"My dear Uddhava, neither philosophical speculation nor meditational yoga nor penances can give Me such pleasure as devotional service practiced by the living entities. I am dear only to My devotees, and I can be achieved only by devotional service. Even an extremely lowborn person will become free from all contamination if he takes to My devotional service." Devotional service is the only path by which one can achieve the Supreme Person.
Free from contamination (CC and Other Books)
- 1 Sri Caitanya-caritamrta
- 2 Other Books by Srila Prabhupada
Three mantras of the Muṇḍaka Upaniṣad (2.2.9–11) give information regarding the bodily effulgence of the Supreme Personality of Godhead. They state:
- hiraṇmaye pare kośe virajaṁ brahma niṣkalam
- tac chubhraṁ jyotiṣāṁ jyotis tad yad ātma-vido viduḥ
- na tatra sūryo bhāti na candra-tārakaṁ
- nemā vidyuto bhānti kuto ’yam agniḥ
- tam eva bhāntam anubhāti sarvaṁ
- tasya bhāsā sarvam idaṁ vibhāti
- brahmaivedam amṛtaṁ purastād brahma
- paścād brahma dakṣiṇataś cottareṇa
- adhaś cordhvaṁ ca prasṛtaṁ brahmai-
- vedaṁ viśvam idaṁ variṣṭham
"In the spiritual realm, beyond the material covering, is the unlimited Brahman effulgence, which is free from material contamination. That effulgent white light is understood by transcendentalists to be the light of all lights. In that realm there is no need of sunshine, moonshine, fire or electricity for illumination. Indeed, whatever illumination appears in the material world is only a reflection of that supreme illumination. That Brahman is in front and in back, in the north, south, east and west, and also overhead and below. In other words, that supreme Brahman effulgence spreads throughout both the material and spiritual skies."
This text is from Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam (1.11.38). Those who have taken shelter of the lotus feet of the Personality of Godhead do not identify with the material world, even while living in it. Pure devotees may deal with the three modes of material nature, but because of their transcendental intelligence in Kṛṣṇa consciousness, they are not influenced by the material qualities. The spell of material activities does not attract such devotees. Therefore, the Supreme Lord and His devotees acting under Him are always free from material contamination.
For those grossly engaged in identifying the body as the self, pious activity, or karma-yoga, is recommended. For those who identify the mind with the self, philosophical speculation, or jñāna-yoga, is recommended. But devotees standing on the spiritual platform have no need of such material conceptions of adulterated devotion. Adulterated devotional service does not directly aim for love of the Supreme Personality of Godhead. Therefore service performed strictly in conformity with the revealed scriptures is better than such viddha-bhakti because it is free from all kinds of material contamination. It is executed in Kṛṣṇa consciousness, solely to please the Supreme Personality of Godhead.
"My dear Lord, Your abode is viśuddha-sattva, always undisturbed by the material qualities, and the activities there are in transcendental loving service unto Your feet. The goodness, austerity and penance of the devotees enhance such activities, which are always free from the contamination of passion and ignorance. Material qualities cannot touch You under any circumstances."
Śaṅkara says that he does not attempt to argue that portion of the devotees' understanding, but he must protest the idea that Saṅkarṣaṇa is produced from Vāsudeva, Pradyumna is produced from Saṅkarṣaṇa, and Aniruddha is produced from Pradyumna, for if Saṅkarṣaṇa is understood to represent the living entities created from the body of Vāsudeva, the living entities would have to be noneternal. The living entities are supposed to be freed from material contamination by engaging in prolonged temple worship of the Supreme Personality of Godhead, reading Vedic literature and performing yoga and pious activities to attain the Supreme Lord. But if the living entities had been created from material nature at a certain point, they would be noneternal and would have no chance to be liberated and associate with the Supreme Personality of Godhead. When a cause is nullified, its results are nullified. In the second chapter of the Vedānta-sūtra's second khaṇḍa, Ācārya Vedavyāsa has also refuted the conception that the living beings were ever born (nātmā śruter nityatvāc ca tābhyaḥ). Because there is no creation for the living entities, they must be eternal.
The symptoms of the puruṣa are described in the Laghu-bhāgavatāmṛta. While describing the incarnations of the Supreme Personality of Godhead, the author has quoted from the Viṣṇu Purāṇa (6.8.59), where it is said, "Let me offer my respectful obeisances unto Puruṣottama, Lord Kṛṣṇa, who is always free from the contamination of the six material dualities; whose plenary expansion, Mahā-Viṣṇu, glances over matter to create the cosmic manifestation; who expands Himself in various transcendental forms, all of which are one and the same; who is the master of all living entities; who is always free and liberated from the contamination of material energy; and who, when He appears in this material world, seems one of us, although He has an eternally spiritual, blissful, transcendental form." In summarizing this statement, Rūpa Gosvāmī has concluded that the plenary expansion of the Supreme Personality of Godhead who acts in cooperation with the material energy is called the puruṣa.
"The Supreme Personality of Godhead, Hari, is always uncontaminated by the modes of material nature, for He is beyond the material manifestation. He is the source of the knowledge of all the demigods, headed by Lord Brahmā, and He is the witness of everything. Therefore one who worships the Supreme Lord Viṣṇu also attains freedom from the contamination of material nature." (SB 10.88.5) One can attain freedom from the contamination of material nature by worshiping Viṣṇu, and therefore He is called Sattvatanu, as described above.
"When will there be eruptions on my body as soon as I chant the name of Lord Caitanya, and when will there be incessant torrents of tears as soon as I chant the holy names Hare Kṛṣṇa? When will Lord Nityānanda be merciful toward me and free me from all desires for material enjoyment? When will my mind be completely freed from all contamination of desires for material pleasure? Only at that time will it be possible for me to understand Vṛndāvana. Only if I become attached to the instructions given by the Six Gosvāmīs, headed by Rūpa Gosvāmī and Raghunātha dāsa Gosvāmī, will it be possible for me to understand the conjugal love of Rādhā and Kṛṣṇa." By attachment to the devotional service of Lord Caitanya Mahāprabhu, one immediately comes to the ecstatic position. When he develops his love for Nityānanda Prabhu he is freed from all attachment to the material world, and at that time he becomes eligible to understand the Lord's pastimes in Vṛndāvana. In that condition, when one develops his love for the Six Gosvāmīs, he can understand the conjugal love between Rādhā and Kṛṣṇa. These are the different stages of a pure devotee's promotion to conjugal love in the service of Rādhā and Kṛṣṇa in an intimate relationship with Śrī Caitanya Mahāprabhu.
In the Age of Kali there are many faults, for people are subjected to many miserable conditions, yet in this age there is one great benediction—simply by chanting the Hare Kṛṣṇa mantra one can be freed from all material contamination and thus be elevated to the spiritual world. The Nārada Pañcarātra also praises the Hare Kṛṣṇa mahā-mantra as follows:
- trayo vedāḥ ṣaḍ-aṅgāni chandāṁsi vividhāḥ surāḥ
- sarvam aṣṭākṣarāntaḥ-sthaṁ yac cānyad api vāṅ-mayam
- sarva-vedānta-sārārthaḥ saṁsārārṇava-tāraṇaḥ
“The essence of all Vedic knowledge—comprehending the three kinds of Vedic activity (karma-kāṇḍa, jñāna-kāṇḍa and upāsanā-kāṇḍa), the chandas, or Vedic hymns, and the processes for satisfying the demigods—is included in the eight syllables Hare Kṛṣṇa, Hare Kṛṣṇa. This is the reality of all Vedānta.
