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Krishna Doesn't Require Anything | Radhanath Swami Lecture Transcripts

We are reading from Canto 5 of Srimad Bhagavatam, Chapter 3 entitled Rsabhadev’s appearance, Text number 8. We find in this chapter Maharaj Nabhi, son of Agnidra, grandson of the great King Priyavrata has organized very qualified brahmanas to perform a great sacrifice. (Maharaji Haribol). The King Nabhi understood it was his duty to God and to all the citizens to have a son who would perpetuate the rule of his dynasty. He was in the spirit of service. A king’s duty according to the Vedic principle is he is to represent God by nourishing, supporting and protecting all the citizens physically, emotionally and spiritually. The great Kings not only considered the requirements of their particular term of rule but considered the welfare of humanity and all living beings for generations and generations to come. So it was his sacred duty to his forefathers and to God to have a son. But he did not want to do it in an ordinary way. Therefore he is performing a great elaborate yajna which was the Yuga dharma at that time for the purpose of receiving the Lords mercy and blessings because nothing is truly auspicious without the blessings of the Lord and the great souls. And how do we get the blessings?—by the performance of sacrifice. Sacrifice Prabhupada quotes from Bhagavad-Gita, ‘yajïärthät karmaëo ‘nyatra, loko ‘yaà karma-bandhanaù.’ That whatever we do should be done as an offering of sacrifice for the pleasure of the Lord.

yat karoñi yad açnäsi

yaj juhoñi dadäsi yat

yat tapasyasi kaunteya

tat kuruñva mad-arpaëam

Whatever we do, whatever we eat, whatever austerities or charity we may offer, it should all be done for the pleasure of the Lord. samsiddhir hari toshanam. If the Lord is pleased then our life is successful and that is really what sacrifice is about—giving up one’s own egoistic conceptions for the pleasure of the Lord, dedicating ourselves our thoughts our words and our actions for the service of the Lord. That is the real meaning of sacrifice. Now the form in which the sacrifice takes place varies. We know in the age of Kali, ‘yajïaiù saìkértana-präyair, yajanti hi su-medhasaù.’ The only religious sacrifice that is especially potent that can attract the supreme blessings of the Lord is the congregational chanting of the holy names. But the yajna, fire sacrifice, chanting of Vedic mantras was recommended at this particular time so the brahmanas performed this under the direction of a king. And they performed it so perfectly, with such devotion that the Supreme Personality of Godhead personally appeared within the sacrificial arena. Sukadev Goswami explains how actually the Lord did not appear because they perfectly executed the sacrifice. He actually appeared because of the sincerity of the devotion of King Nabhi and his assistants. Just as Srila Prabhupada when he installed Krishna Balarama in Vrindavan, he had the local brahmanas performing days of yajnas, chanting the prescribed mantras and like that. All the rituals were very nicely executed. But Prabhupada writes in a beautiful purport that the actual installation that attracted the deities, that attracted Krishna Balarama, Radha Shyamsundar, Gaur Nitai to appear within the deities was the devotees who were in the back of the temple doing naam sankirtan. Because they were chanting with sincere devotion they attracted Krishna to come. So actually it is only the sincerity of our devotion, the genuineness of our intent to serve that attracts Krishna. And the particular ritual is a form in which we express our intent to serve and to please the Lord.

So when the Lord appeared, we find in these verses that the brahmanas who performed days of mantra and yajna and ritual—mantra, tantra, yantra, puja, mudra, they did all of that, expertly executed. But the Lord’s mercy purified their hearts to such an extent that when they saw Lord Narayan, they were ashamed that we have approached you and performed all this yajna with a material desire. We find in the story if Dhruva Maharaj. He went to the forest with a material desire. He desired a kingdom greater than his father because he was wounded in heart by his step-mother. He was dåòha-vrata, he was very determined. Such determination, nothing and no one could divert his attention from the goal he pursued. It is a great example, it is that type of determination that we must all aspire to live by if we really want to achieve the goal. Dhruva Maharaj was willing to take all risks, 5 year old boy alone. He was brought up in a palace under the care of his loving mother and father from the day of his birth. But he wandered alone into the forest. Tigers, snakes, poisonous insects, all sorts of physical austerities—heat, cold, wind, rain, but he didn’t care. He was determined.

