King Parīkṣit affords a good example of bhāva. When sitting on the banks of the Ganges waiting to meet his death, he said: "All the brāhmaṇas present here, as well as Mother Ganges, should know that I am a soul completely surrendered to Kṛṣṇa. I do not mind if I am immediately bitten by the snake sent by the brāhmaṇa boy's curse. Let the snake bite me as it likes. I shall be pleased if all of you present here will go on chanting the message of Kṛṣṇa." Such a devotee is always anxious to see that his time is not wasted in anything which is not connected with Kṛṣṇa. Consequently he does not like the benefits derived from fruitive activity, yogic meditation or the cultivation of knowledge. His attachment is to discourses which are favorably related to Kṛṣṇa. Such pure devotees of the Lord always pray to the Supreme Lord with tears in their eyes; their minds are always engaged in recollecting the activities of the Lord, and their bodies are always engaged in offering obeisances. In this way they are satisfied. Any devotee who is acting in devotional service dedicates his life and body for the purpose of the Lord.
- 1 Srimad-Bhagavatam
- 2 Sri Caitanya-caritamrta
- 3 Other Books by Srila Prabhupada
- 4 Lectures
- 5 Conversations and Morning Walks
- 6 Correspondence
SB Canto 1
Even up to the time of Mahārāja Parīkṣit there were interplanetary communications, and the news of Mahārāja Parīkṣit's fasting unto death to attain salvation reached the higher planets in the sky where the intelligent demigods live. The demigods are more luxurious than human beings, but all of them are obedient to the orders of the Supreme Lord. There is no one in the heavenly planets who is an atheist or nonbeliever. Thus any devotee of the Lord on the surface of the earth is always praised by them, and in the case of Mahārāja Parīkṣit they were greatly delighted and thus gave tokens of honor by scattering flowers over the earth and by beating celestial drums. A demigod takes pleasure in seeing someone go back to Godhead. He is always pleased with a devotee of the Lord, so much so that by his adhidaivic powers he may help the devotees in all respects. And by their actions, the Lord is pleased with them. There is an invisible chain of complete cooperation between the Lord, the demigods and the devotee of the Lord on earth.
SB Canto 2
The impersonalists, who aspire to merge in the impersonal brahmajyoti effulgence of the Supreme Lord but have no conception of loving devotional service to Him in His personal form in the spiritual manifestation, may be compared to certain species of fish, who, being born in the rivers and rivulets, migrate to the great ocean. They cannot stay in the ocean indefinitely, for their urge for sense gratification brings them back to the rivers and streams to spawn. Similarly, when the materialist becomes frustrated in his attempts to enjoy himself in the limited material world, he may seek impersonal liberation by merging either with the Causal Ocean or with the impersonal brahmajyoti effulgence. However, as neither the Causal Ocean nor the impersonal brahmajyoti effulgence affords any superior substitute for association and engagement of the senses, the impersonalist will fall again into the limited material world to become entangled once more in the wheel of births and deaths, drawn on by the inextinguishable desire for sensual engagement. But any devotee who enters the kingdom of God by transcendental engagement of his senses in devotional service, and who associates with the liberated souls and the Personality of Godhead there, will never be attracted to the limited surroundings of the material world.
In this stage of full satisfaction and detachment from the sensory world, one can know the mystery of the science of God with all its confidential intricacies, and not by grammar or academic speculation. Because Brahmā qualified himself for such reception, the Lord was pleased to disclose the purpose of Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam. This direct instruction by the Lord to any devotee who is detached from the world of sense gratification is possible, as stated in the Bhagavad-gītā (10.10):
- teṣāṁ satata-yuktānāṁ
- bhajatāṁ prīti-pūrvakam
- dadāmi buddhi-yogaṁ taṁ
- yena mām upayānti te
Unto the devotees who are constantly engaged in the Lord's transcendental loving service (prīti-pūrvakam), the Lord, out of His causeless mercy upon the devotee, gives direct instructions so that the devotee may make accurate progress on the path returning home, back to Godhead. One should not, therefore, try to understand these four verses of Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam by mental speculation. Rather, by direct perception of the Supreme Personality of Godhead, one is able to know all about His abode, Vaikuṇṭha, as was seen and experienced by Brahmājī. Such Vaikuṇṭha realization is possible by any devotee of the Lord situated in the transcendental position as a result of devotional service.
SB Canto 3
It is the misconception of the impersonalists that one can worship any imaginary form of the Lord, or Brahman, and at the end merge in the Brahman effulgence. Of course, to merge into the bodily effulgence (Brahman) of the Supreme Lord is also liberation, as explained in the previous verse. Ekatva is also liberation, but that sort of liberation is never accepted by any devotee, for qualitative oneness is immediately attained as soon as one is situated in devotional service. For a devotee, that qualitative equality, which is the result of impersonal liberation, is already attained; he does not have to try for it separately. It is clearly stated here that simply by pure devotional service one becomes qualitatively as good as the Lord Himself.
