19810610 Srimad-Bhagavatam.3.26.20 @ Saint Louis, Missouri, USA
The following is a class given by His Holiness Jayapataka Swami on June 10th, 1981 in St. Louis. The class begins with a reading from the Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam, Canto 3, Chapter 6, Text 20.
… effulgent mahat-tattva, which contains all the universes within itself, which is the root of all cosmic manifestations and which is not destroyed at the time of annihilation, swallows the darkness that covered the effulgence at the time of dissolution.
Since the Supreme Personality of Godhead, is ever existing, all-blissful and full of knowledge, His different energies are also ever existing in the dormant stage. Thus when the mahat-tattva was created, it manifested the material ego and swallowed up the darkness which covered the cosmic manifestation at the time of dissolution. This idea can be further explained. A person at night remains inactive, covered by the darkness of night, but when he is awakened in the morning, the covering of night, or the forgetfulness of the sleeping state, disappears. Similarly, when the mahat-tattva appears after the night of dissolution, the effulgence is manifested to exhibit the variegatedness of this material world.
Thus end the Purport… Bhaktivedānta Purport of Text 20, Chapter 26, Canto 3 of the Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam, in the matter of Fundamental Principles of Material Nature.
So here it says how the mahat-tattva either dormant or manifest is always existing. The effulgent mahat tattva is what the Buddhists realize when they dismantle their complete body, mind and ego and then they go into the mahat tattva, but they never realize the self. You don’t go beyond the Viraja to the brahma jyoti. That is why they think that everything’s over. Because they didn’t realize the self and they dismantled everything else, and they think psst, “Finished. Bliss.” Actually for the Vaiṣṇavas, either this type of nirvāṇa that they uh, consider, the materialistic nirvāṇa or even the brahma stage of realizing the brahmajyoti is completely undesirable, you see.
Of course, every living entity is eternal and uh, has got pure spiritual knowledge, bliss, eternally as their nature. But when we’re in the material world, we forget our natural, blissful state because by the false ego we identify with this body. We identify with this body, mind, intelligence and thus we are forced to suffer, enjoy through the senses and through the mind. And the process of yoga, or to transcend this illusory identification and come to our… again to our original state of consciousness. Now, only Kṛṣṇa consciousness and the process of bhakti-yoga takes one up to the full potential of the living entity.
Other processes of uh, self-realization, yoga, Buddhism, they take one different levels, but never up to the complete potential of the living entity. Either up to the mahat tattva, or up to the brahmajyoti or even realizing Paramatma, the Supersoul in some uh… a mystic yoga process. But to actually go to the spiritual planets of Kṛṣṇa and to regain one’s original spiritual form, one’s siddh upalabdhi and one’s siddha-deha, the sac-cid-ānanda form of eternity, knowledge and bliss, this is only possible by the practice of Kṛṣṇa consciousness, bhakti-yoga. And amongst all the different types of bhakti-yoga or different uh… paramparās, actually Lord Caitanya Mahāprabhu has combined all of them.
He has taken the essence from the four different sampradāyas – you know that there is Śiva sampradāya, Lakshmi sampradāya, Kumāra sampradāya and Lord Brahmā sampradāya. Of course we are following in the Lord Brahmā’s, technically speaking. But to differentiate Lord Caitanya followers call this the Brahma-Mādhva Gaudiya sampradāya. Because Lord Caitanya is Kṛṣṇa Himself, when He appeared in the Brahmā sampradāya, who was the first created being of the universe and a pure devotee, the father of Lord Śiva, etc., and the father of the Kumāras, so He however didn’t simply conform strictly but what Lord Caitanya did was not only did He take the essence of the Brahma-sampradāya but He took the essential factors from the other three sampradāyas as well.
He took two from Brahma, two from Śiva’s, Rudra’s, two from Lakṣmi and two from Kumāras. And thus it is predicted in the Padma Purana that the four bona fide sampradāyas, which are mentioned as Sri, Brahma, Rudra and Kumāras, they will all be combined in the Kali-yuga, you see. And this is due to the special mercy of Lord Caitanya that all the Kṛṣṇa conscious bhakti movements, bona fide movements worshipping the Supreme Personality of Godhead have been combined in the movement of Lord Caitanya Mahāprabhu. And as we preach in India we see more and more that the different sampradāyas, they are coming to join Lord Caitanya movement seeing that this actually contains the essence of all, and this is the perfect unity to give shelter to the whole world in the highest principle of pure devotional service, which is emulated or which is glorified by all of the different Vaiṣṇava ācāryas and great spiritual masters. So in this way different paths of self-realization are aiming at different goals. But the devotee is very, very uh, disgusted, afraid of having anything to do with some impersonal realization.
