Self-realization in the relation as servitor is certainly transcendental, and when a sense of fraternity is added, the relationship develops. As affection increases, this relationship develops into paternity and conjugal love. Rāmānanda Rāya quoted a verse from Bhakti-rasāmṛta-sindhu (2.5.38) stating that spiritual affection for the Supreme Lord is transcendental in all cases, but the individual devotee has a specific aptitude for a particular relationship, and that relationship is more relishable for him than the others.
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- 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
Activities of the living being are different varieties of aptitudes which can entrap or liberate the living being within and without material nature. All these subject matters are concisely discussed in the Bhagavad-gītā, and later the subject matters are elaborated in the Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam for further enlightenment. Out of the five subjects, the Supreme Lord, the living entity, nature, and time and space are eternal, but the living entity, nature and time are under the direction of the Supreme Lord, who is absolute and completely independent of any other control.
SB Canto 2
Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam is recognized Vedic wisdom, and the system of receiving Vedic knowledge is called avaroha-panthā, or the process of receiving transcendental knowledge through bona fide disciplic succession. For advancement of material knowledge there is a need for personal ability and researching aptitude, but in the case of spiritual knowledge, all progress depends more or less on the mercy of the spiritual master.
The Personality of Godhead is pure, being free from all contaminations of material tinges. He is the Absolute Truth and the embodiment of full and perfect knowledge. He is all-pervading, without beginning or end, and without rival. O Nārada, O great sage, the great thinkers can know Him when completely freed from all material hankerings and when sheltered under undisturbed conditions of the senses. Otherwise, by untenable arguments, all is distorted, and the Lord disappears from our sight.
Here is an estimation of the Lord apart from His transcendental activities in the temporary, material creations. Māyāvāda philosophy tries to designate the Lord as contaminated by a material body when He accepts forms of incarnation. This sort of interpolation is completely denied herein by the explanation that the Lord's position is pure and unalloyed in all circumstances. According to Māyāvāda philosophy, the spirit soul, when covered by nescience, is designated as jīva, but when freed from such ignorance or nescience he merges in the impersonal existence of the Absolute Truth. But here it is said that the Lord is eternally the symbol of full and perfect knowledge. This is His speciality: perpetual freedom from all material contaminations. This distinguishes the Lord from the individual, common living entities who have the aptitude for being subordinated by nescience and thus becoming materially designated.
The Lord descends on this earth and acts like others in connection with the activities of the world just to create subject matters for hearing about Him; otherwise the Lord has nothing to do in this world, nor has He any obligation to do anything. He comes out of His own causeless mercy and acts as He desires, the Vedas and purāṇas are full of descriptions of His different activities so that people in general may naturally be eager to hear and read something about His activities. Generally, however, the modern fictions and novels of the world occupy a greater part of people's valuable time. Such literatures cannot do good to anyone; on the contrary, they agitate the young mind unnecessarily and increase the modes of passion and ignorance, leading to increasing bondage to the material conditions. The same aptitude for hearing and reading is better utilized in hearing and reading of the Lord's activities. This will give one all-around benefit.
SB Canto 3
The pāñcarātrikī formula for training persons in devotional service is temple worship, whereby the neophytes get the opportunity to learn devotional service to the Lord. Mahārāja Parīkṣit also used to play with Kṛṣṇa dolls in his childhood. In India the children in good families are still given dolls of the Lord like Rāma and Kṛṣṇa, or sometimes the demigods, so that they may develop the aptitude of service to the Lord. By the grace of the Lord we were given the same opportunity by our parents, and the beginning of our life was based on this principle.
SB Canto 6
From the womb of Mātṛkā, the wife of Aryamā, were born many learned scholars. Among them Lord Brahmā created the human species, which are endowed with an aptitude for self-examination.
These three Deities of Vṛndāvana (Madana-mohana, Govinda and Gopīnātha) have absorbed the heart and soul of the Gauḍīya Vaiṣṇavas (followers of Lord Caitanya). I worship Their lotus feet, for They are the Lords of my heart.
The author of Śrī Caitanya-caritāmṛta offers his respectful obeisances unto the three Deities of Vṛndāvana named Śrī Rādhā-Madana-mohana, Śrī Rādhā-Govindadeva and Śrī Rādhā-Gopīnāthajī. These three Deities are the life and soul of the Bengali Vaiṣṇavas, or Gauḍīya Vaiṣṇavas, who have a natural aptitude for residing in Vṛndāvana.