The word juhuvuḥ means that the chanters of the holy name have already performed all kinds of sacrifices. Sasnuḥ means that they have already traveled to all the holy places of pilgrimage and taken part in purificatory activities at those places. They are called āryāḥ because they have already finished all these requirements, and therefore they must be among the Āryans or those who have qualified themselves to become Āryans. "Āryan" refers to those who are civilized, whose manners are regulated according to the Vedic rituals. Any devotee who is chanting the holy name of the Lord is the best kind of Āryan. Unless one studies the Vedas, one cannot become an Āryan, but it is automatically understood that the chanters have already studied all the Vedic literature. The specific word used here is anūcuḥ, which means that because they have already completed all those recommended acts, they have become qualified to be spiritual masters.
SB Canto 4
Lord Viṣṇu is all-pervading. Any devotee who, in sanctified meditation, following the regulative principles, chants the required mantras in service and in a devotional mood can see Viṣṇu. It is said in the Brahma-saṁhitā that a devotee whose eyes are anointed with the ointment of love of Godhead can see the Supreme Personality of Godhead always within his heart. Lord Śyāmasundara is so kind to His devotee.
In Bhagavad-gītā (5.29) it is said, bhoktāraṁ yajña-tapasām: Lord Viṣṇu, or Kṛṣṇa, is the supreme enjoyer of all the results of sacrifices, austerities and penances; in whatever one may engage, the ultimate goal is Viṣṇu. If a person does not know that, he is misled. As the Supreme Personality of Godhead, Viṣṇu has nothing to demand from anyone. He is self-satisfied, self-sufficient, but He accepts the offerings of yajña because of His friendly attitude toward all living entities. When His share of the sacrificial results was offered to Him, He appeared very pleased. It is said in Bhagavad-gītā (9.26), patraṁ puṣpaṁ phalaṁ toyaṁ yo me bhaktyā prayacchati: if any devotee offers Him even a small leaf, or a flower or water, if it is offered with love and affection, the Lord accepts it and is pleased. Although He is self-sufficient and does not need anything from anyone, He accepts such offerings because, as Supersoul, He has such a friendly attitude toward all living entities.
As Lord Śrī Kṛṣṇa has said in Bhagavad-gītā, performance of ritualistic ceremonies is not actually religion. The real path of religion is to surrender at the lotus feet of the Lord. For one who is actually surrendered to the lotus feet of the Lord, there is no question of any separate endeavor for economic development. A devotee engaged in service to the Lord is not disappointed in the satisfaction of his senses. If he wants to satisfy his senses, Kṛṣṇa fulfills that desire. As far as liberation is concerned, any devotee fully engaged in the service of the Lord is already liberated; therefore there is no separate necessity for his liberation.
Perfection means becoming a devotee of Lord Kṛṣṇa. As stated in the First Canto of Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam (1.2.28): vāsudeva-parā vedā vāsudeva-parā makhāḥ. The ultimate goal of life is Vāsudeva, or Kṛṣṇa. Any devotee of Lord Kṛṣṇa can attain all perfection, material gains and liberation simply by offering prayers to Him. There are many varieties of prayers to Lord Kṛṣṇa chanted by great sages and great personalities such as Lord Brahmā and Lord Śiva. Lord Kṛṣṇa is known as śiva-viriñcinutam (SB 11.5.33). Śiva means Lord Śiva, and viriñci means Lord Brahmā. Both of these demigods are engaged in offering prayers to Lord Vāsudeva, Kṛṣṇa. If we follow in the footsteps of such great personalities and become devotees of Lord Kṛṣṇa, our lives will become successful.
As stated in Bhagavad-gītā (6.22), yaṁ labdhvā cāparaṁ lābhaṁ manyate nādhikaṁ tataḥ: if one can attain the favor of the Supreme Personality of Godhead, he has nothing to aspire for, nor does he desire any other gain. When Dhruva Mahārāja became perfect by austerity and saw the Supreme Personality of Godhead face to face, he was offered any kind of benediction he wanted. However, Dhruva replied that he did not want anything, for he was perfectly satisfied with the benediction of seeing the Lord. Except for the service of the Supreme Lord, whatever we want is called illusion, māyā. Śrī Caitanya Mahāprabhu said: jīvera 'svarūpa' haya-kṛṣṇera 'nitya-dāsa' (CC Madhya 20.108). Every living entity is an eternal servant of the Lord; therefore when one engages in the service of the Lord, he realizes the highest perfection of life. A faithful servant can fulfill any desire by the grace of the master, and one who engages in the transcendental loving service of the Lord has nothing to aspire for separately. All his desires are fulfilled simply by engaging constantly in the Lord's loving service. Lord Śiva shows us that any devotee can be successful simply by chanting the prayers which he has recited.
SB Canto 5
In Bhagavad-gītā it is said: svalpam apy asya dharmasya (BG 2.40). It is certainly a great fall to go from human life to animal life, but in the case of Bharata Mahārāja or any devotee, devotional service to the Lord never goes in vain. As stated in Bhagavad-gītā (8.6): yaṁ yaṁ vāpi smaran bhāvaṁ tyajaty ante kalevaram. At the time of death, by nature's law the mind is absorbed in a certain type of thinking. This may lead one to animal life, yet for a devotee there is no loss. Even though Bharata Mahārāja received the body of a deer, he didn't forget his position. Consequently, in the body of a deer he was very careful to remember the cause of his downfall. As a result, he was given a chance to be born in a family of very pure brāhmaṇas. Thus his service to the Lord never went in vain.
