jvaramayartasya yathagadam sat
nidagha-dagdhasya yatha himambhah
brahman vacas te ‘mrtam ausadham me
O best of the brahmanas, my body is filled with dirty things, and my vision has been bitten by the serpent of pride. Due to my material conceptions, I am diseased. Your nectarean instructions are the proper medicine for one suffering from such a fever, and they are cooling waters for one scorched by the heat.
The conditioned soul has a body full of dirty things–bones, blood, urine, stool and so forth. Nonetheless, the most intelligent men in this material world think they are these combinations of blood, bone, urine and stool. If this is so, why can’t other intelligent men be made with these ingredients, which are so readily available? The entire world is going on under the bodily conception and creating a hellish condition unfit for any gentleman’s living. The instructions given to King Rahugana by Jada Bharata are very valuable. They are like the medicine that can save one from a snakebite. The Vedic instructions are like nectar and cool water for one suffering from scorching heat.
The Meaning of Renunciation
Today we are reading from the 5th Canto chapter 12 text 2. It is entitled ‘Conversation Between Maharaja Rahugana and Jada Bharata’.
Bharat Maharaj – leading by example
The setting for this is most wonderful. You know the great story of Bharat Maharaj. I assume this true, because this great nation of Indiais named after him alone, Bharatvarsha. He is considered one of the greatest kings of this land in the Vedic civilization. Bharat Maharaj is one of the many sons of Maharaj Rishabhdeva. Rishabhdeva was an incarnation of Lord Narayan. He came to this world especially for the purpose of establishing dharma by his words and by his example. As Krishnasays in the Gita, yayad acharati jyeshta….. this means what the great leaders of the society do the common man naturally follows in their footsteps. Whatever great persons do by their exemplary act, the common man will presume to be great. Now when you speak of a leader in society, teaching everyone of us, according to our own circle in which we are living , we are meant to be leaders. A father – he is the leader of his family. So a mother is also a leader of the family. A teacher is leader of the students. A Guru is leader of his disciples. A politician is the leader of the citizens. Now when we talk about Lord Rama we talk about Bharat Varsha. What is the real integrity of this greatland ofIndia, we must refer to the scriptures.
Who is a true leader?
Guru na sasyat, pita na sasyat…. Lord Rishabhdeva being a leader, was an incarnation of the Lord and took the position of a King and instructed all humanity through the pages of Srimad Bhagavatam. You have no rights in the eyes of God to take any sort of leadership position unless you strive in such a way that those who follow you , those who are dependent on you, never have to take birth again in this material world. Therefore you have no right to become a guru, or a teacher. You have no right to be a king or a politician; you have no right to be a father or a mother unless you understand what is the goal of life and understand how to guide your dependants in such way, that they never have to suffer the repetition of birth and death again and again.
The biggest problem? Lack of Krishna Consciousness
Today people become doctors; a doctor is also a leader? People become teachers, people become politicians and sometimes people even become gurus as a matter of business or for some economic stability in their lives. Some people become parents simple because they like to have children, because they are fond of little children. According to God, according to Lord Rishabhdeva, anyone who thinks like this is a cheater and a rascal, and if you want to know what the problem in this world is, it’s because everyone is following in the footsteps of cheaters and rascals. There is no problem except the lack of Krishna Consciousness. People are not willing to accept the responsibility of human form of life which is self realization. And if human society is not guided by leaders who take the real responsibility of self realization as their foremost purpose of life, there is no solution to the chaos the problems and the strife and suffering in this world and all our great great organized efforts are shallow and empty.
Living in a Bandaged Society
If a person has a deadly disease, he doesn’t cover it with bandage, he goes to the source of the disease and cures it. We are living in a bandaged society. Just cover it up. Make some superficial external change so we don’t see the problems anymore. Don’t blame anyone else. The solution begins with you and me. We should know that we are all created by God and we are all responsible 24 hrs a day. The God of our life is within our heart and within every atom. He is a witness to every activity of ours, every event in the entire creation and our responsibility to God is not simply to feed our children. The birds are also bringing worms to their little babies in the nest. The rats are also bringing food to their little children to the hole in the wall. The duty of our life is not simply to create a nice comfortable home for our children and our family members because the rats and the birds are building their nests and the holes too. Your duty is not to make big big name for yourself. Because in due course of time probably we are going to be trampled before you die anyway.
