In India there is always a kind of spiritual rivalry between the Māyāvāda and Bhāgavata schools, and thus when the news of the Lord reached Prakāśānanda he knew that the Lord was a Vaiṣṇava sannyāsī, and therefore he minimized the value of the Lord before those who brought him the news. He deprecated the activities of the Lord because of His preaching the saṅkīrtana movement, which was in his opinion nothing but religious sentiment. Prakāśānanda was a profound student of the Vedānta, and he advised his followers to give attention to the Vedānta and not to indulge in saṅkīrtana.
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- 1 Srimad-Bhagavatam
- 2 Sri Caitanya-caritamrta
- 3 Other Books by Srila Prabhupada
SB Preface and Introduction
SB Canto 1
Out of profound affection for Lord Kṛṣṇa, the Pāṇḍavas, who were of the Kuru dynasty, accompanied Him a considerable distance to see Him off. They were overwhelmed with the thought of future separation. The Lord, however, persuaded them to return home, and He proceeded towards Dvārakā with His dear companions."
Kuntīdevī never forgot her first child, Karṇa, and after Karṇa's death in the Battle of Kurukṣetra she lamented and admitted before her other sons that Karṇa was her eldest son prior to her marriage with Mahārāja Pāṇḍu. Her prayers for the Lord after the Battle of Kurukṣetra, when Lord Kṛṣṇa was going back home, are excellently explained. Later she went to the forest with Gāndhārī for severe penance. She used to take meals after each thirty days. She finally sat down in profound meditation and later burned to ashes in a forest fire.
SB Canto 2
By gradual development of transcendental knowledge, one can rise to the stage of the transcendental arts of music and dance displayed by the Lord in His rāsa-līlā. But without having the Vedic knowledge one can hardly understand the transcendental nature of the Lord's rāsa dance and music. The pure devotees of the Lord, however, can equally relish the nectar in the form of the profound philosophical discourses and in the form of kissing by the Lord in the rāsa dance, as there is no mundane distinction between the two.
SB Canto 3
The Lord's excellent speech was difficult to comprehend because of its momentous import and its most profound significance. The sages heard it with wide-open ears and pondered it as well. But although hearing, they could not understand what He intended to do."
SB Canto 4
Pṛthu Mahārāja's activities were therefore not ordinary but were all spiritual and transcendental, for his aim was to satisfy the Lord. Just as Arjuna, who was a warrior, had to fight to satisfy Kṛṣṇa, Pṛthu Mahārāja performed his royal duties as king for the satisfaction of Kṛṣṇa. Indeed, whatever he did as emperor of the whole world was perfectly befitting a pure devotee. It is therefore said by a Vaiṣṇava poet, vaiṣṇavera kriyāmudrā vijñe nā bujhāya: no one can understand the activities of a pure devotee. A pure devotee's activities may appear like ordinary activities, but behind them there is profound significance—the satisfaction of the Lord. In order to understand the activities of a Vaiṣṇava, one has to become very expert. Mahārāja Pṛthu did not allow himself to function outside the institution of four varṇas and four āśramas, although as a Vaiṣṇava he was a paramahaṁsa, transcendental to all material activities. He remained at his position as a kṣatriya to rule the world and at the same time remained transcendental to such activities by satisfying the Supreme Personality of Godhead. Concealing himself as a pure devotee, he externally manifested himself as a very powerful and dutiful king. In other words, none of his activities were carried out for his own sense gratification; everything he did was meant for the satisfaction of the senses of the Lord.
It appears from this statement that Mahārāja Pṛthu, although a great devotee constantly engaged in the loving service of the Lord, could defeat all kinds of impersonalists and Māyāvādīs by his profound knowledge of Vedic scriptures. We should learn from Mahārāja Pṛthu that a Vaiṣṇava, or devotee, must not only be fixed in the service of the Lord, but, if required, must be prepared to argue with the impersonalist Māyāvādīs with all logic and philosophy and defeat their contention that the Absolute Truth is impersonal.
