19891013 Srimad-Bhagavatam.10.3.13 @ New Talavan, USA
19891013_Srimad_Bhagavatam.10.3.13_New_Talavan The following is a class given by HH Jayapataka Swami Mahārāja on October 13, 1989 in New Talavan, Carriere, Mississippi. The class begins with the reading of the Śrīmad Bhāgavatam Tenth Canto, Chapter 3, Verse number 13:
śrī-vasudeva uvāca vidito 'si bhavān sākṣāt puruṣaḥ prakṛteḥ paraḥ kevalānubhavānanda- svarūpaḥ sarva-buddhi-dṛk
Vasudeva said: My Lord, You are the Supreme Person, beyond material existence, and You are the Supersoul. Your form can be perceived by transcendental knowledge, by which You can be understood as the Supreme Personality of Godhead. I now understand Your position perfectly.
PURPORT: Within Vasudeva's heart, affection for his son and knowledge of the Supreme Lord's transcendental nature both awakened. In the beginning Vasudeva thought, "Such a beautiful child has been born, but now Kaṁsa will come and kill Him." But when he understood that this was not an ordinary child but the Supreme Personality of Godhead, he became fearless. Regarding his son as the Supreme Lord, wonderful in everything, he began offering prayers appropriate for the Supreme Lord. Completely free from fear of Kaṁsa's atrocities, he accepted the child simultaneously as an object of affection and as an object of worship by prayers.
Guru Mahārāja: Oṃ tat sat. Thus ends the thirteenth verse, third chapter, Canto ten, Śrīmad Bhāgavatam commentary by His Divine Grace Śrīla A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Śrīla Prabhupāda in the chapter entitled “The Birth of Lord Kṛṣṇa.”
So now, Vasudeva is praying to Lord Kṛṣṇa who has just been born as his son. When Vasudeva saw the beautiful form of Lord Kṛṣṇa, Kṛṣṇa appeared with four hands and four weapons; śaṇkha, cakra, gadā, padma. Conchshell, wheel, club and lotus. And His chest was marked with a whorl of hair called Śrīvatsa, and on His neck was the brilliant Kaustubha gem. He was dressed in yellow. His body was blackish like a dense monsoon raincloud. His scattered hair fully grown. And His helmet and earrings sparkling uncommonly with the valuable gem Vaidūrya. The child decorated with a brilliant belt, armlets, bangles, other ornaments, appeared very wonderful. Prabhupāda explained that, “How a newborn child is born with full grown hair, wearing jewels, ornaments and clothes?” Therefore certainly the Lord’s appearance was extraordinary. You see, Vasudeva, first he saw a beautiful son, and because he was captive in the prison of his brother-in-law, Kaṃsa, who had previously killed his six earlier children ... one was transferred ... so, now was the eighth. So, surely Kaṃsa would come and try to... and kill this child. That was his first fear, his first concern, but then he realized that his son was actually not an ordinary son but the Supreme Person, and he became fearless knowing that. No one could harm his son because the Supreme Lord had appeared as his son.
Śrīla Prabhupāda’s name is Abhay Caranāravinda, “one who is fearless having taken shelter of the lotus feet of Lord Kṛṣṇa.” So this fearlessness is a symptom of spiritual understanding or knowledge. It’s explained that in animal life, fear is very, very prominent. And in human life without transcendental knowledge is also a very fearful time because no one knows what’s going to happen from one moment to the next. No one knows when they die, where they’re going to go. What is death? What is birth? So naturally that’s a very fearful kind of existence. But when one has a full faith and understanding; faith in Kṛṣṇa, faith in the Supreme Lord, understanding of whom we are; our relationship with the Lord, then it’s very easy to be fearless. So, fearlessness (?) leaves human beings when they have transcendental knowledge. So here, Vasudeva is seeing the form can be perceived by transcendental knowledge. In the Bhagavad-gītā, Kṛṣṇa says that the ripened fruit of devotional service is transcendental knowledge. When we can read the Bhāgavatam, we can read the Bhagavad-gītā every day and learn so many things. This is what’s the most amazing about preaching in India, is that you find so many people that know the Bhagavad-gītā, that know parts of the Vedas. They can walk up to you in the street and say, “Fifth chapter, 37th verse in the Bhagavad-gītā states like this. Can you kindly give your commentary? What do you think?” Or they’ll quote some Sanskrit and say, you know, then say...ask you to give a commentary. I was standing outside a post office in South India, when someone came up and started quoting a verse from the Bhagavad-gītā, and asking a question. But, what’s also amazing is in spite of so much knowledge, that often they don’t apply it at all. You know the same person might while walking away light up a cigarette and walk away. It’s very...it’s like mind-boggling, how people can have knowledge to some degree and then don’t apply it. So, transcendental knowledge is not just like a book knowledge. Some people may know Bible, may know Gītā, may know some religious book, but because they don’t actually apply it in their lives, or they have... engaging in devotional service. It’s not realized knowledge.
