19830604 Srimad-Bhagavatam.4.8.39 The Real Thing Is To A Devotee Of The Lord @ Toronto, Canada
The following is a lecture given by His Holiness Jayapataka Swami on June 4th, 1983 in Toronto, Canada. The class begins with a reading from the Srimad-Bhagavatam, 4th Canto, Chapter 8, Verse 39.
Jayapataka Swami: “The sage Maitreya continued: The great personality Narada Muni, upon hearing the words of Dhruva Maharaja, became very compassionate toward him, and in order to show him his causeless mercy, he gave him the following expert advice.”
Translation with Repetition:
“The sage Maitreya continued:
Devotees: “The sage Maitreya continued:
Jayapataka Swami: The great personality Narada Muni,
Devotees: The great personality Narada Muni,
Jayapataka Swami: upon hearing the words
Devotees: upon hearing the words
Jayapataka Swami: of Dhruva Maharaja,
Devotees: of Dhruva Maharaja,
Jayapataka Swami: became very compassionate,
Devotees: became very compassionate,
Jayapataka Swami: toward him,
Devotees: toward him,
Jayapataka Swami: and in order to show him
Devotees: and in order to show him
Jayapataka Swami: his causeless mercy,
Devotees: his causeless mercy,
Jayapataka Swami: he gave him the following
Devotees: he gave him the following
Jayapataka Swami: expert advice.”
Devotees: expert advice.”
Purport by Srila Prabhupada:
“Since the great sage Narada is the foremost spiritual master, naturally his only activity is to bestow the greatest benefit upon whomever he meets. Dhruva Maharaja, however, was a child, and so his demand was also that of a playful child. Still, the great sage became compassionate toward him, and for his welfare he spoke the following verses.”
Om tat sat.
Thus ends the Bhaktivedanta Purports of Srimad Bhagavatam Canto 4, Chapter 8, Text Number 39 in the matter of "Dhruva Maharaja Leaves Home".
Today the continuation of Dhruva Maharaja's pastimes is being carried out. Actually in this verse, there are many important points. One is, this how Maitreya Rsi, how he is speaking whatever he has heard from the bonafide authority. Sometimes a devotee is a good speaker and someone may wonder “How is that, that person can speak nicely?” Prabhupada had revealed the secret many times. The secret is to hear properly. If a person heard properly, very carefully, with full attention then he will be able to repeat those words at a later date. But if the hearing process is not proper then one will not be able to hear properly, nor one will be able to repeat properly. So Maitreya Rsi, he is speaking because he has heard. This is the qualification to be a speaker of Krishna Conscious philosophy is to hear very carefully.
So Narada Muni took great mercy upon Dhruva Maharaja. This is not only because he was a small boy but because as a small boy he was determined to reach God even though he had material reasons. His determination to reach the Supreme Lord was so intense and pure that even Narada Muni became very compassionate.
That Narada Muni, he felt very compassionate to Dhruva Maharaja. So then Narada Muni wanted to show his mercy to Dhruva Maharaja. Just like in India, people when they go to a sadhu, nowadays they want him to give them some mercy. They called that Ashirvadam. “Please give me your asirvada, your blessing.” Generally they asked what type of blessing you want, then they already have an idea in their mind, “I want a baby boy, I want my baby girl to get cured from this disease, I want a job, I want to go to Canada, I want something. So they have some idea in their mind already.
So Dhruva Maharaja also had an idea. He wanted that desire to be satisfied. But this is the… thing is what people they’re expecting, you come up to sadhu and say “Give me your blessing, asirvada.” and then he will give the blessing and poof, * clap * there you get what you want, just like, automatic. But we see here that Narada Muni, when he gave his blessings, he gave his advice. How to perform devotional service, how to worship Krishna so that he can get his desire satisfied. Even though Narada muni could probably just have given… He’s so powerful. He can curse the demigods like Kuvera's sons to become a tree, certainly he could also elevate Dhruva maharaja anyway he liked. But Narada muni, instead he instructed the path of devotional service. “You do like this your devotional service and you will be able to achieve the desired result.”
So when people are coming from India and sometimes they are asking for the sadhu's uh, ashirvaad when the sadhu tell them, " You perform bhakti, and this way you chant Hare Krishna, and do this pu… puja." And what do they think, "What is this? I want instant blessing.", you see.
Real thing is that we should serve the Lord and by serving the Lord we get our desires satisfied. That is what’s actually purifying. This is… also Krishna has done the same thing. When He gives the devotees advice, guidance, He shows them how to act. Arjuna, He told how to act in the battlefield. He didn't just give him the blessing. Like that, Lord Caitanya He told His followers how to preach the Sankirtana Movement.