SB Canto 6
The professions of a qualified brāhmaṇa are paṭhana, pāṭhana, yajana, yājana, dāna and pratigraha. The words yajana and yājana mean that a brāhmaṇa becomes the priest of the populace for the sake of their elevation. One who accepts the post of spiritual master neutralizes the sinful reactions of the yajamāna, the one on whose behalf he performs yajña. Thus the results of the pious acts previously performed by the priest or spiritual master are diminished. Therefore priesthood is not accepted by learned brāhmaṇas. Nevertheless, the greatly learned brāhmaṇa Viśvarūpa became the priest of the demigods because of his profound respect for them.
Conditioned souls are generally bereft of intelligence because of profound desires for sense gratification. They do not know what benedictions to ask. Therefore nondevotees are advised in the śāstras to worship various demigods to achieve material benefits. For example, if one wants a beautiful wife, he is advised to worship Umā, or goddess Durgā. If one wants to be cured of a disease, he is advised to worship the sun-god. All requests for benedictions from the demigods, however, are due to material lust. The benedictions will be finished at the end of the cosmic manifestation, along with those who bestow them. If one approaches Lord Viṣṇu for benedictions, the Lord will give him a benediction that will help him return home, back to Godhead.
Śrī Caitanya Mahāprabhu wanted to preach the saṅkīrtana movement of love of Kṛṣṇa throughout the entire world, and therefore during His presence He inspired the saṅkīrtana movement. Specifically, He sent Rūpa Gosvāmī and Sanātana Gosvāmī to Vṛndāvana and Nityānanda to Bengal and personally went to South India. In this way He kindly left the task of preaching His cult in the rest of the world to the International Society for Krishna Consciousness. The members of this Society must always remember that if they stick to the regulative principles and preach sincerely according to the instructions of the ācāryas, surely they will have the profound blessings of Lord Caitanya Mahāprabhu, and their preaching work will be successful everywhere throughout the world.
Other Books by Srila Prabhupada
Nectar of Devotion
Rūpa Gosvāmī first met Lord Caitanya at Prayāga (Allahabad, India), and on the Daśāśvamedha bathing ghāṭa of that holy city the Lord instructed him continually for ten days. The Lord particularly instructed Rūpa Gosvāmī on the science of Kṛṣṇa consciousness. These teachings of Lord Caitanya to Śrīla Rūpa Gosvāmī Prabhupāda are narrated in our book Teachings of Lord Caitanya. Later, Śrīla Rūpa Gosvāmī Prabhupāda elaborated the teachings of the Lord with profound knowledge of revealed scriptures and authoritative references from various Vedic literatures.
In the Dvārakā-māhātmya the importance of dancing before the Deity is stated by Lord Kṛṣṇa as follows: "A person who is in a jubilant spirit, who feels profound devotional ecstasy while dancing before Me, and who manifests different features of bodily expression can burn away all the accumulated sinful reactions he has stocked up for many, many thousands of years." In the same book there is a statement by Nārada wherein he asserts, "From the body of any person who claps and dances before the Deity, showing manifestations of ecstasy, all the birds of sinful activities fly away upward." Just as by clapping the hands one can cause many birds to fly away, similarly the birds of all sinful activities which are sitting on the body can be made to fly away simply by dancing and clapping before the Deity of Kṛṣṇa.
Spontaneous attraction to Kṛṣṇa, which is said to be due to the extraordinary mercy of the Lord, can be placed under two headings: one is profound veneration for the greatness of the Lord, and the other is one's being automatically attracted to Kṛṣṇa without any extraneous consideration. In the Nārada-pañcarātra it is said that if on account of profound veneration for the greatness of the Supreme Lord one attains a great affection and steady love for Him, one is certainly assured of attaining the four kinds of Vaiṣṇava liberation—namely achieving the same bodily features as the Lord, achieving the same opulence as the Lord, dwelling on the planet where the Lord is residing, and attaining eternal association with the Lord. The Vaiṣṇava liberation is completely different from the Māyāvāda liberation, which is simply a matter of being merged into the effulgence of the Lord.
When the teeth are distinctly visible in a smile, that is called vihasita. One day when Kṛṣṇa was engaged in stealing butter and yogurt in the house of Jaṭilā, He assured His friends, "My dear friends, I know that this old lady is now sleeping very profoundly, because she is breathing very deeply. Let us silently steal butter and yogurt without making any disturbance." But the old lady, Jaṭilā, was not sleeping; so she could not contain her smiling, and her teeth immediately became distinctly visible. This is an instance of vihasita smiling.