vyavasäyätmikä buddhir

ekeha kuru-nandana

bahu-çäkhä hy anantäç ca

buddhayo ‘vyavasäyinäm

Krishna tells in Gita, ‘who is actually on the path of bhakti, who is actually following the real principles of BhagavadGita? Not someone who sits home and says, ‘Work is Worship.’ Not someone who just enjoys like anybody else in society and quotes a few verses every now and then, does a little puja and gives some donation. Krishna says those who are on this path, that means the path of the Gita, they are resolute in purpose, their aim is one. The intelligence of those who are irresolute is many branched, such determination. ‘satataà kértayanto mäà, yatantaç ca dåòha-vratäù,’ Krishna tells who is my devotee. That devotee of mine is one who is always chanting My names and endeavoring with great determination, endeavoring to live by the word of the Lord because in this world so many distractions will come from within and without. Therefore we must understand very carefully and take the example of Dhruva Maharaj.

I remember when that particular volume of Srimad Bhagavatam first came out, the place that I was living, that story nobody heard it before. You see in India from childhood you read in little comic books about Dhruva. Yes? Dhruva, little Dhruva, and Narada Muni, “Narayana, Narayana,” like that. You see it in plays, you hear it from your grandmothers telling stories, that’s nice. But please understand in the Hare Krishna movement in the Western world, nobody knew anything about Dhruva Maharaj, until 4th Canto of Srimad Bhagavatam was released. And then devotees were reading. But the first we heard of Dhruva Maharaj was directly from the mouth of Sukadev Goswami from Srimad Bhagavatam with Srila Prabhupada and all the previous acaryas commentaries. It had powerful effect, unbelievable effect. I remember when that came out it was, I don’t remember the year but I remember it was in the summer time and devotees were taking so many strict vows of determined renunciation. One devotee just decided for the next 4 months I am not going to sleep. [Laughter] Because you have to be determined. Prabhupada just emphasized so much this determination of Dhruva and how it’s so required to really make spiritual advancement. One time they asked Prabhupada what if we are not, what if we don’t have this determination. Prabhupada gave a very honest open answer. Then you are animal. Hare Krishna. The difference between a human being and an animal is determination. Determination to discriminate what is right and what is wrong and do it. Not to just theoretically know it but we have to do it. So there was one very senior devotee in the community I was living who actually decided not to sleep for 4 months. Caturmasya. And he actually did it. That means he wouldn’t just lay down to go to sleep. He stayed up all night in the temple room and just walked around and chanted japa. And every now and then when it was just too much, he would just kind of lay on the floor of the temple room for a few minutes then get up and chant. He did that for 4 months. And other people they read the story about Dhruva Maharaj, “I’m not doing anything, I’m a total sense enjoyer, I’m nothing. I am so wishy-washy and lukewarm. What is Dhruva Maharaj doing? Nothing could dissuade him. Devotees were taking vows not to eat sweets, to eat one meal a day. Devotees were just determined to chant their rounds in such a way. Devotees were doing extra service. Devotees were giving up so much—eating, sleeping. Mating and defending didn’t really exist in those days. It was like a craze for austerities with determination. That is how Prabhupada’s purports affected us.

So look at Dhruva, he goes to the forest. He is risking his life without protection and he wasn’t trained to do these things. It was completely foreign to his nature. He could have said, “Well I have lived in a palace all my life. How am I going to do this?” Yes? “My conditionings, not possible.” There was nothing that could stand between him and seeing God. His mother said, “Go to the forest, you’ll see God.” “I will see God.” Even Narada Muni offered him so many alternatives, gave him all logical, philosophical and social excuses to go back home after being in the forest for many days. Prabhupada explained that when Narada Muni told him to go home and just be an ordinary devotee, yes. Sometimes our relatives tell us like this, just be normal. [Laughter] You could once a month or so go to the temple, be with the devotees, give the donation and other than that do what everybody else is doing,. Why are you so strange, so weird? What are these people doing to you? You’re brain washed. Yes? Just do a little puja, take care of the house. Work is worship. It’s good enough. On Janmashtami you can go to the temple. No problem. Just be like everyone else. So Narada Muni spoke this type of alternative to Dhruva. You don’t have to do this, this tapasya in the jungle at the age of five. You go home and just be a nice devotee. Dhruva said, “Your words do not sit in my heart. Even though they may be on a certain level correct. They do not sit in my heart.” Prabhupada in one lecture he told, he said that Dhruva Maharaj told Narada Muni that if you’re not going to teach me how to see Krishna Please leave me alone. So he was tested. And when he passed the test, Narada Muni then he gave him the truth and told him how to worship the deity, how to chant the names of the Lord, how to constantly immerse oneself in remembering the Lord. And Dhruva did it, such determination. For a month he was just eating fallen leaves. He was just drinking a little water. Then he was only breathing. He was only taking a breath. But his mind was completely fixed and focused on Krishna. Can you imagine? Such determination! And then the Lord appeared before him. First the Lord appeared within his heart and then appeared right before his eyes and Dhruva Maharaj according to Hari Bhakti Sudhodaya, he offered that beautiful prayer that, “I was looking for broken glass but I have achieved the rare diamond of Your darshana.” Dhruva was ashamed. He had some material motivation. But by his tapasya and by the darshana of the Lord he realized how foolish any material benediction is.

