na yasya devä åñayaù padaà vidur
jantuù punaù ko ‘rhati gantum éritum
yathä naöasyäkåtibhir viceñöato
duratyayänukramaëaù sa mävatu
na—neither; yasya—He of whom; deväù—the demigods; åñayaù—great sages; padam—position; viduù—can understand; jantuù—unintelligent living beings like animals; punaù—again; kaù—who; arhati—is able; gantum—to enter into the knowledge; éritum—or to express by words; yathä—as; naöasya—of the artist; äkåtibhiù—by bodily features; viceñöataù—dancing in different ways; duratyaya—very difficult; anukramaëaù—His movements; saù—that Supreme Personality of Godhead; mä—unto me; avatu—may give His protection.
An artist onstage, being covered by attractive dresses and dancing with different movements, is not understood by his audience; similarly, the activities and features of the supreme artist cannot be understood even by the demigods or great sages, and certainly not by those who are unintelligent like animals. Neither the demigods and sages nor the unintelligent can understand the features of the Lord, nor can they express in words His actual position. May that Supreme Personality of Godhead give me protection.
A similar understanding was expressed by Kuntédevé. The Supreme Lord exists everywhere, within and without. He even exists within the heart. Sarvasya cähaà hådi sanniviñöo [Bg. 15.15]. Éçvaraù sarva-bhütänäà håd-deçe ‘rjuna tiñöhati [Bg. 18.61]. Thus it is indicated that one can find the Supreme Lord within one’s heart. There are many, many yogés trying to find Him. Dhyänävasthita-tad-gatena manasä paçyanti yaà yoginaù [SB 12.13.1]. Nonetheless, even great yogés, demigods, saints and sages have been unable to understand the bodily features of that great artist, nor could they understand the meaning of His movements. What then is to be said of ordinary speculators like the so-called philosophers of this material world? For them He is impossible to understand. Therefore we must accept the statements given by the Supreme when He kindly incarnates to instruct us. We must simply accept the word of Lord Rämacandra, Lord Kåñëa and Lord Çré Caitanya Mahäprabhu and follow in Their footsteps. Then it may be possible for us to know the purpose of Their incarnations.
janma karma ca me divyam
evaà yo vetti tattvataù
tyaktvä dehaà punar janma
naiti mäm eti so ‘rjuna
If by the Lord’s grace one can understand Him, one will immediately be delivered, even within his material body. The material body will no longer have any function, and whatever activities take place with the body will be activities of Kåñëa consciousness. In this way one may give up his body and return home, back to Godhead.
We are reading today from Srimad Bhagavatam Canto Eight, chapter three entitled Gajendra’s prayers of Surrender, Text 6.
THE REAL CONTROLLER
Gajendra was certainly not living a God conscious life. He was living as an animal in the form of an Elephant in the forest, beautiful forest and was totally absorbed in thinking I am this body and all of the relatives and all of the things that are in relation to this body are mine. So mush deeply engrossed in all of these objects all around him, that he was completely forgetful of who he really was or of his real self interest. Until the greatest tragedy that had ever come upon him, a situation beyond his control. The tendency of the conditioned soul in this world is we want to be controller. Bhakti Vinoda wrote a song “Tumi Sarvaishvareshwara Vrajendrakumar”. That Vrajendra kumar that small son of Nanda Maharaj is in truth the controller of all controllers. “Ishwarah param Krsna saccidanand vigraha”. Everyone in this material existence to one extent or another is Ishvarah or controller. But the absolute truth is “Param Ishvarah”. He is the supreme controller. For those under this illusion, who want to control, we want to control other people, we want to control the items or object around us, we want to control our own body and mind but ultimately the forces of material nature are designed by the Lord to sooner or later frustrate all of our attempts. To reveal to us how we are actually always under the control of higher powers. It is an embarrassing situation, where a person who has gained great pride and recognition for being a powerful controller to be put in a helpless condition, its very humbling.
