In the first verse, Śukadeva Gosvāmī replies to the questions of Mahārāja Parīkṣit, who asked him about one's duties at the point of death. Mahārāja Parīkṣit was glad to receive Śukadeva Gosvāmī, and he was proud of being a descendant of Arjuna, the intimate friend of Kṛṣṇa. Personally, he was very humble and meek, but he expressed his gladness that Lord Kṛṣṇa was very kind to his grandfathers, the sons of Pāṇḍu, especially his own grandfather, Arjuna. And because Lord Kṛṣṇa was always pleased with Mahārāja Parīkṣit's family, at the verge of Mahārāja Parīkṣit's death Śukadeva Gosvāmī was sent to help him in the process of self-realization. Mahārāja Parīkṣit was a devotee of Lord Kṛṣṇa from his childhood, so he had natural affection for Kṛṣṇa. Śukadeva Gosvāmī could understand his devotion. Therefore, he welcomed the questions about the King's duty. Because the King hinted that worship of Lord Kṛṣṇa is the ultimate function of every living entity, Śukadeva Gosvāmī welcomed the suggestion and said, "Because you have raised questions about Kṛṣṇa, your question is most glorious." The translation of the first verse is as follows.
- 1 Srimad-Bhagavatam
- 2 Sri Caitanya-caritamrta
- 3 Other Books by Srila Prabhupada
- 4 Lectures
- 5 Conversations and Morning Walks
- 6 Correspondence
SB Canto 2
If we at all want to end the cause of our conditioned life, we must take to the worship of Lord Śrī Kṛṣṇa, who is present in everyone's heart by His natural affection for all living beings, who are actually the parts and parcels of the Lord (BG 18.61). The baby in the lap of his mother is naturally attached to the mother, and the mother is attached to the child. But when the child grows up and becomes overwhelmed by circumstances, he gradually becomes detached from the mother, although the mother always expects some sort of service from the grown-up child and is equally affectionate toward her child, even though the child is forgetful. Similarly, because we are all part and parcel of the Lord, the Lord is always affectionate to us, and He always tries to get us back home, back to Godhead. But we, the conditioned souls, do not care for Him and run instead after the illusory bodily connections. We must therefore extricate ourselves from all illusory connections of the world and seek reunion with the Lord, trying to render service unto Him because He is the ultimate truth.
The word satīm is very significant. This means "existing" and "chaste." And both imports are perfectly applicable in the case of Mahārāja Parīkṣit. The whole Vedic adventure is to draw one's attention entirely unto the lotus feet of Lord Kṛṣṇa without any diversion, as instructed in the Bhagavad-gītā (15.15). Fortunately Mahārāja Parīkṣit had already been attracted to the Lord from the very beginning of his body, in the womb of his mother. In the womb of his mother he was struck by the brahmāstra atomic bomb released by Aśvatthāmā, but by the grace of the Lord he was saved from being burnt by the fiery weapon, and since then the King continuously concentrated his mind upon Lord Kṛṣṇa, which made him perfectly chaste in devotional service. So by natural sequence he was a chaste devotee of the Lord, and when he further heard from Śrīla Śukadeva Gosvāmī that one should worship the Lord only and no one else, even though full of all desires or desireless, his natural affection for Kṛṣṇa was strengthened. We have already discussed these topics.
Devotion for Lord Kṛṣṇa means negation of all material attachments as detailed above. By the grace of Lord Kṛṣṇa, Mahārāja Parīkṣit was awarded all material amenities and an undisputed kingdom in which to enjoy the undisturbed position of king, but by the grace of the Lord he was able to give up all connections with material attachment. That is the position of a pure devotee. Mahārāja Parīkṣit, due to his natural affection for Lord Kṛṣṇa as a devotee of the Lord, was always executing his royal duties on behalf of the Lord, and as a responsible king of the world he was always careful to see that the influence of Kali would not enter his kingdom.
SB Canto 3
Love of Godhead is dormant in every living entity, and the entire process of devotional service unto the Lord is meant for awakening this dormant, eternal love of Godhead. But there are degrees of such transcendental awakening. Those whose love of God is awakened to the fullest extent go back to the Goloka Vṛndāvana planet in the spiritual sky, whereas persons who have just awakened to love of Godhead by accident or association are transferred to the Vaikuṇṭha planets. Essentially there is no material difference between Goloka and Vaikuṇṭha, but in the Vaikuṇṭhas the Lord is served in unlimited opulence, whereas in Goloka the Lord is served in natural affection.
