SB TEXT 7.14.18
tais taiù kämair yajasvainaà
kñetra-jïaà brähmaëän anu”
tasmät—therefore; brähmaëa-deveñu—through the brähmaëas and the demigods; martya-ädiñu—through ordinary human beings and other living entities; yathä-arhataù—according to your ability; taiù taiù—with all those; kämaiù—various objects of enjoyment such as sumptuous food, flower garlands, sandalwood paste, etc.; yajasva—you should worship; enam—this; kñetra-jïam—Supreme Lord situated in the hearts of all beings; brähmaëän—the brähmaëas; anu—after.
Therefore, my dear King, first offer prasäda unto the brähmaëas and the demigods, and after sumptuously feeding them you may distribute prasäda to other living entities according to your ability. In this way you will be able to worship all living entities—or, in other words, the supreme living entity within every living entity.
To distribute prasäda to all living entities, the process is that we must first offer prasäda to the brähmaëas and the Vaiñëavas, for the demigods are represented by the brähmaëas. In this way the Supreme Personality of Godhead, who is situated in everyone’s heart, will be worshiped. This is the Vedic system of offering prasäda. Whenever there is a ceremony for distribution of prasäda, the prasäda is offered first to the brähmaëas, then to the children and old men, then to the women, and then to animals like dogs and other domestic animals. When it is said that Näräyaëa, the Supreme Being, is situated in everyone’s heart, this does not mean that everyone has become Näräyaëa or that a particular poor man has become Näräyaëa. Such a conclusion is rejected herein.
Selfishness- Bondage to this Material World
The Sanskrit word for a household by who is not living according to the authorized principles as enunciated by Guru, sadhu and sasthra, he is grihamedi. Grihamedi means one who is in the deep well of family life and who is thus most envious to the other living beings. You see the tendency is to live with self centered motivations in life.
“puàsaù striyä mithuné-bhävam etaà
tayor mitho hådaya-granthim ähuù
janasya moho ‘yam ahaà mameti”
Srimad Bhagavatam 5.5.8
When one becomes attached to the opposite sex that is the beginning of life of enviousness, why? Because such an attachment creates a desire to enjoy one’s wife, one’s children, one’s home, one’s furniture, one’s wealth, one’s prestigious position in society and even one’s domestic animals in one’s land. In this way one’s illusion in life increases and one continues to think in terms of I am this body and all things in relationship to this body are mine to enjoy. This is the basic root of material bondage. This is the Family arrangement although it is given in the sashtra that most of the personalities within this society accept family life. There is very great danger involved and therefore much caution must be taken to understand the – faults of family life and is also its potential glories. You see to the extent we are attached to serving our own senses to that extent we are potentially envious to everyone. Self centered– we are thinking what makes me feel good is the most important thing in my life. Extended sense gratification is what makes those persons who are near and dear to me feel good. That is the goal of my life. Either one of these self centered or extended center sense gratification is the possession of illusion and enviousness.
Duty of a Grishasta- Charity
It is explained that a Grishasta must practice as an austerity – Charity. He must learn to give. He must learn as an austerity to put himself and his own family last not first. The perfect example of this principle is Maharaja Rantideva. Rantideva was a king and it is explained that he fasted; I believe it was for 40 days. He fasted a long duration of time according to the religious principles for the purification of his own heart. The family members they also fasted with him. He fasted not only for the purification of his own heart but for the purification of the entire atmosphere. You see anything you do that is spiritually purifying, purifies the entire world. The influence of the spiritual potency that is being reciprocated by god within your god purifies the entire air, the entire atmosphere throughout the entire universe, whether you are chanting very loudly or very softly. Understand the purifying affect is purifying all living beings, similarly when you give in charity, according to Krishna Conscious principles or when you perform any tapasya according to Krishna Conscious principle. Any purificatory activity that you are doing, offer the benefit to all living beings.
