19821228 Srimad-Bhagavatam.8.20.5-6 @ New Orleans, USA
The following is a lecture given by His Holiness Jayapataka Swami on December 28th, 1982 in New Orleans, Louisiana. The class begins with a reading from the Srimad-Bhagavatam, 8th Canto, Chapter 20, Verse 5 and 6.
Translation with repetition:
I do not fear hell
Devotees: I do not fear hell
Jayapataka Swami: poverty
Jayapataka Swami: an ocean of distress
Devotees: an ocean of distress
Jayapataka Swami: fall down from my position
Devotees: fall down from my position
Jayapataka Swami: or even death itself
Devotees: or even death itself
Jayapataka Swami: as much as I fear
Devotees: as much as I fear
Jayapataka Swami: cheating a Brahmana
Devotees: cheating a Brahmana
Jayapataka Swami: Text Six:
yad yad dhasyati loke ’smin
yad yad dhasyati loke ’smin
tasya tyage nimittam kim
Devotees: tasya tyage nimittam kim
Jayapataka Swami: vipras tusyen na tena cet
Devotees: vipras tusyen na tena cet
Translation by His Divine Grace, Srila Prabhupada:
My lord, you can also see that all the material opulences of this world are certainly separated from their possessor at death. Therefore, if the brahmana Vamanadeva is not satisfied by whatever gifts one has given, why not please Him with the riches one is destined to lose at death?
Translation with repetition:
Devotees: My lord,
Jayapataka Swami: you can also see
Devotees: you can also see
Jayapataka Swami: that all the material opulences
Devotees: that all the material opulences
Jayapataka Swami: of this world
Devotees: of this world
Jayapataka Swami: are certainly separated
Devotees: are certainly separated
Jayapataka Swami: from their pr… possessor
Devotees: from their possessor
Jayapataka Swami: at death.
Devotees: at death.
Jayapataka Swami: Therefore,
Jayapataka Swami: if the Brahmana
Devotees: if the Brahmana
Jayapataka Swami: Vamanadeva
Jayapataka Swami: is not satisfied
Devotees: is not satisfied
Jayapataka Swami: by whatever gifts one has given,
Devotees: by whatever gifts one has given,
Jayapataka Swami: why not please Him
Devotees: why not please Him
Jayapataka Swami: with the riches
Devotees: with the riches
Jayapataka Swami: one is destined to lose
Devotees: one is destined to lose
Jayapataka Swami: at death?
Devotees: at death?
Purport by His Divine Grace, Srila Prabhupada:
Jayapataka Swami: The word vipra means brahmana, and at that… at the same time “confidential.” Bali Maharaja had confidentially decided to give the gift to Lord Vamanadeva without discussion, but because such a decision would hurt the hearts of the asuras and his spiritual master, Sukracarya, he spoke equivocally. Bali Maharaja, as a pure devotee, had already decided to give all the land to Lord Visnu.
So Bali Maharaja is telling his guru… so called guru, family guru, that he can’t follow his instruction; that he has to give the charity requested by Vamanadeva. Because Bali Maharaja is a pure devotee, he is determined to surrender unto the Supreme Personality of Godhead.
This is of course the most confidential decision and the most important decision that one can make in life. Once… of course, one makes the decision there should be no turning back. Bali Maharaja once he made the decision, he didn’t turn back, even though Vamanadeva tested him by binding him up… of course in the end Vamanadeva agreed to become the gatekeeper of Bali Maharaja, to have the sudarsana-cakra protect his planet and made the planet more opulent than even the heavenly kingdom and allowed Indra to return back to his heavenly kingdom. Then many of the demons, of course they were all pushed back into the lower planetary system.
Here the determination of Bali Maharaja is being seen. Sometimes it happens, the parents may say, some friends may say, “Don’t do it, don’t surrender, don’t be a devotee.”, but in any case one has to take what is going to actually be beneficial for one’s spiritual life. Once… Actually, in this Jiva Jago, we sing:
enechi ausadi maya,
harinama maha mantra
lao tumi magi.