viñayä vinivartante

nirähärasya dehinaù

rasa-varjaà raso ‘py asya

paraà dåñövä nivartate

It’s very, very difficult to give up the lower pleasures of this world. But we experience the higher taste then we can permanently be transcendental to the modes of nature.

daivé hy eñä guëa-mayé

mama mäyä duratyayä

mäm eva ye prapadyante

mäyäm etäà taranti te

This material energy of mine, Krishna says this divine energy of mine consisting of the three modes of material nature very difficult to overcome but one who surrenders to me can easily cross beyond it because when we surrender to Krishna, ‘ye yathä mäà prapadyante, täàs tathaiva bhajämy aham.’ When we surrender to Krishna, Krishna reveals Himself to us.

The brahmanas here are explaining how Krishna, He is the source of all opulence’s, all strength, all knowledge, all wealth, all beauty, all fame, all renunciation. All these six opulence’s in full Krishna possesses eternally. Krishna tells in Gita, “All the charming wonderful things of this world that attracts our mind are all but a spark of My splendor.” Whatever we are attracted to, it only has an attractive quality in this world because it is a perverted reflection of Krishna’s energy. If the energy of the Lord intoxicates, infatuates peoples mind to such an extent, people become mad to enjoy Krishna’s energy, just insignificant manifestations of that energy. Then what is the beauty, what is the glory of the Shaktimaan, the source of everything that exists. ‘Sarva-käraëa-käraëam.’ Krishna’s all attractive.

The brahmanas here explain that all of life’s goals and opulences are directly, self sufficiently, unceasingly and unlimitedly increasing in you at every moment. Krishna has all opulences in full and they are unceasingly increasing at every moment and therefore the love of a devotee who surrenders to Krishna, that love is increasing at every moment. It is not stagnant and never will be so.

So when Dhruva Maharaj saw the extraordinary beauty of Lord Narayana, ‘premäïjana-cchurita-bhakti-vilocanena,’ because by the mercy of his guru maharaj his eyes were anointed with the cosmetic of love. Therefore he could see Krishna as he is and then the Kingdoms of this world had absolutely no charm, no attraction for him. Srila Prabhupada quotes Yamunacharya of Sri Rangam. How at one time he was a king and he was very attached to material enjoyment, especially sex life. It is maithuna ägära. It is the most powerful knot that keeps us tied to material bondage. He was so attracted to this type of enjoyment. But he writes since I have tasted the sweetness of serving you my Lord, when I even think of such thoughts, my lips curl in distaste and I spit at the thought. That is the power of Krishna. We can understand in truth one who is actually experiencing God by how genuinely and consistently that person is detached from selfish egoistic desires. This is the test. Speaking nice slokas and speaking nice philosophy is our duty to repeat the words of God and that gives an indication. But one must live by the principles. Srila Prabhupada explained to us a realized soul is not one who could perform mystic powers. Why? Even demons who have no control at all over their senses can perform mystic powers at times. It isn’t simply someone who is very learned, or very charismatic. Actual symptom of one who is self realized, who is experiencing God is they are detached from material enjoyment. They are experiencing a higher taste. Consistently, consistently detached and the supreme form of detachment is one’s body, mind, words, life, one’s every moment is being utilized with great enthusiasm in the service of the Lord. Simply detachment in neutrality is not a sign of love. It may be a sign of liberation to some extent. But detachment in the mode of love is when all of our senses, all of our mind is used for the service of the Lord without consideration of prestige, honor or gross enjoyment.

