19810318 Srimad-Bhagavatam.3.7.1-2 Dont Seek to Worship Krishna in a Solitary Place
The following is a class given by His Holiness Jayapataka Swami Maharaja on March 18th, 1981.
The class begins with a reading from the Srimad-Bhagavatam, Canto 3, Chapter 7, Texts 1 and 2.
Jayapataka Swami: śrī-śuka uvāca
Devotees: śrī-śuka uvāca
Jayapataka Swami: evaṁ bruvāṇaṁ maitreyaṁ
Devotees: evaṁ bruvāṇaṁ maitreyaṁ
Jayapataka Swami: dvaipāyana-suto budhaḥ
Devotees: dvaipāyana-suto budhaḥ
Jayapataka Swami: prīṇayann iva bhāratyā
Devotees: prīṇayann iva bhāratyā
Jayapataka Swami: viduraḥ pratyabhāṣata
Devotees: viduraḥ pratyabhāṣata
brahman kathaṁ bhagavataś cin-mātrasyāvikāriṇaḥ līlayā cāpi yujyeran nirguṇasya guṇāḥ kriyāḥ
Text 1 translation: Śrī Śukadeva Gosvāmī said: O King, while Maitreya, the great sage, was thus speaking, Vidura, the learned son of Dvaipāyana Vyāsa, expressed a request in a pleasing manner by asking this question.
Translation by Srila Prabhupada with repetition:
Śrī Śukadeva Gosvāmī said:
Devotees: Śrī Śukadeva Gosvāmī said:
Jayapataka Swami: O King,
Devotees: O King,
Jayapataka Swami: while Maitreya,
Devotees: while Maitreya,
Jayapataka Swami: the great sage,
Devotees: the great sage,
Jayapataka Swami: was thus speaking,
Devotees: was thus speaking,
Jayapataka Swami: Vidura,
Jayapataka Swami: the learned son of Dvaipāyana Vyāsa,
Devotees: the learned son of Dvaipāyana Vyāsa,
Jayapataka Swami: expressed a request
Devotees: expressed a request
Jayapataka Swami: in a pleasing manner
Devotees: in a pleasing manner
Jayapataka Swami: by asking this question.
Devotees: by asking this question.
Jayapataka Swami: vidura uvāca brahman kathaṁ bhagavataś cin-mātrasyāvikāriṇaḥ līlayā cāpi yujyeran nirguṇasya guṇāḥ kriyāḥ
Translation by His Divine Grace Srila AC Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada:
Śrī Vidura said: O great brāhmaṇa, since the Supreme Personality of Godhead is the complete spiritual whole and is unchangeable, how is He connected with the material modes of nature and their activities? If this is His pastime, how do the activities of the unchangeable take place and exhibit qualities without the modes of nature?
Translation with repitition
Śrī Vidura said…
“As described in the previous chapter, the differences between the Supersoul, the Supreme Lord, and the living entities is that the activities of the Lord in creating the cosmic manifestation are performed by the Lord through the agency of His multifarious energies, but this manifestation is bewildering to the living entities. The Lord is therefore the master of the energies, whereas the living entities are subjugated by them. By asking various questions about transcendental activities, Vidura is clearing the misconception that when the Lord either descends on the earth in His incarnation or appears Himself with all His potencies, He too is subjected to the influence of māyā, just like an ordinary living entity. This is generally the calculation of less intelligent philosophers who consider the position of the Lord and that of the living entities to be on the same level. Vidura is hearing the great sage Maitreya refute these arguments. The Lord is described in this verse as cin-mātra, or completely spiritual. The Personality of Godhead has unlimited potencies to create and manifest many wonderful things, both temporary and permanent. Because this material world is the creation of His external energy, it thus appears to be temporary; it is manifested at certain intervals, maintained for some time, and again dissolved and conserved in His own energy. As described in Bhagavad-gītā, bhūtvā bhūtvā pralīyate (8.19). But the creation of His internal potency, the spiritual world, is not a temporary manifestation like the material world, but is eternal and full of transcendental knowledge, opulence, energy, strength, beauties and glories. Such manifestations of the Lord’s potencies are eternal and are therefore called nirguṇa, or free from all tinges of the modes of material nature, even up to the mode of material goodness. The spiritual world is transcendental even to material goodness and thus is unchangeable. Since the Supreme Lord of such eternal and unchangeable qualities is never subjugated by anything like material influence, how can His activities and form be conceived to be under the influence of illusory māyā, as is the case with the living entities?
