om namo bhagvate vāsudevaya
bhuvi bhaumāni bhūtāni
yathā yānty apayānti ca
nāyam ātmā tathaiteśu
viparyeti yathaiva bhūh
In this world, we can see that pots, dolls and other byproducts of the earth appear, break and then disappear, mixing with the earth. Similarly, the bodies of all conditioned living entities are annihilated, but the living entities, like the earth itself, are unchanging and never annihilated ‘na hanyate hanyamane sarire’
Although Kamsa is described as a demon, he had good knowledge of the affairs of atma-tattva, the truth of the self. Five thousand years ago, there were kings like Kamsa, who is described as an asura, but he was better than modern politicians and diplomats, who have no knowledge about atma-tattva. As stated in the Vedas, ‘asango hy ayam purusah’ the spirit soul has no connection with the changes of the material body. The body undergoes six changes birth, growth, sustenance, by-products, dwindling and then annihilation, but the soul undergoes no such changes. Even after the annihilation of a particular bodily form, the original source of the bodily elements does not change. The living entity enjoys the material body, which appears and disappears, but the five elements earth, water, fire, air and ether remain the same. The example given here is that pots and dolls are produced from the earth, and when broken or destroyed they mingle with their original ingredients. In any case, the source of supply remains the same.
As already discussed, the body is made according to the desires of the soul. The soul desires, and thus the body is formed. Krsna therefore says in Bhagavad-gita (18.61):
hrd-dese ‘rjuna tisthati
“The Supreme Lord is situated in everyone’s heart, O Arjuna, and is directing the wanderings of all living entities, who are seated as on a machine, made of the material energy.”
Neither the Supersoul, Paramatma, nor the individual soul changes its original, spiritual identity. The atma does not undergo birth, death or changes like the body. Therefore, a Vedic aphorism says, ‘asango hy ayam purusah’ although the soul is conditioned within this material world, he has no connections with the changes of the material body.
He is revealing to us through his purports something that is very important for us to understand. In the first and second chapters of his purports to the Bhagavad-gitā, he is explaining the difference between the body and the soul with many examples to convince our intelligence that we are not this body. Now after one completely becomes learned and realized in Bhagavad-gitā. It is at that time that it is appropriate to start the study of Srimad-Bhāgavatam. And one carefully begins with first verse ‘janmādy asya yato ‘nvayād itarataś cārthesv abhijñah svarāt’ and very gradually under the supervision of bonafide guru one studies Bhāgvatam.
The first chapter is considered as the feet of the Lord, the first canto. And then each canto is considered thighs, knees, the waist, the chest, shoulders, and the tenth chapter is considered to be the beautiful moon like face of Sri Krishna. And it is not proper etiquette to approach or respect a person’s head.
Etiquette to worship Lord
We must always approach by the feet, even when we come to the temple, it is not proper respect to just look at the beautiful face of Gopinath first, when we come to the temple the proper respect and etiquette is to first look at our Guru Maharaj, but not look at him in the face but at his lotus feet. And then from his feet with humility our vision gradually approaches his benevolent and compassionate face. And then we approach Lord Nityanand in the same way, and then Gauranga in same way, then Srimati Radharani meditating first on her lotus feet, offering our obesiances and prayers to her lotus feet, and gradually approaching her beautiful smiling compassionate face. And then we approach the lotus feet of Krishna in the same way. This is the proper way that we should come into the temple, each time we come.
Srimad-Bhāgavatam is non-different than Krishna, The Srimad-Bhāgavatam is murti of Krishna in form of words. That is why in order to give this idea which is truth to the people we have made in our temple a very beautiful altar which is specially and exclusively for the worship of the Srimad-Bhāgavatam, we have built a very beautiful Simhāsana for the Bhāgavatam.
Srila Prabhupada explained to us Srimad-Bhāgavata. These books are deities and they can be worshipped, one can offer ārati, one can offer food and one can do everything to The Bhāgavatam because Bhāgavatam is non-different than Krishna Himself. And we must approach to Srimad-Bhāgavatam with this type of respect. We first approach the lotus feet and gradually we go upward.
Bhakti Siddhanta Saraswati Thakur when he went to Vrindavana, He was very anxious to see the smiling face of Sri Krishna by hearing Rasa-lilā. But he simply kept everyone’s attention at The feet of Krishna. For one month he spoke on the first verse, to teach people a lesson, that it is very important, not to become proud and think we can jump into higher realizations. Before we understand not just intellectually but before we really absorb and realize the basic principles of Krishna consciousness.
