namaù çäntäya ghoräya
namo jïäna-ghanäya ca
namaù—all obeisances; çäntäya—unto Him who is above all material qualities and completely peaceful, or unto Väsudeva, the Supersoul in every living entity; ghoräya—unto the fierce forms of the Lord like Jämadagnya and Nåsiàhadeva; müòhäya—the form of the Lord as an animal, such as the boar; guëa-dharmiëe—who accepts different qualities within the material world; nirviçeñäya—who is without material qualities, being fully spiritual; sämyäya—Lord Buddha, the form of nirväëa, wherein the material qualities stop; namaù—I offer my respectful obeisances; jïäna-ghanäya—who is knowledge or the impersonal Brahman; ca—also.
I offer my respectful obeisances to Lord Väsudeva, who is all-pervading, to the Lord’s fierce form as Lord Nåsiàhadeva, to the Lord’s form as an animal [Lord Varähadeva], to Lord Dattätreya, who preached impersonalism, to Lord Buddha, and to all the other incarnations. I offer my respectful obeisances unto the Lord, who has no material qualities but who accepts the three qualities goodness, passion and ignorance within this material world. I also offer my respectful obeisances unto the impersonal Brahman effulgence.
PURPORT By His Divine Grace A.C Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada
In the previous verses it has been described that although the Supreme Personality of Godhead has no material form, He accepts innumerable forms to favour His devotees and kill the demons. As stated in Çrémad-Bhägavatam, there are so many incarnations of the Supreme Personality of Godhead that they are like the waves of a river. The waves of a river flow incessantly and no one can count how many waves there are. Similarly, no one can calculate when and how the different incarnations of the Lord appear according to the necessities of time, place and candidates. The Lord appears perpetually. As Kåñëa says in Bhagavad-gétä (4.7):
yadä yadä hi dharmasya
glänir bhavati bhärata
tadätmänaà såjämy aham
“Whenever and wherever there is a decline in religious practice, O descendant of Bharata, and a predominant rise of irreligion—at that time I descend myself.” In the material world, there is always the possibility of deviation from Kåñëa consciousness, and therefore Kåñëa and His devotees always act in various forms to curb such godlessness.
Even impersonalists who stress the knowledge feature of the Supreme Personality of Godhead want to merge in the effulgence of the Lord. Therefore, here the word jïäna-ghanäya indicates that for atheists who disbelieve in the form and existence of the Lord, all these various incarnations appear. Since the Lord comes to teach in so many forms, no one can say that there is no God. The word jïäna-ghanäya is especially used here to refer to those whose knowledge has become solidified by dint of their searching for the Lord through speculative philosophical understanding. Superficial knowledge is useless for understanding the Supreme Personality of Godhead, but when one’s knowledge becomes extremely intense and deep, one understands Väsudeva (väsudevaù sarvam iti sa mahätmä sudurlabhaù [BG. 7.19]). A jïäné attains this stage after many, many births. Therefore the word jïäna-ghanäya is used here. The word çantäya indicates that Lord Väsudeva is situated in everyone’s heart but does not act with the living entity. Impersonalist jïänés realize Väsudeva when they are fully mature in knowledge (väsudevaù samam iti sa mahätmä sudurlabhaù).
Gajendra trapped in the mouth of the crocodile:
Today we are reading from Srimad Bhagavatam, canto 8, Chapter 3, entitled “Gajendra’s Prayers of Surrender”, text number 12. We find here, Gajendra is in the severest trauma, a most painful condition, both physically as well as emotionally. Physically, for such a long time during his fight, he has the teeth of a crocodile, sinking deeply through his flesh into his body. Elephants are very tough out of flesh but you go beneath the layer and their essence is of anyone else. The jaws of this crocodile, we can imagine, how strong they must be. Gajendra doesn’t only have the power of an elephant but is the King of the elephants in a heavenly planet. He is extremely strong. Perhaps thousands of times stronger than a worldly elephant that we know. And yet for so many years, with all of his strength, he cannot get out of the jaws of this crocodile. He is trapped. When it explains here that the crocodile getting stronger and stronger as they’re fighting, because he is in the water, he is getting nourishment. Gajendra is getting weaker and weaker, this means the crocodile is biting harder and deeper into his body, very painful condition and emotionally how painful. He is about to lose his life. His wife, many wives, children, all of his friends and subjects are standing and watching him deteriorate. They’re standing and watching the King, the champion of their lives, being totally defeated, very emotionally painful, but for one who is honoured, dishonour is worse than death.