The Supreme Lord, Puruṣottama, or Śrī Kṛṣṇa, is the maintainer of all, in both the transcendental and material worlds. He is the life and friend of all because there is eternally natural affection and love between the living entities and the Lord. He is the one friend and well-wisher for all, and He is one without a second. The Lord maintains all the living entities everywhere by His six transcendental opulences, for which He is known as bhagavān, or the Supreme Personality of Godhead. Lord Brahmā prayed for His mercy so that he might be able to create the universal affairs as he did before; only by the Lord's causeless mercy could he create both material and spiritual personalities like Marīci and Nārada respectively. Brahmā prayed to the Lord because He is very much dear to the surrendered soul. The surrendered soul knows nothing but the Lord, and therefore the Lord is very affectionate towards him.
SB Canto 4
The mother and sisters of Satī could not follow the others, who did not receive Satī very well. Due to natural affection, they immediately embraced her with tears in their eyes and with loving feelings. This shows that women as a class are very softhearted; their natural affection and love cannot be checked by artificial means. Although the men present were very learned brāhmaṇas and demigods, they were afraid of their superior, Dakṣa, and because they knew that their welcoming Satī would displease him, although in their minds they wanted to receive her, they could not do so. Women are naturally softhearted, but men are sometimes very hardhearted.
SB Canto 7
The highest quality of the Supreme Lord is that He is bhakta-vatsala; in other words, He is always extremely pleased with His devotees. As for the word māyā, when used in reference to the dealings of the Supreme Personality of Godhead and His devotees, this word means "affection." The actions of the Lord to favor His devotees are not disqualifications but signs of His natural affection.
SB Canto 8
The instruction of this narration concerning the churning of the milk ocean is clearly manifested by the Supreme Personality of Godhead. Although He is equal to everyone, because of natural affection He favors His devotees. The Lord says in Bhagavad-gītā (9.29):
- samo 'haṁ sarva-bhūteṣu
- na me dveṣyo 'sti na priyaḥ
- ye bhajanti tu māṁ bhaktyā
- mayi te teṣu cāpy aham
"I envy no one, nor am I partial to anyone. I am equal to all. But whoever renders service unto Me in devotion is a friend, is in Me, and I am also a friend to him." This partiality of the Supreme Personality of Godhead is natural. A person cares for his children not because of partiality but in a reciprocation of love. The children depend on the father's affection, and the father affectionately maintains the children. Similarly, because devotees do not know anything but the lotus feet of the Lord, the Lord is always prepared to give protection to His devotees and fulfill their desires.
SB Cantos 10.14 to 12 (Translations Only)
On the other hand, perhaps you have come here out of your great love for Me, which has taken control of your hearts. This is of course quite commendable on your part, since all living entities possess natural affection for Me.
The Lord, by His inherent nature, reveals Himself before His devotees according to their inherent devotional service. The Vṛndāvana pastimes demonstrated that although generally people worship God with reverence, the Lord is more pleased when a devotee thinks of Him as his pet son, personal friend or most dear fiance and renders service unto Him with such natural affection. The Lord becomes a subordinate object of love in such transcendental relationships. Such pure love of Godhead is unadulterated by any tinge of superfluous nondevotional desires and is not mixed with any sort of fruitive action or empiric philosophical speculation. It is pure and natural love of Godhead, spontaneously aroused in the absolute stage. This devotional service is executed in a favorable atmosphere freed from material affection.
Other Books by Srila Prabhupada
Teachings of Lord Caitanya
In the second stage, which is called dāsya-rati, a person appreciates his position as being everlastingly subordinate to the Supreme Lord, and he understands that he is eternally dependent on the causeless mercy of the Supreme Person. At that same time there is an awakening of natural affection, such as is felt by a son who grows up and begins to appreciate his father's benedictions. At this stage the living entity wants to serve the Supreme Lord instead of serving māyā, illusion.
