(Śrīmad Bhāgavatam 9.11.23)
O King Parīkṣit, anyone who aurally receives the narrations concerning the characteristics of Lord Rāmacandra’s pastimes will ultimately be freed from the disease of envy and thus be liberated from the bondage of fruitive activities.
Here in this material world, everyone is envious of someone else. Even in religious life, it is sometimes found that if one devotee has advanced in spiritual activities, other devotees are envious of him. Such envious devotees are not completely freed from the bondage of birth and death. As long as one is not completely free from the cause of birth and death, one cannot enter the sanātana-dhāma or the eternal pastimes of the Lord. One becomes envious because of being influenced by the designations of the body, but the liberated devotee has nothing to do with the body, and therefore he is completely on the transcendental platform. A devotee is never envious of anyone, even his enemy. Because the devotee knows that the Lord is his supreme protector, he thinks, “What harm can the so-called enemy do?” Thus a devotee is confident about his protection. The Lord says, ye yathā māḿ prapadyante tāḿs tathaiva bhajāmy aham: [Bg. 4.11] “According to the proportion of one’s surrender unto Me, I respond accordingly.” A devotee must therefore be completely free from envy, especially of other devotees. To envy other devotees is a great offense, a vaisnava-aparādha. A devotee who constantly engages in hearing and chanting (śravana-kīrtana) is certainly freed from the disease of envy, and thus he becomes eligible to go back home, back to Godhead.
O King Parīkṣit, anyone who aurally receives the narrations concerning the characteristics of Lord Rāmacandra’s pastimes will ultimately be freed from the disease of envy and thus be liberated from the bondage of fruitive activities.
Krishna is the Supreme Enjoyer and Proprietor of everything
Krishna tells Arjuna in Bhagavad Gita that your qualification for receiving and understanding this great knowledge is that you are not envious of me. This is the foremost, the essence of the conditioned state of life. It is the disease of envy. Envy is springing from the fountain of our hearts due to our enviousness ofKrishna.Krishnais the Supreme enjoyer.
bhoktāraḿ yajña-tapasāḿ sarva-loka-maheśvaram
Krishna tells us that if we can understand these principles we can be peaceful. In essence what it means is, if we understand these principles we will no longer be envious. These 3 principles are the cause of envy when they are not understood.Krishnasays that I am proprietor of all that exists. If we simply accept this then there will be no envy. We are all wanting to claim proprietorship of what belongs to God. That is the human degraded gesture and envy towardsKrishna. We want to own what is His, we want to claim what is His.
When Krishna says I am the proprietor ‘sarva-loka-maheśvaram’ of everything within all planets that means not only all the lands within all the planets; not only all the buildings and property but also everything. Your body is property ofKrishna. Whatever abilities you have is property ofKrishna. If you have some educational qualifications, they are not yours. If you claim them to be yours that is expression of envy for they belong toKrishna.
If you have power to speak that is Krishna’s, your ability to see is the property of Krishna. If you have some particular abilities or skillsKrishnasays I am ability in man. Your ability belongs toKrishna.Krishnasays I am the intelligence of the intelligent. Your intelligence is the property ofKrishna.Krishnasays I am the strength of the strong. Whatever strength you have to do anything that strength is the property ofKrishna. When we want to take credit for anything that is a show that we are envious of God. Because He deserves it, because it’s all His.
That is why Chaitanya Mahaprabhu said “amanina manadena kirtaniya sada hari” you can only chant the Holy Name of the Lord constantly if you are not envious of the Lord. If you are envious of the Lord then you are going to want stop chanting His name to chant your own. Correct?! If you are chanting His name constantly that means you have to be completely free from any desire for any recognition for your self. In order to do so you must be willing to offer all respect to others and expect no respect for oneself. Understanding that whatever I have I do not deserve to be respected for because it is the property of the Lord.
He is the Supreme enjoyer of all sacrifices. He is the Supreme enjoyer of all that exists. As soon as we think anything is meant for my enjoyment that is simply a manifestation our envy towardsKrishnaspringing from our heart.