Draupadi’s plea for her honour:
In this state, Gajendra fights and fights and fights. Similar to Draupadi, Draupadi was also fighting for her life. For her, chastity was more important than her own life itself. When she was pulling on that sari against Dushasana, it was even more than fighting for her life. She is a Kshatriya. A Kshatriya would rather die than run on the battlefield. We see how Bali Maharaj, he would rather lose everything. He would rather die than tell a lie. Just as a Kshatriya would rather die than run from a battle. So Kshatriya women, “better to die than to be insulted in such a way of being stripped naked in front of all of these men.” So when she was fighting with her words, she was pleading, she was insulting, she was begging through her strength, she was fighting for more than her life. Pandavas stood by couldn’t do anything. Bhisma and all the others in the assembly just stood and watched as the crocodile of Dushasan was stripping her and she tried to fight but she had no chance. Then she threw her arms up, “Hey Kåñëa! Hey Govinda!” When she chanted the holy names, it was not just to get her rounds done; it was with very sincere feeling.
Queen Kunti prayed, that those who are too much attached to high birth, to beauty, to knowledge and fame and strength; these same opulences that are so dear to materialistic people, that they will spend their whole lives trying to achieve. They are the greatest disqualifications for a devotee because they make one proud or they make one complacent and then even if you chant the holy name; it is not with sincere feeling. “tväm akiïcana-gocaram” Kåñëa is the property of those who feel, “I have nothing but you My Lord. There is nothing that can protect me. The world is a dreary void without you, My Lord.” That is the mood in which Draupadi drew her hands up and surrendered and chanted the names of God.
The Power of Sincere Prayers:
In a very similar way, Gajendra is in the same circumstance that we are reading today. Dushasana was pulling the sari; Gajendra is pulling his leg back into the water. In both cases they are pulling away their life. They’re pulling away everything that is dear to them, everything that is meaningful to them. In both cases, their most dear well wishers, lovers and everybody else are assembled watching and helpless, nobody is lifting a finger to do anything because there is nothing they could do. They both are in immortal pain, both emotionally and in this case very much physically. It would have been very difficult for Gajendra to throw up his arms like Draupadi, so his equivalent was to throw up his trunk. And he cries out for Kåñëa’s help through these beautiful prayers. It’s not like someone who ritualistically chants thousands of prayers every morning, as part of their routine of beginning the day. That’s very good but the prayers are the package, by which we send a message to Kåñëa or to God, according to our particular religion.
You have an envelope, we may even have the right address on it; some people put the wrong address on. You have an envelope; if you are not worshiping the right God then you are putting the wrong address on. But even if you are worshiping the right God as we understand through parampara, through proper Guru, Sadhu and Sashtra and the right address is on, still it’s not the envelope that people are impressed with. It’s the content inside the envelope. When you send a letter, people open the envelope and throw it and they are concerned with what is inside. What is inside is our Bhava, our feelings, our intent. As Srila Prabhupad writes very strongly that, “Kåñëa accepts the intent of the devotees, actions, words.” Gajendra is helpless, Gajendra is desperate. He is at a state where he raises his trunk, he offers a lotus flower to the sky and he is surrendering his life. We see by the content of his heart, which is being manifested in these prayers; he is not asking Kåñëa, “Please save my life.” He has realized the futility of material life, even in his exalted position. He is crying out to Kåñëa, “Accept me, I surrender, I am yours.” And in this kind of an emergency situation, one really has to believe in what they are doing.