Nectar of Devotion
In the Padma Purāṇa there is a statement of submission in feeling by devotees praying to the Lord: "My Lord, I know that young girls have natural affection for young boys, and that young boys have natural affection for young girls. I am praying at Your lotus feet that my mind may become attracted unto You in the same spontaneous way." The example is very appropriate. When a young boy or girl sees a member of the opposite sex there is a natural attraction, without the need for any introduction. Without any training there is a natural attraction due to the sex impulse. This is a material example, but the devotee is praying that he may develop a similar spontaneous attachment for the Supreme Lord, free from any desire for profit and without any other cause. This natural attraction for the Lord is the perfectional stage of self-realization.
The gopīs were advised by their superiors to bolt the doors at night, but they were so carefree that they did not carry out this order very rigidly. Sometimes, by thinking of Kṛṣṇa, they became so confident of being out of all danger that they would lie down at night in the courtyards of their houses. This is an instance of dizziness in ecstatic love due to natural affection for Kṛṣṇa.
Krsna, The Supreme Personality of Godhead
All the members of the family, namely Kṛṣṇa's mother, Devakī, His father, Vasudeva, and His chief wife, Rukmiṇī, along with all other friends, relatives and residents of the palace, were very sorry when the citizens returned home without Kṛṣṇa. Because of their natural affection for Kṛṣṇa, they began to call Satrājit ill names, for he was the cause of Kṛṣṇa's disappearance. They went to worship the goddess Candrabhāgā, praying for the return of Kṛṣṇa. The goddess was satisfied by the prayers of the citizens of Dvārakā, and she immediately offered them her benediction. Simultaneously, Kṛṣṇa appeared on the scene, accompanied by His new wife, Jāmbavatī, and all the inhabitants of Dvārakā and relatives of Kṛṣṇa became joyful.
Light of the Bhagavata
All of us living beings are differentiated expansions of the Lord, but our affection for the Lord is submerged within us, artificially covered by the material quality of ignorance. Spiritual culture is meant to revive this natural affection of the living being for the Lord. The ingredients of fire are already present in safety matches, and only mild friction is needed to ignite a fire. Similarly, our natural affection for the Lord has to be revived by a little culture. Specifically, we have to receive the messages of the Lord with a purified heart.
For spiritual realization one has to purify the heart and know things in their true perspective. As soon as one does this, the flow of one's natural affection begins to glide toward the Lord, and with the progress of this flow one becomes more and more self-realized in various relations with the Lord. The Lord is the center of all the affection of all living beings, who are all His parts and parcels. When the flow of natural affection for the Lord is clogged by desires to imitate His Lordship, one is said to be in māyā, or illusion. Māyā has no substantial existence, but as long as its hallucinations go on, their reactions are felt. The Lord, by His causeless mercy, displays the reality of life so that our hallucinations may be completely dissipated.
Flowers, waterfalls, trees, fruits, hills, caves, birds, beasts, and human beings are nothing but combinations of God's energy. Therefore when the Personality of Godhead appeared before them they all became spiritually inclined, and by natural affection they wanted to serve the Almighty in various capacities.
There are different stages of spiritual development in matter. In the material world the spiritual sparks of the Personality of Godhead are covered by the material energy in different proportions, and gradually they become spiritualized in various species of life. The human form of life represents the complete development of the senses for spiritual realization of one's original affection for the Lord. Therefore if despite this opportunity for human life we are unable to revive our natural affection for the Lord, we must know that we are wasting our life for nothing. By the grace of the Lord, however, the spiritual consciousness of every species of life can occupy its proper place, and these species can express their spiritual affection for the Lord in the śānta-rasa, as displayed by the land, water, hills, trees, fruits, and flowers of Vṛndāvana during the presence of Lord Śrī Kṛṣṇa, the Personality of Godhead.
Bhagavad-gita As It Is Lectures
Kṛṣṇa and gopīs. They were cowherds girl. Their father, mother, they were only ordinary village men, keeping cows. That's all. What was their education? They were not Vedantists. But they learned to love Kṛṣṇa. That was their qualification. And Caitanya Mahāprabhu certifies, ramyad upāsanā vraja-vadhu-vargeṇa va kalpita. "Oh, there is no better worship than that which was contemplated by the gopīs." Because they did not know what is Kṛṣṇa but they loved Kṛṣṇa. That's all. They loved Kṛṣṇa, that because Kṛṣṇa was God or Kṛṣṇa was something great? No. Their natural affection was for Kṛṣṇa. They could not stay even for a moment without seeing Kṛṣṇa. That was their qualification. This is Kṛṣṇa consciousness.