A living entity in the conditioned stage can uncover his aptitude for serving the Absolute Truth by the grace of Kṛṣṇa and the spiritual master. Then the Lord reveals Himself within his heart, and he can know that Kṛṣṇa is seated in the heart of every pure devotee. Kṛṣṇa is actually situated in the heart of every living entity, but only a devotee can realize this fact.
Other Books by Srila Prabhupada
Teachings of Lord Caitanya
It is said that Lord Kṛṣṇa, in relation with His devotees, accepts all kinds of devotional service according to the aptitude of the devotee. In this way, Kṛṣṇa reciprocates to a devotee's needs. If one wants a relationship with Kṛṣṇa as master and servant, Kṛṣṇa plays the part of the perfect master. For one who wants Kṛṣṇa as a son in the parental relationship, Kṛṣṇa plays the part of a perfect son. Similarly, if a devotee wants to worship Kṛṣṇa in conjugal love, Kṛṣṇa plays the part of a husband or paramour perfectly. However, Kṛṣṇa Himself has admitted that His loving relationship with the damsels of Vraja in conjugal love is the highest perfectional stage.
There are different kinds of devotees who have different aptitudes and relationships with the Supreme Lord. Any one relationship with the Lord is as good as any other because the central point is Kṛṣṇa. As stated in Bhakti-rasāmṛta-sindhu: "Kṛṣṇa is the reservoir of all pleasures, and He is always attracting the gopīs by the spiritual luster of His body. He especially attracts Tārakā, Pāli, Śyāmā, and Lalitā. Kṛṣṇa is very dear to Rādhārāṇī, the foremost gopī." Like Kṛṣṇa, the gopīs are glorified by Kṛṣṇa's pastimes. There are different kinds of relationships with Kṛṣṇa, and anyone who is attracted to Kṛṣṇa by a particular relationship is glorified.
Nectar of Devotion
It is said by Śrī Rūpa Gosvāmī, "When one is actually liberated from material contamination, he can always remember an eternal devotee in Vṛndāvana in order to love Kṛṣṇa in the same capacity. And developing such an aptitude, one will always live in Vṛndāvana, even within his mind." The purport is that if it is possible one should go and physically be present at Vrajabhūmi, Vṛndāvana, and be engaged always in the service of the Lord, following the devotees in Vraja-dhāma, the spiritual realm of Vraja. If it is not possible, however, to be physically present at Vṛndāvana, one can meditate anywhere upon living in that situation. Wherever he may be, one must always think about life in Vraja-dhāma and about following in the footsteps of a particular devotee in the service of the Lord.
Śrī Rūpa Gosvāmī says that learned ācāryas recommend that we follow the regulative principles even after the development of spontaneous love for Kṛṣṇa. According to the regulative principles, there are nine departmental activities, as described above, and one should specifically engage himself in the type of devotional service for which he has a natural aptitude. For example, one person may have a particular interest in hearing, another may have a particular interest in chanting, and another may have a particular interest in serving in the temple. So these, or any of the other six different types of devotional service (remembering, serving, praying, engaging in some particular service, being in a friendly relationship or offering everything in one's possession), should be executed in full earnestness. In this way, everyone should act according to his particular taste.
Krsna, The Supreme Personality of Godhead
The Supreme Personality of Godhead, Lord Kṛṣṇa, is always full with six opulences—namely complete wealth, complete strength, complete fame, complete knowledge, complete beauty and complete renunciation. The Lord appears in different complete, eternal forms of incarnation. The conditioned soul has immense opportunity to hear about the transcendental activities of the Lord in these different incarnations. In the Bhagavad-gītā it is said, janma karma ca me divyam (BG 4.9). The pastimes and activities of the Lord are not material—they are beyond the material conception—and the conditioned soul can benefit by hearing such uncommon activities. Hearing is an opportunity to associate with the Lord; to hear His activities is to evolve to the transcendental nature—simply by hearing. The conditioned soul has a natural aptitude to hear something about other conditioned souls in the form of fiction, drama and novel. That inclination to hear something about others may be utilized in hearing the pastimes of the Lord. Then one can immediately evolve to his transcendental nature. Kṛṣṇa's pastimes are not only beautiful; they are also very pleasing to the mind.