Maharaj Rantideva’s Selflessness
So therefore Maharaja Rantideva he was fasting for the sake of showing compassion to everyone. And afterward he was on the verge of starvation. He was at the very limit by which he could fast and death could come upon him at any time. You see his fasting is not simply a ritual, but an act of true sacrifice. So what happened is there was very delicious Prasad prepared for him. He and his family sat down with very hungry stomachs. And they began to thank the lord for giving them this nice Krishna Prasad. And just at that time a brahmana came to the door. That brahmana of course he is coming to the door as a beggar, so Rantideva Maharaja was feeling greatly bless that this brahmana had come to his house to give them an opportunity to render service to saint, a devotee of god. So he divided that Prasad into two parts and he gave half to brahmana. In fact he gave to the brahmana to his full satisfaction. He fed him with his own hands and after the brahmana was finishing completely satisfied. He washed his hands and offered him his heart felt prayers and obeisance. Then the brahmana left. Then Rantideva took the remaining portion of that Prasad and sat down with his family. Just at that time a shudra came to his door, saying I am begging for food. So Rantideva took that Prasad and he fed the shudra to his full satisfaction. And after word there was no Prasad left. He and his family weak and trembling. All they had was a little water, left which will barely maintain their lives. At that time an untouchable man who was walking with a pack of dogs. Came to Rantideva’s house and said my dog’s are very thirsty, my dear sir, can you give them some water? When Rantideva heard this he began to pray. My dear lord all this is happening by your divine arrangement. How glorious and merciful you are? That my life is not meant to live for my own comfort, for my own sense gratification, my life is to be meant only for the service of others. Therefore my lord my prayer to you that let me accepts any torture any suffering any inconvenience to show compassion to others. This is my only prayer, only benediction I asked to you. Thank you my lord for giving me this opportunity to sacrifice my life in the service of others. At that Rantideva on the verge of death with great happiness, took that water and serve to the dogs. Just then when he and his family were at the last moment of life, the brahmana, the shudra, the untouchable man and the dogs. They all transformed into illustrious demigods. Then they were very pleased. They said, Rantideva we came to test the selflessness of your compassion to others and indeed you are glorious. Therefore we give you all benediction. Of course all Rantideva wanted is to always remember Krishna and never forget Krishna and always be the servant of the servant of the servants. And because of Rantideva’s selfless devotion, because he was truly in the spirit of charity, therefore he is glorified for all eternity.
Charity – An act of Purification
You see giving charity is according to the sashtra and an act of sacrifice. Sacrifice that means there must be pain. For a householder who is giving in charity, if he is not giving enough that it hurts, that he has to give up something that he would ordinarily had. Then it is not enough. If somebody is making large sums of money and he give large sums in charity that it does not really disturb in anyway he perform his luxurious living conditions. Then he is not giving enough. His charity is not truly sacrifice. He must give until it hurts. Until there is pain that I am going to have to give up doing this. I am going to give up having this in order to serve those who are in need. In English it is said “no pain no gain”. More it hurts the more pleasing it is to Krishna. Krishna is the friend of all living entities. That He likes to see us in pain. We are speaking a philosophy here. The more pain Krishna sees you are experiencing, the more bliss He experiences. Is that sound like our friend? Yes He is our best well wisher friend. Because factually the more pain we experience the more we are extracting our self from self centered activities which are the cause of bondage, birth and death. Through that pain of sacrifice of giving onto others, according to this verse we are purifying our hearts of that which keep us to bound to the repetition of birth and death. So Grishasta- he is meant to counteract the tendencies of enviousness for self centered and extended center sense gratification by learning Charity as an austerity. How to give up one self to others?
The Topmost Charity
Therefore Srila Rupa Goswami has suggested that for a Grishasta– 50% of his income before he does anything else, he should divided to the brahmanas and vaishnavas in charity for the purpose of propagating Krishna Consciousness. There is no greater charity than this. The charity to the soul of others is most pleasing to the Lord. By assisting brahmanas and vaishnavas in the most munificent work of elevating the consciousness and giving nourishment to the poor souls in the conditioned world is the topmost charity. That is the greatest work.
Meaning of Charity for the Renounced order
Now we are speaking here to an assembling mostly of brahmacaries and sanyasis. The principle of charity for brahmacärés and sannyäsés is far different than that of grihasta, in the sense that a brahmacäré is expected to give everything in charity for the uplifting of others. A brahmacäré or sannyäsé in this ashram means that you have no claim to anything in this world. Your life is simply meant in the service of god, which is expressed through the compassionate service to all living beings. Therefore in this ashram there is no place for self centered or extended centered sense gratification. One is meant to proof oneself last. Srila Prabhupada explained that there is the brahmacäré in Grishasta also. A Grishasta has this mentality, he is also a brahmacäré. Rantideva was the supreme brahmacäré. Even he had wife and children. Why? Because he had no ambitions for his own sense gratification, or even for the sense gratification of his family members. His only ambition was to distribute Prasad and to giving charity and to help others. This is the true spirit of brahmacäré life. A brahmacäré only thinks in a singular sense in terms of service to guru and service to the Vaishnavas and service to all living beings. And therefore it is glories and magnificent ashram because a person in this ashram can give his life without any distraction and without any disturbance towards uplifting the fallen conditions of suffering humanity. Otherwise, why do I give up all these nice conveniences that the world has to offer?