Unless one is completely freed of all material desires, which are caused by the dense darkness of ignorance, one cannot fully engage in the devotional service of the Lord. Therefore we should always offer our prayers to Lord Nṛsiṁhadeva, who killed Hiraṇyakaśipu, the personification of material desire. Hiraṇya means "gold," and kaśipu means "a soft cushion or bed." Materialistic persons always desire to make the body comfortable, and for this they require huge amounts of gold. Thus Hiraṇyakaśipu was the perfect representative of materialistic life. He was therefore the cause of great disturbance to the topmost devotee, Prahlāda Mahārāja, until Lord Nṛsiṁhadeva killed him. Any devotee aspiring to be free of material desires should offer his respectful prayers to Nṛsiṁhadeva as Prahlāda Mahārāja did in this verse.
SB Canto 8
According to the desire of Lakṣmīdevī, the goddess of fortune, the Supreme Personality of Godhead made His bosom her residence so that by her glance she could favor everyone, including the demigods and ordinary human beings. In other words, since the goddess of fortune stays on the bosom of Nārāyaṇa, she naturally sees any devotee who worships Nārāyaṇa. When the goddess of fortune understands that a devotee is in favor of devotional service to Nārāyaṇa, she is naturally inclined to bless the devotee with all opulences. The karmīs try to receive the favor and mercy of Lakṣmī, but because they are not devotees of Nārāyaṇa, their opulence is flickering. The opulence of devotees who are attached to the service of Nārāyaṇa is not like the opulence of karmīs. The opulence of devotees is as permanent as the opulence of Nārāyaṇa Himself.
Paramānanda Purī established a small monastery behind the western side of the Jagannātha temple, where he had a well dug to supply water. The water, however, was bitter, and therefore Śrī Caitanya Mahāprabhu prayed to Lord Jagannātha to allow Ganges water to come into the well to make it sweet. When Lord Jagannātha granted the request, Lord Caitanya told all the devotees that from that day hence, the water of Paramānanda Purī’s well should be celebrated as Ganges water, for any devotee who would drink it or bathe in it would certainly get the same benefit as that derived from drinking or bathing in the waters of the Ganges. Such a person would certainly develop pure love of Godhead.
When one is situated on the neophyte platform, one cannot understand the devotional ingredients of a pure, unalloyed devotee. However, when the novice engages in devotional service—especially in Deity worship—and follows the order of a bona fide spiritual master, he is a pure devotee. Anyone can take advantage of hearing about Kṛṣṇa consciousness from such a devotee and thus gradually become purified. In other words, any devotee who believes that the holy name of the Lord is identical with the Lord is a pure devotee, even though he may be in the neophyte stage. By his association, others may also become Vaiṣṇavas.
Both Navadvīpa and Vārāṇasī were celebrated for their highly educational activities. At the present time these cities are still inhabited by great, learned scholars, but Vārāṇasī is especially a center for Māyāvādī sannyāsīs who are learned scholars. However, unlike Navadvīpa, there are hardly any devotees in Vārāṇasī. Consequently a discussion of Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam was very rare in Vārāṇasī. In Navadvīpa, such a discussion was quite ordinary. After Śrī Caitanya Mahāprabhu visited Vārānaṣī and turned Prakāśānanda Sarasvatī and his disciples into Vaiṣṇavas, Vārāṇasī became like Navadvīpa because so many devotees began discussing Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam. Even at the present moment one can hear many discussions on Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam taking place on the banks of the Ganges. Many scholars and sannyāsīs gather there to hear Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam and perform saṅkīrtana.
Other Books by Srila Prabhupada
Teachings of Lord Caitanya
Nectar of Devotion
In the Nārada-pañcarātra there is a statement of submission accompanied by the desire for perfection. The devotee says, "My dear Lord, when shall that day come when You will ask me to fan Your body, and according to Your pleasure, You will say, 'You just fan Me in this way'?" The idea in this verse is that the devotee is desiring to personally fan the body of the Supreme Personality of Godhead. That means that he is desiring to become the personal associate of the Supreme Lord. Of course, any devotee in any capacity, either as servant, friend or conjugal lover, always has direct association with the Lord. But according to his different individual taste, a person desires for just one of these relationships. Here the devotee is desiring to become a servant of the Lord and desires to fan the Lord, as does His internal energy, Lakṣmī, the goddess of fortune. He also wishes that the Personality of Godhead will be pleased to give him directions as to how to fan. This submission with transcendental desire, or lālasāmayī vijñapti, is the highest perfectional stage of spiritual realization.
