Friday, June 18, 2010

It's Urgent, Please Respond

It's me, Emanuel. I really don't mean to inconvenience you with my email but am sorry, I made a little trip to UK, and I misplaced my luggage that contains my passport, cell phone, ticket and credit cards. I know this may sound odd, but it all happened very fast. I've been to the US embassy, they're willing to assist me fly without my passport but I'm out of cash, and I have to pay for my ticket. Please, can you lend me some funds right now? I'll be willing to pay you as soon as I get home.

Please reply as soon as you get this message, so that I can forward you my details to send funds to me in England in other to get a ticket home.

I await your response.
Emanuel Kaseder

It's Urgent, Please Respond

It's me, Emanuel. I really don't mean to inconvenience you with my email but am sorry, I made a little trip to UK, and I misplaced my luggage that contains my passport, cell phone, ticket and credit cards. I know this may sound odd, but it all happened very fast. I've been to the US embassy, they're willing to assist me fly without my passport but I'm out of cash, and I have to pay for my ticket. Please, can you lend me some funds right now? I'll be willing to pay you as soon as I get home.

Please reply as soon as you get this message, so that I can forward you my details to send funds to me in England in other to get a ticket home.

I await your response.
Emanuel Kaseder

Tuesday, February 26, 2008

HH Radhanath on HH Bhakti-tirtha Swami

Click here to listen to / download this lecture.

Date: February 25, 2008 (Vyasa-puja of HH Bhakti-tirtha Swami)
Verse: Srimad-Bhagavatam 3.12.57
Speaker: HH Radhanath Swami

rucaye pradat kardamaya tu madhyamam
daksayadat prasutim akutim ca yata apuritam jagat

TRANSLATION: The father, Manu, handed over his first daughter, Akuti, to the sage Ruci, the middle daughter, Devahuti, to the sage Kardama, and the youngest, Prasuti, to Daksa. From them, all the world filled with population.

PURPORT: The history of the creation of the population of the universe is given herewith. Brahma is the original living creature in the universe, from whom were generated the Manu Svayambhuva and his wife Satarupa. From Manu, two sons and three daughters were born, and from them all the population in different planets has sprung up until now. Therefore, Brahma is known as the grandfather of everyone, and the Personality of Godhead, being the father of Brahma, is known as the great-grandfather of all living beings. This is confirmed in Bhagavad-gita (11.39) as follows:

vayur yamo 'gnir varunah sasankah
prajapatis tvam prapitamahas ca
namo namas te 'stu sahasra-krtvah
punas ca bhuyo 'pi namo namas te

"You are the Lord of air, the supreme justice Yama, the fire, and the Lord of rains. You are the moon, and You are the great-grandfather. Therefore I offer my respectful obeisances unto You again and again."

Thus end the Bhaktivedanta purports of the Third Canto, Twelfth Chapter, of the Srimad-Bhagavatam, entitled "Creation of the Kumaras and Others."


HH Radhanath Swami: In Bhagavad-gita, Lord Krsna speaks: aham bija-pradah pita, that he is the seed-giving father of all living beings. Acintya-bhedabheda-tattva is an all pervading force that pertains to every aspect of the material and spiritual workings, the inconceivable nature of simultaneous oneness and difference. There are eight million, four hundred thousand species of life, and unlimited living entities who are within these various species, so much variegatedness, but at the same time, there is always oneness. In this instance, we are all coming from the same source. We are factually all brothers and sisters, whether we are mosquitoes, or whether we are prime ministers.

When Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu gave an order to Haridasa Thakur and Nityananda Prabhu to preach, this was his message. "Go to everyone, do not discriminate what is their caste, what is their race, what is their education or economic condition. Go to everyone and give this simple message: Worship Krsna, chant the Holy Names of Krsna, speak about Krsna. Krsna is your mother, Krsna is your father, Krsna is your real wealth, Krsna is your very life and soul. "

Srila Prabhupada emphasized this. We could have our League of Nations or United Nations or so many other philanthropic, social, and political efforts to try to create unity in human society, but unless we have realization about real common connection that spirit souls are part of Krsna, children of Krsna, there is no possibility of any substantial peace in this world.

In this particular verse, Manu and Satarupa are just born from the body of Brahma. In the verses to come, Svayambhuva Manu, with folded palms, approaches Brahma and surrenders to him. He says, "I am yours. Give me any order and my life is to execute your order." He was sincere.

Brahma was so pleased with him. He said, "Because your respectful to your superiors, because you are not envious of others, and because you are really surrendered to execute the order that is given to you by the Supreme Lord through me, you will be powerful."

Lord Caitanya taught, mahajano yena gatah sa panthah, that the only way to perfection is to follow the footsteps of the mahajanas. Svayambhuva Manu was one of the twelve mahajanas. We should study very carefully this particular incident from Srimad Bhagavatam. He is surrendering to his guru, his father, Brahma, knowing him to be the representative of Krsna. Then Brahma gives him instruction. He said, "You should procreate living being, you should rule over the world according to the principles of pure devotional service to the Supreme Lord, and you should perform yajna or sadhana for his satisfaction." Then a very key instruction here, he said, "The best service that you or any leader can render is to protect all living beings within the material world. If you sincerely and honestly act as a protector of others, you will please the Supreme Personality of Godhead and he will empower you."

This is the first duty, according to Lord Brahma, who is the first guru after Krsna in our parampara, of a leader, to protect one's subordinates. Protection can in a simple way be classified as physical protection, emotional protection, spiritual protection. Srila Prabhupada, as our acarya, has exemplified this for all of us to learn from, and to try to put in practice by trying to follow in his footsteps. Here in Sri Mayapur Dham, we have been told by devotees who were here for the first Gaura Purnima festival, there were very simple facility. At night, when devotees were sleeping, Prabhupada was going around to see that everyone had their mosquito nets and everyone was fed nicely. He was so worried about the comforts of the devotees. He writes in his purports that he built temples and guesthouses in Vrindavan and Mayapur especially so that the devotees from all other the world could come to India to these holy places and feel comfortable, feel protected.

One of the first temples in ISKCON was Bury Place in London. It began with just a few devotees, but soon, the Hare Krsna explosion took place and Prabhupada came to Bury Place, Radha Londonisvara's temple, and he saw devotees sleeping on the stairways, sleeping in the hallways. It was so overcrowded. So he approached George Harrison, "My devotees are suffering. They don't have proper accommodation. They have given up so much. Can you find a spacious place for them?" On the basis of Srila Prabhupada's concern for the physical condition of his devotees, Bhaktivedanta Manor was purchased and developed.

Emotional care. Srila Prabhupada made every devotee feel so valuable. He was so encouraging. Even by a glance or a smile or by some kind words or by chastisement, even when he chastised devotees, the devotees felt. . . I don't know their minds, but their hearts were feeling ecstatic because they knew, "He is chastising me because he really cares about me. He is trying to help me. He is protecting me." If you chastise someone and it breaks their heart, then we're not really following Prabhupada's footsteps. Prabhupada was melting people's hearts by his chastisement. They felt he was protecting them.

I remember one time, I was a very insignificant - I still am a very insignificant devotee - doing some deity worship, milking some cows. I handed Srila Prabhupada a little rose, a wild rose that I just picked from the forest as I was going to see him. He smiled at me with such gratitude and he said, "Thank you very much" in such a way that I felt like I just built a temple [laughter], I felt like I just distributed a million books. Prabhupada protected us by encouraging us and making us feel valued and appreciated for whatever efforts we made sincerely to serve Krsna.

And of course spiritual protection. Srila Prabhupada would stay up most of the night translating his books and writing purports. He spoke on so many occasions, "If devotees are not reading these books, if they are not chanting their sixteen rounds attentively every day, at anytime they can fall victim to maya." Prabhupada was writing these books and pleading with us to read them, pleading with us to distribute them to others, pleading with us to chant the Holy Names.

He personally, by his own example, was such an inspiration to protect us because if devotees are not protected, whatever else we do is like building a house without a foundation. Everything will fall. If we feel protected, we can feel empowered. By Srila Prabhupada doing that, devotees felt so protected by Srila Prabhupada physically, emotionally, and spiritually that they were willing to take any risk, even risks of death, suffering, poverty. That's how the Hare Krsna movement started - because devotees took such immense risks. How were they able to take such risks? Because in their heart of hearts they felt so protected by Srila Prabhupada: "If I please you it doesn't matter, life or death, I'll go back to Godhead."

Earlier in this chapter, Srila Prabhupada writes in a purport to text twenty-two that the whole process of creation, maintenance, and dissollution of the cosmic manifestation is simply for the purpose of giving the conditioned souls an opportunity to go back home, back to Godhead. That is the only purpose of the material world. And when devotees really feel protected, they feel empowered to continue on with their sadhana, continue on with their fearless preaching endeavors, but we have seen historically within our own society when devotees lose that sense of protection, how so many survival modes come in for our economic situation, for our social situation, for our positions. People lose their sadhana, they lose their taste for the Holy Name, quarrels between devotees over superficial subjects. But what does it mean to protect, to maintain? It is the foundation of our society.

Today is the appearance day of His Holiness Srila Bhakti-tirtha Swami Maharaja. His beloved disciples specially requested me, I don't know why, but they requested me to give class and speak something about this very, very dear, beloved disciple of Srila Prabhupada. Srila Bhakti-tirtha Swami Maharaja, especially in the later years, it was his passion and purpose in life to encourage and protect the devotees in Srila Prabhupada's society.

Today, his appearance day, we think back of the inconceivable way he was born. A vaisnava, who was to be a great spiritual leader of Caitanya Mahaprabhu's mission, was born in such a simple way. Christians cry when they think of Jesus being born in a little goshalla. [Laughter] Bhakti-tirtha Swami Maharaja was born in a violent, poverty stricken ghetto in one of the downtrodden cities of America, Cleveland. Practically didn't even have clothes to wear. He would just have one or two sets of clothes at a time. His mother would give away anything else.

Being an African American born in 1950, before the civil rights movement actually developed, it meant the African American people were very, very downtrodden and persecuted. You were destined, almost guaranteed to be born, live, and die in poverty and violence. Plus he had a speech defect. He told me, even before he was a teenager, the neighborhood he lived in, you had to carry a gun. If you didn't carry a gun with you every time you walked out of your house, you were subjected to being beaten or exploited. That was the law of the land. Someone tries to exploit you, you show him your gun, then he shows you his gun, then you have some respect for each other. [Laughter] You leave each other alone because you know that if you try to do something to the other, one of you are going to die.

How would you like to grow up in a situation like that? But he struggled, and ultimately, he was given a scholarship to Princeton University. Even there, people hated African-Americans, practically the whole of college. Even there, he went out with a gun every day - and he was a completely non-violent person. He was a local leader of the civil rights movement, fighting for the justice of his downtrodden people. But all his life, he was looking for something deeply spiritual, beyond all these material miseries
and conflicts.

By Krsna's grace, he found everything he was looking for in Srila Prabhupada. He surrendered his life. We know the stories of how Prabhupada was putting so much emphasis on book distribution. At that time, his name was Ghanasyama. He joined the library party to distribute books, but he wasn't ordinary. He was doing such unbelievable services. He volunteered to go behind the Iron Curtain in communist countries. He was so fearless, so amazingly creative in how he was selling entire sets of books of Srila Prabhupada in universities, libraries, homes, all these different places.

He would regularly send his reports to Srila Prabhupada. At that time, Prabhupada was going though his pastime of gradually departing from this world. He was bedridden. Tamal Krsna Goswami Maharaja, as his personal secretary, would read the reports of Bhakti-tirtha Swami, or Ghanasyama Das. Srila Prabhupada would rejoice hearing them. He said, "The reports of Ghanasyama, his fearless enthusiasm to give my books out, risking his life", he said, "this is the medicine that is sustaining my life." Tamal Krsna Goswami Maharaja said that whenever those reports came, it was a highlight for everyone to read those to Srila Prabhupada because it brought him so much happiness.

