So this Kṛṣṇa consciousness movement is for giving chance... (break) ...everyone, hearing about God, Kṛṣṇa. This Kṛṣṇa kīrtana, Hare Kṛṣṇa, Hare Kṛṣṇa, is the beginning. And in that Hare Kṛṣṇa, hearing is everything. Then we speak something from Bhagavad-gītā, Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam, Upaniṣad—many hundred and thousands of books we have got. Even he, our Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam, one cannot finish reading in one life. Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam is so great. Our project is for sixty volumes. So these sixty volumes, it will be very difficult for any person to read it carefully throughout the whole life. So there is so much information about God that... But it is possible to understand Him if you associate with pure devotee of the Lord. Then svayam eva sphuraty adaḥ. Then God will reveal Himself. He is sitting within everyone's heart, and as soon as He sees that one is very sincere and "He's trying to understand Me," then He will teach you from within and you'll understand. Even without reading book, by His grace you will understand. But anything we should not claim falsely. We should be very sincere and serious to understand God. Then God will help us. God is within everyone's heart. There is no difficulty. That is our Kṛṣṇa consciousness movement. So I'm very glad that you are all coming to our, this center. And these boys are trying to convince you in Kṛṣṇa consciousness. Please try to cooperate with us so that we may be encouraged also.
Association of pure devotees of the Lord
SB Canto 1
This bhāva stage is attained after one has transcendental affection for the Lord. The first initial stage is called śraddhā, or a liking for the Supreme Lord, and in order to increase that liking one has to associate with pure devotees of the Lord. The third stage is to practice the prescribed rules and regulations of devotional service. This will dissipate all sorts of misgivings and remove all personal deficiencies that hamper progress in devotional service.
SB Canto 2
The living entities individually are being conducted by a particular mode of nature, but at the same time there is every chance of their being influenced by the other two. Generally, all conditioned souls in the material encagement are influenced by the mode of passion because every one of them is trying to lord it over the material nature to fulfill his individual desire. But in spite of the individual mode of passion, there is always the chance of being influenced by the other modes of nature by association. If one is in good association he can develop the mode of goodness, and if in bad association he may develop the mode of darkness or ignorance. Nothing is stereotyped. One can change his habit by good or bad association, and one has to become intelligent enough to discriminate between good and bad. The best association is the service of the devotees of the Lord, and by that association one can become the highest qualified man by the grace of the Lord's pure devotees. As we have already seen in the life of Śrīla Nārada Muni, he became the topmost devotee of the Lord simply by the association of pure devotees of the Lord. By birth he was the son of a maidservant and had no knowledge of his father and no academic education, even of the lowest status. But simply by associating with the devotees and by eating the remnants of their foodstuff, he gradually developed the transcendental qualities of the devotees. By such association, his taste for chanting and hearing the transcendental glories of the Lord became prominent, and because the glories of the Lord are nondifferent from the Lord, he got direct association with the Lord by means of sound representation.
SB Canto 3
This love of God is awakened by the association of pure devotees of the Lord.
Love of Godhead is dormant in every living entity, and the entire process of devotional service unto the Lord is meant for awakening this dormant, eternal love of Godhead. But there are degrees of such transcendental awakening. Those whose love of God is awakened to the fullest extent go back to the Goloka Vṛndāvana planet in the spiritual sky, whereas persons who have just awakened to love of Godhead by accident or association are transferred to the Vaikuṇṭha planets. Essentially there is no material difference between Goloka and Vaikuṇṭha, but in the Vaikuṇṭhas the Lord is served in unlimited opulence, whereas in Goloka the Lord is served in natural affection.
This love of God is awakened by the association of pure devotees of the Lord. Here the word pārthāstra-pūtaḥ is significant. Those who saw the beautiful face of the Lord on the Battlefield of Kurukṣetra were purified first by Arjuna when he made his onslaught with arrows. The Lord appeared for the mission of diminishing the burden of the world, and Arjuna was assisting the Lord by fighting on His behalf. Arjuna personally declined to fight, and the whole instruction of the Bhagavad-gītā was given to Arjuna to engage him in the fight. As a pure devotee of the Lord, Arjuna agreed to fight in preference to his own decision, and thus Arjuna fought to assist the Lord in His mission of diminishing the burden of the world. All the activities of a pure devotee are executed on behalf of the Lord because a pure devotee of the Lord has nothing to do for his personal interest. Arjuna's killing was as good as killing by the Lord Himself. As soon as Arjuna shot an arrow at an enemy, that enemy became purified of all material contaminations and became eligible to be transferred to the spiritual sky. Those warriors who appreciated the lotus feet of the Lord and saw His face at the front had their dormant love of God awakened, and thus they were transferred at once to Vaikuṇṭhaloka not to the impersonal state of brahmajyoti as was Śiśupāla. Śiśupāla died without appreciating the Lord, while others died with appreciation of the Lord. Both were transferred to the spiritual sky, but those who awakened to love of God were transferred to the planets of the transcendental sky.