Activities in the modes of Material Nature
Sacrifice means everything is meant for Krishna’s enjoyment. We cannot understand Krishnatill the time we are completely free from wanting to be the proprietor, wanting to the enjoyer. Then Krishnasays suhrdaḿ sarva-bhūtānāḿ that I am the friend of the all living beings. This is another type of the envy towards the Lord is that we think we are the friend, we think that we can help another. There is envy in the mode of goodness passion and ignorance. Those who are in the mode of goodness they are very anxious to help others. They open hospitals, they build temples they distribute free food, they distribute clothing and they think just see I am the friend of these fallen unfortunate poverty stricken people, I am their friend I am their benefactor. I am their provider.
Surely, the activities are in the mode of goodness but the consciousness is an act of envy towardsKrishna. Because the fact is whatever you are giving them isKrishna’s property. The power to give isKrishna’s property. Really, you are not anything but being His instruments. Just like if you go to the bank and the teller gives you one crore of rupees, the teller feels very proud and feels, “see how wonderfully I am giving you one crore rupees, I am such a benefactor”. The teller needs to understand that I am doing nothing, I am just fortunate enough to be a part of this transaction. So, similarly whatever good we do for another it is not us doing it. If you think doing it is us doing it then we are envious. It isKrishnawho is doing it.Krishnais the source of all good.
gunaih karmāni sarvaśah
kartāham iti manyate
The Bhagavad Gita says that the bewildered spirit soul thinks himself to be the doer of activities. But, actually all the activities are carried out by the three modes of material nature. It is due to ahańkāra – false ego mayādhyaksena prakrtih sūyate sa-carācaram this nature is working underKrishna’s direction. Anything material, spiritual, anything is being performed byKrishna alone.
Envy towards others is the nature of the conditioned soul
If we want to enjoy anything, if we want to claim proprietorship over anything or if want to take credit for anything that means that most serious destructive enemy has overcome us. In this material world everyone is envious of someone else, even in spiritual life if someone manifests more empowered qualities than we sometimes become envious. In our heart of our hearts we are hoping that this person will fall down from spiritual platform so that people think just see he is not as good as I am.
Everyone is thinking he was very good, but when all things are said and done I am better and I am the greatest for whatever we are good at. If we are not good at something usually we are not so envious of people but if we are good at something, a little, then we cannot tolerate that somebody else is better. This is the nature of the conditioned soul. A poor man is not so envious of some other rich man. But if a rich man if he sees somebody else richer, then he becomes very envious. If see somebody else giving more donation or doing better we think ha! he is motivated, it is all material. When I do it, it is all transcendental. If someone can speak and treats better than us then we think I cannot wait till this person falls down. So everyone one realizes that I am better. Someone can sing better, someone can cook better, someone can manage better, we become very envious because we want be the enjoyer we want to be the proprietor of this opulence.
Every living being is a part and parcel of Krishna
Iswaryasya samagrasya viryasya – He is the proprietor of all opulences. We have to see thatKrishna is the doer. If someone is speaking nicely, we should not think just see how wonderfully this person is speaking, I want to be better. We should see just see how wonderfullyKrishna is manifesting through this person. If someone sings very nicely, just think; see how wonderfullyKrishna is manifesting Himself through this person. If someone is managing or cooking or doing anything very nicely dressing deities very nicely we should think just see how nicelyKrishna is manifesting Himself through this person such a wonderful way. Then we will not be envious then we will simply find great joy and inspiration in every ones devotional service.
Every living being is a part and parcel ofKrishna. If you are envious of anyone do not fool yourself; that means you are simply a serpent envious ofKrishnathat’s all. Admit it. If you admit it you can make some spiritual advancement. If you don’t admit it you simply suffer your own venom birth after birth after birth that’s all. Whatever the qualities we are envious of they are manifesting byKrishnathrough this person. When we are envious of Krishnawe are potentially envious of every part of Him.