Our sole purpose in life – Self Realization
Lord Rishabhdeva instructs us that we have taken this very very rare human form of life which is meant for self realization and which is so difficult to attain after 8.4 million species through which the soul has evolved. Do not waste this human live endeavoring for sense gratification of this world which are available to the dogs and hogs that eat stool. Tapo divyam The human life is meant for one purpose only – for self realization. It is meant for the purpose of performing tapasya, tapodivyam for self realization. Because there is no question of spiritual advancement without tapasya. What does tapasya mean? It means simply to live in harmony with the desire of God and to put aside all things that are contrary to God’s will in our life. And it especially means to put aside popular opinion of those persons who are trying to lead us through social pressure against the will of God. Kaliyuga – this is an age of quarrel and hypocrisy, and the general masses are chasing after the illusions of a godless world. And therefore if you take seriously spiritual life, people will laugh at you, people will disassociate with you, people will think you are crazy. Human life is meant for self realization, but the popular idea of religion is that human life is meant for economic development and sense gratification and religion is something that we practice on the side just to increase or enhance the sweetness of our sense gratification and economic development. Is that not so? And if you take your spiritual life seriously people think you are becoming fanatic, you are not practical , you are not of this world. Going to temple once a week , hearing Bhagavat gita to a certain extrent is alright, but chanting the holy name, associating with sadhus regularly, this is too much! Has everyone heard of this type of propaganda? Tapasya means willing to tolerate all this and go on with our spiritual practices.
Service to Krishna – the best insurance
Aham bija pradapita.Krishna says I’m the father of every living being. And our duty is to fulfill the desire of that supreme father. Human life is meant for this. It is not that we have to put aside all the things to make the crest jewel, summum bonum, the goal of all activities of our life, the realization of our eternal relationship withKrishna. It is not that we should put things aside for everything else and what’s extra we’ll give toKrishna. It is just the opposite, we should first give the best toKrishna, and then what’s left we maintain ourselves. How will I live if I do that? People are very much into this idea of insurance these days. But factually insurance is all illusion. There is only one insurance -Krishna’s mercy. Because whatever we invest in service ofKrishna is never lost. Whatever we invest in this material world is going to be lost inevitably, either today or tomorrow. So therefore in the eyes of god, our first and foremost responsibility is that we personally pursue the path of self realization and teach our children also (if we are parents) that this is the goal of our lives. It is said in Srimad Bhagvatam that if a man and woman come together in a marriage , the success of their marriage is if their children become great devotees of Lord. It has nothing to do about how much money they give them, it has nothing to do about how much educational qualification they acquire in this world, the only thing that matters is that they become devotees of the Lord. That is most important perfection in the eyes of the God and all other things are important only to the extent they are utilized in the service ofKrishna. We can have wealth, we can have educational qualifications. But we should use it inKrishna’s service , we should use it on the path of self realization and for the betterment of humanity.
Heal the soul, not the body
Yesterday we were asked to give a short talk at a hospital , and we were thinking that curing a sick man is an important service to humanity. In itself it has very little value. Because the idea of healing a person should not be that, it is my business and I’m getting paid for it. The idea should be that I’m compassionate. That this is my brother and sister. And to see someone suffering causes me suffering, so let me extend myself to help the person out of this suffering. Now if you heal a person and tell him to go back and live the life which is full of bad habits, he will have to accept the same suffering again. You have just put a bandage over the problem. It is said that cleanliness is next to Godliness. If you want to cure the disease you should educate the people how to live hygienically, how to go to bathroom properly, how to cook properly, how to use proper water, how to have proper standards of cleanliness, so that you do not contract the diseases. But this is just the gross level of cleanliness. Sinful life is dirty and when you commit sinful activities, the karma of that sinful activity come back and make you suffer. May be it is in the form of some disease of some other strife.
The Pillars of sinful life
There are 4 regulative principles as the Bhagavatam describes which are the pillars of sinful life – no illicit sex, if you have illicit sex, it is guaranteed that you will suffer like an animal or even worse. Because the karmic reaction will cause a torturous condition in your mind your body , today or tomorrow. There is no escape. If you engage in intoxication, the karmic reaction will cover you with illusion ,with ignorance which will cause tremendous suffering. Gambling is a whimsical way of taking the property of God and utilizing it for your own horrible excitement instead of utilizing it for so many good activities to help others. Eating meat – every bit of pain caused to an animal for your satisfaction, you have to suffer that pain a hundred fold.