You see, one time Bhaktivinoda Ṭhākura in his meditation, he was walking through Navadvipa dhāma and when he got to Rudradvipa there he saw a beautiful woman who was wearing white cloth, who was crying. And She… Her hair was a bit disheveled and she looked distraught and she started heading toward Bhaktivinoda Ṭhākura and she was saying, "Bhaktivinoda Ṭhākura, Bhaktivinoda Ṭhākura” or whatever, you know, she was saying “Oh, I am so unfortunate, I am so unfortunate. Lord Caitanya has come and delivered all the fallen souls, but what about me? What about me? Everyone has left me. Even the great sages…” and she named some great sages, not Maitreya… “Markandeya and others. They have all left me. And now I am all alone. O Lord Caitanya! Have mercy on me!” Bhaktivinoda Ṭhākura thought who is this, who is this person? Then she said, "I am Sayujya mukti." That is the mukti of merging in the light. “Everyone has left me now. Lord Caitanya has completely cleared me out! Everyone now is going for pure bhakti. Will He not have mercy on me?”
As soon as Bhaktivinoda Ṭhākura heard the words Sahujya mukti he got scared and ran. He didn’t want anything to do with merging! She has to take it up directly with the Lord, we can’t get involved! So the devotees, we don’t want to take any chances, you see. The devotees don’t want anything to do with merging. In fact, Sanātana Gosvāmi was also describing how one devotee who had eternal relationship with Kṛṣṇa as a cowherd boy, on the way going back to Godhead, was crossing through the different levels of existence, going through Satya-loka and so on, going to Śiva-loka and so on. So as he was going towards the Vaikuṇṭha-loka through the brahmajyoti he was just going a bit too slow and so all of a sudden he started to merge, started to lose his identity and he was almost half way! "Kṛṣṇa, Kṛṣṇa, Kṛṣṇa!" And then went up to the Vaikuṇṭha-lokas, so.
Be very careful that we’re very fixed up in the personal conception of life. You can just understand that how when we are passing through, if we see anything we like when we are going through the different heavenly planets, "Oh, look at this siddha-loka, wow! Look at how they are flying around and producing things with mystic power. They have all these mystic powers, this is nice." Pst. Before you know, you will be there! Remember in the Bhāgavatam how it describes Pṛthu Mahāraja, when Pṛthu Mahārāja got on his airplane and followed by his wife, the denizens of the heavenly planets, they saw them go and go and go right by them and go completely up and up, out of sight. They were heading straight back to the spiritual planets. They weren't going and seeing the different material planets. You go past Siddha-loka, then you got Indra loka, there he's got so many of these dancing Urvashis, dancing apsaras, heavenly society girls. Everyone is enjoying, strolling around the parks, wonderful arrangements for sense gratification.
There in the heavenly planets–what the Christians and the Muslims they concentrate on these heavenly delights. So they don’t seem to have a clear conception of a spiritual world. But what their idea is heavenly planets are to enjoy wonderful material life. And that you get in these heavenly planets. You go up there, live off your material pious activities and then just like people pay to go on a vacation and live it up; and when they come back they have to work again. 499 dollars TWA, 3 days 4 nights European tour; they go there, live it up for four days and come back and start working again.
You are working here so many births and finally you accumulate some pious activity, go up to the heavenly planets, live it up for a little while, abrahma bhuvanal loke… abrahma bhuvanal loke, punar avārtinorjuna. That even you go to the Brahma-loka, again you have to come down, you see. This is the thing. So when you are going back to Godhead, naturally person can be passing all these places and sees "Oh, here is a very nice garden and so many nice women, so many handsome men, oh let us just, this looks like a pretty nice place, then you won’t go further!