Why does Kṛṣṇa say, “the ripened fruit of bhakti yoga is transcendental knowledge”? Real transcendental knowledge is not just theoretical knowledge or academic knowledge. It’s applied, realized spiritual knowledge, knowledge which we believe in, which gives us fearlessness, which gives us spiritual strength. Vasudeva, when he realized that Kṛṣṇa, who has appeared as my son, is the Supreme Personality of Godhead, He is transcendental to this material world, therefore he became fearless, because he could really understand that nothing could harm Kṛṣṇa. And because Kṛṣṇa was there that meant their danger, their fearful situation was soon to be over. It was over already, just by Kṛṣṇa’s presence. We should understand the value or the importance of transcendental knowledge as compared to just knowing “Bhagavad-gītā says this or the Caitanya Caritamṛta says that”.
In Chicago there’s a big professor, who knows about Caitanya Caritamṛta. He’s an American professor who is famous about Caitanya Caritamṛta. He doesn’t believe in it, he doesn’t apply it, he just knows about it. He tells people, “Yes. Caitanya Caritamṛta, the 14th century and this and that. He can tell you, but for him it’s just like Shakespeare or anything else. And then he thinks that he knows the proper translation. Prabhupāda or someone else may not accept, based on some kind of academic understanding. So, transcendental knowledge is something very, very special. Transcendental knowledge is the knowledge that you cannot get just by reading a book, but it’s the knowledge you get by the mercy of a pure devotee like Śrīla Prabhupāda. Śrīla Prabhupāda gives his mercy or through devotional service, and then somebody actually understands what this knowledge means, how to apply it. That makes you fearless, when a person is fearful, “What’s going to happen?”; when a person doesn’t know what to do, what not to do. This is a symptom of a lack of transcendental knowledge. Sometimes, due to attachment, we fall down from our transcendental position, and we lose the perspective of what we should do and what we shouldn’t do. We become totally under the control of the material modes of nature. This is the danger of being in this material world. Māyā’s so strong, even sages and saints have sometimes become bewildered by the material energy. The only way to remain in transcendental knowledge is through devotional service. If we stop doing devotional service, we turn down the momentum of our spiritual practices, our devotional service. Then we can also lose some transcendental wisdom or knowledge, and then become bewildered by material situations. If we keep strong in devotional service, then our transcendental knowledge also remains strong by the mercy of Guru and Kṛṣṇa. We wonder how is it that senior devotees or older devotees they fall away, but the only thing that keeps us from falling away is transcendental knowledge. The knowledge that this is Māyā and this is Kṛṣṇa conscious, this is fully spiritual and this is material, and knowing how to deal with the material and how to deal with the spiritual. So when someone, through one means or another, loses their transcendental knowledge, either due to reducing their devotional service and losing their shelter or due to offences. Then once you lose that transcendental knowledge it’s very easy to act in a most foolish way. Somebody with transcendental knowledge cannot understand at all how a person can act in such a foolish way, as people in material understanding act. That’s why the Bhagavad-gītā also states that the time of awakening for a self-realized soul is the time of sleeping for a person in material consciousness; and the time of awakening for a person in material consciousness is the time of sleeping for a self-realized soul. So, a person in transcendental knowledge, they have a transcendental perspective on things. They’re seeing things from the point of view of what’s pleasing to Kṛṣṇa, what’s eternal, what’s everlasting. When we lose that, then we see what’s going to make my body happy, what’s going to make my mind happy. What’s my...We start thinking in all kinds of material terms and we lose sight of our eternal, spiritual condition, and therefore we become fearful. And this fear puts us into great anxiety, stress. And like this ... from this we sometimes become angry, then we lose our intelligence, we fall down into illusion. Then finish of our spiritual life. So it’s very dangerous to leave the shelter of devotional service. It’s most essential to come up to the platform of transcendental knowledge and remain there. Only Kṛṣṇa can be realized by transcendental knowledge...kevalānu bhavānanda svarūpa... (?) “Your form is sac-cid-ānanda-vigraha and whoever perceives You becomes transcendentally blissful.” So, we can see Kṛṣṇa, we can perceive Kṛṣṇa through devotional service, through serving the Deities, through sankirtan, through different types of devotional service. We can see Kṛṣṇa through chanting Hare Kṛṣṇa Hare Kṛṣṇa Kṛṣṇa Kṛṣṇa Hare Hare, Hare Rāma Hare Rāma Rāma Rāma Hare Hare. For the Kṛṣṇa conscious lifestyle, whether one is a gṛhastha (a householder), whether one’s a student, or a renounced preacher or a sannyāsi. Whatever the order of life might be, the process is to remain constantly in transcendental knowledge. To come up to the platform of transcendental knowledge by practising devotional service, and then remain there by practising of devotional service. Transcendental knowledge is not like some material commodity; you buy ten kilos of gold and keep it in your back pocket, or something. You buy a few ounces of gold and you keep it in your closet. Transcendental knowledge is non-different from Kṛṣṇa. It’s living, it’s dynamic. And to keep it, we have to remain in devotional service. Through bad association, through departure from devotional service, we can lose transcendental knowledge.
