The conditioned living entity has the defect of being always fearful, but simply by the mercy of the Supreme Personality of Godhead, he can rid himself of this defect of material life. Therefore the Lord alone can be addressed as master.
Mercy of the Supreme Personality of Godhead
Whenever a devotee is in distress or has fallen into difficulty, he thinks that it is the Lord's mercy upon him. He thinks, "Thanks to my past misdeeds I should suffer far, far greater than I am suffering now. So it is by the mercy of the Supreme Lord that I am not getting all the punishment I am due. I am just getting a little, by the mercy of the Supreme Personality of Godhead."
By the moonshine, all the vegetables are nourished. The moonshine is so pleasing that people can easily understand that they are living by the mercy of the Supreme Personality of Godhead, Kṛṣṇa. Without His mercy there cannot be sun, without His mercy there cannot be moon, and without His mercy there cannot be fire, and without the help of sun, moon and fire, no one can live. These are some thoughts to provoke Kṛṣṇa consciousness in the conditioned soul.
For a sannyāsī, the first qualification should be fearlessness. Because a sannyāsī has to be alone without any support or guarantee of support, he has simply to depend on the mercy of the Supreme Personality of Godhead. If one thinks, "After I leave my connections, who will protect me?" he should not accept the renounced order of life.
The Vedas are the source of all knowledge, and they were first revealed to Brahmā by the mercy of the Supreme Personality of Godhead while Brahmā was thinking of re-creating the material world.
Unless one is favored by the Supreme Lord, one cannot cross over the ocean of the nescience of repeated birth and death. Here it is stated that yogīs or mystics cross beyond nescience by the mercy of the Supreme Personality of Godhead.
Knowledge of the Absolute Truth is not very easily understood by ordinary, less intelligent men; but if the spiritual master is kind enough to the disciple, however unintelligent the disciple may be, then by the divine grace of the spiritual master everything is revealed. Viśvanātha Cakravartī Ṭhākura therefore says, yasya prasādād, by the mercy of the spiritual master, the mercy of the Supreme Personality of Godhead, bhagavat-prasādaḥ, is revealed.
The knowledge the conditioned soul gains by mental speculation, however powerful it may be, is always too imperfect to approach the Absolute Truth. It is said that without the mercy of the Supreme Personality of Godhead one cannot understand Him or His actual form, quality and name. Those who are not in devotional service go on speculating for many, many thousands of years, but they are still unable to understand the nature of the Absolute Truth.
One can be liberated in the knowledge of the Absolute Truth simply by the mercy of the Supreme Personality of Godhead. It is clearly said herein that our memory is lost because we are now covered by His material energy. Arguments may be put forward as to why we have been put under the influence of this material energy by the supreme will of the Lord. This is explained in Bhagavad-gītā, where the Lord says, "I am sitting in everyone's heart, and due to Me one is forgetful or one is alive in knowledge."
My dear Lord, by Your causeless mercy I am awakened to consciousness, although I am only ten months old. For this causeless mercy of the Supreme Personality of Godhead, the friend of all fallen souls, there is no way to express my gratitude but to pray with folded hands.
Sunīti continued: The Supreme Personality of Godhead is so great that simply by worshiping His lotus feet, your great-grandfather, Lord Brahmā, acquired the necessary qualifications to create this universe. Although he is unborn and is the chief of all living creatures, he is situated in that exalted post because of the mercy of the Supreme Personality of Godhead, whom even great yogīs worship by controlling the mind and regulating the life air (prāṇa).
Although Lord Brahmā is also a living being, by his penance and austerity he acquired the exalted position of creator of this universe by the mercy of the Supreme Lord. To become successful in any attempt, one not only has to undergo severe penances and austerities, but also must be dependent on the mercy of the Supreme Personality of Godhead. This indication had been given to Dhruva Mahārāja by his stepmother and was now confirmed by his own mother, Sunīti.
The word sudurjayam, an adjective which indicates that no one can conquer death, is very significant. When Dhruva Mahārāja was away from his home, his father thought that he was dead. Ordinarily a king's son only five years old and away from home in the forest would certainly be supposed dead, but by the mercy of the Supreme Personality of Godhead, not only was he saved, but he was blessed with the highest perfection.
