“kià punar brähmaëäù puëyä
bhaktä räjarñayas tathä
anityam asukhaà lokam
imaà präpya bhajasva mäm”
kim—how much; punaù—again; brähmaëäù—brähmaëas; puëyäù—righteous; bhaktäù—devotees; räja-åñayaù—saintly kings; tathä—also; anityam—temporary; asukham—full of miseries; lokam—planet; imam—this; präpya—gaining; bhajasva—be engaged in loving service; mäm—unto Me.
How much more this is so of the righteous brähmaëas, the devotees and the saintly kings. Therefore, having come to this temporary, miserable world, engage in loving service unto Me.
In this material world there are classifications of people, but, after all, this world is not a happy place for anyone. It is clearly stated here, anityam asukhaà lokam: this world is temporary and full of miseries, not habitable for any sane gentleman. This world is declared by the Supreme Personality of Godhead to be temporary and full of miseries. Some philosophers, especially the minor philosophers, say that this world is false, but we can understand from Bhagavad-gétä that the world is not false; it is temporary. There is a difference between temporary and false. This world is temporary, but there is another world, which is eternal. This world is miserable, but the other world is eternal and blissful.
Arjuna was born in a saintly royal family. To him also the Lord says, “Take to My devotional service and come quickly back to Godhead, back home.” No one should remain in this temporary world, full as it is with miseries. Everyone should attach himself to the bosom of the Supreme Personality of Godhead so that he can be eternally happy. The devotional service of the Supreme Lord is the only process by which all problems of all classes of men can be solved. Everyone should therefore take to Kishna consciousness and make his life perfect.
Why is this world not a place of happiness
It is herein described “anityam asukhaà lokam” that the world we live in is not a place of real happiness, for the simple reason that the soul is seeking eternal pleasure – anandamayo bhyasat. And this material world is a place where everything is temporary. In fact everything which is matter, is dead. It is the soul that gives life and that life is the seeker of pleasure and that source of life or the soul can only find real pleasure in its own element which is eternal. So therefore the futile attempts to try to find peace in a place where everything is ultimately on a path towards death is impossible. And one who takes to such a life is most unfortunate and foolish amongst men untill he understand the eternal nature of soul, then it is natural, the only place to try to find happiness is in this temporary place of miseries. But when we understand the truth that we are eternal, that we are full of knowledge, full of bliss, that we are part of god, at that time we will seek our pleasure in that which is of the same nature as ourselves, spiritual.
It makes no difference of one’s past once he takes shelter of God
And in this chapter of Bhagavad-Gita – (Chapter 9), Krishna is describing how any one who understands this principle and finds happiness in taking shelter of Krishna, no matter what category of society one may come in, no matter what type of conditioning one may have been exposed to in this world, it makes absolutely no difference. Whether one is born in the most low class sinful environment and one is addicted to the most miserable conditions of life, whether one is a very saintly, pious, and righteous person, as soon as one takes the shelter of the Supreme Lord it makes no difference where he has been.
Effect of pious background
Actually sometimes as described in Bhagavad-Gita piety is an impediment for spiritual life.
- Generally piety is very auspicious, because through pious life we come to the mode of goodness. In the mode of goodness there is enlightenment. And in that enlightened state we can easily understand the necessity of taking shelter of the supreme absolute truth and surrender Him.
- But sometimes people misunderstand the benediction that the mode of goodness is providing them and they become proud of their piety. And in their pride they think they are very great, that they are very spiritual, that they are very religious. Therefore they find no need to take shelter, with all humility, of the supreme Lord, In which case such piety is a great spiritual impediment. Whereas sometimes people in their most sinful and degraded circumstances of life, they are humble by that situation. They realize that they are worthless, they are useless, they are insignificant and they are in the royal road hell. And in such a case they give up all the shackles of their sinful desires and raise their arms and cry out ‘Hey Krishna and Hey Govinda’ and take shelter of the Lord’s holy name. Take shelter with all humility of the Lord’s devotee. And in this way they surrender their lives unto God. Such a condition is the perfection of life. To that person, Krishna does not even consider what he has done or not done. All He considers is ‘this person is coming to me helplessly’ I must deliver him.