When Prabhupada went to London, Ghanasyama Prabhu was given a personal meeting with Srila Prabhupada. Srila Prabhupada embraced him with tears filling his eyes, embraced him with such love and spoke the words, "Thank you very much. Your life is perfect." He won the heart of his Guru Maharaja. For those of you have ever heard of reports, although we don't have time to speak them, every day was amazing miracles. He would put himself in the most
inconceivable situations, just leaving it up to Krsna to save him. Krsna always saved him.

Some years later, he went to West Africa. His life was very much in danger, especially in the beginning days: diseases, voodoo curses, so many things. He was persistent. He developed temples, farm communities, book distribution, communities, traveled around the world. Prabhupada so much encouraged his creative ways of distributing books, but he also had creative ways of preaching Krsna consciousness because somehow or other, in his heart, he had such a deep passion to reach people's hearts and somehow or other inject Prabhupada's mercy as it is.

Sometimes his techniques were like some sort of anesthesia and people didn't really know what was going on, but once they got that injection, we see the result. They became full-fledged Gaudiya Vaisnavas, loyal, devoted followers of Srila Prabhupada. People that were very difficult and hardly anyone else could reach were becoming devotees.

But as time went on, he did see how devotees within our movement were going through so many struggles and sometimes those struggles were making them spiritually weak, sometimes even making their faith weak. Again, there as a deep passion in his heart to somehow reach them. Some people may agree with how he did it, some may not agree, but what he was trying to give them, what his motivation was, was something very deep. In the eighth canto of Srimad-Bhagavatam, in regard to the story of Lord Siva drinking poison to protect the living entities, Srila Prabhupada, Sukadeva Goswami, they both say that the greatest service that pleases Lord Krsna is to make sacrifices in your own life for the welfare of others. That is compassion. He really did have that compassion.

During the last seven and a half weeks of his life, he requested me to be with him. I stayed at Gita Nagari during those weeks. Actually, I had so many other pressing emergency obligations, but when he looked at me with such affectionate eyes and said, "Please stay."

I said, "I'm here, I'm here." How could I refuse? I'd like to share with you a few things I saw in this regard about his real concern and how his concern empowered him to inspire Vaisnavas. He was sitting in his room, one of his legs were amputated, some of his bones were disintegrating, there were tumors all over his body, big tumors, he was physically emaciated, just being plundered by this most aggressive form of cancer. Usually for such people, you come to try to cheer them up, that's why people came, but the
result was completely different.

There was a festival in New Vrindavan, Festival of Inspiration, and on the last day, he felt, and his doctors felt, within a couple of days, he would die. So probably a hundred devotees, I don't know what happened in New Vrindavan at the festival, but a hundred devotees went to Gita Nagari to hear his last talk. Afterward, probably fifty godbrothers and godsisters came into his room. It was amazing. He was just so concerned that each and every one of them, everyone was weeping, weeping in gratitude. Everyone in that room, ask them today, will declare that it was a totally life-transforming experience. They felt so connected to Srila Prabhupada and to Krsna's love just by hearing him.

The next day, a group of very disgruntled godbrothers came to see him. These are people who don't really want anything to do with a leader of ISKCON. For whatever justified or unjustified reason, they are bitter. They sat with him for about an hour. The whole time, they were weeping in gratitude. I saw before my eyes, a total transformation. I knew these men, I knew their attitude. After that meeting, some of them who gave up chanting, started chanting again. Some of them who would never go to the temple, started coming to the temple, doing service again. They came out of that room, they all just sat down weeping. They had such a deep spiritual experience.

On another day, there were some gurukulis that came. Some of them had been abused. Some of them had gone to other maths to look for shelter. What I was seeing was unbelievable, their hearts were totally melting. Maharaja was just speaking Prabhupada's words to them, in such a way, they were all crying from their hearts. They all said, "We never had such a spiritual experience. We never have met such a spiritually advanced person."

After all these meetings, because I was watching, when everyone left and I was alone with Maharaja, I said, "Maharaja, what are you doing? I've known you for thirty years, you've always been compassionate, you've always been dynamic with powerful lectures and amazing kirtans and always really concerned about the welfare of others, but I've never seen you affect people like this. The only thing I can think of is that Srila Prabhupada is really empowering you."

He smiled, he said, "Actually, I don't even know what I'm doing or saying. These people come in, people have to pick me up and carry me, all this pain, I have a missing limb, but I just pray to Prabhupada and I can feel Prabhupada showing his love to these people through me." Then he said to me, "This is perhaps the greatest blessing I've ever had in my life, to have this cancer, because in this situation, in this helpless, painful situation, I can feel Prabhupada's love and compassion coming through me to help devotees like I've never been able to do before in my whole life. This cancer is only a small price to render such a valuable service to Srila Prabhupada."

Tat te 'nukampam su-samiksamano, one of the most often quoted verses from Srimad-Bhagavatam by our beloved Guru Maharaja, Srila Prabhupada. "Who is rightful to attain the supreme liberation, going back home, back to Godhead? One who even in the most painful, difficult situations can fold their hands and bow down to Krsna with gratitude thinking, 'I deserve worse, Krsna." It is easy to talk about, but to see it is something that is something so beautiful.

Toward the end of Bhakti-tirtha Swami Maharaja's life in this world, the cancer was ravaging his body. I've never seen anything like this. Every day I would spend some hours with him reading from Srila Prabhupada's books, discussing Lord Caitanya, Lord Krsna, Vrindavan. He made a rule that during my time with him there were no other words to be discussed but glorification of Krsna, Lord Caitanya, Srila Prabhupada, and the Vaisnavas, no other talks. I have never experienced such intimacy with another human being than when the focus on our attention is to lovingly try to help each other remember Krsna, lovingly trying to enthuse each other to serve Srila Prabhupada. Try it, it's not of this world.

One day as we were talking, we were just lying down, he started crying. He said, "Maharaja, we are in the spiritual world, we are in Vrindavan, can't you feel it?"

I said, "No." [Laughter]

He said, "Can't your feel it? We are in Vrindavan! What is Vrindavan? Where there is loving exchanges of glorifying exchanges, that is Vrindavan." Then he said, "We have achieved the ultimate goal of life. He said it with such conviction that I actually believed I was in Vrindavan. [Laughter] It was amazing, it was the spiritual world.

Another time, Ekavira Prabhu picked him up and put him on a chair and I would read to him, talk about Krsna with him and he would always be in rapt attention. Usually he was like a great general, just leading the forces, preaching. Remember that time in Mayapur when he gave that, such an empowered lecture, he was so emotionally surcharged that as he was speaking, his hat just flew off his head [Laughter] and everyone went, "Wow!"

But when we would discuss Krsna, he was just like an innocent little boy just gazing with such simplicity and love in his eyes, but on this one day, the cancer was so intense that his entire body was trembling. The cancer was literally making his body tremble with pain. I never saw him cry due to pain, but the pain was so immense, I could see he couldn't concentrate on what I was speaking, so I stopped speaking and just chanted the Holy Names:

Hare Krsna, Hare Krsna, Krsna Krsna, Hare Hare,
Hare Rama, Hare Rama, Rama Rama, Hare Hare.

His body was still trembling, just an emaciated little person, all these tumors all over his body.

[Devotee hands Maharaja a note.] Everyone knows what this is. [Laughter]

When I chanted the Holy Names, as soon as I chanted, he chanted along with me. We were chanting together. Tears literally poured from his eyes. The most effulgent, blissful, almost ear-to-ear smile manifested on his face. His eyes were twinkling. He looked at me and said, Maharaja, "This is it."

I said, "This is what?" [Laughter]

He said, "It doesn't get any better than this." He said, "We are together chanting the Holy Names of Krsna, tasting the sweet nectar of the Holy Name. It doesn't get any better than this." Then, blissful, right from the core of his heart, he said "I would not trade the condition I am in today for anything else or anyone else in the creation because today I am in the association of a devotee tasting the sweet nectar of the Holy Name. It doesn't get any better than this."

From the time Caitanya-Caritamrta came out, his idol [was], of course, Srila Prabhupada, and also Vasudeva Datta, because Vasudeva Datta was willing to suffer for the welfare of others so that they would attain Krsna. For years and years, we would talk about Vasudeva Datta. He meditated on that mood, which Srila Prabhupada so much relished, of Vasudeva Datta. Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu, when he spoke about Vasudeva Datta, he glorified him as if he had a thousand mouths, because of his compassion to others.

One day when he was lying there, just towards the end, I told him, "Maharaja, today is the disappearance day of Mukunda Datta, the brother of Vasudeva Datta."

He just started weeping, he became blissful. He said, "This would be the perfect day to leave this world." He kept saying, "Vasudeva Datta! Vasudeva Datta! Prabhupada loved him so much!" He called all the devotees to his room in Gita Nagari and requested, "I think today I am going to leave, it is Vasudeva Datta's brother's disappearance day." He had them all doing kirtan and he was really in a very, very difficult situation physically. They did kirtan for several hours. He was disappointed. He stopped the kirtan. He said, "You can go. Krsna is not letting me go today." [Laughter] He said, "I thought He would let me go on Vasudeva Datta's brother's disappearance day, but I guess He's not letting me go today."

But Bhakti-tirtha Maharaja really, what he sincerely gave his heart, life, and soul for is to create community, to inspire loving relationships and care amongst the Vaisnavas because he knew where there are loving relationships, where there is sincere care amongst the devotees for each others' welfare, where there is really a spirit of servant of the servant of the servant, the devotees feel protected, and in that protection, they are inspired, they are empowered to spread this mission and to chant the Holy Names of the Lord:

Hare Krsna, Hare Krsna, Krsna Krsna, Hare Hare,
Hare Rama, Hare Rama, Rama Rama, Hare Hare.

On this very auspicious day, we offer our sincerest gratitude and obeisances to this effulgent, beloved disciple of Srila Prabhupada who gave his life and soul to inspiring us in the essence of bhakti, chanting the Holy Name in a spirit of loving relationships with Vaisnavas and spreading that culture to the world. Let us bow down at the feet of Srila Bhakti-tirtha Swami Maharaja in gratitude.

Thank you very much.

Monday, February 25, 2008

Bhanu Swami - SB 3.12.49-52

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tato 'param upadaya sa sargaya mano dadhe

TRANSLATION: Thereafter Brahma accepted another body, in which sex life was not forbidden, and thus he engaged himself in the matter of further creation.

PURPORT: In his former body, which was transcendental, affection for sex life was forbidden, and Brahma therefore had to accept another body to allow himself to be connected with sex. He thus engaged himself in the matter of creation. His former body transformed into fog, as previously described.

rsinam bhuri-viryanam api sargam avistrtam
jnatva tad dhrdaye bhuyas cintayam asa kaurava

TRANSLATION: O son of the Kurus, when Brahma saw that in spite of the presence of sages of great potency there was no sufficient increase in population, he seriously began to consider how the population could be increased.

aho adbhutam etan me vyaprtasyapi nityada
na hy edhante praja nunam daivam atra vighatakam

TRANSLATION: Brahma thought to himself: Alas, it is wonderful that in spite of my being scattered all over, there is still insufficient population throughout the universe. There is no other cause for this misfortune but destiny.

evam yukta-krtas tasya daivam caveksatas tada
kasya rupam abhud dvedha yat kayam abhicaksate

TRANSLATION: While he was thus absorbed in contemplation and was observing the supernatural power, two other forms were generated from his body. They are still celebrated as the body of Brahma.

PURPORT: Two bodies came out from the body of Brahma. One had a mustache, and the other had swollen breasts. No one can explain the source of their manifestation, and therefore until today they are known as the kayam, or the body of Brahma, with no indication of their relationship as his son or daughter.

