santaà vayasi kaiçore
apécya-darçanam—very beautiful to see; çaçvat—eternal; sarva-loka—by all the inhabitants of every planet; namaù-kåtam—worshipable; santam—situated; vayasi—in youth; kaiçore—in boyhood; bhåtya—upon His devotee; anugraha—to bestow blessings; kätaram—eager.
The Lord is eternally very beautiful, and He is worshipable by all the inhabitants of every planet. He is ever youthful and always eager to bestow His blessing upon His devotees.
The word sarva-loka-namaskåtam means that He is worshipable by everyone on every planet. There are innumerable planets in the material world and innumerable planets in the spiritual world as well. On each planet there are innumerable inhabitants who worship the Lord, for the Lord is worshipable by all but the impersonalists. The Supreme Lord is very beautiful. The word çaçvat is significant. It is not that He appears beautiful to the devotees but is ultimately impersonal. Çaçvat means “ever existing.” That beauty is not temporary. It is ever existing—He is always youthful. In the Brahma-saàhitä (5.33) it is also stated: advaitam acyutam anädim ananta-rüpam ädyaà puräëa-puruñaà nava-yauvanaà ca. The original person is one without a second, yet He never appears old; He always appears as ever fresh as a blooming youth.
The Lord’s facial expression always indicates that He is ready to show favor and benediction to the devotees; for the nondevotees, however, He is silent. As stated in Bhagavad-gétä, although He acts equally to everyone because He is the Supreme Personality of Godhead and because all living entities are His sons, He is especially inclined to those engaged in devotional service. The same fact is confirmed here: He is always anxious to show favor to the devotees. Just as the devotees are always eager to render service unto the Supreme Personality of Godhead, the Lord is also very eager to bestow benediction upon the pure devotees.
The lord Kapila Dev is describing the eternal beauty and the ever youthful form of the Supreme Personality of Godhead. It is this all beautiful, eternal form of the Lord that is the supreme goal and constant meditation of the lord’s devotees. The impersonal energy, which manifests from the Personality of Godhead, although it is beyond the realities of this material existence, in that realisation, there is no facility for loving reciprocation. So therefore, the devotees, they are not concerned with their own liberation, they are simply concerned with pleasing the lord. Srila Probodhananda Saraswati has said “Kaivalyaà narakäyate.” That he will prefer going to hell than to achieving any impersonal state of liberation. Why? Because his goal is not his own salvation; his goal is simply to please the lord eternally.
Iswara parama Krishna sachchitananda vigraha
Anadiradi Govinda Sarbakarana karanam
Krishna’s form is eternal, full of knowledge, full of bliss, and it is that divine form of Krishna, which is the source of everything material and spiritual.
ahaà sarvasya prabhavo
mattaù sarvaà pravartate
iti matvä bhajante mäà
And therefore the wise, they want to worship Krishna with all their hearts. And it is being described here by Kapila Muni to his blessed mother Devahüti that the Lord is always eager to bestow his blessings upon such devotees who never give up the service of his loving lotus feet.
Yesterday, we celebrated the disappearance of Sri Ramanujacharya. In his life, we find so many wonderful examples, which illustrate the nature of a devotee. Sri Ramanujacharya when he was young he accepted the order of Sanyas and he was so learned and so pure and so utterly compassionate to all living beings that he had a large following of disciples who have dedicated their lives to him but he was so humble. He was always anxious to have deeper and deeper realizations of his love for Narayan. And although he was in such an exalted position, he was always seeking the blessings of Vaishnavas. The more advancement we make in Krishna consciousness, the more we realize how much valuable and precious the blessings of the devotees are in our life. We never outgrow, we never become too advanced.
In the Chaitanya-charitamrit, Krishnadas Kaviraj Goswami, in the Chaitanya Bhagawat, Vrindaban das Thakur, they are considered of the highest order of pure devotion, but throughout the readings, they are begging the blessings of the Vaishnavas. In fact, they are so humble that Krishnadas Kaviraj is begging all the readers, even the new neophytes to give him their blessings. He is begging the dust from the feet of all devotees. This is actually a sign of spiritual advancement. The more humble we become, the more dependent we become on the mercy of great souls is actually the sign of real spiritual advancement.