On the basis of all the Upaniṣads, Śrīla Jīva Gosvāmī says that oṁkāra is the Supreme Absolute Truth and is accepted as such by all the ācāryas and authorities. Oṁkāra is beginningless, changeless, supreme and free from deterioration and external contamination. Oṁkāra is the origin, middle and end of everything, and any living entity who thus understands oṁkāra attains the perfection of spiritual identity in oṁkāra. Oṁkāra, being situated in everyone's heart, is īśvara, the Supreme Personality of Godhead, as confirmed in the Bhagavad-gītā (18.61): īśvaraḥ sarva-bhūtānāṁ hṛd-deśe ’rjuna tiṣṭhati. Oṁkāra is as good as Viṣṇu because oṁkāra is as all-pervasive as Viṣṇu. One who knows oṁkāra and Lord Viṣṇu to be identical no longer has to lament or hanker.
"In His original form the Supreme Personality of Godhead is full with transcendental opulences, which are free from the contamination of the material world. It is to be understood that in all Vedic literature the Supreme Personality of Godhead is the ultimate goal."
Narottama dāsa Ṭhākura has sung, śrī-kṛṣṇa-caitanya prabhu dayā kara more. He prays for Lord Caitanya's mercy because He is the mercy incarnation, having appeared especially to reclaim the fallen souls. The more fallen one is, the greater one's claim to the favor of Lord Śrī Caitanya Mahāprabhu. One must only be very sincere and serious. Despite being contaminated by all the bad qualities of this Kali-yuga, if one surrenders unto the lotus feet of Śrī Caitanya Mahāprabhu, the Lord will surely and certainly deliver him. The best example is Jagāi and Mādhāi. In this Age of Kali practically everyone is like Jagāi and Mādhāi, but the saṅkīrtana movement inaugurated by Lord Caitanya Mahāprabhu is still flowing like a great river, inundating the entire world, and thus the International Society for Krishna Consciousness is successfully claiming all fallen souls to free them from contamination.
Śrīla Bhaktisiddhānta Sarasvatī Ṭhākura has explained ku-viṣaya garta as follows: "Because of the activities of the senses, we become subjected to many sense gratificatory processes and are thus entangled by the laws of material nature. This entanglement is called viṣaya. When the sense gratificatory processes are executed by pious activity, they are called su-viṣaya. The word su means "good," and viṣaya means "sense objects." When the sense gratificatory activities are performed under sinful conditions, they are called ku-viṣaya, bad sense enjoyment. In either case, either ku-viṣaya or su-viṣaya, these are material activities. As such, they are compared to stool. In other words, such things are to be avoided. To become free from su-viṣaya and ku-viṣaya, one must engage himself in the transcendental loving service of Kṛṣṇa, the Supreme Personality of Godhead. The activities of devotional service are free from the contamination of material qualities. Therefore, to be free from the reactions of su-viṣaya and ku-viṣaya, one must take to Kṛṣṇa consciousness. In that way, one will save himself from contamination."
A spiritual master from the sannyāsa order has very little opportunity to perform arcana, Deity worship, but when one accepts a spiritual master from the transcendental sannyāsīs, the principle of Deity worship is not at all neglected. To implement this conclusion, Śrī Caitanya Mahāprabhu gave us His opinion in the verse kibā vipra kibā nyāsī, etc. This indicates that the Lord understood the weakness of society in its maintaining that only a gṛhastha-brāhmaṇa should be a spiritual master. Śrī Caitanya Mahāprabhu indicated that it does not matter whether the spiritual master is a gṛhastha (householder), a sannyāsī or even a śūdra. A spiritual master simply must be conversant in the essence of the śāstra; he must understand the Supreme Personality of Godhead. Only then can one become a spiritual master. Dīkṣā actually means initiating a disciple with transcendental knowledge by which he becomes freed from all material contamination.
Tat tvam asi is accepted as the primary vibration by one who does not accept praṇava, the transcendental sound incarnation of the holy name of the Lord, as the chief principle in the Vedic literature. By word jugglery, Śaṅkarācārya tried to create an illusory presentation of the Supreme Personality of Godhead in His relationship with the living entities and the cosmic manifestation. Tat tvam asi is a warning to the living entity not to mistake the body for the self. Therefore tat tvam asi is especially meant for the conditioned soul. The chanting of oṁkāra or the Hare Kṛṣṇa mantra is meant for the liberated soul. Śrīla Rūpa Gosvāmī has said, ayi mukta-kulair upāsyamānam (Nāmāṣṭaka 1). Thus the holy name of the Lord is chanted by the liberated souls. Similarly, Parīkṣit Mahārāja says, nivṛtta-tarṣair upagīyamānāt (SB 10.1.4). The holy name of the Lord can be chanted by those who have fully satisfied their material desires or who are fully situated on the transcendental platform and devoid of material desire. The name of the Lord can be chanted by one who is completely freed from material contamination (anyābhilāṣitā-śūnyaṁ jñāna-karmādy-anāvṛtam (Bhakti-rasāmṛta-sindhu 1.1.11)). Śaṅkarācārya has indirectly minimized the value of the principal Vedic mantra (oṁkāra) by accepting a subordinate vibration (tat tvam asi) as the most important Vedic mantra.
"The most important factor in this Age of Kali, which is an ocean of faults, is that one can be free from all contamination and become eligible to enter the kingdom of God simply by chanting the Hare Kṛṣṇa mantra. The self-realization that was achieved in the Satya millennium by meditation, in the Tretā millennium by the performance of different sacrifices, and in the Dvāpara millennium by worship of Lord Kṛṣṇa can be achieved in the Age of Kali simply by chanting the holy names, Hare Kṛṣṇa."
The cult of Śrī Caitanya Mahāprabhu is explained here very nicely. One who surrenders to Him and is ready to follow Him with heart and soul does not need to change his location. Nor is it necessary for one to change his status. One may remain a householder, a medical practitioner, an engineer or whatever. It doesn’t matter. One only has to follow the instruction of Śrī Caitanya Mahāprabhu, chant the Hare Kṛṣṇa mahā-mantra and instruct relatives and friends in the teachings of the Bhagavad-gītā and Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam. One has to learn humility and meekness at home, following the instructions of Śrī Caitanya Mahāprabhu, and in that way one's life will be spiritually successful. One should not try to be an artificially advanced devotee, thinking "I am a first-class devotee, so it is best not to accept any disciples." Such thinking should be avoided. One has to become purified at home by chanting the Hare Kṛṣṇa mahā-mantra and preaching the principles enunciated by Śrī Caitanya Mahāprabhu. Thus one can become a spiritual master and be freed from the contamination of material life.
In his Anubhāṣya commentary, Śrīla Bhaktisiddhānta Sarasvatī Ṭhākura says that this stage—devotional service mixed with speculative knowledge—is also external and not within the jurisdiction of pure devotional service as practiced in Vaikuṇṭhaloka. As soon as there is some conception of materialistic thought—be it positive or negative—the service is not spiritual. It may be free from material contamination, but because there is mental speculation the devotional service is not pure and freed from the contamination of material life. A living entity who wants to be completely pure must be above this material conception. The negation of material existence does not necessarily mean spiritual existence. After material existence is negated, spiritual existence—namely sac-cid-ānanda—still may not be manifested.
"When the gopīs were overwhelmed with dissatisfaction due to Lord Kṛṣṇa's absence from the rāsa-līlā, Kṛṣṇa returned to them and told them, 'My dear gopīs, our meeting is certainly free of all material contamination. I must admit that in many lives it would be impossible for Me to repay My debt to you because you have cut off the bondage of family life just to search for Me. Consequently I am unable to repay you. Therefore please be satisfied with your honest activities in this regard.'"