That Lord Caitanya is singing, I have brought the mercy, I have brought the medicine for the Kali yuga. Just like nowadays there are so many diseases in this Kali yuga and you hear on the radio, when we were driving to see the sankirtana people in the malls they were advertising on the radio, for merchandise for some kind of epilepsy, some kind of atrophy or something, muscular dystrophy, then every ten minutes someone was going on saying, the new disease has come, kids are affected, this one is affected, only your money can help. You have to send the money and we have to find a cure.
Then if somebody finds a cure then all the newspapers and radio would say, Dr. Schwinburg has found a cure for dilated fladulated dystrophies or something and then everyone is very happy because it is a very serious disease and the cure has been found. Of course, materially the problem is that you have solved one disease and then again on the radio it comes on that a new disease came out. So again send your money because now there is heart disease or something.
So there is no end to the diseases, it is just one after another because people are not stopping their sinful activities, they have to get some disease or another because if they find a cure for the existing one, nature will produce a new one, so… Some of the diseases come from the very medicines they take.
Actually even the modern science now says that many of the diseases are coming from the hospitals. Hospitals are places which are concentrated with diseased people. So that means all the germs together in one place. So the germs when they get together they produce new strains of disease that never existed, they don’t exist outside of hospitals and they only come from hospitals and they are so powerful that you can’t… there is no cure for them. Infection from special strains that are produced in hospitals.
Actually one of our Swamis is in the hospital, he had some kidney stone and had tremendous pain. The devotee wherever he is, is immediately able to pick up exactly what the situation is. Just like Prabhupada was once in a train and somebody asked him that how many cars are there in the Punjab Mel? He said 13. He exactly knows everything. While entering he saw how many cars were on the train, how many conductors, just by being on there, all the crucial details. Anything that is visible, pick it up, it is a symptom of a devotee.
This devotee could immediately see that people were dying like anything, it is a hospital. They go to die there, right? So when they die it is kind of demoralizing for the other patients. So what they do is they have a special signal and then all the doors shut and they take the body, * swish * whisk it down the hall and that time they make sure there are no guests around, cause everyone thinks… have you ever seen a dead body in the hospital? You never see one. They got the whole thing worked out that you don’t see it. They are dying all the time. Most people go to hospital and die. You know, a few come out, but a good percentage die there. Many people die in the world and a lot of them die in the hospital, but you never see one when you are in there because they have it all worked out so that you just don’t see it. Like people come there and get healthy and go but you don’t see the death.
So this is the kind of situation actually in the material world there are so many diseases but ultimately of course it ends in death, sooner or later. And even if one gets a cure, another one comes. So, when Lord Caitanya said, enechi ausadi maya, nasibaro lagi “I have brought the medicine for maya.” This medicine is such a medicine that it completely eradicates maya. That means that with this medicine, you don’t have to take any more medicine. This is like the tendency of Ponce de Leon, they put his stamp on a letter I got. He was looking for the Fountain of Youth. You see, he died of old age before he found it, anyway. The uh, problem is that everyone is looking for that eternal youth, they’re looking for that way of remaining permanently in this material body. Well, Lord Caitanya has actually brought the medicine whereby one can achieve eternal life and one can completely eradicate all the miseries of maya in the most sublime way, you see.
Actually He is, they should definitely be having a stamp for Him, of course we don’t particularly want Him to go smashing the stamp with their franchiser machine but at least they should be glorifying Him because He is actually one who has found the real fountain of youth, you see: Eternal youth, nava yauvanam cha. So when Lord Caitanya said, enechi ausadi maya, I brought the medicine, He should be getting all the Nobel prizes, just close up the whole shop and give Him the whole thing, from now until eternity, just put it all into His trust fund, because His eight-sloka siksastam is the greatest literary work every year, forget all the rest and He has done the greatest medical, He found the cure for the birth, death, old age and disease. Of course you can also say any of His representatives have also done the same like Prabhupada.