If we don't have any activity, if we just do our two prayers and say, "Hare Krishna. Give me. Here is my shopping list. You take it and give me these things.", then how do we get spiritual purification. Prabhuapada repeatedly said that people want God to be their order supplier. So, now Narada muni took compassion Dhruva Maharaja he is giving his advice. This is actually what one needs from the sadhu. One shouldn’t be lazy and think that "The sadhu is everything for me.” but “The sadhu will give me advice. Whereby I can reach Krishna." This is the natural reciprocation.
Narada Muni's advice was offered freely to Dhruva Maharaja. Not like the professional yogis who come to the west, "You want any mantra, any advice, then you have to pay first. Major credit cards are accepted. Pay first, talk later." Actually there was one magician in New Orleans temple, he became a devotee, and he showed, he dressed up like a sadhu, and then he showed from his hands, he was making ashes come. Piles of ashes. He was creating things out of the air, like so many yogis. Only difference is that he did not claim that he was God. He only claimed he was a magician.
So this is the thing. Narada Muni, when he was standing there and Dhruva came. He was asking the lions, he was asking trees, he was asking everyone and everything, "Are you God? Are you Bhagavan?" Because he had no idea who and what was Bhagavan. He only knew his mother said,"The sages go in the forest and look for Bhagavan. Therefore you go the forest, you find Bhagavan." So he was looking in the forest everywhere "Where’s bhagavan?", you see. “You Bhagavan? You?” He didn’t know anymore, whether the Bhagavan was two feet or five feet, or whether he was blue, green or what. He only knew the God was there somewhere. Exactly who God was or what he was, what he looked like, had no ideas. He was just looking for Bhagavan.
So he was a Ksatriya. Ksatriyas so determined that nothing can stop them, they proceed. So, this is a great opportunity that Dhruva’s getting because Krishna has sent his pure devotee Narada as the Guru. When a soul is sincerely looking for the truth, even though he may not have any clue, but sincerely they want to know, "What is the highest truth? What is the real existence? What is the janmady asya yatah, the cause from which everything is coming? What’s the sarva karana karanam?", then Krishna sends the spiritual adviser, the spiritual master, His devotee there so that that fallen soul can get information about Krishna. It is not a coincidence. It is the mercy of Krishna that one is able to meet a pure devotee and accept instruction from such a pure devotee.
So Dhruva maharaj, he was coming now first time in contact with Narada muni. And he came up and he saw Narada Muni and said," Are you God?" Narada muni said," No I am not God. But I am a representative of God." "Can you give me God?" Like this Dhruva Maharaja, he did not want to waste any time. Now the cheap… thing is that if you go up to a so called guru, so called spiritual leader and you ask, "Are you a guru, are you a spiritual master, are you a teacher?" Then they will say, "No, I am God". Just the opposite. They will say, "Guru Brahma, Guru Vishnu, Gurudeva Maheswara!" which is not the authorized understanding. Guru is of course the embodiment of all the devas, guru is svarupa of Krishna. But guru himself is still simultaneously not Krishna, because his attitude and eternal position is as servant of Krishna.
So, when a s… spiritually advanced person shows compassion on someone, he gives that person advice. So, actually we should simply going uh, to the devotees, tad viddhi pratipatena pariprasnena sevaya, to render them sevaya, service and for prasnena, for hearing the lessons. So, this is very essential to get advice from advanced souls. Otherwise like Dhruva Maharaja, even he was so determined-he was wandering here and there, but he could not find Krishna.
Bhaktyamam abhi janati-except for the devotees nobody can know Krishna. Even they look for Krishna under every tree, everywhere, they won't find Krishna unless they become a devotee of Krishna. Why people are not able to understand who is Krishna is only because they are not the devotees of Krishna. Therefore, they are thinking that “Other demigods, other… this that are important.” Actually they don't realize the real significance of devotional service and of Krishna.
In the time of Lord Caitanya Mahaprabhu, we found that just like Dhurva Maharaja, he was so blessed because his parents, his mother directed him to become a seeker after Krishna. Like that Jiva Goswami's parents were devotees. So when he saw Lord Caitanya he went over and sucked his toe, even he couldn't walk.