Prakṛteḥ kriyamāṇāni guṇaiḥ karmāṇi sarvaśaḥ (BG 3.27). We... just like a person in the prison. He is also a citizen. He's not meant for living in the prison; he is actually meant for living outside the prison. But some way or other, he has come in contact with the criminal department and is put into the prison. Similarly, usually, the citizens and the king or president, they are not inhabitants of the prison house. Similarly, we, along with Kṛṣṇa, as Kṛṣṇa is prakṛteḥ param, similarly, we are also prakṛteḥ param, but we have got the aptitude to fall down in the prakṛti. Kṛṣṇa hasn't got that aptitude. He's a master. Just like "King can do no wrong." This is the British Constitution. You cannot accuse the king in any way, neither you can judge. That is British Constitution. Similarly, Kṛṣṇa, as it is stated in the Īśopaniṣad, apāpa-viddham. He cannot be criminal like us. He's above. He cannot be charged with any criminal charges. Apāpa-viddham. Pāpa does not touch Him. Although it appears that He is doing something which is pāpa, but that is not pāpa.
One should not give up his own profession. Never mind even it is faulty. You have heard it from me. Just like He has given the example that fire, fire is so pure, still there is fault. There is smoke. So in spite of all fault one should not give up his own work, but he should do it faithfully and nicely and the result will come. Ājīvaikataraṁ bhāvaṁ yas tu. And He says here that "Anyone who gives up his own natural profession, natural aptitude, profession, so..." Na tasmād vindate kṣemaṁ jārān nāry asatī yathā.
Now, this is a very important question. Nāry asatī. Asatī. Asatī means not chaste, not chaste woman. Just like... In India, of course, it is very strict, that the woman is not to give up her husband and acquaint herself with any other man. This example is given that "An unchaste woman gives up her own husband and makes friendship with others; similarly, one who gives up his own profession and takes other profession, he is also similarly unchaste."
Dayānanda: We could also have a passive relationship with Kṛṣṇa, like a tree?
Prabhupāda: Yes. That will be revealed, how we are related with Kṛṣṇa. Every relationship is as good as the other. Just like in this material world, everyone's position, he thinks it is very nice. Similarly, in the spiritual, what to speak, they are all equal, but still, one is apprec..., one's aptitude is that "I want to love Kṛṣṇa in this way." Yes. So he's there in that way. There must be variety. If there is rasa-līlā, there must be nice trees, nice field, nice cows, nice Yamunā river. Otherwise how it is, simply if the gopīs and Kṛṣṇas are there, if the other things are not there? The background must be there. So everything is spiritual. Background is also spiritual. That is creation of Kṛṣṇa.
Conversations and Morning Walks
1973 Conversations and Morning Walks
Revatīnandana: Yes. So a few of us, so the few of us who have an aptitude for Sanskrit language are studying Sanskrit language.
Prabhupāda: We are teaching Sanskrit, we are teaching English. Especially. Especially we are giving training to our boys to learn simply English and Sanskrit. Then they will be help. By learning Sanskrit, they will be able to read...
Temple idea is prompted in me because I feel that Srila Prabhupada wanted to open some temples in the foreign countries. Personally I have no aptitude to open temples neither I have done it in India although there were many great opportunities. But here see there is necessity even from the point of Hindu cultural view. There is not a single Hindu temple here at least in New York or all the places so far I have traveled in this country. Regarding management of the temple is concerned for the present I have called for one of my of my disciples from Delhi. If other persons from our so many camps want to come here I shall welcome and I think after the temple is started some men even from America may be available as I see there are in the Ramakrishna Mission as well as in so many Yoga societies.
Surely you will be very much pleased to know that my preaching work is getting ground in this country. The most important factor is that my followers and assistants are all young Americans. They are educated and possess an aptitude for grasping reality.
Please accept my blessings, Your nice letter with deep regard for Guru is quite appropriate. Guru and Krishna are two parallel lines on which the spiritual express runs very smoothly. In the Caitanya Caritamrta it is said "Guru Krsna prasade paya bhakti lata bija (CC Madhya 19.151)." By the Grace of Guru one gets Krishna and by the Grace of Krishna one gets a bona fide Guru. Therefore Krishna consciousness means staunch faith both in Guru and Krishna. One minus the other is no good for the devotee. So your faith in the principles of devotion to Guru will certainly help you more and more Krishna. Do not ever try to approach Krishna directly. Anyone who talks of Krishna without service to Guru will not be successful. So your faith in Guru and Krishna simultaneously will help you to become crowned with success in the progressive march in Krishna consciousness. Do not be worried, be situated in the present aptitude and everything will be clear.
