yaù kaçcaneço balino ‘ntakoragät
pracaëòa-vegäd abhidhävato bhåçam
bhétaà prapannaà paripäti yad-bhayän
måtyuù pradhävaty araëaà tam émahi
yaù—He who (the Supreme Personality of Godhead); kaçcana—someone; éçaù—the supreme controller; balinaù—very powerful; antaka-uragät—from the great serpent of time, which brings death; pracaëòa-vegät—whose force is fearful; abhidhävataù—who is chasing; bhåçam—endlessly (every hour and every minute); bhétam—one who is afraid of death; prapannam—who is surrendered (to the Supreme Personality of Godhead); paripäti—He protects; yat-bhayät—from fear of the Lord; måtyuù—death itself; pradhävati—runs away; araëam—the actual shelter of everyone; tam—unto Him; émahi—
I surrender or take shelter.
The Supreme Personality of Godhead is certainly not known to everyone, but He is very powerful and influential. Therefore, although the serpent of eternal time, which is fearful in force, endlessly chases everyone, ready to swallow him, if one who fears this serpent seeks shelter of the Lord, the Lord gives him protection, for even death runs away in fear of the Lord. I therefore surrender unto Him, the great and powerful supreme authority who is the actual shelter of everyone.
One who is intelligent understands that there is a great and supreme authority above everything. That great authority appears in different incarnations to save the innocent from disturbances. As confirmed in Bhagavad-gétä, pariträëäya sädhünäà vinäçäya ca duñkåtäm: [Bg. 4.8] the Lord appears in His various incarnations for two purposes—
to annihilate the duñkåté, the sinful, and to protect His devotees. The King of the elephants decided to surrender unto Him. This is intelligent. One must know that great Supreme Personality of Godhead and surrender unto Him. The Lord comes personally to instruct us how to be happy, and only fools and rascals do not see by intelligence this supreme authority, the Supreme Person. In the çruti-mantra it is said:
bhéñäsmäd vätaù pavate bhéñodeti süryaù
bhéñäsmäd agniç candraç ca måtyur dhävati païcamaù
(Taittiréya Upaniñad 2.8)
It is out of fear of the Supreme Personality of Godhead that the wind is blowing, that the sun is distributing heat and light, and that death is chasing everyone. Thus there is a supreme controller, as confirmed in Bhagavad-gétä (9.10): mayädhyakñeëa prakåtiù süyate sacaräcaram. This material manifestation is working so well because of the supreme controller. Any intelligent person, therefore, can understand that there is a supreme controller. Furthermore, the supreme controller Himself appears as Lord Kåñëa, as Lord Caitanya Mahäprabhu and as Lord Rämacandra to give us instructions and to show us by example how to surrender unto the Supreme Personality of Godhead. Yet those who are duñkåté, the lowest of men, do not surrender (na mäà duñkåtino müòhäù prapadyante narädhamäù [Bg. 7.15]).
In Bhagavad-gétä the Lord clearly says, måtyuù sarva-haraç cäham: [Bg. 10.34] “I am all-devouring death.” Thus måtyu, or death, is the representative who takes everything away from the living entity who has accepted a material body. No one can say, “I do not fear death.” This is a false proposition. Everyone fears death. However, one who seeks shelter of the Supreme Personality of Godhead can be saved from death. One may argue, “Does the devotee not die?” The answer is that a devotee certainly must give up his body, for the body is material. The difference is, however, that for one who surrenders to Kåñëa fully and who is protected by Kåñëa, the present body is his last; he will not again receive a material body to be subjected to death. This is assured in Bhagavad-gétä (4.9). Tyaktvä dehaà punar janma naiti mäm eti so’rjuna: a devotee, after giving up his body, does not accept a material body, but returns home, back to Godhead. We are always in danger because at any moment death can take place. It is not that only Gajendra, the King of the elephants, was afraid of death. Everyone should fear death because everyone is caught by the crocodile of eternal time and may die at any moment. The best course, therefore, is to seek shelter of Kåñëa, the Supreme Personality of Godhead, and be saved from the struggle for existence in this material world, in which one repeatedly takes birth and dies. To reach this understanding is the ultimate goal of life.