Gajendra’s Past Spiritual Credits – His surrender to Kåñëa:
Gajendra has full faith that Kåñëa will save him and amazingly he didn’t practice Bhakti his whole life. Whatever advancement he made was in the previous life. He was an advanced devotee; he was a king, Indradyumna. He ruled his kingdom then, for spiritual purposes, he gave up his home and everything and went to the forest for spiritual life. Somehow or other he was cursed by a sage to become an animal. And as an animal he forgot everything, because he was so caught up in his animal existence. But here, we find that in his most critical part of his entire life, he is still in the prime of his youth. All those past spiritual credits;
pratyaväyo na vidyate
sv-alpam apy asya dharmasya
träyate mahato bhayät
(Bhagavad Gita 2.40)
Kåñëa is there for him. He forgot Kåñëa but Kåñëa never forgot the devotional service he rendered to him and is coming to him at the greatest time of need. Kåñëa, who is within the heart, source of remembrance, knowledge and forgetfulness is reawakening his remembrance in his Bhakti and he has such faith that “Kåñëa is here for me.” We find that in this verse that “Kåñëa, Vasudev is all pervading. He is everywhere. He is in everyone’s heart that means, he is in my heart, he is in the crocodile’s heart. He is watching, he is hearing, he knows exactly what I am going through. He knows that I am surrendering to him and he is here.” And he is glorifying Kåñëa for his various avatars. In his heart, he is feeling, “I know that you hear me, I know that you are here. I know that you are with me and you will accept my surrender. When Prahlad was thrown into the ocean, when he was thrown off massive cliffs, when he was thrown into pits of snakes, when he was thrown in blazing fire, he surrendered to you and My Lord, you were there to protect him, to accept his devotion. And when Hiranyakashipu personally, with his own sword was about to slay Prahlad, Prahlad surrendered to you and you appeared from a pillar, the least conspicuous place the Supreme Absolute Truth to appear from a pillar.” There are so many pillars everywhere as Lord Nrsingha Dev. If the Lord can appear from a pillar that means He can appear anywhere in any situation. For a devotee, the Lord is unlimited.
Hiranyakashipu’s Meticulous Calculation for immortality:
We cry out for Kåñëa, it’s not that Kamsa has to come to our neighbourhood and Devaki and Vasudev has to get married and have six children and then finally Kåñëa is born and then he helps us. Kåñëa can be born in an instant in any situation. It just so happened, that the closest thing to them when Hiranyakashipu was about to kill him was a pillar. “Is he in this pillar?” was the closest thing. Prahlad said, “Yes!” To protect the word of Prahlad, to make sure everybody knows that when my devotee speaks, it is true.
na me bhaktaù praëaçyati
(Bhagavad Gita 9.31)
The Lord appeared from a pillar in his most amazing form. All odds were against Prahlad from a material perspective. Hiranyakashipu was about to kill that little five year old child and Hiranyakashipu already had all those benedictions of Brahma. Now Hiranyakashipu was a great scholar. He was a powerful magician. He figured it out. He was there for a long time in doing out tapasya and he had a lot to think about. He was figuring things out and he figured out, what exact benedictions he was going to ask for. It was meticulous, it was complete, thorough, and it would make him immortal. He knew it and he knew the powers of Vishnu. He had already killed his brother Hiranyaksha and he was going to declare war against Vishnu. He was making himself immortal.
Hiranyakashipu’s defeat by Lord Narahari:
There was no chance for Prahlad materially. But the Lord not only appeared from the pillar, in the nearest place possible. He not only protected Prahlad’s word but he appeared in this type of form, in that particular place, in the twilight, neither morning, afternoon or night, neither inside or outside, it was at the doorstep; he was not any living entity created by Lord Brahma. He was neither a man nor an animal; he didn’t kill him with weapons. He didn’t kill him in the sky, on the earth or in the water. Lord Nrsingha Dev, it’s not that he was trying to figure it out exactly what time? Where? How? Instantaneously Baaahh… He appeared perfectly, when none of the blessings of Brahma were violated. And he saved Prahlad, not only physically, but he took Prahlad as his own little child. He gave Prahlad, the highest revelations of love of God.