GAJENDRA VS CROCODILE
So here is the apparent controller of the entire forest, Gajendra, in a state of crisis that is totally beyond his control. He is in the jaws of a crocodile and he is fighting with this crocodile for a long time. And he is getting weaker and weaker and weaker as the crocodile is getting stronger and stronger. Until it comes to the point where he realizes that he is defeated, there is no chance. As long as he thought that there was a chance he kept fighting and he fought valiantly. Sometimes it appears that he was going to win, with his great strength he would drag the crocodile out of the water and everyone around, can you imagine what it’s like, the ultimate tournament or match. If there were any other crocodiles in the audience they were for the crocodile and all the other animals in the forest, those who were afraid of Gajendra were cheering for the crocodile, but all those who were protected by him and his family members, when he would drag the crocodile out of the water, they would “He is going to win! He is going to win!!!” But then the crocodile dragged him back into the water. And they were going in and out and in and out of the water, who is going to win this fight. At the beginning nobody knew. Certainly everyone must have been confident that Gajendra has to win, what is this little crocodile compared to him.
CAT & MOUSE GAME
And every time we find…Krishna plays games with his devotees sometimes, what to speak of how material nature does. When Lord Nrsingha Dev was fighting with Hiranyakasipu, the Lord captured Hiranyakasipu in his arms and then Hiranyakasipu was fighting very very strongly, and then he got out. He got out of the Lord’s grips and Hiranyakasipu was under the illusion that, “You see He can’t hold me, He can’t control me. I am more powerful than Him”. It is described that the Lord was playing with Hiranyakasipu like a cat plays with a mouse. Now actually the cat could just eat the mouse in a second, but usually cats like to play. So they grab the mouse and then let it go and the mouse is thinking, “Ahaa! I am more powerful than this cat, he can’t hold me.” And then the cat grabs him again and then lets him go and then grabs him and lets him go. That’s the way Lord Nrsingha was playing with Hiranyakasipu, but Hiranyakasipu was under the illusion that he was winning. Mayadhyakshena prakrti, suyatesa caracaram…Krishna says that, “I am the controller of this entire material energy.” Maya is his external, bahiranga shakti , it’s the energy of the Lord. Factually that is the same exact way Maya plays with everyone in this creation. She plays with us and she gives us chance to think that we are winning, that we are going to be successful. However big we are, whether we are kings, prime ministers, presidents, powerful financers of governments or just common farmers, the fact is we are all like insignificant, helpless mice. You are a just tiny mouse, not even a rat, just a little mouse, in the paws of the cat of Maya and she is playing with you. We think we are controlling, the fact is that we are always 100% completely under control. Krishna does give us free will; we have the right to use our free will. But outside of that we are simply controlled. And in material life, unless you surrender to Krishna, you cannot win the game, you have to lose.
GAJENDRA REPRESENTS US
So Gajendra was factually much stronger than any of us. He was much more influential in his environment than any of us. And actually he is representing all of us. So in the crocodiles mouth, he is fighting passionately and that’s all he is thinking about, his next move, how to get out. When he actually understands, he is finished, there is nothing else he can do and that he is defeated. Even though he has his huge gigantic body, at the prime of his youth, it’s about to be killed. And all the things he is controlling over is about to be ripped away from him. And all the relatives and loved ones and other people (animal people) that are connected to him, they are all forever going to be ripped from his life. Very sobering reality!
PARAMATMA IS OUR EVER-WELL-WISHER
In that state the paramatma within his heart,
sarvasya cähaà hådi sanniviñöo,
mattaù småtir jïänam apohanaà ca.
Krsna says, “I am seated in everyone’s heart, and from Me come remembrance, knowledge and forgetfulness.” We are forgetful of Krsna, because Krsna sanctions it. It is our will, so Krnsa reciprocates. But we cannot remember Krnsa without the grace of Krnsa either. Somehow because Gajendra was a very serious devotee, in his past life and he pleased Krsna, even though he made a mistake and he was cursed and he fell down to the animal species, still Krsna remembered everything he had done in the past.