These brahmanas, they are seeing God directly and they are feeling some shame. As our very exalted Shyamananda Prabhu was explaining yesterday in his nice class, they were feeling ashamed. “We were approaching You with some material motive but You are so merciful, so kind that You have appeared before us.” And obviously now they only wanted loving service to the Lord. In today’s verse the brahmanas are extolling the glories of the Lord that the Lord is self sufficient. He is the proprietor of everything that exists. He does not need anything. The purpose of the sacrifice is not for You, it’s actually for us. We need Your benediction that’s why we’re performing the yajna. They are offering oblations of ghee. Does Krishna need our ghee? Hare Krishna.

Brahma Samhita explains that in Vrndavana there are unlimited Surabhi Cows. Yes? Can you imagine the taste and the fragrance of the ghee of the Surabhi cows of Goloka. It’s extraordinary nectar. What is Vrndavana? Swarupa Damodar explained the opulence of Vrndavana where the very dust is more valuable than all the most precious jewels within the universe, and the cintamani stone is decorating the feet of the maid servants of Vrajabhumi, and every tree is a kalpa vriksha—a desire fulfilling tree where anything you desire, the tree will provide for you. And where there are unlimited Surabhi cows. Each one can fulfill every intimate desire of the heart. They give profound milk. And the Brijabasis they don’t want anything but the fruits from those desire trees. They do not want anything except the milk of the Surabhi cows. They have no other desires for all of eternity. And such Surabhi cows are traveling, roaming from pasture to pasture to pasture. There’s unlimited, giving unlimited quantity of milk. Vrndavana is a place where all walking is dancing, all speaking is singing, all water is nectar and Krishna’s constant companion is His flute and that flute, the essence of all nectar is forever penetrating, enlivening the heart with ecstatic love. Swarupa Damodar Goswami said, “These are a few of the opulences of Vrndavana.” Hundreds and millions of trillions of times more opulent than Vaikuntha or Dwaraka because of the sweetness of love. That is real opulence. When Krishna reveals himself to us in reciprocation to love, then we can understand what is of real value.

Krishna does not need anything. The brahmanas are chanting mantras but Krishna is the ultimate author of all the mantras. ‘vedaiç ca sarvair aham eva vedyo, vedänta-kåd veda-vid eva cäham.’ Krishna says, “I am the compiler of the Vedas. I am the knower of the Vedas and all the Vedas I to be known.” So does He need us to chant mantras? No. Does He need our Ghee? No. He is everything. But we need to do it. Srila Prabhupada is explaining of the building of temples. When Srila Prabhupada was at Juhu, each…. There was a very great challenge. It was like a battle. He wanted to put the deities there and he very honestly and in honorable way made a payment for the land and the man wanted to cheat him and Prabhupada understood that he is representing Krishna. This is all Krishna’s money, made by the hard, hard work of the sankirtana devotees. Yes? No, he wanted to protect. So he installed Sri Sri Radha Rasbihari in a simple little shack, such a shack, simpler than anyone in our congregation. So simple! It wasn’t a flat. It was a shack. Yes? Prabhupada was living there and Radha Rasbihari was living there. How wonderful! Here is the Supreme Lord of the goddess of fortune, Laxminath comes to the wealthy city of Bombay and you have Malabar hill and so many wealthy people with wealthy areas with big houses, all these mansions built by the British. Yes? Comes to Bombay Radharani and Krishna. Radharani is herself the source of Laxmidevi and they are living in a simple shack that doesn’t cost more than a few rupees to make in a jungle. No gardens, just in a jungle and Prabhupada was living there with his devotees. Very difficult! Giriraj Swami Maharaj is writing a book about this. Then people will be astounded to hear how Krishna resided. So yes, here is the source of all wealth along with the goddess of fortune living in the wealthy city of Bombay in the simplest, poorest conditions. Prabhupada wanted to build them a beautiful palace, a wonderful marble temple as Prabhupada explains here a gorgeous temple. But was he doing it for Krishna? In Dwaraka, Krishna had 16,108 palaces. Each one was more beautiful than Indra’s in heaven. Now there is no possibility of anybody building anything that can compete with Indra’s palace in heaven. Hare Krishna. But here He was living in a little shack and Prabhupada was fighting, fighting so hard for years together to build that temple. He was going against all odds. His legal advisors, his leading disciple’s, everyone thought just forget it. It’s not possible. It’s an over endeavor. Just forget it. We cannot do it. This man had all political power, all wealth, he had everything. Prabhupada had nothing. And his disciples had less. But Prabhupada was determined—we are going to build this temple. When they started, the Municipality came and tore it down. Prabhupada was persistent to do it again. Hare Krishna. Why? Does Krishna need it? Prabhupada did it for the world. He did it for all of you. To build such a wonderful temple that Krishna could reveal Himself in such a way that countless people will come to receive His mercy and their lives will be transformed. That is what it is all about—transformation of the heart. Prabhupada did it for that purpose.