We come to this world because we want to be the proprietor and enjoyer. And this is the problem with the religions today. Most religions are teaching you worship God, you approach God and you will have better material life. You will get more respectability, you will get more proprietorship over land through economic development, and you will get more sense gratification. You will be simply more envious of God, you will be able to fulfill you envious positions that’s all in the name of religion. Even the mode of goodness, piety is envy and 99.9% of religions throughout the world whether Hinduism, Buddhism, Judaism, Christianity, Jainism people approach God for material enjoyment. That means they are not ready to give up their envy towards God. They are simply asking Him to provide the resources by which we can continue our envy towards Him. Take the glory that belongs to Him, take the property that belongs to Him. Enjoy the facilities that belong to Him. Therefore, Srimad Bhagavatam from the very beginning kicks of this kaitava dharma cheating religion.
dharmah projjhita-kaitavo ‘tra
From the very beginning Srimad Bhagavatam kicks our artha dharmakamamoksa. Economic development, religiosity, sense gratification and liberation; from Bhagavatam point of view all are expression of envy towards God.
Artha, economic development we want more to claim to be ours but everything is Krishna’s its an illusion, its an act of envy. Kama, sense gratification, Krishnasays I am the enjoyer of everything. But we want to enjoy. Narorottam Das Thakur has prayed ‘vishaya chadiya pade sudda habe mana kabe hama heribo sri vrindavana’. He is praying in this way “my dear mind only when you are completely free from all separate desire to enjoy anything of this world you will be able to see Vrindavan. Even when we go Vrindavan theHoly land or any holy place we cannot see it as it is until we become free from the propensity for material enjoyment. Everything we see as cataract of enviousness.
Dharma: Religiosity I explained people are very pious people perform rituals people perform pujas they give in charity they are very strict in following certain regulative principles living a pious life. But they want credit for, it they want distinction for it that I am a pious, good man. It’s another act of envy. And moksha, liberation from the other lesser scriptures point of view moksha is supreme goal of life. But Srimad Bhagavatam point of view on this is that this is another form of envy that we want to take the position of God. We want to merge into the supreme and be the Supreme. I am Krishna you areKrishnaI am God therefore:
sa vai pumsam paro dharmo
yato bhaktir adhoksaje
The supreme occupation which is one and only one goal of Srimad Bhagvatam philosophy is unmotivated uninterrupted loving service to the Supreme Personality of Godhead.
The Srimad Bhagavatam explains how to extinguish envy
Krishna you are free to anything you like. “Maro be rakho be jai sata haa”, Bhakti Vinod Thakur prays – “O my Lord if you want to protect me it is your will to protect me, if you want to kill me, destroy me do it. I am your servant. I don’t have right to be chosen. Whatever you give it is your mercy, I will accept it gratefully. If you want to give the world and take everything away, I see no difference. I am simply your servant and I will act anyway you please”. This is Bhagavatam philosophy.
Therefore, Srila Prabhupada would often say that why when some people who are speaking from scriptures of the world, tens and thousands of people flock to hear them because essentially they are teaching artha, kama, dharma, moksha with little bit of devotional service mixed in. He said, but in theKrishnaconsciousness movement you will not find people seriously coming to hear. Because we are telling them you have to give up all sense gratification. We have to tell them that all the aspirations in life are envious qualities and you have to sacrifice your consciousness forKrishna’s pleasure.
Very few people are ready to hear that but Srila Prabhupada said one moon is better than millions and millions of stars. Thus millions of stars, millions of people hear that they want to hear but if one person becomes a pure devotee of Krishna, that person can give light, illumination to the all the world. Here, Srila Sukadeva Goswami is describing how to extinguish the most contaminating disease of all disease that is envy. It is to learn to sincerely hear and chant the glories of the Lord. Paraḿ dṛṣṭvā nivartate, because the glories of the Lord are so sweet and nectarine that they purify our heart to its very core from all trace of enviousness. Therefore there is no process more powerful than this.
Srimad Bhagavatam explains that all forms of meditation raising up kundalini, purifying various chakras, the different mystic processes and studies of philosophy. These things may help us to become powerful in controlling our senses and even controlling the facilities of material nature. But these things cannot extinguish the quality of envy in our life. We find very very great powerful yogis, but still envious.
