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“na yasya säkñäd bhava-padmajädibhé
rüpaà dhiyä vastutayopavarëitam
maunena bhaktyopaçamena püjitaù
prasédatäm eña sa sätvatäà patio”
Srimad Bhagavatam 7.15.77
na—not; yasya—of whom (Lord Çré Kåñëa); säkñät—directly; bhava—by Lord Çiva; padma-ja-ädibhiù—Lord Brahmä and others; rüpam—the form; dhiyä—by meditation; vastutayä—factually; upavarëitam—could be explained; maunena—by silence; bhaktyä—by devotional service; upaçamena—by finishing all material activities; püjitaù—one who is so worshiped; prasédatäm—may be pleased with us; eñaù—this; saù—the same Personality of Godhead; sätvatäm—of the devotees; patiù—who is the maintainer, master and guide.
Present here now is the same Supreme Personality of Godhead whose true form cannot be understood even by such great personalities as Lord Brahmä and Lord Çiva. He is realized by devotees because of their unflinching surrender. May that same Personality of Godhead, who is the maintainer of His devotees and who is worshiped by silence, by devotional service and by cessation of material activities, be pleased with us.
Lord Kåñëa is not properly understood even by such exalted personalities as Lord Çiva and Lord Brahmä, what to speak of ordinary men, but by His causeless mercy He bestows the benediction of devotion upon His devotees, who can thus understand Kåñëa as He is. Bhaktyä mäm abhijänäti yävän yaç cäsmi tattvataù [Bg. 18.55]. No one within this universe can understand Kåñëa in truth, but if one engages in devotional service one can understand Him perfectly well. This is also confirmed by the Lord in the Seventh Chapter of Bhagavad-gétä (7.1):
“mayy äsakta-manäù pärtha
yogaà yuïjan mad-äçrayaù
asaàçayaà samagraà mäà
yathä jïäsyasi tac chåëu”
“Now, hear, O son of Påthä [Arjuna], how by practicing yoga in full consciousness of Me, with mind attached to Me, you can know Me in full, free from doubt.” Lord Kåñëa Himself teaches how one can understand Him perfectly well, without a doubt. Not only the Päëòavas but everyone who sincerely accepts the instructions of Kåñëa can understand the Supreme Personality of Godhead as He is. After instructing Yudhiñöhira Mahäräja, Närada Muni prays for the Lord’s blessings that He be pleased with everyone and that everyone become perfect in God consciousness and return home, back to Godhead.
Eagerness to hear
This is a very, very important verse. We have just been reading in the previous three volumes of the Srimad Bhagavatam, the very extensive narration, which is spoken by Srila Narada Muni to Maharaja Yudhisthira. Subject matters spoken between two great personalities are the most relishable and important of all topics to be heard and discussed.
Throughout the Vedic literatures we find that Veda Vyasa, the author of Vedanta, has repeatedly written down for the benefit of all humanity, the various dialogues between great personalities. The Srimad Bhagavatam Mahapurana begins with the dialoge between the sages of Naimiñäraëya, headed by Saunaka Muni and the great Suta Gowvami, the son of Romaharsana. The beginning chapter of Srimad Bhagavatam is very clearly explaining, what are the proper qualities of one who is worthy of hearing transcendental subject matter and what are the qualities of those who are worthy to speak transcendental subject matter.
The sages of Naimisaranya they were very anxious to purify and perfect their own lives. They were even more anxious to create an atmosphere in this world that would be free from the influence of Kali Yuga and rich in the prosperity of spiritual knowledge and realization. Therefore, because they were sincere in their desire to become purified and make spiritual advancement and because they were sincere in their desires for the welfare of the other living beings, they were the perfect recipients of spiritual knowledge. And the most important qualification was they were very ,very eager to hear. Unless one is eager to hear the message of Bhagavan, one will not properly be able to assimilate the great message.