THE TWO BIRDS – SOUL & SUPERSOUL
And as the Upanishad explains, it is like two birds in the same tree, one bird is very eager to eat the fruits of the tree. Sometimes the fruits are sweet and the bird enjoys, sometimes the fruit is bitter and the bird suffers. And that bird is just continues to go from one branch to another to another, trying to find sweet fruits. The other bird is completely detached from the tree. He is simply there because he loves the other bird. He is just there waiting, “Turn to me, and I will give you and I’ll give you everything, I’ll give you myself, I’ll give you the true immortal sweetness that you are looking for in these insignificant fruits. Just turn to me.” And as soon as that bird turns, immediately, the Lord bird gives himself. So in the same way, Krishna is within our heart. He is just waiting, we are trying to be controllers, we are trying to be enjoyers, we are trying to be proprietors, and the Lord is just waiting.
DEVOTIONAL SERVICE IS ETERNAL
pratyaväyo na vidyate
sv-alpam apy asya dharmasya
träyate mahato bhayät
Because devotional service is transcendental, any effort is eternal. It is never lost. And it will be there to save us from the greatest fear whenever we really need it.
So here is an example, when Gajendra was in the greatest crisis, the greatest fear, because of his past devotional service he was able to turn to God. Not only could he turn to God, but he remembered the beautiful prayers that he had learned in his previous life. It is amazing. Gajendra is an elephant and he is chanting slokas in perfect Sanskrit. That’s the Lord in his heart, giving him that remembrance at the time when he needs it the most. And Here Gajendra, because the lord is revealing himself within Gajendra’s heart, Gajendra is revealing such deep mysteries. He is praying to Krishna, “No one can understand you. Like an actor on the stage, who is dancing and dressing with various ornaments, is not understood by his audience. Similarly the activities and features of the supreme artist cannot be understood by great demigods and great sages and certainly by ordinary people.”
THE PROBLEM – WE WANT TO BE THE CONTROLLERS
Because we want to be controller, intellectually our human tendency is, we want to control God, in the name of religion. This is the problem. Why is there so much of conflict? Why is there so much of terrorism and hatred and bigotry and fundamentalism that leads to divisions? This is the core reason. Because we still have this ego that we want to be the controller and now we want to control God. “God is what I want him to be. God is what my interpretation is. If your interpretation is different from me then your are dangerously wrong and either you should be avoided or you should be destroyed. It’s the false ego. It’s the very thing that god comes to this world to relive us of this desire to control, and we are intellectually using it on him. ‘I know, I am the proprietor of true understanding of god’,
jïätvä mäà çäntim åcchati
Krishna says if you want to be peaceful you have to understand that Krishna is the proprietor of everything, you are not the proprietor of anything, and certainly not god. You can’t even be the proprietor of the least of his objects of his material energy, what to speak of the proprietor of the supreme absolute truth himself. But that’s actually what’s happening.
HONESTLY AND SINCERELY SURRENDER – GOD REVEALS HIMSELF
So Gajendra, because he is honestly and sincerely surrendering, these revelations are manifesting by Krishna’s grace within his heart. That there is only one way to understand god, and there will never be any other way. And that is when god reveals himself to us. There is no other way. The infinitesimal has no power on its own to understand the infinite. But the infinitesimal does have the power given by the infinite to understand according to what the infinite wants to reveal, Janma karma ca me divyam, If one simply understands the nature of Krishna’s appearance and activities in this world, one never has to take birth again, one achieves the ultimate perfection of going back to the spiritual world. But we can not understand by our philosophical prowess, by our fertile intelligence. We can only understand when the lord is pleased to reveal himself to us.