We are reading today from Srimad Bhagavatam, Canto 8, Chapter 2, entitled “The elephant Gajedra’s crisis”, Text 33. This particular chapter of Srimad Bhagavatam is deeply instructive on many of the most critical principles required to understand to make real spiritual advancement. Among the lessons we learn here – nehabhikramanasosti pratya vayonavidyate svalpamapyasya dhrmasya trayate mahato bhayat – that any progress we make in the path of pure bhakti, it is never lost, it is eternal, and Krishna is so kind, that any sincere effort anyone makes to serve Him and to please Him, Krishna will never forget. Even if one falls into an abominable condition, due to previous conditionings, misuse of independence or the power of material energy, still, Krishna is waiting. Just like Srila Prabhupad spoke to one of my Godbrothers who had fallen quite sadly into sinful activities. Other devotees condemned him, criticized him, and did not want to go near him. But Srila Prabhupad wrote him a letter. Because you have once chanted the holyname of Krishna sincerely, Krishna is there for you, He will be there for you and at the most critical moment, He would be there to save you and it actually happened. Just before his death, he transformed and completely surrendered to Krishna with all humility and devotion.
Whatever efforts we make in this world would be evaporated by time. We make money, we lose money, we get fame, we lose fame. Whatever you get will be lost forever. That is the power of time. But any advancement we make in Krishna Consciousness – just sweeping the floor, just appreciating another devotees for what they have done, just putting a single flower on the string of a garland, just chanting the holyname once sincerely, the benefit is never lost, it is forever. It is always there for us. It is the only secure investment, in the stock market, banks, various financial enterprises; they try to convince our secure investment, but it is all illusion. mrutyu sarvasya harascha aham, because everything will be taken away at the time of death, or many other situations that may happen in between. It is for certain, we lose everything. There are only two things that are certain in this world – absolutely certain.
1. Is anyone who is born will die, that is absolutely certain. And
2. Any investment that we make in Bhakti is never ever lost.
Even at death in our next life, all of our credits are there at our disposal to carry on. So what is the greatest investment we could make? This is the intelligence of the Srimad Bhagavatam. When Parikshit Maharaj was cursed to die, he understood this – in seven days his empire, his body, his youth, his family, all of his wealth was going to be stripped away from him and there was nothing he could do. He was happy, peaceful, and grateful because he knew what was really valuable – he had seven full days to hear about Krishna and achieve the perfection of life. Our Vaishnava Acharyas often cite Maharaj Khatvanga – he fought gallantly, he was a king and the devatas were so pleased, “Ask any benediction”. What benediction would you ask for if the demigods were offering you anything of your desire? He understood what’s valuable. He said I just want to know how long I have until I die because I have to prepare myself for death. They checked the karmic records of destiny, “You have 1 minute left!” He didn’t go into some traumatic crisis. He was grateful. “I know what I have to do”. In that minute he fixed his mind on the lotus feet of the all-beautiful, all-merciful object of his love, Krishna and he attained supreme perfection. He gained entrance into the spiritual world in that moment. Gajendra, this elephant, in his previous life was a king named Indradyumna who lived in the Pandya district of the Dravida desh of South India and after performing his worldly duties, he retired from his material life and went to the forest, his hair became matted, he wore simple clothes of a mendicant and simply practiced focusing his attention on God. One day in his hermitage, he was so deeply absorbed in meditating on Krishna that he was not aware Angira Muni, a great sage had come to his hermitage with many of his disciples. Now, the muni, he was not really concerned, but he had his disciples and he wanted to see some culture from this person. The basis of civilization, especially in the Vedic standard is hospitality. We find in Mahabharat, even enemies give hospitality to their enemies if they come to their home. If one does not show proper hospitality, one is considered very fallen; it’s actually considered one of the greatest offenses. What to speak of hospitality to a great sage, even hospitality to a stranger whom you have never seen before. Maharaj Rantidev, he was willing to sacrifice his life to show hospitality to some dogs and their keeper, a candala.