A juggler or magician displays many wonders with his acts and arts. He can become a cow by his magical tactics, and yet he is not that cow; but at the same time, the cow displayed by the magician is not different from him. Similarly, the material potency is not very different… is not different from the Lord because it is an emanation from Him, but at the same time, that potential manifestation is not the Supreme Lord. The Lord’s transcendental knowledge and potency always remain the same; they do not change, even when displayed in the material world. As stated in Bhagavad-gītā, the Lord descends on the earth by His own internal potency, and therefore there is no question of His becoming materially contaminated, changed or otherwise affected by the modes of material nature. The Lord is saguṇa by His own internal potency, but at the same time He is nirguṇa, since He is not in touch with the material energy. The restrictions of the prison house are applicable to prisoners who are condemned by the king’s law, but the king is never affected by such implications, although he may visit the prison house out of his good will. In the Viṣṇu Purāṇa the six opulences of the Lord are stated to be nondifferent from Him. The opulences of transcendental knowledge, strength, opulence, potency, beauty and renunciation are all identical with the Supreme Personality of Godhead. When He personally displays such opulences in the material world, they have no connection with the modes of material nature. The very word cin-mātratva is the guarantee that the Lord’s activities are always transcendental, even when displayed in the material world. His activities are as good as the Supreme Personality Himself; otherwise, liberated devotees like Śukadeva Gosvāmī would not have been attracted by them. Vidura inquired how the Lord’s activities can be in the modes of material nature, as is sometimes miscalculated by persons with a poor fund of knowledge. The inebriety of the material qualities is due to the difference between the material body and the spirit soul. The conditioned soul’s activities are displayed through the medium of the modes of material nature and are therefore perverted in appearance. However, the Lord’s body and the Lord Himself are one and the same, and when the Lord’s activities are displayed, they are certainly nondifferent from the Lord in all respects. The conclusion is that persons who consider the Lord’s activities material are certainly mistaken.
Thus end the purport… the bhaktivedanta purport of Text 2, Chapter 7, Canto 3 of the Srimad-Bhagavatam.
So, Sri Vidura has asked such a poignient question. So exact. The question is given in such exact terminology that no one can help but admire how clear and how, uh… how clear is the question and how pure is the understanding of Vidura.
Since the Supreme Personality of Godhead is the complete spiritual whole and is unchangeable… First of all Vidura defines Krsna, defines the Supreme Personality of Godhead, but he has no doubt that Krsna is the Supreme Personality of Godhead; He is the complete whole. There is nothing outside of Krsna, complete whole means there is nothing outside of Krsna, that means there is nothing independent of Krsna and is unchangeable.
Krsna, He is not a product of material energy, products of material energy are always changing their shape. This temple room was at one time colored, now it is white, you see, but everyday due to the pigeons influence it is changing its shade and therefore it has always to be cleaned and maintained and not only this temple but we see even the ancient temples thousands of years old due to the wind due to the rain due to the elements due to time passing, they change their shape because they are material energy, but Krsna He doesn't change His shape. He does not decay or grow old in the material sense He doesn't go through any of these changes. He is permanent, He is eternal, navayovanam ca. He is always youthful (inaudible) acyuta He is indestructible, infallible.
So Vidura understood that, so he is just to make very clear he asked “Hey.” he knows that Krsna is the Supreme whole nothing is independent of Him and He has got transcendental form which is unchangeable which is fully spiritual, but his question,“So considering that Krsna is completely different from the material nature that He is completely transcendental at the same time we know that this is Vrndavana, He comes here, He comes in and performs His pastimes within the purview of the vision of the people of this world sometimes, so how is He connected with the material nature, when He comes here? How is He connected, and how are His activities connected with the activities of the material nature if at all?” This is Vidura's doubt or his question just to clarify the point, actually for our benefit he is asking.