"After thinking of Rādhā and Kṛṣṇa and Their pastimes for a long time and after getting completely free from material contamination, one is transferred to the spiritual world. There the devotee attains an opportunity to serve Rādhā and Kṛṣṇa as one of the gopīs."
This is the platform of bhakti (hṛṣīkeṇa hṛṣīkeśa-sevanaṁ bhaktir ucyate (CC Madhya 19.170)). When the spiritual body, mind and senses are completely purified, one can render service to the Supreme Personality of Godhead and His consort. In Vaikuṇṭha the consort is Lakṣmī, and in Goloka Vṛndāvana the consort is Śrīmatī Rādhārāṇī. In the spiritual body, free from material contamination, one can serve Rādhā-Kṛṣṇa and Lakṣmī-Nārāyaṇa. When one is thus spiritually situated, he no longer thinks of his own personal sense gratification. This spiritual body is called siddha-deha, the body by which one can render transcendental service unto Rādhā and Kṛṣṇa. The process is that of engaging the transcendental senses in loving devotional service. This verse specifically mentions, sakhī-bhāve pāya rādhā-kṛṣṇera caraṇa: only transcendentally elevated persons in the mood of the gopīs can engage in the service of the lotus feet of Rādhā and Kṛṣṇa.
It is said, tīrthī-kurvanti tīrthāni. A tīrtha, or holy place, is a place where great saintly personalities visit or reside. Although the holy places were already places of pilgrimage, they were all purified by Śrī Caitanya Mahāprabhu's visit. Many people go to these holy places and leave their sinful activities there, thus becoming free from contamination. When these contaminations pile up, they are counteracted by the visit of great personalities like Śrī Caitanya Mahāprabhu and His strict followers. Many kinds of patients come to a hospital, which may be infected by many types of diseases. Actually the hospital is always infected, but the expert physician keeps the hospital sterilized by his expert presence and management. Similarly, places of pilgrimage are always infected by the sins left by the sinners who go there, but when a personality like Śrī Caitanya Mahāprabhu visits such a place, all contaminations vanish.
The Absolute Truth is realized in three phases—impersonal Brahman, Paramātmā and the Supreme Personality of Godhead, Bhagavān. All of these are one and the same truth, but Brahman, Paramātmā and Bhagavān constitute three different features. Whoever understands Brahman is called a brāhmaṇa, and when a brāhmaṇa engages in the Lord's devotional service, he is called a Vaiṣṇava. Unless one comes to understand the Supreme Personality of Godhead, his realization of impersonal Brahman is imperfect. A brāhmaṇa can chant the Hare Kṛṣṇa mantra on the platform of nāmābhāsa, but not on the platform of pure vibration. When a brāhmaṇa engages in the Lord's service, fully understanding his eternal relationship, his devotional service is called abhidheya. When one attains that stage, he is called a bhāgavata, or Vaiṣṇava. This indicates that he is free from contamination and material attachment.
A brāhmaṇa may be a very learned scholar, but this does not mean that he is free from material contamination. A brāhmaṇa's contamination, however, is in the mode of goodness. In the material world, the three modes are goodness, passion and ignorance, and all of these are simply different gradations of contamination. Unless a brāhmaṇa transcends such contamination and approaches the platform of unalloyed devotional service, he cannot be accepted as a Vaiṣṇava. An impersonalist may be aware of the impersonal Brahman feature of the Absolute Truth, but his activities are on the impersonal platform. Sometimes he imagines a form of the Lord (saguṇa-upāsanā), but such an attempt is never successful in helping one attain complete realization.
The mahā-bhāgavata knows that Kṛṣṇa is in everyone's heart. Kṛṣṇa is dictating, and the living entity is following His dictations. Kṛṣṇa is within the heart of the tiger, elephant and boar. Therefore Kṛṣṇa tells them, "Here is a mahā-bhāgavata. Please do not disturb him." Why, then, should the animals be envious of such a great personality? Those who are neophytes or even a little progressed in devotional service should not try to imitate the mahā-bhāgavata. Rather, they should only follow in his footsteps. The word anukara means "imitating," and anusara means "trying to follow in the footsteps." We should not try to imitate the activities of a mahā-bhāgavata or Śrī Caitanya Mahāprabhu. Our best efforts should be exerted in trying to follow them according to our ability. The mahā-bhāgavata's heart is completely freed from material contamination, and he can become very dear even to fierce animals like tigers and elephants. Indeed, the mahā-bhāgavata treats them as his very intimate friends. On this platform there is no question of envy. When the Lord was passing through the forest, He was in ecstasy, thinking the forest to be Vṛndāvana. He was simply searching for Kṛṣṇa.
"A person acting in the service of Kṛṣṇa with his body, mind and words is a liberated person even in the material world, although he may be engaged in many so-called material activities."
To keep oneself free from material contamination and attain the Lord's favor, one must be sincerely eager to render service to the Lord. This is the only qualification necessary. As soon as one is favored by the mercy of the spiritual master and the Lord, one is immediately given all the power necessary to write books and propagate the Kṛṣṇa consciousness movement without being hampered by material considerations.
"When a tenderness of the heart is manifested, there is rati, or attachment. But those who are interested in being liberated from material bondage will not manifest this tenderness." This attachment is not like material attachment. When one is free of material contamination, attachment for Kṛṣṇa's service awakens and is called rati. In the material world there is attachment for material enjoyment, but this is not rati. Transcendental rati can be awakened only on the spiritual platform.
In the Bṛhad-āraṇyaka Upaniṣad (4.3.16) it is stated, asaṅgo hy ayaṁ puruṣaḥ: the living entity is always free from the contamination of the material world. One who is not materially infected and who does not forget Kṛṣṇa as his master is called nitya-mukta. In other words, one who is eternally liberated from material contamination is called nitya-mukta. From time immemorial the nitya-mukta living entity has always been a devotee of Kṛṣṇa, and his only attempt has been to serve Kṛṣṇa. Thus he never forgets his eternal servitorship to Kṛṣṇa. Any living entity who forgets his eternal relationship with Kṛṣṇa is under the sway of the material condition. Bereft of the Lord's transcendental loving service, he is subjected to the reactions of fruitive activity. When he is elevated to the higher planetary systems due to worldly pious activities, he considers himself well situated, but when he is subjected to punishment, he thinks himself improperly situated. Thus material nature awards and punishes the living entity. When the living entity is materially opulent, material nature is rewarding him. When he is materially embarrassed, material nature is punishing him.
"When one is encouraged in devotional service by the association of devotees, one becomes free from all unwanted contamination by following the regulative principles and chanting and hearing."
"When one is freed from all unwanted contamination, he advances with firm faith. When firm faith in devotional service awakens, a taste for hearing and chanting also awakens."
As a result of this association, he becomes more and more interested in discharging devotional service and hearing and chanting. The more one is interested in hearing and chanting, the more he is purified of material contamination. Liberation from material contamination is called anartha-nivṛtti, indicating a diminishing of all unwanted things. This is the test of development in devotional service. If one actually develops the devotional attitude, he must be freed from the material contamination of illicit sex, intoxication, gambling and meat-eating. These are the preliminary symptoms. When one is freed from all material contamination, his firm faith in devotional service awakens. When firm faith develops, a taste arises, and by that taste one becomes attached to devotional service. When this attachment intensifies, the seed of love of Kṛṣṇa fructifies. This position is called prīti or rati (affection) or bhāva (emotion). When rati intensifies, it is called love of Godhead. This love of Godhead is actually life's highest perfection and the reservoir of all pleasure.