Bhanu Swami: So this whole chapter and many other chapters in the Third Canto are concerning the creation of the universe. This, of course, if we think of our ultimate philosophy, with Krsna as svayam bhagavan and the other forms of the Lord like Rama and Nrsimha and Vamana and other forms in the spiritual world, the material world is not very significant. It is like a small cloud in the vast sky. We may sometimes wonder, what is the use of describing this whole creation? If we examine the Bhagavatam, we will see there is a lot of description of creation.

In fact, if you go to the Second Canto and the Third Canto, there are about six descriptions of the Visvarupa and how the different senses and elements and devas arise from the body of Visvarupa. So we have a very elaborate description of matter when our whole process is actually to go beyond the material world to the spiritual world and become detached from matter and simply absorb ourselves in Krsna.

So we may wonder how the Bhagavatam can discuss these material things since the Bhagavatam is the highest literature, the highest pramana, the summary of all the Vedic literatures, and ultimately, indicating the Absolute Truth in its highest aspect as Krsna. So why do we have to spend so much time on discussion of these mundane things like the creation of the material world and the sex life of Brahma and others?

That is a good question, but if we examine closely, we will see that actually the Third Canto and the Second Canto, where a lot of these descriptions of the universal form take place, are actually the words of Sukadeva Goswami, who is one of the most exalted devotees, even more exalted than Vedavyasa. So there must be some very good reason for this preponderance of topics on creation, etc. Of course, if we look closely, we will see there are good answers to this problem also.

So here we have the description of the creation and our acaryas have actually explained some of the reasons for this. Of course one reason is-- that is explained in the Tenth Chapter of the Second Canto--there is a description of the topics of the Bhagavatam. There are ten topics. Of course the ten topics are also topics of Puranas in general. At least the Maha Puranas, the major Puranas, have ten topics in general. The minor Puranas, the secondary Puranas, have five subject matters in general.

There are ten subject matters which a Purana should more or less conform to if it is a major Purana. So in that sense, Srimad Bhagavatam is also classed as a Purana, so Vedavyasa and Sukadeva Goswami have put it into that sort of form where we have ten subject forms. Why? Because they are also following some sort of formality. Of course Vedavyasa composed the Bhagavata Purana along with the other eighteen. He classed it as a Purana in the very beginning.

There are ten subject matters there, beginning with sarga, which means creation of the material world. The spiritual world is never created, so it is the material world which is created. So we have what is called sarga. This sarga is actually not the creation of Brahma even. The sarga is the creation by Mahavisnu when he glances over material energy and prakrti transforms into mahat-tattva, mahat-tattva transforms into ahankara, ahankara transforms into mind and the senses and sense objects and the gross material elements and we get the whole elements. So that is the sarga, first creation.

Then we have the second creation called visarga. Visarga is actually the creation of Lord Brahma which is explained here. So this is after the universe is formed, then we have to make bodies for the jivas and make planets, places for the jivas, the jivas have to live somewhere. So they need bodies and they need places. So we have material elements in the universe, so they have to form together into certain facilities so that the jivas can enjoy. So we have the visarga, that is, Brahma creates all the bodies for the living entities, that is actually described in these chapters here, and the places for them. Each particular body has a certain place in the universe according to his karma. He is stuck in that, limited in that particular place, in that particular loka for a certain period of time. Then according to his activities he can change to another loka. So all of this is the creation of Lord Brahma, this is called visarga. So that is a topic of a Purana in general also, so if you look at the Visnu Purana, they will have similar types of things.

Then we have the sthana. Sthana actually is part of that creation; that means the places. Of course it refers to the condition of the living entities, or the places of the living entities, that we will find discussed particularly in the Bhagavatam in the Fifth Canto.

Actually, Visvanatha Cakravarti says that from the Third Canto, this is how we can classify things. So he says Third Canto is about sarga, Fourth Canto is visarga, and Fifth Canto is sthana. Sthana means the description of the planetary systems, the hellish planets, the heavenly planets, the earth planet, bhu-mandala, the dvipas, all these dimensions, etc, the shell of the universe. This is called sthana, the geography of the universe. This is where the living entities live. There they maintain themselves and enjoy and commit sinful activities or pious activities and circulate within the universe. So that is the place.

Then we have other topics after that. Once Brahma creates that universe with the bodies and the lokas, then we have the jivas in those bodies doing their activities. So we have topics like posana, how the Supreme Lord protects the devotees in the universe. That is in the Sixth Canto, we see the story of Ajamila, who was in one sense was not a devotee, but the Lord took him as a devotee because he chanted the name of Narayana accidentally, so he protected him. We have other stories in Sixth Canto as well, like Indra, who was also in a sense an aparadhi. That is the posana, another topic.

Then we get uti, which is defined in the Second Canto actually as karma-vasana, or impressions of karma. According to our activities, we get certain results; we are born in certain bodies, in certain lokas in the universe. Then we do more activities, then we die, then we get another body. Seventh Canto is about uti. That is explained in terms of people like Hiranyakasipu, a big demon, commiting all sorts of sinful activities and getting a bad destination. And someone like Prahlad, who gets the mercy of Narada Muni and becomes a great devotee of the Lord. So that is uti.

We get manvantara, which means actually the description of the Manus. This is what happens here--we get the first Manus created by Lord Brahma. These two bodies become Svayambhuva Manu and his wife. Every day of Brahma, there is a creation of Manu and his wife. Then throughout the day of Brahma, there are more Manus. There are actually a total of fourteen Manus appearing, usually descendents of the first Manu, Svayambhuva Manu. There are fourteen of these in the day of Brahma, which means seventy-one yuga cycles they preside over the universe, residing on Bhumandala. These are discussed in the Eighth Canto. There is a whole description of the different genealogies in the Eighth Canto.

Then there is isanukatha. That means talks about the Lord and his devotees. That is Ninth Canto of Bhagavatam. Then there is another topic called mukti, which means liberation. Liberation, of course, means the bad liberation, that is sayujya. That is there, but liberation also technically means to be situated in your svarupa. Your svarupa can also be in the spiritual world. So that liberation refers to getting out to the material world and going to Brahman or going to the spiritual world. That is the topic of the Eleventh Canto.

And nirodha means destruction. We see a description of destruction in the Twelfth Canto. So these are the nine topics. Then there is the tenth topic, which is called asraya, which means the shelter. So all of the other topics actually involve the universe, starting from sarga onwards, then the destruction of the universe, everything, the jivas in the universe trying to get out of the universe, with mukti. Ultimately asraya means what is beyond the universe. So that is the Supreme Lord, then all of his expansions, Brahman, Paramatma, Bhagavan, all the forms of the Supreme Lord in the spiritual world and finally Krsna. And the devotees, they are also nirguna, they are beyond the material world as is the process of bhakti.

So all these topics are all over the Bhagavatam, it's not that they are all isolated but we can somewhat classify them in this way. So we can understand that the Bhagavatam is presenting ten different topics that are distributed throughout the Bhagavatam with a little bit of prominence in each of the different cantos. In this way we can see that the Bhagavatm is conforming to the Puranas and therefore also has these ten topics.

Why should the Puranas have ten topics in the first place? Ultimately the whole point of scripture is to point out the Supreme Lord and the process to get to the Supreme Lord and the result of that. That is sambandha, abhideya and prayojana. That is the whole essence of scripture. So Bhagavatam does that. Of course it could be made very simple. We could just say Krsna is the Supreme Lord, don't worship anybody else, peform bhakti, that's it, that's the end of the scripture. The greatest things are actually very simple. That is the truth. As Krsna says in the Bhagavad-gita surrender unto me, that's it.

However, scriptures understand that all people are not qualified immediately at least. Therefore they present things step by step according to qualification. And you'll see that even in Bhagavad-gita. In Bhagavad-gita even though Krsna says reject everything and just simply surrender unto me, he explains a lot about karma yoga and jnana yoga and astanga-yoga when actually it's not really necessary. Only bhakti is necessary. But he explains all these things. Why? Because Bhagavad-gita is also reflecting the whole of the Vedic literature, as Srimad Bhagavatam summarises everything, puts everything in there, which means it doesn't reject anything else in the Vedas, it doesn't say everything else is wrong, but it also must indicate what is the highest thing. So the Vedic literatures do contain things that are not the absolute highest truth. Therefore we'll have discussions of karma and jnana and yoga besides bhakti. We have all these different things. That is because all people are not qualified for bhakti. If one has no faith in the Lord what is one to do? But if we get the association of the devotees and by the mercy of them you can develop faith and get bhakti. But if you don't get that association and mercy then what do we do? Therefore you go into these other things; you do karma, practice varnasrama and do all these things. Or you do jnana if you are qualified. You go through varnasrama and get up to be a brahmana and once you are a brahmana then you do jnana. And once you've done jnana then you go into yoga and once you've done yoga then you do bhakti.

Then you are qualified. Of course you're not really qualified like that also, but hopefully on the way because there is a mixture of bhakti in everything--you can't do karma-yoga without a little bhakti, one percent bhakti must be there--you must also worship Visnu in karma-yoga and not disrespect him. And in jnana you also have to worship Visnu, and if you don't you'll never get liberation, you'll never get sayujya-mukti even. And of course in astanga-yoga you have to worship Visnu also as Paramatma.

So there is a little bit of bhakti somewhere in there. But it is very little so it is not called bhakti. Hopefully through all that gradually they develop, they get through yoga and all this and they get association then they are ready for bhakti. That is one way of developing and that is why we'll find in the Bhagavatam and in the Bhagavad-gita all these different methods mentioned for differently qualified people.

Unfortunately that doesn't work in Kali-yuga. And in the Twelfth Chapter of Bhagavad-gita Arjuna asks Krsna, "Well, what should I do? Should I do this gradual process and come up to the Brahman level and then come to bhakti or should I just do bhakti?" To which Krsna said, "Just do bhakti, it's easier, it's quicker."

This is the recommendation in Kali-yuga. We are not qualified to go through this whole process of starting with karma-yoga and then becoming brahminical and then doing jnana and youga and then coming to bhakti. It's a very long process over many births when there is a varnasrama system intact and ideal kings like Pariksit around, then you can gradually develop and become a devotee eventually. That's not practical in Kali-yuga where people are short lived, there are lots of distractions around and there is no varnasrama system and there are no ideal kings so the system doesn't really work too well.

Krsna is very merciful and he says that even if you don't have that whole gradual system you can just do bhakti-yoga also. But it looks like a contradiction because I said if people aren't qualified for bhakti, then they have to go through this other system. The question is how to make people qualified for bhakti without having to go through that system. It is possible one doesn't have to go through that system but it depends upon devotees. If one has association of devotees then one can gradually develop that faith and then one becomes qualified.

That is why Lord Caitanya has emphasized the preaching aspect. Since these other methods don't work in Kali-yuga it is up to the devotees to spread bhakti everywhere by giving mercy to everyone in the material world. And thereby we can develop.

As far as the Bhagavatam is concerned and these different topics like sarga and visarga they are all there because it is a Purana and it is reflecting the Vedic literature, etc. and these topics are all ultimately related with Krsna. Sukadeva Goswami will not speak anything that is not related to Krsna somehow or other. Everything must be related to him because he is completely absorbed in him. Pariksit will also not accept anything which is other than Krsna. These things are related to Krsna. We cannot give the argument that "I will only read the pastimes of Krsna in the Bhagavatam because that is the Absolute Truth and all these other topics are secondary, sarga and visarga and all kind of material things so we don't listen to that."

Visvanatha Cakravarti Thakur has made the point that Sukadeva Goswami has recited this. If he is talking about this and Pariksit is listening to it then we should do that to. We should follow their good example. There is some value in this sarga, visarga, etc.

So it will appear to be one thing, if we look at it very critically we may think, "Why is this so necessary; it is all material," but then we examine again that Sukadeva Goswami is reciting this and Pariksit is listening in rapt attention so there must be something more than we think.

So all these topics are there and as I said the most important one is asraya, that is the Supreme Lord, his devotees, and bhakti. These things are all somehow related to that. They have a relationship. By understanding these topics, we will also understand the nature of the Supreme Lord and the devotees and devotional service. They are not unrelated at all, there is a relationship there.