So then if this is his pastime, in other words he already knows the answer, that if you are going to reply that this is His pastime, that actually it's not material activity, His activities are spiritual. He has already answered the question. So he knows what the materialist asked. He wants to hear from the real authority what is the best answer. So we can see Vidura, he was in the need actually didn't know that Krsna's activities are transcendental, He is transcendental but just to get the answer from Maitreya, just to hear it from such a great authority, he is asking this question.
“So, If this is his pastime how do the activities of the unchangeable take place? So then if these are all Krsna's pastimes but they appear to always be changeable, changing to always be new and fresh, yet He is unchangeable, so how is this happening? How can He exhibit qualities since He doesn't have any material connection, any connection with the material qualities?”
It's a very high question, bits and pieces of this question are always asked to devotees and this is the basic understanding of… our Krishna conscious movement is based, our understanding with tattvas or truth contain within this sloka, in this question, and Prabhupada so kindly he answered to us, that “Yes, Krsna comes to this material world as described in Bhagavad-gita in His own internal potency. He is not dependent on the material nature. It's not that He had to be born by mother and father. That was His wish that He chose to be accepted as the son of Devaki and Vasudeva, but when He appeared He was in full knowledge, in His full opulences. It was not that He was forced to take, His own sweet will, and when He came right from birth He had full knowledge, full opulence, full all the qualities. Then He said, ‘Alright I will take a child form. You take me over to nandagram, you take me to the house of Yasoda and Nanda Maharaja.’ So, Krsna has form but that form is not material form, He has spiritual form, that there is spiritual quality, this, people who are less intelligent don't understand.” So all these things are cleared up by this question. That Krsna's like a magician, He is appearing to the materialists, to be material. But to the spiritualists, they understand that He is not material. Actually He is completely spiritual. This is the difference.
Actually Krsna has nothing to do with the material energy but since… so when He comes here, He has to enter into act with the pure devotees and with others, so even the others can see Him, but they don't see Him, clearly, as He is.
They see Him like a magician showing… they can see Krsna, but they can’t understand His real position, because they don't have the vision of love. Unless one is a devotee and has the eyes of love, Krsna covers Himself from their vision by the clouds of Maya. Just like the sun covers… it's, uh… it's covered from our vision by the cloud. Actually the sun creates those clouds, because by the sun’s radiation the evaporation causes the uh… of the water vapor from the earth comes up into the atmosphere, creates clouds and those clouds are covering our vision from the sun. So in the same way, Krsna… in a similar way, Krsna, He creates His energies called maha-maya, yoga-maya. And these energies depending on whether we are spiritually or materially situated, they keep us under their shelter, under the shelter of maha-maya, illusory energy means to be in ignorance of Krsna. And to be under the shelter of yoga-maya or the spiritual energy means to be under Krsna's direct loving shelter.
So, Vrndavana, this is a holy dhama, Krsna appears here, He performs His pastimes, so many devotees come with Him, and they enjoy this transcendental activities. Devotional service is very simple, yet it is very deep. Lord Caitanya told Rupa Gosvami,
parapara-sunya gabhira bhakti-rasa-sindhu
tomaya cakhaite tara kahi eka bindu
That, “The ocean of transcendental devotional service is so deep, is so long and so wide that there is no limit to its length, breadth or depth — it's unlimited. So how is it possible for me to describe the length, breadth and depth, the limits of this devotional service?” Lord Caitanya expresses His incapability, it's not possible for me to fully express everything about devotional service because it is unlimited, just like Krsna is unlimited.
“But I am giving you this one drop from that ocean, Rupa Gosvami and by that one drop you will be able to experience, a realisation which will give you a grasp, an understanding of the nature of the whole ocean.”
Just as when the Lord comes, personally performing His activities with His devotees is all transcendental, similarly when we are chanting Hare Krsna, following the instructions of Caitanya Mahaprabhu, through the guru-parampara we should know that those activities, they’re all transcendental. Actually this is a strict…
Srila Prabhupada wrote a nice poem which is very long, I wouldn't be able to finish it today, maybe even more than one or two verses which he entitled Vrndavane Bhajana, performing the bhajana in Vrndavana. The worship of Krsna in Vrndavana. So, I was feeling that if the Vaisnavas wanted I would like to get permission to start discussing that maybe in the future even to translate and write it for their benefit.