We want to create pure devotees so that other people will benefit by their association. In this way the number of pure devotees increases. Professional preachers cannot create pure devotees. There are many professional preachers of Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam who read this work to earn their livelihood. However, they cannot convert materialistic people to devotional service. Only a pure devotee can convert others to pure devotional service. It is therefore important for all the preachers in our Kṛṣṇa consciousness movement to first become pure devotees and follow the regulative principles, refraining from illicit sex, meat-eating, gambling and intoxication. They should regularly chant the Hare Kṛṣṇa mahā-mantra on their beads, follow the devotional process, rise early in the morning, attend maṅgala-ārati and recite Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam and the Bhagavad-gītā regularly. In this way, one can become purified and free from all material contamination.
Everyone has a chance to become purified by associating with this Kṛṣṇa consciousness movement and strictly following the rules and regulations. By chanting the Hare Kṛṣṇa mahā-mantra, one can become free from all contamination, especially contamination brought about by the killing of animals. Lord Kṛṣṇa Himself requests:
- sarva-dharmān parityajya mām ekaṁ śaraṇaṁ vraja
- ahaṁ tvāṁ sarva-pāpebhyo mokṣayiṣyāmi mā śucaḥ
"Abandon all varieties of religion and just surrender unto Me. I shall deliver you from all sinful reactions. Do not fear." (BG 18.66)
When a pure Vaiṣṇava speaks on Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam and another pure Vaiṣṇava hears Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam from such a realized soul, both of them live in the transcendental world, where the contamination of the modes of material nature cannot touch them. Freed from the contamination of the modes of nature, the speaker and hearer are fixed in a transcendental mentality, knowing that their position on the transcendental platform is to serve the Supreme Lord. The class of men known as prākṛta-sahajiyās, who consider the transcendental pastimes of Lord Kṛṣṇa something like the behavior between a man and a woman in the material field, artificially think that hearing the rāsa-līlā will help them by diminishing the lusty desires of their diseased hearts. But because they do not follow the regulative principles but instead violate even ordinary morals, their contemplation of rāsa-līlā is a futile attempt, which sometimes results in their imitating the dealings of the gopīs and Lord Kṛṣṇa.
Other Books by Srila Prabhupada
Teachings of Lord Caitanya
In Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam (11.2.37) it is stated that man's fear is due to his material conception of life and to his forgetting his eternal relationship with the Supreme Lord. Consequently he finds himself having only perverted memories. This occurs due to the spell of material energy. One who has sufficient intelligence will engage in full devotional service and regard the Supreme Lord as his spiritual master and worshipable God. The conclusion is that no one can attain a revolution in consciousness without engaging in devotional service to the Lord. When one is actually free from material contamination, he can fully engage himself in Kṛṣṇa consciousness.
Next Lord Caitanya quoted another śloka from Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam (3.15.43), which deals with the Kumāras. When the Kumāras entered the temple of the Lord, they were attracted by the aroma of the flowers and tulasī leaves offered to the lotus feet of the Lord with pulp of sandalwood. Simply by the Kumāras' smelling the aroma of these offerings, their minds turned to the service of the Supreme Lord, although the Kumāras were already liberated souls. It is stated elsewhere in Bhāgavatam (1.7.10) that even if one is a liberated soul and is actually free from material contamination, he can still become attracted to rendering the Supreme Lord devotional service that is causeless and unhampered by any material propensity. This is because God is so attractive. And because He is so attractive, He is called Kṛṣṇa.
According to the Viṣṇu Purāṇa (6.7.61–3), the living entities are considered kṣetra-jña energy. Although the living entity is part and parcel of the Supreme Lord and is fully cognizant, he still becomes entrapped by material contamination and thus suffers all the miseries of material life. Such living entities live in different ways according to the degree of their entanglement in material nature. The original energy of the Supreme Lord is spiritual and nondifferent from the Supreme Absolute Personality of Godhead. The living entity is called the marginal energy of the Supreme Lord, and the material energy is called the inferior energy. On account of his inert, material inebriety, the living entity in the marginal position becomes entangled with the inferior energy, matter. At that time he forgets his spiritual significance, identifies himself with the material energy and thereby becomes subjected to the threefold miseries. Only when he is free from such material contamination can he be situated in his proper position.
Although it was early in the morning, the Bhaṭṭācārya understood that the Lord had come and was knocking on his door. He at once rose from his bed and began to say, "Kṛṣṇa! Kṛṣṇa!" This was heard by Lord Caitanya. When the Bhaṭṭācārya opened the door, he saw the Lord standing there, and he was very much pleased to see Him early in the morning. Receiving Him with all care, the Bhaṭṭācārya offered Him a nice seat, and both of them sat there. Lord Caitanya then offered him the prasādam He had received in the temple of Jagannātha, and the Bhaṭṭācārya was very glad to receive this prasādam from the hands of Lord Caitanya Himself. Indeed, without taking his bath and without performing his daily duties or even cleansing his teeth, he immediately began to eat the prasādam. In this way he was freed from all material contamination and attachment.
The missionary goal of a devotee is to convert simply one person into a pure devotee. Then the devotee's admission to the spiritual kingdom is guaranteed. The Lord was so much pleased with the Bhaṭṭācārya that He began to bless him repeatedly: "Dear Bhaṭṭācārya, now you are a completely pure devotee of Lord Kṛṣṇa, and Kṛṣṇa is now very much pleased with you. From today you are free from the contamination of this material body and the entanglement under the spell of the material energy. You are now fit to go back to Godhead, back home."
By adopting this emotional mood of following in the footsteps of the gopīs, one attains his siddha-deha. This word indicates the pure spiritual body, which is beyond the senses, mind and intelligence. The siddha-deha is the purified soul who is just suitable to serve the Supreme Lord. No one can serve the Supreme Lord as His associate without being situated in his perfectly pure spiritual identity. That identity is completely free from all material contamination. As stated in the Bhagavad-gītā, a materially contaminated person transmigrates to another material body by material consciousness. At the time of death he thinks materially and is therefore transferred to another material body. Similarly, one who at the time of death is situated in his pure spiritual identity thinks of the spiritual loving service rendered to the Supreme Lord and is transferred to the spiritual kingdom, to enter into the association of Kṛṣṇa. In other words, the qualification for being transferred to the spiritual kingdom at the time of death is to think, in one's spiritual identity, of Kṛṣṇa and His associates.
Nectar of Devotion
In Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam it is also confirmed by Prahlāda Mahārāja that merely by personal efforts or by the instructions of higher authorities one cannot attain to the stage of devotional service. One must become blessed by the dust of the lotus feet of a pure devotee, who is completely freed from the contamination of material desires.
The same thing is still more emphatically confirmed in Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam, Eleventh Canto, Fifth Chapter, verse 41, in which Karabhājana Muni addresses Mahārāja Nimi as follows: "My dear King, if someone gives up his occupational duties as they are prescribed for the different varṇas and āśramas, but takes complete shelter, surrendering himself unto the lotus feet of the Lord, such a person is no more a debtor, nor has he any obligation to perform the different kinds of activities we render to the great sages, ancestors, living entities and family and society members. Nor has he any need to bother executing the five kinds of yajñās (sacrifices) for becoming free from sinful contamination. Simply by discharging devotional service, he is freed from all kinds of obligations." The purport is that as soon as a man takes his birth, he is immediately indebted to so many sources.
In the Padma Purāṇa there is a statement about remembering the activities of the Lord: "A person who is always engaged in meditation on the sweet pastimes and wonderful activities of the Lord surely becomes freed from all material contamination."
