The Lord had a very high estimation of the affections of the damsels of Vrajabhūmi (Vṛndāvana) for Kṛṣṇa, and in appreciation of their unalloyed service to the Lord, once Śrī Caitanya Mahāprabhu chanted the holy names of the gopīs (cowherd girls) instead of the names of the Lord. At this time some of His students, who were also disciples, came to see Him, and when they saw that the Lord was chanting the names of the gopīs, they were astonished. Out of sheer foolishness they asked the Lord why He was chanting the names of the gopīs and advised Him to chant the name of Kṛṣṇa. The Lord, who was in ecstasy, was thus disturbed by these foolish students. He chastised them and chased them away. The students were almost the same age as the Lord, and thus they wrongly thought of the Lord as one of their peers. They held a meeting and resolved that they would attack the Lord if He dared to punish them again in such a manner. This incident provoked some malicious talks about the Lord on the part of the general public.
Disturb (SB cantos 1 - 6)
SB Preface and Introduction
Only a liberated soul could show such a transcendental feat, and the Bhaṭṭācārya, who was vastly learned, could understand this in the light of the transcendental literature with which he was familiar. He therefore asked the custodians of the temple not to disturb the unknown sannyāsī. He asked them to take the Lord to his home so He could be further observed in His unconscious state. The Lord was at once carried to the home of Sārvabhauma Bhaṭṭācārya, who at that time had sufficient power of authority due to his being the sabhā-paṇḍita, or the state dean of faculty in Sanskrit literatures.
SB Canto 1
The sum total of all these rasas is called affection or love. Primarily, such signs of love are manifested in adoration, service, friendship, paternal affection, and conjugal love. And when these five are absent, love is present indirectly in anger, wonder, comedy, chivalry, fear, shock and so on. For example, when a man is in love with a woman, the rasa is called conjugal love. But when such love affairs are disturbed there may be wonder, anger, shock, or even horror. Sometimes love affairs between two persons culminate in ghastly murder scenes. Such rasas are displayed between man and man and between animal and animal.
O learned one, in this iron age of Kali men almost always have but short lives. They are quarrelsome, lazy, misguided, unlucky and, above all, always disturbed.
In this age, men are victims not only of different political creeds and parties, but also of many different types of sense-gratificatory diversions, such as cinemas, sports, gambling, clubs, mundane libraries, bad association, smoking, drinking, cheating, pilfering, bickerings, and so on. Their minds are always disturbed and full of anxieties due to so many different engagements. In this age, many unscrupulous men manufacture their own religious faiths which are not based on any revealed scriptures, and very often people who are addicted to sense gratification are attracted by such institutions. Consequently, in the name of religion so many sinful acts are being carried on that the people in general have neither peace of mind nor health of body.
To become restless in the contact of women and wealth is not an astonishment, because every living being is associated with such things from remote time, practically immemorial, and it takes time to recover from this foreign nature. But if one is engaged in hearing the glories of the Lord, gradually he realizes his real position. By the grace of God such a devotee gets sufficient strength to defend himself from the state of disturbances, and gradually all disturbing elements are eliminated from his mind.
The prime difference between the Lord and the living entities is that the Lord is the creator and the living entities are the created. Here He is called the amogha-līlaḥ, which indicates that there is nothing lamentable in His creation. Those who create disturbance in His creation are themselves disturbed. He is transcendental to all material afflictions because He is full with all six opulences, namely wealth, power, fame, beauty, knowledge and renunciation, and thus He is the master of the senses.
And all such transcendentalists, who are naturally devotees of the Lord, are always eager to render welfare service to the people in general. They are the real friends of the people in general, not the so-called public leaders who are unable to see what is going to happen five minutes ahead. In this age the people in general as well as their so-called leaders are all unlucky fellows, faithless in spiritual knowledge and influenced by the age of Kali. They are always disturbed by various diseases. For example, in the present age there are so many TB patients and TB hospitals, but formerly this was not so because the time was not so unfavorable. The unfortunate men of this age are always reluctant to give a reception to the transcendentalists who are representatives of Śrīla Vyāsadeva, and yet these selfless workers are always busy in planning something which may help everyone in all statuses and orders of life.
Śrī Vyāsadeva is the editor of all descriptions of the Vedic literatures, and thus he has described transcendental realization in different ways, namely by fruitive activities, speculative knowledge, mystic power and devotional service. Besides that, in his various Purāṇas he has recommended the worship of so many demigods in different forms and names. The result is that people in general are puzzled how to fix their minds in the service of the Lord; they are always disturbed about finding the real path of self-realization. Śrīla Nāradadeva is stressing this particular defect in the Vedic literatures compiled by Vyāsadeva, and thus he is trying to emphasize describing everything in relation with the Supreme Lord, and no one else. In fact, there is nothing existent except the Lord.
The Lord is manifested in different expansions. He is the root of the complete tree. He is the stomach of the complete body. Pouring water on the root is the right process to water the tree, as much as feeding the stomach supplies energy to all parts of the body. Therefore, Śrīla Vyāsadeva should not have compiled any Purāṇas other than the Bhāgavata Purāṇa because a slight deviation from that may create havoc for self-realization. If a slight deviation can create such havoc, then what to speak of deliberate expansion of the ideas separate from the Absolute Truth Personality of Godhead. The most defective part of worshiping demigods is that it creates a definite conception of pantheism, ending disastrously in many religious sects detrimental to the progress of the principles of the Bhāgavatam, which alone can give the accurate direction for self-realization in eternal relation with the Personality of Godhead by devotional service in transcendental love. The example of the boat disturbed by whirling wind is suitable in this respect. The diverted mind of the pantheist can never reach the perfection of self-realization, due to the disturbed condition of the selection of object.
O Kṛṣṇa, O friend of Arjuna, O chief amongst the descendants of Vṛṣṇi, You are the destroyer of those political parties which are disturbing elements on this earth. Your prowess never deteriorates. You are the proprietor of the transcendental abode, and You descend to relieve the distresses of the cows, the brāhmaṇas and the devotees. You possess all mystic powers, and You are the preceptor of the entire universe. You are the almighty God, and I offer You my respectful obeisances.
A summary of the Supreme Lord Śrī Kṛṣṇa is made herein by Śrīmatī Kuntīdevī. The almighty Lord has His eternal transcendental abode where He is engaged in keeping surabhi cows. He is served by hundreds and thousands of goddesses of fortune. He descends on the material world to reclaim His devotees and to annihilate the disturbing elements in groups of political parties and kings who are supposed to be in charge of administration work. He creates, maintains and annihilates by His unlimited energies, and still He is always full with prowess and does not deteriorate in potency. The cows, the brāhmaṇas and the devotees of the Lord are all objects of His special attention because they are very important factors for the general welfare of living beings.
King Yudhiṣṭhira, though he was not expected to become aggrieved like a common man, became deluded by worldly affection by the will of the Lord (just as Arjuna was apparently deluded). A man who sees knows well that the living entity is neither the body nor the mind, but is transcendental to the material conception of life. The common man thinks of violence and nonviolence in terms of the body, but that is a kind of delusion. Everyone is duty-bound according to one's occupational duties. A kṣatriya is bound to fight for the right cause, regardless of the opposite party. In such discharge of duty, one should not be disturbed by annihilation of the material body, which is only an external dress of the living soul. All this was perfectly known to Mahārāja Yudhiṣṭhira, but by the will of the Lord he became just like a common man because there was another great idea behind this delusion: the King would be instructed by Bhīṣma as Arjuna was instructed by the Lord Himself.
Mahārāja Yudhiṣṭhira was disturbed due to the great massacre in the Battle of Kurukṣetra. Bhīṣmadeva could understand this, and therefore he spoke first of the terrible sufferings of Mahārāja Yudhiṣṭhira. He was put into difficulty by injustice only, and the Battle of Kurukṣetra was fought just to counteract this injustice. Therefore, he should not regret the great massacre. He wanted to point out particularly that they were always protected by the brāhmaṇas, the Lord and religious principles. As long as they were protected by these three important items, there was no cause of disappointment.
The sufferings of Kuntīdevī are doubly lamented. She suffered greatly because of early widowhood and to get her minor children brought up in the royal family. And when her children were grown up, she continued to suffer because of her sons' actions. So her sufferings continued. This means that she was destined to suffer by providence, and this one has to tolerate without being disturbed.
Everyone has to bear the actions and reactions of time as long as one is within the conditions of the material world. Yudhiṣṭhira should not think that he had committed sins in his previous birth and is suffering the consequence. Even the most pious has to suffer the condition of material nature. But a pious man is faithful to the Lord, for he is guided by the bona fide brāhmaṇa and Vaiṣṇava following the religious principles. These three guiding principles should be the aim of life. One should not be disturbed by the tricks of eternal time. Even the great controller of the universe, Brahmājī, is also under the control of that time; therefore, one should not grudge being thus controlled by time despite being a true follower of religious principles.
As far as the women class are concerned, they are accepted as a power of inspiration for men. As such, women are more powerful than men. Mighty Julius Caesar was controlled by a Cleopatra. Such powerful women are controlled by shyness. Therefore, shyness is important for women. Once this control valve is loosened, women can create havoc in society by adultery. Adultery means production of unwanted children known as varṇa-saṅkara, who disturb the world.
Bhīṣmadeva appreciated the all-merciful attitude of the Lord because He did not leave Arjuna alone, although He was disturbed by the sharpened arrows of Bhīṣmadeva, nor was He reluctant to come before Bhīṣma's deathbed, even though He was ill-treated by him on the battlefield. Bhīṣma's repentance and the Lord's merciful attitude are both unique in this picture.
Because of the King's having no enemy, the living beings were not at any time disturbed by mental agonies, diseases, or excessive heat or cold.
The king or the administrator is the representative of the Lord to look after the management of the Lord's will. He must therefore be a recognized person like Mahārāja Yudhiṣṭhira or Parīkṣit. Such kings have full responsibility and knowledge from authorities about the administration of the world. But at times, due to the influence of the ignorance mode of material nature (tamo-guṇa), the lowest of the material modes, kings and administrators come into power without knowledge and responsibility, and such foolish administrators live like animals for the sake of their own personal interest. The result is that the whole atmosphere becomes surcharged with anarchy and vicious elements. Nepotism, bribery, cheating, aggression and, therefore, famine, epidemic, war and similar other disturbing features become prominent in human society. And the devotees of the Lord or the faithful are persecuted by all means. All these symptoms indicate the time of an incarnation of the Lord to reestablish the principles of religion and to vanquish the maladministrators. This is also confirmed in the Bhagavad-gītā.
Lord Śiva, who is considered to be most tolerant, was also struck by Cupid's arrow because he also became mad after the Mohinī incarnation of the Lord and acknowledged himself to be defeated. Cupid, however, was himself captivated by the grave and exciting dealings of the goddesses of fortune, and he voluntarily gave up his bow and arrow in a spirit of frustration. Such was the beauty and attraction of the queens of Lord Kṛṣṇa. Yet they could not disturb the transcendental senses of the Lord. This is because the Lord is all-perfect ātmārāma, or self-sufficient. He does not require anyone's extraneous help for His personal satisfaction. Therefore, the queens could not satisfy the Lord by their feminine attractiveness, but they satisfied Him by their sincere affection and service. Only by unalloyed transcendental loving service could they satisfy the Lord, and the Lord was pleased to treat them as wives in reciprocation.
Lord Rāma: The Supreme Personality of Godhead incarnated Himself as Śrī Rāma, accepting the sonhood of His pure devotee Mahārāja Daśaratha, the King of Ayodhyā. Lord Rāma descended along with His plenary portions, and all of them appeared as His younger brothers. In the month of Caitra on the ninth day of the growing moon in the Tretā-yuga, the Lord appeared, as usual, to establish the principles of religion and to annihilate the disturbing elements. When He was just a young boy, He helped the great sage Viśvāmitra by killing Subahu and striking Mārīca, two demons who were disturbing the sages in their daily discharge of duties. The brāhmaṇas and kṣatriyas are meant to cooperate for the welfare of the mass of people.
To Vṛkāsura, Lord Śiva awarded a benediction which was not only awkward, but also disturbing. Vṛkāsura became empowered, by the grace of Lord Śiva, to vanish anyone's head simply by touching it. Although this was awarded by Lord Śiva, the cunning fellow wanted to make an experiment of the power by touching the head of Lord Śiva. Thus the lord had to take shelter of Viṣṇu to save himself from trouble, and the Lord Viṣṇu, by His illusory potency, asked Vṛkāsura to make an experiment with his own head. The fellow did it and was finished himself, and so the world was saved from all sorts of trouble by such a cunning beggar of the demigods. The excellent point is that Lord Śiva never denies anyone any sort of gift. He is therefore the most generous, although sometimes some kind of a mistake is made.
Both Mahārāja Yudhiṣṭhira and Arjuna were unhappy from the beginning of the Battle of Kurukṣetra, but even though they were unwilling to kill their own men in the fight, it had to be done as a matter of duty, for it was planned by the supreme will of Lord Śrī Kṛṣṇa. After the battle, Mahārāja Yudhiṣṭhira was unhappy over such mass killings. Practically there was none to continue the Kuru dynasty after them, the Pāṇḍavas. The only remaining hope was the child in the womb of his daughter-in-law, Uttarā, and he was also attacked by Aśvatthāmā, but by the grace of the Lord the child was saved. So after the settlement of all disturbing conditions and reestablishment of the peaceful order of the state, and after seeing the surviving child, Parīkṣit, well satisfied, Mahārāja Yudhiṣṭhira felt some relief as a human being, although he had very little attraction for material happiness, which is always illusory and temporary.
You have been blind from your very birth, and recently you have become hard of hearing. Your memory is shortened, and your intelligence is disturbed. Your teeth are loose, your liver is defective, and you are coughing up mucus.
Dhīra means one who is not disturbed, even when there is sufficient provocation. One cannot give up a comfortable family life due to his affectionate relation with wife and children. Self-realization is obstructed by such undue affection for family, and if anyone is at all able to forget such a relation, he is called undisturbed, or dhīra. This is, however, the path of renunciation based on a frustrated life, but stabilization of such renunciation is possible only by association with bona fide saints and self-realized souls by which one can be engaged in the loving devotional service of the Lord. Sincere surrender unto the lotus feet of the Lord is possible by awakening the transcendental sense of service. This is made possible by association with pure devotees of the Lord. Dhṛtarāṣṭra was lucky enough to have a brother whose very association was a source of liberation for his frustrated life.