When Srinivas Acharya's parents were raising him, they would always put him on the lap and telling him stories about Krishna and laughing and, like this all of those great vaisnavas, usually their parents were also quite devoted, and then they would make various arrangements so that those great devotees in their childhood, they had an opportunity to serve Krishna. Just like Srila Prabhuapda, he was able to do Deity worship even when he was a small child, to play ratha yatra. This way that culture is never forgotten. So we should also give our children that opportunity to become Krishna conscious. That is a special benediction for us as well as for them.
Nowadays, even the parents want to make their children religious or God conscious, but because the schools and colleges are so materialistic that the children, they become envious and they get all kind of bad qualities. I was reading… there was one feature on Sunday , few Sundays back, how in America the children are murdering their parents. And it gave a… dozens and dozens of examples. One police man, he interviewed the son that why he shot his father in cold blood. And he said that “There is no difference between this… “this, “There is nothing except the grace of God, between this boy and my own son.” Father would not give him, you know, an extra five dollars to go to the movie. This that and the other thing, few things happened, he became angry, pulled out a gun and * pow, pow *- dead father. Like that.
Divorced homes, no family life, parents have no time for the kids. They have to work double shifts to get more money. So they leave the kids wander about. So naturally they do not develop much faith for the family. Now, Womens’ Lib, every woman has to work to show that she can develop to her full potential. Meanwhile the children do not get a chance to develop to their full potential. Because in the early life they are not getting any attention from the parents or any love. And then when they are thrown in school then their whole environment is completely uh, undisciplined and uh, demoniac.
See, If you can kill your parent what to speak about killing your teacher? They’re falling like the flies. So they don't even want to get involved, if they try to discipline the teacher.. the the students in the class, it may be their last. Even in India now, when they have their final exams, they have to bring in the army to stand with machine guns over the students so that they don't cheat.
What can they do, they bring in, they write it all here, you know * swipes * here, passing back notes, back and forth. That's why even in India now the education is no value. You can get a degree… you know everybody has a degree, there is no value. Because everybody cheats. Because with the communism then they want all students to do the politics so that the politician won't make any strong effort to ensure that the exams are done properly because students would be upset. So everybody is just cheating.
So whatever it may be , that whole environment is completely… becomes demoniac. Therefore Prabhupada established Gurukula system, dynamic spiritual education. Gurukulam-brahmacarya guru hitam. To teach uh, boys uh, brahmacharya life, to teach uh, spiritual association. Even in devotees' family you see, how the children, before they go to gurukula, the parents have a real struggle to just to get them bow down and do a few things. Once they go to Gurukula, then they see their Pitaji, immediately they hit the deck.
When they go home for vacation after one week, they back to playing around and goofing off again. Because we learn more from our peers nowadays. When they see all the other little boys and girls are all paying obeisances, and chanting then they also come, encouraged to do that. Whatever example they are shown, so especially when everybody is doing the same thing, the teachers are giving a good example, and the teachers are caring about the students, it's a very good environment.
Actually Prabhupada wanted that in the gurukula even the regular Indians, and the devotees, and the p… society would also send their children. Require… what they called it? Environment that actually encourages the Krishna Consciousness. Without that type of a Krishna conscious environment is that much more difficult to be Krishna conscious. So that means that environment has to be created , it doesn't just happen. But it happens by the devotees being very careful.
Even in the temple that environment is so important that every devotee is enthusiastic, that they don't engage in prajalpa, that people are not puffed up. Just like in Lord Caitanya's pastimes, he would not allow for His intimate sankirtan, anyone except for the devotees to come. Right?
One time, Srivas's mother-in-law, his what do you call it, shasur... she decided to sneak a peek of that sankirtan at Srivas's house. So she somehow or another snuck into the house and she hid under a basket and she then was peeking out watching Lord Caitanya and everyone chanting. So Lord Caitanya and the other they came… they came into Srivas's house, closed the door, paid their obeisances and started to chant. Hare Krishna Hare Krishna… different chanting... suddenly Lord Caitanya stopped the kirtan. You probably heard this already. He stopped the kirtan, said," Why I am not feeling ecstasy? Everyday we are chanting, we are feeling ecstasy. Why I am not feeling any ecstasy today? Who is the cause?" All the devotees started looking. (devotees laughs) They started thinking, "Oh no! What did I do?” they think, “What was the mistake I made?" Then Lord Caitanya said, "Maybe there is a invader here, a intruder." So then they all looked around, Srivas looked in his house, everyone looked they did not find any. So then Lord Caitanya said," Alright, chanting." So again they were chanting, (sings)
Hare Krishna Hare Krishna
Krishna Krishna Hare Hare/
Hare Rama Hare Rama
Rama Rama Hare Hare
After 10-15 minutes again Lord Caitanya stopped, "Still I am not feeling any bliss. Who is the cause?" * Pshh * This time the devotees were very very nervous. "We must have committed a great aparadha that Lord Caitanya is not feeling any transcendental ecstasy in our association." Son then Lord Caitanya, "There must be a intruder." So this time Srivas he did a thorough check and there he found under his basket… under a basket in his house was his mother-in-law.