So that dormant relationship is there. Nitya-siddha kṛṣṇa-bhakti. You want to serve Kṛṣṇa, but it is now covered. You want to revoke (invoke) your relationship with Kṛṣṇa. Just like a good son, if he is not mad, he is not crazy, natural affection is there for father. Natural affection is there, father. As soon as the father, the parents, call, they go. So similarly, we have got this dormant relationship with Kṛṣṇa. Simply by the spell of illusion we are thinking that "We have no connection with God or Kṛṣṇa. Let us act independently and do all foolish things and be happy." So we are unhappy; so we are frustrated; so we are full of anxieties. This is our position.
Because God is the Supreme Father, He likes that all His sons, we are all His sons, we go back to Him, back to home, back to Godhead. Just like rich father, if his son comes out of home and suffers for want of so many things, the father becomes very sorry that "This rascal boy has gone out of home, he's suffering." So he wishes that "This boy, let him come back home. I have got sufficient means to provide him. Let him be happy." That is God's mission. That is natural affection of God. Not that because some of His sons are gone astray God is, God has become poorer. No. He can produce millions and trillions of sons by His desire. And why He's hankering after one son? That is His affection. That is His kindness.
Just like father and son, there is natural affection. And the son has got natural devotion to the father, for father, for mother. Similarly, we have got our natural devotion. When we are actually in danger, even the scientists, they also pray to God. But when they are not in danger, they defy God. So therefore danger is required in order to teach these rascals that there is God. So that is natural. Jīvera svarūpa haya nitya-kṛṣṇa-dāsa (Cc. Madhya 20.108-109). That is our natural... Artificially we are trying to banish God. "God is dead, there is no God, I am God, this God, that God." This rascaldom we shall give up. Then we shall be given all protection by Kṛṣṇa.
So Kapiladeva will describe the Sāṅkhya philosophy to His mother, and not only mother, but tanvābhijātaḥ. Naturally, if we take birth from my mother, I have got natural affection for my mother, but Devahūti is not ordinary mātā. She is very submissive. Therefore it is said that jāta-snehaḥ. Naturally there is affection, and when Kapiladeva saw that "This woman... Woman is supposed to be less intelligent, but she is very submissive and My mother," in both ways He became compassionate, that "She is eager to know about the truth, and she is so submissive, and after all, I have taken, I have received this body from this woman, My mother. So let Me try to give her the best of the philosophical conclusion." And that is Sāṅkhya philosophy.
In the previous verse we have discussed that yat tat sattva-guṇaṁ svaccham. Svaccham means transparent, clear. Now that svacchatvam is explained, what is the meaning of clarity, clear-uncontaminated. These are the symptoms: svacchatvam avikāritvam, without any change. "Freedom from all distraction." Just like here there are many mothers sitting, and the natural affection for the child and the child's complete dependence on the mother's mercy is visible. There is no need of explanation. That is natural. If the mother is taking care of the child, it is not artificial. And if the child is feeling uncomfort without being on the lap of the mother, that is also natural. This is called avikāritvam, natural affection between the mother and the son. Similarly, we have got our natural affection for Kṛṣṇa.
Just like sex impulse. It doesn't require to, how to awaken sex impulse, natural; similarly, kṛṣṇa-bhakti is our natural inheritance because we are part and parcel of Kṛṣṇa, or sons of Kṛṣṇa. Ahaṁ bīja-pradaḥ pitā (BG 14.4). It is the same example, that as the mother and the child has got natural affection, similarly, with Bhagavān we have got natural affection. Bhagavān has got natural affection for us, and we have got also natural affection for Bhagavān. And the external covering which checks this natural affection, this is called māyā. Just like touch... What is called, magnetic stone? Magnetic stone naturally attracts the iron, and iron is naturally attracted by the magnetic stone. Similarly, kṛṣṇa-bhakti is not something which is unnaturally taught or unnaturally gained, artificial.