Nectar of Instruction
In the śāstra it is said that of all types of fruitive workers, he who is advanced in knowledge of the higher values of life is favored by the Supreme Lord Hari. Out of many such people who are advanced in knowledge (jñānīs), one who is practically liberated by virtue of his knowledge may take to devotional service. He is superior to the others. However, one who has actually attained prema, pure love of Kṛṣṇa, is superior to him. The gopīs are exalted above all the advanced devotees because they are always totally dependent upon Śrī Kṛṣṇa, the transcendental cowherd boy. Among the gopīs, Śrīmatī Rādhārāṇī is the most dear to Kṛṣṇa. Her kuṇḍa (lake) is as profoundly dear to Lord Kṛṣṇa as this most beloved of the gopīs. Who, then, will not reside at Rādhā-kuṇḍa and, in a spiritual body surcharged with ecstatic devotional feelings (aprākṛtabhāva), render loving service to the divine couple Śrī Śrī Rādhā-Govinda, who perform Their aṣṭakālīya-līlā, Their eternal eightfold daily pastimes. Indeed, those who execute devotional service on the banks of Rādhā-kuṇḍa are the most fortunate people in the universe.
Krsna, The Supreme Personality of Godhead
The gopīs continued: "Dear Kṛṣṇa, we are always busy in our family affairs. We therefore request that You remain within our hearts as the rising sun. That will be Your greatest benediction." The gopīs are always liberated souls because they are fully in Kṛṣṇa consciousness. They only pretended to be entangled in household affairs in Vṛndāvana. Because of their separation from Kṛṣṇa, He might have asked them to return with Him to His capital city, Dvārakā. But the inhabitants of Vṛndāvana, the gopīs, were not interested in the idea of going with Kṛṣṇa to Dvārakā. They wanted to remain busy in Vṛndāvana and thus feel the presence of Kṛṣṇa in every step of their lives. They immediately invited Kṛṣṇa to come back to Vṛndāvana. This transcendental emotional existence of the gopīs is the basic principle of Lord Caitanya's teaching. The Ratha-yātrā festival observed by Lord Caitanya is the emotional process of taking Kṛṣṇa back to Vṛndāvana. Śrīmatī Rādhārāṇī refused to go with Kṛṣṇa to Dvārakā to enjoy His company in the atmosphere of royal opulence, for She wanted to enjoy His company in the original Vṛndāvana atmosphere. Lord Kṛṣṇa, being profoundly attached to the gopīs, never goes away from Vṛndāvana, and the gopīs and other residents of Vṛndāvana remain fully satisfied in Kṛṣṇa consciousness.
Renunciation Through Wisdom
If one offends the Supreme Lord, only His pure devotees can save the offender, but if one offends the pure devotee, then even the Supreme Lord will not save the offender from doom. For this reason alone, pure devotees never feel offended. When Jesus Christ was being crucified, he did not blame anyone for it. Haridāsa Ṭhākura was severely lashed in twenty-two marketplaces by the Muslim Kazi's sentries. Still he prayed to the Lord not to punish his tormentors. Lord Nityānanda was wounded by the two rascals Jagāi and Mādhāi, yet the Lord stood His ground, bleeding profusely. He delivered the two notorious brothers and thus brilliantly exemplified the title patita-pāvana. Such is the profound compassion of the pure devotees. Therefore the reprobates' only means of attaining any piety is through the association of devotees.
The most munificent incarnation of Godhead, Lord Caitanya Mahāprabhu, recently advented in the Age of Kali to propagate this message. By the great fortune of all Bengalis, He appeared in Bengal and blessed the Bengali race. Thus Bengalis can preach His mission and instructions to the entire human race and deliver the people of the planet and themselves. The presentation of this knowledge in a systematic and scientific manner will bring about universal sublime peace. Yet the shocking fact is that thirteen unauthorized cults have mushroomed into prominence and are fast expanding their illegitimate fold with naive disciples. What one fails to comprehend is how the leaders of these cults, who have never accept discipleship and tutelage from any bona fide spiritual master, can suddenly rise to the position of spiritual master themselves. The subject matter that needs to be promulgated among the people is not some cheap, sentimental concoction meant to deceive them; it is in fact a deeply profound and esoteric theology. The words of Lord Caitanya can never be disseminated by unscrupulous self-styled "gurus" who fake spiritual sentiments to impress the ignorant mass of people. All saintly persons beware!