You know in India, mother-in-law is respected just like one’s mother, if not more. And India they are very respectful to their parents. Up to now I don't think there is much uh, incidents of patricide in India. But uh, so even… then you can understand very respectful to such elder family people. But he immediately grabbed her by the hair, dragged her out and threw out of the front door and said, "You don't intrude like this." Came back, told Lord Caitanya,"Alright, please forgive me, chant kirtana."
Lord Caitanya started to chant and He stopped again, later on, and then He asked Srivas that,"Srivas, wasn't that your mother-in-law that was in the house?" He said, "Yes." Everyone was astonishing, "Mother-in-law!" Lord Caitanya said,"Why you disrespected her so much? You dragged… you grabbed her by the hair? Is it the proper way of dealing with the mother-in-law?" Well Srivas said that uh, " I may go to hell or whatever, but I don't care what happens to me. But I don't want to see that Your… that You should… Your divine self should be in any way dissatisfied. Whatever may be that disturbance to Your happiness that is my greatest enemy. No matter who is that person may be. That is an obstacle for me. She was creating a disturbance in Your devotional service. She might be my anyone, I don't care. It has no value for me if it is a disturbance for Your satisfaction." Then Lord Caitanya embraced him and said,"How you are such a devotee!" And said that, "In the future you should ..." like that.
He showed actually of course the pure devotee, they are so much fixed in Krishna, whatever will satisfy, because that is the principal consideration. But there just was a non-devotee intruding even it was a relative, but that changed the whole atmosphere so much so that Lord Caitanya, He couldn’t feel any bliss. If there is one envious disruptive element, that can spoil the whole sankirtana party. That's why even the spiritual master is advised that if there’s a disciple who is polluting other disciples, that disciple should be rejected.
If the spiritual master doesn’t reject that disciple, the disciple will fall down and he can even pull down the spiritual master. What to speak of ruining so many other disciples. One rotten apple can spoil the basket. Rotten means what? Especially the person who is always blaspheming, finding unnecessary fault with the superior Vaishnavas, like that. Even in devotional service, one needs to have a very Krishna conscious association.
Another similar thing happened in Lord Caitanya's sankirtan, may be a couple of years later. One brahmacari was there who was not very uh, devotional but he was a very strict brahmacari in the Vedic sense. He would uh, fast on the full ekadasi, on the full moon days, dark moon days. He would eat sometimes just leaves. He would read all of the Vedas. He was very austere, very strict brahmacari. He had a desire that… to see Lord Caitanya's evening sankirtana. So he asked Srivas if he could just from the side in his house just he could have a darshan.
Well Srivasa thought,"This is a brahmacari. This is not an ordinary person." He’s a de… brahmacari, very strict. Worships, does pujas and agnihotras and everything. But more of the dry mode of karma-kanda or something. So he said, "Alright, but if Lord Caitanya objects, you have to go.”
So kirtan again started normal. Everything was going on. After some time Lord Caitanya stopped the kirtan and said, "I am not feeling any bliss today. Why? What is this phenomena? I am not feeling ecstasies! The love that flow is not coming in this kirtan. Who, what is the cause?" This time already Srivas had learned his lesson once before. So he said,"Oh, Lord Caitanya,” he fell at His feet, “I made an great offence. I brought this brahmacari. I thought he is a brahmacari."
"What is this brahmacari!? Who is this?" And then he brought out the brahmacari and Lord Caitanya said, "You cannot be here. Your dry austerities, your studying of the vedas, of which you are so disproportionately proud, so puffed up about- they are no qualification for a being a devotee. This sankirtana meeting is only for the devotees. Get out." Very harshly He chastised that brahmacari. He offered his obeisances and he went out and he was just thinking. And actually he was sitting outside the door and started to cry.
"Yes, I am such a rascal! I am so fallen that I am doing all this false austerity, I am doing all this, and I think I am very great. But actually what is this? The real thing is to be a devotee of the Lord. Even though I am so fallen I am not at all a devotee, how was I so fortunate even for 10 minutes I could see Lord Caitanya's sankirtan."
[End of Recording]
Transcribed by Koladvipa Prana Das