Qualification to be a disciple
So Ramanujacharya, he was told by one of his Guru’s Godbrothers that there was a devotee of the name Goñöhépürëa who is also a Guru’s Godbrother and that if he receives the particular mantra from him that it would give him great perfection in life. Now a devotee, he doesn’t want simply his own perfection, he wants to give perfection to others; the more we have, the more we can give; it is not that the more we have, the more we have. So, he went to this great devotee, named Goñöhépürëa, and Goñöhépürëa told him, “Yes, I have this Mantra but this Mantra is very secret and I have not given it to anyone and I have no intention to give it to anyone but you can come back on some other day.” And Ramanujacharya was feeling very depressed “He is not giving me the mantra.” One day, Goñöhépürëa was in a procession with the deity of Lord Narayan and the pujari called out that I have just received the message from the Lord that Goñöhépürëa you should give your mantra to Ramanujacharya, and he was thinking in his heart at that time that this mantra should not be given to anyone who is impure or have any material desires and then the pujari said but the Murti of Krishna is saying that Ramanujacharya has no material desires, he is a pure soul. Anyways Ramanujacharya came, he travelled all the way to that village where Goñöhépürëa was living, which was a very difficult to walk, seventeen times, and every time Goñöhépürëa refused to give him the mantra. He said you come back some other time. Finally, Ramanujacharya, he was so humble, he was thinking because of the impurities in my heart, because I am such a wretched, sinful person, I am not qualified to receive this mantra, which will give perfection of life. So he began to weep so sincerely, he was crying, and this news reached the ears of Goñöhépürëa. At that time, he was thinking that a disciple who weeps and cries for the mercy of Gurudev, he is actually fit to receive the mercy of Gurudev. It is not so cheap. This is a spiritual principle. It is not that simply by receiving initiation that our life becomes perfect.
tad viddhi praëipätena
ye yathä mäà prapadyante
täàs tathaiva bhajämy aham
How to take shelter
But how we approach the lord, he reciprocates accordingly, and similarly as we approached his representative, Gurudev, Krishna through Gurudev reciprocates accordingly. How are we listening? How we are listening in a causal way thinking yes, another lecture, I have heard so many lectures. It is entertaining. Some people like to watch television, some people like to go to the cinemas, some people like to listen to records or tapes, and some people like to sit and listen to pravachan, Krishna katha, the lectures about Gita or Bhagavatam. It is a pious form of entertainment or sometimes we come and we are feeling very sleepy and hungry and were thinking when will he end this lecture so that we can eat Prasad. Anyways, if this is how we are listening, accordingly, this is what benefits we will derive. How should we be listening to the word of the Lord? As if our life depends on it, in a sense of utter urgency, understanding that at any moment we may die and the life of our soul is the message of Godhead. We must feel a desperate emergency in our life and in this way our hearts, our mind, and our ears should be attentively drinking the Nectar of the life giving ambrosia of God’s word of Srimad Bhagavatam, Bhagavad Gita. And when we chant the holy name, it is a question of the quality in which we chant which determines how Krishna will reciprocate with us. If we are chanting thinking that I have to chant 16 rounds and I still have 8 rounds to go and there are so many other things I want to do today when these rounds end, then what will you gain from such chanting. I will tell you what you will gain, you will finish your rounds and that is better than not finish. But if you actually want Krishna to reciprocate with you in the form of his name, you have to be attentively seeking shelter of every syllable of his name.
Hare Krishna Hare Krishna, Krishna Krishna Hare Hare.
Hare Ram Hare Ram, Ram Ram Hare Hare.
Like a baby crying for its mother with no other shelter, and it is said by the great acharyas that to the degree a disciple approaches a great saintly person or spiritual master with this deep sense of urgency how much my life depends on your mercy, to that degree the great souls will truly bestow their blessings upon you; because you are fit to receive it. The prayers and the blessings and the instructions of great personalities are like seeds; when watered properly, they grow into the ripened fruit of Prem or love of god, but the heart has to be fertile. Otherwise, the seed will not grow very properly and what is a fertile heart, “Praëipätena Paripraçnena Sevayä.” That heart that is submissive, that is humble, that is urgently desperately seeking the truth and that is willing to serve, that heart can receive the seed of Bhakti properly.
Story of Goshtipurna initiating Ramanuja and Ramanuja’s greatness.