The profound esoteric conclusions Lord Caitanya revealed in a few aphorisms of instruction to Śrī Sanātana Gosvāmī are only partially discussed in all the works of Śrī Aurobindo. In language full of complex syntax and obscure terms, Śrī Aurobindo tries to express the knowledge that is easily available through the practice of vaidhi-bhakti, devotional service rendered according to regulations given by the authorized spiritual master and the scriptures. Because of his high-flown literary style, and for other technical reasons, Śrī Aurobindo's writings are not easily understood by the ordinary reading public, and so his literature is, in a sense, ineffectual.
One who really wants to know Kṛṣṇa must follow the path He prescribes in the Bhagavad-gītā (18.55): bhaktyā mām abhijānāti yāvān yaś cāsmi tattvataḥ. "One can understand Me as I am, as the Supreme Personality of Godhead, only by devotional service." Except for devotional service, there is no way to understand Kṛṣṇa. When Lord Kṛṣṇa appeared in the form of Lord Caitanya Mahāprabhu, He gave the same instruction about attaining Kṛṣṇa through devotional service, so it is certain that Kṛṣṇa can be approached only in this manner. Following in the disciplic line of Lord Caitanya, the six Gosvāmīs of Vṛndāvana have written extensive literature with detailed explanations of Lord Kṛṣṇa. These confidential revelations are yet to be properly broadcast in the world. The Gosvāmīs' esoteric logic and profound analytical philosophy have not yet caught the attention of modern thinkers, and the burden of guilt for this discrepancy must indeed fall on us. The Gauḍīya Maṭha mission was founded to propagate the words of Śrīla Rūpa Gosvāmī and Śrīla Raghunātha dāsa Gosvāmī.
The authorized scriptures have declared that Kṛṣṇa is the original Supreme Lord and the source of all incarnations. In the Bhagavad-gītā (7.7), He says in His own words, mattaḥ parataraṁ nānyat: "O conqueror of wealth, there is no Truth superior to Me." Lord Kṛṣṇa came personally to teach that the highest Absolute Truth is not an impotent material concept. He is the full manifestation of absolute spiritual potencies. Those who cannot grasp this profound truth are fools spinning out endless speculations. That person who, although one, desires to expand and thus becomes many—can such a person be a human being or a formless impersonal entity? When this person decides to expand Himself manyfold, is He doing so in order to destroy Himself? If the Lord were to lose His own identity by expanding Himself into many, that would mean destruction of Himself. Has the Supreme Lord committed such a foolish blunder? Or has the blunder been committed by those who misinterpret the Vedic statements and say that God expanded Himself into many entities and lost His identity? The Supreme Lord can do as He pleases: He can expand Himself as countless incarnations or as multifarious separated energies. And even after expanding Himself in this way, He remains complete and fully Himself, as He is. If this were not so, then how could He be the complete Absolute Whole?
Message of Godhead
Those who do everything for the transcendental service of the Personality of Godhead, Śrī Kṛṣṇa, have no need to perform any sacrifice, penance, or meditation that is unrelated to the service of Godhead. We have already discussed hereinbefore that the mundane qualities of goodness that are the signs of the brahmaṇa are included and coexisting within the qualities of the transcendentalist. In the same manner, the dexterity and sacrifice of the devoted worker, the knowledge of the sannyāsī (renunciant), the stillness and profound love for Godhead of the mystic—all these qualities are included and coexisting within the qualities of the transcendental worker, the karma-yogī. Therefore, in Bhagavad-gītā (6.1), the Personality of Godhead says, "One who performs his duty for duty's sake, without seeking the fruitive results of such work, is the true renunciant and mystic—not he who has discarded all his duties and relieved himself of his responsibilities."
Mukunda-mala-stotra (mantras 1 to 6 only)
A devotee of Godhead is he who glorifies the Personality of Godhead under the dictation of transcendental ecstasy. This ecstasy is a by-product of profound love for the Supreme, which is itself attained by the process of glorification. In this age of quarrel and fighting, the process of chanting and glorification recommended here by King Kulaśekhara is the only way to attain perfection.