In fact, they were so eager to hear that they considered nothing else valuable in life, except hearing from Suta Gosvami. They put everything else aside and away and they were exclusively dedicating their bodies, their minds and their words, their entire souls, just to hear. This was their eagerness. This is the proper method of hearing Srimad Bhagavatam. Of course they sat through the entire narration of Srimad Bhagavatam with Suta Gosvami. But every morning if you really want to get the mercy of the Srimad Bhagavatam, which is the literary incarnation of Krishna, we have to have the quality of eagerness. To the degree we are eager to hear, to the degree we are anxious to hear, to that degree the fruit of transcendental realization will awaken and ripen within our heart, when we hear this transcendental vibration.
kalau nañöa-dåçäm eña
Caitanya-caritamrita Madhya 24.321
It is said in the first canto, that after Sri Krishna left for the spiritual world Vaikuntha, the sages of Naimisaranya were wondering what hope is there now for humanity. We see after Krishna left the planet, immediately Kali Yuga began. Kali Yuga was scheduled to appear just during Krishna’s appearance. But because the Supreme Lord, who is like the supreme sun emanating spiritual light, the darkness of Kali could not stand before Him, any more than darkness can stand before the sun. But when Krishna left this world immediately Kali Yuga began. His clever messages of creating disharmony in all spiritual culture are attributes of this age.
So the sages said, what hope is there for our lives now that Krishna has gone. And in reply, after Krishna left the planet, He descended again and again in the form of Srimad Bhagavatam, which is transcendental sound and which will give light, enlightenment, realization, and direction to all human beings within this age of quarrel and hypocrisy. So if we are anxious, eager, and enthusiastic to hear the message of Srimad Bhagavatam, then Krishna, who is the very subject matter of Srimad Bhagavatam, will reciprocate from within our heart and He will reveal Himself to us.
How can we see Krishna
It is said that the realized platform is called the Vasudeva platform and why it is called Vasudeva platform. Vasudeva is the name of Krishna. It means the platform of realizing Krishna. But it also has another meaning. Vasudeva is the name of Sri Krishna’s father. And because of Vasudeva’s pureness of consciousness, Krishna took birth as his son. In his previous birth, Vasudeva did many, many years of severe tapasya just to have Krishna. So similarly, if our consciousness is like that of Vasudeva, eager to have Krishna, then just as He appears to Vasudeva, He will also appear to us and take birth within our hearts. The Lord never appears, the Lord is everywhere. His birth when he appears before your vision. So similarly He will take birth in the sense, He will appear before your very vision from within, if you are enthusiastic to see Him and enthusiastic to serve Him (Vasudeva).
Why should one approach a sadhu
So the Sages of Naimisaranya, they were very, very qualified because of their sincere desire for spiritual advancement. They were not approaching Suta Gosvami for any material benedictions. They were not approaching him to solve any of their material conditions of life. They were approaching him because they wanted to understand Krishna. They wanted to understand the goal of life. They had no other business for approaching a sadhu, than understanding the goal of life. They did not want to bother him with things that the materialistic can provide for you. People approach sadhu for good health. But you have to go to a doctor for good health. He can also help you. People go to sadhu for good husband or wife but you can go to a marriage councilor, advertise on the paper and get that. People approach saddhus because they want lots of money. You can approach a banker or rich man or you can work hard and get that. But a sincere person approaches sadhu, for that which no one else can give, and that is Krishna Consciousness. You cannot gain Krishna Consciousness by any material arrangement and there is no materialistic first class person that can provide that great benediction. But if one is blessed by the dust of the lotus feet of the great souls, then one can very easily purify one’s consciousness and attain that most precious and valuable of all goals of life.
“puruñärtha-çiromaëi” the crest of the all jewel of all goals of life which is “prema pumotamohan” love of Krishna.
So the sages of Naimisaranya were inquiring about what is the essence of religion? What is the goal of religion? What is the purpose of life? What is the supreme occupation? Suta Gosvami was very happy and he replied,
“munayaù sädhu påñöo ‘haà
yat kåtaù kåñëa-sampraçno
Srimad Bhagavatam 1.2.5
Your questions are glorious, because the answer to the questions is meant for the supreme wellbeing of all living beings, why? Because the topic of these answers to those questions is only Krishna. Therefore Suta Gosvami was very anxious to speak.