He has plainly explained that kāma, sense gratification, means to see woman with lust or to touch woman with lust. That is called kāma, or sense gratification. So this is natural. Materialistic life means wherever there is some beautiful woman or girl, it is natural. It is not... One sense, it is not bad because it is natural. There is a very nice verse written by Rūpa Gosvāmī. He is explaining, yuvatīnāṁ yathā yūni yūnāṁ yathā yuvatau.(?) Yuvatī means young girl, and yūna means young boy. So he is expressing his desire, "My dear Lord, as a young boy has got natural affection for a young girl, or a young girl has got a natural affection for a young boy..." Spontaneously. It is not to be taught or to be educated in the schools and colleges. Spontaneously the attraction is there. "...how my attraction for You will be like that, spontaneous?" It is a very nice example.
Just like tiger also has got affection for the cub, so this Hiraṇyakaśipu was affectionate because Prahlāda Mahārāja was very nice boy, five years old, very good looking. Natural affection. He was youngest. And one day he asked the son, "My dear boy, what you have learned the best thing? Tell me." Just like father asks sometimes. So he described that "One should sacrifice everything for realizing God." Tat sādhu manye 'sura-varya dehinām, asad-grahāt... I forget that śloka now, that Prahlāda Mahārāja said that "That is the best way of life in the human form of life, to utilize this opportunity for realizing God." That was his version. And the father became very angry.
So this man, being attracted with the śūdrāṇī, naturally there was children. So he began to maintain them. This is natural affection. Even cats and dogs, they maintain their children. The birds also, they maintain their kiddies. So although children were born of śūdrāṇī, natural, there was affection. So he required money. But he became sinful; he could not earn money honestly. A sinful man cannot earn money honestly. Just like a thief: because he has adopted the means of earning money by sinful activities, he cannot take to honest work. He can work, but he is accustomed to steal. He knows that "This work is not good." If he is arrested, he will be punished. He has seen that one thief arrested and punished, and he has heard also that if one steals, he will be punished. And he has heard also from the śāstra, either law book or Vedic literature, that "Stealing is not good. It is punishable." But still, he does it. That means a sinful man cannot restrain himself from sinful activity. He has to do it. Kāraṇaṁ guṇa-saṅgo asya sad-asad-janma-yoniṣu (BG 13.22). Unless you give up the particular situation with the modes of nature, it is not possible for him to restrain himself from committing sinful activities.
Nectar of Devotion Lectures
When Kṛṣṇa was fighting with Bhīṣma... You know the story, that Bhīṣma was criticized by Duryodhana: "My dear Grandfather, you are not fighting in full strength with Arjuna because the, on the other side, they are your grandsons, and you have got, you have got very natural affection for them. So I think you are not fighting according to your strength. Otherwise, they would have been finished by this time." So Bhīṣma also could understand that, his criticism. Then he promised immediately that: "Tomorrow I shall finish all these five brothers. Will that be happy for you? So I am keeping five arrows to be used tomorrow for killing these five brothers." So Duryodhana became doubtful. So he request grandfather, "My dear grandfather, may I keep these five arrows with me so that you can take it from me tomorrow and use it?" "All right, you keep it."
Sri Caitanya-caritamrta Lectures
The other day somebody inquired, "What is the meaning of 'Kṛṣṇa'?" "Kṛṣṇa" means all-attractive. Unless God is all-attractive, how He can become God? So Vṛndāvana life means Kṛṣṇa comes, descends Himself to show what is Kṛṣṇa, what is God. So the picture, Vṛndāvana life, that is village life. There are villagers, cultivators, cows, calves—that is Vṛndāvana. It is not a big city like New York, London. It is village, and the central point is Kṛṣṇa. This is Vṛndāvana life. There the gopīs, they are village girls and the cowherd boys, they are also village boys. Nanda Mahārāja is the head of the village, agriculturist. Similarly, the elderly persons and the elderly gopīs, mother Yaśodā and her other friends—all are attracted by Kṛṣṇa. This is Vṛndāvana life. They even did not know what is Kṛṣṇa. They did not know by reading Vedas, Purāṇas, Vedānta, to understand Kṛṣṇa. But their natural affection was for Kṛṣṇa.
The other day I was citing the example, naturally, our natural affection. Father's affection is there, mother's affection is there, child's affection is there. So father, mother never forgets the affection, but child forgets by bad association. Similarly, Kṛṣṇa does not forget us, but we have forgotten. So this process is to revive our natural position to love Kṛṣṇa. Now we are unnatural, in unnatural condition, forgetting Kṛṣṇa. So this Kṛṣṇa consciousness movement means to bring back everyone to his original consciousness, affection, love between the child and the father.