So Lord Caitanya brought this medicine, this is the once and for all medicine. You take this you are cured. Alright, nothing else is required. So therefore what is that medicine? Harinama maha mantra, so Bhaktivinoda, he recommends you should , lao tumi magi – magi means you beg, beg or borrow. Somebody is magi means somehow or another he is getting it by begging or borrowing but whatever he is getting it, he is requesting it, please, begging, please give. So one should beg the holy name, one should be so eager that somehow or another by begging, “You please give.”
And then when Bhaktivinoda Thakura sings the next verse that “Bhakativinoda prabhur… prabhur… prabhu means master and when you put an r on the end of something in Bengali, it means the possessive, prabhur means the possession of the prabhu. What? Prabhur carana, carana means lotus feet. That I have taken the shelter of Prabhur’s… of the Lord’s lotus feet.
Bhakativinoda prabhura carane podiya, “I have falling down…” actually, “I have fallen and grabbed the lotus feet of the Lord.”, you see. Sei harinama mantra, that maha mantra,
Hare Krishna Hare Krishna
Krishna Krishna Hare Hare/
Hare Rama Hare Rama
Rama Rama Hare Hare
Loilo – lao means you take and loilo is past tense, it means I have taken. Magiya… Loilo magiya “I have begged and received, taken that supreme medicine, that great medicine.” I don’t know whenever I hear that I get the feeling, imagine in America the feeling of somebody who stole a base, someone who just made it a home or something like that, just made a touchdown. I don’t know equivalent because there is always one more after that has to be done. But this is like the final, this is winning the marathon you know, that ends all the other marathons, your home, you have reached it. You’ve begged the Holy Name from the Lord, He has given you shelter, loilo, you have got that transcendental shelter.
So then that finishes the whole material what they call ganjam, the whole material uh, mess, what to speak of repeated birth and death and all the other karma, jnana, it is simply… now you are in the eternal association of Krishna. Something to really be smug about, to be very satisfied about, but not in a personal way but in appreciation that it is the mercy you see, the mercy of the Lord.
It is not that we deserved it particularly you see, because there is no amount of deservedness or qualification one can accumulate that one can say “Now, I have enough to deserve getting that mercy of the Lord.” But by this causeless mercy of the Lord, He can give it. Causeless meaning that ultimately it is His kindness because there is no amount of anything that we could accumulate that we could say that now we have earned it.
You can become a Brahma by hundred births of uh, following varnasrama dharma perfectly to the T, you see, without the slightest mistake, if we have a hundred births, hundred perfect varnasrama dharma, you can become Brahma, you can earn it. Even then you will need a little bit of mercy to be able to clear a hundred births without a slip is no joke. But it is conceivable that, I mean, a person can actually earn. But you can be Brahma for a hundred births, you can’t say that “I deserve now to get love for Godhead. I deserve to get the shelter of the Lord.”
No amount of material activities and even devotional service, their ability to get to do devotional service is simply the mercy of the Lord. So Bali Maharaja, he has been offered actually this opportunity to do service. And everyone is telling him, “Don’t do it.”, because they cannot understand the value of it. They are telling him “Don’t do devotional service, don’t surrender, don’t give up your possessions to this Brahmana.” Why? “Because He is God in disguise.” Just see the fun.
Bali Maharaja, he has already decided… this is the most ridiculous thing I have ever heard. “First of all, if you take Him as a Brahmana, I already gave my word to Him. I am more afraid of cheating a Brahmana than I am of everything else because who knows what is going to happen if I try to cheat a Brahmana. The reaction to that is so great.” You know the story about one king who unknowingly gave away the cow twice, what happened. Can you imagine, you have already given your word to the Brahmana and you tell him “No bug off, get out of here, I am not giving you.”