You have to be fixed, eke ha kuru nandana – fixed on going back to home, fixed on serving Kṛṣṇa, fixed on just serving Kṛṣṇa and that desire to serve the Lord, that will take you to uh… to His association either in another universe in the material world or otherwise directly back where Lord Kṛṣṇa is, or directly back to the spiritual world but it will take you to Kṛṣṇa’s association. But as soon as you see anything in the material world which attracts, "Oh, let me just see this…” You see, all these desires for seeing the material world, they should become completely eradicated. One should take out that desire for sense gratification altogether for enjoying the material world and simply by cultivation, uncover the pure, real service attitude which is our spiritual birthright, which is what will carry us, just like a transcendental airplane, back to the spiritual, eternal service of the Lord.
So to also become one with that spiritual energy which are… All these energies are eternal. We see that these energies are also not destroyed. That desire of just being peaceful, “Oṁ śānti śānti oṁ śāntiḥ. People, “Oh, peace.” You see, the Vaiṣṇavas, "Aagh!”
They don’t want that type of peace! They don’t want that type of calmness. Mother Saci, Yaśoda Māyi, they were not manifesting that type of calmness. Mother Yaśoda was going here and there, "Where is Kṛṣṇa? Where is Kṛṣṇa? Bring His butter. We have to heat up the milk for Him. Oh, where is Kṛṣṇa now?" She was always active. Vaiṣṇavas, they do not want this type of deathlike calmness, this type of uh, impersonal peace. They want that the… they want to serve Kṛṣṇa in ecstatic, loving devotion, you see. That is actually real uh, tran… higher level of peace. Peace, unity in diversity rather than unity in oblivion, you see. Devotees, they don’t want that type of peace, you see.
Those who are fed up with the material world and just want to end it all, that type of like almost suicidal tendency, they are attracted, "Oh, yes." And they are afraid when they see "Oh there is a personal relationship with God, and there’s transcendental activities and everything." In the Bhagavad-gītā Prabhupāda explains, they get afraid. They get afraid to commit themselves to a personal relationship, because they think, just like someone who has had so many lovers and everyone has always let them down, somehow everything has uh, ended up on the bad side, they think, “Well if I also give my love to Kṛṣṇa, then He may also let me down.” you see.
But this is the difference, that Kṛṣṇa is perfect. He is perfect, Siddheśvāra, He is the Master of all perfection, Yogeśvāra, He is the Supreme Lord of all mystic power. In every respect, He is a perfect person, you see. Paraṁa-puruṣa; He doesn’t let anyone down. He is perfect. And you can see from His pastime. He was the perfect husband in Dvārakā, He was the perfect son, He is the perfect friend of Arjuna, Uddhava, the perfect Master of Daruka and others. In every relationship, Kṛṣṇa is perfect, you see.
So in this way, we should not have any fears about our relationship with Kṛṣṇa; we should give up all these types of fears, you see, about these personal relationships in spiritual life. They are far, far beyond even the impersonal realization, they are the highest level. They are filled with sac-cid-ānanda, eternal, blissful knowledge. There is no material inebrieties and one never has to come back. nāpnuvanti mahātmānaḥ saṁsiddhiṁ paramāṁ gatāḥ. This is the… all perfection is achieved from whence one never has to come back. This way, devotees should be determined to reach the lotus feet of Kṛṣṇa and shouldn’t have any fear, anger or illusion about it. We should be fixed in that devotional service.
So practically speaking how we do that, is that we maintain our personal relationship through the spiritual master. He has given us personal instructions. Sometimes people, they want to serve without a spiritual master. Why? Because the spiritual master is a person and he is giving personal likes and dislikes and personal advices and personal instructions how to serve Kṛṣṇa.
[aside] Be careful the garland is touching the floor. Skimpy on the sides of the cloth you’ve got there.
Then, you see, because in this way, we get a whole practice, we have a whole training, where Kṛṣṇa trains us through the spiritual master because the spiritual master can tell us what Kṛṣṇa wants. If we… if we practice with the spiritual master following his instruction, in this way, we will also be able to follow the instructions of Kṛṣṇa. Otherwise in one’s mind anyone can contact… can concoct some idea about serving Kṛṣṇa, "Yes, I’ll do this, I’ll do that." In this way actually there is no real surrender of one’s false ego, there is no real service, one is just doing whatever one likes and then calling that uh, Kṛṣṇa consciousness, you see.