Karmīs cannot be peaceful because they have immense demands for sense gratification. As for jñānīs, they cannot be peaceful because they are too busy trying to attain liberation or merge into the existence of the Supreme. Similarly, yogīs are also restless to get mystic power. But a devotee is peaceful because he is fully surrendered to the Supreme Personality of Godhead and thinks of himself as completely helpless; just as a child feels complete peace in depending on the parent, so a devotee is completely peaceful, for he depends on the mercy of the Supreme Personality of Godhead.
Atheists are of the opinion that there is no need to accept the authority of the Supreme Personality of Godhead to be successful in religion, economic development, sense gratification or liberation. According to them, dharma, or religious principles, are meant to establish an imaginary God to encourage one to become moral, honest and just so that the social orders may be maintained in peace and tranquillity. Furthermore, they say that actually there is no need to accept God for this purpose, for if one follows the principles of morality and honesty, that is sufficient. Similarly, if one makes nice plans and works very hard for economic development, automatically the result of economic development will come. Similarly, sense gratification also does not depend on the mercy of the Supreme Personality of Godhead, for if one earns enough money by any process, one will have sufficient opportunity for sense gratification. Insofar as liberation is concerned, they say that there is no need to talk of liberation because after death everything is finished. Pṛthu Mahārāja, however, did not accept the authority of such atheists, headed by his father, who was the grandson of death personified.
As Kṛṣṇa takes away all the sinful reactions of a person immediately upon his surrender unto Him, similarly the external manifestation of Kṛṣṇa, the representative of Kṛṣṇa who acts as the mercy of the Supreme Personality of Godhead, takes all the resultant actions of the sinful life of the disciple immediately after the disciple's initiation. Thus if the disciple follows the principles instructed by the spiritual master, he remains purified and is not contaminated by the material infection.
A devotee acquires all the good qualities of the demigods; he is guṇāyanam, the reservoir of all good qualities. His only asset is good behavior, and he is grateful. Gratitude for the mercy of the Supreme Personality of Godhead is one of the qualities of brāhmaṇas and Vaiṣṇavas. Everyone should feel grateful to the Supreme Personality of Godhead because He is maintaining all living entities and supplying all their necessities.
When one actually attains good qualities, becomes grateful for the mercy of the Supreme Personality of Godhead and takes shelter of a bona fide spiritual master, he is endowed with all opulence. Such a person is a brāhmaṇa or Vaiṣṇava. Therefore Pṛthu Mahārāja invokes the blessings and mercy of the Supreme Personality of Godhead, with His associates, devotees, Vaiṣṇavas, brāhmaṇas and cows.
Everyone acts under the dictation of the ego. Therefore Lord Śiva is trying to purify false egotism through the mercy of the Supreme Personality of Godhead. Since Lord Śiva, or Rudra, is himself the controller of egotism, he indirectly wants to be purified by the mercy of the Lord so that his real egotism can be awakened.
Although rendering devotional service to the Supreme Personality of Godhead and worshiping Him are very difficult, if one vibrates or simply reads this stotra (prayer) composed and sung by me, he will very easily be able to invoke the mercy of the Supreme Personality of Godhead.
If one is placed in material opulence due to the special mercy of the Supreme Personality of Godhead, he should not consider that opulence a cause for bondage. When a mature devotee is blessed with material opulence, he does not become affected adversely, for he knows how to employ material opulence in the service of the Lord.
In the performance of a sacrifice, there are seven transcendental means to obtain the mercy of the Supreme Personality of Godhead: (1) by sacrificing valuable things or eatables, (2) by acting in terms of place, (3) by acting in terms of time, (4) by offering hymns, (5) by going through the priest, (6) by offering gifts to the priests and (7) by observing the regulative principles. However, one cannot always obtain the Supreme Lord through this paraphernalia. Nonetheless, the Lord is affectionate to His devotee; therefore when Mahārāja Nābhi, who was a devotee, worshiped and offered prayers to the Lord with great faith and devotion and with a pure uncontaminated mind, superficially performing some yajña in the line of pravargya, the kind Supreme Personality of Godhead, due to His affection for His devotees, appeared before King Nābhi in His unconquerable and captivating form with four hands. In this way, to fulfill the desire of His devotee, the Supreme Personality of Godhead manifested Himself in His beautiful body before His devotee. This body pleases the mind and eyes of the devotees.