So, here we find Srila Prabhupada he came to the west, he had the first canto of Bhāgavatam and translated with the purports. And then he translated for the world ‘Bhagavad-gitā As It Is’ and at the beginning of Gitā, he described the difference between the body and soul, trying to convince us that we are not the body, trying to convince us to give up sense-enjoyment that only pertains to the body. He translated the second canto, third canto, fourth canto, fifth canto, sixth canto, seventh canto, eighth canto, ninth canto. Then he translated the entire Ādi lila, Madhaya lila and Antya lila Caitanya Caritamrta, the Bhakti Rasamrta Sindhu, Isopanishad. And finally in the very end of his lila on the Earth he is translating the tenth canto of Srimad-Bhāgavatam. And here we find in his purport the same exact explanations as we find in the beginning of the Bhagavad-gitā, we are not this body, the difference between body and soul, with all sorts of philosophical ways to convince our mind of this truth. Hānh!
It is for this reason that Srila Prabhupada’s books are so glorious and illustrious in this age of Kaliyuga. Because although he is giving factually the highest knowledge, the highest information of Lord Sri Krishna’s lila. He is keeping it all very strictly in perspective of the basic principles of Bhagavad-Gitā’s philosophy. Therefore, a person can read any of his books from any place and not be bewildered.
Srila Prabhupada was very much stressing how one must very carefully study Bhāgavatam. Infact Sukadev Goswami describes that one who jumps into tenth canto Rasa lila without first realizing the preliminary truths, such a person he is performing an act which is more deadly than drinking poison.
So, Srila Prabhupada, he wrote his books and after writing them they were published. By the tens of the thousands they were published and he told his disciples to distribute them and they were distributing them to people in the streets, on the airports.
Very few of those people especially people in the western countries have gone to Bhagavad Gitā and the first nine cantos. So the devotees were feeling perhaps they were doing some mistake by distributing his books eighth canto, seventh canto, tenth canto, ninth canto, how is it possible Prabhupada, How will they understand. He said, “They cannot understand the Bhāgavatam but I have made my translations in such a way that any place you pick up my Bhāgavatam, you learn Bhagavad-gitā. And how every verse applies to the Gitā’s original instructions.”
And therefore he specifically wrote these purports in such a way for the modern age man. For those who are advanced devotees the highest information, the highest realizations are given. But for those who are not so advanced it is all in perspective of the basic principles that you are not this body and that you should simply become a servant of Krishna.
So expertly Sri Krishna Caitanya Mahaprabhu has empowered him in this way.
“So here we are the highest, most intimate and confidential of all the entities of Vedas the tenth canto of Bhāgavatam and we are reading how you are not this body. You should give up the bodily concept of life. And of course sometimes we are reading these beautiful pastimes of Lord Sri Krishna. And then we come to this and we wanted to skip through this because we already have heard it so many times. I want new rasas, I want new nectar, I want the juice of newer and newer subject matter of the Krishna’s divine pastime. ‘na hanyate hanyamane sarire’, how many times I heard it. For last 20 years I have been hearing ‘na hanyate hanyamane sarire’, I want to hear something else. I know I already know. But the problem is we do not know. Therefore we must be continuously reminded otherwise everything else we learnt will be misunderstood utterly. It is the intellectualization which is not very impressive to a sadhu. Realization is impressive to a sadhu. And realization is manifested though humility and devotion. And that is the most important principle. We can become learned, we could according to our capacity.”
We were speaking last night at one lecture, that the Srimad-Bhāgavatam cannot be understood by one’s intellectual capacity. The Srimad-Bhāgavatam can only be understood only by receiving the blessings of the great devotees of the Lord. And we receive these blessings by enquiring submissively however learned we are, even if we are great great scholars. If we do not enquire submissively we can never understand the Srimad-Bhāgavatam. And that submissive enquiry must be substantiated by menial service.
Even in our own Hare Krishna Movement, Srila Prabhupada was actually a very good scholar, but Bhaktivedanta, Vedanta means the end of knowledge, but what is the end of knowledge, bhakti, it was his sacrifice and devotion, which is his greatest attribute. And Prabhupada describes, it was his humility that so many of his godbrothers and so many scholars are actually much better than him at scholarship. Some of his disciples who had big big universities like Yell university, Harvard university in Sanskrit they became devotees, they studied under him, and they were at the same time studying very scrutinizingly all of these academic subjects in regard to the Vedas and they felt that were more learned than Prabhupada, and from academic point of view perhaps they were. And because of this they could not be submissive before him, they were thinking that my academic understanding of Sanskrit is superior to my guru. Therefore their humble service attitude was spoiled by this conception. And ultimately out of pride they left the Gurudev, thinking that I know what you are teaching is too preliminary to one is advanced in Vedantic study to somebody like me.