The Story of a Brahmana
There is that story of a Brahmana coming to a village and he began to give benedictions to all the different classes of man. And he said to the prince better you live, he said to the brahmacäré better you die, he said to the butcher better you neither live nor die, and he said to the sadhu better you either live or die. And they asked him, can you explain why you are giving these benedictions? He said yes, of course. The prince is living luxuriously, completely immerged himself in self centered activities. He has his wife, children, and palace. He is so much selfishly grossed and providing for himself and providing for his family in enjoying and enjoying and enjoying that he is committing many sinful activities to provide for his enjoyment. He is not considering for others. He is only considering himself. Therefore better he lives. Because when he will die, he is going to suffer all his karmas. He is going to have a hellish existence of life, better he live long life and go on enjoying, because his destiny is waiting for him. As far as the poor brahmacäré, he is living such a hard life. He is living on the floor, he is eating simple food, Prasad. He is giving his life to others to such an extent that he purposely allows himself to suffer in poverty stricken condition. So the brahmacäré because of his sacrifice becomes dear most to the Supreme Personality of Godhead, although his life is full of inconvenience and sufferings. When he leaves his body, he is sure to go back home back to godhead. So better he dies that he goes back to the godhead, enjoy his eternal life in the spiritual world with Krishna. As far as the butcher is considered his life at this time is ghastly surrounded by bloodshed, screaming, sound of dying, – creatures in this world. He is already living in a hellish condition and when he will die he is going to accept due to sinful Karma the body of every living creatures that he has cause pain to so better he neither lives nor dies. And the pure devotee the sadhu who is transcendental to the modes of material natures, because everything he does is an offering of love to Sri Krishna, so either he lives or dies it does not matter, because he is seeing Krishna everywhere and in everyone’s heart. He is not of this world. He is in Vaikuntha because he is finding the service of the lord and seeing the opportunity to serve the Lord everywhere. Therefore he is tasting the sweetness of love of god in everything he does. When he gives up this body he will simply return to the spiritual world and continue that same service to the supreme Lord. So for such a transcendentalist does not matter whether he lives or dies, he is always with Krishna. He is always in his Sat-chit-ananda consciousness.
Shreyas V/s Preyas
So we should know that our life should be Shreyas and not Preyas. Preyas means to live for the meditation of the mind and senses. I want this. I must have this. I need this. That is the mentality of an animal. We are simply thinking terms of I am mind. What I like? What I want? What I need? But Shreyas means to live with a view of the future. Of course we must live in the present moment but living in the present moment means living according to that principle by which in future we will be uplifted. Krishna says in Gita that sense gratification tastes like nectar in the beginning, but bitter poison in the end.
Putting ourselves to the Last
We should live in the present moment, but this does not mean we should live like animals. Simply whatever satisfies me for the time being that is the goal of life. We live for the present moment means we do not waste a second in preparing our life for the ultimate destination. So an intelligent devotee of the lord is always thinking how will this thought, how will this word, how will this action affect my over all progress to Krishna Consciousness. How will that help me serve my spiritual master and thus make it advancement in spiritual life? A devotee knows that to the degree at present moment I put myself last and all others first to that extent Krsna will be pleased. Now you are progressing toward that immortal nectar of Krishna’s divine mercy. And this is what will create the Vaikuntha atmosphere in our temple. When the devotees put themselves last and think each one of our god brother prabhu. He is my master, I am his servant, and therefore his is first. We should be thinking like this. How can I Serve you? How can I assist you? If some one is having difficulty, it is my duty to try to uplift him. It is not right that I do not have time. I must get time. Because I am a servant. If someone is sick, how can I help him? How can I assist him, to again help him come to his healthy position to engage in service to his guru and Krishna. When you come to receiving, let all others to receive first. After all I am the least among all these devotees. Another word, we should be consciously training our mind to be looking around, how I can best serve all the devotees around me. How could I best put them first and me last in every condition. This is the consciousness of a person who is truly in renounced order of life. And this is the consciousness of a Grishasta also who is truly in renounced order of life. Because as it is described in bible “he who puts himself last is first in the eyes of god and he puts himself first is last in the eyes of god”.