Indra was offensive to his spiritual master. He lost his transcendental knowledge, and he got cursed. So in this way he came down and became a pig. Then as a pig, he had a pig family with piggy ... piglets ... you know piglets? Baby piggies? And he was quite happy laying in the sun, in the mud, rolling over from one side to the other, rooting in the mud for little worms and maggots and things to eat. Meanwhile Indra was the king of the upper planetary systems, while he was suffering this curse, there was a lot of disturbance in the higher planetary system because various intrigues were going on. “When the cat’s away, the mice will play.” There was anyone who was really qualified to take the position. Other people were making a mess of things. And so, then Brahmā came and requested Indra to come back. But Indra having already taken birth as a pig, he forgot his previous life. Whenever we take birth, we forget our previous life. We might be the president of the country or a great king or Indian chief or anybody in our previous life. But this life, we start over and we forget who were before, in most cases. And then, we just know what we are now. So in the case of Indra, he only knew he was a pig. He was quite happy, so he couldn’t conceive of leaving his life as a pig. What about his responsibilities to his family, and to society and to so many things? The pig society would never be the same without him! He was the leader of the wallow. (Laughter) But, he had a much higher duty in the universe, so... Then Brahmā, he sprinkled from his kamandalu (his sacred waterpot), on the members of the pig family of Indra. So as soon as they got sprinkled, they left their bodies and went on to a higher birth, but as far as Indra could see they were dead. So he started to cry, “My family is dead...my kids, wife...” Then Brahmā was amazed at the bewildering potency of the material nature. So then he sprinkled Indra. Poof! He became back into his heavenly body, so powerful. He looked down and said, “Oh my God! Oh my goodness! I was just a pig! How horrible!” In this way, if we... due to offence or due to some reason, we lose our transcendental knowledge, there’s no telling what we can be... Especially, Prabhupāda said, he was saving people from really hellish conditions of life, gross materialistic conditions of life. And the danger is, if you lose the transcendental knowledge, you go back to where you came. You go back to the level you’re at, which in the case of persons who didn’t have any culture – spiritual culture – to begin with, that means that the possibility of falling really back into gross sinful, gross materialistic activities is very great. So that’s like the amount of space... the distance we can fall is much more deep. The crevice is very profound! So we should be very, very careful to maintain our transcendental knowledge, otherwise we can start to act like a materialist very easily. You see devotees who are bewildered by the material nature, they say, “Well, I’ve done so much devotional service. I’ve paid my dues. I’ve done... you know... now I have to do so many other things so...” But actually, somehow, they lose their transcendental knowledge. Transcendental knowledge is not something that you just like you keep it, as I mentioned, in your back pocket or something. It’s something that is kept alive like an electric charge, by constantly putting in new current. It’s like an electrical magnet or something, if you take out the electrical charge, the magnet is no longer powerful. You can go on adding more and more charge to the electrical magnetic, it can lift up whole cars, it can lift up tons and tons. As long as we keep the force of our devotional service, that attraction to Kṛṣṇa will remain very strong. But if we lose transcendental knowledge, we can forget. Of course there’s a certain momentum built up. Prabhupāda explains that there’s a momentum in spiritual life, but that momentum is kept alive, and kept increasing by adding more and more devotional service. Once we leave devotional service, or start to act on the material platform, then we become fearful, we become bewildered. And it’s like a vicious cycle. So we have to be very careful. We have to be like Vasudeva and Devakī, who are simultaneously fearless for themselves, who are simultaneously feeling great affection for Kṛṣṇa, and at the same time they’re feeling some kind of fear, in the sense of caution for Kṛṣṇa, due to their affection. So we should, due to our attachment to devotional service. We should be fearful of Māyā.