Of course, it will take us time to understand the significance of this. On one level we can read this and technically we can understand something but not everything because this type of creation does not exactly fit into our present experience or the experience of modern day scientists who base their observations on their experiences. It is a little bit of a different type of creation. It may be difficult for us to understand this. Nevertheless, we accept this as the truth.

It is also described in the Bhagavatam that the truth, the Absolute Truth, the Vedas, the scriptures, are a type of sound, but the sound is different. The sound we hear is one type of sound, but there are four levels of sound. When we hear sound, it is called vaikari, to hear with the ear coming from the voice. That is our sense perception working. That is the gross level of sound and information and knowledge, etc.

Then there are three higher levels. We go downwards into the heart and we get madhyama and pasyanti and para. Para is the original sound. That is where sound is equal to realization, object. "Krsna" means Krsna. Gradually, as that sound transforms and comes out in our visible sound, then it becomes vaikari. There is a little bit of difference between what we perceive in the world and the actual information there which means ultimately that we can read scripture and get something from it but the more realized we become, then the more meaning we will get out of it. That's why I say we can read this and understand something of the mechanics of it but probably won't understand everything.

In the Fifth Canto of Bhagavatam, our scientists are trying to figure out how to represent that in the planetarium because it doesn't quite make sense to our modern thinking process. It looks a little bit contradictory in many ways and if we present that as absolute truth, people are going to freak out when they see that, "What does it mean? What does it mean?" That's why I said we can read things and technically we can adjust things a little bit and understand it, but we may not understand it completely because there are levels of understanding from the grosser level, vaikari, up to para, then we get the actual thing, the actual vision.

So we need a proper realization or a proper vision to see the things of Bhagavatam. That's not only for the creation, that's for even obviously Krsna and everything else in the Bhagavatam. So Visvanatha Cakravarti has explained that actually the Bhagavatam presents itself in many ways. One is it is described as a lamp, adhyatma-dipa, a lamp which reveals adhyatma, which means, generally, soul, spirit, God, Brahman, this type of thing. We understand God like that, athato brahma-jijnasa, janmady asya yatah, God in general. So Bhagavatam presents that for people who are qualified for that.

Bhagavatam is also considered to be like the sun, that is a common example, Bhagavatam is the rising sun. So what does the rising sun do? The rising sun obviously brings light and it destroys darkness. When it's light out all the thieves run away and the devotees rejoice. So in other words it is a little more personal. We have aspects of God where God, the Supreme Lord, pleases the devotees and protects the devotees, and destroys the demons and destroys ignorance and delivers the devotees. So we get a personal idea of God.

Then the other thing presented in the Bhagavatam, what is the Bhagavatam, the Bhagavatam is like a fruit, phalam, a very ripe fruit which is very, very sweet, like a big mango with no skin and no seed and no fibres and very liquid so that you don't have to chew it even, you can just drink it, drink it through the ears. Bhagavatam is therefore a tasty fruit also. That refers to the Supreme Lord in his most personal aspect full of rasa, full of personal relationships, full of personal qualities in which we serve the Lord and develop a relationship with the Lord and we relish those qualities and we experience prema and love for Krsna.

Of course that develps also because we see that Bhagavatam is meant to show that not only God is there and not only Brahman is there and not only Paramatma and Bhagavan who has many forms and avataras etc., but that Krsna is svayam bhagavan. That is actually what Narada Muni told Vedavyasa, "You missed the point in this Purana. So you write the whole Bhagavatam and show that Krsna is the svayam bhagavan."

That is ultimately shown in the Tenth Canto of Bhagavatam. That is all rasa. The philosophical aspect is secondary. The creative aspects, sarga, visarga, all that is put into the background and there we simply have Krsna as svayam bhagavan, in the sweetest aspect. That is the fruit of the Bhagavatam.

Bhagavatam presents all these things. It presents the general aspect of God and Brahman, Paramatma, etc., then it also gets into Bhagavan and all those different forms then it also gets into the sweetest aspect of Krsna and his pastimes. All of these things are there in the Bhagavatam for different types of people. Sometimes if we read, particularly the Eleventh Canto, this sounds very impersonal [laughs]. There are all talks of merging and Brahman and jnana and atma, etc. Bhagavatam presents statements like this.

So Visvanatha Cakravarti says not only is Bhagavatam a mango or a lamp or a sun, it is also mohini-avatara. So mohini-avatara is famous because the Lord took the form of Mohini and she bewildered the demons. She was very nice to the demons and the demons thought, "Yes, we will do anything she says." Then Mohini says, "Give me the nectar." The demons thought, "Oh, yes, we will give you the nectar. She will give it back to us anyway because she likes us so much." So they gave her the nectar and what did she do? She gave the nectar to the devatas. That was the end of the demons.

In other words, Bhagavatam fools the demons and the materialists and other people or even the impersonalists. . . the jnanis will read the Bhagavatam and say, "Ah, look after the Tenth Canto we have the Eleventh Canto where we have jnana, we have Brahman. This is ultimate."

Bhagavatam is tricky. So we will not understand everything immediately. We are devotees so we are not going to go for the Brahman aspect anyway, so the devotees get the nectar and the demons get cheated. They get another whole meaning of Bhagavatam. Similarly people who are not demons but are also part devotees will get something from it. They may appreciate karma or jnana or whatever, the but devotees will appreciate bhakti as supreme in the Bhagavatam. Even that is hidden. Even bhakti is hidden sometimes. Why? Because the Lord likes it like that. Bhagavatam itself says that the Supreme Lord likes to be indirect, paroksa-vada. He doesn't like to speak directly. We'll find the whole of the Upanisads are like that, that God walks but doesn't walk, he's inside but he's outside, all these sort of things. Very ambiguous statements.

Even though Bhagavatam is supposed to be the highest truth, it is meant for the devotees. If you are qualified as a devotee you get the very highest truth. If not, you will be puzzled by many things in the Bhagavatam. That is why even devotees will be puzzled: "Why did Krsna disappear like that. Why did he get shot in the foot and suddenly disappear like that? Why did the Vrsnis get drunk and fight amongst themselves?" We find various strange incidents in the Bhagavatam. Or even why did Krsna leave Vrindavan and never come back? We will find very contrary things and even devotees will get disturbed by that sometimes. That's because Krsna hides things, and Sukadeva hides things, Vyasadeva hides. They hide something.

If you are a great devotees, then you understand the meaning of it and the appreciation of Krsna is more. Bhakti is confidential and it is somewhat rahasya, but it is not completely hidden because Sukadeva is writing for the people of Kali-yuga and this is supposed to be the sun that gives everybody knowledge. But still, aspects of bhakti are hidden sometimes so we cannot simply get the truth by reading it very superficially.

We can study, that's good, but also one has to develop spiritually. As we develop spiritually, we will have the proper eyes to see everything. As I said, we have these different levels of hearing sound and only according to your qualification you get to a certain level. So in terms of bhakti, by developing our bhakti and going through the different stages of bhakti, the more we advance and the more taste we have for Krsna, then the more truth we will get out of the Bhagavatam. We will understand why things are like this or like that. In this sense that is why we have discussion of all this creation and Brahma and material things in the Bhagavatam. We will understand it more the more we advance.

As I said, Pariksit and Sukadeva Goswami went through nine cantos before they got to the Tenth Canto and they were relishing all this along the way. So there is something here that is very connected with Krsna even if we cannot understand it completely. We should go through the Bhagavatam with great devotion. Rupa Goswami says in the Nectar of Devotion that one of the angas of bhakti is sravanam. That is not just hearing. It is hearing Bhagavatam, because Bhagavatam is the ultimate scripture. Of course we don't disrespect any other scripture, but Bhagavatam is the ultimate scripture. Not only we hear Bhagavatam, but with great relish, with taste, with devotion. According to that devotion then we have realization or understanding of what everything is.

So back to here, we have a description of Brahma carrying out his creation. This is technically the visarga, the secondary creation. Intellectually we can explain why we have to do this and that is part of sambandha jnana--we have to understand that there is a Lord and there is us and we are not with the Lord, we are conditioned souls in the material world. We don't become the Lord. We are servants of the Lord but we don't understand that because we are covered up a gross body and a subtle body and we are thinking this is it, this is everything. We are in great illusion. So this creation of Brahma is what does that. It creates the big illusion for everybody in the material world.

That is not something done whimsically. There is also a purpose behind that. Therefore we do have a discussion of karma and why the jivas are in the material world and how we can also get out. So we have mukti and the different process of advancement. We have the instructions of dharma given by the Manus and the kings. It is not that the jiva is trapped. We have methods for getting out. The reason the jiva is here is also explained because he likes to enjoy in the material world so he is given a place and a body by Brahma to do that.

In other words, this whole creation, sarga, visarga, and other topics are there to show the nature of the jiva in the material world and how the Lord interacts with the jiva in the material world to get him out. The Lord is not unmerciful, he is merciful even to the jivas in the material world. Therefore we will have topics like posana and isanukatha and mukti. The Lord is instrumental in all that. So in this way we can begin understand a little bit of why these topics are there like creation and all the different material aspects explained in Bhagavatam.

OK, any questions? Need a microphone or something?

Visuddha Sattva Das: You mentioned that in topics of Bhagavata Purana, sarga visarga, creation and secondary creation, you made a comment about the Temple of Vedic Planetarium that we should do that in a very solid way because sometimes there are complexities in the Fifth Canto and difficult to understand. . . ? My point is that when Srila Prabhupada gave instructions how to make the whole draft of the planetarium, the Temple of Vedic Understanding, to Svarupa Damodara Maharaja and to the scientists of Bhaktivedanta Institute, he says that we are not expecting that because the scientists will not accept the Bhagavatam we make some compromise [unclear]. We are doing now a work in progress on this research and having some success. My point is that if there are difficulties to understand the high topics of the Bhagavatam we should be straightforward and not compromise for the scientists.

Friday, March 2, 2007

CC Adi 4.119 Bhaktipurushottam Swami

Lecture by His Holiness Bhaktipurushottam Swami (download mp3), given on the auspicious appearance day of Lord Chaitanya Mahaprabhu, March 2, 2007, during the Gaura Purnima festival at the ISKCON Mayapur Chandrodaya Mandir, Mayapur, India.

Caitanya Caritamrta, Adi 4.119-120

Transcript not available at the time of posting.

Thursday, March 1, 2007

CC Adi 3.47 Candramauli Swami

Lecture by His Holiness Candramauli Swami (download mp3), given on March 1, at the 2007 Gaura Purnima Festival, Sri Mayapur Candrodaya Mandir, Mayapur, India.

Caitanya Caritamrta, Adi 3.47

suvarna-varno hemango varangas candanangadi
sannyasa-krc chamah santo nistha-santi-parayanah

TRANSLATION: "In His early pastimes He appears as a householder with a golden complexion. His limbs are beautiful, and His body, smeared with the pulp of sandalwood, seems like molten gold. In His later pastimes He accepts the sannyasa order, and He is equipoised and peaceful. He is the highest abode of peace and devotion, for He silences the impersonalist nondevotees."

PURPORT: This is a verse from the Mahabharata (Dana-dharma, Visnu-sahasra-nama-stotra). In his commentary on the Visnu-sahasra-nama, called the Namartha-sudha, Srila Baladeva Vidyabhusana, commenting upon this verse, asserts that Lord Caitanya is the Supreme Personality of Godhead according to the evidence of the Upanisads. He explains that suvarna-varnah means a golden complexion. He also quotes the Vedic injunction yada pasyah pasyate rukma-varnam kartaram isam purusam brahma-yonim (Mundaka Up. 3.1.3). Rukma-varnam kartaram isam refers to the Supreme Personality of Godhead as having a complexion the color of molten gold. Purusam means the Supreme Lord, and brahma-yonim indicates that He is also the Supreme Brahman. This evidence, too, proves that Lord Caitanya is the Supreme Personality of Godhead Krsna. Another meaning of the description of the Lord as having a golden hue is that Lord Caitanya's personality is as fascinating as gold is attractive. Srila Baladeva Vidyabhusana has explained that the word varanga means "exquisitely beautiful."