The world is not unreal but temporary
So really the goal of spiritual life is simply come to this point of understanding the necessity of humbling oneself and taking complete shelter of the Lord. And one who does like this, then the material world no longer exist. You see we do not want to give up this world. We want to give up illusion. Some say that the world is false therefore we must give it up. But a higher and more complete understanding is to know that this world is not false. But it is temporary.
Example :- Dreaming state
Just like when you dream in night, that dream is not real, but at the same time it is real. It is real in the sense that the thought process of that dream is taking place. What is unreal is you are identifying that dream body to be you. Therefore it is illusory. The example given by Sripad Sankaraya is – just like there is a snake and a rope. The rope is lying on the ground and you take it to be a snake. You become very fearful. Your heart starts beating very fast. You almost have a heart attack and run away. Actually it was only a rope. The rope is real, but the illusion is you are thinking the rope to be a snake. Therefore you are suffering so bad. So similarly we must understand this world for what it really is?
Example 2 :- Energy
This world is the energy of the Lord. It is described, the supreme Lord has one energy ultimately. And that energy divides itself, according to your consciousness it appears before you. Just like electricity, when it comes into the stove it creates heat That same electrical current from the same electrical powerhouse, when it enters into the refrigeration unit, it creates cold. So is the electricity hot or cold? Electricity manifests itself or reveals itself according to the receptacle in which it is entering into. So our consciousness is a receptacle. According to the condition of our receptacle we will perceive and Krishna will reveal himself. To those whose consciousness is greedy, wanting exploit and manipulate what belongs to God, then the divine energy of the Lord appears to our heart as this material temporary world. Where everything is gliding towards death?
“ye hi saàsparça-jä bhogä
duùkha-yonaya eva te
na teñu ramate budhaù”
Krishna says an intelligent person does not take part in the pleasures of this world, because they are temporary, they are the source of misery. He takes part in that which that is eternal. But factually this world can give us that eternal satisfaction if we simply have the proper consciousness. If we see how we are the servant of the God and everything is meant to be utilized in the service of God. Therefore the things in this world which are used in the loving service of Sri Krishna, they are no longer material, they are no longer temporary. They are the paraphernalia of spiritual world. So therefore Krishna is describing here that how much greater then are the brahmans, the righteous the devotees and saintly kings, who in this temporary miserable world engage in loving service to me. To such persons this temporary miserable world no longer exists. They are living in Vaikuntha. Because they are identifying everything as the paraphernalia meant for the enjoyment of God. And that is the highest platform of self realization. To realize through direct experience that we are meant for the pleasure of God and that everything we do and everything we have is meant for the pleasure of God. That consciousness is the consciousness where there is no more suffering, where there is no more birth, old age, disease and death.
Externals do not change but the conscious ness of devotee changes
Someone may accuse, we see that the devotees, the saints, the sadhus, they are also growing old, they are also getting diseased, and they are also dying. The fact is that this material body must grow old, diseased, and die, no matter what. If you are identifying with this body, then you are growing old, getting diseased and dying. But if you identifying with the spirit soul, then you are simply watching this temporary place of residence, going through its natural course, You see how it is all Krishna’s arrangement. And therefore it creates love and enlightenment, when we find real peace, real happiness within our own heart. So we see as we approach Krishna, He rewards us accordingly. If with humble devotion we approach the Lord, then we can know that from within our heart he will always be there to direct us and to lead us on towards him.