So one needs a spiritual master both to know what Kṛṣṇa wants and what one doesn’t want and also to be trained and to practice serving in a personal relationship. And therefore, the spiritual master is described as uh, sākṣad-haritvena, that he is directly the svarupa of Kṛṣṇa, that he is Kṛṣṇa’s mercy expansion for training the disciples, for training the devotees.
Today we were reading in that song how uh, sri guru vaiṣṇava pada padme majhaiya mana. That we simply want to absorb our mind in the lotus feet of the guru, of the Vaiṣṇavas. Śrī. Śrī. They are auspicious, they are filled with opulence because they contain the special quality of mercy and benediction of Kṛṣṇa, you see.
Narottamadas Ṭhākura, he respected Śrīnivasācarya as the elder god brother. Doya koro Srinivasa Acharya Ṭhākura in the other song, it says like that. Actually, Srinivasa Acharya is the disciple of Hṛdayānanda, who is the disciple of Gauridas Pandit. And Narottamadas Ṭhākura is a disciple of Lokanātha Goswami. No. excuse me. I am very wrong. Śrīnivasācarya is a disciple of Gopāla Bhaṭṭa Gosvāmi and–who was it?-- Śyāmānanda Paṇḍita was the disciple of Hṛdayānanda das. Excuse me. So in that way, Srinivasa Acharya and Narottama in terms of their, both of there are direct associates of Lord Caitanya. Both Gopāla Bhaṭṭa and Lokanātha; they were directly ordered by Lord Caitanya to go to Vṛndavana. They both were directly serving Lord Caitanya.
You can say in that regard, they are on the same level but Narottama dāsa Ṭhākura, he respected Śrīnivāsa as a senior Vaiṣṇava. That was just a particular relationship, as a senior god brother. Why? I don’t know all the details, but that we find in his songs and in the pastimes that he highly respected him as a senior Vaiṣṇava although Śrīnivāsa would treat him like an equal, but Narottama would offer some extra respect, even more than he would offer to others… And actually Narottama became very, very close friends with Rāmacandra, who was a disciple of Srinivas, Rāmacandra saṅga māge. But Rāmacandra was the most advanced preacher. And so he would be travelling and preaching and sometimes he would go on preaching with Narottamadas Ṭhākura.
But because he was, although he was… In this way we have in the type of second generation after Lord Caitanya, we have a very similar situation as Prabhupāda has created in ISKCON because there we have senior Vaiṣṇavas and all of them would go to Narahari who was a direct associate of Lord Caitanya and he would give them instructions and guidance, although he wasn’t their guru in terms of initiation, but he was an associate of Lord Caitanya. He was associate who uh, did personal service, Narahari camara dhulāya to the Lord.
So in that way, they would go to him and Narahari would bless them and he would give them instruction how they could advance in Kṛṣṇa consciousness and they would accept that, you see as a very… even though their spiritual masters were also present in Vrndavana, but they didn’t say, Well, "You are not my guru. You are just an advanced Vaiṣṇava.” It wasn’t that type of mood. If a senior Vaiṣṇava gave an instruction which they could see as a transparent instruction, they accepted that and they respected those advanced Vaiṣṇavas. So in the same way now we have in ISKCON a type of the direct associates of Srila Prabhupāda and we have different Godbrothers, disciples of Srila Prabhupāda and we have different spiritual masters and their different disciples, some of them are more senior and some of them are more neophyte.
We have all these different levels and somehow it doesn’t have to be like a whole rigid type of formal uh, situation where everyone pulls out the exact date of their initiation and holds onto seniority. Which actually is what happened today practically in the other Gauḍiya Maṭha. They became little bit too stuck on various sādhana, principles. I went to one temple when I first was sent to India and they had worked out exactly, you couldn’t take prasad without telling them the exact date you were initiated as a brahmacāri. Of course if you are a sannyāsi you just automatically went upstairs, you were elevated above this. But the brahmacāris and the gṛhasthas, they had it worked out exactly what day and accordingly they had a… one after another, they sat down. In other words, if you were two days before then you were here and so on. That was nice in one sense, but I mean every day you know if you accidentally sat two devotees above the other then you pst you got pulled down and put in the other place. “Don’t get puffed up.”