So Goñöhépürëa was very satisfied that Ramanujacharya was weeping and crying to receive his mercy, feeling his life useless without it. So next time Ramanujacharya came, he said yes I will give you this mantra, but you must know this that this mantra is so powerful that anyone who chants it sincerely will attain the perfection of life, will be freed from all material miseries, and will return to the spiritual world of Vaikuëöha. But no one who has material desires will we give this mantra to, and therefore, I order you my disciple you never in your whole life give this mantra to anyone. And then he delivered the mantra to Ramanuja and Ramanujacharya, he offered his humble obeisances to Gurudev and then he left. And as he was walking, he began to think, Guru Maharaj has said that anyone who chants his mantra sincerely will become free from all material sufferings and return to the lotus feet of Lord Narayan, so everyone should receive this mantra because it burns my heart with so much anguish to see people suffering in ignorance. So he went to the people of the town and he told them all that I am going to give you the most precious treasure in all the world, you come to the temple of Vishnu and soon the news spread everywhere that there was a great saint, great Sanyasi, in town and he was going to fulfil everyone’s desires and everyone had so many wonderful expectations that soon there were hundreds and hundreds and hundreds multitudes of people and Ramanuja climb to the top of the temple. He said now will you all receive this gift by which all your desires will be fulfilled. They said yes, and they all folded their palms like this and then he told everyone that you raise your arms like this and very loudly everyone repeat after me. This most precious mantra by which you will all achieve the kingdom of God if you chant sincerely with devotion.
“Om Namo Narayanaya. Om Namo Narayanaya.”
Ramanuja told them all chant very loudly, for the sound vibration liberates everyone.
“Om Namo Narayanaya. Om Namo Narayanaya.
Om Namo Narayanaya. Om Namo Narayanaya.
Om Namo Narayanaya. Om Namo Narayanaya.”
And everyone was filled with great spiritual pleasure, and all their desires were fulfilled.
“änandämbudhi-vardhanaà prati-padaà pürëämåtäsvädanaà”
That the chanting of the holy name of the lord fulfils all ones desires. We are not these bodies, we are the eternal soul, and there was only one’s desire of the soul to reunite with Krishna to love him devotion. So as Ramanuja was coming down, everyone was touching his feet with tears of love in their eyes so grateful that he had truly given them the greatest treasure, the name of god. But as everyone was chanting so tumultuously, his Gurudev, Goñöhépürëa, he heard a few minutes ago, my disciple promised you wouldn’t tell anyone and now I am hearing hundreds, thousands of people at the top of their lungs chanting the holy names “Om Namo Nayarayana.” He became very angry, not angry, furious, and Ramanuja with great humility decided before leaving town to offer his obeisances to Gurudev, so with great humility, he fell down at the feet of Guru Maharaj, and his spiritual master’s eyes were red like fiery coals. He was so angry, he looked at Ramanuja, and he said, “Get out. I never want to see your wretched, sinful face again. Get out of this place. I have told you, you give this mantra to no one and you have given it to everyone, you are condemned to suffer in hell for millions of birth. Now, get out of here.”
Ramanuja was very calm, and with folded palms and a voice choked up with devotion, he said “Guru Maharaj, I have committed a great offence. I have given this mantra to everyone and I realized before I did this that I would have to go to hell for millions of birth by doing this but Gurudev you told me that anyone who hears this mantra will achieve the lotus feet of the supreme Lord Krishna, Narayan. So I was thinking that all these people, they are the eternal servants of the Lord. Why should they be rotting in this material world of birth and death? Let them all go back to the spiritual world, let them be free from suffering for ever, let them eternally serve with pure love, the Supreme Personality of Godhead, and I am so insignificant, I am so unimportant that if a fool like me goes to hell even forever to give this people the chance to go back to godhead, I think that would be very pleasing to Lord Narayan. And when Gurudev heard this, his heart melted and he bowed down at the feet of his disciple and embraced him and said, “Your compassion is the true ornament of a real Vaishanava.” He said, “You are fit to be my Guru.” Such compassion, such love seeking, no other blessing than service and sacrifice that is a real devotee, and Ramanuja upon seeing this, he fell at this Gurudev’s feet and he said, ”No Guru Maharaj.” He said, “What am I giving? I am only giving your mercy. If you did not speak this mantra, this mantra would have no power at all to deliver anyone. I am your servant eternally.”