Lord Caitanya accepted sannyasa, leaving aside His householder life, to preach His mission. He has equanimity in different senses. First, He describes the confidential truth of the Personality of Godhead, and second, He satisfies everyone by knowledge and attachment to Krsna. He is peaceful because He renounces all topics not related to the service of Krsna. Srila Baladeva Vidyabhusana has explained that the word nistha indicates His being rigidly fixed in chanting the holy name of Sri Krsna. Lord Caitanya subdued all disturbing opponents of devotional service, especially the monists, who are actually averse to the personal feature of the Supreme Lord. [End of purport]

Candramauli Swami: So in these last few days prior to the appearance of Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu, Gaura Purnima, we've turned our attention to his personality, his glories, his activities, everything about the Supreme Lord in the form of Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu.

This verse is actually from the Mahabharata. It is describing the Supreme Personality of Godhead, Lord Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu. It's interesting how with careful research, one can find, in various religious scriptures, indication of Caitanya Mahaprabhu's identity, his appearance, and his activities. Here we find in the Mahabharata. Also in Srimad-Bhagavatam, in the prayers by Prahlad Maharaja to Lord Nrsimhadeva, the Lord is also indicated as one who appears in the color of gold, or yellow, pita.

Also in the same Srimad-Bhagavatam, in the prayers by the residents of Jambudvipa, the Lord is mentioned as tri-yuga. Tri-yuga refers to that personality who is the Supreme Personality of Godhead who appears as the Lord in three yugas: in Satya-yuga, Treta-yuga, Dvapara-yuga. In Kali-yuga he is channa-avatara. Channa means hidden. He appears not as the supreme Lord but as his own devotee. Therefore he is referred to as tri-yuga, or as the Lord who appears in three yugas. But in the Kali-yuga he appears as a devotee of himself.

This is the position of Lord Caitanya that actually he is coming as his own devotee. It is explained in the Caitanya-caritamrta in this fourth chapter that he comes for six reasons. Three of them are external and three are internal. It is explained that the internal reasons are foremost, the primary. The external reasons we all know. He comes to fulfill the yuga-dharma, the chanting of the Holy Names of the Lord or to spread the mercy of pure love of Godhead in the form of harinama-sankirtana. That is considered external. Also it is mentioned in Bhagavad-gita:

yada yada hi dharmasya glanir bhavati bharata abhyutthanam adharmasya tadatmanam srjamy aham

paritranaya sadhunam vinasaya ca duskrtam dharma-samsthapanarthaya sambhavami yuge yuge

He comes in every yuga. In order to fulfill his own words in Bhagavad-gita, he keeps that principle and appears in the Kali-yuga. But he appears once in every thousand yuga cycles in the Kali-yuga as Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu, as the channa-avatara, hidden. Of course the third reason is to satisfy the desire and the heartfelt prayers of Sri Advaita Acarya.

Jaya Radha-Madhava, Asta-Sakhi ki jai!

Sri Advaita Acarya was praying from the core of his heart that these inhabitants of Navadvipa Dham have become so lost. Before the advent of Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu, Navadvipa Dham was considered one of the greatest centers of learning throughout the entire world. People from all over the world would go to get the highest and best education in Navadvipa. It was concerned the greatest of all education bastions. It had some of the greatest scholars in the world. In fact, all of the religious scriptures known were present here. But generally, the population was somewhat pious but not very much absorbed in pure devotional service. People were educated, they had great intelligence, pious activities, good qualities, a lot of material facilities, worshiping demigods, but very little of the essence of spiritual life, pure devotional service.

Advaita Acarya, of course, who is Advaita Acarya? He is a combination of Sada Siva and Mahavisnu. He is praying to the Lord, "Please come."

He was angry to see how people were wasting their lives in material education. They were spending all their money. They would spend practically life savings on weddings and pujas and vratas and homas. They were even doing things like marrying cats and dogs because when you get materially wealthy and situated, after a while, you get bored. You just want to do different things or change. That's what happens when too much material opulence without any real, solid spiritual worship. They get bored after a while, so they do different things. It is explained by Vrindavan Das Thakur in Caitanya-bhagavat that they were engaging in marriage of cats and dogs. Can you imagine?

Advaita Acarya, feeling compassion for the fallen conditioned souls of this age, he went down to the banks of the Ganges with great prayers in his heart, worshiping his Nrsimha-sila with tulasi leaves and praying from the core of his heart, "Please my dear Lord, come."

And Lord Caitanya actually said, "I have come because of the prayers of Advaita Acarya." But there are many reasons. These are the three external reasons.

The internal reasons are actually the primary reasons. What are the internal reasons? These are very interesting. Sri Krsna himself, in order to experience the position of Srimati Radharani, wanting to understand her position in relationship to himself, he took on the position of her. He took on her bhava, her relationship with Krsna. He wanted to understand not only her position but he wanted to understand, "What is so attractive about me. Why am I so attractive to Srimati Radharani?" She cannot, even for a fraction of an iota of an insignificant speck of time, not be absorbed in pure loving service to Krsna. Her love is intense. Even Krsna couldn't understand Radharani's love. He wanted to find out what was the nature of that love and what was it about him that makes her have such deep love. So he wanted to understand his own good qualities.

Krsna is very attractive. There is a story, one time Krsna was walking along and he came across a pillar. The pillar had a reflecting surface. He stopped and looked and said, "Wow, who is that beautiful personality there?" He was so overwhelmed seeing his own image that he just ran toward it to embrace it. Then he realized it was himself. [Chuckles] This is Krsna. He is so attractive that he attracts himself.

But in order to understand his own attractiveness, he had to take the position of the object in order to understand the subject. Also to understand what is the nature of the happiness she experiences from that loving relationship, her happiness, her love, her position, and what are his qualities. These are the internal reasons.

Srila Krsnadas Kaviraja Goswami points out in the Caitanya-caritamrta that the time for the yuga-dharma or for descending in order to propagate the teachings of harinama-sankirtana just happened to coincide with Lord Krsna's desire to appear as Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu to understand the internal reasons of his appearance, in other words, to understand that loving relationship. The external reasons are secondary.

Here in this particular verse it is describing some of his extraordinary qualities. One of the qualities that is mentioned, it was mentioned in the previous class by His Holiness Sivarama Maharaja, that he has a beautiful golden color. Radharani is called Gaurangi and Caitanya Mahaprabhu is called Gauranga, golden complexion. Actually Krsna told Radharani, when he was in the spiritual world, "I am descending in order to taste this loving relationship of your love for me."

When Radharani heard about that, she was quite alarmed because she knew the ecstasy he would experience in trying to experience her bhava. Therefore she said, "Your body will not be able to maintain. Therefore I give you protection of your body. I give you my own color." She gave him the color golden. So here is it is explained: radha-bhava-dyuti-suvalitam, that he is decorated with the transcendental color of Srimati Radharani. He is called Gauranga.

ajanu-lambita-bhujau kanakavadatau sankirtanaika-pitarau kamalayataksau visvambharau dvija-varau yuga-dharma-palau vande jagat priya-karau karunavatarau

In that verse it is also mentioned that Lord Caitanya has a golden color. His arms extend down to his knees. His eyes are elongated. His is the best of the brahmanas and he is teaching the highest principles of religion. That is, he is initiating personally himself the yuga-dharma, the harinama-sankirtana movement.

This chanting the Holy Name is the essence of all religious principles. Yamaraja himself, when he was speaking to his followers after they had returned in their failed attempt to take the soul of Ajamila to the courtyard of Yamaraja, they were questioning Yamaraja, "What is your position?"

He explained, "Actually, I am not supreme. I am subordinate. The devotees of Krsna are in all sense worshipable. Therefore, even I worship them." Then he explained that in this age, devotional service to the Supreme Personality of Godhead is the highest form of religious principles, but the essence of all devotional activities is to chant the Hare Krsna Mahamantra. That is the essence of the essence.

Sometimes when we preach, or even sometimes in a very uninformed understanding, we cannot understand how important it is to chant Hare Krsna. Actually, Srila Prabhupada said, "All your advancement in devotional service depends on chanting the Holy Names of the Lord." Everything else we do in our devotional service is meant to purify our consciousness so we can approach Krsna's name in the proper consciousness, with the proper mood.

Therefore all practices in devotional service are in one sense supporting the quality of our chanting if we are performing those activities in the right mood, with the right understanding: chanting, reading Srimad-Bhagavatam, associating with devotees, engaging in practical devotional service, worshiping the Supreme Personality of Godhead. These are various principles of powerful devotional service, but Caitanya Mahaprabhu, being the yuga-avatara, emphasized two things that are primary amongst all religious principles. Those two things are association and service to Vaisnavas and chanting the Hare Krsna Mahamantra. These are the essence of the essence.

Here in Sri Dham Mayapur we have such a wonderful opportunity to serve Vaisnavas and to hear and chant the Hare Krsna Mahamantra. Prabhupada said, "This Sri Dham Mayapur is the spiritual world. It is non-different."

One time one senior devotee asked Srila Prabhupada, they were in Mayapur, "Srila Prabhupada, sometimes devotees come to the dham and they are trying to enjoy here." It was kind of a question like maybe it's not right.

Prabhupada said, "The dham, it is for enjoyment. It is the spiritual world, spiritual enjoyment." What is that spiritual enjoyment? Chanting, dancing, associating with devotees, taking Krsna prasadam, hearing the philosophy of Bhagavad-gita, Srimad-Bhagavatam, and purifying our hearts. What is the culmination of purifying our hearts? Then these same activities become transcendentally blissful. It's not that we change our activities. The activities actually are the fundamental principle, the essence of devotional practice. But in a purified state of consciousness they bring the goal of life, that is, the direct connection between the Lord and his devotee.

So Caitanya Mahaprabhu came to teach that principle here in Sri Dham Mayapur. We are so fortunate to be here to be able to engage in these devotional activities - chanting the Holy Names, serving the Vaisnavas: nama ruci, vaisnava seva. Then he emphasized one other thing, Lord Caitanya mentioned. That is jiva doya. That is taking this mercy and giving it to others. We might call it preaching, but distributing the mercy to others. Not that we become "packed up", Prabhupada said, "packed up". We become packed up, that's nice, but the pack becomes bigger when you give it.

Lord Caitanya said, "I have the storehouse of the fruits of love of God and the storehouse is overwhelmed with fruits. I am just one gardener and I am trying to distribute these fruits to the entire world. How much can I do? Therefore, please help me to distribute these fruits."

He goes on to explain by distributing the fruits, the storehouse doesn't become less. It actually becomes greater. The more you give Krsna, the more you get Krsna. The more you try to keep Krsna, the more it is hard to find Krsna. Krsna is fast. He is always moving. So we are chasing Krsna by trying to catch him in the form of giving Krsna to others in devotional service. So these three things Lord Caitanya emphasized. So this is the essence of Lord Caitanya's movement. So we worship the Lord in this chanting and dancing.

We also have to be very conscience and cautious to avoid the negative. There are things to do and things not to do: anukulya, pratikula. Things I should do and things I don't do. Things that I don't do, if I do those things and I am still doing the things I do do, it's like building a fire and pouring water on it at the same time. One has to be very conscious to avoid things that are detrimental to devotional service.

Lord Caitanya says, "I give my full mercy to anyone chants the Holy Names of the Lord, serves the Vaisnavas, and does not find fault with others." He says, "Finding fault with others or criticizing others is the fastest way one can destroy the mercy that is being given." It is mentioned in the Caitanya-bhagavat that one who criticizes others, Lord Caitanya said, "That is like drinking poison and if you drink poison, you die." But how to neutralize that poisonous effect? Glorify others. By glorifying others, by glorifying the devotees, by seeing the good qualities in devotees and magnifying those qualities, that is like drinking nectar. When one drinks nectar, one attains immortal life.