Hiranyaksha’s defeat by Lord Varaha Dev:
Similarly, when the earth was plunged into the Garbodhyaka ocean, Brahma, the demigods, everybody, they didn’t know what to do? Hiranyaksha was really really creating havoc. No one could stand before him. But right at that moment, it’s the moment of the greatest need. Supreme Lord appears as Varaha devotees, a boar. The perfect form to lift up the earth with his tusks and put it right back in its place and with a single hit of his hoof and pierce of his tusks, Hiranyaksha was finished. How did Lord appear right there, right then at that time?
Lord is beyond Material Creation:
As Dattätreya, at the time when there was rampant ignorance in this world, he appeared perfectly to explain knowledge and Lord Buddha who saved millions and millions of cows that were being slaughtered, by coming just at the right time and teaching ahimsa and according to time place and circumstance, preparing for Bhakti Acharyas, to spread love of God. The Lord who has no material qualities; in this case, in his situation, having no material quality means when everything is materially completely impossible for us, it’s very simple for the Lord to come and intervene because he is beyond material creation. He is Abhigya and he is Swarat, he is all knowing, all pervading and he completely independent. He is offering obeisances to the impersonal Brahman effulgence; the Lord’s all pervading energy. Through his impersonal Brahman effulgence, he is also experiencing and witnessing everything that exists. For a Vaishnav, the impersonal Brahman is personal bubbly rays of the Absolute Truth.
Devotees’ complete faith in Kåñëa:
So we find here Gajendra, in his condition, he has complete faith. He is not offering a prayer that, ‘May be the Lord will come, I hope he comes; I hope he hears me. I hope he exists.’ Have any of you ever chanted with that frame of mind? We will chant in a very very dangerous situation. We are chanting the holy names and we may be thinking, ‘I hope Kåñëa exists. I hope he hears me and I hope he reciprocates.’ In other words, we are practicing Bhakti, but we don’t have complete Shraddha, Nishta. Nishta means very very deep and strong faith. This is preliminary to Bhava or to love awakening within our hearts. Means ,we have very strong foundation of faith in whatever we do. When we are making a garland, we have such faith that Kåñëa at this very moment is accepting my service. When we are sitting in Bhagavatam class, when we are chanting our rounds, when we are doing kirtan, we are sweeping the floor or washing the walls or whatever service we are doing; management or book distribution or taking care of our child or our parents or studying in school with a spiritual purpose, whatever service we may be doing, it’s important that we have complete faith that here and now, at this very moment, Kåñëa is present; present in my heart, present in between any atom, present in the effulgence of Brahma. Present in the moon and the sun, present, watching, hearing, responding, accepting my efforts and if I am doing it properly, Kåñëa at this very moment is pleased with me. That is Bhakti. Not that ‘I will please Kåñëa tomorrow, today, just some other things I have to deal within my mind.’ Tomorrow never comes in that sense.
Gajendra was trying to do things on his own. He was thinking so many things but when finally he decided to surrender to Kåñëa, it was here and now. It wasn’t about the future or the past. So we should be convinced that, “Yes, Kåñëa is here and he is accepting what I am doing” and when we have that conviction, then we can put our complete heart into what we are doing because Bhakti is about offering our love in whatever we do. How can we actually offer our love with substance, if we are not even convinced that Kåñëa is right here at this moment, watching and accepting? So this faith is very very critical. Kaviraj Goswami, Srila Prabhupad explained that we gain Shraddha or faith by associating with devotees and hearing and chanting with them, especially. And if we find that our faith is not so strong, we really seriously need to develop it by associating with people who have faith, by serving people who have faith, by hearing from people who have faith. By practicing what is favourable for development of that faith and avoiding those things that are unfavourable for cultivating that Shraddha. Because at the time of the greatest need, we’re going to have to call out for Kåñëa with faith that he hears us and that he is with us. Otherwise what type of calling out will it be? It will be an envelope; maybe with nothing inside, or with an illegible message.