There was a disciple of Ramanujacharya, who also exhibited this quality of what sort of a blessing a real devotee seeks when he approaches Krishna. Ramanujacharya, his base was then Çrérangam, and he was preaching in such a powerful and wonderful way that people were very fearful of him unless they were devotees of the lord. So there was one king who was dwelling in Kanchipuram, and this king was very envious. He was an impersonalist and he decided that anyone who did not accept his doctrine would have to be punished and he had a minister and this minister used to be an associate of Ramanuja but he left and he became envious and he told this king that if you want to defeat everyone and convert everyone to your ideas, your atheistic ideas, then whatever if you defeat Ramanuja, everyone will follow, and if you do not defeat him, you should kill him. So, the king agreed. So they went to the place of Ramanuja, the ministers, and they challenged Ramanuja to come to Kanchipuram for a debate along with one of Kanchipuram’s other Gurus, named Mahapurna. He had several siksha gurus who are all disciples of his supreme guru Yamunacharya. So one of Ramanuja’s disciples who happened to be Grihastha, his name was Kuresh, and he said to Ramanuja, “Please I beg you for one benediction. Let me do a service for you. I beg you. If you lose that debate, Vaishnavism is finished, and if you win the debate, you will be killed. Let me take your cloths and you take my cloths and escape.” So, on the heartfelt plea of his disciple, Ramanuja put on the white cloth of the Grihastha, and his disciple put on the Sanyasi robes and took his danda, and they brought him and Mahapurna to Kanchipuram. And it is a long story, but, of course, Kuresh who was trained by Ramanuja in the pure principles of devotion, he completed defeated not only the king but all of the king’s ministers and pandits. And the king was so angry, he said either you admit defeat or I will kill you at this very moment. But he was thinking that how wonderful what a chance, what an opportunity that Lord Krishna so kind to me that he has given me a chance to die in the service of my Gurudev.
In this regard, one of our Godsisters, She became a devotee in about 1969. She was preaching in Africa when there was a major revolution and during this military takeover, so many people were being killed and she wrote me a letter and in this letter, she was saying that I am praying that I can die in the service of my Gurudev. I am praying that I could leave my body preaching the message of Krishna. I am not afraid of death if I am preaching on behalf of Gurudev. I only fear that I may offend the Vaishnava. Anyway, she was so bold that she directly preached to the military commander who organize the whole military takeover and she basically told them that he was in Maya and that he should take the association of devotees and give up the association of all these materialistic ministers around him. Krishna fulfilled her blessing. Days after that, she was put in a firing squad in the middle of the night and killed. It is very sad to hear this that such a wonderful, valuable devotee had lost her life, but it was the blessing she asked for to die in the service of Guru by preaching on his behalf is a great honour.
Anyways, Kuresh was thinking that all if he is going to kill me what a wonderful fortune the lord is giving me, but they thought he was Ramanujacharya and earlier in the life, Ramanujacharya actually ordered a ghost to leave this king’s older sister when he was just a young boy so he was reminded of this. He said he saved my sister’s life, so we should not kill him, but we should torture him. So they took burning rods and they plucked out his eyes, and they also plucked out the eyes of Mahapurna and they cast them into the forest. As they were walking blind, Mahapurna laid down, he said, “I am very old.” He said, “In remembrance of my Gurudev, I will leave this world” and he died, but Kuresh, he continued on to where Ramanuja was in exile, and Ramanuja when he saw his disciple who gave up his eyes for his service, his heart melted with so much love, what he is willing to do for me? Kuresh was not thinking now I am blind. Kuresh was so grateful that Krishna you are so kind, you have allowed me to give up my eyes in the service of my Guru. He was grateful. He was actually blissful, a grateful heart.