Any devotee coming into the temple should always offer something to the Deity-fruit, flowers, incense, etc. If one cannot offer anything in cash, something else must be offered. In India the system is that all the ladies and gentlemen who come in the morning to visit the temple bring so many things. Even one morsel of rice or one morsel of flour can be offered. It is a regulative principle that one should not go to see a saintly person or the Deity in the temple without any offering. The offering may be very humble, or it may be priceless. Even a flower, a little fruit, a little water—whatever is possible—must be offered. So when a devotee comes to offer something to the Deity in the morning, he is sure to smell the good flavor of the incense, and then at once he will become cleansed of the poisonous effect of material existence.
One devotee told Dāruka, the servant of Kṛṣṇa, "My dear Dāruka, when you become like wood because of your separation from Kṛṣṇa, it is not so wonderful. Whenever any devotee sees Kṛṣṇa, his eyes become filled with water, and in separation any devotee like you would become stunned, standing just like a wooden doll. That is not a very wonderful thing."
Krsna, The Supreme Personality of Godhead
Some devotees of the Lord who want to love the Supreme Personality of Godhead in the mellow of conjugal love are elevated to the position of becoming wives of Kṛṣṇa, and Kṛṣṇa keeps them always attached to Him by His kind behavior. Kṛṣṇa's behavior with His wives—His movements, His talking with them, His smiling, His embracing and similar other activities, which are just like those of a loving husband—kept them always very much attached to Him. That is the highest perfection of life. If someone remains always attached to Kṛṣṇa, it is to be understood that he is liberated, and his life is successful. With any devotee who loves Kṛṣṇa with his heart and soul, Kṛṣṇa reciprocates in such a way that the devotee cannot but remain attached to Him. The reciprocal dealings of Kṛṣṇa and His devotees are so attractive that a devotee cannot think of any subject matter other than Kṛṣṇa.
Bhagavad-gita As It Is Lectures
Now, Kṛṣṇa, the Supreme Lord, He is not hungry. He is not hungry that I shall supply Him foodstuff, and therefore He will be maintained. It is not like that. But still, Kṛṣṇa says that patraṁ puṣpaṁ phalaṁ toyaṁ bhaktyā prayacchati: "Any devotee, if he offers Me patram..." Patram means leaf. Puṣpam means flower. Patraṁ puṣpaṁ phalam. Phalam means fruit. Patraṁ puṣpaṁ phalaṁ toyam. Toyam means milk or water. Generally, it is meant water.
By the regulative process, by the instruction of the spiritual master, by the regulative principles set up in the bhakti-śāstras, just like Nārada-pañcarātra, Bhakti-rasāmṛta-sindhu. There are many. So at that time, if one comes from the lower platform to the... Of course, we must know that any devotee, either in the lower platform or in the second platform or on the firs platform, they are to be considered as devotees. Not that because one is in the material platform, he's not devotee. He is also devotee. But he has to improve. The improvement means he must know what is Kṛṣṇa. Simply if he remains attached to the temple worship and does not try to understand who is a Kṛṣṇa devotee and how he has to deal with others... Na tad-bhakteṣu cānyeṣu. We have got some duty to others. This is preaching work. This is preaching work. One should not be satisfied simply by worshiping in the temple. Then he'll remain a neophyte. He must become a preacher, Kṛṣṇa consciousness. Then he comes to the second platform.
Kṛṣṇa Caitanya Mahāprabhu says, yei kṛṣṇa-tattva: never mind what is. He may be European, he may be American, he may be śūdra, he may be whatever. That is past. That is his past life. Now, when one has become kṛṣṇa-tattva-vettā, really Kṛṣṇa conscious, he comes to the transcendental position. Sa guṇān samatītyaitān brahma-bhūyāya kalpate. Any devotee, any devotee, māṁ ca yo 'vyabhicāreṇa bhakti-yogena sevate (BG 14.26). Any devotee who has unflinching faith on guru and Kṛṣṇa, such devotee, yasya deva parā bhaktir yathā deve tathā gurau, such person, bhakti-yogi. Bhakti-yoga, you cannot... Without accepting guru there is no possibility of understanding bhakti-yoga. Naiṣāṁ matis tāvad urukramāṅghrim, niṣkiñcanānāṁ pāda-rajo-'bhiṣekam. Unless one touches the lotus feet of niṣkiñcana vaiṣṇava, there is no question of bhakti-yoga. That is not possible. Naiṣāṁ matis tāvad urukramāṅghrim (SB 7.5.32). Urukramāṅghrim means Kṛṣṇa's lotus feet. One cannot be attached unless he takes the dust of a niṣkiñcana vaiṣṇava. This is first.
So this is the reciprocation of dealings of devotional service with Lord. And if there is any devotee who is constantly engaged in such reciprocation of devotional service, God will never forget him. Teṣu te mayi: "As he is always unto Me, similarly I am also unto him." So there is no question of disappointment. Svalpam apy asya dharmasya trāyate mahato bhayāt. If you do little thing for the service of the Lord, it is noted in the notebook of Kṛṣṇa. Don't think that your labor is going in vain. Everything, whatever you do sincerely, that is noted. It is clearly stated here, teṣu te mayi: "As they are always, constantly thinking of Me, similarly, I am also constantly thinking of Me (them), how he can make further development, how he can come to Me very quickly, how he can be free from all contamination of the..." He will give you intelligence. That is stated in another place.
