after Nityananda had assigned her and that’s another story, Narottam Thakur’s kirtans were introduced at that time. Srinivas Acarya was determined that I have to find Caitanya Caritamrita. I mean Krsnadasa Kaviraja had spent his complete old age, so much effort. He is bringing, this… Caitanya Caritamrita had never been exposed to the Bengalis in Bengal. This was the first edition coming back and it was stolen. Srinivas Acarya, he knew that how much the devotees in Bengal would be eager to get this literature, and it was stolen. He was just completely in separation.
So he went to the king. Then he saw that uh… his trunk was there. And when the king opened it up, saw some books. “Eh, Books.” Closed the trunk. So he said that, “Don’t you know what these literatures are?” And he said, “Well our pandits are reading but we don’t find much in it.” And he said, “What do they say, your pandits?”
They opened it up and on the top Caitanya Caritamrita had come. Ad so they started to read and give their smarta commentary. And Srinivas Acarya, he started saying that actually these people are not very learned. And they got very upright the brahmanas ‘How you can say?’ Said, “What they are saying you know sounds nice, but it is not authorized.” So then they said, “What do you have to say? You are talking so big.”
So then he sat down and stated giving his lectures on Caitanya Caritamrita and the Bhagavatam. And everyone was completely amazed ‘Who is this person!’ And he goes on preaching; Jiva Goswamis, by his mercy, expounding all the Vaishnava philosophy. The kind surrenders to Srinivas Acarya and said, “You are my guru!” So he set up his Sripat, his Sripat at Visnupur in Bankura district and became the kings’ guru and established the whole district in pure Vaisnavism. From East Bengal, Narottam Thakur sent some disciples to Manipur and they established Gaudiya Vaisnavism in Manipur. In this way the preaching was going on.
So Srinivas Acarya is one of the great acaryas in our line. It is his appearance day today. He actually brought the Caitanya Caritamrita from Vrindavan to Bengal to the devotees and uh, we can see that in his lifetime there were so many obstacles for him to get... find a spiritual master. He was so eager but every attempt he made was by will of providence was thwarted.
But he never gave up his determination. He was firmly fixed that “I must learn the Bhagavatam from simply a pure devotee. Someone empowered by Caitanya Mahaprabhu.” He could have hired some professional brahmana. He could have sat down and read it, himself. No. He didn’t want that. He knew, “I must hear it from the lips of a pure devotee.”
Practically he was walking to the end of the world, through the jungle, there’s no proper road, he’s carrying these on leaves… it is a huge affair. It is not like carrying you know, you can imagine, we just carrying our Bhagavatam, that already weighs so much. Book distributors develop calluses on their shoulders. He is carrying what is simply written by hand on thick palm leaves.
One must get the shelter of a spiritual master and be engaged in service and receive instruction from the spiritual master. Srila Prabhupada was so kind that he came to the western world. The devotees are so kind they go door to door to inform the people what is the order of Caitanya Mahaprabhu. Therefore it is easy for them, easier for them to find a spiritual master. But who is bonafide spiritual master? That is what is hard. So the actual qualification, that one must be empowered by Caitanya Mahaprabhu.
Actually Srinivas Acaraya, there are so many times he was so close, yet a miss is as good as a mile. Just missed. We see ultimately Krsna had in store for him his spiritual master. Greatest scholar of our… of our time, of our sampradaya, Jiva Goswami. One must no give up his determination to get the shelter of a bonafide spiritual master. Bhaktisiddhanta was refused by Gaurakisora. ‘I will not give you initiation. Who am I? I am just a poor, illiterate…” uh, you see… “…devotee. I don’t have so much learning as you. I can’t give you initiation. You are very intelligent, educated, what can I teach you!’ The spiritual master tests the disciple. Krsna tests is he actually sincere. If without testing if one is insincere that is not a good thing. One should be tested.