The secret of success in the matter of Krishna Consciousness is devotion to the Lord and the Spiritual Master. In the Vedas, the secret of success is described as follows:
- Yasya deve para bhakti yatha deve tatha gurau
- Yasya ete kathotha hi artha prakasyanta mahatmanah
"Anyone who has developed unflinching faith in the Lord and the Spiritual Master can understand the revealed scripture unfold before him." So continue your present aptitude and you will be successful in your spiritual progress. I am sure that even if I am not physically present before you. Still you will be able to execute all spiritual duties in the matter of Krishna Consciousness; if you follow the above principles. I thank you once more for your service.
So far standard Sanskrit transliteration, that which Pradyumna is doing will be our standard. The spelling should also be standard, and based on his work. So far the word "Ksatriya", this is the correct spelling. All these discrepancies are happening on account of my students being unaware of Sanskrit language. Therefore, I requested Pradyumna to learn Sanskrit very seriously. He has got the aptitude, and I hope he may come out very successful.
Your sentiments expressed in this letter are transcendentally relished. Certainly you are mine and I am Krishna's, therefore you are also Krishna's. In the Krishna Consciousness activities that is the process. By following the disciplic succession, beginning from Krishna, everything becomes ultimately connected with Krishna. And Krishna being absolute, anything connected with Him becomes absolute, without any duality of concept like in the material world. In the material world, it is called illusion because everyone thinks I or my. But in the spiritual world, everything is Krishna. We being part and parcel of Krishna, when we surrender fully unto Krishna with sincerity of purpose, through the transparent via media of the spiritual master. One who thinks himself as Krishna's, he is non-different from Krishna. So the attitude which you are mentioning is the Grace of Krishna, and I wish by His Lordship's Mercy you will continue this aptitude of becoming more and more progressed in Krishna Consciousness. Thank you very much for thinking in such a nice way.
Regarding your questions, as Brahma realized that he was the maidservant of Krishna, similarly, everyone of us has to realize that Krishna is the only single purusa. purusa synonymously means male, but actually, in the spiritual dictionary, male means "enjoyer" and female means "enjoyed." So in this sense, Krishna is the only male and all others being energies of Krishna, they are prakrti, or female. Please do not try to understand this male and female in the material sense. In other words, our perfection of life will be actually realizing that we are all females. In the material world we have got simply different dresses. Here in the material world, everyone is in the temperament of male, even the so-called females are also in the temperament. This is very prominent in the Western part of the world, and you know it very well how the females here think on the level of equality with males. This aptitude is material.
Regarding your other questions, yes, the desire tree can also supply dresses for Lord Jagannatha. Certainly my Spiritual Master watches me. So far as your question about the disciplic succession, in all Vedic literatures it is mentioned about the disciplic succession. You have read in Srimad-Bhagavatam, first canto, first chapter where it is said that Brahma was inspired from within the heart by the Supreme Personality of Godhead. Similarly, in the Katha Upanisad it is said that "in order to learn the transcendental science, one has to approach the Spiritual Master." This spiritual master means one who has heard correctly from his Spiritual Master. In this way, ultimately it goes to Krishna, the Supreme Spiritual Master. There is no possibility of understanding the Vedic knowledge without this descending process. The modern world is puffed up with personal research knowledge, but the person who is engaging in this research work does not know that he is imperfect on account of his aptitude for becoming illusioned, for committing mistakes, for his cheating propensity and for his possessing imperfect senses. Therefore there is no possibility of receiving perfect knowledge without approaching a self-realized Spiritual Master coming down in disciplic succession. The mental speculator, no matter how advanced he may be, cannot deliver us the right knowledge.
In the conditioned stage, we chant Hare Krishna mantra officially without any attachment and try to finish the rounds as soon as possible. Sometimes we also forget to chant the prescribed number of rounds. But Haridasa Thakura even at the last stage of his life, he was chanting 300,000 beads although Lord Caitanya personally asked him to not labor so hard. But Haridasa Thakura said that he would continue the practice till the end of his life. So that is the position of transcendental taste. Please therefore chant very sincerely with your present aptitude of mind and Krishna will bless you more and more in understanding this secret of transcendental vibration. Of course, sometimes the public may misunderstand such tears of bliss, so we may better have to check it from the vision of ordinary persons.