In this connection, there is a statement by Nārada Muni to Yudhiṣṭhira in the Seventh Canto, First Chapter, verse 30, of Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam. There Nārada says, "My dear King, there are many devotees who first become attracted to the Personality of Godhead for purposes of sense gratification, from being envious of Him, out of fear of Him or from desiring to associate affectionately with Him. Ultimately these attractions become freed from all material contamination, and gradually the worshiper develops spiritual love and achieves that ultimate goal of life desired by the pure devotee."
We must always remember, however, that such eagerness to follow in the footsteps of the denizens of Vraja (Vṛndāvana) is not possible unless one is freed from material contamination. In following the regulative principles of devotional service, there is a stage called anartha-nivṛtti, which means the disappearance of all material contamination. Sometimes someone is found imitating such devotional love, but factually he is not freed from anarthas, or unwanted habits. It has been seen that a so-called devotee proclaims himself a follower of Nanda, Yaśodā or the gopīs, while at the same time his abominable attraction for mundane sex life is visible. Such a manifestation of divine love is mere imitation and has no value. When one is actually spontaneously attracted to the loving principles of the gopīs, there will be found no trace of any mundane contamination in his character.
Kṛṣṇa's transcendental body is eternal, full of knowledge and bliss. Sat means ever-existing for all time and in all places; in other words, all-pervading in time and space. Cit means full of knowledge. Kṛṣṇa has nothing to learn from anyone. He is independently full of all knowledge. Ānanda means the reservoir of all pleasure. The impersonalists are seeking to merge into the Brahman effulgence of eternity and knowledge, but the major portion of the absolute pleasure which is in Kṛṣṇa is avoided by them. One can enjoy the transcendental blissfulness of merging into the Brahman effulgence after being freed from the contamination of material illusion, false identification, attachment, detachment and material absorption. These are the preliminary qualifications of a person who can realize Brahman. It is stated in Bhagavad-gītā that one has to become full of joyfulness; this is not exactly joyfulness, but a sense of freedom from all anxieties.
In the Tenth Canto, Sixtieth Chapter, verse 39, of Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam, there is an account of Rukmiṇīdevī's writing a letter to Kṛṣṇa requesting Him to kidnap her before her marriage to another person. At that time the specific attachment of Rukmiṇī for Kṛṣṇa was expressed by Rukmiṇī as follows: "My dear Lord Kṛṣṇa, Your transcendental glories are chanted by great sages who are free from material contamination, and in exchange for such glorification You are so kind that You freely distribute Yourself to such devotees. As one can elevate oneself simply by Your grace, so also by Your direction alone one may be lost to all benedictions, under the influence of eternal time. Therefore I have selected Your Lordship as my husband, brushing aside personalities like Brahmā and Indra—not to mention others." Rukmiṇī enhanced her love for Kṛṣṇa simply by thinking of Him. This is an instance of thoughtfulness in ecstatic love.
A similar statement is to be found in the Third Canto of Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam, Fifteenth Chapter, verse 48. The four sages headed by Sanaka Muni addressed the Lord as follows: "Dear Supreme Personality of Godhead, Your reputation is very attractive and free from all material contamination. Therefore You are worthy of being glorified and are actually the reservoir of all places of pilgrimage. Auspicious persons who are fortunate enough to be engaged in glorifying Your attributes and who actually know what Your transcendental position is do not even care to accept liberation offered by You. Because they are so transcendentally enriched, they do not care to accept even the post of Indra, the heavenly King. They know that the post of the King of heaven is also fearful, whereas for those who are engaged in glorifying Your transcendental qualities there is only joyfulness and freedom from all danger. As such, why should persons with this knowledge be attracted by a post in the heavenly kingdom?"
Devotees such as Mahārāja Parīkṣit and Uddhava are all situated in ecstatic attraction on the basis of affection, and in that state of affection a feeling of friendship becomes manifest. When Uddhava was freed from all material contamination, he saw the Lord, and his throat became choked up, and he could not speak. By the movements of his eyebrows alone he was embracing the Lord. Such ecstatic love has been divided by great scholars into two groups—addition and subtraction. If a devotee is not directly associated with the Lord, it is called subtraction. In this state of love, one is constantly fixed with his mind at the lotus feet of the Lord. A devotee in this state becomes very eager to learn of the transcendental qualities of the Lord. The most important business of such a devotee is attaining the association of the Lord.
Nectar of Instruction
Devotional service means transcendental activities. On the transcendental platform there is no contamination by the three modes of material nature. This is called viśuddha-sattva, the platform of pure goodness, or goodness free from contamination by the qualities of passion and ignorance. In this Kṛṣṇa consciousness movement we require everyone to rise early in the morning, by four A.M.,and attend maṅgala-ārati, or morning worship, then read Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam, perform kīrtana, and so forth. Thus we hold continuous activities in devotional service twenty-four hours daily. This is called sato vṛtti, or following in the footsteps of the previous ācāryas who expertly filled every moment of time with Kṛṣṇa conscious activities.
If one is sincere, he is initiated, and this stage is called bhajana-kriyā. One then actually engages in the service of the Lord by regularly chanting the Hare Kṛṣṇa mahā-mantra, sixteen rounds daily, and refraining from illicit sex, intoxicants, meat-eating and gambling. By bhajana-kriyā one attains freedom from the contamination of materialistic life. He no longer goes to a restaurant or hotel to taste so-called palatable dishes made with meat and onions, nor does he care to smoke or drink tea or coffee. He not only refrains from illicit sex, but avoids sex life entirely. Nor is he interested in wasting his time in speculating or gambling. In this way it is to be understood that one is becoming cleansed of unwanted things (anartha-nivṛtti). The word anartha refers to unwanted things. Anarthas are vanquished when one becomes attached to the Kṛṣṇa consciousness movement.
Krsna, The Supreme Personality of Godhead
Meditation means concentration upon the lotus feet of the Lord. Lotus feet indicate the Supreme Personality of Godhead. But those who are impersonalists do not recognize the lotus feet of the Lord, and therefore their object of meditation is something impersonal. The demigods express their mature verdict that persons who are interested in meditating on something void or impersonal cannot cross over the ocean of nescience. Such persons are simply imagining that they have become liberated. "O lotus-eyed Lord! Their intelligence is contaminated because they fail to meditate upon the lotus feet of Your Lordship. As a result of this neglectful activity, the impersonalists fall down again into the material way of conditioned life, although they may temporarily rise to the point of impersonal realization." Impersonalists undergo severe austerities and penances to merge themselves into the Brahman effulgence, or impersonal Brahman existence. But their minds are not free from material contamination; they have simply tried to negate the material ways of thinking. That does not mean that they have become liberated. Thus they fall down.
This transcendental labor is fruitful, but other attempts to understand the Absolute Truth are never successful. Therefore an intelligent man does not try to understand the Absolute Truth by speculative or mystic power. Rather, he engages in devotional service and depends on the Supreme Personality of Godhead. He knows that whatever may happen to the body is due to his past fruitive activities. If one lives such a simple life in devotional service, then automatically he inherits the transcendental abode of the Lord. Actually, every living entity is part and parcel of the Supreme Lord and a son of the Godhead. Each has the natural right to inherit and share the transcendental pleasures of the Lord, but due to the contact of matter, conditioned living entities have been practically disinherited. If one adopts the simple method of engaging himself in devotional service, automatically he becomes eligible to be freed from material contamination and elevated to the transcendental position of associating with the Supreme Lord.
Mahārāja Parīkṣit heard Śukadeva Gosvāmī explain the situation of the gopīs who assembled with Kṛṣṇa in the rāsa dance. When he heard that some of the gopīs, simply by concentrating on Kṛṣṇa as their paramour, became freed from all contamination of material birth and death, he said, "The gopīs did not know that Kṛṣṇa is the Supreme Personality of Godhead. They accepted Him as a beautiful boy and considered Him to be their paramour. So how was it possible for them to get freed from the material condition just by thinking of a paramour?" One should consider here that Kṛṣṇa and ordinary living beings are qualitatively one. The ordinary living beings, being part and parcel of Kṛṣṇa, are also Brahman, but Kṛṣṇa is the Supreme—Para-brahman.