So what happened is that, it was nice in one sense to respect senior Vaiṣṇavas, I am not saying it is a completely bad system, but they… it became so much so that even if there might be you know, a Godbrother who was ten days younger or something like that, but who was actually very responsible, doing a lot of service, they could not recognize that person at all unless he took sannyāsa. And then among the sannyāsis, they had the same system.
So in that way when it came to respecting Śrīla Prabhupāda the first time he came, then some of his god brothers just because he was a gṛhastha longer and took sanyas later, they did not want to offer their respect even though he had done the greatest service of preaching all over the world. So their whole Godbrotherly love and Vaiṣṇava relationship was uh… was uh, obstructed by this type of artificial understanding. That is why a lot of people from the Gaudiya Maṭha, they have come over to ISKCON or they went… because here was a natural… although they have the same philosophy basically, but somehow the whole mood of preaching, the mood of book distribution, the mood of Vaiṣṇava, of course we can learn a lot more about respecting Vaiṣṇavas.
Prabhupad, of course, that was the one thing he felt we should learn more and more is to respect and to serve Vaiṣṇavas. He was repeatedly saying that in ISKCON you have to, all the devotees should learn to love and respect, love and trust the other Vaiṣṇavas and to respect them and not to offend any Vaiṣṇava, to avoid offence. He was repeatedly advising. Although we become so familiar on the other side that we don’t respect anyone. One extreme or the other. Of course I would say that Prabhupāda had the greatest desire for us to actually reach the perfection. So we always have to be working at the proper combination of respect, at the same time of actual love, not that it just becomes a formality but it is due to sri guru vaiṣṇava pade majhaiya mana. We actually from our heart, we really feel appreciation for all the Vaiṣṇavas.
That is why one of my goals in the next Mayapur festival, of course maybe none of you may be able to see it, but one of my goals is to actually show appreciation to all of the Vaiṣṇavas and we are going to initiate… trying to initiate special awards ceremony and joint darśanas of all the sannyāsis, gurus and GBCs during the festival in the evenings. And then we have a special awards ceremony, one night for all the saṅkīrtana awards of the year.
They have this in New Mayapur at the festival which is very wonderful where… What they would do is not just, not something like the life membership trust awards where they call out and give some useless abstract trophy, but where they glorify first of all for 5-6 minutes the different devotee, or the different temple involved, how they’ve struggled for Kṛṣṇa consciousness or how they have excelled in the particular service that they were doing.
Then they wouldn’t mention the name until they first glorified, create a little suspense and then they would call the name of the person and it was very wonderful because as you are going on hour after hour… first you thought “What is going on here?” but then after a while you started realizing it was so nice because you continue to hear… bhakta program leaders and gurukula teachers and saṅkīrtana devotees and so on and so forth. They are glorifying which ones have done a great sacrifice, which ones have done some special service for Prabhupāda in the movement. And this also helped to focus everybody, what is real Kṛṣṇa consciousness, what is our goal, what are our activities? In this way it really put everything very much in focus, what things we should be aspiring for, what things we should be trying to excel in? by glorifying even for short time, the different devotees who in that particular zone, we witnessed they were excelling.
So in the same way we would like to try to introduce some of these things in the Mayapur festival. And one night would be the sankirtan awards. And other nights, things like different ministries, and committee like BBT, for publishing and things like that and for different ministries like Public Affairs who have done some excellent service for public affairs or for farming and other things like that. Also in the future we would like to give out Sanskrit titles. Prabhupāda suggested this for devotees who have dedicated themselves to a particular service, and who have reached a certain level of uh, steadiness and a certain level of expertise, that uh, they are an example that others could follow and learn from. Not that we give a person a title that he becomes falsely proud or something but it is a responsibility. Just like sannyāsa is a responsibility in one aspect.