What happened to those people? Many of them completely fell down into the materialistic activities, most of them did. They became professors at universities, but no devotion. That was definitely abhakta. And others they just went on to their own. They went to some other gurus. And in this way because of their aparadha Krishna is not going to be very generous in giving His mercy to such people.
Srila Prabhupada’s greatness was his complete sacrifice and surrender to The Lord and He was great scholar but that was not his real opulence. And just to show this when Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu approached Prakasananda Saraswati, he approached in that way, “that you are a great scholar, know the Vedas in and out, you know all the aphorisms, all the slokas, you spent you whole life in this field, I just chant the holy name, my guru Maharaj he said that I’m not fit to study the Vedas just chant the
Hare Krishna Hare Krishna Krishna Krishna Hare Hare
Hare Rāma Hare Rāma Rāma Rāma Hare Hare
And therefore my guru because he gave me his blessings I achieved love of God.”
And following in the footsteps of Gauranga Mahaprabhu, Sanatana Goswami was most learned, he factually was the most learned. It doesn’t mean that being learned is a curse; being learned is a benediction only if it is situated on the foundation of humility otherwise it is a curse.
Queen Kunti said, “Good education, high birth, physical beauty, good parentage, strength all these opulences are curses if you become proud. But if they are built on the foundation of humility they are great opulences.”
Sanatana Goswami was most learned erudite, highly educated in academic but when he approached Gauranga Mahaprabhu, he didn’t say O I’m very learned scholar, could you give me something more than I already know. He didn’t know anything. All these scholarship is all, there is no realization, and there is no substance. I know I can cite any sastra but I don’t even know who I’m. I’m still addicted to the senses and the mind.
Even some devotees in the field of interfaith sometimes they say that we have the highest knowledge than any other religions; one doesn’t understand the deep intimacies of rasas that is described by Rupa Goswami in Bhakti-rasamrta-sidhu. All one knows is the basic preliminary, ‘God is Great’. That’s very nice.
There was one devotee at New vrindavan and he would not come to the Srimad-Bhāgavatam class. He would not come to Bhagavad-gitā class because he said that “these classes are for neophytes, all you are talking about is ‘na hanyate hanyamane sarire’”, he said that “I have been a devotee for fourteen years, I heard it, I know it. I want classes which are teaching the higher rounds of consciousness.” And yet the same person at the same time was factually taking intoxications regularly and from time to time having illicit sex. So I told him very frankly I think that you are not even ready to hear Bhāgavatam class, Bhagavad-gitā class, you are not even following those principles. But because of pride he was not able to enquire submissively and receive blessings which would give him the strength to become Krishna conscious.
So here in the tenth canto the super excellent, the crest jewel of all Vedic literature. Srila Prabhupada is reminding us ‘na hanyate hanyamane sarire’.
“You are not this body. You are the eternal soul and giving so many beautiful examples how just as the material elements earth, water, fire, air and ether, they are permanent but the manifestations, their mixtures are temporary. Sometime earth, water, fire, air and ether they formulate themselves into an earthen pot, that pot may last for ten-fifteen years, ultimately the pot dissolves back into the earth, what is the difference, the form has changed but the elements remain exactly the same. They transform from one form to another.
In this way the material energy is eternal and ingredients of material energy are eternal, it is only the specific manifestations that are temporary. And we are such crazy fools that despite all lofty big philosophy we still cannot overcome attachment to the misconception that we are the grossest, most externalized transformation of these material ingredients. We have not even come to the realization that we are composed of earth, water, fire, air and ether, if we did we would understand that these are permanent, this physical body is permanent”.
apareyam itas tv anyād
prakrtir viddhi me parām
Beyond that is the soul which is eternal, which is undying ‘na hanyate hanymane sarire’.
Soul does not die while the body does. We are only under the conception that the conditioned souls that this very very grosses most external particular form in which the mixture of the ingredients of material nature have formulated that we are that. Such an illusion. And we are reading here this morning wonderful thing in this world how many people even consider that they are not this body. The materialists never consider. And of all the great religions of the world there is hardly a person that really seriously considers that they are not this body. Most people their religion is they speak some philosophy, they hear some prachvachan, they go to temple, the church, the cine-God, the mosque, they do their puja. But they never grasp the idea that I’m not this body and live according to this principle.