One should be willing to undergo any test Krsna gives either before initiation or after initiation. That is the refinement of devotional service. Srila Prabhupada here in Los Angeles, Srila Tirthapada was gave a little story in London of how he had cleaned Prabhupada’s quarters. And he was thinking that ‘I’ve cleaned these quarters first class.’ Actually maybe someone… he gave two different stories. One was the cleaning the quarters, ‘Well, I did a aver y good job’ Actually this was told by uh, Jamuna through Tirthapada. And Prabhupada walked in the room and there in one corner of the room there was some… something. He said, “I want a stapler.” He had never used a stapler before. But she was feeling very proud that ‘Now I have done wonderful service for Prabhupada. I cleaned the room up very perfectly. He will be very pleased. I will get some praise.’ He said, “Where is my stapler?” ‘Stapler?’ They had to tear the whole place apart trying to find a stapler. They can’t find it. Finally they find the stapler; Prabhupada takes out the stapler and then he puts his finger on the stapler and says, “What is this dust?” (Devotees laugh) “You nonsense! You rascal! You don’t know how to clean anything properly!” Completely destroyed her. (Devotees laugh) She walked out, “Really, I got the mercy.”
Tirthapada told this story how he was in a similar situation, he thought everything was very nice, he was doing nice and Srila Prabhupada came and asked Tirthapada to open the window. Tirthapada opened the window, but the mechanism which keeps the window open was non-functional. So when he opened the window then boom, so then he was standing holding the window for a while trying to think what to do and Srila Prabhupada said, “Every time I come here this window never works! You nonsense! You can’t even maintain the window, you are going to maintain the whole asrama!” and on and on and on. He said, “Put my cane under the window and keep it open!” So spiritual master, his duty is to train the disciple in devotional attitude. What is that service attitude?
Actually to get chastised by the spiritual master is a higher blessing than to get praise. Praise actually is not good. If one is being praised by the spiritual master, the disciple doesn’t like that. He knows something is wrong. If one is being chastised that is very good, very healthy. That is the actual mercy. Because our tendency immediately we think ‘How wonderful I am doing! I am doing such wonderful serve for Krsna’ and that means that our service attitude has gone down to practically nil.
Service attitude means no matter how much you do, you are thinking, “I did not do well enough. If I just had a little more time! I must have missed something.” Always you are completely in anxiety thinking how to improve, how to do better, the desire to service. So the limit of perfection is unlimited, it is infinite. Limitation is the time or something else, but the eagerness of making it even better. That is the basic higher intensity of service attitude. So the spiritual master has to sometimes crush the advanced disciples with uh, criticism to develop their service attitude. That is particularly the position of the guru or the spiritual master. Not others. That is the spiritual master’s position. Of course in India, Srila Prabhupada, he would always… at least in Mayapur, I don’t know in other parts. But I n Mayapur, we would have between 12 and 48 hours. He would come and say “Oh, very nice. This is nice.” We are holding up... We know we had 12 hours; first of all he would encourage us. And then at any given point suddenly the axe would fall! “What is that garbage? What is this garbage? Everywhere garbage! Everywhere I am asking and they are saying ‘Jayapataka’, they are saying ‘Bhavananda’. Why no one else can take any responsibility here! Why this is not right, why that?” He is walking he said, “So the floors are clean? Why these ceilings are dirty!” Look on the celling and there is a spider web. Just they cleaned the ceiling, the spider just is laying the new web. (Devotees laugh) “You can only look down! You cannot look up? This is not Krsna’s mandira! You cannot clean? I am giving my blood all over the world. I am simply going and the book money is coming and you simply want to uh, see the whole thing crumble? How will things go on? Not even cleaning the ceiling.” What thing will hit the eye that is inspired by Krsna. But that was the special mercy that of course now we miss.
Now Governing Body Commission, you can always be anxious that they may chastise us. Although we don’t want to do something to be chastised. That is the principle of spiritual master. He has to chastise. He has to instruct. Prabhupada after a day of instruction, he would call us in and then build up our shattered consciousness he’d say, “You are so tolerant. I am so…”, what is the exact word he used I can’t do it justice.