So try to impress the whole Western world about kṛṣṇa-sampraśnaḥ. Then they'll be happy. That is our mission. Yat kṛtaḥ kṛṣṇa-sampraśno yenātmā suprasīdati. Munayaḥ sādhu pṛṣṭo 'ham (SB 1.2.5). And Sūta Gosvāmī welcomed the inquiry, "Oh, it is a nice inquiry, very nice inquiry. You are inquiring about Kṛṣṇa. Oh, I have got this opportunity to answer." Anyone, any devotee, any servant of Kṛṣṇa, as soon as he'll be questioned by somebody about Kṛṣṇa, he'll be very, very happy: "Oh, here is an opportunity to speak about Kṛṣṇa." Just like when Nāradajī inquired from Brahmā that "I know that you are everything, but at the same time, I see that you are meditating on somebody else. What is that?" So Nara... Brahmā welcomed this inquiry, "My dear Nārada, it is a very nice question. Now you have given me opportunity to speak about my master."
So any devotee can fall down if he remains prākṛta-bhakta. So he has to raise himself above this in the madhyama-adhikāra. So here it is said that sva-nirmiteṣu nirviṣṭo bhuṅkte bhūteṣu tad-guṇān. So we are not enjoying actually. We are enjoying the interaction of the three modes of material nature. And we are thinking... The same thing, as my Guru Mahārāja used to say, that licking up the bottle of honey. That is not real honey. You have to open the bottle of the honey and lick up the real honey, then you'll get taste. That is advancement of spiritual knowledge.
The gopīs. The gopīs, they were wives, householder's wife, sister, daughter. So they went at dead of night to dance with Kṛṣṇa. This is sinful according to Vedic injunction. No young girl can go to any young boy without being married. That is Vedic injunction. So practically it was sinful. And... But because it was with Kṛṣṇa, in connection with Kṛṣṇa, they went to dance with Kṛṣṇa, the gopīs are worshiped more than any devotee in the world. Caitanya Mahāprabhu... Gopīs, exalted. Ramyā kacid upāsanā vraja-vadhū-vargeṇā yā kalpitā. So actually, they did sinful acts, action, by leaving their father, brother or husband and went to Kṛṣṇa at dead of night. They were all young girls. That is, according to Vedic injunction that is sinful. But they are worshiped.
So Kuntī, out of her humbleness, meekness, she is presenting herself that "We are woman, striya." But she's not ordinary woman. She's devotee. Similarly, any devotee woman is as good as Kuntī. So out of humbleness, she says, presenting herself as woman, less intelligent, "How we can see You, Kṛṣṇa? You are meant for the paramahaṁsa. You are meant for the bhakti-yogī. You are meant for the great muni. You are so many things... You are meant for persons whose heart is cleansed. How we can see You? We are woman." That is her humbleness. She knows perfectly well what Kṛṣṇa is.
So Bhīṣma conquered over Kṛṣṇa. Instead of conquering over Arjuna, he conquered over Kṛṣṇa. So similarly, here also, Mahārāja Yudhiṣṭhira, he conquered over Kṛṣṇa's decision. If we become devotee of Kṛṣṇa, then ajita jito 'py asi. This is the statement of Lord Brahmā, that Kṛṣṇa can be conquered. Just like Yaśodā-mā conquered over Kṛṣṇa. That Dāmodara-stotra, you are reading, how Kṛṣṇa was afraid of His mother. So any devotee can attain that stage, controlling Kṛṣṇa by love and affection. There is no question... A devotee never likes to control over... They want to serve Kṛṣṇa. This is also service. When a devotee conquers over Kṛṣṇa or controls over Kṛṣṇa, that is also service. That is not actually controlling, because Kṛṣṇa wants to be controlled, just like a father sometimes says to his children, small children, to rise over the body, and they kick the father.
One has to make advance, stage by stage, from the kaniṣṭha-adhikārī, from the lower stage, to the middle stage to the higher stage. So the next stage, from prākṛta, from material position... Of course, any devotion is, any devotee is not on the material platform. He is... But if we remain more on the material platform, not on the spiritual platform, then we'll fall down. We'll fall down. Therefore one should try to make forward march. The forward march is to become a preacher. Bhakteṣu cānyeṣu. Preaching means to obey the order of the spiritual master or superior authorities and to do good to others, do good to others. They are suffering for want of Kṛṣṇa consciousness. Try to preach them. This is the second stage. If we simply become blocked up for Deity worship and do not preach, then we remain in the lowest stage.
So any devotee who is serious about this Deity worship, hearing about Kṛṣṇa, chanting the Hare Kṛṣṇa mantra, following the Vedic principle, or rejecting the sinful activities of life... In this way we can come to the platform of spiritual life, and if we act accordingly, that is called bhakti-yoga or the liberated stage.