When devotees feel that they are still victims of anarthas
Some people may ask that I have taken to spiritual life and I have been chanting the holy name and I have been offering respects to saintly persons and I am reading the scriptures and I am following many spiritual principles, but still I am suffering, still I am a victim of lust and greed and ahankar (false ego).- why is this? I chant my rounds and I feel very nice, I worship the deity and I feel very nice. I touch the feet of the saints, I feel very nice. But then the rest of the day, I feel miserable. I am simply embodiment of all abominable desires – what to do? And therefore we want God to immediately or the saintly persons to immediately just eradicate all of our material conceptions and material contacts of bondage in life. But generally you see it is not that not easy. Pure devotional service is the ultimate treasure. It is the supreme perfection of life. It is not given so easy. But it is given. But we have to be willing to tolerate anger, envy, greed, and lust. Krishna says one must be willing to tolerate these things for the sake of one’s service to God. As long as Krishna wants you to tolerate you must tolerate it. And how you tolerate it? By saying no to these impulses and constantly engaging in saying yes to the will of God and to the will of guru, and to the will of the great souls. And by performing this act throughout our life, Krishna can see that we are sincere that we are serious. We have been cultivating the seeds of the material desire for millions of births. It’s not that we can take spiritual life so cheaply that little dust on our head and we are going to be great mahatmas. You must constantly be putting that dust on your head, through your words, through your acts, and through your thoughts. And by following the instructions of the great souls, we are expressing to Krishna our willingness, our desire to be purified in His service and gradually when Krishna sees that we have really shown our sincerity. We should not be so impatient. For million births we have been cultivating material consciousness, if Krishna wants us to go on struggling for five, ten, fifteen, twenty, sixty years its hardly anything, its hardly a particle of what we have expressed to maya through millions of births. But if we are willing to just do that, Krishna will give us everything. From within our hearts He will cleanse all material misconceptions and reveal the true eternal blissful glory of the soul. So we should not be impatient. We should have complete faith that the blessings of the great souls, if it is upon us we are protected. If the blessings of great souls are upon us, we should know that we are under Krishna’s direction and He is in charge. All we have to do is to continue forward with determination and faith. And the result of pure love will absolutely be achieved by the guarantee of God Himself.
Krishna reveals himself the way he wants to reveals
You see Krishna reveals himself the way He wants to reveal Himself. Sometimes before He reveals Himself, He wants to put us in more anxiety than we have ever been in before. It is said in English “the darkest moment is before the dawn ” The dark is the part of night (19.40)– the light of dawn. And if you want to live till the sun rises you have to live and watch the darkness before you. So there is a story in Caitanya-Bhagavat, which describes how the Lord shows his infinity mercy to his devotees according to His super excellent desire. You know that according to the shastra – the Mahabharata, Srimad Bhagavatam, and various other orignal Vedic literatures – in kali yuga Lord Sri Krishna appears within this world in a beautiful golden form “Yajnya Sankirtana Prayeya Yajanti hi Sumedhasa” in order to propagate the congregational chanting of the holy name of the Lord. And the fulfillment of that prophecy took place when Lord Sri Krishna Caitanya Mahaprabhu manifested in this world, in West Bengal – Navadvip Dham- five hundred years ago. When the Lord appears, as described in Bhagavad-Gita
“janma karma ca me divyam
evaà yo vetti tattvataù
tyaktvä dehaà punar janma
naiti mäm eti so ‘rjuna”
Brahmana visiting Jagannath Mishra’s house
His activities and His birth are completely transcendental. They are of spiritual nature. So it is described that when Lord Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu was just a very small child, just coming out of age as a baby. He was the source of all happiness and bliss for all the residence of Navadvipa dhama. Now he is living in a home of his father and mother Jagannath Mishra and Sachi mata and being very very religious and spiritually minded brähmaëa they were always very much anxious to serve the saintly persons. So one day a brähmaëa from abroad came to their house. And they were thinking that this is our greatest fortune that he has come as a beggar, not to beg from us for his sense gratification but to beg us to engage in the service of the lord. We should understand that the real sadhus’, their begging is not for their own purpose. Their begging is an act of mercy and compassion upon the common beings of this world. And those who are truly religious in mind they welcome such beggars as the greatest fortune of their life. This brähmaëa was very very saintly. He was constantly chanting the holy name of Lord Krishna. He worshiped Krishna in the form of Gopal. And he had a beautiful murti of Gopal hanging from his neck along with Salagram Sila. And he would worship thim in everything he did. It is described that tears were constantly decorating his eyes in love for the Lord of his life Sri Gopal.