So yes, Prabhupada is explaining here that Krishna doesn’t need anything. And when we understand that we will be humble. We cannot be proud. When we think that we’re doing something substantial and wonderful for Krishna, then we will become proud. I have given a lot of money. I have managed very expertly. I have preached and brought so any people. Pride is an insidious weapon of maya, insidious. It’s also like, when pride enters the heart, it’s like an earthquake under the sea of our consciousness and at the beginning it seems like everything is going very well. May be it can go on like this for years. You see all the results I am getting. You see how happy I am. You see how stable everything is. But understand the tidal wave of the reaction is in motion. You can’t see it, you can’t feel it, you can’t taste it, until it crashes upon the shore of our life. And then devastation.

In the Christian Bible Saint Paul spoke, “Pride cometh before the fall.” What does a fall mean? For so many years we are investing to try to build some spiritual quality, spiritual characteristic, spiritual virtue, spiritual knowledge, spiritual realizations. And we may become actually an effulgent and empowered. It’s like building our spiritual kingdom within our heart. But that wave can devastate everything and draw it all back into the ocean of material existence. So how to guard ourselves against this fall, this pride? We see in the prayers and in the attitude of all the great souls through our holy scriptures. There is one thing, they are never ever proud. How humble was Prahalad? “I am just a materialistic demon. I know nothing.” It’s the way he was feeling. How humble was Ambarish Maharaj! Even Durvasa Muni who committed such a horrible offense, he attempted to murder Ambarish but Ambarish Maharaj didn’t feel any resentment, he didn’t feel any negativity. That “Krishna, my body belongs to you. You are the ultimate controller. If you want me to die, take me, I am yours.” That’s humility. Vasudeva, the leper became worried, “You have cured me by your leprosy. You have given a beautiful effulgent body. What if I become proud?” Everything is spoiled. So how, how could we resist this very subtle and insidious powerful weapon of maya. Like a disease, it enters our heart and in due course of time the wave of the reaction just builds up and builds up and builds up and builds up and when we are least expecting it—CRASH!!! We’re devasted. We have seen very, very empowered personalities who are manifesting such incredible spiritual excellences just crushed by the reaction of the tidal wave of their own pride and everything is finished. They can’t remember anything anymore. Krishna tells us in Bhagavad Gita, ‘sarvasya cähaà hådi sanniviñöo, mattaù småtir jïänam apohanaà ca,’ that He is the source of remembrance, knowledge and forgetfulness. You cannot remember Krishna without His grace and you can’t forget Krishna without His grace. You can’t know Krishna without His grace. So what do we have to be proud of? He’s the source of everything. Caitanya Mahaprabhu’s devotees—Rupa and Sanatana, Thakur Haridas—all of them, they displayed this quality if humility with such genuine feeling.