If one is serious about going back home, back to Godhead, he must consider the mercy of the Supreme Personality of Godhead the summum bonum and chief aim of life. If he is a father instructing his sons, a spiritual master instructing his disciples, or a king instructing his citizens, he must instruct them as I have advised. Without being angry, he should continue giving instructions, even if his disciple, son or citizen is sometimes unable to follow his order. Ignorant people who engage in pious and impious activities should be engaged in devotional service by all means. They should always avoid fruitive activity. If one puts into the bondage of karmic activity his disciple, son or citizen who is bereft of transcendental vision, how will one profit? It is like leading a blind man to a dark well and causing him to fall in.
This universe is just like a great fort in which all the conditioned souls are kept, and they cannot leave it unless they are liberated by the mercy of the Supreme Personality of Godhead. The Lord Himself declares in Bhagavad-gītā (4.9):
- janma karma ca me divyam
- evaṁ yo vetti tattvataḥ
- tyaktvā dehaṁ punar janma
- naiti mām eti so 'rjuna
"One who knows the transcendental nature of My appearance and activities does not, upon leaving the body, take his birth again in this material world, but attains My eternal abode, O Arjuna." Thus simply by Kṛṣṇa consciousness, by the mercy of the Supreme Personality of Godhead, one can be liberated, or, in other words, one can be released from the great fort of this universe and go outside it to the spiritual world.
Bali Mahārāja said: Persons like us, who are still attached to material enjoyment, who are contaminated by the modes of material nature and who lack the mercy of the Supreme Personality of Godhead, cannot follow the supreme path of Prahlāda Mahārāja, the exalted devotee of the Lord.
The Savalāśvas took to the correct path, which is obtainable by a mode of life meant to achieve devotional service, or the mercy of the Supreme Personality of Godhead. Like nights that have gone to the west, they have not returned even until now.
Śukadeva Gosvāmī said: My dear King Parīkṣit, you were burned by the brahmāstra of Aśvatthāmā, but when Lord Kṛṣṇa entered the womb of your mother, you were saved. Similarly, although the one embryo was cut into forty-nine pieces by the thunderbolt of Indra, they were all saved by the mercy of the Supreme Personality of Godhead.
Śrī Caitanya Mahāprabhu was quite competent enough to spread His name and mission all over the world, but still He depended upon His devotee to do this work. Considering all these points, the most important aspect of the Supreme Lord's self-sufficiency is that He depends on His devotees. This is called His causeless mercy. The devotee who has perceived this causeless mercy of the Supreme Personality of Godhead by realization can understand the master and the servant.
The nine different processes enunciated by Prahlāda Mahārāja, who learned them from Nārada Muni, may not all be required for the execution of devotional service; if a devotee performs only one of these nine without deviation, he can attain the mercy of the Supreme Personality of Godhead. Sometimes it is found that when one performs one of the processes, other processes are mixed with it. That is not improper for a devotee. When a devotee executes any one of the nine processes (nava-lakṣaṇā), this is sufficient; the other eight processes are included. Now let us discuss these nine different processes.
One must realize that the material condition of life is full of distresses. One can realize this with purified intelligence. When one's intelligence is purified, he can understand that unwanted, temporary, material life is just like a dream. Just as one suffers pain when his head is cut off in a dream, in ignorance one suffers not only while dreaming but also while awake. Without the mercy of the Supreme Personality of Godhead, one continues in ignorance and is thus subjected to material distresses in various ways.
To give an example, there are different grades of fire, but all of them derive heat and light from the sun. Similarly, all living entities, big or small, are dependent on the mercy of the Supreme Personality of Godhead. One's only duty is to surrender, for one is a servant and cannot independently attain the position of master. One can attain the position of master only by the mercy of the master, not independently.
Prahlāda Mahārāja was surprised at the causeless mercy of the Supreme Lord, the Personality of Godhead, for although Prahlāda was born in a demoniac family and although the Lord had never before placed His lotus hand on the head of Brahmā, Śiva or the goddess of fortune, His constant companion, Lord Nṛsiṁhadeva kindly placed His hand on the head of Prahlāda. This is the meaning of causeless mercy. The causeless mercy of the Supreme Personality of Godhead may be bestowed upon anyone, regardless of his position in this material world. Everyone is eligible to worship the Supreme Lord, irrespective of his material position.
Yogīs and jñānīs practice in many ways to conquer the senses, but the bhakta immediately attains the mercy of the Supreme Personality of Godhead through the mercy of the spiritual master. Yasya prasādād bhagavat-prasādo **. If the spiritual master is favorably inclined, one naturally receives the mercy of the Supreme Lord, and by the mercy of the Supreme Lord one immediately becomes transcendental, conquering all the influences of sattva-guṇa, rajo-guṇa and tamo-guṇa within this material world.