Kṛṣṇa-bhakti, Kṛṣṇa consciousness, is in everyone's heart, dormant. Every living entity. Because every living entity is part and parcel of Kṛṣṇa. Just like a father and son, there is natural affection; it is not artificial. Even there is misunderstanding between father and the son, and if they meet at a time after many years' misunderstanding, immediately the affection of father and son will act, immediately. Similarly, because we are part and parcel of Kṛṣṇa, our affection for Kṛṣṇa and Kṛṣṇa's affection for us is eternal. Kṛṣṇa is more anxious to reclaim us from this miserable condition of life than we are, because we are sons of Kṛṣṇa.
Just to remind us. Not only he has given us Vedas and Purāṇas to remind us that "Your position is different than you are thinking. You are thinking that you are a material product. That is illusion. Ahaṁ brahmāsmi. You are brahma-vastu. You are part and parcel of Brahman..." Therefore there are so many literatures-vedaiś ca sarvair aham eva vedyaḥ (BG 15.15)—just to draw your attention to come to Kṛṣṇa. Just to draw your attention, that "You are My part and parcel. You are My eternal son. Why you are rotting in this miserable condition of life, janma-mṛtyu-jarā-vyādhi (BG 13.9)?" Sarva-dharmān parityajya mām ekaṁ śaraṇaṁ vraja (BG 18.66). Therefore Kṛṣṇa's advice is give up all nonsense engagement; simply surrender to Kṛṣṇa. Ānukūlyena kṛṣṇānu-śīlanam (CC Madhya 19.167). Just try to understand Kṛṣṇa favorably, not like Kaṁsa or so-called scholars, but with natural affection for Kṛṣṇa. Then you'll be happy. That is our program.
We are preaching all over this Kṛṣṇa consciousness movement just to awaken their natural affection for Kṛṣṇa. And the Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam says,
- sa vai puṁsāṁ paro dharmo
- yato bhaktir adhokṣaje
- ahaituky apratihatā
- yayātmā samprasīdati
- (SB 1.2.6)
We have to develop our natural affection. Natural affection. Just like a father loves the child, child loves the father. That is natural. At least, father loves the child without any thinking of renunciation. No. That is natural. Similarly, when we shall develop, awaken... Not develop; it is already there. Simply to awaken.
Conversations and Morning Walks
1974 Conversations and Morning Walks
Prabhupāda: So he has got three wives—one Bengali wife, one (indistinct) wife, and his original wife being Jain. He had three, four wives. And each wife's establishment, ten thousand rupees per month. So he is earning money and he is spending it. Earning money by black market, this way, that way, and his whole day's business is that go to some wife's house, remain there for some hours, then next wife, remain there for some hours, and he thinks, "I am a king." Still he is living. He is of my age, old man. And each wife has got dozens of children. They're not his.
Devotee (2): He cannot keep them satisfied.
Prabhupāda: How it is possible? He's an old man and the wives are young. But they have got dozens of children, and he is trying to give each child five lakhs of rupees. That is to keep the wife. Everyone is trying that. Natural affection, beget children as many as you like, and then bring money and give them. That is (indistinct). This is that heart disease.
1976 Conversations and Morning Walks
Bhagavān: We brought the Jagannātha Deity here from Paris for Ratha-yātrā, and He stayed here for eight days and then went back. And when He went back all the Gurukula children, they were all crying and running after the truck.
Prabhupāda: Ācchā (laughs). So... It is natural affection.
It is very nice that Hal Pappa is coming to our temple. Please hand over the enclosed letter which I write to him out of my natural affection for him. I think if he joins with you you will feet more encouraged in the service of the Lord.
Actually Lord Caitanya Mahaprabhu, or Krishna, doesn't need our service. He is completely self sufficient. What service we can do for him? But if we are sincerely trying to render some service, it is to our benefit, and He becomes pleased with us also. Just like the father, when he receives some service from the son. What service he requires from the such very young boy? Yet, still because it is done out of natural affection, the father is so much appreciative. So that is our position. We should never think that oh, my service is so much valuable to Krishna; I am performing such nice service. No. But we must take our service seriously because it will be to our benefit and Krishna will be pleased. That's all.