The Srimad Bhagavatam explains that only thing that extinguishes envy which is the basic root all disease is sincerely chanting and hearing the glories of the Lord. How is this possible? because when we hear and chant the glories of the Supreme Personality of Godhead, we are directly associating with Him. In the beginning due to the disease of envy which is like jaundice, hearing and chanting the glories of the Lord is sometimes very bitter, distasteful. Sit home and read the scriptures, come to the Bhagavatam class, come to the Gita class, come to the pravachan, I’ll rather go to the cinema, rather watch the TV rather read some novel, I will rather talk prajalpa, talk nonsense with my friends, its boring to sit down and listen, that’s because of our disease, the disease of envy. Rather than to give Krsna enjoyment we want to enjoy, but if we continually hear and chant the glories of the Lord in proper association. Then gradually little by little by little this envy will be removed.
Nashta prayeshu abhadreshu Nityam Bhagvat sewaya
Bhagwati uttama sloke bhaktir bhawati naishtiki
Only by hearing from the Acharyas in parampara one can understand the real essence
Bhagvatam explains that by regularly hearing Srimad Bhagavatam not by persons, professional recitor not by the person who is teaching the conclusion of artha kaama moksha from the Srimad Bhagavatam but one who is teaching the real essence from the parampara pure devotional service if we hear from such a person and render service to such a person all inauspicious things from our heart are cleansed.
Here Sukadeva Goswami is explaining that anyone who aurally receives the narrations concerning the characteristics of Lord Ramacandra’s pastimes will ultimately be freed from the disease of envy and thus be liberated from the bondage of fruitive activities. But it is very important to understand who we must receive these narrations of Lord Ramachandra’s pastimes from? He must be some who is teaching according to the previous great acharyas whether it is the Bhagvatam, Ramayan, Mahabharat, even the new testament old testament, the Koran, most people are teaching these scriptures according to the principles of artha, kama, dharma, moskha. You are giving pious examples to make you better a human being. That is alright. That is certainly constructive in society but that will not free you from envy. Ultimately you will not be situated on the platform of pure devotional service.
It is only by hearing from some one who is narrating according to the real principles, someone who is narrating the pastimes of Ramachandra without cheating without tainting it with impersonalism, with karma kanda or with gnana kanda. But he is purely presenting according to upasana kanda, bhakti pure devotional service. After all Maharaj Guha, he was simple humble man, he wasn’t learned, he wasn’t wealthy, he had one quality, he had no other motivation but the pleasure of Sita and Rama. Hanuman was subhuman from physical point of view. People ofIndiavery much attached to this caste consciousness but the greatest Bhakta of Lord Ram’s Lila was Hanuman who had no caste he was an animal. He has one quality his only motive is to please Lord Ram.
In Chaitanya Mahaprabhu’s lila the greatest of all the Acaryas was Haridas Thakur. He had no caste. He had one quality he simply wanted to pleaseKrishnaby chanting His Holy Names. InKrishna’s lila the gopies, they went against all social conventions all caste considerations in the middle of the night they left everything behind. They were socially total rejects for what they have done. Why? because they have only one motivation to pleaseKrishna. So all the transcendental narrations of the Lord we find the supreme glorified devotees are those who have only one intention – to pleaseKrishna. There was no material consideration that had any value.
So one who teaches this one who teaches sacrifice of one’s own spirit of proprietorship for enjoyment and teaches only pure unalloyed devotion toKrishna. If you hear from such a person then and then only that it has truly powerful effect of purifying our hearts. Therefore Srila Prabhupada explains that in his books that his purports are more important than the translations because the translations you read and you will enjoy but you will not understand the essence and the meaning behind it. Therefore in our Gaudiya Vaisnava sampradaya you will find that our acharyas nobody ever translated the books. They always give purports .they always explain each verse of each chapter according the conclusion of pure devotional service, surrender
mām ekaḿ śaranaḿ vraja
Whatever they say every line every verse is simply reminding us this one sarva-dharmān parityajya mām ekaḿ śaraṇaḿ vraja. Just surrender to Krishna that is the conclusion of whatever is being said and if we are not constantly reminded of this of how to surrender then we will be mislead because you see in the vedic literature there are six puranas for those in the mode of Tamo Guna. There are six puranas for those in the mode of Rajo Guna and six puranas for those in the Satva Guna. And the puranas, if you understand the principle of pure devotional service from a bonafide acarya, you could read any of these puranas and see that everything is teaching pure devotional service because it is but at the same time whateverKrishna does has many many meanings.