Hare Kṛṣṇa Hare Kṛṣṇa Kṛṣṇa Kṛṣṇa Hare Hare, Hare Rāma Hare Rāma Rāma Rāma Hare Hare
Q: (Indistinct) GM: When you have transcendental knowledge of the Lord, then naturally you feel affection, you feel attachment to the Lord. Unless you have transcendental knowledge, you cannot know the Lord. And if you don’t know the Lord, you can’t love the Lord. As soon as you know Kṛṣṇa, in fact, then your love for Kṛṣṇa starts to manifest because by nature we have an eternal relationship with God. We have a natural love; it’s not something you have to learn. It’s like... It’s something natural, which is already there. Prabhupāda explains that it’s just like a little child has a capacity to walk. It’s not that you have to like teach a baby calf or a baby child, a human being, to walk. The capacity is already there, they just have to practice. They just have to try a little bit and they can do it. It’s already inborn within them. Maybe humans, you see how they practically have to have little... those little gnarly... you get those little toys that you can run with? You know for the little babies. They are not able to stand on their own, but they can already by holding... I think they call them “strollers” or “walkers” or something? ... and they can practice walking, even before their legs are strong enough to hold them up properly or to keep their balance. And you see the cows are born, in about fifteen, twenty minutes...forty minutes, the baby calf just jumps up and starts running around. So, just as they have an inborn capacity to walk, we have within us the capacity or the inborn nature to love Kṛṣṇa. Simply, due to a little practice, it comes out. So due to practicing devotional service, due to knowing Kṛṣṇa, in fact, then naturally we feel love for Kṛṣṇa. If we don’t have a clear understanding of Kṛṣṇa, then if we have a misunderstanding of Kṛṣṇa and we love a misunderstanding, we’re in love with something that doesn’t exactly exist. Or it’s not complete, it’s partial. So that means it’s not a pure love. So, transcendental knowledge goes hand-in-hand with transcendental love. With transcendental knowledge, transcendental love automatically develops. As soon as Vasudeva could understand Kṛṣṇa, he felt some affection for Kṛṣṇa and transcendental knowledge side by side. That’s what Prabhupāda says in the purport: “Within Vasudeva's heart, affection for his son and knowledge of the Supreme Lord's transcendental nature both awakened.” For those who are directly in Kṛsṇa’s pastimes, they may – without knowledge – and they feel some attraction to Kṛṣṇa. Just like when Lord Caitanya was a little baby, people didn’t know that He was Kṛṣṇa but they were feeling a tremendous affection towards Him. This is something that happens in the direct presence of the Lord. Someone may hear the chanting and think, “Oh, this is beautiful.” Someone was saying how yesterday, they were telling how they were on harinām last week, and Sunday was really ecstatic harinām. And how some people came up, or some lady came up and said, “Oh, you’re so beautiful! You’re so beautiful” So they don’t have knowledge about, you know, about what is the philosophy, but they feel some spontaneous attraction for things connected to Kṛṣṇa. And that is a type of devotional service. That will give them transcendental knowledge in the future. So if one has that sort of spontaneous attraction to Kṛṣṇa, that can produce transcendental knowledge, which means then that their position is fixed. Or on the other hand, by doing devotional service through regulative principles, getting transcendental knowledge, also you develop attraction for Kṛṣṇa. Affection for Kṛṣṇa. So they’re both hand-in-hand. Is that alright? Any other questions?