Qualifications of a sadhu
It is described in the first chapter of Srimad Bhagavatam, what were Suta Gosvami’s qualifications. His first qualification was, it is described, that he was pure in heart, he was simple, he was honest, he was truthful, he was self controlled, and he was learned in the spiritual science. Then it goes on to explain a very important essential qualification, that you have to learn properly from the previous acaryas. That you have to submissively render service to and hear from the great saints in the disciplic succession. And because he had these two qualifications, the sages wanted to hear Srimad Bhagavatam from him and no one else. What are the two qualifications? That he had heard from the great saints. He had heard from the previous acaryas in parampara. He was not concocting his own speculative messages and that he was a living example, who was broadcasting that same knowledge as a sacrifice in his life by his teachings, by his life activities for the benefit of all living beings. And thus Suta Gosvami spoke.
Veda Vyas explains this beautiful dialogue between Suta Gosvami and the sages of Naimisaranya. And they go on, where Suta Gosvami describes the transcendental dialogue between Maharaja Parikshit and Srila Sukadeva Gosvami. They had the same qualities. Maharaja Parikshit being cursed to die within seven days, was so anxious to hear about Krishna. That he left his kingdom, his wife, his children, his prestige, his money, all of his bodily comforts, even food, drink, and sleep. He was so anxious to hear about Krishna. Some of our devotees, they did not even have much desire to stay awake during a 45 minute Srimad Bhagavatam class. That is a very unfortunate condition. I was never enthusiastic to hear. Maharaja gave up seven days of sleeping. He was so anxious to hear Srimad Bhagavatam. Seven days continuously not just 45 minutes, when you can sleep nicely. And Sukadeva Gosvami, because he also had these qualifications, he heard from his father Srila Veda Vyasa, who was the previous acarya. And also he was a living example of those teachings and his whole life was dedicated only for the purpose of imparting that knowledge to others. In the dialogue between Sukadeva Gosvami and Srila Maharaja Parikshit, the great discussion between Vidura and Maitreya Muni is also described.
Vidura and Maitreya spoke on the bank of Ganges in the holy land of Haridwara. Maitraya Muni was a qualified guru because he heard from the Jagat Guru Sri Krishna. And Vidura although he was living in the Royal family of Kurus, he relinquished all of his royal material opulence, only to shift on the bank of Ganges, and hear from Maitreya Muni. He was not interested in getting material benedictions. He was only interested in hearing about Krishna the supreme goal of life.
Within the Srimad Bhagavatam there are many, many such dialogues taken place and here we find the dialogue between the great universal guru Srila Narada Muni, who is the spiritual master of such great souls as Dhurva maharaja, Balmik Muni, the author of Ramayana, Prahlada maharaja, Maharaja Prachin Barihisat, the Prcheitas. He is also the guru of the Hariakshas. Some of the great personalities in all of history of this creation, are disciples of Narada Muni and what was Narada Muni’s qualification?
In his previous life he heard from the great sages and he was their humble servant. He was anxious to hear from them and anxious to take Prasad, their remnants and anxious to serve them in any small menial way he could. By hearing from them the desire for Krishna Consciousness, the desire for the enthusiasm to love Krishna, to serve Krishna, to realize Krishna, became so strong that he just dedicated everything in this existence for that purpose, to learn to attain that supreme goal alone. The child was the son of widowed mother. And he had to take care of his poor aged mother. But at the same time, he did not want to bother with these things. He simply wanted to strive for the supreme goal of life. But he had a responsibility, what to do with my mother? So he was thinking that I must take care of my mother, as long as there is no one else to provide for her. How much this is waste of my time. How much I want to strive for the supreme goal of life, which is Krishna Consciousness. He was thinking in this way, even though he was just a child. He had no attachments except “puruñärtha-çiromaëi” for the supreme goal, the crest jewel of all goals, love for Krishna. And therefore Krishna within his heart, he is always making arrangements for his devotees to facilitate with spiritual advancement. You should know like this.