Śukadeva Gosvāmī then reminded Parīkṣit Mahārāja about the salvation of Śiśupāla. Śiśupāla was always envious of Kṛṣṇa, and because of his envy Kṛṣṇa killed him. But since Kṛṣṇa is the Supreme Personality of Godhead, Śiśupāla gained salvation simply by seeing Him. If an envious person can get salvation simply by concentrating his mind on Kṛṣṇa, then what to speak of the gopīs, who are so dear to Kṛṣṇa and always think of Him in love? There must be some difference between the enemies and the friends. If Kṛṣṇa's enemies could get freed from material contamination and become one with the Supreme, then certainly His dear friends like the gopīs can achieve such freedom and much more.
Śukadeva Gosvāmī continued to inform Mahārāja Parīkṣit that Kṛṣṇa is not an ordinary person but rather the Supreme Personality of Godhead—imperishable, immeasurable and without any material qualities but full of all spiritual qualities. He appears in this material world out of His causeless mercy, and whenever He appears, He appears as He is, without change. This is confirmed in the Bhagavad-gītā, where the Lord says that He appears by His spiritual potency. He does not appear under the control of the material potency. The material potency is under His control. In the Bhagavad-gītā it is stated that the material potency is working under His superintendence. It is also confirmed in the Brahma-saṁhitā that the material potency, known as Durgā, is acting just like a shadow which moves with the movement of the substance. The conclusion is that if one somehow or other becomes attached to Kṛṣṇa or attracted to Him, either because of His qualities of beauty, opulence, fame, strength, renunciation or knowledge, through affection or friendship, or even through lust, anger or fear, then one's salvation and freedom from material contamination are assured.
Śukadeva Gosvāmī further concludes that the great sages and devotees, who are washed clean of all conditioned life, can move freely even within the contamination of material nature by keeping Kṛṣṇa, the Supreme Personality of Godhead, within their hearts. In this way they also do not become subject to the laws of pleasure and pain in the modes of material nature. How, then, is it possible for Kṛṣṇa, who appears by His own internal potency, to be subject to the laws of karma?
Śukadeva Gosvāmī uses two specific words, bhaktim and parām. Bhaktiṁ parām means execution of devotional service above the neophyte stage. Those who are simply attracted to temple worship but do not know the philosophy of bhakti are in the neophyte stage. That sort of bhakti is not the perfectional stage. The perfectional stage of bhakti, or devotional service, is completely free from material contamination. The most dangerous aspect of contamination is lust, or sex life. Bhaktiṁ parām devotional service is so potent that the more one advances in this line, the more he loses his attraction for material life. One who is actually deriving benefit from hearing the rāsa-līlā dance surely achieves the transcendental position. He surely loses all traces of lust in his heart.
The demigod Vidyādhara continued to speak to Śrī Kṛṣṇa. "Because I was very proud of the exquisite beauty of my body," he said, "I derided the ugly features of the great sage Aṅgirā. He cursed me for my sin, and I became a snake. Now I consider that this curse by the sage was not at all a curse; it was a great benediction for me. Had he not cursed me, I would not have assumed the body of a serpent and would not have been kicked by Your lotus feet and thus freed from all material contamination."
"In My opinion," Śrīmatī Rādhārāṇī continued, "no one should hear about Kṛṣṇa, because as soon as a drop of the nectar of His transcendental activities is poured into the ear, one immediately rises above the duality of attraction and rejection. Being completely freed from the contamination of material attachment, one gives up attachment for this material world, including family, home, wife, children and everything else materially dear to every person. Being deprived of all material acquisitions, one makes his relatives and himself unhappy. Then he wanders in search of Kṛṣṇa, either as a human being or in other species of life, even as a bird, and voluntarily accepts the profession of a mendicant. It is very difficult to actually understand Kṛṣṇa—His name, His qualities, His form, His pastimes, His paraphernalia and His entourage."
“My dear Lord, I therefore pray that I may simply be engaged in rendering transcendental loving service unto Your lotus feet. This is the ambition of pure devotees, who are freed from all material contamination. You are the Supreme Personality of Godhead, and You can offer me anything I want, including liberation. But who is such a fool that after pleasing You he would ask from You something which might cause entanglement in this material world? I do not think any sane man would ask such a benediction from You. I therefore surrender unto You because You are the Supreme Personality of Godhead, You are the Supersoul living in everyone's heart, and You are the impersonal Brahman effulgence. Moreover, You are also this material world, because this material world is only the manifestation of Your external energy. Therefore, from any angle of vision, You are the supreme shelter for everyone.
"For many, many births I have been suffering from the threefold miseries of this material existence, and I am now tired of it. I have been impelled only by my senses, and I was never satisfied. I therefore take shelter of Your lotus feet, which are the source of all peaceful life and which can eradicate all lamentation caused by material contamination. My dear Lord, You are the Supersoul of everyone, and You can understand everything. Now I am free from all contamination of material desire. I do not wish to enjoy this material world, nor do I wish to take advantage of merging into Your spiritual effulgence, nor do I wish to meditate upon Your localized aspect of Paramātmā, for I know that simply by taking shelter of You, I shall become completely peaceful and undisturbed."
On hearing this statement by King Mucukunda, Lord Kṛṣṇa replied, "My dear King, I am very much pleased with your statement. You have been the king of all the lands on this planet, but I am surprised to find that your mind is now freed from all material contamination. You are now fit to execute devotional service. I am most pleased to see that although I offered you the opportunity to ask from Me any kind of benediction, you did not take advantage of asking for material benefits. I can understand that your mind is now fixed in Me, and it is not disturbed by any material quality."
"My dear King," the Lord said, "because you are a kṣatriya, you have committed the offense of slaughtering animals, both in hunting and in political engagements. To become purified, just engage yourself in the practice of bhakti-yoga and always keep your mind absorbed in Me. Very soon you will be freed from all reactions to such sordid activities." In this statement it appears that although kṣatriyas are allowed to kill animals in hunting, they are not freed from the resultant contamination of sinful reactions. Therefore, whether one is a kṣatriya, vaiśya or brāhmaṇa, one is recommended to take sannyāsa at the end of life, to engage himself completely in the service of the Lord and thus become freed from all sinful reactions of his past life.
Similarly, the living entity accepts or produces different bodies and different bodily relationships in a particular circumstance, but as soon as he gives up the present body and accepts another, he has nothing to do with the former body. Similarly, the living entity has nothing to do with the next body he accepts. He is always free from the contact of this bodily contamination. "Therefore," continued Balarāma, "the appearance and disappearance of the body have nothing to do with the living entity, just as the waxing and waning of the moon have nothing to do with the moon." When the moon waxes we falsely think that the moon is developing, and when it wanes we think the moon is decreasing. Factually, the moon, as it is, is always the same; it has nothing to do with such visible activities of waxing and waning.
Receiving Kṛṣṇa, the Pāṇḍavas were enlivened, just as if awakened from unconsciousness or loss of life. When a man is lying unconscious, his senses and the different parts of his body are inactive, but when he regains his consciousness the senses immediately become active. Similarly, the Pāṇḍavas received Kṛṣṇa as if they had just regained their consciousness, and so they were very much enlivened. Lord Kṛṣṇa embraced every one of them, and by the touch of the Supreme Personality of Godhead the Pāṇḍavas immediately became freed from all reactions of material contamination and were therefore smiling in spiritual bliss. By seeing the face of Lord Kṛṣṇa, everyone was transcendentally satisfied. Lord Kṛṣṇa, although the Supreme Personality of Godhead, was playing the part of an ordinary human being, and thus He immediately touched the feet of Yudhiṣṭhira and Bhīma because they were His two older cousins.