There are three classes of transcendentalists, namely, (1) the dhīra, or the one who is not disturbed by being away from family association, (2) one in the renounced order of life, a sannyāsī by frustrated sentiment, and (3) a sincere devotee of the Lord, who awakens God consciousness by hearing and chanting and leaves home depending completely on the Personality of Godhead, who resides in his heart. The idea is that the renounced order of life, after a frustrated life of sentiment in the material world, may be the stepping stone on the path of self-realization, but real perfection of the path of liberation is attained when one is practiced to depend fully on the Supreme Personality of Godhead, who lives in everyone's heart as Paramātmā.
Mahārāja Yudhiṣṭhira, as a good soul and devotee of the Lord, was always conscious of the great loss of his aunt and her sufferings as an ascetic. An ascetic is never disturbed by all kinds of sufferings, and that makes him strong and determined on the path of spiritual progress. Queen Gāndhārī is a typical example of an ascetic because of her marvelous character in many trying situations. She was an ideal woman as mother, wife and ascetic, and in the history of the world such character in a woman is rarely found.
One should look unto the Lord; one should not be disturbed by the so-called manifestations of happiness or distress, but he should try to cooperate with the Lord in His outward activities for correcting the fallen souls. By His order only, one should become a spiritual master and cooperate with the Lord. One should not become a spiritual master for one's personal benefit, for some material gain or as an avenue of business or occupation for earning livelihood. Bona fide spiritual masters who look unto the Supreme Lord to cooperate with Him are actually qualitatively one with the Lord, and the forgetful ones are perverted reflections only. Yudhiṣṭhira Mahārāja is advised by Nārada, therefore, not to be disturbed by the affairs of so-called happiness and distress, but to look only unto the Lord to execute the mission for which the Lord has descended. That was his prime duty.
Dhṛtarāṣṭra had attained, by the yogic process, the stage of negation of all sorts of material reaction. The effects of the material modes of nature draw the victim to indefatigable desires of enjoying matter, but one can escape such false enjoyment by the yogic process. Every sense is always busy in searching for its food, and thus the conditioned soul is assaulted from all sides and has no chance to become steady in any pursuit. Mahārāja Yudhiṣṭhira was advised by Nārada not to disturb his uncle by attempting to bring him back home. He was now beyond the attraction of anything material. The material modes of nature (the guṇas) have their different modes of activities, but above the material modes of nature is a spiritual mode, which is absolute. Nirguṇa means without reaction.
Material advancement of civilization means advancement of the reactions of the threefold miseries due to celestial influence, earthly reactions and bodily or mental pains. By the celestial influence of the stars there are many calamities like excessive heat, cold, rains or no rains, and the aftereffects are famine, disease and epidemic. The aggregate result is agony of the body and the mind. Man-made material science cannot do anything to counteract these threefold miseries. They are all punishments from the superior energy of māyā under the direction of the Supreme Lord. Therefore our constant touch with the Lord by devotional service can give us relief without our being disturbed in the discharge of our human duties. The asuras, however, who do not believe in the existence of God, make their own plans to counteract all these threefold miseries, and so they meet with failures every time. The Bhagavad-gītā (7.14) clearly states that the reaction of material energy is never to be conquered, because of the binding effects of the three modes. They can simply be overcome by one who surrenders fully in devotion under the lotus feet of the Lord.
A woman approaching a man for contact should never be refused, but at the same time the discretion as above mentioned may also be considered. Bhīma was approached by Hiḍimbī from a community lower than the śūdras, and Yayāti refused to marry the daughter of Śukrācārya because of Śukrācārya's being a brāhmaṇa. Vyāsadeva, a brāhmaṇa, was called to beget Pāṇḍu and Dhṛtarāṣṭra. Satyavatī belonged to a family of fishermen, but Parāśara, a great brāhmaṇa, begot in her Vyāsadeva. So there are so many examples of contacts with woman, but in all cases the contacts were not abominable nor were the results of such contacts bad. Contact between man and woman is natural, but that also must be carried out under regulative principles so that social consecration may not be disturbed or unwanted worthless population be increased for the unrest of the world.
The demon Maya Dānava was an inhabitant of the forest Khāṇḍava, and when the Khāṇḍava Forest was set on fire, he asked protection from Arjuna. Arjuna saved his life, and as a result of this the demon felt obliged. He reciprocated by building a wonderful assembly house for the Pāṇḍavas, which attracted the extraordinary attention of all state princes. They felt the supernatural power of the Pāṇḍavas, and thus without grudge all of them submitted and paid tributes to the Emperor. The demons possess wonderful and supernatural powers to create material wonders. But they are always disturbing elements of the society.
Mahārāja Yudhiṣṭhira also turned his attention to the instructions of the Bhagavad-gītā after hearing about the Lord's departure from the vision of earthly people. He began to deliberate on the Lord's way of appearance and departure. The mission of the Lord's appearance and disappearance in the mortal universe is completely dependent on His supreme will. He is not forced to appear or disappear by any superior energy, as the living beings appear and disappear, being forced by the laws of nature. Whenever the Lord likes, He can appear Himself from anywhere and everywhere without disturbing His appearance and disappearance in any other place. He is like the sun. The sun appears and disappears on its own accord at any place without disturbing its presence in other places.
For the Supreme Lord, both the asuras and the demigods are equal, but the demigods are obedient to the Lord, whereas the asuras are not. Therefore, the example of picking out a thorn by another thorn is quite befitting. One thorn, which causes pinpricks on the leg of the Lord, is certainly disturbing to the Lord, and the other thorn, which takes out the disturbing elements, certainly gives service to the Lord. So although every living being is a part and parcel of the Lord, still one who is a pinprick to the Lord is called an asura, and one who is a voluntary servitor of the Lord is called a devatā, or demigod. In the material world the devatās and asuras are always contending, and the devatās are always saved from the hands of the asuras by the Lord. Both of them are under the control of the Lord. The world is full of two kinds of living beings, and the Lord's mission is always to protect the devatās and destroy the asuras, whenever there is such a need in the world, and to do good to both of them.
When God-made varṇāśrama-dharma, which is strictly meant for developing animal consciousness into human consciousness and human consciousness into godly consciousness, is broken by advancement of foolishness, the whole system of peaceful and progressive life is at once disturbed. In the age of Kali, the first attack of the venomous snake strikes against the God-made varṇāśrama-dharma, and thus a person properly qualified as a brāhmaṇa is called a śūdra, and a śūdra by qualification is passing as a brāhmaṇa, all on a false birthright claim. To become a brāhmaṇa by a birthright claim is not at all bona fide, although it may be a fulfillment of one of the conditions. But the real qualification of a brāhmaṇa is to control the mind and the senses, and to cultivate tolerance, simplicity, cleanliness, knowledge, truthfulness, devotion and faith in the Vedic wisdom. In the present age, consideration of the necessary qualification is being neglected, and the false birthright claim is being supported even by a popular, sophisticated poet, the author of Rāma-carita-mānasa.
Any living being, if he terrifies other living beings, is a most wretched subject, and the king should at once kill such a disturbing element. As the wild animal is killed when it creates disturbances, similarly any man who unnecessarily kills or terrifies the jungle animals or other animals must be punished at once. By the law of the Supreme Lord, all living beings, in whatever shape they may be, are the sons of the Lord, and no one has any right to kill another animal, unless it is so ordered by the codes of natural law. The tiger can kill a lower animal for his subsistence, but a man cannot kill an animal for his subsistence.
As we have already explained, the personality of Kali had entered the jurisdiction of this earth long ago, and he was looking for an opportunity to spread his influence all over the world. But he could not do so satisfactorily due to the presence of Mahārāja Parīkṣit. That is the way of good government. The disturbing elements like the personality of Kali will always try to extend their nefarious activities, but it is the duty of the able state to check them by all means. Although Mahārāja Parīkṣit allotted places for the personality of Kali, at the same time he gave no chance for the citizens to be swayed by the personality of Kali.
By placing Arjuna and the Pāṇḍavas in frustration due to the intrigue of their cousin-brothers, the prelude of the Battle of Kurukṣetra was created by the Lord. This was to incarnate the sound representative of the Lord, Bhagavad-gītā. So by placing King Parīkṣit in an awkward position, the incarnation of Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam was created by the will of the Lord. Being distressed by hunger and thirst was only a show, because the King endured much, even in the womb of his mother. He was never disturbed by the glaring heat of the brahmāstra released by Aśvatthāmā. The King's distressed condition was certainly unprecedented. The devotees like Mahārāja Parīkṣit are powerful enough to forbear such distresses, by the will of the Lord, and they are never disturbed. The situation, in this case, was therefore all planned by the Lord.
The devotees of the Lord are so forbearing that even though they are defamed, cheated, cursed, disturbed, neglected or even killed, they are never inclined to avenge themselves.
SB Canto 2
The mind, although ceasing to think of sensual activities at present, remembers past sensual activities from the subconscious status and thus disturbs one from cent percent engagement in self-realization. Therefore, Śukadeva Gosvāmī recommends the next step of assured policy, namely to fix one's mind in the service of the Personality of Godhead. Lord Śrī Kṛṣṇa, the Supreme Personality of Godhead, also recommends this direct process in the Bhagavad-gītā (6.47). Thus, the mind being spiritually cleansed, one should at once engage himself in the transcendental loving service of the Lord by the different devotional activities of hearing, chanting, etc. If performed under proper guidance, that is the surest path of progress, even for the disturbed mind.
The Lord may dictate to tigers and other jungle animals not to disturb His devotee. Haridāsa Ṭhākura, a great devotee of Lord Śrī Caitanya, used to live in such a cave, and by chance a great venomous snake was a co-partner of the cave. Some admirer of Ṭhākura Haridāsa who had to visit the Ṭhākura every day feared the snake and suggested that the Ṭhākura leave that place. Because his devotees were afraid of the snake and they were regularly visiting the cave, Ṭhākura Haridāsa agreed to the proposal on their account. But as soon as this was settled, the snake actually crawled out of its hole in the cave and left the cave for good before everyone present. By the dictation of the Lord, who lived also within the heart of the snake, the snake gave preference to Haridāsa and decided to leave the place and not disturb him.
O King, whenever the yogī desires to leave this planet of human beings, he should not be perplexed about the proper time or place, but should comfortably sit without being disturbed and, regulating the life air, should control the senses by the mind.
In olden days such practice was very common for the transcendentalist, for the mode of life and character in those days were favorable. But in modern days, when the influence of Kali Age is so disturbing, practically everyone is untrained in this art of bodily exercise. Concentration of the mind is more easily attained in these days by the chanting of the holy name of the Lord. The results are more effective than those derived from the inner exercise of the life air.
The mercantile class is also required to give protection to the cows in order to get sufficient milk and milk products, which alone can give the proper health and intelligence to maintain a civilization perfectly meant for knowledge of the ultimate truth. And the laborer class, who are neither intelligent nor powerful, can help by physical services to the other higher classes and thus be benefited by their cooperation. Therefore the universe is a complete unit in relationship with the Lord, and without this relationship with the Lord the whole human society is disturbed and is without any peace and prosperity. This is confirmed in the Vedas: brāhmaṇo 'sya mukham āsīd, bāhū rājanyaḥ kṛtaḥ.
The Lord is compared to the powerful sun. The sun is never contaminated by anything infectious because it is so powerful. On the contrary, infected things are sterilized by the rays of the sun. Similarly, the Lord is never contaminated by sins; on the contrary, the sinful living entities become sterilized by contact with the Lord. This means that the Lord is also all-pervading like the sun, and as such the word pratyak is used in this verse. Nothing is excluded from the existence of the Lord's potential expansions. The Lord is within everything, and He is all-covering also, without being disturbed by the activities of the individual souls. He is therefore infinite, and the living entities are infinitesimal. In the Vedas it is said that only the Lord alone exists, and all others' existences depend on Him. He is the generating reservoir for everyone's existential capacity; He is the Supreme Truth of all other categorical truths. He is the source of everyone's opulence, and therefore no one can equal Him in opulence.
Since the beginning of creation, the demons and the demigods, or the Vaiṣṇavas, are always the two classes of living beings to dominate the planets of the universes. Lord Brahmā is the first demigod, and Hiraṇyākṣa is the first demon in this universe. Only under certain conditions do the planets float as weightless balls in the air, and as soon as these conditions are disturbed, the planets may fall down in the Garbhodaka Ocean, which covers half the universe. The other half is the spherical dome within which the innumerable planetary systems exist. The floating of the planets in the weightless air is due to the inner constitution of the globes, and the modernized drilling of the earth to exploit oil from within is a sort of disturbance by the modern demons and can result in a greatly harmful reaction to the floating condition of the earth.
Due to a poor fund of knowledge, they do not realize that the sentiment of the Absolute Person is transcendental to all mundane concepts of quality and quantity. Had Lord Rāmacandra's sentiment been of mundane origin, how could it disturb the whole ocean and its inhabitants? Can any mundane red-hot eye generate heat in the great ocean? These are factors to be distinguished in terms of the personal and impersonal conceptions of the Absolute Truth.
So at the age of only three months He killed the Śakaṭāsura, who had remained hidden behind a cart in the house of Yaśodāmayī. And when He was crawling and was disturbing His mother from doing household affairs, the mother tied Him with a grinding pestle, but the naughty child dragged the pestle up to a pair of very high arjuna trees in the yard of Yaśodāmayī, and when the pestle was stuck between the pair of trees, they fell down with a horrible sound. When Yaśodāmayī came to see the happenings, she thought that her child had been saved from the falling trees by the mercy of the Lord, without knowing that the Lord Himself, crawling in her yard, had wreaked the havoc. So that is the way of reciprocation of love affairs between the Lord and His devotees.