So our, this movement, Kṛṣṇa consciousness movement, we are first giving chance to the people in general for hearing. Śrī Caitanya Mahāprabhu, when He was talking with Rāmānanda Rāya, he specially gave stress on this point of hearing. If you hear, then the Supreme Personality of Godhead, who is never conquered by anyone, but a devotee who is hearing about Him, he can conquer over Him. Śrī Caitanya Mahāprabhu, of course, He quoted from Bhāgavatam. Any devotee or bona fide preacher, he does not manufacture anything. He simply follows the previous mahājana. He said, jñāne prayāsam udapāsya. One should not try to speculate to understand the Supreme Truth. So we should give up this habit of speculating to understand God. One should become submissive, jñāne prayāsam udapāsya namanta eva, that very submissive to hear from the right person. So hearing is so important. Therefore our all Vedic literature is called śruti. So the subject matter which is beyond our sense perception, avāṅ-manasā gocaraḥ, that cannot be understood by using our imperfect senses.
Nectar of Devotion Lectures
As Caitanya, as Caitanya-caritāmṛta author, Kavirāja Gosvāmī, says, purīṣera kīṭa haite muñi se lagiṣṭha: (CC Adi 5.205) "I am lower than the insect within the stool." Jagāi-mādhāi haite se muñi pāpiṣṭha: "I am greater sinner than Jagāi and Mādhāi." Mora nāma yei laya tāra puṇya kṣaya: "Anyone who takes my name, immediately, all the result of his pious activities becomes vanquished." He's placing like that. Because it is not imitation or any bluff. He's... Any devotee who's actually advanced, he feels like that. Just like great scientist, Sir Isaac Newton, he used to say that "I have simply collected a few grains of sand in the ocean of knowledge." Yes. He used to say. And actually, that is the fact. Everything is unlimited. So nobody should be proud falsely that he has become a great devotee. Everyone should be very humble.
So Caitanya-caritāmṛta Kaja, Kṛṣṇadāsa Kavirāja Gosvāmī, he says that there is difference between material lusty desire and love of God. He has compared that love of God is just like gold, and lusty desire is just like iron. So the difference between lusty desire and love of God is: in the material world, which is going on as love, that is lusty desire. Because the party, both the parties are interested in individual sense gratification. But here, the gopīs, or any devotees, they want to satisfy the senses of Kṛṣṇa. That is the difference between material lusty desire and love of Godhead. Ātmendriya-prīti-vāñchā tāra nāma kāma (CC Adi 4.165). When one desires one's own sense gratification... In the material world, suppose a boy loves a girl and a girl loves a boy. That is personal sense gratification.
Sri Caitanya-caritamrta Lectures
So there are different kinds of devotees also. Some devotee worships the Nārāyaṇa feature, some devotee worships Kṛṣṇa feature, Nṛsiṁhadeva... So there are innumerable devotees and innumerable forms also of Kṛṣṇa. But not these ordinary demigods. When Kṛṣṇa says, ye yathā māṁ prapadyante tāṁs tathaiva bhajāmy aham: (BG 4.11) "Any devotee who wants to worship Me in My different feature, I offer him in that feature..." Just like Hanumān. He was a devotee of Rāma. So there is one verse by Hanumān, that "I know Rāma and Nṛsiṁha and Nārāyaṇa, Kṛṣṇa, is the same. But still, I want to worship Rāma." Just like we, ourself, we know Lord Rāma and Lord Kṛṣṇa the same, but we want to worship Kṛṣṇa. So different devotees have different inclination to offer his service to different features of God. And therefore He has got innumerable features of the presentation. They are differently named.
One man is trying to exploit another; one nation is trying to exploit another nation; one society is trying to... This is struggle for existence. They have invented this law that "Might is right." You struggle, and if you are powerful... Just like there is now struggle between Russia and America, or China and America. This is going on. So everyone is suffering. The struggle for existence means a condition of suffering. And these saintly persons, devotees of Kṛṣṇa, not only devotees of Kṛṣṇa, any devotee of God, they are, their business is to see how people become happy. Lokānāṁ hita-kāriṇau. Therefore, tribhuvane mānyau. The devotees are worshiped not only in this planet but in other planets also—wherever they will go.
Now just try to understand. Any devotee of Lord should not be blasphemed. It doesn't matter in any country. Just like Lord Jesus Christ, he is a great devotee. And even Muhammad, he's also a devotee. It is not that because we are devotee and they are not devotee. Don't think like that. Anyone who is preaching the glories of God, he is a devotee. He should not be blasphemed. You should be careful.
In the Bhagavad-gītā, Arjuna, he was a devotee of Kṛṣṇa, a friend of Kṛṣṇa. Perhaps you know it. So in the beginning he did not like to fight. He denied. So any devotee of God or Kṛṣṇa is not fond of war or fighting with any others. But if there is necessity, if Kṛṣṇa wants that fight, a devotee of Kṛṣṇa will accept such fight. If you think that your Vietnam fighting is ordered by Kṛṣṇa, then it is all right. If it is not, then it is not. That is Kṛṣṇa consciousness. We act in Kṛṣṇa consciousness. If Kṛṣṇa says, if God says, "This is right," we accept it right. If God says it is wrong, we accept it wrong. Because we think, we have poor fund of knowledge. We do not know what is right and wrong. Therefore if God says or Kṛṣṇa says this is right, we accept it right. If God says or Kṛṣṇa says it is wrong, we accept it wrong.