"My dear Lord, You have advised me that I can still select another from the princely order and divorce myself from Your companionship. But, my dear Lord, it is perfectly well known to me that You are the reservoir of all good qualities. Great saintly persons like Nārada Muni are always engaged simply in glorifying Your transcendental characteristics. Someone who simply takes shelter of such a saintly person immediately becomes freed from all material contamination. And when he comes in direct contact with Your service, the goddess of fortune agrees to bestow all her blessings. Under the circumstances, what woman who has once heard of Your glories from authoritative sources and has somehow or other relished the nectarean fragrance of Your lotus feet would be foolish enough to agree to marry someone of this material world, who is always afraid of death, disease, old age and rebirth? I have therefore accepted Your lotus feet not without consideration but after mature and deliberate decision."
After hearing Rukmiṇī’s statement and her clarification of each and every word He had used to arouse her anger of love toward Him, Kṛṣṇa addressed Rukmiṇī as follows: “My dear chaste wife, My dear princess, I expected such an explanation from you, and only for this purpose did I speak all those joking words, so that you might be cheated of the real point of view. Now My purpose has been served. The wonderful explanation you have given of My every word is completely factual and approved by Me. O most beautiful Rukmiṇī, you are My dearmost wife. I am greatly pleased to understand how much love you have for Me. Please take it for granted that no matter what ambition and desire you might have and no matter what you might expect from Me, I am always at your service. And it is a fact also that My devotees, My dearmost friends and servitors, are always free from material contamination, even though they are not inclined to ask Me for such liberation. My devotees never desire anything from Me except to be engaged in My service. And yet because they are completely dependent upon Me, even if they are found to ask something from Me, that is not material. Such ambitions and desires, instead of becoming the cause of material bondage, become the source of liberation from this material world.
Thus natural phenomena come into existence, and as soon as phenomena appear, fruitive activities are visible. As the result of these fruitive activities, a living entity takes his form. He acquires a particular nature packed up in a subtle body and gross body formed by the life air, the ego, the ten sense organs, the mind and the five gross elements. These then create the type of body which later becomes the root cause of various other bodies, which are acquired one after another by means of the transmigration of the soul. All these phenomenal manifestations are the combined actions of Your material energy. You, however, are the cause of this external energy, and thus You remain unaffected by the action and reaction of the different elements. And because You are transcendental to such compulsions of material energy, You are the supreme tranquillity. You are the last word in freedom from material contamination. I therefore take shelter at Your lotus feet, giving up all other shelter.
We realize now that the reactions of both pious and impious activities are temporary and that we can never be happy in this conditioned life. The material body is awarded to us by the modes of material nature, and on account of this we are full of anxieties. The material condition of life simply involves bearing the burden of this dead body. As a result of fruitive activities, we have thus been subjected to being beasts of burden for these bodies, and, being forced by conditioned life, we have given up the pleasing life of Kṛṣṇa consciousness. Now we realize that we are the most foolish persons. We have been entangled in the network of material reactions due to our ignorance. We have therefore come to the shelter of Your lotus feet, which can immediately eradicate all the results of fruitive action and thus free us from the contamination of material pains and pleasures.
The eternal form of Lord Kṛṣṇa is the everlasting residence of the goddess of fortune. As soon as King Yudhiṣṭhira embraced Him, he became free from all the contamination of material existence. He immediately felt transcendental bliss and merged in an ocean of happiness. There were tears in his eyes, and his body shook in ecstasy. He completely forgot that he was living in this material world. After this, Bhīmasena, the second brother of the Pāṇḍavas, smiled and embraced Lord Kṛṣṇa, thinking of Him as his own maternal cousin, and thus he also merged in great ecstasy. Bhīmasena was so filled with ecstasy that for the time being he forgot his material existence. Then Lord Śrī Kṛṣṇa Himself embraced the other three Pāṇḍavas, Arjuna, Nakula and Sahadeva.
"My dear Lord, those who are constantly in Kṛṣṇa consciousness and who think of Your lotus feet or Your shoes are certainly freed from all contamination of material life. Such persons, who engage in Your service in full Kṛṣṇa consciousness, who meditate upon You only and offer prayers unto You, are purified souls. Being constantly engaged in Kṛṣṇa conscious service, they are freed from the cycle of repeated birth and death. Or, even if they do not want to be freed from this material existence but desire to enjoy material opulences, their desires are also fulfilled by their Kṛṣṇa conscious activities. In fact, those who are pure devotees of Your lotus feet have no desire for material opulences."
The brāhmaṇas could understand the purpose of the Lord, and thus they suggested that He atone in a manner beneficial to them. They said, "Our dear Lord, there is a very powerful demon of the name Balvala. He is the son of Ilvala, and he visits this sacred place of sacrifice every fortnight on the full moon and moonless days and creates a great disturbance to the discharge of our duties in the sacrifice. O descendant of the Daśārha family, we all request You to kill this demon. We think that if You kindly kill him, that will be Your atonement on our behalf. The demon occasionally comes here and profusely throws upon us contaminated, impure things like pus, blood, stool, urine and wine; he pollutes this sacred place by showering such filth upon us. After killing Balvala, You may continue touring all the sacred places of pilgrimage for twelve months, and in that way You will be completely freed from all contamination. That is our prescription."
"Great sages, please understand that the transcendental pastimes of Lord Kṛṣṇa are all eternal. They are not ordinary narrations of historical incidents. Such narrations are identical with the Supreme Personality of Godhead Himself. Anyone, therefore, who hears such narrations of the Lord's pastimes is immediately freed from the contamination of material existence. And those who are pure devotees enjoy these narrations as nectar entering into their ears." Such narrations were spoken by Śukadeva Gosvāmī, the exalted son of Vyāsadeva, and anyone who hears them, as well as anyone who repeats them for the hearing of others, becomes Kṛṣṇa conscious. And only the Kṛṣṇa conscious persons are eligible to go back home, back to Godhead.
When, therefore, the conditioned soul comes in contact with a pure devotee and takes to devotional service, beginning with the process of hearing Your transcendental pastimes, glorifying Your transcendental activities, worshiping Your eternal form in the temple, offering prayers to You and engaging in discussion to understand Your transcendental position, he gradually becomes freed from the contamination of material existence. And as his heart becomes cleansed of all material dust, You gradually become visible there. Although You are constantly with the conditioned soul, only when he becomes purified by devotional service do You become revealed to him. Others, who are bewildered by fruitive activities, either by Vedic injunction or by customary dealings, and who do not take to devotional service, are captivated by the external happiness of the bodily concept of life. You are not revealed to such persons. Rather, You remain far, far away from them. But for one who engages in Your devotional service and purifies his heart by constant chanting of Your holy name, You are very easily understood as his eternal, constant companion.
Demigods and persons advanced in spiritual knowledge always hear and chant about Your transcendental pastimes because this process has the specific potency of nullifying the accumulated results of sinful life. Intelligent persons factually dip into the ocean of Your nectarean activities and very patiently hear about them. Thus they are immediately freed from the contamination of the material qualities; they do not have to undergo severe penances and austerities for advancement in spiritual life. This chanting and hearing of Your transcendental pastimes is the easiest process for self-realization. Simply by submissive aural reception of the transcendental message, one's heart is cleansed of all dirty things. Thus Kṛṣṇa consciousness becomes fixed in the heart of a devotee.” The great authority Bhīṣmadeva has also given the opinion that this process of chanting and hearing about the Supreme Personality of Godhead is the highest religious process. And the Taittirīya Upaniṣad says that worship of the Supreme Personality of Godhead is the essence of all Vedic ritualistic performances.