Simply getting the weapon of jñāna is insufficient. One must sharpen the weapon by serving the spiritual master and adhering to his instructions. Then the candidate will get the mercy of the Supreme Personality of Godhead. In general warfare one must take help from his chariot and horses in order to conquer his enemy, and after conquering his enemies he may give up the chariot and its paraphernalia. Similarly, as long as one has a human body, one should fully use it to obtain the highest perfection of life, namely going back home, back to Godhead.
Śrīla Viśvanātha Cakravartī Ṭhākura specifically hints that since Gajendra was in such a difficult position and was praying for the mercy of the Supreme Personality of Godhead, the demigods, who could have immediately gone to his rescue, hesitated to go there. Since they considered Gajendra's prayer to be directed toward the Lord, they felt offended, and this in itself was offensive. Consequently, when the Lord went there, they also went and offered prayers to the Lord so that their offense might be excused.
Having been favored by the causeless mercy of the Supreme Personality of Godhead and having regained his original form, King Hūhū circumambulated the Lord and offered his obeisances. Then, in the presence of all the demigods, headed by Brahmā, he returned to Gandharvaloka. He had been freed of all sinful reactions.
Generally men who have wealth and opulence are famous, but Bali Mahārāja became famous for all time by being deprived of all his possessions. This is the special mercy of the Supreme Personality of Godhead toward His devotees. The Lord says, yasyāham anugṛhṇāmi hariṣye tad-dhanaṁ śanaiḥ (SB 10.88.8). As the first installment of His special favor, the Lord takes away all the possessions of His devotee. A devotee, however, is never disturbed by such a loss. He continues his service, and the Lord amply rewards him, beyond the expectations of any common man.
A pure devotee like Prahlāda Mahārāja, although harassed circumstantially in many ways, never gives up the shelter of the Supreme Personality of Godhead to take shelter of anyone else. A pure devotee never complains against the mercy of the Supreme Personality of Godhead. A vivid example is Prahlāda Mahārāja. Examining the life of Prahlāda Mahārāja, we can see how severely he was harassed by his own father, Hiraṇyakaśipu, yet he did not divert his attention from the Lord even to the smallest extent. Bali Mahārāja, following in the footsteps of his grandfather Prahlāda Mahārāja, remained fixed in his devotion to the Lord, despite the Lord's having punished him.
When in spite of possessing all these opulences a person is not proud, this means that he is fully aware that all his opulences are due to the mercy of the Supreme Personality of Godhead. He therefore engages all his possessions in the service of the Lord. A devotee knows very well that everything, even his body, belongs to the Supreme Lord. If one lives perfectly in such Kṛṣṇa consciousness, it is to be understood that he is especially favored by the Supreme Personality of Godhead.
Devotees like Dhruva Mahārāja, who was given unlimited material opulence, have the special mercy of the Supreme Personality of Godhead. Once Kuvera wanted to give Dhruva Mahārāja a benediction, but although Dhruva Mahārāja could have asked him for any amount of material opulence, he instead begged Kuvera that he might continue his devotional service to the Supreme Personality of Godhead. When a devotee is fixed in his devotional service, there is no need for the Lord to deprive him of his material opulences.
This is the mercy of the Supreme Personality of Godhead. Even if the Lord takes away a devotee's material opulences, the Lord immediately offers him a position of which the demigods cannot even dream. There are many examples of this in the history of devotional service.
Prahlāda Mahārāja praised the Supreme Lord for creating the material world, for being equal to everyone and for being extremely liberal to the devotees, just like a desire tree. Indeed, Prahlāda Mahārāja said that the Lord is kind not only to His devotees but also to the demons. In this way he described the unlimited causeless mercy of the Supreme Personality of Godhead. Then, with folded hands, he offered his respectful obeisances unto the Lord, and after circumambulating the Lord he also entered the planet Sutala in accordance with the Lord's order.
In this (the present) millennium King Satyavrata later became the son of Vivasvān, the king of the sun planet, and was known as Śrāddhadeva. By the mercy of the Supreme Personality of Godhead, he was given the post of Manu.