UNDERSTAND THROUGH PARAMPARA
Krishna tells in the Gita, evaà paramparä-präptam. I can be understood through disciplic succession. When Krishna speaks Bhagavad Gita and we understand his message through the way he has ordered to understand through disciplic succession or parampara, we are getting the absolute version of how this material existence is working why it is working, who we are, who is god, what is my relationship with god, what is happiness and what is real liberation. Krishna will reveal it all. There is nothing to figure out. Its all there. The only thing to figure out is when we are going to do what he says. Tadviddhi pranipatena parirasnena sevaya. I revealed everything. Its all coming down in disciplic succession. If you want to know the truth of Me, you approach a guru who knows Me. This is Krsna’s plan. And we may have our own plan. But they will not work. One hundred percent garunteed – it can not work. We can start our own religions. We can start our own paths. We can attract millions of followers, but we can not know God, until God is pleased to reveal Himself to us and God gives the method. Sarva dharman parityajya mamekam saranam vrja. We have to humble ourselves and surrender. And part of humbling ourselves and surrender is to accept Krnsa’s message, Krsna’s instruction.
ONLY BY THE GRACE OF LORD CAN WE KNOW HIM
So, here Gajendra is revealing this beautiful truth – how no one can understand the Absolute except the Absolute. And when the Absolute wants to reveal Himself to us we could know Him in full according to our capacity. That is the path of grace. Only by the grace of God can we know God in truth.
EXAMPLES FROM CAITANYA CARITAMRITA
And there are so many examples of even very very great and realized devotees. If Krsna doesn’t want to reveal Himself to them, then they can not understand. There were great devotees in the time of Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu who really misunderstood Lord Nityananda. Its described in Caitanya Bhagavat.
(i) One devotee, he didn’t want to make offences. But he just was so disturbed. He left Bengal and traveled all the way to Jaganath Puri, just to reveal his mind to Caitanya Mahaprabhu. He wasn’t an ordinary material person. He was a vaisnava. He was a special vaisnava. But he realized that he was starting to make offences to a great soul. But there was nothing he could to about it. It was an emergency. He went all the way to Puri just to approach Lord Caitanya. And this happened in several occasions – different people. One, when Lord Nityananda Prabhu kicked Sivananda sen in the chest and cursed Sivananda sen to loose everything he had what was most dear to him, when Sivananda sen was just giving his life and soul only to please Lord Nityananda. This was really strange. This person ran ahead and told Lord Caitanya – this is whats happening.
(ii) Another person, he saw Lord Nityananda Prabhu who is supposed to be in the renounced order, He is supposed to be a saint. And he was wearing jewelry made out of gold, and rubies and diamonds and emeralds and silver. He has bangles and necklaces, and ear rings, ankle bells and He has turbans and cloth of the finest silks, and He is holding a golden staff. This person is thinking, “What kind of a saintly person is this?” So, he went all the way to Puri just to say to Lord Caitanya – “I am really confused about this Nityananda Prabhu.”
And Lord Caitanya is non-different than Lord Caitanya Mahaprabhu.
brajendra-nandana jei, çacé-suta hoilo sei,
balaräma hoilo nitäi
Lord Krsna came as Lord Caitanya and Balarama came as Nitai. So, when Lord Caitanya heard these stories, He was in ecstasy. The other person was in agony. Lord Caitnaya was in ecstasy. Because, he understood that Lord Nityananda was giving the highest mercy and love and affection to Sivananda sen. “You can not understand. Sivananda sen understood it.” When his wife heard, “Sivananda sen has caused me such an inconvenience. I curse his children to die.” Now what do you think the mother is going to think? She was devastated. And then Sivananda sen gets kicked by Nityannada in the chest, after working so hard, giving his life, his entire income, everything just to please Lord Nityananda. This is the result he gets chastised, cursed that his children die, and he gets kicked in the chest and Sivananda Sen was happiest man in the world. There could be no one happier than him. The same feet that even Brahma and Siva meditate upon for millions of years and never achieve have today blessed my chest. And he knew that Nityananda prabhu whatever he does is for the good of everyone.