So Krishna, He does not need anything we do for Him. Srila Prabhupada explains that really even the greatest possible service we can do for Krishna, what it’s all about is taking a handful of water from Gangadevi and offering it to Gangadevi. We take the water, “O Gangamayi, please accept this offering? Does she need it? We’re taking it right from her, insignificant quantity and we are offering it. Krishna does not need anything. He is self sufficient in every way. But the most beautiful and wonderful of quality of the Lord is He is Bhaktavatsala. That means He takes such great pleasure in receiving the loving sentiments of His devotees that He, He becomes subordinate, overpowered and conquered by the love of His devotee if it is genuine, by His own Sweet will. So yes, when we are chanting the holy names, which is the sacrifice recommended in this age of Kali. Krishna doesn’t need our chanting. Krishna doesn’t need our offenseless chanting. Krishna doesn’t need our pure chanting. He doesn’t need anything. He is eternally beside Srimati Radharani. What is our love in comparison? Srimati Radharani is the source of all love, all devotion, all everything. Who are we? We are insignificant, infinitesimal, little tiny jivatmas who have rebelled enviously against Krishna since time immemorial and is engaged in egoistic sinful activities. Does Krishna need our love? But He is so kind, He is so merciful that even when an insignificant jiva chants the holy name…. We’re not chanting because Krishna needs, we are chanting because Krishna loves us. Krishna wants us to be happy. Krishna wants us to experience the unlimited oceanic nectar of His love from a positive side. When we surrender to Krishna, we may not get the result. Surrendering to Krishna is like another type of Earthquake… [Laughter] in the bottom of the ocean of our consciousness. And it may seem for years and years and years that, “Ahh! I just have nothing, no love, nothing, I am just struggling and striving.” But it’s just a matter of time, you may not see it immediately but then when that tidal wave hits the shore it washes away all of our materialistic egoistic desires, cleans our heart completely and then we can see Krishna directly. His mercy, Krishna’s mercy is more powerful then all, the most powerful of all tidal waves. So yes, Krishna, He wants us to be happy. His love is our only, His love is our only qualification, His causeless love. He descends into this world again and again and again to give, to give kindness to those who have offended Him unlimited times. Who is willing to do that? Only Krishna and His purest devotees. We chant the holy name because it pleases Krishna. And really what is it that pleases Krishna. Krishna is pleased by our sincerity and why is He pleased by our sincerity. Because by our sincerity, we will be able to access His complete mercy and then we could become happy, eternally happy. ‘änandämbudhi-vardhanaà prati-padaà pürëämåtäsvädanaà.’ Krishna wants to taste our love. Why? Selflessly. So that He can give us the ecstasy that is born of loving Him. He can give us Himself. That is what bhakti is about. The principle of love means selfless. Krishna’s love is selfless. Krishna’s causeless mercy is simply for us. And a devotee’s love is selfless, it’s only for Krishna. The Vraja gopis, they left everything for Krishna on the night of Sharad poornima, everything. Even greater determination then Dhruva Maharaj. They went into the forest, many dangers, ridiculed, rejection, criticism. So many things were upon them, but they didn’t care. Krishna is calling them. Krishna’s flute stole their hearts. And when they came before Krishna even Krishna rejected them. He sent them home. But their determination and their determination was not anything for themselves. They had no sensual or egoistic aspirations. They were there only for Krishna’s pleasure. It was the all and all. Srila Prabhupada explains from Sri Caitanya Caritamrita that Gopis never ever ever have even the slightest trace of personal consideration of their own welfare or their own happiness. Exclusively they are dedicated to Krishna’s happiness and they are willing to do anything, everything for Krishna’s happiness. Selfless love! And Krishna tells Gopis even in an entire lifetime of Brahma, I have no power to repay you, even with all that I possess in all material and spiritual worlds. Therefore Krishna gave the Gopis Himself. That is love.

So Krishna does not need anything from us. He just wants a genuine, pure expression of love and surrender. That is all. And why does He want it—for our sake. That’s all. Because He wants us to be ananda, happy. All of life’s goals and opulences are directly, self-sufficiently, unceasingly and unlimitedly increasing in You at every moment. Indeed, You are unlimited enjoyment and blissful existence itself. As far as we are concerned, O Lord, we are always after material enjoyment. You do not need all these sacrificial arrangements, but they are meant for us so that we may be benedicted by Your Lordship. All these sacrifices are performed for our fruitive results, and they are not actually needed by You.

‘mahäprabhura bhakta-gaëera vairägya pradhäna.’ Kaviraja Goswami describes that Lord Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu, the devotees of Lord Caitanya Mahaprahu, their very life and soul is renunciation. And Lord Caitanya is exceedingly pleased to taste the sweetness of the renunciation of His devotees. And what is that renunciation. Whatever we do is for Krishna. We can build beautiful, beautiful temples for Krishna. Why? Because Krishna is pleased. There is nothing that pleases Krishna more according to Gita than preaching His glories, and the facilities that help to preach His glories. So the essence of renunciation is without ego or desire for personal aggrandizement or pleasures, to chant the holy names, to serve the vaisnavas and to perform austerities for the sake of uplifting other people’s consciousness. That is true renunciation. That renunciation sustains the devotees of the Lord and it is most pleasing by Krishna. Would you like to speak something Maharaj? Can we transport microphone to His Holiness Niranjan Swami Maharaj?