Nārāyaṇa-parāḥ sarve na kutaścana bibhyati (SB 6.17.28). A pure devotee of Nārāyaṇa is never afraid of any material danger. There are many examples of devotees such as Prahlāda Mahārāja, who was tortured by his father but was not at all afraid, although he was only a five-year-old boy. Therefore, following the examples of Ambarīṣa Mahārāja and Prahlāda Mahārāja, a devotee should learn how to tolerate all such awkward positions in this world. Devotees are often tortured by nondevotees, yet the pure devotee, depending fully on the mercy of the Supreme Personality of Godhead, is never disturbed by such inimical activities.
Māndhātā, the son of Yuvanāśva, was the cause of fear for Rāvaṇa and other thieves and rogues who caused anxiety. O King Parīkṣit, because they feared him, the son of Yuvanāśva was known as Trasaddasyu. This name was given by King Indra. By the mercy of the Supreme Personality of Godhead, the son of Yuvanāśva was so powerful that when he became emperor he ruled the entire world, consisting of seven islands, without any second ruler.
Transcendental power is always superior to the power of the materialist. Depending on the mercy of the Supreme Lord, one must fight one's enemies even though one may not be equipped with modern weapons. Therefore Kṛṣṇa instructed Arjuna, mām anusmara yudhya ca: (BG 8.7) "Think of Me and fight." We should fight our enemy to the best of our ability, but for victory we must depend on the mercy of the Supreme Personality of Godhead.
When a brāhmaṇa adopts the profession of a kapota, or pigeon, he lives by collecting grains from the field. This is called uñcha-vṛtti. A brāhmaṇa who takes to this uñcha-vṛtti profession is called first class because he depends completely on the mercy of the Supreme Personality of Godhead and does not beg from anyone. Although the profession of begging is allowed for a brāhmaṇa or sannyāsī, one does better if he can avoid such a profession and completely depend on the mercy of the Supreme Personality of Godhead for maintenance.
The oṁkāra, praṇava, is the Supreme Personality of Godhead represented by letters. Bhagavad-gītā says that the letters a-u-m, combined together as oṁ, represent the Supreme Lord. Religious principles are meant to invoke the blessings and mercy of the Supreme Personality of Godhead, Kṛṣṇa, who says in Bhagavad-gītā that He is personally present in sexual desires that are not contrary to religious principles.
After the Kuru dynasty was annihilated in the Battle of Kurukṣetra, you also were about to be destroyed by the brahmāstra atomic weapon released by the son of Droṇācārya, but by the mercy of the Supreme Personality of Godhead, Kṛṣṇa, you were saved from death.
The Supreme Personality of Godhead is invisible even to Lord Brahmā, yet He descends on this earth and becomes visible to people in general. This is certainly an act of His causeless mercy, but fools and nondevotees think that Kṛṣṇa is an ordinary historical person. Because they think that the Lord is an ordinary person like them, they are described as mūḍha (avajānanti māṁ mūḍhāḥ (BG 9.11)). The causeless mercy of the Supreme Personality of Godhead is neglected by such demoniac persons, who cannot understand the instructions of Bhagavad-gītā and who therefore misinterpret them.
Unless one is situated in transcendence, one cannot understand the transcendental nature of the Lord. As stated in Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam (10.14.29):
- athāpi te deva padāmbuja-dvaya-
- prasāda-leśānugṛhīta eva hi
- jānāti tattvaṁ bhagavan-mahimno
- na cānya eko 'pi ciraṁ vicinvan
Only by the mercy of the Supreme Personality of Godhead can one understand Him. Those who are in the modes of material nature, although speculating for thousands of years, cannot understand Him.
When Akrūra went to Vṛndāvana to take Kṛṣṇa and Balarāma away to the festival arranged by Kaṁsa, upon seeing the marks of the Lord's lotus feet on the ground of Vṛndāvana, he fell down and began to groan. These marks are visible to devotees who receive the causeless mercy of the Supreme Personality of Godhead (tavānukampitām).
This the atheists do not know, and if they do know, they neglect it so that they may go on with their normal life. The Kṛṣṇa consciousness movement is trying to teach them that although for a few years one may act as a great protector or great watchman, with the appearance of kāla, death, one must take another body by the laws of nature. Not knowing this, they unnecessarily waste their time in their occupation as watchdogs and do not try to get the mercy of the Supreme Personality of Godhead. As it is clearly said, aprāpya māṁ nivartante mṛtyu-saṁsāra-vartmani: (BG 9.3) without Kṛṣṇa consciousness, one is condemned to continue wandering in birth and death, not knowing what will happen in one's next birth.