Crying out to Kåñëa even in good times:
Gajendra, he is teaching us, “How we are supposed to process all the amazing teachings of Srimad Bhagavatam.” We read about Prahlad and Varaha Dev and so many other incarnations. We may know the story, we may tell them to our children in nice ways as they’re going to sleep, which is very very good, but like Gajendra, we should understand how to respond to situations as these great souls have responded and how, if we do the Lord will be with us. Whether Gajendra knows it or not, in his following in the footsteps of all these great souls he is naming and with his total faith, that the Lord is there at that moment to save him due to these historical episodes, his situation is going to be another one of those historical episodes and the most inspiring stories that have come to Brahma’s creation, the story of Gajendra. Yes, he is surrendering and crying out God’s name, in a prayerful mood with complete faith. And when we are in the most dangerous type of situation or any situation, even right now when things seem to be alright, we should be confident as Narahari was there for Prahlad, as Varaha Dev was there for the people of the universe. The Lord within my heart is there and he is watching and he is accepting and he will help me, he will save me. See for us, we should know that even when things are good, we need to be saved. It’s not only when we are on the verge of death, that we need to be saved. We definitely need it then but even in good times we need to be saved.
Living in the Jaws of Crocodile:
We are taught to chant like Gajendra even when it’s nice weather and everyone is nice to us and things are just flourishing all around my life. We’re supposed to chant like Gajendra, even at that time and we should know that the crocodile of illusion, even when things are really good, we are in those jaws. As soon as we come into the material existence, unless we are in pure devotional consciousness, transcendental to the bodily concept, transcendental to the mental and intellectual concepts of life, we are in the jaws of crocodile. Sometimes, it squeezes in one way and sometimes it kind of releases a little. But you’re still in the jaws; you’re still under control of material energy. So when we know that, scriptures are all full of so many explanations of the dangers of the material existence. What material existence is about? “padaà padaà yad vipadäà na teñäm” there is dangers at every step. Even when the things are good, we don’t have much faith in that stuff.
Getting Out of the Jaws of the Crocodile:
We try to do our service and do the best we can; when it’s good, when it’s bad, whatever it is but we are in the jaws of the crocodile. The aim of life is not to have a few minutes more enjoyment while in the jaws of crocodile. The aim of life is not to get someone to give you some pain killers, so it doesn’t hurt so much when you’re in the jaws of crocodile. Aim of the life is to get out of the jaws of the crocodile; whether in happiness or distress, honour or dishour, success or failure, pleasure or pain, health or disease; whether we are being born or about to die, we are in the jaws of the crocodile. Whether we win or lose on this worldly platform, it’s all happening in these jaws. He is explaining, “Maya’s crocodile has many teeth. Some feel good. (Everyone laugh…) Sometimes it squeezes another kind of teeth. I have become so successful… then being honoured so nicely. But then another tooth- chichuk… Everything seems to be taken away.” So we are in the jaws and the content of our message to Kåñëa has to be with the faith that right now, at this moment, “He is here. Whatever little service I am performing, I am doing it like Gajendra.” He offered that lotus flower. He actually offered that lotus flower but in that lotus flower he was offering his body, his mind, his words, and his life, his everything.