Nirajan Maharaj: I am deciding if I should speak something or ask a question? [Laughter]

Radhanath Swami: You should speak something.

Niranjan Maharaj: Well, you said a lot and it’s difficult to add always upon something that you presented because you cover everything. I was thinking though when you were describing how the Lord does not need anything. He is fully self satisfied, self sufficient. I think also the verse describes that that the Lord is self sufficient and therefore does not require anything and therefore when we offer something to the Lord ultimately it is for our own benefit. The Lord is simply pleased when it’s offered with love and the nature of loving relationship is described by Srila Rupa Goswami. He says that in the characteristic of love there is the svarupa lakshana or the primary characteristic of love which is Krishna anusilanam. That it is meant for Krishna’s pleasure. And then the tatastha lakshana which is the secondary characteristic of love is that Anyaabhilasita sunyam which means there is no agenda. The person who makes the offering for the Lord’s pleasure does it exclusively for the pleasure of the Lord and he is never thinking or never expecting anything in return. Therefore sometimes when we hear that when we offer something for the pleasure of the Lord, we benefit and therefore we get caught in the particular type of dilemma thinking that ‘I have a predisposition towards this offering because I have already heard so many times that when I offer something to the Lord for the Lords pleasure, I will get some benefit.’ But of course as we understand that that kind of predisposition that we may have is that, if we’re thinking of getting something in return then it’s not love. If we are thinking of how we will benefit then it is not actually a full expression of love because the primary characteristic is that it’s exclusively for Krishna’s pleasure and therefore Srila Rupa Goswami has very nicely in this verse

anyäbhiläñitä-çünyaà

jïäna-karmädy-anävåtam

änukülyena kåñëänu-

çélanaà bhaktir uttamä

Has given the most complete understanding of an offering of love is that the primary characteristic is the svarupa lakshana is that it must exclusively be meant only for Krishna’s pleasure even if it brings us displeasure without any expectation of return.

So when it’s offered in this way then the example that is given by, I think its Prahlad Maharaj in the Seventh Canto of Bhagavatam [Jai Sri Sri Radha Gopinath] that when one offers something to the Supreme Lord with love, he gives the example of just like decorating ones face in the mirror. He says that when one decorates his face in the mirror then he doesn’t have to make a separate effort to decorate the reflection. The reflection is automatically decorated. So in the same way when we offer something to Krishna with love, then automatically we will benefit. So of course that primary characteristic means is that we always have to just think exclusively of the Lord’s pleasure and be willing to accept any inconvenience. And we see so many examples that are there in the sastra of devotees who voluntarily underwent great inconvenience.

Just as you gave the example of the gopis love was the highest emblem of love because the gopis were prepared to accept so much personal inconvenience to please the Lord at the greatest expense of doing something which was considered to be a disgrace—to leave in the middle of the night, to leave their families, to leave their children, to leave their domestic responsibilities and relationship to their families. But their willingness to do that, to accept all personal inconvenience exclusively for the pleasure of the Lord has brought them to the point of being recognized by Lord Caitanya as the highest sacrifice for the Lord’s pleasure and therefore we as Gaudiya vasihnavas should always aspire in whatever service that we perform, we should aspire for this example that we see in the gopis, is that we should be willing to personally sacrifice our own comforts, our own happiness, our own personal needs and pleasures, whatever is necessary and our primary goal of life is simply to obtain the most complete understanding is what is that we can possibly do which will bring the Lord pleasure.

And you have nicely concluded your lecture by helping us to understand that the greatest sacrifice that we can possibly make for giving pleasure to the Lord is to spread, to make sacrifices for the sake of others and to bring others to Krishna Consciousness and to help others realize their eternal relationship with the Lord as Krishna says in BhagavadGita, ‘na ca tasmän manuñyeñu, kaçcin me priya-kåttamaù.’ He says that, “In this world, there is no servant who is more dear to Me than he nor will there be ever one more dear.” ‘ya idaà paramaà guhyaà, mad-bhakteñv abhidhäsyati,’ for one who explains this supreme secret of devotional service to the devotees, one who explains devotional service to him is guaranteed and at the end he will come back to Me. So we all have an offering of gratitude to you for helping us achieve this realization as we are sitting here and hearing your lecture. Thank you very much. Hare Krishna.