Hospitality is sacred; and in our homes, in our temple this should be foundational as far as priorities. Srila Prabhupada explained how we should be conscious. He said, “Every single guest that comes to our temple, we should see them that they are personally invited by Radha and Krishna. They are special guests.” We are not the proprietors; we are simply the servant of the servant of the servant. If we think that this is my temple, it is illusion; we are just care takers, servant of the servant of the servant. Who every comes in these gates, Radha Gopinath in their heart have personally invited them. And how we should welcome them? With such love, affection, care, consideration. And when people receive such hospitality, their hearts open, just like our Sankirtan pr, people whom nobody else can reach. Sometimes very proud people, very big people. Somehow or other they come once and he gives them such hospitality. They have never seen anyone like him. I know one person, just made a film for Disney and the film that they made for Disney, in one month that film crossed $65 Million, not rupees but dollars. One Month! Now this is a very very high powered managing person. She told me, “If he would do it, I would like to hire Sankirtan to be manager. There is nobody like him.” He doesn’t know management as far as I know. He just sits there and smiles. And he talks so gentle; most people don’t even know what he is saying. But he really cares, he really tries to make people feel welcome, at home and they give their hearts to him. He gives them telephone numbers, “You can reach me anytime, anywhere”.
And that’s how Prabhupada established our society, on the basis of hospitality. When he started that storefront on the lower east side of the New York City, most people could not even understand his Bengali accent. But he welcomed everyone. It was Krishna’s love. It was Krishna’s concern manifesting through. And they were ready to believe anything he said and do anything he said. They never wanted to leave him, because of that love. So perhaps, the most powerful form of preaching to open people’s hearts to receive this great message, to inspire people to chant the holy names! Hospitality! Now Indryadyumna, he wasn’t very good at hospitality. And this great Rishi he wanted to show people that hospitality is very important. He was observed in meditating on the the Lord like this. And he didn’t even know what was happening around him. He was absorbed in meditating on the Lord. He didn’t even know what was happening around him. So the Rsi became very angry. I have come to your home and I brought my disciples. And like a stupid dead animal you are just sitting there, you haven’t given me a mat, you haven’t given me water, you haven’t even said kind words. Because you are sitting there dumb like an animal, I curse you to become a dumb animal in the form of an elephant.
Elephants Srila Prabhupada explains, they are very big and very strong. But they are not very intelligent. You have seen elephants. I have with my own eyes seen elephants in south India, Guruvayur, just wrap a trunk around a tree and literally rip the tree out of the ground with its roots. And then look around to see if any female elephants were watching. And if any female elephants were watching, then he would go and uproots another one. So elephants like this are very strong. But years ago, I was living in Mithila or Janakpur where Sita married Rama. In those days the main conveyance for cargo was elephants, they did not have Lorries or trucks. So I would see these gigantic Nepalese male elephants with these massive tusks. And there would be a little boy sitting on its head with small arms. Age may be 10 years old and he has got a little stick and he is shouting at this elephant and he hits the elephant with his little stick and the elephant is totally obedient to this little child. And factually if the elephant wanted to he could throw that little child down and with one stomp of his foot crush the child into a puddle. But the elephant is thinking, “If I don’t obey this child he is going to stick me with this stick”, and therefore the elephant has to carry massive loads on his back for miles and miles, taking whatever that little child wants him to take and going wherever the child wants him to go. Because he has a huge giagantic body, but his intelligence isn’t very good. He is forgetful of his own powers. That is the nature of an elephant.
When Indradyumna Maharaj was cursed to become a stupid animal he was grateful, because he was a devotee. A devotee understands that any setback that comes in their lives is always under the control of the Supreme Lord. And if we simply carry on with our devotional service patiently and with a grateful heart that setback will be transformed into a blessing, whatever it may be. tat te ‘nukampäà susamékñamäëo, Srila Prabhupada often quotes this verse. This is the quality of a vaishnava.