Jayapataka Swami: So the first verse is
ami vase achi eka
e bhavana madhye
deya more dekha
Daekha. Srila Prabhupada is saying… actually he is taking, using the first person but he is describing someone else. He is describing a person sitting in Vrndavana all alone. And he is thinking that “Krsna, You should give me Your darsana.”
Actually, Vrndavana-dhama is the holy dhama, and in Vrndavana we can see Krsna. Krsna is visible just like Lord Caitanya Mahaprabhu's followers have described:
adya 'pi akāri līlā gaura-rāya kona kona bhagavane dekhibāre pāya
That even today one can see the pastimes of Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu, those who are very very fortunate. So similarly in Vrndavana one can see Krsna, no doubt, His pastimes are still going on, but they are invisible to the materialist, they are invisible to those who are in material consciousness. They are only visible to those who are very fortunate.
What is that fortune and what is that materialism? The materialism are those attitudes and mentalities which keep us from seeing Krsna. Material means, “That which is not.”, that which is not letting us see Krsna. And spiritualism, transcendentalism means “That which is giving us the association and the vision, and the service, the connection with Krsna, with the Supreme Personality of Godhead.”
So sitting in vrndavana alone, avoiding, alone means what? Avoiding association of other vaisnavas. That means alone. Thinking that, “Now am gonna break away from the path. I’m gonna go and see Krsna, just like the spiritual master is leading the birds, you see just like a bird is leading so many other birds when they are going in migration, like that the spiritual master, he is leading so many other birds. If one bird thinks, “Now am gonna go and fly out by myself, and beat everyone to it.” He’ll get lost. You can't do that. He has to go on following the lead bird, because the lead bird is already in touch with Krs… you see, with the goal.
Similarly the spiritual master is already in touch with Krsna, and he is leading us to Krsna. So we have to follow. So subtly, grossly there are mentalities which put us apart from vaisnavas. Gross bhukti someone who are, we see that someone desires material sense gratification, immediately puts him separate from the vaisnavas. “I have to have very big apartment, I have to have nice facilities.” Immediately he is isolated from other Vaisnavas, so then he has to work hard to maintain his material facilities. Rather than accepting whatever comes easily on its own accord.
So, bhukti that is one materialistic attitude, to desire so many materialistic amenities and nicities, comfortable living. Sometimes grhasthas or the household devotees in our movement, they give up the attitude of preaching spirit, and think that, “First I have to make a very very nice comfortable situation for my grhastha life otherwise I can't be happy, this is my duty.” and we see that is the result they put themselves isolated from the other Vaisnavas. At the same time they keep the spirit, “I’m a devotee, I want to see Krsna, I want to do everything.” but because of their material desires, they actually, because they give it up the preaching spirit of helping with compassion those who are misery, those who are the fallen souls in this material world, by giving them the gift of Krsna consciousness. And they have taken that off of the central obj… as the central objective of their life and instead they have put on their life, “First comfortable living, first. Then I will preach. Then I will do my service.”
What happens they get involved in fruitive activities, they are isolated from devotees, they get misled. Bhukti, mukti, to want to see Krsna, itself is like a desire for liberation. Five type of liberation are there, the Vaisnava, the devotee he never wants merging. Thats a spiritual suicide, only the most, uh… less intelligent of transcendentalists, they want this type of merging. For the spiritualist, personalist, devotee, the vaisnava, this type of desire for material liberation, or for, liberation for material energy is complete death.
But even for them, for the pure devotee to desire, the other four type of liberation is considered a type of disease, like a spiritual disease, as compared to material disease. It’s very subtle. It takes away the most finest essence of pure devotional spirit. That takes away the finer, higher taste of spontaneous devotional service which gives relishment for pure love of Krsna, which is the summum bonum of spiritual realisation.