So this should be a responsibility say the cooks who have become excellent cooks, then they get a certain title as a cook. And once they reach a certain level of excellence… and in the whole society, maybe half a dozen or something depends how many qualify, of that level of cook. And then naturally people will go to them and it would be part of their responsibilities as brāhmaṇas to train other people how to reach that standard of excellence in cooking and puja and… or Deity worship and other factors. So Prabhupāda, he didn't want that devotees would feel some dissatisfaction in doing different kinds of services, but rather we need expert cooks, expert pujaris, expert gurukula teachers, not that after five years a person says “Well, I gotta become a temple president otherwise I am not going to go back to Godhead.” or something, it is not like that. Every service is very and most important and it requires certain devotees should excel in different services so others can be trained. Not that everybody has to do one service.
Of course, naturally already the focus is on saṅkīrtana and other services but we also want even the sankirtan preachers, we need to see the beautiful Deities when we come back, nicely decorated, to purify our mind and to help us to meditate on Kṛṣṇa so that, we go out there and preach we have the purity to give us more and more force. So we are trying to arrange a program at the Mayapur festival that this may be encouraged at least, we hope. We hope that uh, Nitai-Gaura, Prabhupāda and Bhaktisiddhānta will give us some mercy for being able to do that.
But this basic idea of respecting Vaiṣṇavas, of respecting the spiritual master, of serving Kṛṣṇa, these are the most important things. In fact, serving guru and Vaiṣṇava and taking their association is uh, most important for us in the conditional state, for everyone, anyone in the conditional stage, anyone who wants to advance in pure devotional service. Even we find that the four Kumaras, when they also came and met Pṛthu maharaj and Pṛthu asked them questions, they said that “You have asked such a nice question that we feel benefitted by this. Now we will have a chance to become more purified by being able to answer such nice questions.”
So even for very advanced preachers like the four Kumaras… who can be more advanced than they are? they are sampradāya-ācāryas, the beginner of a sampradāya, even they were glorifying the association just of a qualified vaiṣṇava devotee who could ask even good questions, because it gave them a chance to glorify the Lord and to explain pure bhakti, which uh, purifies even the preachers, you see. We go on with our purification even when one is pure one becomes more and more elevated in devotional service simply by serving.
So in this way the devotees are always anxious for association with other Vaiṣṇavas to give them the opportunity to advance more and more in the service of Kṛṣṇa. So we can understand these things by studying the songs and the writings of our previous ācāryas and even by understanding their pastimes how uh, during… after Lord Caitanya, these different ācāryas, they would have their intimate relationships and how they've cooperated with each other for preaching in the movement of Lord Caitanya Mahāprabhu.
So Prabhupāda is so kind that he has created uh, an identical type of uh, circumstance in the International Society for Krishna consciousness where everyone works together in a very cooperative spirit and where although we follow the social etiquette and uh, formalities as are necessary, at the same time that love, faith and uh, appreciation of other services take predominance. This is a type of a very fluid, wonderful situation and we can of course only perfect that more and more by following in the footsteps of our previous ācāryas. Thus we can relish the association of Kṛṣṇa, Lord Caitanya through the association of the Vaiṣṇavas, through the association of the spiritual master, through our service, through the classes of Bhāgavatam and through worshipping the Deity and performing saṅkīrtan we can continually relish these different associations.
And thus time goes by very quickly. We gradually come into eternal time where the… the passing of days or weeks no longer becomes the same. One is actually already on the transcendental platform and very soon even though we say, “Well we have to wait so long, sixty years we have to live.” sixty years goes by in just a short time for us especially in Kṛṣṇa consciousness because there is never a dull moment, there is never a material moment, it is always on the transcendental time schedule which makes every moment, every second, uh, very enjoyable, very transcendentally uh, empowered to bring us closer and closer to Kṛṣṇa. So the time goes very quickly, before we know it, we will be ready to go back to Kṛṣṇa, we just have to make sure that we don’t allow any gaps. Ahaituki apratihata. Apratihata– there shouldn’t be any gaps, no spaces. We should keep a continuous service going to Śrī… our spiritual master, without any separation, you see.
In that way Srila Prabhupāda showed continuously his service to Bhaktisiddhānta… of course how can we analyse his service? Actually, we can understand if we can even hold up a candle to his service, that if we could follow just to some degree the intensity of the schedule that he would follow, the intensity of the preaching that he would do, we will be assured success.