If you are sincere in your desire to be Krishna Consciousness, Krishna will always be making just the proper arrangement for you. Sometimes he puts you in very horribly dangerous predicaments in life. Sometimes he puts you in distressful conditions in life. Sometimes he puts you in very, very uncomfortable difficulties, unwanted circumstances and sometimes he elevates you to very, very prosperous pleasing conditions of life. We should know that Krishna within our heart, He is orchestrating the entire creation and not a blade of grass can move without His sanction. Therefore Krishna says, for one who sees Me everywhere and everything in Me, for him that he is never lost to Me. A devotee, not that he is seeing Krishna in His divine form everywhere, but if Krishna wants to reveal Himself in that way, you can see Him like that. But more important for us is to understand that we see His will, His desire, His mercy, being manifested everywhere. That is how we learn to see Krishna everywhere and in everything. That everything that comes before us in life, we see that Krishna is arranging the situation as an opportunity for me to love Him and to serve Him and to surrender to Him. And that is the fact.
So Krishna, He saw Narada Muni’s deep desire. It is said,
håd-deçe ‘rjuna tiñöhati
Krishna is seated in the heart of every living being and He is directing everyone’s wanderings. Krishna is even in the heart of a snake. Therefore although of all animals the snake is the most vicious, great saintly person, even they take pleasure in seeing snakes and scorpions killed. This is spoken by Prahlada Maharaja, because these living beings cause great pain to others, due to their envious nature. But a saintly person is not afraid of such beings, why? Because he knows that Krishna is in their heart. And he knows that Krishna, He is directing everyone.
Therefore in the heart of a serpent, Krishna directed for a particular snake to bite Narada Muni’s mother and she died. And Narada Muni he did not feel, oh, why is this happening to me. He was thinking ah! Krishna just wants me to become a sannyäsé and renounce everything. This is why he is done this. Of course if you become a pure devotee, all generations become purified and liberated. The 21 generations past and future. This was spoken by Narahari, Vishnu Himself. So was it cruel for Krishna to have this mother killed by the snake. No, because the mother certainly, because she served a great soul, she would take a pious birth. There is no doubt. But in facilitating Narada Muni becoming a pure Paramhamsa, the mother is guaranteed either liberation or direct promotion to the spiritual world Vaikuntha.
Krishna is All Perfect
Everything Krishna does is perfect and what He does is ultimately, eventually beneficial for everyone involved. This is the faith of a devotee. So Krishna desiring the liberation of both, the mother and the child, what to speak of everyone else, whose lives the child touched, which is millions and millions of people, even all of us assembled here today.
This incident took place in a previous creation, in a previous day of Brahma. Do you understand? Even so long ago, when Krishna made this arrangement millions, millions, and millions billions years later, we are still benefiting from the association of Narada Muni, by reading his words and being enlightenment with the instructions of, how to achieve the goal of life? So understand, that although there may be a temporary appearance of a reversal, why has Krishna done this? Ultimately everything Krishna does is for the good of everyone. So Narada Muni, the small boy he took care of the last rites of his mother and then he dedicated everything else of his existence to see that Krishna within his heart, the lord of his heart,is pleased. And of course after perfecting his life, in his next birth, he became Narada Muni, the great sage. Before that he was a dasi Putra, he was the son of a maid servant. And as Narada Muni, how many people he enlightened.
In this verse Narada Muni is speaking to the great Maharaja Yudhisthira, he was a qualified hearer. Maharaja Yudhisthira was feeling anxiety and grief because so many people were killed on the battle field of Kurukshetra. He felt very humble out of compassion for others. And he was also very curious because before his own eyes, he saw such an envious demon Sishupala attain liberation after being killed by Krishna.
He was asking Narada Muni, how is it that an envious demon can attain liberation? You saw the spirit soul in the form of light come from Sishupala’s heart and enter into Krishna’s body. And Narada Muni in order to share his transcendental realization with Maharaja Yudhisthira, spoke three entire volumes of Sri Bhagavata Purana. Practically the entire seventh canto is the words of Narada Muni. And the verse that we are reading this morning is the final word, the end sloka of this most precious and most illuminating dialogue, between him and Maharaja Yudhisthira. So I’ll read this verse again. Please try to understand the essence of Narada Muni’s pure motivation to glorify Krishna. That is perfectly explained in this verse alone.