According to the person the same words have the different meanings. To some persons the same story exemplifies how to become more pious how to become little more pious how to become little more respectful to your elders. In Ram Lila the way Lord Ram dealt with His father, some interpreted just see that means the son must obey the father, that’s all. The Ramayan on TV that’s the way people understood it because there was no purport. Just see the Supreme sanatan dharma is just to be obedient to your father, that is what Lord Ram is teaching for those in the lower mode unless you are obedient to your father you will never come higher. But for those who hear from the acharya they understand that that was not the real meaning that was the meaning for some people of the lower consciousness. But the real meaning is that Lord Ram’s father was a pure devotee and Lord Ram’s obedience was the same as Krsna’s being willing to be tied up by mother Yasoda. He is bound to be surrendered to the feet of his devotee because He is captured by love, the power of Dashrath Maharaj’s love bound Lord Ram to be his humble obedient servant. So, it’s showing the quality of love, how it conquers even Godhead.
From Upasana kand point of view that’s what is said, from karma kand point of view, you should obey your father, both meanings are there, depends on whom u hear it from depends how you understand it, therefore nityam Bhagvat sewaya, you should hear Bhagvatam from a person who is delivering the essence of the parampara and if we hear from the proper source with great attention regularly and we render service to such great souls, then all of these characteristics of envy will be removed from without and within and this is the supreme goal of life, this is purification of envy.
Chanting the Holy Names is most important for spiritual progress
When we chant the Holy Name, if we receive the Holy Name from such a great devotee of the Lord and we learn how to live, learn how to chant, from such a great soul, avoiding 10 offences; learn how to be a humble servant. See, just chanting has great powerful effect but the spiritual master teaches us how to chant. It’s just like the Gurudev plants the seed of prema in our hearts and chanting the holy name and hearing the glories of the Lord are like the water that nourishes that seed and following all the other instructions are like sowing the ground. If the ground is not fertile, if the ground is not soft no matter how much u water the seed it’s going to take long long long time for it to come out. And as that seed is growing as your watering other weeds are growing with it which are going to strangle it if you are not going to pull it out, So its not just a process of watering the seed not just the process of chanting Hare Krishna. Chanting Hare Krishna is the only thing that s going to make the seed grow according to the shastra.
Harer nama Harer nama Harer namaiva kevalam kalau nasty eva nasti eva nasti eva gatir anyatha
But to get the true effect of chanting we must be the obedient, submissive servant of the spiritual master and follow his instructions because through his instructions he teaches us how to soften, tilt and fertilize that soil and pull off the weeds and then when we chant the Holy Names we will get very very fast and very effective progress in the development of our spirituality, this is very essential.
tad viddhi pranipātena
One must follow the footsteps of great souls then our spiritual progress becomes undisturbed. So to come together sincerely to hear and chant the glories of the Lord is the means by which we can become free from the disease of envy. The greatest threat is when devotees become envious of one another, that is the greatest threat because that’s the greatest barrier for peace and justice within this world because the congregation chanting of the Holy Name. Cheto Darapana marjana, can cleanse away all the anartha all the unwanted qualities within the universe but when we are envious we cant properly come together and congregationally chant the Holy Name, therefore not only we are cheating ourselves we are cheating everybody we are cheating our Spiritual master, we are cheating all living beings and the tendency is so strong familiarity breeds contempt, the closer we become to some one the more inclination is to be envious. Very seldom are we really envious of strangers, If someone we never heard of does something better than us, we might feel little envious but if someone who is very very close to us we become terribly envy.
Envy is the greatest threat
Generally gossip is most heinous when it is towards a person who we are very dear and familiar with. Not somebody whom we never heard of. Familiarity breeds contempt, that’s the law of material nature. As long as the familiarity is based on mutual sense gratification, when we talk prajalpa, when we talk nonsense that means we are talking only for mutual sense gratification, from that talk we will be more envious of one another today or tomorrow. But if we are discussing how to better serve the spiritual master how to serve each other, how to better serve the mission of Mahaprabhu when we discuss the glories and pastimes and philosophy of Krishna Consciousness, then that discussion will remove all envy and create an atmosphere of love within each other and that is what is most required.