Mistaken Philosophy of the Mayavadis
Try to know that the tendency of the society is always pushing you to think that you are first. You have to counteract the entire syndrome of materialistic life put yourself last. “dasosmi”.“Ahm brahmasmi” does not means I am brahman, I am god. Then factually every materialist is under the level of thinking I am the servant of my own senses. I am god. When times on any impersonal school (ashram) came to visit New Vrindavana, many many people about two hundred people from this ashram. They were chanting with us, they were dancing with us, they were very nice and then the wife of guru, who was most distinguished personality, she came to me and she said I really love your attitude here in New Vrindavana. It is so beautiful. Then I said, yes, thank you very much. The name of that ashram was the love family. She said such a sweet principle that you live by in giving to others. You know why I like this so much? I was thinking yes, these people are actually very nice. They understand what is Bhakti, devotion to god, devotion to others. This is very sweet. I was really beginning to appreciate that. And she said but I really love my hearts contents about this philosophy of devotion or bhakti is when I give to you actually I am giving to me. Because you are me and I am you. And actually I am giving to myself. I am satisfying myself the more I give to you and to all these other peoples and that give me great pleasure. I just want, what is this nonsense?
The supreme compassionate- Vasudeva Dutta
Vasudeva dutta was not thinking like this. Vasudeva dutta said let me go to hell and let everyone else go to back to godhead. Not this idea that I am god, I am the enjoyer. The mayavadis they are thinking like this. The impersonal school of yogis they are thinking like this and the gross materialist they are also thinking like this. Therefore Srimad Bhagavatam teaches us
sa vai puàsäà paro dharmo
yato bhaktir adhokñaje
Srimad Bhagavatam 1.2.6
The supreme occupation is unmotivated, uninterrupted loving service to the Supreme Personality of Godhead. And in order to attain this pure quality we have to put others first. This is the sacrifice. The more it hurts, the more you make advancement. The less it hurts, you making very little advancement. The more inconvenience you accept in the service of guru and Krishna, the more you attain the mercy of Krishna. The less inconvenience you willing to accept in the service of the Vaishnavas and the service of Krishna and the service of the conditioned souls the less Krishna take your service seriously. Then of course as Lord Caitanya Mahaprabhu has taught “there is no greater charity than the distributing the holy name”. Distributing Prasad is pure transcendental activity. Therefore our food for life program is most glorious. Not only is dear to the hearts of all philanthropically minded people but it is also most dear to the heart of supreme Lord Sri Krishna, because we are distributing His pure mercy for the upliftment of material and spiritual life of all the living beings. Therefore this program of Prasad distribution is a very significant and important and essential part of our mission.
“Sankiratana”- Charity for this Age
That ultimately the Yuga dharma is the chanting of the holy name. “harer nämaiva kevalam”. Ultimately only by the chanting of the holy name can one be elevated to the perfection of stage in this age of Kali Yuga. Therefore the greatest charity, the greatest benediction that we can offer to another according to Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu, is to guide them to gradually understand the importance and necessities of chanting the names sincerely. And of course everything that we are doing is meant to broadcast the glories of the holy name. When we are distributing Prasad, when we are distributing books, when we are doing our medical camp, when we are preaching in the colleges, it is all meant to gradually elevate and purify the condition souls. So that they can understand the essential glory and necessity of Hari Nama Kirtan. Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu He begged His devotees to do “paraupakar”. Live for the shake of others. Distribute the chanting of the holy names and make your life perfect. Thank you very much.
Are there any questions?
AM: And in this book just presents very strong logical and sashtric arguments to show, what a illusion and mistake impersonalism and mayavadi philosophy is. One of the argument is this. – preaching directly to the mayavadi. He saying you are saying everything is one. Well, everything is one, then give me all your wealth and you do not use anything because I am you and you are me. So this argument is one of the great arguments of the previous acaryas. Thank you very much.
Loving service to the Lord
It is different. A devotee sees when I am giving to another, I am doing it in the service of Krishna. So I am watering the root of the tree and yes, I’ll be nourished. I’ll be nourished because when you supply the water to the root of the tree by offering your service to Krishna and others, you are actually most satisfied but it is not because you are the root. It is because you are intimately connected and eternally dependent on the mercy of the root. The root is Krishna. Therefore a devotee is willing to give up everything and anything to satisfy the root of the tree. Knowing that he will never be the loser but he will gain millions of times. But a devotee does not think in terms of how much I’ll gain. He is simple concerned with what will please Krishna. He forgets about himself in his enthusiasm to serve Krishna and serve others. And when he does forget about himself in this way in that loving service to the root of the tree, then Krishna by His mercy He provides everything to that devotee. Although that devotee does not want anything He provides everything for that devotee. Not only He does provide all the necessities of life but He also provides the greatest necessities of life- The necessity to love and feel the ultimate satisfaction of love.