Gajendra’s conviction – His Deliverance:
So we have ladies making garlands. Each flower, you’re making an offering. Are you doing it in the mood of Gajendra, that I am offering my life in this flower? And in everything we do, we should be offering our hearts, we should be offering our surrender, doesn’t matter what the world thinks. The world can’t save you. When Gajendra was lifting that lotus flower to the sky, to offer it, he knew that Kåñëa was there, even though, all that was just sky. He didn’t see anything. Nobody else saw anything except just sky everywhere. But he is taking that lotus flower and offering these prayers of love to Kåñëa to the sky. Now people around are thinking, who is he talking to? There is nobody up there. This is the way he is offering the lotus flower to the sky and why does sky need lotus flower for? (Maharaj laughs…) But he had complete faith. “I don’t see him, I don’t hear him; I don’t feel him but I know he is there. I know because he was there for Prahlad and he was there for Dhruva. And he was there for Devaki and Vasudev. He is within the heart. He is within everything. He hears me.” He had complete faith that Kåñëa was accepting that lotus flower and his life and soul within it because he had such feeling. And we are going to read very soon that Kåñëa is about to descend, personally incarnate and Kåñëa can incarnate anywhere, at any time to save his devotee, no limitations. Right out of the sky Kåñëa comes with Garuda with the Chakra and cuts that crocodiles mouth. It means Mukti, liberation. But that wasn’t all. Because he surrendered his life, he picked up Gajendra, awarded him his original spiritual form, put him in an airplane and sent him to Vaikunta, on that very day.
Futile Faith in Science:
We have to have that faith in this and this is what Srila Prabhupad, so strongly tried to install within our hearts, we have to have faith in Kåñëa’s unlimited inconceivable love for his devotees. Prabhupad said certain things at certain times because devotees and everybody else in society, from one degree or another have learned to have faith in mundane alternatives to God. Whether its politics or whether it’s philosophical speculation or whether its science. People put so much faith in science. When it comes to science, in regard to the origin of the universe and origin of the species, it’s filled with speculation. Yes, there are logical, observable facts and evidence, but what is tying it all together is a lot of speculation which cannot be proven. There is no real evidence of it. There is evidence of what it might be, what we think it is but what is it? What is the cause of all causes?
Understanding the Foundational Principle:
ahaà sarvasya prabhavo
mattaù sarvaà pravartate
iti matvä bhajante mäà
Kåñëa clears it all. Be a scientist, that is very good but understand this foundational principle. Kåñëa says, “I am the source of all material and spiritual worlds. Everything emanates from me. The wise who know this perfectly, worship me with all their hearts.” So do your science and worship me with all your hearts and then it’s perfect. But Srila Prabhupad saw that people, whatever their motive, some are good and some are bad. Some are really trying to help society, some have their egos. But it’s not perfect. Kåñëa, the Supreme Lord descends into this world and gives us his scriptures and gives us the perfect understanding of reality. Srila Prabhupad wants us to have faith in that; that ‘Yes. If Kåñëa wants to enlighten and save an elephant, Kåñëa can do it. Kåñëa wants to appear from a pillar, he can do it to show his love for his devotee.’ All the stories of the Bhagavatam, the Ramayana and the Mahabharata are the stories of how Kåñëa is there to protect the love of his devotees and how his devotees have that faith that he is here and they surrender with love. All of these great scriptures are about the reciprocation of God’s love. Some of the other Vedas and Upanishads are about how God is everywhere and in everything. And then these Purans and Itihastas are teaching us how he personally reciprocates through everything in everything with his devotees.
Chanting With Feelings:
In this way, whatever we do, could be with real Bhakti, real feeling, real Bhava. At each moment, when we are chanting our Japa or doing kirtan, at each moment, we have the ultimate supreme opportunity to connect to Kåñëa, to attract Kåñëa to shower his infinite mercy upon us, according to how sincerely we chant the holy names, such an opportunity! Srila Prabhupada said if you just one time chant the holy name with that feeling of complete surrender, your life becomes perfect. That means this one time, any day during Japa if you can just chant one time like Gajendra, in that spirit of faith and surrender and humility
tåëäd api su-nécena
taror iva sahiñëunä
kértanéyaù sadä hariù
Gajendra is more humble than a blade of grass, as he is chanting the holy names of the Lord. “My lord, I am yours.”