One day Lord Kṛṣṇa as the naughty child disturbed His mother Yaśodā, and she began to tie up the child with ropes just to punish Him. But no matter how much rope she used, she found it always insufficient. Thus she became fatigued, but in the meantime the Lord opened His mouth, and the affectionate mother saw within the mouth of her son all the universes situated together. The mother was astonished, but out of her deep affection for Kṛṣṇa she thought that the Almighty Godhead Nārāyaṇa had kindly looked after her son just to protect Him from all the continuous calamities happening to Him. Because of her deep affection for Kṛṣṇa, she could never think that her very son was Nārāyaṇa, the Personality of Godhead Himself. That is the action of yogamāyā, the internal potency of the Supreme Lord, which acts to perfect all the pastimes of the Lord with His different types of devotees. Who could play such wonders without being God?
The living entities are illusioned by the will of the Lord because they wanted to become like Him. Like a person who thinks of becoming a king without possessing the necessary qualification, when the living entity desires to become the Lord Himself, he is put in a condition of dreaming that he is a king. Therefore the first sinful will of the living entity is to become the Lord, and the consequent will of the Lord is that the living entity forget his factual life and thus dream of the land of utopia where he may become one like the Lord. The child cries to have the moon from the mother, and the mother gives the child a mirror to satisfy the crying and disturbing child with the reflection of the moon. Similarly, the crying child of the Lord is given over to the reflection, the material world, to lord it over as karmī and to give this up in frustration to become one with the Lord. Both these stages are dreaming illusions only.
O Brahmā, just follow this conclusion by fixed concentration of mind, and no pride will disturb you, neither in the partial nor in the final devastation.
There are many grammarians and nondevotee material wranglers who have tried to present false interpretations of these four verses of the Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam but the Lord Himself advised Brahmājī not to be deviated from the fixed conclusion the Lord had taught him. The Lord was the teacher of the nucleus of Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam in four verses, and Brahmā was the receiver of the knowledge. Misinterpretation of the word aham by the word jugglery of the impersonalist should not disturb the mind of the strict followers of the Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam.
SB Canto 3
The Yādavas were only partially cognizant of the Lord, but they are also glorious because they had the opportunity to associate with the Lord, who acted as the head of their family, and they also rendered the Lord intimate service. The Yādavas and other devotees of the Lord are different from those who wrongly calculated Him to be an ordinary human personality. Such persons are certainly bewildered by the illusory energy. They are hellish and are envious of the Supreme Lord. The illusory energy acts very powerfully on them because in spite of their elevated mundane education, such persons are faithless and are infected by the mentality of atheism. They are always very eager to establish that Lord Kṛṣṇa was an ordinary man who was killed by a hunter due to His many impious acts in plotting to kill the sons of Dhṛtarāṣṭra and Jarāsandha, the demoniac kings of the earth. Such persons have no faith in the statement of the Bhagavad-gītā that the Lord is unaffected by the reactions of work: na māṁ karmāṇi limpanti (BG 4.14). According to the atheistic point of view, Lord Kṛṣṇa's family, the Yadu dynasty, was vanquished due to being cursed by the brāhmaṇas for the sins committed by Kṛṣṇa in killing the sons of Dhṛtarāṣṭra, etc. All these blasphemies do not touch the heart of the devotees of the Lord because they know perfectly well what is what. Their intelligence regarding the Lord is never disturbed. But those who are disturbed by the statements of the asuras are also condemned. That is what Uddhava meant in this verse.
Morally, Vasudeva was bound to deliver Kṛṣṇa to the hands of Kaṁsa because he had promised to turn over all his children. But out of his great love for Kṛṣṇa he broke his promise, and the Lord was very pleased with Vasudeva for his transcendental mentality. He did not want to disturb the intense affection of Vasudeva, and thus He agreed to be carried by His father to the house of Nanda and Yaśodā. And just to test the intense love of Vasudeva, Lord Kṛṣṇa fell down in the waters of the Yamunā while His father was crossing the river. Vasudeva became mad after his child as he tried to recover Him in the midst of the rising river.
If anyone wants to enjoy the childhood pastimes of the Lord, then he has to follow in the footsteps of the residents of Vraja like Nanda, Upananda and other parental inhabitants. A child may insist on having something and cry like anything to get it, disturbing the whole neighborhood, and then immediately after achieving the desired thing, he laughs. Such crying and laughing is enjoyable to the parents and elderly members of the family, so the Lord would simultaneously cry and laugh in this way and merge His devotee-parents in the humor of transcendental pleasure. These incidents are enjoyable only by the residents of Vraja like Nanda Mahārāja, and not by the impersonalist worshipers of Brahman or Paramātmā.
My Lord, even the learned sages become disturbed in their intelligence when they see that Your Greatness engages in fruitive work although You are free from all desires, that You take birth although You are unborn, that You flee out of fear of the enemy and take shelter in a fort although You are the controller of invincible time, and that You enjoy householder life surrounded by many women although You enjoy in Your Self.
There is no scarcity for maintenance in the material world. Because of their poor fund of knowledge, the materialists are disturbed when there is an apparent increase of population on the earth. Whenever there is a living being on the earth, however, his subsistence is immediately arranged by the Lord. The other species of living entities, who far outnumber human society, are never disturbed for maintenance; they are never seen dying of starvation. It is only human society that is disturbed about the food situation and, to cover up the real fact of administrative mismanagement, takes shelter in the plea that the population is excessively increasing. If there is any scarcity in the world, it is the scarcity of God consciousness, otherwise, by the grace of the Lord, there is no scarcity of anything.
The miracles of meditating on the lotus feet of the Lord with eagerness and devotion are so great that no other process can compare to it. The minds of materialistic persons are so disturbed that it is almost impossible for them to search after the Supreme Truth by personal regulative endeavors. But even such materialistic men, with a little eagerness for hearing about the transcendental name, fame, qualities, etc., can surpass all other methods of attaining knowledge and detachment. The conditioned soul is attached to the bodily conception of the self, and therefore he is in ignorance. Culture of self-knowledge can bring about detachment from material affection, and without such detachment there is no meaning to knowledge. The most stubborn attachment for material enjoyment is sex life. One who is attached to sex life is to be understood as devoid of knowledge. Knowledge must be followed by detachment. That is the way of self-realization.
These two essentials for self-realization—knowledge and detachment—become manifest very quickly if one performs devotional service to the lotus feet of the Lord. The word dhīra is very significant in this connection. A person who is not disturbed even in the presence of cause of disturbance is called dhīra. Śrī Yāmunācārya says, "Since my heart has been overwhelmed by the devotional service of Lord Kṛṣṇa, I cannot even think of sex life, and if thoughts of sex come upon me I at once feel disgust." A devotee of the Lord becomes an elevated dhīra by the simple process of meditating in eagerness on the lotus feet of the Lord.
As the brāhmaṇas are recognized by their particular qualification of inclination towards the transcendental knowledge of Vedic wisdom, so also the kṣatriyas are recognized by the power to protect society from the disturbing elements of thieves and miscreants. The word anuvrataḥ is significant. A person who follows the kṣatriya principles by protecting society from thieves and miscreants is called a kṣatriya, not the one who is simply born a kṣatriya. The conception of the caste system is always based on quality and not on the qualification of birth. Birth is an extraneous consideration; it is not the main feature of the orders and divisions. In Bhagavad-gītā (18.41-44) the qualifications of the brāhmaṇas, kṣatriyas, vaiśyas and śūdras are specifically mentioned, and it is understood that all such qualifications are needed before one can be designated as belonging to a particular group.
Without the sun there is no possibility of the sky's being overcast with clouds or darkness, nor can there be snowfall on the earth. Although life is sustained by the sun, life is also disturbed by darkness and snowfall produced by the sun. But it is also a fact that the sun itself is never overcome by darkness, clouds or snowfall; the sun is far, far away from such disturbances. Only those who have a poor fund of knowledge say that the sun is covered by a cloud or by darkness. Similarly, the Supreme Brahman, or the Para-brahman, the Personality of Godhead, is always unaffected by the influence of the material energy, although it is one of His energies (parāsya śaktir vividhaiva śrūyate (Cc. Madhya 13.65, purport)).
The science of Kṛṣṇa, or the science of God and the living entities, is so subtle that even a personality like Vidura has to consult persons like the sage Maitreya. Doubts about the eternal relationship of the Lord and the living entity are created by mental speculators in different ways, but the conclusive fact is that the relationship of God and the living entity is one of the predominator and the predominated. The Lord is the eternal predominator, and the living entities are eternally predominated. Real knowledge of this relationship entails reviving the lost consciousness to this standard, and the process for such revival is devotional service to the Lord. By clearly understanding from authorities like the sage Maitreya, one can become situated in real knowledge, and the disturbed mind can thus be fixed on the progressive path.
O great actor, my Lord, all these poor creatures are constantly perplexed by hunger, thirst, severe cold, secretion and bile, attacked by coughing winter, blasting summer, rains and many other disturbing elements, and overwhelmed by strong sex urges and indefatigable anger. I take pity on them, and I am very much aggrieved for them.
The material world is called illusory because it is a place of forgetfulness of the transcendental service of the Lord. Thus one engaged in the the Lord's devotional service in the material world may sometimes be very much disturbed by awkward circumstances. There is a declaration of war between the two parties, the illusory energy and the devotee, and sometimes the weak devotees fall victim to the onslaught of the powerful illusory energy. Lord Brahmā, however, was sufficiently strong, by the causeless mercy of the Lord, and he could not be victimized by the material energy, although it gave him cause for anxiety when it managed to totter the existence of his position.
The three perfections of liberation are religiosity, economic development and sense gratification: For a conditioned soul, the wife is considered to be the source of liberation because she offers her service to the husband for his ultimate liberation. Conditional material existence is based on sense gratification, and if someone has the good fortune to get a good wife, he is helped by the wife in all respects. If one is disturbed in his conditional life, he becomes more and more entangled in material contamination.
By the force of the pregnancy of Diti, the light of the sun and moon was impaired in all the planets, and the demigods of various planets, being disturbed by that force, asked the creator of the universe, Brahmā, "What is this expansion of darkness in all directions?"
It is the prowess of these twin asuras (demons) that has disturbed you, for it has minimized your power. There is no remedy within my power, however, for it is the Lord Himself who desires to do all this.
Brahmā showed the demigods that the situation created by the darkness, for which they were disturbed, was the desire of the Supreme Lord. He wanted to show that even though these two attendants were coming in the forms of demons, they were very powerful, greater than the demigods, who could not control them. No one can surpass the acts of the Supreme Lord. The demigods were also advised not to try to counteract this incident, because it was ordered by the Lord. Similarly, anyone who is ordered by the Lord to perform some action in this material world, especially preaching His glories, cannot be counteracted by anyone; the will of the Lord is executed under all circumstances.
When something is arranged by the Supreme Personality of Godhead, one should not be disturbed by it, even if it appears to be a reverse according to one's calculations. For example, sometimes we see that a powerful preacher is killed, or sometimes he is put into difficulty, just as Haridāsa Ṭhākura was. He was a great devotee who came into this material world to execute the will of the Lord by preaching the Lord's glories. But Haridāsa was punished at the hands of the Kazi by being beaten in twenty-two marketplaces. Similarly, Lord Jesus Christ was crucified, and Prahlāda Mahārāja was put through so many tribulations. The Pāṇḍavas, who were direct friends of Kṛṣṇa, lost their kingdom, their wife was insulted, and they had to undergo many severe tribulations. Seeing all these reverses affect devotees, one should not be disturbed; one should simply understand that in these matters there must be some plan of the Supreme Personality of Godhead. The Bhāgavatam's conclusion is that a devotee is never disturbed by such reverses. He accepts even reverse conditions as the grace of the Lord. One who continues to serve the Lord even in reverse conditions is assured that he will go back to Godhead, back to the Vaikuṇṭha planets. Lord Brahmā assured the demigods that there was no use in talking about how the disturbing situation of darkness was taking place, since the actual fact was that it was ordered by the Supreme Lord. Brahmā knew this because he was a great devotee; it was possible for him to understand the plan of the Lord.
The difference between the demigods and ordinary human beings is that the demigods approach authority, whereas the inhabitants of this earth defy authority. If people would only approach the authority, then every adverse condition in this universe could be rectified. Arjuna was also disturbed on the Battlefield of Kurukṣetra, but he approached the authority, Kṛṣṇa, and his problem was solved. The conclusive instruction of this incident is that we may be disturbed by some material condition, but if we approach the authority who can actually explain the matter, then our problem is solved. The demigods approached Brahmā for the meaning of the disturbance, and after hearing from him they were satisfied and returned home peacefully.
Aggressive materialistic warriors are actually punished by the Supreme Lord for their policy of unnecessarily disturbing world peace. Therefore Varuṇa advised Hiraṇyākṣa that the right course to satisfy his fighting spirit would be to seek to fight with Viṣṇu.
Demons are very much disturbed when devotees worship the Lord in the prescribed ways recommended in the scriptures. In the Vedic scriptures, the neophyte devotees are advised to engage in nine kinds of devotional service, such as to hear and chant the holy name of God, to remember Him always, to chant on beads Hare Kṛṣṇa, Hare Kṛṣṇa, Kṛṣṇa Kṛṣṇa, Hare Hare/ Hare Rāma, Hare Rāma, Rāma Rāma, Hare Hare, to worship the Lord in the form of His Deity incarnation in the temples, and to engage in various activities of Kṛṣṇa consciousness to increase the number of godly persons for perfect peace in the world.
Emperor Svāyambhuva Manu enjoyed life with his wife and subjects and fulfilled his desires without being disturbed by unwanted principles contrary to the process of religion. Celestial musicians and their wives sang in chorus about the pure reputation of the Emperor, and early in the morning, every day, he used to listen to the pastimes of the Supreme Personality of Godhead with a loving heart.
Every living entity within this material world is always afflicted by some kind of miseries, pertaining either to the body, the mind or natural disturbances. Distresses due to cold in winter and severe heat in summer always inflict miseries on the living entities in this material world, but one who has completely taken shelter of the lotus feet of the Lord in Kṛṣṇa consciousness is in the transcendental stage; he is not disturbed by any miseries, either due to the body, the mind, or natural disturbances of summer and winter. He is transcendental to all these miseries.