tat te ‘nukampäà susamékñamäëo
bhuïjäna evätma-kåtaà vipäkam
håd-väg-vapurbhir vidadhan namas te
jéveta yo mukti-pade sa däya-bhäk
It is a grateful heart that thanks Krishna with folded palms even in distress that heart is worthy to receive the true mercy of the lord. So Ramanuja told Kuresh that you go to Kanchipuram to the temple of Varadaraja and you kindly ask the lord to give you your sight back, and I am sure he will give you your sight back. So he went to the temple, he went with his wife and two children, and he began to offer wonderful services to the deities, and for many days, day and night, he just sang beautiful songs, beautiful bhajans for the pleasure of the Lord, and ultimately because he was of such a pure and such an uncontaminated state of devotion, the lord spoke to him, said, “My dear Kuresh, I am so pleased with you, such sacrifice you have made for my devotee, I will grant you any benediction you desire, you ask anything of me and Kuresh replied that that minister who was one of my like a disciple Godbrother, he left because he was envious of us and he was the one that told the king to torture and kill us, such a sinful man. You want to give me a blessing, please give your great mercy to him, deliver him from material existence and give him Bhakti. This is what I ask of You. Then Lord Narayan said, will you ask another benediction for me, I promise I will fulfil anything you ask me. He said, “Yes, that king who tortured me in blasphemy and poked out my eyes, he has already died from a disease. Please deliver his soul and give him your love, give him liberation from all his sins.” The lord praised him such a selfless devotee. He has asked any benediction in the world, he is blinded, and he is only asking to give mercy and Bhakti to those who hate him and who tortured him. The lord was struck with wonder to see the glory of the Vaishnavas. Anyways, Ramanujacharya heard about this and he was very happy. These are the blessings he asked for. He sent a message to Kuresh. He said I heard about the blessings that you asked for from the Lord and I am very pleased but I think that you are very selfish. He said, “Because you are experiencing ecstatic bliss because of your asking for the welfare of these demons, but why are you so selfish to be so concerned with your own bliss.” He said, “I want to tell you something. You have surrendered your life to me and your body is my property and those two eyes are not yours, they are mine and I want them back to be used so you go to the lord and you ask him for your two eyes back because they are mine and you have no right to deprive me of the property that belongs to me.” So Kuresh went back to the deity and with folded palms, he offered his bhajans, and the Lord said. “What blessing, what benediction would you like,” and Kuresh replied, “Actually, I am just the servant of my Gurudev and my Gurudev is desiring that these two eyes be used in his service. So if you so desire my lord for his service, you can restore this vision, and, the Lord, he was so pleased that Kuresh, he gave him a feeling of ecstasy in which Kuresh fell unconsciousness, and when he woke up, his eyes were again perfect and he could see. This is a devotee.
Service is most pleasing
We do not care to have eyes unless we can use them in the service of the Lord. In fact, the Bhagavatam says the eyes are no better than the eyes on the feathers of a peacock unless they are being used in the service of the Lord and his devotees. Our body is the property of the lord. A devotee’s only blessing that he desires is simply for the opportunity for service. The opportunity to make sacrifice in Krishna’s service and in the service of the Vaishnavas. Service to the Vaishnavas, service to the devotee is the most pleasing form, the most wonderful offering we could make to the lord. In a similar way, Srila Haridas Thakur, he was beaten in 22 market places by criminal daemons and he only prayed that those demons would be forgiven and when Lord Chaitanya offered him any blessing in the whole creation, he only asked for one thing, “just grab me that birth after birth after birth, I could take the remnants of Prasad that has been eaten by your devotees that is all I asked.” The humblest service.
So, in this way, we should understand what is really valuable in this world. Money is of no real value, prestige is of no real value, but the opportunity to serve, the opportunity to associate with devotees, the opportunity to chant the holy name. That is of eternal infinite value, and this is what we should be begging for.
“Hare Krishna Hare Krishna, Krishna Krishna Hare Hare.
Hare Ram Hare Ram, Ram Ram Hare Hare.”
Introducing Niranjana swami maharaj.
Tonight, we are very fortunate. His Holiness, Srila Niranjana Maharaj has come to give us the blessing of his association. We should know that this is the supreme blessing of the lord when we have the chance to hear from and serve a great devotee. Somehow or other by causeless mercy he has come. Srila Niranjana Maharaj one of the very senior disciples of his divine grace A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada who we can say has with such commitment and an absolute dedication served the mission of our Guru Maharaj risking his life in the most dangerous places on the planet just to give Krishna consciousness to us. During the communist rule in the soviet union, he was spending so much of his life underground in threat to his life preaching the message of Bhagavad Gita, distributing Srila Prabhupada’s Gita, inspiring devotees to do the same, and now that Russia is opening up to facilitate religion, how much he is just sacrificing his health, he is sacrificing his everything just to give this people Krishna consciousness, the rarest, the most precious gift. We were told that when he comes to Moscow for his Srimad Bhagavatam classes, 1500 people come. How unfortunate India is becoming, the land of Dharma, Bharatavarsha, the homeland of the Bhagavatam and the Gita and here he is and there is only a few hundred people, but we are so absolutely thankful to all of you for coming this evening giving us all the chance to serve you. At this time, we would like to request Srila Niranjana Maharaj to speak whatever transcendental words of enlightenment he would like to speak for our good fortune. Niranjana Maharaj ki jai. Also there is another special guest, a very senior disciple of Srila Prabhupada who has served faithfully for so many years, who has established a wonderful community in the country near Mangalore in Karnataka, Narasinghadas Prabhu. Please welcome him with your love and devotion.
“Hari Om. Hari Om.”
Narasingha Prabhu ki jai.
To associate with such wonderful devotees is the most wonderful blessing of god.