Actually Srila Prabhupāda is also an ācārya, sampradāya ācārya, he has established a sampradāya within a sampradāya and he wants that we continue with his family tree and that this will be the main branch of Lord Caitanya’s tree that can accommodate and unite and bring all the different branches of the Gaudiya sampradāya together and thus bring all the different branches of all the sampradāyas together. So that requires that now we have to completely absorb ourselves in pure devotional service so intensely, get rid of all the different types of weeds and distractions so perfectly that naturally we will be drawing in all the sincere diversive elements and we will be getting the full mercy of Lord Caitanya for actually delivering the whole world. It is Lord Caitanya’s prediction that the whole world will be delivered. It’s just a question of who will get that mercy.
Now Prabhupāda has already done half the work. We cannot rest on laurels that well Prabhupāda did half the work so we automatically should do the other half. That we have to earn it like Prabhupāda earned it. He endeavored, he took sacrifice, he went through various ordeals or various uh, tests by Kṛṣṇa and he passed. He always chose to serve the order of his spiritual master over any other idea. And if Prabhupāda said, “If… as long as we are more attached to Lord Caitanya’s lotus feet, as long as we are more attached to the orders of the spiritual master, which are the representative of Lord Caitanya’s lotus feet, then maya’s idea will not hold any attraction for us.” you see. This is the secret, we have to step by step simply refine our desires to simply desire to do whatever will please Kṛṣṇa, whatever will please Caitanya Mahāprabhu through the spiritual master. Thus we will uh, be able to get that special mercy by Lord Caitanya’s uh, benediction to actually deliver the whole rest of the world, whatever is still left in Srila Prabhupāda’s mission. And that is… of course for us will be the greatest opportunity to be instruments in the hands of Kṛṣṇa.
We should surrender to become instruments, we cannot do on our own, it is not our personal power, any individual’s power, it is only the mercy of Kṛṣṇa, Caitanya Mahāprabhu coming down. We have to become via media, transparent media, we have to surrender our false ego to the lotus feet of Lord Caitanya and act as His instruments, all of us together in different ways and thus ISKCON will get the special empowerment, which it is already getting no doubt it is already doing that work and it will continue to grow and do the same as long as we work on this particular aspect of following very strictly in the footsteps of our previous ācāryas, by their mercy we will get the mercy of Lord Caitanya which is going to benedict the whole world.
jāya śrī-kṛṣṇa caitanya
śrī advaita gadādhara
śrīvasādi gaura bhakta vṛnda.
Hare Kṛṣṇa Hare Kṛṣṇa
Kṛṣṇa Kṛṣṇa Hare Hare/
Hare Rāma Hare Rāma
Rāma Rāma Hare Hare
Devotee: Srila Ācāryapāda ki
Is there time for questions? Yes?
Question: How should one deal with senior devotees if one has… sees the devotee has some problem or has some suggestion to make to a senior devotee, say a Godbrother, senior Godbrother, how does one go about… (inaudible) attracting Māyā?
Jayapataka Swami: It is a situation that I wouldn’t envy. Actually one should avoid giving advice to senior Vaiṣṇavas as far as possible, but uh, of course sometimes if a situation comes up generally we consider that we are not really in a position to offer someone advice unless we are at an equal or greater level of service. At least, I couldn’t off hand just imagine what type of situation might come up where the person was in uh, an inferior position of service and wanted to offer advice. But uh, without going into all these ramifications if somehow or other one finds one’s self in the position of uh, giving some kind of instruction to a senior Vaiṣṇava, then one would have to offer that in the most humble uh, way and very apologetic that there is some doubt, you see something which is agitating your mind and which is making you feel that possibly it is not uh, correct and so just to alleviate the doubt as a senior Vaiṣṇava you are requesting that he would please explain that whether his activities actually bona fide Kṛṣṇa consciousness because you are looking up to him for example, and it's creating a doubt in your mind, because from what you have been taught it doesn’t seem to be correct.
In this way in some indirect polite way if one could ask like that, then it is very hard for a senior Vaiṣṇava to really feel offended. But if you just come and say, "Well listen, you appear to be in Māyā, you are doing this…” Of course, your life will get smashed. But if you ask in that way of course then, maintaining your relationship, that we are seeing him as a senior Vaiṣṇava but you are not seeing his activities to be exemplary of that, and it’s creating… then naturally he will more than likely to be, to feel… if he is in fact wrongly situated, then he will feel somewhat responsible to show a good example and will see that you are not saying out of some kind of enviousness, but that you are actually concerned for your own spiritual life and his spiritual life as well. It is a type of a sticky situation.