Actually his children didn’t die. They grew up to be old people and they all became great famous saints. Some of the greatest saints in the history of our Vaishnava tradition are the children of Sivananda Sen. So when Nityananda would curse them to die, he actually blessed them to live long lives and completely empowered lovers of God. That was his way of blessing them. Now who can understand? Sivananda sen could understand because he was surrendered. So Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu told this person that the ornaments on Lord Nityanandas body are the personified forms of devotional service.
The nine processes of devotional service are personally decorating the lord, have personified themselves to personally decorate Lord Nityananda prabhus body. Those are not just jewels and gold, that is pure spiritual substance. That’s the ornament of his supreme devotion and love and besides that he is in the mood of a cowherd boy. So Lord Caitanya could understand Lord Nityananda, why? Because he is Lord Nityananda.
ONLY KRISHNA CAN UNDERSTAND HIMSELF.
Only Krishna can reveal to him to any of us his purpose, who he is? And Gita tells “ye yatha mam prapadyante tams tathaiva bhajamyaham”. According to the surrender that we offer to the Lord, the Lord reveals himself. According to how we surrender to the Lord within our heart, According to how we surrender to the service of Vaishnavas, According to how we surrender to the will of the Guru, According to how we surrender to be the servant of all living beings on behalf of the Lord, the Lord reveals.
KUNTI DEVI’S MOOD
Prabhupada begins his purport of a similar understanding was expressed by Kunti devi. She was very much like Gajendra, but for many years she was in the crocodile of despair, for decades. Her children were banished to the forest for twelve years, and before that there were so many problems and after that there were so many problems. And in the end she thanked Krishna for all these calamities because in those she realized she is not the controller, she is helpless and she turned to Krishna with an open and honest and sincere heart, and Krishna revealed to her everything. He revealed himself. And she also understood that nobody can understand you, Krishna.
KRISHNA LOVES TO GLORIFY HIS DEVOTEES (BHISHMA)
Even Bhishma one of the twelve Mahajans, he gave the same conclusion of his laying in his bed of arrows. He is talking to Yudhisthira Maharaj and then offering his prayers to Krishna. He is saying why is it that the Pandavas who are pure, without any envy, wanted to do everything for the welfare of others in the service of God. Why did the Pandavas have to go through a whole history of the persecution, misunderstanding and distress? And how is it that the Kurus headed by Duryodhana for so many years, they were happy, they were ruling over the world and they had everything that they wanted. Why does Krishna allows this to happen to his devotee. Now Bhishma who is one of the most intelligent people of the whole creation, he is son of Gangadevi, he is very powerful being. He was trained in the scriptures by the demigods; he was trained in etiquette and fighting by the demigods. He was very very special person, he was so intelligent that when Yudhishthira Maharaj was lamenting over all the people killed in the battle of Kurukshetra, and he was blaming himself for the whole thing, Krishna purposely tried to pacify him but couldn’t.
And blaming himself for the whole thing. Krishna purposely tried to pacify him, but couldn’t, this is Krishna! He wanted to glorify his devotee. Krishna loves to glorigy His devotee. During the churning of the ocean of the milk when all that poison came out the devatas approached Vishnu and He said “lets go to Siva”. So they all went to Siva. Krishna loves to see his devotee glorify. So Krishna brought Yudhistir Maharaj and the pandavas all the way to Kurukshetra from Hastinapur just to learn the highest truths from Bhishma. Krishna’s more or less saying, Bhishma knows better than Me. Of course everyone knows that whatever he know he is getting it from Krishna. This is how intelligent Bhishma is. And Bhishma is saying how is that the innocent and perfect devotees the pandavas had to go through so much suffering and their mother Kunti had to go through so much distress. And Bhishma said, no one, not even the greatest philosophers or yogis or anyone can understand the inconceivable will of the Lord.