The child Kṛṣṇa, simply by the mercy of the Supreme Personality of Godhead, was somehow or other rescued from the hands of the Rākṣasī Pūtanā, who was determined to kill Him. Then, again by the mercy of the Supreme Godhead, the handcart missed falling upon the child.
Even the other day, neither Kṛṣṇa nor any of His playmates died from the falling of the two trees, although the children were near the trees or even between them. This also is to be considered the mercy of the Supreme Personality of Godhead.
Kāliya worshiped the Lord of the universe by offering Him fine garments, along with necklaces, jewels and other valuable ornaments, wonderful scents and ointments, and a large garland of lotus flowers. Having thus pleased the Lord, whose flag is marked with the emblem of Garuḍa, Kāliya felt satisfied. Receiving the Lord's permission to leave, Kāliya circumambulated Him and offered Him obeisances. Then, taking his wives, friends and children, he went to his island in the sea. The very moment Kāliya left, the Yamunā was immediately restored to her original condition, free from poison and full of nectarean water. This happened by the mercy of the Supreme Personality of Godhead, who was manifesting a humanlike form to enjoy His pastimes.
I offer my obeisances to Sri Caitanya Mahāprabhu, by whose mercy even an ignorant child can swim across the ocean of conclusions about the ultimate truth, which is full of the crocodiles of various theories.
By the mercy of the Supreme Personality of Godhead Śrī Caitanya Mahāprabhu, even an inexperienced boy with no educational culture can be saved from the ocean of nescience, which is full of various types of philosophical doctrines that are like dangerous aquatic animals.
Śrī Caitanya Mahāprabhu said, “Both the Supreme Personality of Godhead and My spiritual master, Īśvara Purī, are completely independent. Therefore neither the mercy of the Supreme Personality of Godhead nor that of Īśvara Purī is subject to any Vedic rules and regulations.
"The mercy of the Supreme Personality of Godhead is not restricted to the jurisdiction of caste and creed. Vidura was a śūdra, yet Kṛṣṇa accepted lunch at his home."
"When one is inspired by the Lord, who is sitting in everyone"s heart, he does not care for social custom or Vedic regulative principles."
This instruction (SB 4.29.46) was given by Nārada Gosvāmī to King Prācīnabarhi in connection with the story of Purañjana. Here Nārada implies that without the mercy of the Supreme Personality of Godhead one cannot extricate himself from the fruitive activities that are under the jurisdiction of the Vedas. In previous verses (SB 4.29.42–44) Nārada admits that even personalities like Lord Brahmā, Lord Śiva, Manu, the Prajāpatis (headed by Dakṣa), the four Kumāras, Marīci, Atri, Aṅgirā, Pulastya, Pulaha, Kratu, Bhṛgu, Vasiṣṭha and even Nārada himself could not properly receive the causeless mercy of the Lord.
The word guru-prasāda indicates that the spiritual master is very merciful in bestowing the boon of devotional service upon the disciple. That is the best possible gift the spiritual master has to offer. Those with a background of pious life are eligible to receive life's supreme benefit, and to bestow this benefit, the Supreme Personality of Godhead sends His representative to impart His mercy. Endowed with the mercy of the Supreme Personality of Godhead, the spiritual master distributes the mercy to those who are elevated and pious. Thus the spiritual master trains his disciples to render devotional service unto the Supreme Personality of Godhead. This is called guru-kṛpā. It is kṛṣṇa-prasāda, Kṛṣṇa's mercy, that He sends a bona fide spiritual master to the deserving disciple. By the mercy of Kṛṣṇa, one meets the bona fide spiritual master, and by the mercy of the spiritual master, the disciple is fully trained in the devotional service of the Lord.
A yakṣa, a protector of riches, will not allow anyone to take away riches for enjoyment. Such a demon will simply create disturbances. In other words, a devotee will not depend on his material resources but on the mercy of the Supreme Personality of Godhead, who can give real protection. This is called rakṣiṣyatīti viśvāsaḥ or (in the Bengali poetry of Bhaktivinoda Ṭhākura's Śaraṇāgati) "avaśya rakṣibe kṛṣṇa"—viśvāsa pālana. The surrendered soul must accept the fact that his real protector is Kṛṣṇa, not his material acquisitions.