When there is love and trust amongst one another there is only one hope of love and trust being established among one another and that is the topic of our actions, the topic of our discussions and the topic of all our interactions with one another is Krsna’s service is gurus service. There is a verse by the prachetas in the 4th canto of the Srimad Bhagvatam which explains that those persons who come together to hear and chant the glories of the Lord are free from envy of one another atleast for the time being as long as they are engaged in this process. So the greatest threat to our mission is envy towards one another.
We see in many religious movements how things come apart when big persons in high spiritual positions become envious of another because they are too much concerned with discussing management and other mundane things and they forget to keep putting Krsna in the centre. If we do not learn to love and trust one another on the basis of coming together to hear and chant the glories of the Lord exclusively then there will be envy and there will be disintegration, competition and this way the mission will be greatly disturbed. So this is Sukadeva Goswami’s wonderful example in his own life. He dint care for any other responsibilities, simply wanted to hear and chant the glories of the Lord.
Question : (Not Clear ) How to distinguish whether he is envying or not, because of his pious nature?
Answer: Don’t worry about it, we are all envious. You think you are non envious then you are going to become proud and you are not going to take to the process. But if you realize that I am envious and practically every aspect of life there is envy, you’ll really take shelter of the Holy Name then you really take shelter of divine narrations of Krishna Consciousness then you really take shelter of serving the great souls. That’s all. Take the cure; don’t worry about each and every manifestation of the disease. What you are asking is like if you have a chronic horrible disease that is killing you and you get an itch somewhere in the body and you think – I wonder if it’s the part of this disease. Is this caused by the disease or the mosquito bit me what is this? Doesn’t matter, just take the medicine because the disease is everywhere. So don’t worry whether this thing is the cause of envy or that thing. Just take the medicine with great urgency. Huh? Yes?
Question: How to develop constant eagerness to associate with the devotees?
Answer: See, there are two stages of bhakti 1) Vaidhi Bhakti and 2) Raganuga bhakti. What you are speaking is Raganuga bhakti, a spontaneous natural eagerness for Krsna at all times. That is very advanced purified state. At the beginning we have to accept the process of Vaidhi Bhakti that is what Rupa Goswami teaches. That is as a matter of discipline, we rise early in the morning and associate with the devotees and we attentively hear to the best of our capacity. Whether we are eager or whether it’s the last thing in the world we want to do, we do it because its our duty, we do it because it’s the order of the Guru, we are really aspiring and praying for purification while we do it but we may not feel eager. But through the process of chanting the Holy Name even if we don’t have an taste for Holy Name we would rather do anything else than chanting we do it, that’s Vaidhi Bhakti, because that is discipline. Sadhana, Tapasya, we make the sacrifice whether we like it or don’t like it, whether we are inspired or not inspired. If we are not willing to put this sacrifice of discipline in our life, never in million of years will we ever attain the Raganuga Bhakti, the spontaneous eagerness. That spontaneous eagerness is by the grace of Krsna given to us.
By following the regulative principles of freedom, that means discipline, that means austerity, one can attain complete mercy of the Lord and thus become free from all attachments and aversions. This is the process; gradually we will come to that stage. Rupa Goswami said, pure devotional service is very rare. People are like samarthas and sahajiyas, they want to go to Vrindavan, dance in the groves thinking I am Krsna’s Gopi, I am Krsna’s Sakhi. Anyone can go and enjoy Vrindavan. But be enjoyed by Krsna in Vrindavan that means we have to be the humble servant of the servant of the servant of all being and be obedient and disciplined and surrendered even if we don’t like. When Krsna sees we are willing to do that then we attract His mercy, and by his mercy he awakens spontaneous love, Raganuga Bhakti in our heart.
Any Other Questions… ?
Question: Not Clear
Answer: depends on who we are. If you are an advanced transcendentalist, you will fall down if you are not asking for devotional service. If you are in mode of passion or in the mode of ignorance then it’s a step forward towards transcendental realization its very good, from the mode of Goodness the doors to devotional service opens but if we don’t walk through the door we remain in the material plane of karma.
Thank You Very Much!