The sage Maitreya proposed to speak on Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam because it was especially compiled, and traditionally comes down in the disciplic succession, for the solution of all the problems of human society. Only one who is fortunate can have the opportunity to hear Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam in the association of pure devotees of the Lord. Under the spell of material energy, the living entities are entrapped in the bondage of many difficulties simply for the sake of a little bit of material happiness. They engage in fruitive activities, not knowing the implications. Under the false impression that the body is the self, the living entities foolishly relate to so many false attachments. They think that they can engage with materialistic paraphernalia forever. This gross misconception of life is so strong that a person suffers continually, life after life, under the external energy of the Lord. If one comes in contact with the book Bhāgavatam as well as with the devotee bhāgavata, who knows what the Bhāgavatam is, then such a fortunate man gets out of the material entanglement.
SB Cantos 10.14 to 12 (Translations Only)
The materially conditioned souls spend their days and nights discussing various topics of sense gratification. They never find time to hear about transcendental knowledge. But if even only briefly or accidentally they hear hari-kathā, topics of Kṛṣṇa, in the association of pure devotees of the Lord, their propensity to suffer in material existence will slacken. When one sees liberated persons, hears about Kṛṣṇa from them, remembers their saintly behavior and so on, one's tendency to bind himself in the illusion of sense gratification is diminished, and he becomes eager to serve the Supreme Lord.
One should learn to increase one's love for the devotees, to satisfy them and to give up sense objects unfavorable to serving Kṛṣṇa. And one should learn to view the entire universe as paraphernalia for the Lord's service. By engaging the objects of the senses in Kṛṣṇa's service, one automatically becomes detached from them. And as one passes one's days in the association of the Lord's devotees, one's transcendental ecstasy increases more and more, through discussions about the topics of Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam and Bhagavad-gītā. Therefore, one who wants to be free from the harassment of māyā in the form of sense gratification must constantly associate with pure devotees of the Lord who have no engagement other than chanting and hearing the glories of the Lord and carrying out His mission on earth.
In Bhagavad-gītā (4.13) Lord Kṛṣṇa describes that He is personally the creator of the varṇāśrama system. Cātur-varṇyaṁ mayā sṛṣṭaṁ guṇa-karma-vibhāgaśaḥ. Therefore the ultimate goal of the varṇāśrama system is to please the Supreme Personality of Godhead. In other words, one should become a devotee of the Lord and learn the process of pure devotional service. The easiest method of achieving pure devotional service is by the association of pure devotees of the Lord. If one submissively and faithfully associates with pure devotees, one can immediately achieve the perfection of life.
If somehow or other one gets the association of pure devotees of the Lord and hears from them the transcendental message of Lord Kṛṣṇa, then one has the chance to become a devotee of the Lord. As mentioned in the previous verse, those who become disgusted with material life take to impersonal philosophical speculation and rigorously try to stamp out any trace of personal existence. Those who are still attached to material sense gratification try to purify themselves by offering the fruits of their ordinary activities to the Supreme. A first-class candidate for pure devotional service, on the other hand, is neither completely disgusted with nor attached to material life. He does not desire to pursue ordinary material existence any further, because it cannot award real happiness. Nevertheless, a candidate for devotional service does not give up all hope for perfecting personal existence. A person who avoids the two extremes of material attachment and impersonal reaction to material attachment and who somehow or other gets the association of pure devotees, faithfully hearing their message, is a good candidate for going back home, back to Godhead, as described here by the Lord.
|Compiled by||Matea + and Lavanga Manjari +|
|Completed sections||ALL +|
|Date of first entry||August 25, 0009 JL +|
|Date of last entry||November 25, 0009 JL +|
|Total quotes||9 +|
|Total quotes by section||BG: 0 +, SB: 8 +, CC: 0 +, OB: 0 +, Lec: 1 +, Conv: 0 + and Let: 0 +|