Kardama Muni finished his household affairs quickly by his mystic power. The building of the castle in the air, traveling all over the universe with his wife in the company of beautiful girls, and begetting of children were finished, and now, according to his promise to leave home for his real concern of spiritual realization after impregnating his wife, he was about to go away. Seeing her husband about to leave, Devahūti was very disturbed, but to satisfy her husband she was smiling. The example of Kardama Muni should be understood very clearly; a person whose main concern is Kṛṣṇa consciousness, even if he is entrapped in household life, should always be ready to leave household enticement as soon as possible.
Devahūti was so beautiful that her toenails appeared just like pearls, and as she scratched the ground it appeared as if pearls had been thrown on the ground. When a woman scratches the ground with her foot, it is a sign that her mind is very disturbed. These signs were sometimes exhibited by the gopīs before Kṛṣṇa. When the gopīs came in the dead of night and Kṛṣṇa asked them to return to their homes, the gopīs also scratched the ground like this because their minds were very disturbed.
The main purpose of sannyāsa life is to be in constant companionship with the Supreme Lord, either by thinking of Him within the heart or hearing of Him through aural reception. In this age, hearing is more important than thinking because one's thinking may be disturbed by mental agitation, but if one concentrates on hearing, he will be forced to associate with the sound vibration of Kṛṣṇa. Kṛṣṇa and the sound vibration "Kṛṣṇa" are nondifferent, so if one loudly vibrates Hare Kṛṣṇa, he will be able to think of Kṛṣṇa immediately. This process of chanting is the best process of self-realization in this age; therefore Lord Caitanya preached it so nicely for the benefit of all humanity.
Mauna means "silence." Unless one becomes silent, he cannot think completely about the pastimes and activities of the Lord. It is not that because one is a fool and cannot speak nicely he therefore takes the vow of mauna. Rather, one becomes silent so that people will not disturb him. It is said by Cāṇakya Paṇḍita that a rascal appears very intelligent as long as he does not speak. But speaking is the test. The so-called silence of a silent impersonalist svāmī indicates that he has nothing to say; he simply wants to beg. But the silence adopted by Kardama Muni was not like that. He became silent for relief from nonsensical talk.
The yoga system, as here stated by the Lord, is meant to end all material happiness and material distress. The best yoga, as taught in Bhagavad-gītā by Kṛṣṇa, is bhakti-yoga. It is also mentioned in the Gītā that one should try to be tolerant and not be disturbed by material happiness or distress. Of course, one may say that he is not disturbed by material happiness, but he does not know that just after one enjoys so-called material happiness, material distress will follow. This is the law of the material world. Lord Kapila states that the yoga system is the science of the spirit. One practices yoga in order to attain perfection on the spiritual platform. There is no question of material happiness or distress. It is transcendental. Lord Kapila will eventually explain how it is transcendental, but the preliminary introduction is given here.
There are multifarious miseries in material existence—those pertaining to the body and the mind, those imposed by other living entities and those imposed by natural disturbances. But a sādhu is not disturbed by such miserable conditions because his mind is always filled with Kṛṣṇa consciousness, and thus he does not like to talk about anything but the activities of the Lord. Mahārāja Ambarīṣa did not speak of anything but the pastimes of the Lord. Vacāṁsi vaikuṇṭha-guṇānuvarṇane (SB 9.4.18). He engaged his words only in glorification of the Supreme Personality of Godhead. Sādhus are always interested in hearing about the activities of the Lord or His devotees. Since they are filled with Kṛṣṇa consciousness, they are forgetful of the material miseries. Ordinary conditioned souls, being forgetful of the activities of the Lord, are always full of anxieties and material tribulations. On the other hand, since the devotees always engage in the topics of the Lord, they are forgetful of the miseries of material existence.
One who is fixed in mystic power is not disturbed by the allurement of this world or that world; he is interested in the matters of spiritual understanding or the spiritual situation. This sublime situation is very easily attained by the easiest process, bhakti-yoga. Ṛjubhir yoga-mārgaiḥ. A very suitable word used here is ṛjubhiḥ, or "very easy." There are different processes of yoga-mārga, attaining yoga perfection, but this process, devotional service to the Lord, is the easiest. Not only is it the easiest process, but the result is sublime. Everyone, therefore, should try to take this process of Kṛṣṇa consciousness and reach the highest perfection of life.
We should engage our valuable time in prosecuting Kṛṣṇa consciousness. In other words, one should be satisfied by his natural condition. If by predestination one is put into a certain condition of life which is not very prosperous in comparison to another's position, one should not be disturbed. He should simply try to utilize his valuable time to advance in Kṛṣṇa consciousness. Advancement in Kṛṣṇa consciousness does not depend on any materially prosperous or distressed condition; it is free from the conditions imposed by material life. A very poor man can execute Kṛṣṇa consciousness as effectively as a very rich man. One should therefore be very satisfied with his position as offered by the Lord.
In the condition of dreaming, when one's consciousness is almost covered, one may see many unfavorable things which cause disturbance or anxiety, but upon awakening, although he remembers what happened in the dream, he is not disturbed. Similarly the position of self-realization, or understanding of one's real relationship with the Supreme Lord, makes one completely satisfied, and the three modes of material nature, which are the cause of all disturbances, cannot affect him. In contaminated consciousness one sees everything to be for his own enjoyment, but in pure consciousness, or Kṛṣṇa consciousness, he sees that everything exists for the enjoyment of the supreme enjoyer. That is the difference between the dream state and wakefulness.
The next important phrase is mita-medhyādanam, which means that one should eat very frugally. It is recommended in the Vedic literatures that a yogī eat only half what he desires according to his hunger. If one is so hungry that he could devour one pound of foodstuffs, then instead of eating one pound, he should consume only half a pound and supplement this with four ounces of water; one fourth of the stomach should be left empty for passage of air in the stomach. If one eats in this manner, he will avoid indigestion and disease. The yogī should eat in this way, as recommended in the Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam and all other standard scriptures. The yogī should live in a secluded place, where his yoga practice will not be disturbed.
The process of meditating on the form of the Supreme Personality of Godhead within oneself and the process of chanting the glories and pastimes of the Lord are the same. The only difference is that hearing and fixing the mind on the pastimes of the Lord is easier than visualizing the form of the Lord within one's heart because as soon as one begins to think of the Lord, especially in this age, the mind becomes disturbed, and due to so much agitation, the process of seeing the Lord within the mind is interrupted. When there is sound vibrated praising the transcendental pastimes of the Lord, however, one is forced to hear. That hearing process enters into the mind, and the practice of yoga is automatically performed.
It is recommended that the yogī visualize the laughter of the Lord after studying His smile very carefully. These particular descriptions of meditation on the smile, laughter, face, lips and teeth all indicate conclusively that God is not impersonal. It is described herein that one should meditate on the laughter or smiling of Viṣṇu. There is no other activity that can completely cleanse the heart of the devotee. The exceptional beauty of the laughter of Lord Viṣṇu is that when He smiles His small teeth, which resemble the buds of jasmine flowers, at once become reddish, reflecting His rosy lips. If the yogī is able to place the beautiful face of the Lord in the core of his heart, he will be completely satisfied. In other words, when one is absorbed in seeing the beauty of the Lord within himself, the material attraction can no longer disturb him.
When the mind is completely purified in love of Godhead, the mind becomes the mind of the Supreme Personality of Godhead. The mind at that time does not act separately, nor does it act without inspiration to fulfill the desire of the Lord. The individual liberated soul has no other activity. pratinivṛtta-guṇa-pravāhaḥ. In the conditioned state the mind is always engaged in activity impelled by the three modes of the material world, but in the transcendental stage, the material modes cannot disturb the mind of the devotee. The devotee has no other concern than to satisfy the desires of the Lord. That is the highest stage of perfection, called nirvāṇa or nirvāṇa-mukti. At this stage the mind becomes completely free from material desire.
It is especially mentioned here that a devotee must be free from all violence (jīvāhiṁsā). Lord Caitanya has recommended that a devotee not commit violence to any living entity. Sometimes the question is raised that since vegetables also have life and devotees take vegetable foodstuffs, isn't that violence? Firstly, however, taking some leaves, twigs or fruit from a tree or plant does not kill the plant. Besides that, jīvāhiṁsā means that since every living entity has to pass through a particular type of body according to his past karma, although every living entity is eternal, he should not be disturbed in his gradual evolution. A devotee has to execute the principles of devotional service exactly as they are, and he must know that however insignificant a living entity may be, the Lord is present within him. A devotee must realize this universal presence of the Lord.
It should be noted that the child is born crying and suffering. After birth the same suffering continues, and he cries. Because he is disturbed by the germs in his foul bed, which is contaminated by his urine and stool, the poor child continues to cry. He is unable to take any remedial measure for his relief.
In the beginning, no one can be elevated to the highest stage of devotional service. Here bhakta means one who does not hesitate to accept the reformatory processes for becoming a bhakta. In order to become a devotee of the Lord, one has to accept a spiritual master and inquire from him about how to progress in devotional service. To serve a devotee, to chant the holy name according to a certain counting method, to worship the Deity, to hear Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam or Bhagavad-gītā from a realized person and to live in a sacred place where devotional service is not disturbed are the first out of sixty-four devotional activities for making progress in devotional service. One who has accepted these five chief activities is called a devotee.
SB Canto 4
Lord Śiva is the greatest devotee of the Supreme Personality of Godhead, and it is not fitting for him to eat or sit with materialistic persons like the demigods. Thus the curse of Dakṣa was indirectly a blessing, for Śiva would not have to eat or sit with other demigods, who were too materialistic. There is a practical example set for us by Gaurakiśora dāsa Bābājī Mahārāja, who used to sit on the side of a latrine to chant Hare Kṛṣṇa. Many materialistic persons used to come and bother him and disturb his daily routine of chanting, so to avoid their company he used to sit by the side of a latrine, where materialistic persons would not go because of the filth and the obnoxious smell. However, Gaurakiśora dāsa Bābājī Mahārāja was so great that he was accepted as the spiritual master of such a great personality as His Divine Grace Oṁ Viṣṇupāda Śrī Śrīmad Bhaktisiddhānta Sarasvatī Gosvāmī Mahārāja. The conclusion is that Lord Śiva behaved in his own way to avoid materialistic persons who might disturb him in his prosecution of devotional service.
One should not go to anyone's house, even on the consideration of his being a relative or a friend, when the man is disturbed in his mind and looks upon the guest with raised eyebrows and angry eyes.
When, in the name of justice, thieves are allowed liberty, the state and kingdom are disturbed by such plunderers and unwanted population. The dust storm created by the soldiers and assistants of Lord Śiva resembled the situation at the time of the dissolution of this world. When there is a need for the dissolution of the material creation, this function is conducted by Lord Śiva. Therefore the situation now created by him resembled the dissolution of the cosmic manifestation.
The purport of this verse is that when a devotee is in a calamitous condition he takes it as a benediction of the Supreme Lord and takes responsibility himself for his past misdeeds. In such a condition, he offers still more devotional service and is not disturbed. One who lives in such a disposition of mind, engaged in devotional service, is the most eligible candidate for promotion to the spiritual world. In other words, such a devotee's claim for promotion to the spiritual world is assured in all circumstances.
The whole sacrifice arranged by King Dakṣa had been disturbed by Lord Śiva. Therefore all the demigods present there, along with Lord Brahmā and the great sages, specifically requested Lord Śiva to come and revive the sacrificial fire. There is a common phrase, śiva-hīna-yajña: "Any sacrifice without the presence of Lord Śiva is baffled." Lord Viṣṇu is Yajñeśvara, the Supreme Personality in the matter of sacrifice, yet in each yajña it is necessary for all the demigods, headed by Lord Brahmā and Lord Śiva, to be present.
It is said that a devotee in Kṛṣṇa consciousness never takes any miserable condition of life to be condemnation by the Supreme Personality of Godhead. He accepts the miserable condition to be the grace of the Lord. He thinks, "I would have been punished or put into a more dangerous condition of life due to my past misdeeds, but the Lord has protected me. Thus I have received only a little punishment as token execution of the law of karma." Thinking of His grace in that way, a devotee always surrenders to the Supreme Personality of Godhead more and more seriously and is not disturbed by such so-called punishment.
Lord Śiva's followers and devotees, headed by Vīrabhadra, are known as vīras, and they are ghostly demons. Not only did they pollute the entire sacrificial arena by their very presence, but they disturbed the whole situation by passing stool and urine. Therefore, the infection they had created was to be first purified by the method of offering puroḍāśa oblations.
Lord Śiva said: My dear Lord, my mind and consciousness are always fixed on Your lotus feet, which, as the source of all benediction and the fulfillment of all desires, are worshiped by all liberated great sages because Your lotus feet are worthy of worship. With my mind fixed on Your lotus feet, I am no longer disturbed by persons who blaspheme me, claiming that my activities are not purified. I do not mind their accusations, and I excuse them out of compassion, just as You exhibit compassion toward all living entities.
Lord Śiva expresses herein his regret at having been angry and having disturbed the sacrificial activities of Dakṣa. King Dakṣa had insulted him in many ways, and thus he had become angry and had frustrated the entire sacrificial ceremony. Later, when he was pleased, the yajña performances were reinstituted, and therefore he regretted his activities. Now he says that because his mind is fixed on the lotus feet of the Supreme Lord, Viṣṇu, he is no longer disturbed by the ordinary critics of his way of life.
Dhruva Mahārāja said: My dear Lord Nāradajī, for a person whose heart is disturbed by the material conditions of happiness and distress, whatever you have so kindly explained for attainment of peace of mind is certainly a very good instruction. But as far as I am concerned, I am covered by ignorance, and this kind of philosophy does not touch my heart.
In this verse the entire yoga system is described in summary, and special stress is given to the breathing exercises for stopping the disturbing mind. The mind, by nature, is always oscillating, for it is very fickle, but the breathing exercise is meant to control it. This process of controlling the mind might have been very possible in those days millions of years ago when Dhruva Mahārāja took to it, but at the present moment the mind has to be fixed directly on the lotus feet of the Lord by the chanting process. By chanting the Hare Kṛṣṇa mantra one immediately concentrates on the sound vibration and thinks of the lotus feet of the Lord, and very quickly one is elevated to the position of samādhi, or trance. If one goes on chanting the holy names of the Lord, which are not different from the Supreme Personality of Godhead, naturally his mind becomes absorbed in thought of the Lord.