Being a vaishnava is not about signing on the book before mangal aarti. That’s not all. Its not about the kind of tilak you wear and not about the kind of beads you wear around your neck or the kind of clothes you put on. Vaishnava is based on our character and what is the character of a true vaishnava. Even when great difficulties arise, impediments, setbacks, disturbances, intrusions, when they come into our lives with folded palms we welcome them, with grateful hearts. Actually I deserve worse and this is only a token by Krishna. And simply if I carry on with my Devotional service patiently and take shelter of the Lord in this situation that is my greatest fortune.
The tendency of everyone in this world is to become complacent. Even our devotional activities. Even our devotional activities are so prone to become routine. We chant our rounds “Hare Krishna, Hare Krishna” we make sure that the beads go down in order. Sometimes we are more concerned with the counting beads than we are with the japa beads. We are meditating more on our counting beads then on the beads of our japa mala. Or sometimes we come to the mangal arti because people will think it’s nice if we go, or Krishna may think we are nice if we go. It becomes routine. Srimad Bhagavatam, whatever our service may be. But complacency is an enemy. Noting is just routine, Krishna receives the intensity of our hearts, that is what he is looking for. And therefore when setbacks come they may come in the form of a tragedy, in the form of relationship problems, they may come in the form of being attacked, and they may come in the form of a failure or health crisis, there’s unlimited ways that setbacks come into our lives. But in that situation it’s an opportunity to really wake up! Gauravani Pr was singing last night, “Wake up sleeping souls, you are sleeping on the lap of maya”. Wake up doesn’t mean just becoming a devotee means, wake up means to take shelter of Krishna, because factually in every situation the crocodile of suffering and death is eminent. One who takes shelter of the Lord when difficulties come, for that person alone is the supreme liberation his or her rightful claim.
So Indradyumna mahjaraj he offered his obeisances to this sage. He didn’t try to make excuses. Actually he was completely innocent. He did nothing wrong. It’s not he was getting some sinful reaction; he was meditating on Krishna, that’s what you are suppose to be doing. That’s what sages are suppose to teach you to do, they are suppose to be happy that you are meditating on Krishna. But he was so much absorbed in Krishna that he did not even know that this sage was there, he made no offence what so ever. But he was blasphemed by this great muni who said “You are ignorant, you are dull, you are not gentle”. He was criticizing him horribly and then he cursed him to be an animal. He was in his last part of his life, he was trying to perfect it by meditating on Krishna and instead of getting that, going back, he was preparing to go back to Godhead at dusk of his life and right at that moment he was misunderstood and cursed to become an animal. That’s a setback. But he understood that not a blade of grass can move without the sanction of Krishna. Krishna’s plan and he accepted it whole heartedly. And now here he is an elephant. Another lesson of this great story is “padam padam yat vipadam na tesam”, Who ever we are there is danger at every step in this world. There is no exception.
The story begins by talking of Trikuta Mountain, which is in the ocean of milk. It’s a heavenly abode, it is so beautiful, and the weather is always perfect. The water is crystal clear, the flowers are ambrosial in their fragrance and their fruits are like nectar. The greatest of demigods go there for vacation. Hare Krishna! They don’t go to…where do you go on vacation from Mumbai..ahhh? Lonavala…no demigods you’ll find there. Mahabaleshwaram, no demigods you’ll find there. But this is heavenly abode, it’s absolutely beautiful. There are pages and pages of the SB describing the beauty and the peace of this place. And Gajendra is the king of the elephants. The lions, the tigers the poisonous snakes they fear him. When he comes down the path ways they all run away, and the other more dependent animals they feel totally 100% protected by him and offer him all respect. He is the undisputed king of the heavenly abode. There is no suffering there, it appears. And it was just a regular day, when he was enjoying like anything, he had many female elephants with him and his children and there were all of his subjects and friends and family members, they would all go with him. He was guiding them and he smelled this fragrance of crystal transparent clear lake where there were so many lotus flowers and the pollen of the lotus flowers permeated the entire forest induced by that scent he brought his family to that place. Can you imagine what nectar that water was? He went in that water, he took his bath, he drank that water with his trunk, and then he began to splash with his trunk his wives and his children and they were so happy, a wonderful wonderful holiday.