I have already written a letter to George and it is sent through you. In that letter I have suggested the importance of Krsna Consciousness movement, so if George elaborates this idea in his foreword that will be very nice. The suggestions I may repeat again, that every living entity has a dormant propensity of love for somebody else. That is exhibited not only in human society, but also in the animal society. That love is exhibited primarily in five kinds of relationship—especially as master and servant, as friend and friend, as parents and children, and as lover and beloved. This stock of love in every living entity is dormant eternal love for Krsna, but because the living entity has forgotten Krsna since a very, very long time, even before this creation was manifested, therefore all of us are misplacing that dormant love in a perverted way. Therefore there is always frustration. Even so-called "sincere" love between lover and the beloved or husband and wife or even parents and children are so many instances of frustration. Therefore the only remedy for this repeated frustration of our life after life is revival of original Krsna Consciousness.
As soon as we revive that love of Krsna in any one of the five primary relationships, as we have constitutional aptitude, immediately we become happy. This is the fact, but it requires little time to come to this point by the prescribed method as we have to undergo patiently a treatment for the cure of our disease. Therefore this Krsna Consciousness movement is the only solution for all kinds of frustrations and problems.
I am very glad to learn that he has given up composing nonsense songs, it is a great advancement of his spiritual life. But as he has got the aptitude for writing songs, I shall be very glad to give him many such themes of songs on which he can write in his own language and expression. I am giving below one theme:
"My Dear Lord, I have simply wasted my privileges of human form of life. This life was meant for understanding Krsna Consciousness and the pastimes of Lord Krsna with Radharani, but I did not take care of this important business of life. Therefore I have not only wasted my valuable time, but also I have willingly drunk poison for committing suicide. My heart is always in blazing fire because of my association with material sense enjoyment, and I did not fix up my mind in the Krsna Consciousness movement which is imported directly from the Kingdom of God. This Krsna Consciousness movement is inaugurated by Lord Caitanya and Lord Nityananda Who are Krsna and Balarama respectively. They have descended very kindly to reclaim all fallen souls of this age of whom the typical examples are the two brothers Jagai and Madhai. Now, forgetting all mistakes that I have committee. in my past life, I humbly surrender unto You, my Lord Krsna the Son of Nanda Maharaja, and also to Srimati Radharani the daughter of King Vrsabhanu. So both of You are present together, and I fully surrender unto You. Please do not reject me as I have no other shelter except Yourselves."
Regarding your need of engagement, then you have to join Sankirtana Party. Your aptitude is to be engaged in constructing something for Krsna. The best thing will be to engage yourself in carving Lord Caitanya's statues. That will be good engagement for you even in George's house.
Yes, we are fighting impersonalism and voidism with pure devotional service. Impersonalism and voidism kills the natural aptitude of devotion which is lying dormant in everyone's heart. Therefore we are printing books like our KRSNA book so that people may know it that the supreme absolute truth is a person. The perfection of every living creature is to render transcendental loving service to that Supreme Person and thereby go back home, back to Godhead. Krishna has said in Bhagavad-gita that "whoever explains my transcendental glories to others is most dear to me in this world and never will there be one more dear to me than he". So go on with your organization for distribution of my books through press and other modern media and Krishna will certainly be pleased upon you. We can use everything—television, radio, movies, or whatever there may be—to tell about Krishna and outside of devotional service all these modern paraphernalia are just so much rubbish. It is very nice that you are opening another center in Cleveland, Ohio. Please do it very thoughtfully.
So far your question, the soul is fundamentally pure but he has an aptitude to come to the impure state of material contamination. He is therefore called tatastha or marginal. He has got the liberty of staying within the pure state or becoming contaminated. That is his choice. This marginal point can be understood in this way; just like you are standing on the shore of the sea. So you can remain on the land or sometimes you can jump into the water to enjoy as you will see on the beaches. So many young boys are enjoying. But that is dangerous at the same time. One who does not know swimming expertly well he may become drowned. Similarly the soul from the spiritual platform sometimes jumps over the material ocean of nescience.
I am in due receipt of your offering of Bhaktivedanta-astakam, and I thank you very much. It is very nicely done. I have noted that you also have the aptitude for Bengali language, so you can learn this nicely and then you will be able to preach in Bengal in the native language. It would be very effective. Also, you can chant the Gita-Gan in Bengali and people will profusely take out Gita-Gan. Thank you very much.