The most important factor in this verse is the Lord's instructions regarding how to remember the Supreme Personality of Godhead at the end of life. Ante nārāyaṇa-smṛtiḥ: (SB 2.1.6) the result of whatever we do in executing spiritual activities is successful if we can remember Nārāyaṇa, the Supreme Personality of Godhead. This program of constant remembrance can be disturbed by many things, but Dhruva Mahārāja's life would be so pure, as assured by the Lord Himself, that Dhruva would never forget Him.
One has to discharge his devotional duties without being disturbed by the coming and going of material circumstances. This desirelessness for material prosperity is called niṣkāma. One should not mistakenly think that niṣkāma means giving up all desires. That is impossible. A living entity is eternally existent, and he cannot give up desires. A living entity must have desires; that is the symptom of life. When there is a recommendation to become desireless, it is to be understood that this means that we should not desire anything for our sense gratification.
By the grace of the Lord, if a devotee, at the time of death, can simply chant His holy name—Hare Kṛṣṇa, Hare Kṛṣṇa, Kṛṣṇa Kṛṣṇa, Hare Hare/ Hare Rāma, Hare Rāma, Rāma Rāma, Hare Hare—simply by chanting this mahā-mantra, he immediately surpasses the great ocean of the material sky and enters the spiritual sky. He never has to come back for repetition of birth and death. Simply by chanting the holy name of the Lord, one can surpass the ocean of death, so Dhruva Mahārāja was certainly able to surpass the illusory magical feats of the Yakṣas, which for the time being disturbed his mind.
It is by such powerful potencies that the universe is created, although grossly it appears to be no more than the five elements—earth, water, fire, air and ether. Similarly, the bodies of all species of living entities, whether human beings or demigods, animals or birds, are also created by the same five elements, and by sexual union they expand into more and more living entities. That is the way of creation, maintenance and annihilation. One should not be disturbed by the waves of material nature in this process. Dhruva Mahārāja was indirectly advised not to be afflicted by the death of his brother because our relationship with the body is completely material. The real self, spirit soul, is never annihilated or killed by anyone.
One word used here is very significant—avicalendriyaḥ, which means that he was not disturbed by the agitation of the senses nor was his sensory power diminished, although in years he was a very old man. Since he ruled over the world for thirty-six thousand years, naturally one may conclude that he became very, very old, but factually his senses were very young—and yet he was not interested in sense gratification. In other words, he remained self-controlled.
Thinking to save the state from irregularity, the sages began to consider that it was due to a political crisis that they made Vena king although he was not qualified. But alas, now the people were being disturbed by the king himself. Under such circumstances, how could the people be happy?
The conclusion is that even though saintly persons have no business in political affairs, they are always compassionate upon the people in general. Thus even though they are always aloof from society, out of mercy and compassion they consider how the citizens can peacefully execute their rituals and follow the rules and regulations of varṇāśrama-dharma. That was the concern of these sages. In this age of Kali, everything is disturbed.
The saintly persons considered very wisely that although King Vena was very sinful, he was born in a family descending from Dhruva Mahārāja. Therefore the semen in the family must be protected by the Supreme Personality of Godhead, Keśava. As such, the sages wanted to take some steps to relieve the situation. For want of a king, everything was being disturbed and turned topsy-turvy.
As stated in Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam, men in this age of Kali are short-lived, devoid of spiritual knowledge, and susceptible to accept false religious systems due to their unfortunate condition. Thus they always remain mentally disturbed. The Vedic śāstras practically prohibit the adoption of sannyāsa in the age of Kali because less intelligent men may accept the sannyāsa order for cheating purposes. Actually the only religion is the religion of surrender unto the Supreme Personality of Godhead. We must serve the Lord in Kṛṣṇa consciousness. All other systems of sannyāsa and religion are actually not bona fide. In this age they are simply passing for religious systems. This is most regrettable.
Lord Viṣṇu, the Supreme Personality of Godhead, said: My dear King Pṛthu, Indra, the King of heaven, has disturbed your execution of one hundred sacrifices. Now he has come with Me to be forgiven by you. Therefore excuse him.
The first point is that one must know that the soul is different from his body. The soul is called dehī, or one who possesses the body, and the material body is called deha, or the embodiment of the soul. The body is changing at every moment, but the soul is fixed; therefore the soul is called kūṭa-stham. The change of body is enacted by the reactions of the three modes of nature. One who has understood the fixed position of the soul should not be disturbed by the incoming and outgoing interactions of the modes of material nature in the form of happiness and distress. In Bhagavad-gītā also, Lord Kṛṣṇa recommends that since happiness and distress come and go due to the interaction of the modes of nature on the body, one should not be disturbed by such external movements. Even though one is sometimes absorbed in such external movements, he has to learn to tolerate them. The living entity should be always indifferent to the action and reaction of the external body.
Lord Kṛṣṇa says in Bhagavad-gītā that the body, made of the gross physical elements (earth, water, fire, air and sky) and the subtle elements (mind, intelligence and ego), is completely different from the soul proper. One should therefore not be disturbed by the action and reaction of these eight gross and subtle material elements. The practical process to attain this stage of indifference is to execute devotional service. Only one who constantly engages in devotional service twenty-four hours a day can be indifferent to the action and reaction of the external body. When a man is absorbed in a particular thought, he does not hear or see any external activities, even though they are enacted in his presence. Similarly, those who are fully absorbed in devotional service do not care what is going on with the external body. That status is called samādhi. One who is actually situated in samādhi is understood to be a first-class yogī.
My dear heroic King, please keep yourself always equipoised and treat people equally, whether they are greater than you, in the intermediate stage or lower than you. Do not be disturbed by temporary distress or happiness. Fully control your mind and senses. In this transcendental position, try to execute your duty as king in whatever condition of life you may be posted by My arrangement, for your only duty here is to give protection to the citizens of your kingdom.
The specific importance of the Kumāras is that they were brahmacārīs, living the life of celibacy from birth. They kept themselves as small children about four or five years old because by growing into youth one's senses sometimes become disturbed and celibacy becomes difficult. The Kumāras therefore purposefully remained children because in a child's life the senses are never disturbed by sex. This is the significance of the life of the Kumāras, and as such Mahārāja Pṛthu addressed them as the best of the brāhmaṇas.
A candidate for spiritual advancement must be nonviolent, must follow in the footsteps of great ācāryas, must always remember the nectar of the pastimes of the Supreme Personality of Godhead, must follow the regulative principles without material desire and, while following the regulative principles, should not blaspheme others. A devotee should lead a very simple life and not be disturbed by the duality of opposing elements. He should learn to tolerate them.
The Kṛṣṇa consciousness movement has been introduced in the Western countries, but it is not possible for Westerners to go to the forest and practice the severe austerities which were ideally practiced by Pṛthu Mahārāja or Rūpa Gosvāmī. However, Westerners or anyone else can follow in the footsteps of Śrīla Bhaktisiddhānta Sarasvatī Ṭhākura by living in a temple, which is transcendental to residence in a forest, and to vow to accept kṛṣṇa-prasāda and nothing else, follow the regulative principles and chant sixteen rounds daily of the Hare Kṛṣṇa mantra. In this way, one's spiritual life will never be disturbed.
Lord Śiva actually became the spiritual master of the ten sons, and in turn his disciples took his words so seriously that simply by meditating upon his instructions (dhyāyantaḥ) they became perfect. This is the secret of success. After being initiated and receiving the orders of the spiritual master, the disciple should unhesitatingly think about the instructions or orders of the spiritual master and should not allow himself to be disturbed by anything else.
My Lord, You are the origin of the creation by virtue of the lotus flower which sprouts from Your navel. You are the supreme controller of the senses and the sense objects, and You are also the all-pervading Vāsudeva. You are most peaceful, and because of Your self-illuminated existence, You are not disturbed by the six kinds of transformations.
The words śāntāya kūṭa-sthāya sva-rociṣe are very significant. Although the Lord is within this material world, He is not disturbed by the waves of material existence. However, conditioned souls are agitated by six kinds of transformations; namely, they become agitated when they are hungry, when they are thirsty, when they are aggrieved, when they are illusioned, when they grow old and when they are on the deathbed. Although conditioned souls become very easily illusioned by these conditions in the material world, the Supreme Personality of Godhead, as the Supersoul, Vāsudeva, is never agitated by these transformations.
One who is pure in heart is never attracted by the external energy, which urges the individual soul to try to dominate material nature. The pure heart of a devotee is never disturbed when he executes devotional service in the form of hearing, chanting, remembering, etc. In all, there are nine processes one can follow in the execution of devotional service. In any case, a pure-hearted devotee is never disturbed. The bhakti-yoga process must be carried out by avoiding the ten offenses one can commit while chanting the mahā-mantra and the sixty-four offenses one can commit while worshiping the Deity. When a devotee strictly follows the rules and regulations, Bhaktidevī becomes very much satisfied with him, and at that time he is never disturbed by anything external. A devotee is also called a muni.
My dear Lord, You have manifold energies, and these energies are manifested in manifold forms. With such energies You have also created this cosmic manifestation, and although You maintain it as if it were permanent, You ultimately annihilate it. Although You are never disturbed by such changes and alterations, the living entities are disturbed by them, and therefore they find the cosmic manifestation to be different or separated from You. My Lord, You are always independent, and I can clearly see this fact.
The eternally free living entities are called nitya-mukta, for they never come in contact with the material energy. However, some living entities are conditioned in this material world, and thus they think themselves separated from the Supreme Lord. Due to their contact with the material energy, their existence is always troublesome. Being always in distress, the conditioned soul considers the material energy to be very much disturbing.
Simply by breathing out all the universes, the Lord creates and maintains the cosmic manifestation as Lord Viṣṇu. Then as Saṅkarṣaṇa, He annihilates the cosmic manifestation. Yet despite the creation, maintenance and destruction of the cosmos, the Lord is not affected. The various activities of the Lord must be very disturbing to the tiny living entities, but since the Lord is supremely great, He is never affected. Lord Śiva or any other pure devotee can see this clearly without being blinded by bheda-buddhi, or differentiation. For a devotee, the Lord is the supreme spirit soul. Since He is supremely powerful, His various powers are also spiritual. For a devotee, there is nothing material, for material existence only means forgetfulness of the Supreme Personality of Godhead.
In India, the climatic condition is such that one can live very peacefully without being disturbed by material conditions. Indeed, during the time of Mahārāja Yudhiṣṭhira or Lord Rāmacandra, people were free from all anxieties. There was not even extreme cold or extreme heat. The three kinds of miserable conditions-adhyātmika, adhibhautika and adhidaivika (miseries inflicted by the body and mind itself, those inflicted by other living entities, and natural disturbances)—were all absent during the reign of Lord Rāmacandra or Mahārāja Yudhiṣṭhira. But at present, compared to other countries on earth, India is artificially disturbed. Despite these material disturbances, however, the country's culture is such that one can easily attain the goal of life—namely salvation, or liberation from material bondage. Thus in order to take birth in India one must have performed many pious activities in a past life.
In Bengal it is said that if one becomes an obedient servant of his wife, he loses all reputation. However, the difficulty is that unless one becomes a most obedient servant of his wife, family life becomes disturbed. In the Western countries this disturbance gives rise to the divorce law, and in Eastern countries like India there is separation. Now this disturbance is confirmed by the new introduction of the divorce law in India. Within the heart, the mind is acting, thinking, feeling and willing, and falling under the control of one's wife is the same as falling under the control of material intelligence. Thus one begets children by his wife and becomes entangled in so many activities under the control of mental concoctions.
According to Vedic civilization, domestic animals and servants are treated exactly like one's own children. Animals and children are sometimes punished not out of vengeance but out of love. Similarly, a master sometimes punishes his servant, not out of vengeance but out of love, to correct him and bring him to the right point. Thus King Purañjana took his punishment dealt by his wife, the Queen, as mercy upon him. He considered himself the most obedient servant of the Queen. She was angry at him for his sinful activities—namely, hunting in the forest and leaving her at home. King Purañjana accepted the punishment as actual love and affection from his wife. In the same way, when a person is punished by the laws of nature, by the will of God, he should not be disturbed. A real devotee thinks in this way. When a devotee is put into an awkward position, he takes it as the mercy of the Supreme Lord.
Women in general are very much sexually inclined. Indeed, it is said that a woman's sex desire is nine times stronger than a man's. It is therefore a man's duty to keep a woman under his control by satisfying her, giving her ornaments, nice food and clothes, and engaging her in religious activities. Of course, a woman should have a few children and in this way not be disturbing to the man. Unfortunately, if the man becomes attracted to the woman simply for sex enjoyment, then family life becomes abominable.
The period of life just prior to death is certainly very dangerous because usually at this time people are attacked by the weakness of old age as well as many kinds of disease. The diseases that attack the body are compared here to soldiers. These soldiers are not ordinary soldiers, for they are guided by the King of the Yavanas, who acts as their commander-in-chief. The word diṣṭa-kāriṇaḥ indicates that he is their commander. When a man is young, he does not care for old age, but enjoys sex to the best of his satisfaction, not knowing that at the end of life his sexual indulgence will bring on various diseases, which so much disturb the body that one will pray for immediate death. The more one enjoys sex during youth, the more he suffers in old age.
Liberation means becoming free from the relativities of the world. Unless one is self-realized, he has to undergo the dual struggle of the relative world. In Bhagavad-gītā Lord Kṛṣṇa advises Arjuna to conquer all relativities through tolerance. Lord Kṛṣṇa points out that it is the relativities like winter and summer that give us trouble in the material world. In the winter we do not like taking a bath, but in the summer we wish to take a bath twice, thrice or more a day. Thus Kṛṣṇa advises us not to be disturbed by such relativities and dualities when they come and go.
The followers of Yavaneśvara (Yamarāja) are called the soldiers of death, and they are known as the various types of disturbances that pertain to the body and mind. Prajvāra represents the two types of fever: extreme heat and extreme cold—typhoid and pneumonia. The living entity lying down within the body is disturbed by many tribulations pertaining to providence, to other living entities and to his own body and mind. Despite all kinds of tribulations, the living entity, subjected to the necessities of the body, mind and senses and suffering from various types of disease, is carried away by many plans due to his lust to enjoy the world. Although transcendental to this material existence, the living entity, out of ignorance, accepts all these material miseries under the pretext of false egoism ("I" and "mine"). In this way he lives for a hundred years within this body.