So Lord Caitanya gives other considerations. We should be very careful not to engage in prajalpa, or useless talk, finding fault, criticizing, because we are just dampening the mercy that is so easily available in the form of this harinama-sankirtana. So it is important to keep these principles in mind. And Sri Caitanya is very merciful, but he emphasized certain principles that in order to practice devotional service successfully one must develop the qualities:

trnad api sunicena taror api sahisnuna amanina manadena kirtaniyah sada harih

This verse was spoken by Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu. Srila Bhaktisiddhanta Saraswati Maharaja sometimes he was asked, "Maharaja, can you tell me what is my svarupa, what is my internal relationship?"

He said, "Your svarupa is:

trnad api sunicena taror api sahisnuna amanina manadena kirtaniyah sada harih

This is actually the principle that Lord Caitanya emphasized as far as practicing devotional service successfully. And Krsnadas Kaviraja Goswami in Caitanya-caritamrta, he emphasizes this verse. He is actually quoting Jiva Goswami, Jiva Goswami says, "You take this verse and string it on the necklace of the Holy Name and wear it as your ornament." What is the result? The result is kirtaniyah sada. One can develop an attraction, an attachment to chanting the Holy Names of the Lord. Lord Caitanya emphasized this verse amongst many, many verses.

So we are here, Sri Dham Mayapur, just on the advent of the appearance of Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu. When he appears, of course he is always appearing in the hearts of the devotees who are following his instructions and the instructions of his representative, the spiritual master, but on this Gaura Purnima festival, the Lord's mercy is bestowed in such waves, such oceans that on his appearance day, this more or less inspires us to become more and more serious in our Krsna consciousness.

Many of us have to go back to our respective areas and we have to again associate with the material energy more directly. Sometimes in occupation or just living in mundane materialistic society. Whatever time we are here, we should try to get as much opportunity to absorb in the mercy of Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu, purify our hearts more, bring it back, and preach that message to others.

Prabhupada says there are two aspects to devotional service: become purified and to help others become purified. Just to become Krsna conscious yourself is not possible. One has to actually be an instrument of the mercy for the Lord in whatever way we can. it's not that everyone has to take up a position of being a great scholar of the Vedas or preaching in a formal way. Lord Caitanya said, "Whoever you meet, tell them about Krsna. Whoever you meet, tell them about the chanting of the Holy Names. By my command, be guru, save the land." That means you come in contact, give them an opportunity to somehow come forward.

Lord Caitanya's mission is a mission of compassion. He has taken Radharani's love, which is his own bhava, in the form of this sankirtana movement, and he is garlanding the entire world with that love in the form of this sankirtana movement. This sankirtana movement is Radharani's love for Krsna. This is the internal mood of this entire lila of Caitanya Mahaprabhu, to give Radharani's love in the form of this sankirtana movement to the entire world.

We have a legacy. Our legacy is, as Srila Prabhupada said when someone asked him, "How can we serve you Prabhupada?"

Prabhupada said, "Do what I am doing." He means that we should also take the mission of the spiritual master as our life and soul. That means make his mission our practice in devotional service. To try to in any way, we just see what Krsna has given us, he has given us time, energy, facilities, opulences, intelligence, whatever, use that in any way you can to spread Krsna consciousness.

Caitanya Mahaprabhu when he went traveling through South India, he was spreading the Holy Name and everyone who saw him became inspired. That person told another person and that person told another person and that person told another person. In this way, Lord Caitanya's mercy in the form of the sankirtana movement spread throughout the entire continent of India. In the time of Caitanya Mahaprabhu, he made the entire continent of India Krsna conscious by his presence and his travels to South India. That is the power and that same mercy if fully available to us today.

sri-krsna-caitanya prabhu-nityananda sri-advaita gadadhara srivasadi-gaura-bhakta-vrnda

Hare Krsna Hare Krsna Krsna Krsna Hare Hare Hare Rama Hare Rama Rama Rama Hare Hare

Thank you very much.

Srila Prabhupada ki jai!

Do we have time for questions? Are there any questions, comments? Yes?

Question: Hare Krsna. Maharaja, you were speaking about criticism. Can you please explain corrective criticism? Also you were speaking about humility. Can you please explain also . . . ?

Candramauli Maharaja:I'll try. I don't have these qualities.

The spiritual master is in the position to find fault with his disciple. Why? As a service to his disciples, he can correct them to improve their devotional life. In general, a relationship with other devotees, unless it is in the role of a spiritual master-disciple, is to share the six loving exchanges: to talk about Krsna, to hear about Krsna, to give prasadam, to accept prasadam, to give gifts, to accept gifts.

If one finds a situation where one finds there is obligation to do some correction, one should be very, very careful and cautious to do it in such a way that doesn't cause disturbance and that person will accept. Generally when a person is doing something wrong, they are not in a position to understand because already their consciousness is wrong, so one has to be very sensitive in offering corrective criticism.

One should think ahead of time what will be the results. Even if your intention is not to offend and you do offend, it's still an offense. Unintentionally, still it is an offense. The relationships between devotees are very, very sweet, are meant to be very sweet and very, very loving. In order to keep that mood, even in the mood of correction, we should be very, very careful to do it in such a way that that person will accept.

If we feel we can't do that, we should ask someone else who feel may be in a better position to do that correction. It's not wrong to do it, provided it is done in the right consciousness. That means one has to be not in the mood of "I'm the corrector" but in the mood, "I want to help this person and their Krsna consciousness." It is a principle of compassion. Correction means you are trying to make that person act in a more proper way that their Krsna consciousness will not be affected in a negative way. You're trying to help them, but it has to be accepted in that way.

We shouldn't walk around looking for faults to be the all Supreme Personality of Godhead Corrector. Sometimes we find that. Some personalities put themselves in the position of correcting everybody. That is not Vaisnava attitude. The Vaisnava is always trying to see the good. Prabhupada said we should be like bumblebee. Bumblebee goes for the honey. Fly goes for the stool. Devotees may have, practically everyone has good qualities, everyone has faults, except pure devotees.

So you can see what you want to see. You can see the faults or you can see the good qualities. If you see the good qualities, then actually you'll appreciate. We find that as we change ourselves, we also change others. The more we develop our own Krsna consciousness, the more we will see the good qualities in others.

In the form of corrective criticism, if it is done in the proper mood as a service, then that is acceptable. Then again, one has to be careful how to do that. Not, "Hey Prabhu, you're in maya!" That's not going to work. First of all you can't call someone Prabhu and then say he's in maya. "Hey master, you're in maya. Hey, stop that!"

The devotees are humble. Many times they'll accept, but sometimes in their heart they'll feel, "Why did he do it like that? Why wasn't he more gentle and sensitive? I'm not such a demon." So we have to be careful in dealing with Vaisnavas, very careful. We see, we've committed a lot of Vaisnava aparadha in our society. A lot of times devotees go away because these things are done. Therefore, we have to be very, very careful but not foolish to allow things that are against religious principles to go on simply with the idea that we don't want to correct. If someone is doing something wrong of offensive, some attempt should be made. If I can't do it, let me contact someone who can do it more effectively.

Does that help? That didn't answer your question? OK.

[Unclear comment]

Devotees are not fools, but they are humble. Humility does not relegate one to foolishness. Humility is actually a position of empowerment. Humility means, Prabhupada gave different definitions, but one of them is, "I can't do anything; Krsna can do anything. Therefore, the more I take shelter of Krsna and the spiritual master, the more I become empowered."

Srila Prabhupada spread Krsna consciousness around the world, but he was one of the most humble of all personalities ever. He saw himself as an insignificant person, but he was fully devoted to the lotus feet of the Lord. He knew whatever success he is having or whatever he does is simply by the mercy and kindness of the Lord and his spiritual master. That is humility.

Humility also means I don't want to be honored. Prabhupada writes that in Bhagavad-gita in the Fourteenth Chapter. He is describing the qualities amanitvam adambhitvam. The first one is humility, the second one is pirdelessness, the third is tolerance. He explains that these are qualities of knowledge, or principles of knowledge.

The first principle of knowledge is humility because that is the main quality of a Vaisnava. So Prabhupada describes humility means not to want the distinction to be honored by others. Not wanting honor. Therefore amanina manadena, to want to honor others and not want honor for oneself.

If someone gives you honor and if you keep it, then pride can develop. But if someone gives you honor and you say, "All glories to my spiritual master. All glories to the Lord. This person is actually seeing some good qualities in me, that is his good quality he can see something good in me." These are some definitions of humility as give by the acaryas.

Humility also means not to think less oneself, but to think of oneself less. To think of oneself less. We are always thinking about me. We should be thinking about ? or Krsna or how to serve, like that. If we are so much overwhelmed by self consciousness, then that is a perverted principle of humility. "Oh, I am so fallen, I am so useless, I can't do anything. Therefore, I won't do anything." [Chuckles] That is not humility. Humility gives one empowerment, empowers one to do things.

Does that help?

Thank you.

OK, I think we should go on. They say one cannot live by philosophy alone. It's time for prasad.

Thank you very much.

Srila Prabhupada ki jai!


Wednesday, February 28, 2007

CC Adi 4.56 Bhakti Vikasa Swami

Lecture by His Holiness Bhakti Vikasa Swami (download mp3), given on February 28, at the 2007 Gaura Purnima Festival, Sri Mayapur Candrodaya Mandir, Mayapur, India.

Caitanya Caritamrta, Adi 4.56

radha-krsna eka atma, dui deha dhari'
anyonye vilase rasa asvadana kari'

TRANSLATION: Radha and Krsna are one and the same, but They have assumed two bodies. Thus They enjoy each other, tasting the mellows of love.

PURPORT: The two transcendentalists Radha and Krsna are a puzzle to materialists. The above description of Radha and Krsna from the diary of Srila Svarupa Damodara Gosvami is a condensed explanation, but one needs great spiritual insight to understand the mystery of these two personalities. One is enjoying in two. Sri Krsna is the potent factor, and Srimati Radharani is the internal potency. According to Vedanta philosophy, there is no difference between the potent and the potency; they are identical. We cannot differentiate between one and the other, any more than we can separate fire from heat.

Everything in the Absolute is inconceivable in relative existence. Therefore in relative cognizance it is very difficult to assimilate this truth of the oneness between the potent and the potency. The philosophy of inconceivable oneness and difference propounded by Lord Caitanya is the only source of understanding for such intricacies of transcendence.

In fact, Radharani is the internal potency of Sri Krsna, and She eternally intensifies the pleasure of Sri Krsna. Impersonalists cannot understand this without the help of a maha-bhagavata devotee. The very name "Radha" suggests that Srimati Radharani is eternally the topmost mistress of the comforts of Sri Krsna. As such, She is the medium transmitting the living entities' service to Sri Krsna. Devotees in Vrndavana therefore seek the mercy of Srimati Radharani in order to be recognized as loving servitors of Sri Krsna.

Lord Caitanya Mahaprabhu personally approaches the fallen conditioned souls of the iron age to deliver the highest principle of transcendental relationships with the Lord. The activities of Lord Caitanya are primarily in the role of the pleasure-giving portion of His internal potency. The absolute Personality of Godhead, Sri Krsna, is the omnipotent form of transcendental existence, knowledge and bliss in full. His internal potency is exhibited first as sat, or existence-or, in other words, as the portion that expands the existence function of the Lord. When the same potency displays full knowledge it is called cit, or samvit, which expands the transcendental forms of the Lord. Finally, when the same potency plays as a pleasure-giving medium it is known as hladini, or the transcendental blissful potency. Thus the Lord manifests His internal potency in three transcendental divisions. [End of purport]

[Invocatory prayers]

Bhakti Vikasa Swami: Srila Prabhupada writes here:

"The above description of Radha and Krsna from the diary of Srila Svarupa Damodara Gosvami . . ."