This is what Sukracharya told him to say, no, “I just was joking, I can’t give you. I… I don’t have any land.” Some scam, you know, some kind of a put off. That “No, I can’t give you.” Some excuse. “I am very uh, miserly, very poor, it is very difficult for me today, come back next week.”, to Vamanadeva. Bali Maharaja wasn’t that kind of person that he is going to lie face to face with the Lord. Especially because it was admitted this is not actually an ordinary brahmana, you can tell by His effulgence, you can tell by His uh… by His uh… by His qualities that this person is only the Supreme Person. That Sukracharya had done his intelligence, he knew that uh, the mother of the demigods had somehow or another got this blessing to have Krishna… Vishnu as her son. He said” Vishnu is always sides with the demigods, so watch out!”, you see. Up to that point they are doing Vishnu worship, you see.
This is like the ordinary brahmanas, they may do worship to Vishnu, but it is for their material upliftment or for liberation, it is never pure devotion. But Bali Maharaja, the grandson of Prahlada, he is a pure devotee so now he is being offered opportunity to do some service. He is not going to give it up. It just exposed the teachers, the guru… so-called guru, that he wasn’t exactly giving him the best spiritual advice. Materially he might be giving some advice but spiritually, it was not the best advice.
So in the same way one has to see, one may have parents, one may have so called friends, they may advise one, “Oh you shouldn’t be a devotee because of this or that.” Even one’s mind may sometimes distract and say, “No don’t continue your devotional service, it is difficult for this or that reason.” But whether or not to listen? Bhaktisiddhanta Thakura, he wrote that poem Prabhupada repeatedly uh, quoted to us, man tumi kise vaishnava? Dushto man. “You materialistic mind, what kind of Vaishnava are you? You are telling me to leave the devotees and do some kind of separate worship. You tried to cheat me. Why you are saying these things? What type of a devotee are you to suggest such a horrible thing as to leave the society of devotees? Mind, are you my friend or my enemy?”
The Bhagavad Gita says, the uncontrolled mind is our worst enemy and the controlled mind is our best friend. We have to see even our mind may become agitated and try to create some excuse, “Oh, this devotee never looks at me with the right look in the eye. Or this week I lost my T-shirt, “Someone stole it or something.” you now. Something, the mind may get agitated. Little or big, whatever. Then we have to see that this is the uncontrolled mind trying to mislead me, “This is my dusto man, not my sat man.”
This dushto means naughty, materialistic, mischievous, trying to cheat us. We have to see that our mind does not take the counsel or does not give counsel which is going to take us out of that shelter of Lord Caitanya’s movement. Such an advice, posing as some kind of a spiritual mentor or master which is advising us to give up the service of… give up the association of Krishna and His devotees, we have to reject. Just like Bali Maharaja did, that, “No, this is not possible, this is the facility to destroy maya, you want me to come again under maya or to not leave maya, no we cannot accept.”
So of course once one makes that decision one should stick to it very carefully. If one achieves any kind of obstacle then one should take that as an opportunity to rise above it. Just like when there is some mountain or some goal that has to be crossed, that forces a person to become more strong, to train up to become more adept without any obstacles, then sometimes a devotee just doesn’t increase. If a devotee is ever-increasing then it doesn’t even recognize when obstacles come… doesn’t even see them as obstacles because already that devotee is building up more and more every day that the obstacles are passed automatically.
It’s when the devotee is stagnating, when the devotee is not consciously trying to increase the devotional service, not consciously trying to surrender more uh, and more, then when on the road on the path of progress when an obstacle comes up, they say, “Oh, this is difficult to cross over.” It is not difficult if we keep pushing ourselves all along to increase our service, then these obstacles are not significant. But if we are neglectful when we come up to them, just like when you come up to an exam and you haven’t been attending classes, you haven’t been studying, then it seems, “Oh this is very difficult. This exam is there, now I have to cram and study and pass it.”, right? But the other students that go to class and read every week, keep up with their homework and when the exam comes they don’t even blink. It’s not a big deal. It’s the ones that spend all the time in the… I don’t know where they spend the time nowadays… but waste of time, they are not prepared for those exams.