"O son of Kuntī, the nonpermanent appearance of happiness and distress, and their disappearance in due course, are like the appearance and disappearance of winter and summer seasons. They arise from sense perception, O scion of Bharata, and one must learn to tolerate them without being disturbed." Lord Kṛṣṇa thus informed Arjuna that all the distresses brought about by the body come and go. One has to learn how to tolerate them. Material existence is the cause of all our sufferings, for we do not suffer once we are out of the material condition. The Vedas therefore enjoin that one should factually understand that he is not material but is actually Brahman (ahaṁ brahmāsmi). This understanding cannot be fully realized unless one is engaged in Brahman activities, namely devotional service. To get free from the material conditions, one has to take to Kṛṣṇa consciousness. That is the only remedy.
In the association of pure devotees, one becomes attached to hearing and chanting the glories of the Lord. In this way one can cultivate Kṛṣṇa consciousness, and as soon as this cultivation is advanced, one can become faithful to the Lord, devoted to the Lord and attached to the Lord, and thus one can very quickly attain full Kṛṣṇa consciousness. The secret of success in the cultivation of Kṛṣṇa consciousness is hearing from the right person. A Kṛṣṇa conscious person is never disturbed by the bodily necessities—namely eating, sleeping, mating and defending.
Because the conditioned soul is always disturbed by the bodily necessities such as hunger and thirst, he has very little time to cultivate attachment to hearing the nectarean words of the Supreme Personality of Godhead.
Unless one is associated with devotees, he cannot cultivate Kṛṣṇa consciousness. Nirjana-bhajana—cultivating Kṛṣṇa consciousness in a solitary place—is not possible for the neophyte, for he will be disturbed by the bodily necessities (eating, sleeping, mating and defending). Being so disturbed, one cannot cultivate Kṛṣṇa consciousness. We therefore see that devotees known as sahajiyā, who make everything very easy, do not associate with advanced devotees. Such persons, in the name of devotional activities, are addicted to all kinds of sinful acts—illicit sex, intoxication, gambling and meat-eating. There are many so-called devotees passing themselves off as devotees while engaging in these sinful activities. In other words, one who is influenced by sinful activity cannot be accepted as a person in Kṛṣṇa consciousness. A person addicted to sinful life cannot develop Kṛṣṇa consciousness, as indicated in this verse.
This material world, the cosmic manifestation, is created by the Supreme Personality of Godhead, and the living entities have come here to enjoy themselves. The Vedic instructions guide them according to different regulative principles, and intelligent people take advantage of these instructions. They thus enjoy material life without being disturbed. This is actually illusion, and to get out of this illusion by one's own endeavor is very difficult. The general populace is engaged in material activities, and when people are a little advanced, they become attracted by the ritualistic ceremonies mentioned in the Vedas.
My dear King, woman, who is very attractive in the beginning but in the end very disturbing, is exactly like the flower, which is attractive in the beginning and detestable at the end. With woman, the living entity is entangled with lusty desires, and he enjoys sex, just as one enjoys the aroma of a flower. He thus enjoys a life of sense gratification—from his tongue to his genitals—and in this way the living entity considers himself very happy in family life. United with his wife, he always remains absorbed in such thoughts. He feels great pleasure in hearing the talks of his wife and children, which are like the sweet humming of bumblebees that collect honey from flower to flower. He forgets that before him is time, which is taking away his life-span with the passing of day and night. He does not see the gradual diminishing of his life, nor does he care about the superintendent of death, who is trying to kill him from behind. Just try to understand this. You are in a precarious position and are threatened from all sides.
When a living entity is within the womb, his gross body, the ten sense organs and the mind are not fully developed. At such a time the objects of the senses do not disturb him. In a dream a young man may experience the presence of a young woman because at that time the senses are active. Because of undeveloped senses, a child or boy will not see a young woman in his dreams. The senses are active in youth even when one dreams, and although there may be no young woman present, the senses may act and there may be a seminal discharge (nocturnal emission). The activities of the subtle and gross bodies depend on how developed conditions are.
When King Pṛthu was celebrating various sacrifices, outdoing Indra, Indra became very envious, and he disturbed King Pṛthu's sacrifice. This has already been discussed in previous chapters. King Indra became successful in breaking the vow of the great sage Kaṇḍu, who became attracted by the beauty of the heavenly society girl Pramlocā and begot a female child. This child is described herein as lotus-eyed and very beautiful. Being thus successful in her mission, Pramlocā returned to the heavenly planets, leaving the newborn child to the care of the trees. Fortunately, the trees accepted the child and agreed to raise her.
Since the Lord delivers all conditioned souls from the clutches of māyā, He is known as hari-medhas. In the list of incarnations, Kṛṣṇa is described as the supreme and original Personality of Godhead.
- ete cāṁśa-kalāḥ puṁsaḥ
- kṛṣṇas tu bhagavān svayam
- indrāri-vyākulaṁ lokaṁ
- mṛḍayanti yuge yuge
- (SB 1.3.28)
Kṛṣṇa, the original Personality of Godhead, appears in this material world when the demigods, who are devotees of the Lord, are disturbed by the demons.
At the end of the Dakṣa-yajña and the disastrous incidents there, Dakṣa offered his prayer to Lord Śiva. Although he had to give up his body and take birth from the womb of a woman impregnated by the semen of a kṣatriya, he received all opulence by the grace of Lord Śiva. These are the subtle laws of material nature. Unfortunately, people in this modern age do not know how these laws are working. Having no knowledge of the eternity of the spirit soul and its transmigration, the population of the present age is in the greatest ignorance. Because of this, it is said in Bhāgavatam (1.1.10): mandāḥ sumanda-matayo manda-bhāgyā hy upadrutāḥ. The total population in this age of Kali-yuga is very bad, lazy, unfortunate and disturbed by material conditions.
SB Canto 5
An actual paramahaṁsa is one who completely controls his senses and engages in the unalloyed service of the Lord. Therefore all three of these sons of Priyavrata, namely Kavi, Mahāvīra and Savana, were situated in the paramahaṁsa stage from the very beginning. Their senses could not disturb them, for their senses were completely engaged in serving the Lord. Therefore the three brothers are described in this verse as upaśama-śīlāḥ. Upaśama means "completely subdued." Because they completely subdued their senses, they are understood to have been great sages and saints.
Because of the material body, every living entity in material existence is always disturbed by sad-guṇa, six waves—hunger, thirst, lamentation, illusion, invalidity and death. Furthermore, another sad-guṇa are the mind and five sense organs. Not to speak of a sanctified devotee, even a caṇḍāla, an outcaste, who is untouchable, is immediately freed from material bondage if he utters the holy name of the Lord even once. Sometimes caste brāhmaṇas argue that unless one changes his body he cannot be accepted as a brāhmaṇa, for since the present body is obtained as a result of past actions, one who has in the past acted as a brāhmaṇa takes birth in a brāhmaṇa family. Therefore, they contend, without such a brahminical body, one cannot be accepted as a brāhmaṇa.
Although Āgnīdhra, the son of Priyavrata, was practicing mystic yoga and trying to control his senses, the tinkling sound of Pūrvacitti's ankle bells disturbed his practice. Yoga indriya-saṁyamaḥ: actual yoga practice means controlling the senses. One must practice mystic yoga, to control the senses, but the sense control of a devotee who fully engages in the service of the Lord with his purified senses (hṛṣīkeṇa hṛṣīkeśa-sevanam (CC Madhya 19.170)) can never be disturbed. Śrīla Prabodhānanda Sarasvatī therefore stated, durdāntendriya-kāla-sarpa-paṭalī protkhāta-daṁṣṭra-yate (Caitanya-candrāmṛta 5). The practice of yoga is undoubtedly good because it controls the senses, which are like venomous serpents.
Like a honeybee, the Apsarā smelled the beautiful and attractive flowers. She could attract the minds and vision of both humans and demigods by her playful movements, her shyness and humility, her glances, the very pleasing sounds that poured from her mouth as she spoke, and the motion of her limbs. By all these qualities, she opened for Cupid, who bears an arrow of flowers, a path of aural reception into the minds of men. When she spoke, nectar seemed to flow from her mouth. As she breathed, the bees, mad for the taste of her breath, tried to hover about her beautiful lotuslike eyes. Disturbed by the bees, she tried to move hastily, but as she raised her feet to walk quickly, her hair, the belt on her hips, and her breasts, which were like water jugs, also moved in a way that made her extremely beautiful and attractive. Indeed, she seemed to be making a path for the entrance of Cupid, who is most powerful. Therefore the prince, completely subdued by seeing her, spoke to her as follows.
Initiation into bhakti begins when one is in a distressed condition or in want of money, or when one is inquisitive to understand the Absolute Truth. Nonetheless, people who approach the Supreme Lord in this way are not actually devotees. They are accepted as pious (sukṛtinaḥ) due to their inquiring about the Absolute Truth, the Supreme Personality of Godhead. Not knowing the various activities and engagements of the Lord, such people unnecessarily disturb the Lord for material gain. However, the Lord is so kind that even though disturbed, He fulfills the desires of such beggars. The pure devotee is anyābhilāṣitā-śūnya; he has no motive behind his worship. He is not conducted by the influence of māyā in the form of karma or jñāna. The pure devotee is always prepared to execute the order of the Lord without personal consideration. The ṛtvijaḥ, the priests at the sacrifice, knew very well the distinction between karma and bhakti, and because they considered themselves under the influence of karma, fruitive activity, they begged the Lord's pardon. They knew that the Lord had been invited to come for some paltry reason.
Narottama dāsa Ṭhākura says: deha-smṛti nāhi yāra, saṁsāra bandhana kāhāṅ tāra. When a person fully realizes that the material body and world are temporary, he is not concerned with pain and pleasures of the body. As Śrī Kṛṣṇa advises in Bhagavad-gītā (2.14):
- mātrā-sparśās tu kaunteya
- āgamāpāyino 'nityās
- tāṁs titikṣasva bhārata
"O son of Kuntī, the nonpermanent appearance of happiness and distress, and their disappearance in due course, are like the appearance and disappearance of winter and summer seasons. They arise from sense perception, O scion of Bharata, and one must learn to tolerate them without being disturbed."
When Lord Ṛṣabhadeva saw that the general populace was very antagonistic to His execution of mystic yoga, He accepted the behavior of a python in order to counteract their opposition. Thus He stayed in one place and lay down. While lying down, He ate and drank, and He passed stool and urine and rolled in it. Indeed, He smeared His whole body with His own stool and urine so that opposing elements might not come and disturb Him.
According to one's destiny, one enjoys allotted happiness and distress, even though one keeps himself in one place. This is the injunction of the śāstras. When one is spiritually situated, he may stay in one place, and all his necessities will be supplied by the arrangement of the supreme controller. Unless one is a preacher, there is no need to travel all over the world. A person can stay in one place and execute devotional service suitably according to time and circumstance. When Ṛṣabhadeva saw that He was simply being disturbed by traveling throughout the world, He decided to lie down in one place like a python. Thus He ate, drank, and He passed stool and urine and smeared His body with them so that people would not disturb Him.
Because Lord Ṛṣabhadeva remained in that condition, the public did not disturb Him, but no bad aroma emanated from His stool and urine. Quite the contrary, His stool and urine were so aromatic that they filled eighty miles of the countryside with a pleasant fragrance.
From this we can certainly assume that Lord Ṛṣabhadeva was transcendentally blissful. His stool and urine were so completely different from material stool and urine that they were aromatic. Even in the material world, cow dung is accepted as purified and antiseptic. A person can keep stacks of cow dung in one place, and it will not create a bad odor to disturb anyone. We can take it for granted that in the spiritual world, stool and urine are also pleasantly scented. Indeed, the entire atmosphere became very pleasant due to Lord Ṛṣabhadeva's stool and urine.
Being the Supreme Personality of Godhead, Lord Ṛṣabhadeva possessed a transcendental, spiritual body. Since the general public could not appreciate His behavior and mystic yoga practice, they began to disturb Him. To cheat them, He behaved like crows, cows and deer.
Without practicing the mystic yogic process, he achieves even greater opulence all over the world. Under the circumstances, Lord Ṛṣabhadeva refused to manifest mystic yogic perfections, and Mahārāja Parīkṣit asked why He did not accept them, since, for a devotee, they are not at all disturbing. A devotee is never distressed or satisfied by material opulence. His concern is how to please the Supreme Personality of Godhead. If, by the grace of the Supreme Lord, a devotee achieves extraordinary opulence, he utilizes the opportunity for the Lord's service. He is not disturbed by the opulence.
Once when the deer was absent, Mahārāja Bharata was so disturbed that he began to search for it. While searching and lamenting the deer's absence, Mahārāja Bharata fell down and died. Because his mind was fully absorbed thinking of the deer, he naturally took his next birth from the womb of a deer. However, because he was considerably advanced spiritually, he did not forget his past activities, even though he was in the body of a deer. He could understand how he had fallen down from his exalted position, and remembering this, he left his mother deer and again went to Pulaha-āśrama. He finally ended his fruitive activities in the form of a deer, and when he died he was released from the deer's body.
By nature the doe was always afraid of being killed by others, and it was always looking about suspiciously. When it heard the lion's tumultuous roar, it became very agitated. Looking here and there with disturbed eyes, the doe, although it had not fully satisfied itself by drinking water, suddenly leaped across the river.
The laws of nature work in subtle ways unknown to us. Mahārāja Bharata was a great king very advanced in devotional service. He had almost reached the point of loving service to the Supreme Lord, but even from that platform he could fall down onto the material platform. In Bhagavad-gītā we are therefore warned:
- yaṁ hi na vyathayanty ete
- puruṣaṁ puruṣarṣabha
- sama-duḥkha-sukhaṁ dhīraṁ
- so 'mṛtatvāya kalpate
"O best among men (Arjuna), the person who is not disturbed by happiness and distress and is steady in both is certainly eligible for liberation." (BG 2.15)
Spiritual salvation and liberation from material bondage must be worked out with great caution, otherwise a little discrepancy will cause one to fall down again into material existence. By studying the activities of Mahārāja Bharata, we can learn the art of becoming completely freed from all material attachment.