Helping suffering Humanity
So if we are actually concerned about helping someone who is suffering, you have to teach him how to live a clean life, how to live life in harmony with the laws of God, otherwise you are just a hypocrite. Oh I’m so compassionate, so kind, I’m helping you out of your disease, but then I send you back into the mouth of that same suffering. You must want to educate people about how to live a clean life hygienically as well as spiritually. That is compassion. And this is the duty of everyone who is in a leader position or who have dependants, or have people taking guidance from them -to show them the way so that they won’t have to suffer again by showing them how to live in harmony with the laws of God. These were the basic instructions of Lord Rishabhdeva to his sons. He told them that Bharath was the eldest amongst them, and therefore he would be king and that they should all co operate and live according to those principles.
Bharat Maharaj – the ideal ruler.
So Bharat Maharaj ruled the kingdom for a long time. And he ruled exactly according to the rules of Dharma. So when it was time for him to enthrone his son , he knew he had to set a proper example by leaving the world behind him and pursuing the path of self realization. While he was King, he was the most responsible father, most responsible brother, most responsible husband and the most responsible servant of all society. He lived in his palace forKrishna. But he wanted to show the world that after we finish our duty in this way, our only duty is to merge our consciousness in the loving service of the Lord. So it described that Bharat Maharaj left his beautiful family, left his wonderful palatial palace, left all the fine foods cooked by the best cooks, left his royal robes and went into the forest, taking nothing with him, except his faith in God. It is said that he left all the luxuries of this world with the same indifference of the man who leaves his stool on the ground after passing it. He didn’t look back even once. He went to the holy land of the Himalayas and took residence on the banks of the Gandaki river, one of the great sacred rives ofIndia. And there he simply practiced meditation on the super soul within his heart and became so much purified, that ecstatic symptoms of love gradually began to awaken more and more. Tears were filling his eyes, his limbs were trembling and his hairs would stand on end on the mere thought of Sri Krishna. At every step in our spiritual progress, we will be tested, from the beginning until we leave this material world behind.
Krishna Consciousness – Nectar in the beginning
One of our devotees was asking me yesterday, that when he first came to spiritual life, everything was so exciting and wonderful, when he was chanting the holy name he was so conscious of the sound vibration, it was such a beautiful and enrapturing meditation, and following the regulative principles, his mind was just anxious to live a pure life, a sinless life. And devotional service – he was so eager to do everything and anything. But now that he has been a devotee for many years, now when he tries to chant, his mind starts running every other direction except on the name and sometimes he feels no enthusiasm for devotional service and his mind is filled with thoughts of sinful activities. Was he doing something wrong? Or perhaps he did’nt understand the process. What was happening? Why? When you first come to Krishna Consciousness, Maya, the personification of the illusory energy, does not seem so attractive. Because actually at least 95% of people who come to spiritual life just on their own , due to their own insincerity, leave shortly after. So Mayadevi knows that most likely as far as she goes, she doesn’t have to do anything against you, as you will leave on your own because spiritual life becomes troublesome after sometime. So therefore when you first come toKrishna, Maya does not take you seriously, she just lets you do as you like, chant the holy names, etc. she doesn’t take you seriously. Just like a parent, when a child says, I’m going to take this vow and I m never going to do this again. Parents just say – han han yes of course why not?
Maya’s duty – sorting out the sincere from the insincere
But after many years, deepening your commitment and deepening your determination and taking on responsibilities forKrishnafor making propaganda actually threatens the position of Maya in this world. Then Maya starts taking you seriously. Then she starts planning out major attacks against you. From within and from without. And then there are all sorts of problems. It seems that Krishna Consciousness was so easy when you were new. Because you were not a threat, Maya just let you go on your way. But now you are a threat so she is going to show all of her teeth and do everything she can to divert you away. Because that is her service, she must do that. But in the heart of her heart, she is hoping you’ll pass all the test, because she knows that she is actually helping a devotee. If this devotee is sincere, the more I make life horribly difficult for him, the more he is going to develop faith, the more he is going to receive the mercy of Krishna, and the more he is going be empowered to do the greatest, most wonderful work to please the Lord. And if the person is not sincere, then I have done my service. I have sorted out the sincere from the insincere forKrishnacan see clearly who is really a devotee.
Most Merciful Krishna
Krishna says in Gita, apichet suduracharo bhajate mam ananya sadhureva …….. that if one is sincere on this path, even if due to previous conditioning maya overcomes you and causes you to fall down into the most abominable position of life, in the eyes of Krishna you are still saintly. Kshipram bhavati dharmatma shashvatshanti …. He says very soon I will pick that person and make him right just again. Dharmatma. The definition of dharmatma in this sense is if the soul who is following dharma, falls down due to the influence of temptation of maya, because of his sincere heart,Krishna picks him up and that devotee only benefits and learns from that experience.