At the least expected moment, suddenly, a crocodile with his powerful jaws and raised sharp teeth, grasped the leg of Gajendra. Very painful! Gajendra was fighting. The crocodile was very strong. They fought for a 1000 years. Gajendra would drag him out of the water, the crocodile would drag Gajendra in the water, and they were just going in and out of the water, in and out of the water. Gajendra was getting really tired. Because in the water, there is no food for him, but the crocodile is accustomed to the water, so he was getting nourished. So, the crocodile is getting stronger and stronger, and Gajendra was getting weaker and weaker and weaker. Gajendra turned to his family members, turned to his friends, turned to his own physical strength and intelligence, nothing worked. He was on the verge of death. Srila Prabhupad is here explaining, the crocodile of death in the form of time is everywhere, ready to consume everyone, in due course. One who is aware of that, were already in the mouth of crocodile, it’s not a matter of waiting till that happens. We come out of our complacency. When Gajendra was completely helpless, at that time, Krsna in the heart reminded him of his previous devotional activities; reminded him the prayers that he had learnt in taking shelter of the Lord. And in this verse today, Gajendra is beginning his beautiful prayers of surrender.
Another very important aspect of this story is it doesn’t matter who you are. If we are sincere, we will achieve the ultimate goal of life. Grihe tako, vane tako, whether we are a grihastha, a brahmacari or a sanyasi, just chant the holynames with feeling and you will become perfect. Aho bata svapacho… Even if you are dog eater, doesn’t matter. Whatever our physical social position may be, Krsna only sees our sincerity. Srila Prabhupad writes, pure devotional service is very rare, for one who is sincere, serious and has no ulterior motives. Krsna easily gives it. In Caitanya Caritamrita, Sri Caitanya Bhagavat to be specific, Lord Caitanya uses Gajendra as a powerful example of how to attain perfection. Shall I tell the story? (Hari bol!!!) Thank you. It was at the house of Srivas in Navdvipa Dhama, every night Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu would bring his most loving associates for Nama Sankirtana. Now these kirtanas were so full of Bhakti Rasa, devotional sentiments that the ordinary people would not be able to comprehend it. They could possibly take it as something very cheap. Our Acharyas tell us that Srivas Angan is the Rasa Sthali of Vrindavana, the kirtans in the house of Srivas and Malini were non-different than the Rasa Lila of Sri Vrindavan Dhama. Caitanya Mahaprabhu is Radha and Krsna dancing in ecstasy. So Lord Caitanya Mahaprabhu would close and lock all the doors so that no one except the most pure hearted loving devotees could enter. One time at Candrasekhar Bhavan, He said to His devotees, “Tonight I am going to dance in the mood of Radharani, the Supreme goddess of fortune” and everyone was really excited but then He said, “Anyone who has even the slightest tinge of material desires will not be allowed to enter into this pastime of watching me dance”. So suddenly all the happiness of the devotees waned into great sadness, they all looked down, some of them were crying in great distress. Lord Caitanya said “What’s wrong and they all said well we won’t be able to come because we have so many material desires”. This is the nature of the devotee. It’s not that they are saying, “Oooh thats me, I have no material desires, my ticket is secure”. Now we are speaking about Advaita, Srivas, Haridas Thakur, Nityanand Prabhu, they’re all crying “I won’t be allowed in, I can’t come, I have so many material desires”. That’s the humility of a devotee and Lord Caitanya said, “Well if you don’t come, nobody will come and then I have nobody to dance for. So even if you have material desires, you come, you come”. But He said this only to the people He knew had no material desires.
