nedur dundubhayo divyä
gandharvä nanåtur jaguù
åñayaç cäraëäù siddhäs
neduù—vibrated; dundubhayaù—kettledrums; divyäù—in the sky of the higher planetary system; gandharväù—residents of Gandharvaloka; nanåtuù—danced; jaguù—and sang; åñayaù—all the saintly sages; cäraëäù—the inhabitants of the Cäraëa planet; siddhäù—the inhabitants of the Siddha planet; tuñöuvuù—offered prayers; puruña-uttamam—to the Supreme Personality of Godhead, Puruñottama, the best of males.
There was a beating of kettledrums in the heavenly planets, the inhabitants of Gandharvaloka began to dance and sing, while great sages and the inhabitants of Cäraëaloka and Siddhaloka offered prayers to the Supreme Personality of Godhead, Puruñottama.
yo ‘sau grähaù sa vai sadyaù
The best of the Gandharvas, King Hühü, having been cursed by Devala Muni, had become a crocodile. Now, having been delivered by the Supreme Personality of Godhead, he assumed a very beautiful form as a Gandharva. Understanding by whose mercy this had happened, he immediately offered his respectful obeisances with his head and began chanting prayers just suitable for the transcendental Lord, the supreme eternal, who is worshiped by the choicest verses.
The story of how the Gandharva had become a crocodile will be described later. The curse by which the Gandharva took this position was actually a blessing, not a curse. One should not be displeased when a saintly person curses someone, for his curse, indirectly, is a blessing. The Gandharva had the mentality of an inhabitant of the celestial planetary system, and for him to become an associate of the Supreme Lord would have taken millions of long years. However, because he was cursed by Devala Åñi, he became a crocodile and in only one life was fortunate enough to see the Supreme Personality of Godhead face to face and be promoted to the spiritual world to become one of the Lord’s associates. Similarly, Gajendra was also delivered by the Supreme Personality of Godhead when he was freed from the curse of Agastya Muni.
REVERSALS MAY BE POTENTIALLY THE GREATEST OPPORTUNITIES
What is being focused on here, by Sukhadeva Goswami and our acaryas, is how reversals even of the most difficult kind have the potential to be the greatest opportunities in our life. The nature of material existence even when we come to spiritual path is that we are conditioned that things should go our own way. Material existence is a consciousness by which I am the controller, I am the enjoyer, I am the proprietor. And therefore we very much are accustomed to expect things to go our way. And if things don’t go our way depending on our nature we may become angry, vengeful, we may fight, we may give up, become depressed, commit suicide, with trough from society, these are among the different ways the conditioned soul deals with his emotional crisis that “things are not going my way”. Now when we come to spiritual life, we still have our same conditionings. It is not that as soon as we come to the path of bhakti, we are pure.
PROCESS OF PURIFICATION MAY BE PAINFUL IN THE BEGINNING
ANALOGY – SPIRITUAL LIFE IS LIKE HOSPITAL STAY
When we go to the hospital it doesn’t mean that when you walk in the door, you are free from disease. Usually after you walk into the hospital there is more pain than before we walked in. I walked into a hospital last week, I was feeling quite when I walked in. But soon I was on an operating table, they were cutting organs out of me and they were sawing me up and soon I was lying there and soon they were asking me how many painkillers I want. Lot of pain, so many restrictions, so many problems. So when you go into a hospital as a patient, you can expect that things are going to get worst before they are going to get better. Because that is the process of taking out the disease. Restrictions of diet, restrictions of movements. And then you are not even allowed out until they discharge you. Very difficult. So similarly spiritual life is like coming into a hospital for the heart. And it is going to be a lot of difficulties that we wouldn’t have to deal with if we just remained in the diseased condition without trying to solve.
BHAKTI IS NOT ABOUT GETTING, BHAKTI IS ABOUR SEEKING SHELTER
One of our diseases that we come into spiritual life with is that we expect things to go our way. We also apply this to our spiritual life. I am serving Krsna and this is the way Krsna should deal with me. I have done these many pujas, these many sacrifices. He should make my children scholars, he should make them obedient to me. He should give me good health and in fact he should give all my family members good health. And my business, of course, because it is for him, it should flourish, it should prosper, without any impediments. And as far as my relationships, people should give me the honor and respect I am due, for being such a sincere and saintly person. More or less we all expect like this. But the problem is if Krsna gave you what you wanted, you probably you wouldn’t grow much at all. Because bhakti is not about getting, bhakti is about seeking shelter. You only get Krnsa when you seek shelter, you only get Krsna when you give up hope of anything else. If you want other things, that is the karma kanda mentality. You can get other things but you will not get the goal. So reversals come. And one of the problems is that the reversals are not the ones we like. It is our tendency that I know reversals will come and I know if I take shelter of Krsna I will make advancement. But the reversals, I will give my list of which reversals are acceptable. But the problem is that Krsna has His own list. You made your list, but what you have on your list won’t work. Definitely the difficulties that Kuntidevi got were not on her list, vipada santu sasvat tatra tatra jagad guru. But she thanked Krishna. Because she understood it was perfect. What appears to be a curse is a blessing if we simply appreciate the inner essence of the possibility of how to connect to Krsna in that situation.