Bharat Maharaj was sitting alone in seclusion in the forest of Himalayas on the bank of the holy sacred river Gandaki, merged in a very high level of spiritual life, on the path of Bhakti, and naturally he was becoming more and more compassionate, more and more selfless, more and more of a loving, soft hearted person. But Maya understood that he had already left his beautiful family, all the luxuries of the world, power and fame of being King , food, etc. She was wondering how she was going to tempt this person. Maya is so clever, and found that his only weakness was he was too kind to others. So she sent a deer, a mother deer who was pregnant with a baby in her womb. And that deer, being chased by a lion, was running for her life, and she came right by the small hermitage of Bharat Maharaj, and then that deer jumped to cross the Gandaki river as an only hope of escaping the jaws of the hungry lion and at that time the lion roared, and she became so overwhelmed with fear that she had a miscarriage and the baby fell into the river. She finished her leap on the other side and when she saw her helpless baby drowning in the river it caused her so much grief that she feel down the ground and died. Seeing this Bharat Maharaj was thinking ,Oh my God who is going to care for this little baby, so with his own loving and tender hand he rescued that baby deer from the river. Then he realized that he was the father and mother to the baby deer. So he started collecting nice foodstuff to feed the deer and built a nice little place for her to sleep, protected her during day and night from dangerous animals and other inflictions from nature. As the months went by, he was so much engrossed in taking care of the deer, that he stopped chanting the holy name, meditating onKrishnaand all of his spiritual disciplines. He became utterly attached to this deer and at times when the deer got little older, when he didn’t come home on time, he was in tremendous anxiety and he was overwhelmed with concern and care. Due to this attachment he would just go chasing through forest calling where are you? where are you? Oh mother earth have you seen my deer? All clouds in the sky where is she? Oh trees! Have you seen my deer? This way he was utterly engrossed in this illusion. And when he became old, the deer would lick his body and he would think Ahhha so nice! The deer would lay on his body and he would say Ahhha so nice. And one day he died thinking of the deer.
Death – the final examination
Krishnasays in the Gita, yam yam vapi smaram bhavam, tyajaty ante kalevaram, whatever you think of at the time of death, you become that in your next birth. So Bharat Maharaj took his next birth as a deer. But because of his saintliness and his dedication to the path of God consciousness, even though he fell down from his position, Krishna was always in his heart. Kshipram bhavati dharmatma, Krishna says that he always protects his devotee, kaunteya , na me bhaktya pranashyati,Krishna gave him full awareness of his previous life. Bharat Maharaj was thinking , oh my God what a crazy fool I was.I gave everything of this world to pursue the only real goal of life – self realization and right at the last minute before I attained pure love of God, I became attached to this deer!! Therefore, as a deer he simply went to those places where the great saints were reciting the Bhagavatam and the holy scriptures and chanting kirtan. And he would simply be always immersed in hearing the glorious narrations of the Supreme Personality of Godhead , and then he left his body as deer.
Reviving Krishna Consciousness
In his next birth, Bharat Maharaj was born in a very highly civilized family of Brahmans. But in this birth he understood, that false ego and prestige were the greatest enemies and he thought that because he was a Brahman, people would give him so much credit, recognition and respect, that it would be a great disturbance. He decided that the best way to fix his mind onKrishnawas to let everyone think that he’s mad, crazy and useless , so that he would always remain humble. So he purposely did everything utterly wrong. The Bhagavatam explains that he was so useless that his brothers just put him like a scare crow in their corn fields just to keep the crows away. They felt that’s all he could do another way of keeping him out of their way.
Life of Jadabharat
It is a long story of the life of Jadabharat. Eventually he was cast away and he lived in the jungles. One day a great king named Rahuguna, was traveling in a palanquin being carried by his servants, one of the servants felt sick so they needed a forth man to carry the palanquin from the front. Some of these people found that Jadabharat and saw that he had a very strong body and they thought that he was fit to carry the palanquin, so they put him in the service of King. Now for Jadbharat, do you think he had any special respect for this king? He already had gone through of being the greatest king in all history ofIndiaand the world, so he was not impressed by the fact that this person was a king. So as far as he was concerned he was just going to go about his business, but the palanquin bearers forced him to do this service. He was living as an avadhuta. He appeared like a low class man, all dirty and everything. Though he was ordered to carry the palanquin, he decided that he was going to carry the way he wanted to carry. So when he came across little ants on the road, he stopped , but of course the other 3 they did not stop. So you know what happens on a palanquin when 3 people go and 1 person stops, everything goes like this – (imitates) and when the King questioned what was happening , everyone pointed to Jadbharat. The King was very angry and said “Why are you stopping rascal? I’m the King, you must follow my directions and don’t stop until I tell you to stop”. Jadabharat didn’t say anything and started walking. Again some ants started crossing the road and he stopped. The King was becoming more and more annoyed and shouted ” if you do this again, I will cut off your head and kill you, you will be punished”.