"Only by devotional service can one understand Me." Śrīla Śrīdhara Svāmī has composed a nice verse in this regard, which states, "My dear Lord, let others engage in false argument and dry speculation, theorizing upon great philosophical theses. Let them loiter in the darkness of ignorance and illusion, falsely enjoying as if very learned scholars, although they are without knowledge of the Supreme Personality of Godhead. As far as I am concerned, I wish to be liberated simply by chanting the holy names of the all-beautiful Supreme Personality of Godhead—Mādhava, Vāmana, Trinayana, Saṅkarṣaṇa, Śrīpati and Govinda. Simply by chanting Your transcendental names, O Lord Madhupati, let me become free from the contamination of this material existence."
A devotee is never afraid of death, or changing his body; his consciousness is transformed into Kṛṣṇa consciousness, and even if he does not go back to Godhead, even if he transmigrates to another material body, he has nothing to fear. A vivid example is Bharata Mahārāja. Although in his next life he became a deer, in the life after that he became completely free from all material contamination and was elevated to the kingdom of God. The Bhagavad-gītā affirms, therefore, that a devotee is never vanquished. A devotee's path to the spiritual kingdom, back home, back to Godhead, is guaranteed. Even though a devotee slips in one birth, the continuation of his Kṛṣṇa consciousness elevates him further and further, until he goes back to Godhead. Not only does a pure devotee purify his own personal existence, but whoever becomes his disciple also becomes purified and is ultimately able to enter the kingdom of God without difficulty.
From the Vedānta-sūtra we understand that Brahman is by nature joyful. He cannot, therefore, change Himself into a body which is subject to so many painful conditions. Actually, the living entities are infinitesimal parts and parcels of Brahman, and as such they are prone to be covered by the illusory energy. As explained before, the particles of Brahman are like sparks blissfully dancing within a fire, but there is a chance of their falling from the fire to smoke, although smoke is another condition of fire. This material world is just like smoke, and the spiritual world is like a blazing fire. The innumerable living entities are prone to fall down to the material world from the spiritual world when influenced by the illusory energy, and it is also possible for the living entity to be liberated again when by cultivation of real knowledge he becomes completely freed from the contamination of the material world.
Although the water of the Ganges and the water of the Yamunā mix with the water of the sea, the river Ganges and river Yamunā still continue to exist independently. The merging of different living entities into Brahman at the time of dissolution involves the dissolution of different types of bodies, but the living entities, along with their different tastes, remain individually submerged in Brahman until another manifestation of the material world. As the salty taste of seawater and the sweet taste of Ganges water are different and this difference continuously exists, so the difference between the Supreme Lord and the living entities continuously exists, even though at the time of dissolution they appear to merge. The conclusion is, therefore, that even when the living entities become free from all contamination of material conditions and merge into the spiritual kingdom, their individual tastes in relationship with the Supreme Lord continue to exist.
The conclusion is that any process of self-realization or God realization other than bhakti-yoga, or devotional service, is extremely difficult. Taking shelter of devotional service to the Lord in full Kṛṣṇa consciousness is therefore the only way to become free from the contamination of material, conditioned life, especially in this age. Those who are not in Kṛṣṇa consciousness are simply wasting their time, and they have no tangible proof of spiritual life.
In the Caitanya-caritāmṛta it is stated, ekale īśvara kṛṣṇa: (CC Adi 5.142) "Kṛṣṇa is the only Supreme God." Āra saba bhṛtya: "All others are His servants." Yāre yaiche nācāya, se taiche kare nṛtya: "The Supreme Lord, as He desires, is engaging all the living entities in different activities, and thus they exhibit their different talents and tendencies." This Veda-stuti is thus the original instruction regarding the relationship existing between the living entity and the Supreme Personality of Godhead. The highest platform of realization for the living entity is the attainment of devotional life. One cannot be engaged in devotional life, or Kṛṣṇa consciousness, unless one is fully free from material contamination.
There are two kinds of prakṛtis, or potencies, namely the internal potency and the external potency, and Kṛṣṇa is the overlord of both. He is sarva-dṛk, or the overseer of all the actions of the internal and external potencies, and He is also described as upadraṣṭā, the supreme advisor. Because He is the supreme advisor, He is above all the demigods, who merely follow the directions of the supreme advisor. As such, if one directly follows the instructions of the Supreme Lord, as inculcated in the Bhagavad-gītā and Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam, then one gradually becomes nirguṇa, or above the interactions of the material qualities. To be nirguṇa means to be bereft of material opulences because, as we have explained, material opulence means an increase of the actions and reactions of the three material qualities. By worshiping the Supreme Personality of Godhead, instead of being puffed up with material opulences one becomes enriched with spiritual advancement of knowledge in Kṛṣṇa consciousness. To become nirguṇa means to achieve eternal peace, fearlessness, religiousness, knowledge and renunciation. All these are symptoms of becoming free from the contamination of the material qualities.
When a person becomes famous as a devotee of the Lord, his reputation is never to be extinguished. Lord Caitanya, when discoursing with Rāmānanda Rāya, questioned, "What is the greatest fame?" Rāmānanda Rāya replied that to be known as a pure devotee of Lord Kṛṣṇa is the perfect fame. The conclusion, therefore, is that viṣṇu-dharma, or the religion of devotional service unto the Supreme Personality of Godhead, is meant for persons who are thoughtful. By proper utilization of thoughtfulness, one comes to the stage of thinking of the Supreme Personality of Godhead. By thinking of the Supreme Personality of Godhead, one becomes free from the contamination of the faulty association of the material world, and thus one becomes peaceful. The world is in a disturbed condition because of a scarcity of such peaceful devotees in human society. Unless one is a devotee, one cannot be equal to all living entities.
Renunciation Through Wisdom
Persons who act in this way become progressively detached from matter and attached to Lord Kṛṣṇa's devotional service. Thus they are able to purify the mirror of their hearts, extinguish the forest fire of material existence, and become situated in their original, spiritual position. They exist at a level of realization far above the impersonal realization of the Absolute, for they are free from the contamination of vainly trying to merge with the Supreme and usurping His Absolute position. They never fall from this stage of consciousness. Fully absorbed in their own transcendental identity, they are the complete masters of their senses. They are the perfect persons to rule this universe, if they so desire, and they alone bring good fortune to everyone. The conditioned souls, however, are unable to benefit the world in any way. The purified, rare souls continuously perform karma-yoga and are always in a liberated state.
Narada-bhakti-sutra (sutras 1 to 8 only)
Devotional service to the Supreme Personality of Godhead is explained in the Bhagavad-gītā, where the Lord says that a self-realized person is always in the transcendental state known as brahma-bhūta (SB 4.30.20), which is characterized by joyfulness. When one is self-realized he becomes joyful. In other words, he is free from the material contamination of lamentation and hankering. As long as we are in material existence, we lament for the losses in our life and hanker for that which we do not have. A self-realized person is joyful because he is free from material lamentation and hankering.
|Compiled by||Visnu Murti +, Mayapur + and Labangalatika +|
|Completed sections||ALL +|
|Date of first entry||August 8, 0011 JL +|
|Date of last entry||August 15, 0011 JL +|
|Total quotes||86 +|
|Total quotes by section||BG: 0 +, SB: 0 +, CC: 34 +, OB: 52 +, Lec: 0 +, Conv: 0 + and Let: 0 +|