So someone who is sitting alone, that means now instead of being with the association of devotees, chanting in the sankirtan, or engaging in the joint classes, engaging in the joint activities, cooperating with other Godbrothers and other devotees for preaching. In other words engaging in the sankirtan movement with full heart, soul, and instead thinking, “Now, I’m going to achieve Krsna, now am going to taste Krsna.” So Caitanya Mahaprabhu, His followers, our Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada, they have advised us to always stay in the association of devotees, preaching, tasting the nectar of the sankirtana movement, the sankirtana-rasa, the nectar of the sankirtana congregational chanting, and preaching the glories of the holy name through book distribution as well as through preaching and singing the glories.
So when someone desires instead of serving the Lord, spreading His glories, delivering out of compassion the fallen souls, that, “Now I will achieve Krsna. It's an impediment. Those who have already achieved Krsna, they are sitting in Vrndavan, chanting in perfect perfection, no incongruity, no mistake. But those who haven't achieved Krsna, they shouldn't be sitting in Vrndavana thinking “How I will achieve Krsna? I will go by myself, I will stay by myself, and I will observe myself in different type of bhajan, worship or even chanting or whatever.” That's not the means for achieving Krsna, that is to be performed when one has already achieved Krsna. Then you can sit in Vrndavana and serve Krsna in the pure consciousness, because you have already achieved Krsna, but to achieve Krsna, one should engage in sankirtana. One should engage in the congregational, congregational means with so many devotees not eka, not alone, with so many devotees, chanting, hearing, remembering, serving, all the practices of devotional service can be performed, and that joint cooperative spirit of preaching, this Krsna conscious movement, or the sankirtana movement of Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu, that is real nectar.
So this person, that Srila Prabhupada is portraying, he is not in that mood, he is sitting in Vrndavana, or in other words, he is sitting in some spiritual atmosphere, but instead of being in the spirit of devotional service… the congregational devotional movement of Caitanya Mahaprabhu, He has got off into some different mood, but he is thinking that, “Now I have to see Krsna. Now I have to achieve Krsna and that chanting, that single purpose, that is his activity.” not that, “Now I have to serve Krsna. Now that Krsna see me, now that Krsna notice my devotional service through my sincere effort.”
So the second verse is,
ache mora stri-putra kanya nati saba kintu artha nai bali' biphala vaibhaba
“I’ve got wife, kids, daughters, granddaughters, sons everyone, all type of relatives, but, because, I don't have any money, it's all fruitless, it's all useless.” The… Prabhupada goes on to describe that this person is, he has all type of connections, wife, children and it's not that he has actually lost his attachment for these things, and is actually attached to Krsna.
But because there is so much difficulty due to lack of finance, due to material problems, he has given them up in the negative aspect, now he has come and now he wants to see Krsna, but the whole thing is from a material, bhogaisvarya-prasaktanam, bhoga-tyaga syndrome as we call it, that first he was enjoying, he didn’t like it, now he has given up. Now instead of going for liberation in the ordinary sense, because he is a kanistha-adikari, obviously, he is a devotee, and the first… the third that means the lowest status of devotional service, so instead of desiring gross liberation by merging, he wants to see Krsna, he wants to achieve Krsna's association, but he is obviously not qualified, because he is still completely attached to wife, children, family in the material sense, he is only giving them up because it was difficult, materially difficult. Not because he’s been drawn to Krsna out of his spontaneous devotional service, but because it was his duty, it was difficult, somehow or other he has given up attachment to family and relatives, and now he’s come to Vrndavana to achieve Krsna. Rather he should be trying to achieve the association of Krsna's devotees. Those who are practicing, bhakti-yogis, and along with them engage in the sankirtana practice of chanting
Hare Krnsa Hare Krsna
Krsna Krsna Hare Hare,
Hare Rama Hare Rama
Rama Rama Hare Hare,
and working together with those vaisnavas, with those dedicated devotees for preaching the glories of holy name. So he is not on that platform, instead he has gone simply to desire Krsna directly, which is offensive, because this is uh, rash to jump up so quickly to such a high position, when one can automatically achieve Krsna very easily by associating with the Vaisnavas and serving with them, following in the footsteps of the great souls. So, these are the first two verses of the performing worship in Vrndavana poem by Srila Prabhupada, guess we will have to continue some other time.
H.G. Jagannatha Dasa Brahmacari