But here we find that Kamsa, Kamsa was an asura but he knew this very well. Obviously he was not realized to this subject, but intellectually he was a very great scholar of the Vedas. Intellectually as we are going to read in the next few verses his preaching is exactly non-different than the acaryas of the Gaudiya-sampradaya. Is there anything different that he is saying here and tomorrow what he is going to say one who doesn’t understand the constitutional position of the body and the soul becomes too attached to the bodily concept of the life. Consequently because of attachment to the body and its by-products he feels affected by union with and separation with family, society and nation. As long as this continues one continues his material life. “My dear sister Devaki you have all good fortune unto you. Everyone suffers the results of his own work under the control of providence therefore although your sons are unfortunately killed by me, please do not lament for them. In the bodily conception of life one remains in darkness without self-realization, thinking that I’m being killed, I’ve killed my enemy.”
As long as the foolish person thus considers the self to be the killer or the killed he continues to be responsible for material obligations and consequently he suffers the reactions of happiness and distress.
Now these verses if I would just read the verse, not tell you where it is from. And I would say that this is spoken by Ramanujacharya. You’ll say, Aah! Yes, of course, this is spoken by Mādhava. Yes, He is speaking very nice philosophy. This is spoken by Rupa Goswami. Yes of course, Rupa Goswami is teaching us this very pure knowledge. I would give any of the name of the acaryas to these verses, you would accept, yes this is their philosophy; this is what they are teaching. But I’ll inform you that this is spoken by Kamsa. The enemy of God, the persecutor of the vaisnavas.
How is it possible? He has great academic knowledge but has one thing missing, the humble spirit of service.
The whole purpose of all this knowledge is to bring us to the point of devotional service. Unless we apply that principle of humble devotional service all the knowledge is like the jewel on the head of serpent, looks very beautiful but what is the use. Actually jewel on head of serpent makes the serpent more dangerous because it’s so beautiful and attractive that we think, O very nice, I want to be with this serpent because he has a nice jewel. But the fact is he is just as venomous, as envious as a serpent without a jewel. So therefore, here Kamsa he is appearing to be a very great sadhu, he is speaking a nice pravacan here. But his life is a different thing. He has not adopted the humble spirit of service.
bhaktir bhavati naisthiki
syan mahat-sevaya viprah
“That by serving the great souls the taste for really hearing the Srimad-Bhāgavatam awakens into our heart” this is the principle. We must simultaneously hear and chant in the mood of devotional service. That was Kamsa’s one defect. He had all the information, he had the entire intellectual, philosophical prowess but he didn’t have the service attitude. And therefore nobody cares about Kamsa, nobody quotes Kamsa. Although he is saying the same thing no one wants to quote Kamsa. Hiranyakasyipu also in seventh canto he was speaking very very wonderful pure philosophy but how many times we hear quoting Hiranyakasyipu or Kamsa. They are saying the same thing but nobody will be inspired by hearing their words.
Haridas Thakur explained that the preacher is one who preaches by his example. And therefore the difference between a demon and devotee is that the devotee always has the senses under the control of devotional service of the Lord. The yogis and the jnānis they also often times have their senses under control. They do not indulge in any type of sinful activities or sense gratification in the gross form. But they are not putting their senses under the control of Krishna, pure devotional service. That is the difference between a devotee and all other classes of men.
Actually, Prabhupada is explaining here that Kamsa is better than the modern politicians and diplomats, because he had this higher intelligence, this higher knowledge. And because of that he was so fortunate, he was directly punched on the head by Krishna. The modern politicians are just kicked in the head by maya but Krishna personally punched Kamsa, liberated him. So that is his special qualification (Maharaj laughs). Are there any questions
Prabhupada explains that he was Krishna conscious. Not only he understands philosophy very well intellectually but he was also constantly thinking of Krishna. Probably more than any of us. Out of fear he was constantly thinking of Krishna, his whole life was centered around killing Krishna. But this is not favorable for devotional service, unfavorable to Lord, unfavorable Krishna consciousness. So Srila Prabhupada explains if Kamsa because he was always thinking of Krishna in such an unfavorable envious, revengeful way, what to speak of a devotee who thinks of Krishna with love. What will be his destination?
Is there any questions.