The great King Mahārāja Bharata began to think: Alas, this helpless young deer, by the force of time, an agent of the Supreme Personality of Godhead, has now lost its relatives and friends and has taken shelter of me. It does not know anyone but me, as I have become its father, mother, brother and relatives. This deer is thinking in this way, and it has full faith in me. It does not know anyone but me; therefore I should not be envious and think that for the deer my own welfare will be destroyed. I should certainly raise, protect, gratify and fondle it. When it has taken shelter with me, how can I neglect it? Even though the deer is disturbing my spiritual life, I realize that a helpless person who has taken shelter cannot be neglected. That would be a great fault.
The King within the palanquin became very disturbed and chastised Jaḍa Bharata with filthy language, but Jaḍa Bharata, being completely freed from the bodily conception, did not protest; he proceeded carrying the palanquin. When he continued as before, the King threatened him with punishment, and being threatened by the King, Jaḍa Bharata began to talk. He protested against the filthy language used by the King when the King chastised him, and the King, hearing the instructions of Jaḍa Bharata, was awakened to his real knowledge. When he came to his consciousness, he understood that he had offended a great, learned and saintly person. At that time he very humbly and respectfully prayed to Jaḍa Bharata. He now wanted to understand the deep meaning of the philosophical words used by Jaḍa Bharata, and with great sincerity, he begged his pardon. He admitted that if one offends the lotus feet of a pure devotee, he is certainly punished by the trident of Lord Śiva.
In Bhagavad-gītā it is stated that one who is advanced in spiritual knowledge is not disturbed by the pains and pleasures of the material body. The material body is completely separate from the spirit soul, and the pains and pleasures of the body are superfluous. The practice of austerity and penance is meant for understanding the distinction between the body and the soul and how the soul can be unaffected by the pleasures and pains of the body. Jaḍa Bharata was actually situated on the platform of self-realization. He was completely aloof from the bodily conception; therefore he immediately took this position and convinced the King that whatever contradictory things the King had said about his body did not actually apply to him as a spirit soul.
O master of yogic power, you said that fatigue resulting from moving the body here and there is appreciated by direct perception, but actually there is no fatigue. It simply exists as a matter of formality. By such inquiries and answers, no one can come to the conclusion of the Absolute Truth. Because of your presentation of this statement, my mind is a little disturbed.
Formal inquiries and answers about the bodily conception do not constitute knowledge of the Absolute Truth. Knowledge of the Absolute Truth is quite different from the formal understanding of bodily pains and pleasures. In Bhagavad-gītā Lord Kṛṣṇa informs Arjuna that the pains and pleasures experienced in relation to the body are temporary; they come and go. One should not be disturbed by them but should tolerate them and continue with spiritual realization (BG 2.14).
Expecting to become happy, the living entity changes his position from one place to another, but actually a materialistic person within the material world is never happy. Being constantly engaged in materialistic activities, he is always disturbed. He forgets that one day he has to die. Although he suffers severely, being illusioned by the material energy, he still hankers after material happiness. In this way he completely forgets his relationship with the Supreme Personality of Godhead.
In this forest there are dense bowers composed of thickets of bushes, grass and creepers. In these bowers the conditioned soul is always disturbed by cruelly biting mosquitoes (envious people). Sometimes he sees an imaginary palace in the forest, and sometimes he is bewildered by seeing a fleeting fiend or ghost, which appears like a meteor in the sky.
When one's mind is disturbed in so many ways, he satisfies himself by becoming angry with his poor wife and children. The wife and children are naturally dependent on the father, but the father, being unable to maintain the family properly, becomes mentally distressed and therefore chastises the family members unnecessarily. As stated in Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam (12.2.8): ācchinna-dāra-draviṇā yāsyanti giri-kānanam. Being disgusted with family life, one separates from the family by divorce or some other means. If one has to separate, why not separate willingly? Systematic separation is better than forced separation. Forced separation cannot make anyone happy, but by mutual consent or by the Vedic arrangement one must separate from his family affairs at a certain age and fully depend on Kṛṣṇa. This makes one's life successful.
The living entity allows himself to be attacked by jackals and foxes (wife and children), and thus his real spiritual life is finished. In the forest of material life, everyone is envious like mosquitoes, and rats and mice are always creating disturbances. Everyone in this material world is placed in many awkward positions and surrounded by envious people and disturbing animals. The result is that the living entity in the material world is always plundered and bitten by many living entities. Nonetheless, despite these disturbances, he does not want to give up his family life, and he continues his fruitive activities in an attempt to become happy in the future. He thus becomes more and more entangled in the results of karma, and thus he is forced to act impiously. His witnesses are the sun during the day and the moon during the night.
Sometimes the conditioned soul in household life, being attached to material wealth and possessions, is disturbed by gadflies and mosquitoes, and sometimes locusts, birds of prey and rats give him trouble. Nonetheless, he still wanders down the path of material existence. Due to ignorance he becomes lusty and engages in fruitive activity. Because his mind is absorbed in these activities, he sees the material world as permanent, although it is temporary like a phantasmagoria, a house in the sky.
Sometimes, due to bodily hunger and thirst, the conditioned soul becomes so disturbed that he loses his patience and becomes angry with his own beloved sons, daughters and wife. Thus, being unkind to them, he suffers all the more.
The so-called happy materialistic person is constantly having to endure the threefold miseries of life, called adhidaivika, adhyātmika and adhibhautika. Actually no one can counteract these threefold miseries. All three may assail one at one time, or one misery may be absent and the other present. Thus the living entity is full of anxiety, fearing misery from one side or the other. The conditioned soul must be disturbed by at least one of these three miseries. There is no escape.
Unfortunately, being overly attached to sense gratification, materialists are not serious in helping this movement. Instead, some of them try to suppress it. Thus it is the business of monkeys to disturb the activities of the brāhmaṇas. The descendants of monkeys completely forget that they have to die, and they are very proud of scientific knowledge and the progress of material civilization. The word grāmya-karmaṇā indicates activities meant only for the improvement of bodily comforts, presently all human society is engaged in improving economic conditions and bodily comforts, people are not interested in knowing what is going to happen after death, nor do they believe in the transmigration of the soul.
Unless one is firmly fixed in the regulative principles, one may perform mischievous acts, even if one is a member of the Kṛṣṇa consciousness movement. We therefore advise our disciples to strictly follow the regulative principles; otherwise the most important movement for the upliftment of humanity will be hampered due to dissension among its members. Those who are serious about pushing forward this Kṛṣṇa consciousness movement should remember this and strictly follow the regulative principles so that their minds will not be disturbed.
The path of this material world is full of material miseries, and various troubles disturb the conditioned souls. Sometimes he loses, and sometimes he gains. In either case, the path is full of danger. Sometimes the conditioned soul is separated from his father by death or other circumstances. Leaving him aside he gradually becomes attached to others, such as his children. In this way, the conditioned soul is sometimes illusioned and afraid. Sometimes he cries loudly out of fear. Sometimes he is happy maintaining his family, and sometimes he is overjoyed and sings melodiously. In this way he becomes entangled and forgets his separation from the Supreme Personality of Godhead since time immemorial. Thus he traverses the dangerous path of material existence, and on this path he is not at all happy. Those who are self-realized simply take shelter of the Supreme Personality of Godhead in order to get out of this dangerous material existence. Without accepting the devotional path, one cannot get out of the clutches of material existence. The conclusion is that no one can be happy in material life. One must take to Kṛṣṇa consciousness.
King Gaya gave full protection and security to the citizens so that their personal property would not be disturbed by undesirable elements. He also saw that there was sufficient food to feed all the citizens. (This is called poṣaṇa.) He would sometimes distribute gifts to the citizens to satisfy them. (This is called prīṇana.) He would sometimes call meetings and satisfy the citizens with sweet words. (This is called upalālana.) He would also give them good instructions on how to become first-class citizens. (This is called anuśāsana.) Such were the characteristics of King Gaya's royal order. Besides all this, King Gaya was a householder who strictly observed the rules and regulations of household life. He performed sacrifices and was an unalloyed pure devotee of the Supreme Personality of Godhead. He was called Mahāpuruṣa because as a king he gave the citizens all facilities, and as a householder he executed all his duties so that at the end he became a strict devotee of the Supreme Lord. As a devotee, he was always ready to give respect to other devotees and to engage in the devotional service of the Lord. This is the bhakti-yoga process. Due to all these transcendental activities, King Gaya was always free from the bodily conception. He was full in Brahman realization, and consequently he was always jubilant. He did not experience material lamentation. Although he was perfect in all respects, he was not proud, nor was he anxious to rule the kingdom.
"Lord Caitanya Mahāprabhu replied, 'I know that there is no fault in the goddess of fortune, but still she could not enter into the rāsa dance. We hear this from revealed scriptures. The authorities of Vedic knowledge met Lord Rāmacandra in Daṇḍakāraṇya, and by their penances and austerities, they were allowed to enter into the rāsa dance. But can you tell me why the goddess of fortune, Lakṣmī, could not get that opportunity? '
"To this Vyeṅkaṭa Bhaṭṭa replied, 'I cannot enter into the mystery of this incident. I am an ordinary living being. My intelligence is limited, and I am always disturbed. How can I understand the pastimes of the Supreme Lord? They are deeper than millions of oceans.'
We know that the viṣṇu-tattva is carried by the transcendental bird Garuḍa and is equipped with different types of weapons in four hands. Therefore we may doubt whether Lord Rāmacandra could be in the same category, since He was carried by Hanumān, not by Garuḍa, and had neither four hands nor the śaṅkha, cakra, gadā and padma. Consequently this verse clarifies that Rāmacandra is as good as Kṛṣṇa (rāmādi-mūrtiṣu kalā). Although Kṛṣṇa is the original Supreme Personality of Godhead, Rāmacandra is not different from Him. Rāmacandra is unaffected by the modes of material nature, and therefore He is praśānta, never disturbed by those modes.
The Supreme Personality of Godhead, Kṛṣṇa, is described as sac-cid-ānanda-vigraha (Bs. 5.1), the body of eternity, transcendental bliss and full knowledge. Now in this verse He is more fully described. Kṛṣṇa is the creator of the entire cosmic manifestation, yet He is unattached to it. If we were to construct a very tall skyscraper, we would be very attached to it, but Kṛṣṇa is so renounced that although He has created everything, He is not attached to anything (na badhyate). Furthermore, although Kṛṣṇa has His transcendental form, sac-cid-ānanda-vigraha (Bs. 5.1), He is not disturbed by the bodily necessities of life, which are called daihika; for example, He is never hungry, thirsty or fatigued (na hanyate deha-gato 'pi daihikaiḥ).
After hearing from the sun and moon demigods about Rāhu's attack, the Supreme Personality of Godhead, Viṣṇu, engages His disc, known as the Sudarśana cakra, to protect them. The Sudarśana cakra is the Lord's most beloved devotee and is favored by the Lord. The intense heat of its effulgence, meant for killing non-Vaiṣṇavas, is unbearable to Rāhu, and he therefore flees in fear of it. During the time Rāhu disturbs the sun or moon, there occurs what people commonly know as an eclipse.
In these seven planetary systems, which are also known as the subterranean heavens (bila-svarga), there are very beautiful houses, gardens and places of sense enjoyment, which are even more opulent than those in the higher planets because the demons have a very high standard of sensual pleasure, wealth and influence. Most of the residents of these planets, who are known as Daityas, Dānavas and Nāgas, live as householders. Their wives, children, friends and society are all fully engaged in illusory, material happiness. The sense enjoyment of the demigods is sometimes disturbed, but the residents of these planets enjoy life without disturbances. Thus they are understood to be very attached to illusory happiness.
The planetary system below Talātala is known as Mahātala. It is the abode of many-hooded snakes, descendants of Kadrū, who are always very angry. The great snakes who are prominent are Kuhaka, Takṣaka, Kāliya and Suṣeṇa. The snakes in Mahātala are always disturbed by fear of Garuḍa, the carrier of Lord Viṣṇu, but although they are full of anxiety, some of them nevertheless sport with their wives, children, friends and relatives.
From this very instructive verse we learn that lower animals, created by the laws of nature to disturb the human being, are not subjected to punishment. Because the human being has developed consciousness, however, he cannot do anything against the principles of varṇāśrama-dharma without being condemned. Kṛṣṇa states in Bhagavad-gītā (4.13), cātur-varṇyaṁ mayā sṛṣṭaṁ guṇa-karma-vibhāgaśaḥ: "According to the three modes of material nature and the work ascribed to them, the four divisions of human society were created by Me." Thus all men should be divided into four classes—brāhmaṇas, kṣatriyas, vaiśyas and śūdras—and they should act according to their ordained regulations. They cannot deviate from their prescribed rules and regulations. One of these states that they should never trouble any animal, even those that disturb human beings. Although a tiger is not sinful if he attacks another animal and eats its flesh, if a man with developed consciousness does so, he must be punished. In other words, a human being who does not use his developed consciousness but instead acts like an animal surely undergoes punishment in many different hells.
In the Twelfth Canto of Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam, it is said that in this age of Kali everyone will be extremely disturbed by three kinds of tribulations: scarcity of rain, famine, and heavy taxation by the government. Because human beings are becoming more and more sinful. there will be a scarcity of rain, and naturally no food grains will be produced. On the plea of relieving the suffering caused by the ensuing famine, the government will impose heavy taxes, especially on the wealthy mercantile community. In this verse, the members of such a government are described as dasyu, thieves. Their main activity will be to plunder the wealth of the people. Whether a highway robber or a government thief, such a man will be punished in his next life by being thrown into the hell known as Sārameyādana, where he will suffer greatly from the bites of ferocious dogs.
SB Canto 6
In text 14 the word dhīrāḥ, meaning "those who are undisturbed under all circumstances," is very significant. Kṛṣṇa tells Arjuna in Bhagavad-gītā (2.14):
- mātrā-sparśās tu kaunteya
- āgamāpāyino 'nityās
- tāṁs titikṣasva bhārata
"O son of Kuntī, the nonpermanent appearance of happiness and distress, and their disappearance in due course, are like the appearance and disappearance of winter and summer seasons. They arise from sense perception, O scion of Bharata, and one must learn to tolerate them without being disturbed." In material life there are many disturbances (adhyātmika, adhidaivika and adhibhautika). One who has learned to tolerate these disturbances under all circumstances is called dhīra.