So at Srivas Angan very strict; there are many stories and Lord Caitanya would dance and all the devotees would sing. There was a brahmachari, everyday he would humbly plead to Srivas, “Please, O great Pandit, allow me just one time to see the great Mahaprabhu dance. This is my cherished, deepest, greatest desire – just one time if I could see that dance of love as He is chanting the Holy Name” But everyday Srivas would say, “It is not possible, Lord Caitanya has personally selected who will come to these kirtanas. Even one time, I let my mother in law, she happened to sneak in and Lord Caitanya was very angry. So he said “I cannot do it”. But this brahmachari, he was sinless, perfectly pious, he had deep saadhana and he only drank some milk and ate some fruits and take no other food, very austere. Again and again he pleaded to Srivas. Finally Srivas said, “Because you are so pure hearted and you have so much faith in the Lord and you are so austere that you only drink milk. I will let you in secretly, but you have to hide, because if lord knows you are there, he would become very angry”. So Srivas took the chance. He was so merciful; he actually gave that brahmacari a hiding place. Gauranga Mahaprabhu enters the house, induces all the devotees to begin the naam sankirtan, they are all chanting with such pure love and Lord Caitanya danced. The most beautiful manifestation that has every been revealed in brahma’s creation is Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu’s dance. We can never fathom the intoxicating experience of seeing that dance. It is the personified love of Sri Radha Rani for Krishna. He was dancing. Sri Nityanand Prabhu and Gadadhara Pandit were so jubilantly dancing in circles around Lord Caitanya as He was dancing. And Advaita Acarya was dancing in all directions hither and thither, floating on the waves of ecstatic joy. Seeing Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu dance in this mood of ecstatic love, the devotees were chanting so loudly that absolutely no other sound could be heard anywhere except the loud feeling crying out the holyname. “Hare krishna Hare Krishna, Krishna Krishna Hare Hare, Hare Rama Hare Rama Hare Hare”. It was much louder than that. (Devotees Chant) “Hare krishna Hare Krishna, Krishna Krishna Hare Hare, Hare Rama Hare Rama Hare Hare”. As the devotees were chanting, Caitanya Mahaprabhu dancing, the whole kirtan was like a bottomless, shore less ocean of spiritual joy. And waves of ecstasy were just pushing everybody to the ultimate limits of bliss. And the brahmacari was hiding and watching. Now Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu was all knowing. “Sarvasya Caham Hrdi sannivishto”, he is there in everyone’s heart. There is nothing he does not know. Suddenly in the middle of this ecstatic kirtan, Lord Caitanya Mahaprabhu stops his dance, stops the chanting and says, “I am not feeling ecstasy today. Someone must be here that’s not authorized to be so. Is anyone here?” Now when the Lord asked that question! He is the absolute truth, you can’t lie to the absolute truth and get away with it. Mahaprabhu turned to Srivas, “Is there anyone here who’s not supposed to be here”. Srivas, very humble, he said, “My Lord there are no atheists, there’s nobody attached to sense gratification there are no faithless people, but there’s one brahmacari, who is a completely pure brahamana. He loves You, he wants to see Your dancing, he is so austere, he only drinks a little milk and eats a little food, I let him in.” Lord Caitanya became angry as fire. With a voice like thunder, “Come out here, immediately. No one has the right to see My dancing unless they have pure devotion and they completely take shelter of Me. It is not by merely performing austerities; it is not by being a highly qualified brahman that one has the right to see Me. It is only by simple devotion. What austerities did Gajendra the elephant do? What austerities did Hanuman do, he was a monkey? What austerity did the gopis, the simple milkmaids of vraja do? It is not by austerity, it is because Gajendra, Hanuman and the gopis took complete shelter of the Lord with humility and devotion. That is the only qualification to see me, get that milk drinker out of here before I destroy everything.
The brahmacari was listening. Now be honest, if Lord Caitanya was talking about you like that what you would feel like? Well, the brahmacari was in ecstasy. He was thinking, Lord Caitanya is so kind that he sees right through my façade. He is chastising me because I sincerely deserve this chastisement. And I know whatever chastisement he is giving me is perfect. It is just what I need, he is so merciful, but still I got to see him dance. And as Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu was chastising him like thunderbolt, he stands up right in front of everybody from his hiding place and begins to walk outside. But in his heart, he was grateful for the chastisement. And the Lord within the heart understood that. Even though he is being blasphemed, he is being chastised and he is being criticized. Because that Brahmacari was grateful for it, that was his qualification. Lord Caitanya called him back and placed His lotus feet on that brahmacari’s head and told him that it is only by humble, simple devotional service that one can see Me as I am.