Bhakti- The only means to understand Krishna
“Present here now is the same Supreme Personality of Godhead, whose true form cannot be understood even by such great personalities as Lord Brahma and Lord Shiva. He is realized by devotees because of their unflinching surrender. May that Supreme Personality of Godhead, who is the maintainer of His devotees and He is worshiped by silence, by devotional service and by cessation of material activities, be pleased with us.”
First Narada Muni is glorifying Sri Krishna as the supreme, the cause of all causes, the goal of everyone’s life. And how, even great personalities, in such high positions of Brahma and Shiva, He is even difficult for them to understand. He is unapproachable for the greatest of all souls in the material existence. But he is undoubtedly realized by the devotees, who have unflinching devotion and surrender to His lotus feet. Whether they are in the highest position of Brahma or Shiva or whether they are in the lowest position as hunters, like Balmiki or as street sweepers. Whatever their condition of life, if they have unflinching devotional service, they can easily realize Krishna, who is Achyuta, He is unconquerable, He is infallible and He is Achinta, He is inconceivable. But He makes Himself conceivable to those persons, who worship Him with simple devotion and love.
So first Narada Muni in the end of his great narration, he glorifies Krishna as the Supreme Person and then he glorifies bhakti as being even greater than Krishna, and therefore the only means of understanding Krishna.
“bhaktyä mäm abhijänäti
yävän yaç cäsmi tattvataù”
Krishna says in Bhagavad-Gita it is only by bhakti, it is only by devotion, that you can know Me as the truth. By practicing the system of jnana or karma or yoga, you can understand various realization of the absolute truth, various stages of self realization. But Krishna says,
“bhaktyä mäm abhijänäti
yävän yaç cäsmi tattvataù”
“bhaktyä tv ananyayä çakya
aham evaà-vidho ‘rjuna
jïätuà drañöuà ca tattvena
praveñöuà ca parantapa”
“If you want to know Me personally, if you want to perceive My supreme form and if you want to exchange loving reciprocation with Me, that is only possible through the process of pure devotional service or Bhakti.”
Then Narada Muni continues on to explain how the Lord is the maintainer and the well-wisher and the most intimate friend of that person who approaches Him with devotion. Then he concludes. He concludes this very very great narration with these words that, “May He be pleased with us”. These are the final words of Narada Muni to Maharaja Yudhisthira. “May He be pleased with us”. This is the heart of a devotee. Whatever he does, it is only to please Krishna. What was Narada Mini’s motivation to speak this entire narration to Maharaja Yudhisthira? To please Krishna.
Sukadeva Gosvami spoke to Maharaja Parikshita to please Krishna. Great souls like Srila Prabhupada, he risked his life, accepted the torturous physical and mental conditions of life to go to the most abominable places on the earth, for what reason. To please Krishna. The great acaryas their only business, their only goal in life is to please Krishna. And those devotees who are aspiring on the path of devotional service, they must follow in the foot steps of such great souls.
“mahäjano yena gataù sa panthäù”.
Whatever we do, we should be meditating, will this please Krishna? Everything we do, whatever you do, before you do you should ask, Is this the best way, I can please Krishna now? Is this the best way I can please my spiritual master now?
“yasya prasädäd bhagavat-prasädo
yasyäprasädän na gatiù kuto ‘pi”
How to please Krishna? It is very simple. By pleasing guru, you please Krishna. By not pleasing guru, you can make all your speculative attempt to please Krishna. But Krishna will never be pleased. Krishna is pleased when we please His devotees.
In American parlance in English language, “Love me, love my dog”. If you do not show affection to a person’s dog, whatever you do for him, he will disregard. But because of the dog’s loyalty to the master, the master is very much inclined toward the dog and if you please the dog then you become very dear to that person. This is the way in America. We are seeing. If you go to someone’s house, if you pat the dog nicely that person will say, ah, you are very nice. If you do not treat the dog nicely they will think, what are you doing there? What kind of person are you? I do not trust you. So that is the way Krishna also deals with the conditioned souls. If you treat that loyal surrendered soul, who has become His dog very nicely. If you pleased him, then you please Krishna. If you do not please him, you cannot please Krishna. There is no separate process. So whatever we do, whatever we eat, whatever austerities or charity we perform, it should be done with the motivation of pleasing Krishna.