KRISHNA OUR LOVING PARENT
The Lord is so inconceivable. Some time the child, the parent want to teach the child a good lesson. And the little child can’t understand, why is he doing this to me, why is my mother and father doing this to me, this is not right, I don’t like it. And then they start chastising their mother and father, but the mother and father have their reason. They have very mature, wide spectrum, full picture of what’s best for the child. The child only knows one little, what their situation is at the moment. We are all little children of Krishna, aham bija prate pitah, He is or mother and father and He is the supreme intelligent and He knows what’s best for His devotees, He knows what’s best. He knows what we need. We may not understand but we understand through Krishna’s instructions the principle and we accept that.
So people who want to be controllers in the name of scholarship or in the name of logic, they are against Faith. Why do have faith in the scriptures? why do you have faith in the saints? We should scientifically and logically understand things with our own intelligence. The most logical and scientific way of understanding is to have faith! That’s the reality, because there is no other way to really understand the background of how things are working. We may be able to understand to a very very minute degree the external appearance of things. We can’t penetrate the externals to penetrate the background of why and how. So factually faith in the proper sources is the most logical scientific way of understanding truth, because Krishna is inconceivable. And material nature is inconceivable, because its Krishna’s energy. Actually everything is inconceivable; nothing that exists, is not inconceivable to understand it as it is. The soul is inconceivable, this body that we are living in is quite inconceivable, what to speak of the source of everything. So Krishna, he gave us a method to have faith, faith in His words. He is revealing himself, Srila Prabhupada explaind himself that, He comes as Lord Ram, as Lord Krishna, He comes as Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu, He comes in so many ways in so many religions through the world to reveal the truth. But then again in order to even understand these truths, that are revealed in the scriptures by the saints in various traditions, even to understand them properly, it’s only possible through surrender. We may be very proud, that so many people are speculating about what man manabhava mad bhakto means, yes…always think of Me, become My devotee, worship Me offer your homage onto Me. Some people are saying that this means that the unmanifest impersonal all pervading absolute with in Krishna. But we understand Bhagavad Gita as it is through the parampara, through the guru disciplic succession we are getting the actual understanding what Krishna says.
HUMILITY LEADS TO UNDERSTANDING OF KRSNA
We may have the conception, other people may have misconception, we may have the right conception, but that does not mean you understand it. Other people don’t understand because they have the wrong conception. You may have the right conception, but what does it take to understand the right conception, there is a difference between the two. There is a difference between, having a glass of water and actually being able to drink it and get the nourishment. Srila Prabhupada has given us the best vitamins, but unless we eat it and digest it, whats the use. So we have the perfect conceptions, but we can only understand them according to our surrender. Just because we have the best, does not mean we are the best. It means you have the best opportunity.
The other day Narahari Prabhu gave a very nice class and read from a purport of Srila Prabhupada, where he was quoting Bhakti Siddhanta Saraswati Thakur, that “You can chant the holy names, birth after birth, but you will never understand Krsna until you are
trinad api sunicena, taror iva sahisnunam
amanina mana dena, kirtaniya sada hari
Until you are humble like the grass, tolerant like a tree, eager to offer all respects to others and not concerned with respect for oneself.
When you chant the name in that spirit, you can understand Krsna. Until you adopt that spirit, birth after birth, you can chant 3 lac rounds everyday and you won’t understand, you won’t even understand the holy name. It is a matter of surrender. There are so many examples.
The brahmana in Sri Rangam, he could not comprehend the Gita. There were other people, who intellectual had absolute mastery over it. They had it memorized. They could probably explain any scripture in dozens of different ways. Could mesmerize crowds of people. But this Brahmin could not even pronounce it properly and he did not even know what it meant intellectually. But he had complete understanding of Krsna. Because he was so sincere and humble in his surrender to his guru and the Lord. Lord Caitanya Mahaprabhu said, you are the perfect knower of Gita.
WHY GAJENDRA DESERVED THE LORD’S MERCY?