Question : question not audible?<35.26>
Answer : Even if a person is not completely pure, if a person is honestly striving to be pure than we can offer all respects and we can even receive shelter from such a devotee. But a person who is a cheater, a person who is giving his own opinion, who is not humbling before the disciplic line of great acaryas, who is not by honest means really striving and struggling to become what he is preaching.
Such a person is an honorable person, he is a true sadhu. Not every sadhu is pure devotee of the Lord. Just like our guru maharaja asked all of us to preach, he didn’t say you must become a pure devotee before you preach. He said you preach in the mood of humbly serving me and striving and struggling to follow my instructions and whoever hears from you will be infinitely benefitted. So that humble spirit or really striving to be the servant of the servant if someone has that attitude, he is really by all means living a life of pursuance of the highest principles of purity. And we should have great respect and honor for such a person.
But if a person accepts a position of some paramhamsa, the great devotee of the Lord, and even such a person is not repeating, he is giving his own interpretation, his own opinions, is not humbly representing the disciplic line. If a person is engaged in illicit activities without really even endeavoring to thinking that it’s all right, I’m very great! Then such a person we should understand is, that association is absolutely contrary to our interest.
Therefore we should seek out the shelter of the sincere devotees of the Lord. Just like here in the temple, these devotees are very sincere. They may or may not be cent percent paramhamsas. I’m not the judge, they are not the judge, but they are sincerely struggling & striving to be the servant of their Gurudev and they are simply humbly repeating his message. We can find shelter at his lotus feet of these devotees.
So if there are so many counterfeits, five hundred rupee notes, but the fact that there is counterfeit means there also was real. So however many counterfeits we may have been exposed to in our life, we should not just decide that well forget five hundred rupee notes. We should be looking for the real one.
In Bhāgavatam it describes very clearly that in Kaliyuga, what is religion is taken to be irreligion and what is irreligion is taken to be religion. And how do you think this comes about. When the Brahmins and the Swamis, and the priests, and the ministers, when they teaching irreligion in the name of religion. It’s not that the people just formulate these ideas, this is what is being taught by the religious leaders. What the great man do, common man follow. So the Bhāgavatam warns us that this is the situation in Kaliyuga, that there are so many cheaters, who call themselves god, who declare themselves to be incarnations, who are teaching their own opinions, who are teaching compromised philosophy just to attract the masses to them. Hānh! So that’s very clearly explained, stressed, emphasized but at the same time even more emphasize simultaneously that you must take shelter of the lotus feet of the sadhu. Aanh!
So we must seek out those sadhus who are really sincere, who are really striving for the truth, who are really humble servants of the precious acaryas. However many people cheat us we must keep looking, keep waiting, keep praying and when we find such a genuine person we should feel most grateful
Question : question not audible?
Answer : There are so many popular beliefs in the west, we do not take them very seriously. It’s also a popular belief that if you do not have sufficient sex you cannot be healthy. There is a man living right next to us who has written many books in this regard “The importance of proper sex life”. And I was in the Delhi airport few days ago on display right where you are going into the security, there was on display book table and display book was called “The joy of sex life”. It’s a popular belief, so there are so many popular beliefs. But what is the source of these popular beliefs – sense gratification. They all fit intellectual people, a very dangerous in this regard. Simple people it cannot do so much harm. But intellectual people they use their good good highly learned intelligence, their philosophical capacity to justify their own sinful desires in the name of god, in the name of socialism, in the name of communism, in the name of capitalism, in the name of religion. They are very expert. They can write volumes and volumes and volumes and volumes of books with the most decorative vocabulary. Just prove to themselves and to others that you can enjoy. There is no scriptural evidence anywhere in any western or eastern scripture that the animal has no soul but people like to eat animals, so when they are challenged why are you killing? They have to have a good excuse. So they write nice books that the animals have no soul. And the people who want to believe, who want to eat meat to them this is very welcome philosophy, but it is not the truth so there is a popular belief only because people do not want to give up their sinful activity. Nowhere in the new or old testament it is said that the animals has no soul. Infact in the testament it is explained in the kingdom of God the lambs, the lions, the deers, the birds, the man everyone lives together in love. No one is afraid of one another. That is the perfect situation.
Question : question not audible?
Answer : So many tendencies are in our minds. One has to feed those tendencies that emphasize by Gurudev, one has to starve those tendencies which are contrary to the instructions of Gurudev. Its natural we all have the tendencies of pride, lust, envy, anger and greed. These tendencies are deeply rooted within us. We all want to be senior, even when we come to devotional service, but we also by the grace of Gurudev.