Conversations and Morning Walks
1971 Conversations and Morning Walks
Parivrājakācārya: He hasn't got very many Africans. I think only about two.
Prabhupāda: Then suspend that installation.
Parivrājakācārya: They haven't been making any devotees there.
Prabhupāda: Then there is no... (break) ...and if we conquer our eating then we can conquer our sleeping also. Nidrāhāra vihārakādi vijitau **. (break) Don't make fuss. If you are serious, then it is all right. Otherwise, you are young men. If you again give up sannyāsa or you try to marry, it will be scandalous for our society. Don't do that. If you are steady... But so far report is you are not very steady. Do you admit this or not?
Kulaśekhara: Yes. Prabhupāda.
1975 Conversations and Morning Walks
Prabhupāda: Those who are not cooperating...
Gopāla Kṛṣṇa: They should be asked to leave.
Prabhupāda: Yes. They must cooperate.
Gopāla Kṛṣṇa: (break) The problem that these foreign, some of these foreign devotees that have come lately, they have been such loose devotees that the temple presidents, they want to get rid of them; they are sending them to India. Three people came from Rūpānuga's zone; and they were all useless devotees. They won't listen. They just ran away from Bombay. So I wrote a very strong letter to Rūpānuga Prabhu. I said, you know, they should screen the devotees before they send them to India. What they are doing is they are sending their rejected devotees to India. If any devotee is not good in their zone they say, "Okay, we'll send them to India." But here we have such big projects that we need devotees who will follow the rules strictly and who will listen to authorities.
Prabhupāda: So tell them. If they have rejected and you also reject them, where they will go? Hm?
Gopāla Kṛṣṇa: No, we will train them, but these devotees don't cooperate very much.
1976 Conversations and Morning Walks
Puṣṭa Kṛṣṇa: Some of our brahmacārīs, they've been drafted into the army. We've lost several devotees like that, because it's very hard for them to maintain their Kṛṣṇa consciousness in the army.
Puṣṭa Kṛṣṇa: Yes, conscription. But the Indians are not drafted. There's no army for them. So we're hoping that in Durban, where you first preached at the City Hall, the young people there, if we can get them sufficiently enthused, that they'll also join, and then we'll be able to have a very big movement amongst Indian community as well. We won't lose any devotees like that from the draft.
Prabhupāda: I think our students who are going to be ministers, they are excused from draft.
1977 Conversations and Morning Walks
Hari-śauri: That man from Delhi said that he thought you were an incarnation of Vyāsadeva.
Prabhupāda: Yes. Any devotee in literary career, he is to be understood... Just like our Vṛndāvana dāsa Ṭhākura. He is described as incarnation of Vyāsadeva because Vyāsadeva wrote Bhāgavatam and he wrote Caitanya-bhāgavata.
Prabhupāda: Vyāsa-pūjā. Vyāsa-prasādam. Unless one is blessed by Vyāsadeva, he cannot write transcendental literature. So now you have very good cook. Kīrtana is going on. It is Vaikuṇṭha. Maintain this status very nicely. You can. You are... From the very beginning you are... Do it very nicely. Tatra tiṣṭhāmi nārada yatra gāyanti mad-bhaktāḥ. If devotees chant always, that is Kṛṣṇa or Vaikuṇṭha. Tatra tiṣṭhā... Tatra tiṣṭhāmi. Yatra gāyanti mad-bhaktāḥ. They must be pure devotee and always talk about Kṛṣṇa, chant about Kṛṣṇa. Then it is Vaikuṇṭha.
Trivikrama: By your mercy.
Prabhupāda: No. Yasyāsti bhaktir bhagavat... Any devotee can become. That letter, mayor's letter also, it carries weight. What is his name?
Tamāla Kṛṣṇa: Ganatra? That telegram he sent?
Prabhupāda: Yes, yes. And the Statesman report, it is very very...
Tamāla Kṛṣṇa: Very encouraging. This Haridāsa is transformed. You said that it was due to the mercy of a Vaiṣṇava, Girirāja.
Prabhupāda: Hm, yes.
Tamāla Kṛṣṇa: Remember how you said that?
Prabhupāda: Vaiṣṇava ṭhākur tomār kukkura.
I am in due receipt of your letter post dated the 8th instant and I am very glad to note the contents. I was very much anxious to get the new address of our new center in Los Angeles and now I am pleased that our desire is fulfilled by the Grace of Lord Krishna. Your specific duty is to chant and hear the transcendental Name of the Lord, read some passages from my English version of the Srimad-Bhagavatam and Srimad Bhagavad-gita (Gitopanisad) and explain them as far as possible you have heard from me. Any devotee who has developed genuine Love for Krishna can also explain the truth about Krishna because Krishna helps such sincere devotee seated in his heart. Every one must be frustrated who is not Krishna conscious because the eternal relationship with Krishna is so nice. That eternal relationship with Krishna can be revived simply by chanting His Holy Name in right earnest.