Jadabharat’s instructions to King Rahuguna
Jadbharat was thinking “What do I care for this man? All this power and prestige that I had earlier had, was all an illusion”. So he went on walking according to his thinking. And when some little insects crossed his pat, he again stopped. The king just was furious and raving, insulting Jadbharat liking anything, calling him all sorts of names and threatening him in so many ways. Jadbharat very calmly and compassionately looked at the king. Though Jadabharat looked like a retarded mad man, when he spoke, it was like the riverGanges- the transcendental knowledge flowing from his lotus like mouth. He said ” My dear king, today you are king and I’m just your insignificant servant, but tomorrow I may the king and you may be my insignificant servant”. He was speaking from his realizations as he had been in that position himself. “This is all a bodily concept of life, my dear king. It is only due to false ego that you are thinking that you are better than me. Or you are thinking yourself better than anyone. We are all eternal souls. No man is better than any other man. God is great and we are all his insignificant servants. You have your duties, I have my duties. But on the spiritual platforms we all have only one duty , i.e. to satisfyKrishna. It is due to your uncontrolled contaminated mind that you are identifying with this body and you rare so proud of your position, your power over me and others. But if you want to know the truth, you have to humble yourself before the great sages and take shelter of the loving service of the lord and have to learn to treat all living beings with respect, knowing that God is in their hearts. In this way he instructed the king.
King Rahuguna surrenders to Jadabharat
When King Rahuguna heard these the wonderful words, he got down from his palanquin and bowed at the feet of this great soul and surrendered his life as his disciple. the King said, “What you are saying is true. Throughout my life, I have been in great illusion. All these dualities have simply ensnared me into false ego thinking that I’m better than anyone else because of my position and power. Here was Jadbharat, who was totally banished by society because he acted so retarded, that even the most common people used to throw abominable substances and spit on him, pass urine on him and do all kinds of abominable things, insulting him because they thought he was crazy and everyone bowed their head to the king. But when the king understood the words of Jadabharat, the king bowed his head at his lotus feet. This false ego, Jadbharat explains, is very powerful and is the cause of all suffering and disease. Our real ego is to understand that we all are subordinate toKrishna, all of us, whoever we are and our only aim is to please him and serve him . So after hearing these wonderful instructions that hearing and chanting the glories of the Lord as the only remedy for the great disease of the bodily concept of life, King Rahuguna spoke, “Oh most exalted personality, you are not different from the Supreme Personality of Godhead. By the influence of your true self, all kinds of contradictions in the shastras have been removed, and in the dress of a friend of a Brahman,you are hiding your transcendental blissful position. I offer my respectful obeisances unto you. Oh best of the Brahmans, my body is filled with dirty things and my vision has been eaten by the serpent of pride. One actually starts coming out of illusion of intoxication of the ego that I’m this body and those things in relation to this body are mine, when one comes in contact with great souls and hear their words that whatever one’s position is in society, his body is filled with dirty things and his vision has been beaten by the serpent of time. Due to material conceptions one is diseased. Your nectarean instructions are the proper medicines for one suffering from such a fever and and they are cooling waters for one scorched by the heat “.
King Rahuguna asks for more instructions
King Rahuguna had everything a person in this world could ever want, but he saw the greatness of Jadbharat who had everything a person in this world does not want . That was his conclusion. he asked Jadabharat, “Whatever doubts I have about a particular subject matter, I shall ask you later but for the time being, this mysterious yoga instructions you have given me for self realization appear very difficult, please repeat them in a simple way so that I can understand them. My mind is very inquisitive and I want to understand this directly. Then Jadbharat explains to him that the simplest process which he himself was personally following, was always thinking ofKrishna. This is the goal of life, this is the great responsibility we have and this is the great responsibility we have in regards to all others – to show the way to always think ofKrishna. That same Lord who appeared like Rishabhdeva who planted the seed of transcendental knowledge in the heart of Maharaj Bharat, that same Lord has appeared in this age of Kaliyuga to teach the means by which all of us can always rememberKrishna, like chanting his Holy names.