Radhanath Swami: We are grateful to you Maharaj. Thank you very much. Is there any questions?

Question: Maharaj you are speaking about determination. Sometimes we see that when devotees are very determined and the fellow devotees may see that as fanaticism. And then he has to again decide, ‘Oh am I being fanatical or…’ And then sometimes if some devotee is too accommodating, it can be perceived as being loose in his behavior. So how do we balance these two things that we are same time determined and not fanatical and accommodating but at the same time not loose?

Radhanath Swami: Follow in the footsteps of great souls. Srila Prabhupada manifested such a inconceivable power of determination. It was probably easier for Dhruva Maharaj at the age of 5 to go into the jungle then Prabhupada to go to the Asphalt jungle of New York City at the age of 70. Yes? And so many people warned him against going. Sumati Morarji, she was kind of like Narada muni telling him “Don’t go Swamiji. You are too old. [Laughter] You will die. Just stay here in Juhu and preach to us. We will be very happy. We will provide everything for you.” He was determined and even after getting there and so many failures and death threats and ill health and his well wishers and god-brothers in India were asking him, “Come back its impossible. Just come back.” He’s determined. Nothing could divert him—the physical, emotional strain that he had to endure. Until you’re 70 years old, you won’t really be able to begin to truly appreciate what Prabhupada had to undergo for us. Very difficult! Incomprehensible! That was determination. And despite even, what was that Dr. Mishra and Nikhilananda Swami from Ramkrishna Mission, they were telling, “Swamiji, you should not wear these Indian sadhu clothes. You should wear western clothes. Who will listen to you? You can’t, these four regulative principles, you can’t tell American people about these four regulative principles.” And these were people who were preaching in the West for many, many years and were very, very successful in their own way as far as recruiting followers. They were telling don’t talk about these four regulative principles and don’t dress like this. Prabhupada was determined. From the very beginning, he first walked into 26, Second Avenue, I mean, Four Regulative principles—no illicit sex, no intoxication, no gambling, no meat eating. Prabhupada was not compromising, in his own life especially. But yet at the same time He was so completely accommodating to forgive, to tolerate the difficulties, the shortcomings, the conditionings of those who came to him, and always giving them another chance, another chance, another chance to come forward.

So in essence we should accept what is favorable for devotional service and reject what is unfavorable. We should be determined. We should be very determined. Our spiritual advancement will very much be according to our determination. But we have to understand what real determination on the path of bhakti is. It must be with humility. Fanaticism is, if our determination, if our doing great things or austere things, if it make us proud, if makes us think that we are better than somebody else, then we are going to fall down. We should be humble. We should not compare ourselves to others or think that I am better than others.

Krishnadas Kaviraj Goswami was living in the same spirit as Raghunath das Goswami on the banks of Radhakund. And yet he is not thinking he is better than anyone. He is thinking he is more lowly than a worm in stool. So that is important. Fanaticism is often based on false ego. Our determination inflates our false ego and the results we gain. So we should be humble like a blade of grass, tolerant like a tree ready to offer all respect to others and expect none in return. We should be determined to be that and we should do it honestly not as a show bottle. We should actually really try to do it honestly for our purification for the pleasure of the Lord. But we must be determined and if we are loose in the name of not being fanatical, that’s just maya giving us an excuse. So we should be strict. We should be determined. It should be with humility, respect to others and then it’s perfect. Would you like to add anything Maharaj? So then that’s good enough. Does that answer your question? Thank you very much.

Written by

Radhanath Swami

H.H Radhanath Swami is one of today’s most beloved and respected spiritual teachers. A Bhakti Yoga practitioner for 40 years, he is a guide, community builder, philanthropist, and acclaimed author.Born and raised in Chicago,at the age of 19 he discovered India's Mystical devotional tradition and now spread his message of compassion and love around the world.

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About Me

Radhanath Swami

H.H Radhanath Swami is one of today’s most beloved and respected spiritual teachers. A Bhakti Yoga practitioner for 40 years, he is a guide, community builder, philanthropist, and acclaimed author.Born and raised in Chicago,at the age of 19 he discovered India's Mystical devotional tradition and now spread his message of compassion and love around the world.