How Jagannath Mishra invited the brahmana to his house
So when Jagannath Mishra saw the saintly qualities in this person’s demeanor, he was very happy. He offered the brähmana a nice seat, he washed his feet, he offered him prayers of humility and devotion. He said “my dear sir whatever I have and my home is yours, please accept my humble offering”. It is only out of great mercy that you leave the dust from your feet in poor hearted house holder’s abode like myself. Notice, Jagannath Mishra who was most learned, who was most pious, he was not thinking himself in any situation but the most humble condition of life. Some people who are very much perverted by the age of Kali yuga, they think “what are these saintly persons, why they do not get a job and do something constructive in this world? Why not they become business man or doctors, or lawyers, professional people and do something tangible. What is this brahmacharis, sannyasis? This is all just laziness and uselessness. Do something for society, be constructive. If you want to preach, you have to show people that you are constructive part of society. Otherwise who is going to listen to you. You just useless people – parasites. This is the way ignorant people think. But great souls like Jagannath Mishra, he understood that such sadhus, they take to the profession of begging as an austerity, a severe austerity, they can easily be enjoying life like us, working hard for sense enjoyment, having nice children, having nice families like this.
But they are renouncing all these things to take to the occupation of a beggar only to give mercy, only to give God’s grace to the world. Therefore, we are the parasites, only the saintly persons are not parasites. Why because we are constantly sucking God for our own sense gratification. That is a parasite. God is the controller and owner of everything. The girhamedis, the materialistic householders they are constantly sucking God’s energy thinking give me this, give me this, this is mine, this is mine, I want more. But a person who gives up this conception and is willing to live a simple life for the benefit of others, he is not a parasite. His whole life is simply giving. So Jagannath Mishra was teaching us, what a girhasta life means. To have this respect and honor for those who have taken to the renounced order of life with a genuine spirit of devotion. And of course as the culture of India through this day is still very strong, people in the grihastha ashram like to feed their guest. So Jagannath Mishra was thinking it is my greatest fortune if I can give you some nice Prasad. So he said “we will make all arrangements”. Jagannatha Mishra even considered himself too lowly to cook for this brähmana. He said “we will bring you all the ingredients and everything and we will cook for you if you like”, but we are very fallen, if you want to cook yourself and offer to Gopal”, we will just provide all the facilities.
Brahmana started cooking for the offering
So the brähmaëa began to cook. And as he was cooking he was simply thinking how to make every preparation just so nice and tasteful for Gopal to enjoy. He was not thinking, yes, today I will eat a big feast. He was thinking today, such a great benediction, I get to cook for Gopal. Usually I am living in the forest, usually I am just eating some roots and fruits. But today I get to cook nice rice for my Lord (thakur ji). So he finished his preparation and put the preparations on a nice thali (plate) and he began to meditate and chant the names of his Lord, inviting him to please come in and enjoy this food. At that time this little child Caitanya Mahaprabhu, who at that time was known as Nimai, He appeared. He was naked with no cloths. Because he was playing out side, his body was full of dust. And with the very charming smile on His face, with His tiny little fingers which are like the buds of lotus flower, picked up the food and he began to eat it. And the brähmaëa when he saw this he cried out alaaas, alaaas, my offering is spoiled. This child is come in and steped on the food and eating it now. I cannot offer to Krishna. When Jagannath Mishra, the father heard this, he became very angry. He chased after the child. And Nimai ran away. He began to run after Him. The brähmaëa took Jagannath Mishra by the hand and said “please please do not punish Him”. Jagannath Mishra said “I must punish Him, He has spoiled your offering. He said, no no He is only a child. He does not know better. Just be patient, please please. Jagannath Mishra said, then you kindly cook again, we will get all the preparation. If you are in my house, you must eat nicely. The brähmaëa said, no no there is no need. He said, yes, yes you must please. And everybody in the house praying the brähmaëa and taking his feet on their heads saying please cook again. He said “alright I’ll cook again”.