In human society, properly maintaining religious principles is the duty of the king's court or the government. Unfortunately, in this yuga, Kali-yuga, the religious principles are tampered with, and the government cannot properly judge who is to be punished and who is not. It is said that in the Kali-yuga if one cannot spend money in court, one cannot get justice. Indeed, in courts of justice it is often found that magistrates are bribed for favorable judgments. Sometimes religious men who preach the Kṛṣṇa consciousness movement for the benefit of the entire populace are arrested and harassed by the police and courts. The Viṣṇudūtas, who are Vaiṣṇavas, lamented for these very regrettable facts. Because of their spiritual compassion for all the fallen souls, Vaiṣṇavas go out to preach according to the standard method of all religious principles, but unfortunately, because of the influence of Kali-yuga, Vaiṣṇavas who have dedicated their lives to preaching the glories of the Lord are sometimes harassed and punished by courts on false charges of disturbing the peace.
One who betrays the confidence of a living entity who takes shelter of him in good faith, whether that living entity be a human being or an animal, is extremely sinful. Because such betrayals now go unpunished by the government, all of human society is terribly contaminated. The people of this age are therefore described as mandāḥ sumanda-matayo manda-bhāgyā hy upadrutāḥ (SB 1.1.10). As a consequence of such sinfulness, men are condemned (mandāḥ), their intelligence is unclear (sumanda-matayaḥ), they are unfortunate (manda-bhāgyāḥ), and therefore they are always disturbed by many problems (upadrutāḥ). This is their situation in this life, and after death they are punished in hellish conditions.
This power of chanting the holy name was proved by the liberation of Ajāmila. When Ajāmila chanted the holy name of Nārāyaṇa, he did not precisely remember the Supreme Lord; instead, he remembered his own son. At the time of death, Ajāmila certainly was not very clean; indeed, he was famous as a great sinner. Furthermore, one's physiological condition is completely disturbed at the time of death, and in such an awkward condition it would certainly have been very difficult for Ajāmila to have chanted clearly. Nevertheless, Ajāmila achieved liberation simply by chanting the holy name of the Lord. Therefore, what is to be said of those who are not sinful like Ajāmila? It is to be concluded that with a strong vow one should chant the holy name of the Lord—Hare Kṛṣṇa, Hare Kṛṣṇa, Kṛṣṇa Kṛṣṇa, Hare Hare/ Hare Rāma, Hare Rāma, Rāma Rāma, Hare Hare—for thus one will certainly be delivered from the clutches of māyā by the grace of Kṛṣṇa.
In effect, Yamarāja warned his servants, "My dear servants, despite what you may have done previously to disturb the devotees, henceforward you should stop. The actions of devotees who have surrendered unto the lotus feet of the Lord and who constantly chant the holy name of the Lord are praised by the demigods and the residents of Siddhaloka. Those devotees are so respectable and exalted that Lord Viṣṇu personally protects them with the club in His hand. Therefore, regardless of what you have done this time, henceforward you should not approach such devotees; otherwise you will be killed by the club of Lord Viṣṇu. This is my warning. Lord Viṣṇu has a club and cakra to punish nondevotees. Do not risk punishment by attempting to disturb the devotees. Not to speak of you, if even Lord Brahmā or I were to punish them, Lord Viṣṇu would punish us. Therefore do not disturb the devotees any further."
After the incidents concerning the loss of his many sons, Dakṣa repented his misunderstanding with Nārada Muni. Lord Brahmā then saw Dakṣa and instructed him to beget children again. This time Dakṣa was very cautious to beget female children instead of male children so that Nārada Muni would not disturb them by urging them to accept the renounced order. Females are not meant for the renounced order of life; they should be faithful to their good husbands, for if a husband is competent for liberation, his wife will also achieve liberation with him. As stated in the śāstra, the results of a husband's pious activities are shared by his wife. Therefore a woman's duty is to be very chaste and faithful to her husband. Then without separate endeavor she will share in all the profit the husband earns.
Vaiśvānara, the son of Danu, had four beautiful daughters, named Upadānavī, Hayaśirā, Pulomā and Kālakā. Hiraṇyākṣa married Upadānavī, and Kratu married Hayaśirā. Thereafter, at the request of Lord Brahmā, Prajāpati Kaśyapa married Pulomā and Kālakā, the other two daughters of Vaiśvānara. From the wombs of these two wives of Kaśyapa came sixty thousand sons, headed by Nivātakavaca, who are known as the Paulomas and the Kālakeyas. They were physically very strong and expert in fighting, and their aim was to disturb the sacrifices performed by the great sages. My dear King, when your grandfather Arjuna went to the heavenly planets, he alone killed all these demons, and thus King Indra became extremely affectionate toward him.
This prayer, Nārāyaṇa-kavaca, constitutes subtle knowledge transcendentally connected with Nārāyaṇa. One who employs this prayer is never disturbed or put in danger by the government, by plunderers, by evil demons or by any type of disease.
There are two kinds of devotees, known as sakāma and akāma. Pure devotees are akāma, whereas devotees in the upper planetary systems, such as the demigods, are called sakāma because they still want to enjoy material opulence. Because of their pious activities, the sakāma devotees are promoted to the higher planetary systems, but at heart they still desire to lord it over the material resources. The sakāma devotees are sometimes disturbed by the demons and Rākṣasas, but the Lord is so kind that He always saves them by appearing as an incarnation. The Lord's incarnations are so powerful that Lord Vāmanadeva covered the entire universe with two steps and therefore had no place for His third step. The Lord is called Trivikrama because He showed His strength by delivering the entire universe with merely three steps.
The difference between sakāma and akāma devotees is that when sakāma devotees, like the demigods, fall into difficulty, they approach the Supreme Personality of Godhead for relief, whereas akāma devotees, even in the greatest danger, never disturb the Lord for material benefits. Even if an akāma devotee is suffering, he thinks this is due to his past impious activities and agrees to suffer the consequences. He never disturbs the Lord. Sakāma devotees immediately pray to the Lord as soon as they are in difficulty, but they are regarded as pious because they consider themselves fully dependent on the mercy of the Lord.
A neophyte devotee, of course, approaches the Supreme Lord for relief from distress or poverty, or for speculative knowledge of the Lord. Bhagavad-gītā (7.16) mentions four kinds of pious men who begin devotional service to the Lord—one who is distressed (ārta), one in need of money (arthārthī), one who is inquisitive (jijñāsu) and one who is searching for the Absolute Truth (jñānī). A pure devotee, however, knows that since the Lord is omnipresent and omniscient, there is no need to offer prayers or worship Him for one's personal benefit. A pure devotee always engages in the service of the Lord without demanding anything. The Lord is present everywhere and knows the necessities of His devotees; consequently there is no need to disturb Him by asking Him for material benefits.
One need only seek shelter of the shade of the Lord's lotus feet. Then all the material tribulations that disturb him will be subdued, just as when one comes under the shadow of a big tree, the disturbances caused by the heat of the scorching sun are immediately mitigated, without one's asking for relief. Therefore the whole concern of the conditioned soul should be the lotus feet of the Lord. The conditioned soul suffering from various tribulations because of existing in this material world can be relieved only when he seeks shelter at the Lord's lotus feet.
The demigods certainly wanted Lord Viṣṇu to relieve their anxiety, but now they directly approach Lord Kṛṣṇa, for although there is no difference between Lord Kṛṣṇa and Lord Viṣṇu, Kṛṣṇa descends to this planet in His Vāsudeva feature for the purpose of paritrāṇāya sādhūnāṁ vināśāya ca duṣkṛtām (BG 4.8)—protecting His devotees and annihilating the miscreants. Demons, or atheists, always disturb the demigods, or devotees, and therefore Kṛṣṇa descends to punish the atheists and demons and fulfill the desire of His devotees. Kṛṣṇa, being the original cause of everything, is the Supreme Person, above even Viṣṇu and Nārāyaṇa, although there is no difference between these different forms of the Lord.
One generally follows different types of religious principles or performs various occupational duties according to the body given to him by the modes of material nature. In this verse, however, real religious principles are explained. Everyone should be unhappy to see others in distress and happy to see others happy. Ātmavat sarva-bhūteṣu: one should feel the happiness and distress of others as his own. It is on this basis that the Buddhist religious principle of nonviolence—ahiṁsaḥ parama-dharmaḥ—is established. We feel pain when someone disturbs us, and therefore we should not inflict pain upon other living beings. Lord Buddha's mission was to stop unnecessary animal killing, and therefore he preached that the greatest religious principle is nonviolence.
When insignificant persons use rough words to cast false, angry accusations against saintly persons, their fruitless words do not disturb the great personalities. Similarly, all the efforts of the demons against the demigods, who were favorably situated under the protection of Kṛṣṇa, were futile.
Śrī Śukadeva Gosvāmī said: O King, Vṛtrāsura, the commander in chief of the demons, advised his lieutenants in the principles of religion, but the cowardly demoniac commanders, intent upon fleeing the battlefield, were so disturbed by fear that they could not accept his words.
"Established in Kṛṣṇa consciousness, one never departs from the truth, and upon gaining this he thinks there is no greater gain. Being situated in such a position, one is never shaken, even in the midst of the greatest difficulty." An unalloyed devotee is never disturbed by any kind of trying circumstance. Indra was surprised to see that Vṛtrāsura, undisturbed, was fixed in devotional service to the Lord, for such a mentality is impossible for a demon. However, by the grace of the Supreme Personality of Godhead, anyone can become an exalted devotee (striyo vaiśyās tathā śūdrās te 'pi yānti parāṁ gatim). An unalloyed devotee is sure to return home, back to Godhead.
Lord Brahmā, Lord Śiva and the other demigods returned to their respective abodes, but Indra did not, for he was disturbed at having killed Vṛtrāsura, who was actually a brāhmaṇa. After killing Vṛtrāsura, Indra went to the Mānasa-sarovara Lake to become free from sinful reactions. When he left the lake, he performed an aśvamedha-yajña and then returned to his own abode.
Śrī Śukadeva Gosvāmī answered: When all the great sages and demigods were disturbed by the extraordinary power of Vṛtrāsura, they had assembled to ask Indra to kill him. Indra, however, being afraid of killing a brāhmaṇa, declined their request.
One who has killed a brāhmaṇa, one who has killed a cow or one who has killed his father, mother or spiritual master can be immediately freed from all sinful reactions simply by chanting the holy name of Lord Nārāyaṇa. Other sinful persons, such as dog-eaters and caṇḍālas, who are less than śūdras, can also be freed in this way. But you are a devotee, and we shall help you by performing the great horse sacrifice. If you please Lord Nārāyaṇa in that way, why should you be afraid? You will be freed even if you kill the entire universe, including the brāhmaṇas, not to speak of killing a disturbing demon like Vṛtrāsura.
My Lord, You may say that there is no law that a father must die in the lifetime of his son and that a son must be born in the lifetime of his father, since everyone lives and dies according to his own fruitive activity. However, if fruitive activity is so strong that birth and death depend upon it, there is no need of a controller, or God. Again, if You say that a controller is needed because the material energy does not have the power to act, one may answer that if the bonds of affection You have created are disturbed by fruitive action, no one will raise children with affection; instead, everyone will cruelly neglect his children. Since You have cut the bonds of affection that compel a parent to raise his child, You appear inexperienced and unintelligent.
"O son of Kuntī, the nonpermanent appearance of happiness and distress, and their disappearance in due course, are like the appearance and disappearance of winter and summer seasons. They arise from sense perception, O scion of Bharata, and one must learn to tolerate them without being disturbed." In the conditioned state of life, the body is used as our dress, and as one needs different dresses during the summer and winter, we conditioned souls are changing bodies according to our desires. However, because the body of the Supreme Lord is full of knowledge, it needs no covering. The idea that Kṛṣṇa's body is like ours—in other words, that His body and soul are different—is a misunderstanding. There are no such differences for Kṛṣṇa, because His body is full of knowledge. Here we receive material bodies because of a lack of knowledge, but because Kṛṣṇa, Vāsudeva, is full of knowledge, there is no difference between His body and His soul. Kṛṣṇa remembers what He said forty million years ago to the sun-god, but an ordinary being cannot remember what he said the day before yesterday. This is the difference between Kṛṣṇa's body and our body. Therefore the Lord is addressed as vijñāna-mātrāya paramānanda-mūrtaye.
Since Citraketu was a devotee of the Lord, he was not at all disturbed by the curse of mother Pārvatī. He knew very well that one suffers or enjoys the results of one's past deeds as ordained by daiva-netra—superior authority, or the agents of the Supreme Personality of Godhead. He knew that he had not committed any offense at the lotus feet of Lord Śiva or the goddess Pārvatī, yet he had been punished, and this means that the punishment had been ordained. Thus the King did not mind it. A devotee is naturally so humble and meek that he accepts any condition of life as a blessing from the Lord. Tat te 'nukampāṁ susamīkṣamāṇaḥ (SB 10.14.8). A devotee always accepts punishment from anyone as the mercy of the Lord.
Durgā—the goddess Pārvatī, the wife of Lord Śiva—is extremely powerful. She can create, maintain and annihilate any number of universes by her sweet will, but she acts under the direction of the Supreme Personality of Godhead, Kṛṣṇa, not independently. Kṛṣṇa is impartial, but because this is the material world of duality, such relative terms as happiness and distress, curses and favors, are created by the will of the Supreme. Those who are not nārāyaṇa-para, pure devotees, must be disturbed by this duality of the material world, whereas devotees who are simply attached to the service of the Lord are not at all disturbed by it. For example, Haridāsa Ṭhākura was beaten with cane in twenty-two bazaars, but he was never disturbed; instead, he smilingly tolerated the beating. Despite the disturbing dualities of the material world, devotees are not disturbed at all. Because they fix their minds on the lotus feet of the Lord and concentrate on the holy name of the Lord, they do not feel the so-called pains and pleasures caused by the dualities of this material world.