“ataù pumbhir dvija-çreñöhä
Srimad Bhagavatam 1.2.13
Whatever your varna, whatever your ashrama, whatever your occupation in life may be, whether you are a brahmacäré, a grihasta, a vänaprastha, or a sannyäsé. Whether you are a brähmaëa, a keshtriya, a vyasya, or sudra. Whether you are a pujari, a book distributor, a sankirtan devotee, a librarian, or a teacher. Whatever your situation in life is, if you perform your duty to please Krishna, then your life is perfect.
Pleasing devotees is Pleasing Krishna
Srila Krishnadasa kavijra Gosvami in Caitanya-caritamrita, he writes that I do not know, what is Caitanya Mahaprabhu’s glory and greatness. I am only writing this Caitanya-caritamrita for my purification. Because by writing it, I will please Krishna and please the devotees. It was the devotees who requested Him to write this book. That was the only motivation. He was not writing the Caitanya-caritamrita so that he could become famous as a great scholar. He was not writing so that he would be legendary as one of the great great acaryas of the Goudiya Viasnava tradition. He cares nothing for anyone. In fact Krishnadasa Kaviraja Gosvami speaking about himself, truthfully from the heart, spoke that anyone who even hears my name will lose all his piety, whatever devotional pious activities that person is done before. I am such a sinful person, if you look at me, if you see me, if you hear me, or if you even speak my name or hear my name, you will loose all the previous credits of all your previous lives. This was the thought of himself. He was certainly not after name and fame or prestige. After all he began Caitanya-caritamrita, when he was in his mid 90’s.
Of course you know this, he wrote Caitanya-caritamrita in Kali Yuga. In Satya Yuga if you are in you mid 90s, it’s still good. But in Kali Yuga, he was a very old man. He described how his limbs were trembling. He said how his eye sight was fluttering. He describes in many places how due to old age, in invalidity he was suffering so bad. But he said, yet my fingers continue to write. This is a great wonder. I do not know how it is happening. It is only by the mercy of Lord Caitanya Mahaprabhu and His devotees, this is possible. So Krishnadasa Kaviraja Gosvami did not write this book for some cheep adoration in this world or popularity or fame. He was not getting paid anything for it. Some people they like to write, because they get some percentage of how many books are sold. There was only one copy during his life. He wrote one copy. And who was he writing it for? The Gosvamis, who were just simply begging for chappatis. They had no payments. He was not like the authors of books today. He was motivated by only one Ideal. He wanted to please devotees. The devotees requested him to write the Caitanya-caritamrita. To put down in writing for all humanity for all times to come the beautiful pastimes and teachings of Sri Krishna Caitanya Mahaprabhu. And because of that he put his heart into fulfilling the desire of the vaisnavas, to purify himself by pleasing them. Thus knowing this is means of pleasing Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu and Lord Nityananda Prabhu. For that purpose and that purpose alone, he wrote the Caitanya-caritamrita.
So Srila Narada Muni was also expressing the same glorious quality of a pure vaisnava in this verse. His only reason for singing and playing his Vina throughout the entire galaxy, throughout the creation, his only reason for speaking these very very beautiful eloquent verses, is that he was hopeful that Krishna may be pleased with him. Then if Krishna is pleased with you, your life is perfect. You do not have to worry about how expert you are materially. You do not have to worry about, what the results are of the fruits of your activities. You do not have to worry what anyone in this whole world, what they saying about, what they thinking about you. If Krishna is pleased that is all take matters to a devotee. So whatever we do, we should follow the footsteps of Narada Muni, in our every act, in our every word, in our every thought. We should be very sincerely praying to Krishna, may You be pleased with me. May You be pleased? This consciousness in itself is the goal of life. Thank you very much. Hare Krishna.