Q: (Indistinct) GM: This will be revealed in the later verses, that the Lord... Some births before, Devakī and Vasudeva, as husband and wife, they had done very intense worship and prayer to the Lord so that the Lord appeared before them. And they prayed to the Lord that, “We would like to have a son like You.” They were observing celibacy for a long time as husband and wife because they didn’t want just any son. They wanted a real special son, and they wanted a son that was just like God. So then the Lord said, “There’s nobody like Me.” He’s one without a second. So He said, “Because you want a son like me, I’ll become your son.” Three times, three different births. So this is the third birth, that they’ve become the son of Kṛṣṇa...I mean the parents of Kṛṣṇa, in different incarnations of Godhead. So, there’s no birth pastime of Kṛṣṇa in the spiritual world, there’s no birth at all in the spiritual world. But when the Lord comes down into the material world, sometimes He comes similarly to a human being. So that time He can show a birth pastime. But in the spiritual world He has devotees who are functioning as parents, even though there’s no birth. So they’ve already come down. His whole spiritual world parents and friends, a great deal of them had already come down and were waiting across the Yamuna in the village of Nandagram. So, after Kṛṣṇa appeared to Vasudeva He said, “Now please take Me across the river and leave Me in the house on Nanda Mahārāja and Yaśoda. And take the baby from there and bring back here. So although they have the blessing of having Kṛṣṇa as a son, they didn’t have ... the very day of His birth, He left the house and went to another place. And He grew up for sixteen years in the family of His foster parents, Nanda and Yaśoda, who actually come down also from the spiritual world. So He’d already sent the different devotees who were going to help Him in His pastimes. Some before, some were older, they came before. Some a similar age, some a little older, some a little younger. So they came just according to how they would be having pastimes with Kṛṣṇa. That appropriate age. Then after the age of sixteen, Kṛṣṇa visibly left Vṛndāvan, and re-joined back with Devakī and Vasudeva, and acted as their son. His childhood pastimes were done with Nanda and Yaśoda. So they were definitely very, very special devotees. They got this as a special gift of mercy from Kṛṣṇa because of their great austerities and prayers and desire. If someone desires to serve the Lord, He reciprocates and He fulfils their desire. We know how there’s like...now in America people are promoting “positive thinking”. If you really desire something, you can get it. Actually, this is also mentioned in the Bhagavad-gītā, that thinking, feeling, willing...this is a characteristic of the soul. If a person really wants something, if they have the appropriate good karma to get it, then they can get it, you see. If not exactly like that...depends on their karma they got, good karma or bad karma, how much they’ll get. It’s not only desire, but a combination of desire and what you deserve, both. But, in the spiritual life, there’s no question we can do anything to deserve it. If we desire to serve Kṛṣṇa and we’re rendering devotional service, He appreciates our devotional service and He grants us His mercy whenever He wants to, so that we can fulfil our desire to serve Him. So the devotees remain fixed in the desire to become Kṛṣṇa conscious, to serve Kṛṣṇa. And eventually a specific desire of a way to serve Kṛṣṇa; a particular way, as a parent or as a friend or as a servant, as a consort; a particular kind of desire develops, how to serve Kṛṣṇa. Then eventually Kṛṣṇa will fulfil that desire out of His causeless mercy, and we can take up a direct service to the Lord in the spiritual world, which is considered the highest perfection of life. So before we go back to the spiritual world, when Kṛṣṇa comes in the material universe, somewhere in the material creation, devotees who have this desire to serve Kṛṣṇa, they’re allowed to take birth in that particular universe, in Vṛndāvan or that particular place where the Lord’s pastimes are going on. Or just before they’re on, or ... depending on their relationship. Then they can be integrated within the pastimes. And then when Kṛṣṇa goes back to the spiritual world, they all go back with Him. Is that clear? Śrīla Prabhupāda ki jaya!
Transcribed by Caitanya Caraṇa dāsa, Śrīdham Māyāpur