When a person is sinful, he loses both the chance for spiritual advancement and the chance for material opulence. If one enjoys the material world for sense gratification, he is certainly doomed. Advancement in material opulence is not the direct mercy of the Supreme Personality of Godhead; nevertheless, it indicates the indirect mercy of the Lord, for even a person too attached to material prosperity can gradually be detached and raised to the spiritual platform.
Vaiṣṇavas, or devotees, are usually very compassionate upon conditioned souls. Without even being invited, a devotee will go from door to door to enlighten people and to bring them out of the darkness of nescience by injecting knowledge of the living entity's constitutional position as a servant of Lord Kṛṣṇa. Such devotees are empowered by the Lord to distribute devotional consciousness, or Kṛṣṇa consciousness, to the people in general. They are known as authorized spiritual masters, and it is by their mercy that a conditioned soul gets the seed of devotional service. The causeless mercy of the Supreme Personality of Godhead is first appreciated when one comes in touch with a bona fide spiritual master who can bring the conditioned soul to the highest position of devotional life. Therefore Lord Caitanya said that by the mercy of the spiritual master one can achieve the causeless mercy of the Lord, and by the mercy of the Supreme Personality of Godhead, one can attain the mercy of the bona fide spiritual master.
The Lord was so pleased with Bhaṭṭācārya that He began to bless him repeatedly: "Dear Bhaṭṭācārya, now you are a completely pure devotee of Lord Kṛṣṇa, and Kṛṣṇa is now very much pleased with you. From today you are freed from the contamination of this material body and the entanglement of material energy. You are now fit to go back to Godhead, back home." The Lord then cited a verse from Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam (2.7.42)
- yeṣāṁ sa eva bhagavān dayayed anantaḥ
- sarvātmanāśrita-pado yadi nirvyalīkam
- te dustarām atitaranti ca deva-māyāṁ
- naiṣāṁ mamāham-iti dhīḥ śva-śṛgāla-bhakṣye
"Whoever takes complete shelter of the lotus feet of the Supreme Lord is favored by the Supreme Lord, who is known to be unlimited. Such a person also receives permission to cross the ocean of nescience. However, one who thinks this material body to be himself cannot receive the causeless mercy of the Supreme Personality of Godhead."
Bhaṭṭācārya offered him his due respect and replied, "My dear Gopīnātha Ācārya, it is through your mercy that I have received the mercy of the Supreme Lord." The mercy of the Supreme Personality of Godhead can be obtained by the mercy of a pure devotee. Lord Caitanya's mercy was bestowed upon Bhaṭṭācārya because of Gopīnātha Ācārya's endeavor. "You are a great devotee of the Lord," Bhaṭṭācārya continued, "and I was simply blinded by my academic education. Yes, I have obtained the mercy of the Lord through your agency only." Lord Caitanya Himself was greatly pleased to hear Bhaṭṭācārya say that a man can obtain the mercy of the Lord through the agency of a devotee. He appreciated his words and embraced Bhaṭṭācārya, confirming his statement.
Great authorities like Bhīṣma have explained that love of Godhead means completely giving up all so-called love for any other person. According to Bhīṣma, love means reposing one's affection completely upon one person, withdrawing all affinities for any other person. This pure love can be transferred to the Supreme Personality of Godhead under two conditions—out of ecstasy and out of the causeless mercy of the Supreme Personality of Godhead Himself.
The cosmic manifestation has been made possible because of the entrance of the Supreme Personality of Godhead as Mahā-Viṣṇu within this material world. The total material energy is agitated by the glance of Mahā-Viṣṇu, and only then does the interaction of the three material qualities begin. Therefore it should be concluded that whatever material facilities we are trying to enjoy are available only due to the mercy of the Supreme Personality of Godhead.
Śrīla Śrīdhara Svāmī has composed a nice verse in this regard: "Let others engage in severe austerities, let others fall to the land from the tops of hills and give up their lives, let others travel to many holy places of pilgrimage for salvation, or let them engage in deep study of philosophy and Vedic literature. Let the mystic yogīs engage in their meditational service, and let the different sects engage in unnecessary arguing as to which is the best. But it is a fact that unless one is Kṛṣṇa conscious, unless one is engaged in devotional service, and unless one has the mercy of the Supreme Personality of Godhead, he cannot cross over this material ocean." An intelligent person, therefore, gives up all stereotyped ideas and joins the Kṛṣṇa consciousness movement for factual liberation.