Krsna tells, bhaktyä tv ananyayä çakya… “My dear Arjuna, only by undivided devotional service can I be understood as I am, standing before you, and can thus be seen directly. Only in this way can you enter into the mysteries of My understanding.” There is no other way. Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu gave him this instruction. It is not by being a brahmana, it is not by austerities. It is only because you have a grateful heart and you have taken shelter with humility. And then he was welcomed to be part of the kirtan of Srivas angan from that day on. A great message. Elephants are hard working. They can do hard work, but they are not very intelligent. But because that elephant, what to speak of brahmana, kstariya, Vaishya, sudra, he is an animal. He is not even a human. But anyone who cries out the names of the Lord sincerely, the Lord will save.
Lord Ramachandra emphasized this principle so emphatically, in Sri Ramayan. Vibhishan was a rakshasa by race. He was telling Ravana, give Sita back to Rama. Rama is the Supreme Personality of Godhead. Even though he was the brother of Ravana, living in Sri Lanka surrounded by all these horrible creatures, he was a sincere devotee. And when Ravana, even though he was so compassionate, so kind, he loved Ravana, he hated the disease of Ravana’s envy. He was trying in every possible way to save his brother and bring him to Krishna Consciousness. But it is history that if you try to help somebody, people turn against you and try to destroy you. Jesus was crucified by the people he was trying to help. Haridas Thakur was beaten in 22 market places by the people he loved, and wanted to help. It is human history.
Here we find, Vibhishan. Vibhishan was trying to help Ravana and in return Ravana was trying to kill him and banished him from his home, his family, with horrible words. Vibhishan left and he tried to take shelter of Lord Rama. And Vibhishan was a really big rakshasa. He had the power to fly over ocean in just seconds, Rama Chandra built the bridge which took a long time to build. Vibhishan just flew over with two of his associates. And he saw Sugriva and few of his associates and he said “I want to take shelter of Ram”. And Sugriva was, he wanted to capture him and kill him. Ravan’s brother! And told Ram that Vibhisan had come to take shelter of you, he want to meet you and Sugriva says, “In my opinion we must capture him, we should beat him and we should kill him, we cant trust him”. Ram asked everybody’s opinion. Every body was agreeing with Sugriva. How can you trust him? Even if he is so called taking shelter now due to sentiment, because he is angry with his brother, blood is very thick! He is a rakshasa, ultimately he is the brother of Ravan, so when things come to that point he going to take sides with his brother and with his own race. Ram asked Hanuman what’s your opinion? Hanuman said, “I saw his face and he looks sincere. We should accept him as our own family member.” And Sugriva got really angry. He said we can’t take such chances and then Ramachandra spoke. He said, “If anyone even once says, ‘My Lord I am your’s’ with a sincere and faithful heart I give my word before all of you today, that I will that I will protect that devotee. I ‘ll never leave that devotee, I’ll accept that devotee as my own. Even if Ravana himself came today and say’s I am your’s I would accept him and give him all protection forever.”
That’s all the Lord want’s from us, is just to take shelter with a humble and sincere heart. Trinadhapi Sunicena…When Sri Caitanya MahaPrabhu began His all night kirtans for one year at Srivas angan this was the method he told the devotees how we must chant. When we have that Humility, that grateful tolerance, offering all respects to others not expecting oneself, that is the spirit by which we can actually take shelter of the Lord. That’s the meaning of Surrender. And at superficial level surrender means doing what you are told. But deep down surrender means to have that type of humility, no ego. My Lord I am yours, and whatever you send to me, aslishya va pada ratham…you can trample on me or you can embrace me or you can make me broken hearted. Whatever situation you put me in My Lord, I am yours. And all I have is your holyname. This is the spirit of Gajendra and the lesson of Srimad Bhagavatam. To welcome the adversities that come in our lives and transform them in to blessings by helping us to sincerely and intensely take shelter of the holyname of the Lord. Thank you very much.
Is there any questions…Yes one question and we will end.