märobi räkhobi-jo icchä tohärä
nitya-däsa prati tuwä adhikärä
Bhaktivinoda Thakur is praying like Gajendra, like Draupadi. “My Lord if you want to protect me, nothing can harm me. If you want to destroy me, nothing can save me. My Lord, I am yours. You can do anything you want. You can protect me, you can kill me. I am yours, do what you like because I am your servant eternally.” “äçliñya vä päda-ratäà pinañöu mäm; adarçanän marma-hatäà karotu vä” (CC_Antya_20.47) Mahaprabhu, Sri Chaitanya has prayed, “You can make me broken hearted by not being present before me, you can trample on me or you can embrace me. You have every right to deal with me in any way you like.” This spirit of surrender, “Kåñëa, I am yours and you are here and you hear me and you can do anything at anytime.” If Kåñëa wants to, he can incarnate from any of these light bulbs and Chandeliers. But you have to call upon him with the faith to induce him to do that. He is everywhere, waiting for us. This is the spirit, Gajendra is teaching us to chant the Holy Names -
hare kåñëa hare Kåñëa kåñëa kåñëa hare hare
hare räma hare räma räma räma hare hare
In this spirit of Gajendra, much louder please (everybody chant the holy name again more loudly…)
Thank You Very Much.
Devotee: Thank you very much, Maharaj for a very nice class. Every time we hear you, it really touches our heart. You say it with so much conviction. Maharaj as you said when things are good, everything is going on very nicely; that time we really don’t take that much shelter of Kåñëa, although we need to. At the same time, when we are having bad days, now understand this theoretically Maharaj, but the fear is always there in our heart that when things are going to go bad which they would definitely do, it’s only a matter of time. At that time are we really going to be taking shelter of Kåñëa or are we going to be taking the shelter of material nature? Are we going to be making all sorts of arrangements by which we somehow or the other tide over that situation or at that time, whether we are really going to from the bottom of our heart, cry out for Kåñëa, just like how Gajendra did? So this fear is always there, Maharaj, in the heart. So how does one reconcile?
Maharaj: The fear is very nice fear. Fear should not make us paranoid, depressed or miserable. But healthy fear should make us very alert and serious because factually, we condition ourselves at every moment. Whether things are good or things are bad, every time we take shelter of the alternatives of the crocodile. The crocodile has us and it is also providing so many alternatives to keep us in its jaws, Maya. So we should know and we should expect that at every moment, in every situation, Maya is going to provide so many attractive alternatives to Kåñëa, to take shelter of, to enjoy. When you try to enjoy something, you are taking shelter of that thing. In one sense, you want pleasure, you need pleasure because of an emptiness in your heart and this thing is providing pleasure, so you are actually taking shelter of that thing. But you are not just taking pleasure of that thing; you are taking shelter of material energy that is attracting you to that thing.
Raj Guna or Tama Guna is same. You will find pleasure here, you will find relief here. And then we’ll go there we are looking for shelter and we become conditioned to that. Every time we go to some object for shelter or some manifestation of material energy, whatever it may be. We are creating that habit, within us. So when things get really bad, we are going to probably start turning to those things because it’s habitual. So in whatever situation, we have – Bhakti is about reconditioning our habits. Learning to find pleasure in making Kåñëa happy; that means devotional service. When we seek shelter in devotional service, when we seek happiness in devotional service, when we seek our refuge in our devotional service, every time we do that we are conditioning ourselves in that way. Just like the good dog and the bad dog. The more you feed the bad dog, that is telling you to take the shelter of Maya, the more it becomes very powerful calling within our heart. It controls us. But every time we feed that divine nature, that calling of toward Bhakti, toward devotional service; that calling, that voice, that tendency is becoming stronger and stronger and stronger within us.
So we should always be, sincerely trying to cultivate love of God at each moment. Does that answer your question?
Thank you very much.
Srila Prabhupad ki “Jay”
Thank you very very much.