Brahmana began cooking the second time
So they cleaned the kitchen, they made all the preparations for his cooking and he cooked. But this time Jagannath Mishra told “now you take my son to some other place and you keep Him busy do not let Him be near the house. So they took Him to another house and all the neighboring ladies, they were all playing with Him. He was so beautiful, so charming in every respect. They were teasing him, they were saying Nimai why did you steal the brähmaëa’s food he was offering. Nimai said why are you blaming me, he called for me. He called my names, so I came in and ate. What is my fault? He called for someone else; I would not have come. He called for me. They said no no nimai, You don’t know even who this brähmaëa is. What if he is from a low family then you are contaminated by eating his food. Nimai said “yes, yes, you do not know who I am”? He said “I am from a cowherd community. I am just a cowherd boy. I am always liking the food from the plates of brähmaëas. That is my greatest happiness. And of course the people, they could not understand, what he was trying to say. They were just laughing, haaaaaa, haaaaaa. So charming is this child. So sweet are his words. He does not know what he is talking about. But nobody knows he was talking about. But still it was very pleasing. So in this way, he was just running everyone’s arms and everyone embracing Him, their hearts were melting, in this way got everyone completely illusioned by affection for Him. Meanwhile the brähmaëa was finishing his preparation. And he had the thali (plate) and he began to offer his prayers to Gopal. Now everyone was so much bewildered by their affection for the Lord, He was just running from one lady’s arms to the next, to the next, that they completely forgot where He was. And He just very very silently slipped away and He appeared and with His lotus hand He took the rice and started to eat it. And the brähmaëa looked up and saw ‘Oh my God, he is back’. Then he cried out alaaas, alaas, again my offering is spoiled. At that time Jagannath Mishra picked up a stick and ran towards Nimai. And Nimai ran into the room and closed the door and locked it. You children do like that sometime. And everyone in the house were saying no, no, Jagannath do not beat Him. “I’ll beat Him, such a mischievous thief – my son – he must be taught, he must be educated properly, I cannot tolerate this happening in my home.” In this way the people were imploring him, He is just the child. Beating Him will only make it worse. Then the brähmaëa came and said please Jagannath Mishra you are a rational man, I am a rational man, but this child has no rational intelligence. He does not know, what is right and what is wrong? How can you beat him? Just leave him alone. Besides that, it is my Karma. You are thinking it’s this child’s fault. It has nothing to do with this child. Krishna wants me to fast today. That’s why He doing it? He said, “even if your house has the best quantity of the best food, if Krishna does not want you to eat, you will not eat”. He said, “therefore, just let me fast, God’s grace”. And Jagannath Mishra was saying no, no, you must cook again, you must cook again. He said no no I’ll not cook again. At that Jagannath Mishra was so much in anxiety that he just sat down on the floor with his head on his hands, just lamenting. What offence had been committed to the guest who came to his house. He was just in ocean of sorrow.
Viswaroop convinces the Brahman to cook again
At that time Nimai’s elder brother Viswarupa, who was incarnation of Balaram, He came into the room. He was so beautiful. His —–(34.20)was like the rising sun. His eyes like lotus petals. Every limb of his body was perfectly attractive to the senses, to the heart and to the soul. And when he would speak; he would only speak the glorification of Krishna. And his words were like nectar to the years. When brähmaëa saw Viswarupa his mouth just dropped open. He was struck with wonder. Never he had seen such beauty in his life. Then when Viswarupa bowed down to the brähmaëa and took the dust from his feet upon his head, He said “my dear sir we are so fortunate that you have come to our home. Our humble home, you have agreed to bless with the dust from your feet. When a great soul comes to the home, it is the supreme auspiciousness for that home. But I know what has happened. If you do not eat today, you will make our whole house inauspicious. So kindly please cook again. The brähmaëa said, “Krishna does not want me to eat, it is His will, He is the supreme controller. Just bring me some fruits, bring me some herbs, some vegetables, I will eat whatever you have. It’s already 1:30 in the morning. How can you expect me to cook again. At that time Viswarupa took the feet of the brähmaëa and held with great devotion and said, please it is not too late. For the sake of delivering our household, cook again. And the brähmaëa could not refuse the loving request. And He said, “all right I’ll cook again”.