So these tests like marathons or just in our daily lives when little things come up and they seem bigger to us because we are not prepared. So we have to prepare ourselves by chanting and by consciously, not just that automatically we just sit there, we just like some robot we are chanting and doing our… no, we should make a conscious effort to apply our intelligence, apply our mind, apply our senses, then we will be able to easily cross over obstacles. If we are just coasting along and trying to go with the flow of all the devotees and we are not really putting our mind, not trying to mentally surrender to Krishna, Krishna says, man mana bhava mad bhakto, you think of Me, become My devotee, one has to first think, man bhava, put your mind to it.
So many devotees have fallen away “Why…” Prabhupada was asked, “Why they have fallen? They seem to be senior people, older people, why?” He said that physically they were doing but they never surrendered in their mind. They were just showing that they are going on but their mind was somewhere else. Their mind they never fully dedicated, that heart, soul, mind, they never put there at Krishna’s lotus feet. Outwardly they were showing but they always kept some kind of separatist attitude in the mind, even though it was not visible to anyone but the spiritual master. It was there.
You know the story about the wedding party and crossing the river. They were rowing the whole night and in the morning they looked why the boat didn’t leave the shore? Because the anchor was there. The anchor you see, is putting our mind… actually concentrating how to become stronger and stronger in Krishna consciousness. How to improve on our service. “Alright, just some obstacle. How to rise above that? How to fix our mind on Krishna?”, not thinking that there is any alternative, you see.
What, Isn’t there a story in the Bible about Ruth, or something, one lady, that was uh, told “You can… you can leave and you can survive this part… this uh, sinful city but if you look back you will turn into a pillar of salt.”, or something? Or “You’ll die. Don’t look back.”, you see. But even after she is going… there are all sinful people there, they are all completely in maya, you see. But then she… she was so attached, she looked back, “What’s happening?” and she turned into salt. Like that.
So when one surrenders to Krishna, one shouldn’t look back, “Well what if I am missing out on this sense gratification or maybe there’s a…” or any thought, if any thought like that comes, slap down your mind, “What is this, you dushto man? What type of devotee are you? You are trying to cheat me again. You are trying to again remind me of things which I have already given up, things which I have already rejected.” But if we train the mind like that, and get the mind habituated to sitting there at the feet of guru and Krishna, what happens is that the mind gets its filth wiped away and then you can actually get a taste for devotional service and then the mind very easily stays with Krishna.
We have to concentrate in the beginning until we get a taste, after that the concentration comes easily. Just like when we have a big feast in front of you, it doesn’t take a lot of effort to concentrate on it. Right? The taste is there. If you are sick, if you have got some bad you know, diarrhea or you have got some stomach or liver problem, even in a big feast you don’t have any appetite, we are not interested. So why we don’t have an appetite for Krishna consciousness is because we are diseased. So we have to concentrate to get out of the diseased condition.
We can go on just me… mechanically, it will just take longer. That is all. The danger is that the mind may distract us. So therefore we are supposed to concentrate, we are supposed to put our mind to it. Man mana bhava mad bhakto, put our mind to being a devotee of Krishna. Man mana bhava mad bhakto, mad yaji… to worship Krishna, serve Him, engage, what is the best worship? Harinam sankirtan. It is the best worship. He said that of all the sacrifices I am japa, I’m chanting the holy names.
Of course even greater than japa, everyone knows is sankirtana. Cooperatively glorifying the Lord’s holy name. mad yaji mam namaskuru and we do it not in some kind of, you know, false pride but, namaskuru, in a humble way. We bow down to Him, we surrender to the Lord, we offer Him our obeisances. We take the shelter that He's offering and with that we engage our mind, we be His devotee and we glorify Him and worship Him. This creates all good fortune for everyone.
[End of recording]
Transcribed by Jayaraseshwari devi dasi 4 October 2014