Question: Hare Krishna Maharaj! Maharaj you are speaking about Pure devotional service. And you are mentioning that only 3 things are required for pure devotional service – seriousness, sincerity and no ulterior motives. We know that if we at all get that pure devotional service, it is going to be causeless. We don’t have qualification. Although we are getting causeless devotional service, our anarthas will remain. Because, it is difficult to take it out by our own endeavour. How to see to it that Krishna doesn’t take pure devotional service from our life although that anarthas are still there? If He takes it, again we are in miserable condition. Maharaj, please tell, if at all we get that pure devotional service, how to see to it that it remains with us forever and doesn’t go away at any cost and we remain blissful in Krsna Consciousness?
Answer: Hare Krsna! If we are actually humble and grateful for the mercy of the Lord, then it will never be taken away. When we are ungrateful and we are proud, then Krishna covers the great benefits he has given us. Even the spiritual credits that we have acquired in this life and possibly previous lives as well, if we are arrogant, ungrateful, Krsna will cover those great spiritual assets and those great qualities that we have. and push us down to a lowly miserable condition ultimately, to purge that ego, so that genuinely humble heart like Gajendra, he had nowhere else to turn. Then all of his previous assets manifested in full blossom. Because, he was in a totally humble position. So, we always remain in that spirit of the servant of the servant of the servant; and are grateful for what Krishna gives us, No!! Krishna will never take away – the great assets of devotional servants. Does that answer your question? But if we are proud, we make aparadhs. We make offenses. When we make offences, we no longer stand in Krishna’s favour. And then He has to… Let material energy do its work, to polarise that ego that’s causing us to make offenses. Very painful. Therefore, Vaisnava – amanina manadena – he is eager to respect others, does not expect respect for him or herself. taroriva sahisnuna – what it means to be tolerant like a tree? It doesn’t mean simply that we endure pain. It means, we are grateful. We are grateful for the opportunity that this is giving me and we turn to Krsna with a humble heart, begging, “Please protect me from offending Vaisnavas. Protect me from false ego. Let me forever please you. Just be in the mood of aservant and you will always remain protected.” Does that answer your question?
One more question. Here is a brahmacari who drinks milk and eats fruit. I think all Radheysham Prabhu’s brahmacaris only drink milk and eats fruits. But they also have deep loving devotion and surrender.
Question: I just wanted to know in many of your lectures, you make this point that Srila Prabhupada says that pure that devotional service is very rare. But if you are sincere, serious and without ulterior motives, then you can achieve the mercy of the Lord. So I wanted little elaboration on this, because many a times you have emphasized. So what is sincerity and how is it different from seriousness. These two terms I wanted to know little more so that we can try to follow.
A. You are becoming very technical. We should not have a separate agenda. We should serve the vaishnavas to please the vaishnavas. anyäbhiläñitä-çünyaà… We must render first class Devotional service, without the desire for material acquisitions, elevation to higher planets, without even the desire for liberation. We must perform service only with a desire to please Krishna, please guru, please vaishnavas, uplift the conditioned souls. And we should not give up in spite of impediments. There are many qualities and many classes can be given on what sincerity means. But one is sincerity means we don’t give up. A sincere person maintains their integrity and their good character no matter what. There may be temptations; there may be fears and aversions. But we maintain the proper character of a devotee; we maintain our regulative principles, our morality. We maintain our humility and service attitudes, our fidelity to guru and Krishna. Despite temptations and many alternatives that are being put before us. That is sincerity. Despite the frivolous nature of the mind, we follow the path of bhakti and live by proper character. That is sincerity. And if we are just sincere to try the very best we can Krishna will be there to help us. If we take credit for anything that is insincerity. We just try our best to do the right thing, and give all credit to Krishna. Depend on Krishna. When Srila Prabhupada was on Jaladutta, he was praying so far from Vrindavan. Such an impossible mission! I am completely depending on your mercy. He is praying to guru and Krishna. Following in those footsteps, we have to execute our mission of Krishna Consciousness, completely depending on the mercy of Guru and Krishna. That is sincerity. It is very simple.
Sri Sri Radha Gopinath Ki Jai!
Srila Prabhupada Ki Jai!