By above description, he is not referring to this verse which we read today, but the verse before it. It's a famous verse in Sanskrit, a part of a chapter of Sri Caitanya-caritamrta, this verse is the beginning of the explanation of the verse which Prabhupada says is the condensed explnation of the famous verse:

radha krsna-pranaya-vikrtir hladini saktir asmad ekatmanav api bhuvi pura deha-bhedah gatau tau caitanyakhyah prakatam adhuna tad-dvayah caikyam aptah radha-bhava-dyuti-suvalitah naumi krsna-svarupam

"The loving affairs of Sri Radha and Krsna are transcendental manifestations of the Lord's internal pleasure-giving potency. Although Radha and Krsna are one in Their identity, They separated Themselves eternally. Now these two transcendental identities have again united, in the form of Sri Krsna Caitanya. I bow down to Him, who has manifested Himself with the sentiment and complexion of Srimati Radharani although He is Krsna Himself."

Prabhupada begins his purport by describing Radha and Krsna as "transcendentalists". Generally we think of transcendentalist as someone who is practicing sadhana with the aspiration to attain the transcendental platform. Another meaning Prabhupada is giving of transcendentalist is those who are on the transcendental platform.

From Radha and Krsna's perspective, they are not on the transcendental platform. That's only from our perspective because we are not transcendental. They are transcendental to us. They are on the absolute platform. We are on the relative platform. We are relative to them. They are the absolute reality.

So Radha and Krsna don't discuss such matters. As here Prabhupada is saying, according to Vedanta philosophy, there is no difference between the potent and the potency: sakti-saktimatayor abhedah. But Radha and Krsna are not discussing this. They are just being Radha and Krsna and enjoying. Technically Krsna is the enjoyer and Radha is the enjoyed, but they are both happy always. Happy in a way that as long as we are in the relative position, we cannot begin to understand

So Prabhupada writes:

"The two transcendentalists Radha and Krsna are a puzzle to materialists."

Not only are they are a puzzle to materialists, but they are a puzzle to most transcendentalists also. They are a puzzle even to most Vaisnavas. Vaisnava means they are worshipping Visnua: visnur yasya devata iti vaisnava: simple definition of a Vaisnava is one who worships Visnu. Karsna means who is recognizing Krsna. Gaudiya means who is worshiping Radha and Krsna. Even most Vaisnavas recognize Visnu is supreme or they may recognize Krsna is supreme, but it is very difficult to understand the pastimes of Radha and Krsna.

We are enjoined not to speak above our realization. These verses are given for discussion. Should we speak on them or not? Well, we shouldn't take a vote. We should follow mahajano yena gatah sa panthah, we should follow what the great personalities prescribe. We should discuss because on one hand we shouldn't speak beyond our realization; on the other hand, unless we know what we are aiming for, we are never going to get there and we are shooting in the dark.

So what is the goal of the Gaudiya Vaisnavas? Srila Prabhupada writes in one purport in his song book, "Do not think this dancing and chanting will be to the desired perfection. It will. The goal of the Gaudiya Vaisnavas is to join Radha and Krsna in their rasa-lila." We may join as a gopi or someone bringing the flowers, arranging the place of rest afterwards, or if we're very fortunate, we could be some grass.

It is an aspiration which even Uddhava, who Krsna told Uddhava:

na tatha me priyatama atma-yonir na sankarah

He says that, "No one is more dear to me. Na tatha me priyatama atma-yonir na sankarah, you are more dear to me than Lord Siva and Lord Brahma, Lord Brahma who is born from my own body. Na ca sankarsano na srir, not even Lord Balarama, or even Laksmi, my wife, naivatma ca yatha bhavan, and even me myself. You are more dear to me than all of them and even to me myself. "

But Uddhava is asking after he went to Vrindavan, he was sent by Krsna to Vrindavan. He is the disciple of Brhaspati. He is very learned, very intelligent, and known as the greatest devotee in Dvaraka. But when he went to Vrindavan he understood that "Krsna sent me here not to bring a message to the residents of Vrindavan, the gopis, I am supposed to be speaking about Krsna to the Brajabasis to make them somewhat pacified, but I am learning from them. I have to learn. I learned from Brhaspati. What Brhaspati taught me is worshiped in the world, but there is this little place called Vrindavan which no one gives much importance to. They're all Hastinapura and Dvaraka and big cities, running up and down and making battle plans, doing politics, and who cares about Vrindavan? But Krsna cares even more than he cares for the Pandavas. He is doing so much for the Pandavas. His heart is in Vrindavan."

So Uddhava was praying, "Ultimately I can become the creepers, the grass, something insignificant in Vrindavan so that sometime the gopis might walk on my head," the head of the grass, trinad api sunicena. "Then I will get their dust on my head."

So who can understand this? It is beyond any material understanding, which is exemplified, although Uddhava is not a material person, he is a fully transcendental person. He is a transcendentalist, but the knowledge that he has, the knowledge of activities of this world that he has received from the greatest Vedic scholar, Brhaspati, that is not enough to even begin to understand radha krsna-pranaya-vikrtir hladini saktir asmad. . . , the loving pastimes of Radha and Krsna, which is therefore very difficult to understand.

To help us to understand it, Srila Krsnadas Kaviraja Goswami at the beginning of Caitanya-caritamrta has presented the philosophical understanding of who is Sri Krsna Caitanya Mahaprabhu. Those who like nectar, they like to hear stories only, will hear the nice stories of how Caitanya Mahaprabhu is dancing in Ratha-yatra, how he is chastising Jagadananda Pandit, how he is rejecting Chota Haridas. There are so many sweet pastimes of Caitanya Mahaprabhu.

Caitanya-caritamrta, amrta means nectar, very sweet. But if we think we shall relish the nectar of Caitanya-caritamrta without taking the whole Caitanya-caritamrta as it is, without trying to understand as Krsnadas Kaviraja Goswami has taken the trouble to inform us of who is Sri Krsna Caitanya Mahaprabhu, why is he performing these lilas, what is he doing, even if we think of him as a devotee, it is very sweet to hear, but if we can understand at least theoretically the mystery of his appearance, the reasons.

There are reasons. He who is sarva-karana-karanam, the cause of all causes, there are also reasons for his descending into this world. There are reasons why Radha and Krsna, who are one, they are two. They are the same one truth.

This will be described in the next few slokas. Just like the musk and its aroma are inseparable. You cannot have the aroma of musk without musk and you cannot have musk without its aroma. In the same way, Radha and Krsna, they are one in as much as they are inseparable. All these points will be discussed by Srila Krsnadas Kaviraja Goswami so that the readers of Sri Caitanya-caritamrta, here we are reading anyonye vilase rasa asvadana kari', they reciprocate with each other to enjoy, to taste the rasa, the mellows of love. So devotees, by hearing Sri Caitanya-caritamrta, they also relish, by hearing, the natural ecstasy of the soul to be happy in Krsna consciousness.

Srila Krsnadas Kaviraja Goswami compiled this philosophical section at the beginning of Sri Caitanya-caritamrta, even though he was writing he did not know how long he would live because from the non-transcendental perspective it appeared that his body was very old. He said, "I may die at any time. I am writing but I cannot see properly and I cannot even hold the pen properly." Pen in those days meant a feather. He had so much of the pastimes of Caitanya Mahaprabhu to record, but still he took the trouble at the beginning. He considered it important that at the beginning of Caitanya-caritamrta he would give the philosophical understanding of who Caitanya Mahaprabhu is. If we simply hear about Caitanya Mahaprabhu without understanding this, still there is great benefit.

The other two famous biographies in Bengali, Sri Caitanya-bhagavata and Sri Caitanya-mangala, especially in Caitanya-mangala, there is almost no philosophical description there at all. And Caitanya-bhagavata, definitely not in the way there is here in Sri Caitanya-caritamrta.

In Sri Caitanya-caritamrta, here at the beginning, the first four chapters discuss the philosophy of understanding guru-tattva, caitanya-lila-tattva. There is the description of the Caitanya tree, who the Panca-tattva are. Later on in Caitanya-caritamrta there are also extension philosophical discussion of Caitanya Mahaprabhu's teachings to Rupa Goswami and Sanatana Goswami.

All these are there so that we can understand at least theoretically. By understanding theoretically we can begin to enter into the actual understanding of Caitanya Mahaprabhu. That is ultimately to be experienced, but for those who are sadhakas, those who are traversing the path from, acaitanyam idah visvah, everyone in this world is acaitanya. They have no consciousness. They don't have Krsna Caitanya. They don't have consciousness of Krsna or Krsna Caitanya. Those who are traversing the path from being unconscious, acaitanya means also unconscious, to consciousness of Krsna Caitanya Mahaprabhu, for them it is essential to understand that sri-krsna-caitanya radha-krsna nahe anya, what are the implications of Krsna Caitanya Mahaprabhu being Radha and Krsna.

What does it mean? How is it that Radha and Krsna, who are eternally happy in the land of Vrindavan, who are complete in all respects, they have nothing to gain? Krsna is atmarama, aptakama. He is full and complete in himself. All his desires are automatically fulfilled. Still, he feels some inadequacy. How is this possible? So this is a puzzle to materialists.

Somehow there are certain non-devotees who are attracted to Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu. They are attracted because they are demons, actually. They are attracted just like so many demons are attracted to Krsna. They are always thinking of Krsna, but in an inimical way. Similarly there are mundane scholars, they could study anything. They have to make a living and they are intellectually inclined. They could have studied butterflies or they could have studies frogs or they could have studied mathematics or they could have studied the Napoleonic era, but they decided to study Krsna. It is another subject. Put it in a test tube and see what happens. They have to make a living.

They bring their relative way of thinking to try to understand Krsna. It doesn't work. The very beginning of transcendental understanding is to understand that we cannot understand that which is beyond our brain power:

acintyah khalu ye bhava na tahs tarkena yojayet prakrtibhyah parah yac ca tad acintyasya laksanam

It is almost like a roundabout statement that whatever is acintya, that which is not within the scope of our mind and senses and brain cannot be understood by the mind or senses or the brain. It is almost like saying it is like this because it's like this. Well, that's a fact. Why can't you understand Caitanya Mahaprabhu with the mind and brain and the senses. Because it is not the right apparatus. You can't do it. You can't measure the density of an object with a ruler. It's good for measuring some things. You can measure what is the width of this book. Or you can't measure the distance from here to Hong Kong with a ruler. It's just not capable of doing so.

So the mundane scholars like to understand. They have invented a term: gaura-paramyavan?, the theory that Caitanya Mahaprabhu is the Supreme Personality of Godhead. But none of the devotees of Caitanya Mahaprabhu speak about this because they all accept from the very beginning. Vrindavan das Thakur, from the very beginning, the first major Bengali biographer, writing in Bengali, of Caitanya Mahaprabhu. Before that Kavi-karnapura, and the very first biographer, Murari Gupta, Svarupa Damodara Goswami.

From the very beginning, it is not like someone at some point dreamed up like happens with the so-called modern incarnations. Someone at some point in time has a theory. Just like in Bangladesh, more than twenty years ago when I was traveling there, there was a Hindu preacher called Vivekananda Brahmacari. We met him once. He was known as, he had all the usual big, "mahatma", "1008 glories", and all that. The next time we met him, he was an avatar. He had been promoted. That is not with Caitanya Mahaprabhu. From the very beginning, it was understood. The devotees who were with him understood.

The mundane scholars have to give speculations that when in Caitanya-lila it is described how he showed to devotees he is the Supreme Personality of Godhead for seven praharas, twenty-one hours, sitting on the throne of Visnu in the house of Srivasa Thakur. He showed all his devotees he is the Supreme Lord. That was recorded by the devotees in their biographies. So from the beginning there was no doubt in the mind of the devotees that he is the Supreme Personality of Godhead.