This story from Srimad Bhagvatam, Gajendra moksha, is a story of going to the very essence. Gajendra really was trnad api sunicena… he felt himself more humble than a blade of grass. He became tolerant like a tree, he was ready to offer all respect to others and not expect any respect in return. He was really in a humble state of submission before God. When Gajendra is saying here “protect me my Lord”, he is not saying protect my body. He is praying protect me by giving me the chance to always remember you. That is real protection. Because the body is going to die, even if you are an excellent devotee still your body is going to die. Protection is to remember Krsna at time of death, protection means to remember Krsna during life, . in the good and the bad. This is Gajendra, he is just giving himself to Krsna, “I am yours, just accept me”.
Because of that even the deepest mysteries which sages and demigods cannot understand, an elephant understands. Because of his humility and devotion.
Thid is how Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu, Srila Prabhupada and great acrays have taught us to approach the Lord as we chant His holy names.
Hare Krsna Hare Krsna Krsna Krsna Hare Hare / Hare Rama Hare Rama Rama Rama Hare Hare
Is there is any questions?
Question: Maharaj, this doubt is always haunting me for last so many days is that about vaishnav aparadh. We know that nobody is spared out in vaishnav aparadh. It may be anytime, but nobody is spared out. It is so deep to the extent that even Mahaprabhu also, didn’t spare out her mother Sacimata. Now if it is so serious, then this incident of Citraketu Maharaj and Parvati. Even though Citraketu Maharaj was on such a high standard of a pure devotee, so much so that he even got the darshan Lord Sankarshan. In that circumstances when Parvati, is doing some aparadh on Citraketu Maharaj, and so much so that the curse was so valid, he had to become Vrtrasura. Now such a heavy curse, without any fault also as we hear it, still we don’t see any reaction getting on Parvati as such. So how is it so that even though vaishnav aparadh is going to be applicable for everybody, and Why parvati is not getting any reaction. Is there any concession also into it?
HH Radhanath Swami: ‘vaishnaver Kriya Mudra..vigye na bujhaye‘, Just as Krishna cannot be understood by our logic and intellignece, similarly great vaishnavas cannot be understood by common logic or intelligence. Even great vaishnavas can only be understood by the grace of Krishna. So Parvati, is an expansion of Srimati Radhanari, she is just not a devotee. She is the expansion of the supreme most devotee. She was setting the stage for one of the most beautiful pastime of Srimad Bhagvatam. It was the divine potency manifesting through her to actually glorify
Citraketu. If it was not for that, we would not even care about Maharaj Citraketu. Yes? The story of Vritrasur is one of the most popular and glorified of all subject matters int the puranas. Yes? He was protected becuase , he may have taken form of a demon, but he was 24 hours a day remembering Krishna with love and devotion. Yes? Even he was protected. He accepted the curse as a blessing. So the Bhagvatam wants to show, what is the standard of a great devotee like Citraketu. And even Shiva was telling Parvati, “Just see, you cursed him and he is happy, he is grateful, he accepts it as a blessing. Just see what a great devotee he is.” He was glorifying him.” So in this instance Parvati was showing divine mercy, there was no offense on her part. She is the shakti of the absolute truth. So it is an offense for us to try to judge Parvati. It is not an offense for Parvati to show mercy in her mysterious ways. Does that answer your question?
Question Continues: Maharaj then the second doubt that i also have is that Citraketu Maharaj, who was on such a high standard of pure devotion, so much so that he got a very big set back and he understood his lesson and he made a conclusion also that this material world is a miserable place, there is absolutely no shelter other than Krishna, and he completely dedicated. When he came to that standard, then what is the need for him to become a demon, and again have a new birth. He is already a pure devotee, he is already on that transcendental platfrom, then why again the process for Vritrasura and suffer so much through death, for 1 year Indra cutting him at the throat. Such a hardship he had to go through, when he already reached to that pure platfrom. I cannot understand that.