He said, “I am always criticizing. How do you tolerate? I am always criticizing. But that is my position. Thankless task, spiritual master must find out what is the defect in the disciple. If there is no defect then he will already be pure devotee. He will already be at the perfectional stage. So spiritual master means, where is the defect? Where is he not surrendering? Where is he not dedicating his life to Krsna? At what point is he failing to be completely surrendered? He has to pull out the weeds.” So when you pull out the weeds, naturally the roots are grown into the soil there, it may hurt, agitate the soil. But someone has to pull out the weeds. We have be expert in pulling out our own weeds. But the spiritual master he is also expert in showing how to pull out weeds. What are the weeds that have to be pulled out?
So today of course, we are remembering the weed that was pulled out by… of this whole universe by Narasimhadeva. And when Prahlada prayed to Him he said, “The only thing I am worried about is that I have a weed in my heart.” The seed of desire is so strong that should be pulled out. That is what the devotee should be fixed upon. Not “What am I doing for Krsna?”. “What am I not yet able to surrender? What fame, adoration, distinction am I still harboring? What sense gratificatory desire am I still attached to?”, and so on.
The devotee should be looking where is the seed of material desire so I can pull it out. When it comes, oh, this is nonsense, get out,
Hare Krsna Hare Krsna
Krsna Krsna Hare Hare/
Hare Rama Hare Rama
Rama Rama Hare Hare
And if one gets the mercy of his spiritual master, gets the mercy of senior Vaishnavas, he should take it as mercy. Madhavendra Puri was sent by Gopal deity, “I am feeling headache.” He has no money, Madhavendra Puri. He says “You go down to South India, to Mysore (he is in Vrindavan) Walk down to Karnataka and bring me some sandalwood.” And how much sandal wood He tells him, an immense quantity of sandal wood, ‘My whole body has to be covered.” So that’s a very big task. And Madhavendra Puri immediately sets off, walks… how many months, we don’t know down to South India, somehow collects up, fills up a big load of sandalwood, has to fight off thieves and dacoits.
When he gets up, he goes via Bengal to avoid the mountains, via Orissa. There of course Krsna said that, “Alright, you just cover the sandalwood on the Gopinatha Deity and that will satisfy Me. There is no difference.” So whether the tests that are given by Krsna Himself or by the spiritual master or by Krsna in our trying to get a spiritual master, we see that if someone is sincerely determined that, “I will find the Absolute Truth, I will become established in pure devotional service, nothing can stop.”
It doesn’t mean that you have to first be a pure devotee and then you will start. You have to desire “I want to be a pure devotee. I want to be situated in pure devotional service” And then nothing can stop the progress of that. Just like the river is flowing, in Mayapur the river is flowing to the ocean. They try to dam up the river, especially when they build the Indian dams, and they all break. Nothing can stop these rivers. If it doesn’t break it floods and goes around. But it is going to reach the ocean one way or the other.
We have to have the desire that “I want to reach the ocean, bhakti rasamrita sindhu, the ocean of devotional nectar, no matter what Krsna puts before me.” That, “I know that this is simply to purify me, this is simply to qualify me to be eligible for that mercy.” Wherever there is an obstacle, Krsna also gives the solution. He also gives the strength to overcome. So we remember the previous acaryas, Madhavendra Puri, Srinivasa Acarya, Prahlada, we see that faced difficulties. That why some people say why become a devotee, even with all the great devotees there is always difficulty. That is how Krsna shows who is a devotee. When there is difficultly he doesn’t waiver, he doesn’t stop, he goes on then everyone can see ‘Oh he is a devotee!’ In spite of so many difficulties he continued, he just stuck to his service. He didn’t lose faith in his guru and Krsna. That is what it means. Mahajano yena gata sa pantha. They are all doing the same thing. They are all determined, fixed.
Thank you very much.
Tags : Brahminical culture, Vedic Civilization, Srinivas Acarya, Madhavendra Puri. Narottam Das Thakur, Jiva Goswami, difficulties in spiritual life, Srila Prabhupada, chastisement
Transcribed by Adithya Venugopal
Date of Completion: 24 January 2014