But the mundane scholars, it is their business to doubt because they are andha yathandhair upaniyamanas te 'pisa-tantryam uru-damni baddhah. They are blind following the blind. When they want to become a leader of the blind, they have to exhibit their blindness. So they make up this theory and that theory and that theory. They have a theory that someone had a theory that Caitanya Mahaprabhu was the Supreme Personality of Godhead.

It was never a theory in the minds of those who are actual transcendentalists. They knew from the very beginning. To help others understand this and appreciate this, they compiled their writings. This verse, radha krsna-pranaya-vikrtir hladini saktir asmad, this is from the karcha, or the diary of Sri Svarupa Damodara Goswami, which is not extant anymore. It seems he kept it secretly because that wasn't revealed very widely.

Krsnadas Kaviraja Goswami has quoted the key verses from that describing the personality of Caitanya Mahaprabhu and why he comes to this world. As Krsnadas Kaviraja Goswami describes, he has taken the karcha of Svarupa Damodara Goswami, the karcha of Murari Gupta, who described the Navadvipa pastimes of Caitanya Mahaprabhu. And Krsnadas Kaviraja Goswami heard from Raghunath dasa Goswami who was with Caitanya Mahaprabhu in Puri. In this way, he took all the lilas and he fluffed it out in his own language. He elaborated on it. Not that he speculated. He didn't add anything of his own. He said, "I am simply chewing the remnants of that which is given by my gurus."

His gurus are Sri Rupa, Sanatana, Bhatta Raghunatha Sri Jiva, Gopala Bhatta, Dasa Raghunatha. With the exception of Jiva Goswami, they all personally were taking part in the pastimes of Caitanya Mahaprabhu and they understood who is Caitanya Mahaprabhu. They are also all sakti-tattva.

Radha and Krsna are one and the same. They are saktiman and sakti. Just as Krsna is the possessor of all potencies and Radharani is sakti. Just as Krsna is the root or the fountainhead of all avataras, not only avataras, but all the Visnu forms and even Vrindavan Krsna, from him are manifest, not manifest but eternally existing. It is difficult to say because it is difficult for us to imagine in our constricted consciousness what is the nature of God, but language as far as possible is meant for describing this. There is no use of writing or talking unless we discuss these subjects.

So Krsna expands himself as Mathuresa, the Krsna in Mathura, and Dvarakesa, Krsna in Dvaraka, Partha-sarathi. Then as Balarama, Vasudeva, Vasudeva, Sankarsana, Pradyumna, Aniruddha, and so many forms. In the same way, Srimati Radharani is the fountainhead of all saktis. That means within Vrindavan, all the gopis and outside Vrindavan, there's Rukmini, Satyabhama, and all the queens. So Krsna and Radha are the original fountainheads and the six goswamis, Krsnadas Kaviraja Goswami are also sakti tattva. They are gopis. They have come to join Radha ad Krsna who have come as one, as Caitanya Mahaprabhu, to assist him.

Their service, they are meant for serving the saktiman. They are saktis meant for serving, for giving pleasure to Krsna. They give pleasure to Krsna through Radha. She expands herself in so many forms and all these forms of the gopis. And on Krsna's side, Balarama, he is the personification of-- again personification is not a very good term, but what can you do, it's English, it gives the idea of something that didn't exist but comes into existence--but Balarama is eternally existing as the fountainhead of service to Krsna, as is Radharani. Radha, the very name means she who is the best worshiper of Krsna. She only thinks of how to please Krsna. And all her energies, all her expansion, for want of a better term, they are assisting her to please Krsna.

This is a mystery. It is a puzzle, Prabhupada says this. To materialists, it is an enigma. How can they understand? It is an enigma to them because from the point of view of materialists who shouldn't discuss these things at all, the pastimes of Radha and Krsna seem to be vulgar. On the other hand, the great devotees of Radha and Krsna are not at all vulgar.

Caitanya Mahaprabhu was so strict even in his family life. In his childhood he used to joke with the young girls, but then after that, he was very proper in his dealings. Of course everything Caitanya Mahaprabhu does is proper, even if it seems improper, but from the point of worldly dharma, or worldly cultured behavior, he didn't mix up with the women of Nadia as is wrongly misconstrued by the gaura-nagari apasampradaya.

And after taking sannyasa he was so strict about this that his devotees didn't even say the names of any women to him, even the names of women elder, on the level of mothers. Anyway you don't say the names of women, but when Paramesvara Modaka, one of his devotees came and said, "Oh, Mukunda-ma, she has also come." Means his wife had also come. In the Vedic culture, generally you won't say the name of the woman but you'll say what is the name of her first son and "mother", so Mukunda-mata. So she has also come.

Caitanya Mahaprabhu, "Oh," he was feeling, "I'm a sannyasi. He shouldn't say like that." He was so strict. So Caitanya Mahaprabhu and all the devotees, all the great acaryas who have worshiped Radha and Krsna, their behavior is exemplary in terms of moral behavior. There are certain rascals who criticize Caitanya Mahaprabhu for setting a bad example by abandoning his widowed mother. They're rascals. We don't have to accept what they say.

It is enigmatic. How is it that the pastimes of Radha and Krsna, which appear so vulgar, are worshiped by great sannyasis and persons in whose behavior there is no trace of vulgarity? It suggests that what they are saying, if we are going to approach this at all from the mundane platform, that if what they say is true, that actually hearing about Radha and Krsna is purifying. That is the version of the Bhagavatam, that by hearing about the pastimes of Radha and Krsna, which seem shocking to the materialists.

Of course in the modern age it is not shocking that a man would sport with other people's wives, but actually it should be shocking because for a man to sport with other people's wives is uncivilized. It is subhuman behavior. Or in the case of Krsna, it is superhuman behavior. But those who are only on the human platform, they cannot understand this. Those who are subhumans, they certainly can't understand it. And those who are only human, they also can't understand it.

One has to become transcendental. Then he can begin to understand it. At least in the beginning it should be accepted that the same Vyasadeva who compiled all these sastras for the elevation of human society was not in his old age senile, but in his old age--not his old age, rather, he is still there in the Himalayas--but the last literary contribution he made was the Srimad-Bhagavatam in which he described in detail the pastimes of Krsna in Vrindavan and Mathura and Dvaraka. And he described there, in a guarded way, what is Krsna's gopi-lila. It is there. In a guarded way it is described.

Later Caitanya Mahaprabhu came, the Panca-tattva came and the storehouse of love of Krsna, which is Srimad-Bhagavatam, that required to be opened by the devotees who are described in the beginning Bhagavatam: pibata bhagavatah rasam alayah muhur aho rasika bhuvi bhavukah. Those who are rasika-bhaktas, they can understand to the fullest extent what is the teaching of Srimad-Bhagavatam.

Here Prabhupada writes Radha Krsna are a puzzle to materialists, but they are a puzzle to transcedentalists and even to great Vaisnavas who have established that Krsna is the Supreme Personality of Godhead, that the parama-tattva, the supreme principle of supreme reality is Krsna or Hari, Visnu, the supreme person. They have established this very strongly in the world.

Madhvacarya especially has completely smashed the Mayavadi theory that all is one and one is all, that there is no supreme or less, everything is simply one. So Madhvacarya established that but the full ramification of Krsna being the supreme person is that he is the supreme enjoyer, the supreme lover. He's not simply supreme sitting on a throne. He exhibits his supremacy more by dancing in the cowherd pastures of Vrindavan without any shoes on with the gopis. So this is the logical, if you want to take it as far as logic will go, the logical conclusion of Krsna being the Supreme Personality of Godhead, but being constricted by sastric understanding, many Vaisnavas, Madhva Sampradaya, for them it remains a puzzle, an enigma.

Even if we go in the temple of the Sri Krsna Matha in Udupi, the heart of the Madhva Sampradaya, when we walk in the temple, do you see the Deity? Who's been there, Udupi? When you walk in do you see the Deity? No, because he is on the other side. You walk in and you go around because he turned around. The story is that the Deity turned around.

But what you do see when you go in, you'll see a big picture on the wall of Radha and Krsna, which according to Madhva philosophy shouldn't be there because they don't accept Radha. But still from the picture being there it seems they don't reject. It's a mystery to them because they are perfect in understanding the sastras. They have perfectly understood that Krsna is the Supreme Personality of Godhead, but they haven't perfectly understood the implication of what it means to be a person, which will not be described in the sastra. That's not for everyone.

In the morning newspaper you might read that the prime minister said, whatever nonsense they say, the price of everything is going up, but you don't read how he had an argument with his wife. That doesn't come in the newspaper. That is his own private business. So what Radha and Krsna are doing, that is Krsna's private business. But it may be that the prime minister is reading out, "Here is the price of everything . . . ," and he is thinking, "What am I going to say to my wife when I get back?" because to him his wife is more important.

Of course for Krsna, Radha is more important, but it may not be for the Prime Minister, I don't know. His emotional affairs are more important to him even than the state of the country or his ministers. They are important, he knows he has a duty, he has to look after them, but to him his own personal affairs, because he is a person, that is more important to him.

There was one King of England, he was supposed to become the King of England. He gave up his claim to the throne because he wanted to marry a woman who was already divorced. In those days, that was only seventy years ago, that was considered unacceptable. Nowadays, the president of America can have illicit sex left, right, and center and people don't give a damn. Times have changed. So his emotional affair, he considered it more important. "Yes, I know I've been trained since childhood to be the king, but I just can't do it because I am ruled by my heart."

So Krsna also being the supreme person, he is not simply a wooden or stone statute. Most important for him is just like he says:

na tatha me priyatama atma-yonir na sankarah na ca sankarsano na Srir naivatma ca yatha bhavan

That Uddhava, you are more dear to me than Brahma. Well in the universal creation, Brahma is more important than Uddhava, so is Sankara, Lord Siva, but to Krsna, Uddhava is more important because he loves him more. Uddhava loves Krsna more and Krsna loves Uddhava more.

So these are the internal affairs of Caitanya Mahaprabhu, of Radha and Krsna and we didn't even come very close at all to speaking about why Radha and Krsna are one. They are two but again they become one. Of course it requires a lot of time to discuss these things. No, not a lot of time, unlimited time. Ananta is discussing timelessly. I presume that will be discussed in the next few days because that is the subject matter of the next few verses.

I am supposed to have stopped already so if anybody would like to make any comments or give any questions, kindly do so. And we should go on discussing these things. Why don't we do that for the next few days, at least up to Gaura Purnima? Why don't we make a vow that we are not going to talk about the state of our stomachs or various political matters inside or outside of ISKCON.

Let's discuss about Caitanya Mahaprabhu. How about that? Is it a good idea? I think so. Let's do that. When we meet each other, we should discuss all these topics.

Hare Krsna.

Any comment or question please?

yadi amara prati sneha thake sabakara tabe krsna veti vrikta ??? na gaibe ara

Caitanya Mahaprabhu said if you love me, then do one thing--don't talk about anything else but Krsna.

So see if we can do that for at least a few days. We'll talk about Caitanya Mahaprabhu. Please? Oh, you weren't putting your hand up. There's a fly in the Dham of Caitanya Mahaprabhu. We have to connect it somehow to Caitanya Mahaprabhu. Otherwise we are not following our sadhana.

Q: You were saying that Krsna was in the rasa dance dancing without his shoes on. Can you elaborate on that?

A: Why he doesn't have his dancing shoes on? Well, Krsna doesn't wear shoes in Vrindavan because he loves the cows. He told his mother, "I'm not going to wear, either you make shoes for all my millions of cows or I'll go without shoes." So he goes without shoes. And the gopis are crying that the rough stones and the spikes are hurting Krsna's foot. Also all the living beings who are fortunate to be the grass, they get directly the mercy from Krsna's feet. That's his mercy also. If he had shoes on, it would be a little bit removed. [Chuckles.] It's a speculation.

Hare Krsna.

Srimad Caitanya-caritamrta ki jai! Srila Prabhupada ki jai! Hare Krsna.