So mahājano yena gataḥ sa panthāḥ (CC Madhya 17.186). We have to accept the path of great personalities. Otherwise, if we want to understand the Absolute Truth simply by arguments and logic, oh it will never be achieved.
- athāpi te deva padāmbuja-dvaya-
- prasāda-leśānugṛhīta eva hi
- jānāti tattvaṁ bhagavan-mahimno
- na cānya eko 'pi ciraṁ vicinvan
- (SB 10.14.29)
The path of spiritual realization is for him who has a slight mercy of the Supreme Personality of Godhead. Athāpi te deva padāmbuja-dvaya-prasāda-leśānugṛhīta. Prasāda means mercy; leśa, a slight. If one has achieved a slight benediction of the Supreme Personality of Godhead, he can understand what he is. Na cānya eko 'pi. And others, eko 'pi. Those who have not achieved that causeless mercy, na cānya eko...ciraṁ vicinvan. For lives together, if they go on contemplating and meditating and speculating, it is not possible. It is not possible.
So asura and deva, there are two kinds of men. Viṣṇu-bhaktaḥ smṛto daiva āsuras tad... It is Vedic injunction. Oṁ tad viṣṇoḥ... Ṛg-veda mantra. Oṁ tad viṣṇoḥ paramaṁ padaṁ sadā paśyanti sūrayaḥ. This is the Vedic mantra. Sūrayaḥ, those who are learned, advanced people, they look forward for the mercy of the Supreme Personality of Godhead Viṣṇu.
The suffering is inflicted by māyā. Bhuṇkte prakṛti-jān guṇān. But there is no education, the people are so dull, rascal, they cannot understand that they are suffering, and the suffering they are accepting as enjoyment. In this way they are rotting in this material world.
The whole purpose is therefore how to get out of this suffering. Vindate tāpān mūḍha. So the aim of life is how to stop this suffering. The guru or the government should rule over the dependents with this point, with this aim in view. Mal-loka-kāmo mad-anugrahārthaḥ. These two things required: how to get the pleasure or the mercy of the Supreme Personality of Godhead and how to go back home, back to Godhead. This is the aim, not that we are making plan to be happy. Unless we go back home, back to Godhead, there is no question of peace or happiness. This place... We are trying to be happy within this material world by material adjustment. That is not possible.
So Prahlāda Mahārāja is one of the mahājana, authorities. How he has gotten this authority? Here it is said, so 'haṁ kathaṁ nu visṛje tava bhṛtya-sevām. So everyone must have his position by giving service to the spiritual master. And who is spiritual master? Tava bhṛtya, who is a servant of Kṛṣṇa.
- yasya prasādād bhagavat-prasādo
- yasyāprasādād na gatiḥ kuto 'pi
- kintu prabhor yaḥ priya eva tasya **
Guru is described, yasya prasādād bhagavat-prasādaḥ: ** "By the mercy of guru one can achieve the mercy of the Supreme Personality of Godhead." Yasya prasāda. Yasya aprasādāt: "If guru is not pleased, then he has no place." Na gatiḥ kuto 'pi.
There are 8,400,000 different forms of life, and the earth, mother earth is supplying food. There are thousands of elephants in the African jungle, they are also being supplied with food. And within your room in a hole there are thousands of ants, they are also being supplied food by the mercy of the Supreme Personality of Godhead. So the philosophy is that we should not be disturbed by the so-called theory of over-population. If God can feed elephants, why he cannot feed you? You do not eat like the elephant. So this theory, that there is a shortage of food or overpopulation, we do not accept it. God is so powerful that He can feed everyone without any difficulty. Simply we are mismanaging. Otherwise there is no difficulty.
So the spiritual master is compared with the cloud. Just like from the cloud there is torrents of rain, similarly, a spiritual master is considered just like cloud. Saṁsāra-dāvānala-līḍha-loka **. Just like cloud takes the water from the sea-cloud hasn't got its own water; cloud takes water from the sea—similarly, a spiritual master brings mercy from the Supreme Personality of Godhead. Just see the comparison. He has no own mercy, but he carries the mercy of the Supreme Personality of Godhead. That is the qualification of spiritual master. A spiritual master will never say that "I am God. I can give you mercy." No. That is not spiritual master. That is a bogus, pretender. A spiritual master will say, "I am servant of God. I have brought His mercy. Please take it and be satisfied." This is spiritual master's business.