HH Radhanath Swami: The need was not there for Citraketu, the need is for you to understand that. The deepest wisdom is revealed in this beautiful story on so many levels. So, why were the Pandavas exiled? Why did Ravana steal Sita? So many stories are like this. Why was Abhimanyu killed in the battlefield? That’s what just we reading about here. The Lord is like an actor on the stage and he has his acting troupe with him. And he is putting on a wonderful performance. And to understand the purpose of the performance, we have to understand the Lord. So why Citraketu was put through this? Because he was so surrendered, “My Lord, I want to surrender.” So what better way could he serve the Lord? By being the main character in one of the best stories of Srimad 2 Bhagvatam. That is a good service.
So for him become Vitrasura was a small thing, if that’s the best way he can serve the lord. He was just ready to serve in any situation. And the lord for the sake of the world put him in that position, and he was eager and happy to do it. Now you may say oh it’s so horrible that Indra with his thunderbolt cut his head off, it took so long, can you imagine there was no anaesthesia, it was a very long surgery. But Vitrasura was in ecstasy, he was in Samadhi, the reason why it took him so long is because when you are in Samadhi you neck becomes stiff. That’s why it took so long, because he was in Samadhi. He was completely immersed in remembering Krishna. He didn’t feel Indra’s thunderbolt. He told Indra that I want to be killed by you. That way I go back to godhead. You win the war you stay in this miserable world, good. Kill me and I go back to godhead, you’re a fool, I am happy. That was his realisation. But he didn’t feel pain, he was happy. He just wanted to serve, and therefore he was always protected even in these mystical mysterious ways he was completely protected. And it was all by the grace by Paravati.
Question: Maharaj we are been talking bout Maya today, how we are in the crocodiles mouth, my doubt was, as far as the people in the outside world, we consider them to be in Maya as they are into gross sense gratification, but it could be that devotees also practicing KC could be in Maya but thinking that they are following the process of KC we may think we are quite Okay. So maharaj my question is, what are the symptoms of understanding that even as a devotee we could also be in Maya and we need help?
HH Radhanath Swami: The greatest Paramahamsas in their prayers, they reveal that how they feel that they are in Maya. Narottama Das Thakur, Bhaktivinoda Thakur, read their prayers, the Gosvamis. When Rupa and Sanatan were praying to Lord Caitanya Mahaprabhu, they were saying we are the most fallen; we are the most in Maya in creation. Bhaktivinoda Thakur is praying to Gopinath that I am completely being attacked and defeated by lust and envy.
Narottama Das Thakur is praying that my heart is a blazing fire of material desires, please put it out. They are all humbling themselves, praying to god for the protection, and they are the greatest people.
Neophyte devotees think that I am above Maya. They are not very concerned or worried about it. They think that I have Krishna so I am fine. But do you really have Krishna? We may have the opportunity for Krishna; we have the path by which we can become perfect, but we have to take shelter. So it’s good to think that we are in Maya, but it is not good to be in Maya. But we should take shelter. If we think we are in Maya and we take shelter then we will be out of Maya. So yes we should be grateful because we have the holy name, we have the association of the devotees, we have Srimad Bhagavatam, we have the deities and we have so many opportunities for devotional service.
Maya may be there. But we are filling so much of our hearts with so many blessings of devotional service. So if we just carry on sincerely, SP said just by practicing the principles of Bhakti, you are already liberated. But learning to take shelter of the process is how you realise your liberated state.
We have everything, so we should be grateful, we have to take shelter. And unless we feel, we are in the crocodile, we usually don’t take shelter. Now some people may feel,”If you think you are in a crocodile, you might be in a miserable state.” Actually it is just the opposite. Gajendra is in ecstacy, while he is praying to the Lord, his leg in the crocodile’s jaws. So when we turn to Krishna and take shelter of Krishna, we find the greatest happiness. We have to be sincere. And if we are sincere and even if we have shortcomings, Krishna will not take them as very serious. Krishna sees our intention as the most important thing. A strict devotee, who is egoistitc is not getting as much mercy as a person with very sincere and humble intentions who may not be so strict. We should try to be strict with very humble and sincere intentions. But it is the sincere and humble intentions that attract Krishna’s shelter.
We should end here.