Brahmana again started coking
At that time they made all the preparation and he started to cook. And Nimai was locked in the room and some people said “why not we tie the door so he cannot get out. Jagannath Mishra said “tie the door. He stood outside the door with a stick. Then Nimai fell asleep. He was a little child. It was already very late at night. Jagannath Mishra said there is no problem He is fast asleep. And the brähmaëa was cooking. And then because the Lord is the supreme controller of all controllers. He is within the heart of everyone, He caused everyone to fall into deep sleep except the brähmaëa. And he prepared the offering and began to chant the mantra to Gopal, begging him to humbly accept his service. At that time the child Nimai appeared right on his plate and began to eat the food. Then the brähmaëa exasperated, he just cried out alaaas, alaaas, again my offering has spoiled.
Nimai reveals himself as God
And Nimai looked at him, He said my dear brähmaëa why you are in so much anxiety? You are calling me and I am coming. He said, do you know, whenever my devotees request Me with great devotion to accept their service, I always accept. You are such a pure hearted devotee, how could I refuse you. He said “my dear devotee, do you know that I am the Lord of your life – Gopal. And at that time right before the brähmaëa’s eyes this little child transformed His form to that of the supreme Lord Hari. He appeared in a most remarkable way with his complexion like the dark monsoon rain cloud with his eyes like fully blossom lotus petals, His lips red like the bimb fruit, His neck curved with the graceful lines of a conchshell. He was wearing the beautiful vaijayanti garland which was coming down below his knees . And there were beautiful, beautiful jewels studded with the most elegant gems. And this form appeared with eight arms. Four of them were holding the conchshell, the disc (sudarshan chakra), the flower, and the club. One of His hands were holding the pot of butter and other was eating, using that hand to eat the butter. And the other two arms were playing upon the flute. When the brähmaëa saw this form, he was struck with wonder. There was a beautiful crown on His head bedecked with peacock feather. And then all at once, the whole house, the entire atmosphere, was transformed into Vrindavana. There he saw the river Jamuna and he saw the beautiful Kadamba trees filled with celestial the birds, singing and chirping the glories of the Lord. And then He saw unlimited cowherd boys playing with their cows. And unlimited gopies simply chanting the glories of the Lord. The entire spiritual world was revealed before him. And when he received this unlimited mercy, he fell unconscious in ecstasy. And then Lord Gaurasundara with his lotus hand, he touched the brähmaëa and when He touched him upon his body, immediately consciousness came back and he stood up and again he saw the land of Vrindavana and he saw the beautiful form of Sri Krishna. And he was soon in his ecstasy- he would fall down, he would get up, he would fall down, he would get up, he would go into consciousness, out of consciousness, into consciousness. Meanwhile rivers of tears, tears like streams flowing from his eyes. His hair were standing on end. His limbs were trembling. There was horripilation all over his body. Just like high tide and low tide, there were just waves of ecstasy going up and down – every atoms of his material frame, his physical frame. In this way his heart was just enruptured in love. And then the lord spoke to him, He said “my dear brähmaëa please know that you have been my devotee for many many births. He said “in my last incarnation when I was living in the house of Nanda Maharaja, at that time”, He said “you came also as a brahmana pilgrim”, there also you were offering your food to the supreme lord Narayana, as Gopal”, I came and stole your offerings there too. So, know that we are always enjoying this wonderful lila.