Regarding your question about Lord Siva and Thakura Haridasa, and their different response to sex agitation: This does not mean that Lord Siva has become degraded from the devotional platform. A devotee even if he is sometimes found that he is attracted by sex life, that does not mean he is degraded. That is by chance. Because Lord Siva is Grhastha, so by his past habits if he appeared to have been attracted by sex life, that does not mean he has been degraded from his position. You should never think of any devotee like that. There are many other stories also, but such apparent falling is without any influence to very very advanced devotees. A neophyte should always be careful. One should not discuss about such great devotees' apparent fall-down.
This program suggests, of course, that a devotee who is not in the neophyte stage can discriminate what is Krishna, what is devotee, what is neophyte and what is nondevotee. Unless one is able to discriminate, he is to be considered to be in the neophyte stage. In the neophyte stage the position is that the neophyte devotee worships the Deity in the temple with great awe and reverence, but he cannot discriminate who is devotee, who is nondevotee and who is neophyte. I think you must be in the second stage and should try to discriminate as above. Any devotee wanting to see you should be welcomed, but your treatment should be according to his position.
I am so happy to learn that you have been so well received in Provincetown by the young boys and girls. It is a fact that the hippies are our best clients. I had very good response in San Francisco during Rathayatra festival. I saw that they were taking up the chanting of Hare Krsna maha mantra very feelingly even without the presence of any devotee to lead them. They appreciated my lecture and I appreciated their attitude. They joined in Rathayatra very enthusiastically. So try your best to convince them by very nice preaching and in particular very nice Sankirtana party and distribution of our literatures.
Vidura looks like a human being; "self-same body" means looking like material body. Any devotee always is in a spiritual body although it may appear material; Smoke is smoke; When Krishna says unto me, he means unto "me." So he should not be pictured with Radharani,* Why a snake? Being entangled in the qualities of material nature is very subtle, so why a snake?
I am most pleased especially to hear that you are distributing many books.* Go on increasing books, and go on increasing my pleasure. You are doing very very nicely in Madras, and except for you I think there is hardly any devotee so hardworking and with such good ability to persuade men to help us. So far transportation, etc., you arrange all of that with Tamala Krishna.
You tried to get him back, that was an honest endeavor. So your kind of attachment for him is not material because it is related with Krishna, so that is good. Feeling loss is no mistake because of course any devotee out of our sight is a great loss.
If you have taken a wife for grhastha life, why are you neglecting? That is not Vaisnava. Vaisnava means he is very much responsible, and if he is householder, then he must be responsible. I cannot give sannyasa to any devotee who has not proven himself to be responsible in all respects. Better you prove yourself first by being ideal householder and forget all this nonsense.
Thank you very much for your kind attention. I hope that everything is rectified to your satisfaction. You have got a daughter who is now become devotee of Krsna, therefore I can understand that you are also very nice persons, everyone related to any devotee of Krsna becomes also great in our estimation, therefore I beg your assistance in this matter by giving something donation towards our temples, or especially the Boston Temple, for purchasing cloth and medicine, and other things for the devotees there. If there is any further complaint, you may please address me at any time and I will try to rectify the matter.
Just like Maharaja Pariksit. He simply listened to Sukadeva Gosvami. That is sravanam. And Sukadeva Gosvami simply narrated Srimad-Bhagavatam. This is kirtanam. Prahlada Maharaja simply contemplated—smaranam. Prthu Maharaja simply did deity worship—arcanam. Arjuna only remained as friend of Krishna—sakhyam. Hanuman remained only engaged in carrying out the order of Lord Ramacandra—dasyam. And Bali Maharaja surrendered everything to Krishna—atma-nivedanam. So, any devotee executing any one of the nine is transcendentally glorious. One devotee may be proud that his process of service is the best. That is not inglorious. This is called transcendental competition. Everyone should feel proud of his particular type of devotional service, but that does not mean that other types of service are inferior. Everyone should feel proud of becoming sincere servant of Krishna, but the pure devotee never minimizes the importance of other devotees. Krishna is the enjoyer of varieties of service. It is not stuck up with any particular type of service. Krishna takes pleasure with devotees even by fighting service.
So far foreign devotees are concerned I can bring immediately 500 devotees from foreign countries but the government will not allow them to stay. If any devotee comes he has to go back again after three months or six months, at 10,000 Rs. expenditure. Still I am struggling and whenever it is possible I am bringing foreign devotees to preach in India and as you say the Indians are cheaters even though not all of them. The majority who come and join us, it has been experienced, they are not sincere. Under the circumstances what can be done, I do not know. Even experienced devotees—perhaps you know Anand Baba—he was asked also to go as there were so many complaints against him. But one hope is there that you are publishing in the Orissan language and it is being distributed and your writing is approved by me. So if you concentrate on these literature printing matters and try to distribute as far as possible that is our great success.