Lord Caitanya would maintain this type of formal uh, relationship with different Vaiṣṇavas. Sometimes… of course He was ultimately the Supreme Lord, so sometimes He would do other things too but generally He would try to maintain that type of activity. In that way sometimes you would find like with Dāmodara Pandit, He would say, “Well, Dāmodara is My senior, I can’t say anything with Him.” and this and that. Of course sometimes indirectly it was like a criticism because although he was a senior Vaiṣṇava, of course Lord Caitanya was the guru of everyone. So that requires a lot of intelligence to be able to present something in a palatable way when the subject matter is unpalatable for someone. No one wants to hear how they are in Māyā. Of course the spiritual master, he directly tells this type of devotee in many different ways how they need to be corrected. But when you are dealing with equals or with even superiors, sometimes a uh, junior devotee is put as responsible for senior devotees, but actually the person is more… more responsible maybe. So it requires a lot of Vaiṣṇava vision to actually be able to see that.
The Gaudiya mission in many ways, they lost that type of perspective. So, what happened was like the disciple of Bhaktivinoda Ṭhākura, Bhakti-Pradīpa Tīrtha, he is different than Bhakti-Vilāsa Tirtha. But he could accept, he could understand that actually my grand disciple, my nephew Bhaktisiddhānta Saraswati Ṭhākura is actually completely empowered, pure devotee. And so he accepted Bhaktisiddhānta either as a sannyāsa-guru or as a śikṣa-guru, I forget exactly, but he respected him like a spiritual master. Even though there may be some formal thing but he was actually a junior. But because he had exhibited so many exalted Vaiṣṇava qualities, he wanted his spiritual association on that level. This may happen in the future.
Of course now, nothing like that is exactly happened where disciples of the present day guru have really shown that much advancement yet, but say in subsequent generations one great ācārya may appear as someone’s disciple. And then Prabhupāda said that the cream will rise to the top. And if they actually become so dynamic in preaching then even if someone may be senior by years or by relationship but if someone shows such a great uh, quality of devotional service, that may come that there will be a test whether they can recognize a person by quality or just by other external aspects.
So Bhakti-Pradīpa Tīrtha, he accepted Bhaktisiddhānta in that way but after Bhaktisiddhānta Prabhupāda left, actually the most qualified person was Bhakti-Pradīpa Tīrtha. But then some of the disciples of Bhaktisiddhānta were saying that he is not technically our god brother, even though he was much more senior and much more learned, they tried to do a little politics. So Bhakti-Pradīpa Tīrtha saw that, “Well, if it’s like that…” He just went off and did his own devotional service and did not want to get involved in politics. So this happens in Vaiṣṇava, the whole material world is kali-yuga and we have to be careful that we avoid this type of mistake. Prabhupāda would explain these things to us so we would not do that thing.
Of course by having a GBC body, this way we get protected because we work under committee and not under individual because there is always a tendency to resent one person, there may be some personality differences, but to work under a committee, this was started by Bhaktivinoda in his nama-haṭṭa. He had a ten-man paṣcāyat and then Bhaktisiddhānta said to do it. At least started it but they did not carry it forward. So Prabhupāda was always commenting that “They never followed Bhaktisiddhānta’s order. He never said to have one ācārya, he always said to have a Governing Body Commission. You manage everything by Governing Body Commission, you see.
One person may even be misled or one person may have difficulty, the unity of the movement has to be preserved by working under the system of Governing Body Commission. So that way in the Governing Body Commission you have different type of devotees, but they are all there because somehow or other they have done some personal service for Srila Prabhupāda, they know Prabhupāda's desires, or they have excelled in some preaching field. So in this way they have a understanding of responsibility for the society. Even there may be other, or equally advanced devotees outside still in principle that they know what Prabhupāda wanted, we follow under this basis system that this is what the previous ācāryas wanted rather than a single Acharya system which is more vulnerable. This helps us to take that humble attitude in a society wide basis.
Devotee: Śrīla Ācāryapāda ki!
Jayaraseshwari dd 24 July 2014
Jagannatha dasa Brahmacari