SRILA PRABHUPADA’S FAVORITE VERSE – SPOKEN BY BRAHMA
Therefore one of Srila Prabhupada’s most common and favorite of all verses is from the tenth canto of Srimad Bhagavatam spoken by Lord Brahma. Because this verse is spoken by Brahma it is very significant. Because anyone in this whole creation of this universe, who will think that he is the controller and he’ll get what he expects is Brahma. Yes! Because he is born from Visnu Himself from a lotus flower. There was no after birth – he wasn’t crying when he came out. It was a pleasurable birth. It was an ecstatic birth. Can you imagine – in a hospital, all you ladies who have children, all of a sudden, a lotus flower, just seamleassly comes out of you and a little baby just starts smiling and appears in that lotus flower. Painless – for everybody – very happy. He was the only son at that time. And he is guaranteed a life of 311 trillion years. Nobody could interfere with that. We don’t know if we have 5 minutes. So, he has so much and all the demigods are obeying him. But he is offering this verse. But, ultimately Krishna completely humiliated Lord Brahma. Not the way Brahma wanted! Krishna again and again made Lord Brahma look like a total fool. At times He absolutely humiliated Brahma in front of all of his children and disciples. And here in Vrindavan, He bewildered Brahma where Brahma was paralyzed with confusion. Although he was a big guru. And then Lord Brahma offers this verse.
tat te ‘nukampäà su-samékñamäëo
bhuïjäna evätma-kåtaà vipäkam
håd-väg-vapurbhir vidadhan namas te
jéveta yo mukti-pade sa däya-bhäk
One who seeks the compassion of the Lord with folded palms even in the phase of the most difficult possible adversity seeking the compassion of the Lord and bows down thinking “I deserve much verse, Krishna is just giving me this much, just to help me to turn to Him” and if we do this with a grateful heart, däya-bhäk, that means it is our natural inheritance to go back home to the spiritual world, to attain the perfection of liberation. We have to see deeper than what appears.
SITUATIONS IN LIFE COMPARED TO WAVES OF RIVER
GO DEEPER TO UNDERSTAND THE REALITY
We were discussing last night, that when we are watching a river, on the surface of the river are so many waves. These waves are constantly changing. Some are swirling, some are foaming, some are crashing against each other. And no wave lasts for more than a few seconds. It’s the same water. The same water turns in to another form of wave and another form of wave – waves are always in a turbulent situation. But if you go deeper, there is a constant current below the waves that is steady and peaceful. Similarly in this world the situation that come on us in the different phases of our life, everything is just like the waves of our lifetime, sometimes we are young and healthy, sometimes we are old and diseased, we loose our memory, we loose our power to move, we loose our power to recognize anyone, sometimes we have cancer, sometimes we are winning athletic events, sometimes people love us and sometimes people hate us. It is all just superficial surface of wind of time.
But if we go deeper, we understand I am the eternal soul, I am part of God and we make that connection between our own consciousness and the soul, we make connection between the soul and God. That is constant. na hanyate hanyamäne sarire (Bhagavad-Gita 2.20). For the soul there is no birth, no death. All of these superficial changes that happens on the surface of life has nothing to do with the soul, a current of truth. But very few people want to go deeper than the superficial appearance of existence. What Krishna does to help us? He does it to the materialist, he does it to devotees, he does it to everyone, because that is what the material is supposed to do. On that superficial surface level of the waves, sometimes things are really flowing as you like, but other times so much disruption. The purpose of that disruption is to break us from our complacency and not be satisfied on the surface; to give us sense of really need to dive deeper to the constant current of truth.
FORTUNE OF KING HUHU
Here we find King Huhu, he is a beautiful king among the Gandarvas. Now Gandarvas are really exalted position among the higher realms. They have all the eight mystic siddhis, they are really mystic yogis, they can practically do anything. They are expert at music and dance, they have wonderful bodily features, long lives, no disease and he was the most prominent among them. Can you imagine having a life like that? It is very different than living in Mumbai. In Mumbai even if you have a beautiful home, still as soon as you go outside you have traffic, you have people knocking on your windows. Whatever pleasure is here is really superficial. He is living in Gandharva loka and he is cursed by Devala Rishi to become a crocodile. Do you know how painful that must have been for him? From being a beautiful king in Gandharva loka to become a crocodile. Crocodiles are not beautiful; the only person who appreciates a crocodile is another crocodile. Usually they fight, crocodiles usually, what I have seen in crocodiles in water, usually they are alone, they are not very sociable even with each other. Usually swimming around alone always looking for something to eat, because the tongue is very powerful, the tongue wants to taste. Just compare the size of your tongue to that of the crocodile, you can imagine how agitated crocodile will be. We have little tiny tongue, it is demanding so much from us. Crocodile has huge tongues and every little part of it is demanding food. So it is hunting, hunting, hunting constantly.
Here we find Sukhdev Gosvami, a self realized soul is talking about what a great fortune it was for him to be a crocodile. Because although it was miserable for him for sometime, in his complaceny of being such a royal, successful controller, it would have taken him millions and millions and millions and years at least for him to ever see God. But of these body of a crocodile, in one life he got to see God. Very special! Some suffering was there but one life he got to see God and he got perfection of life.
Simply because he was connected to Gajendra who was very dear devotee of the Lord. Being a crocodile alone was not enough, but Gajendra we will discuss his special qualities in a moment. Because he was associating with Gajendra even in this most strange way, he got perfection of life. Now you may think that when Krishna came, the crocodile would just immediately just be in bliss. O now Krishna is here. No..even after being a crocodile for all this time when Krishna did come, he added insult to injury he took out his Sudarshana chakra and cut off his mouth..Yes? Crocodiles are very attached to their mouths….everyhing… First he made him a crocodile and then as a crocodile he took away everything. And then at that point, due to his association with Gajendra, who was offering beautiful prayers of love and devotion, king Hu hu surrendered and he actually got relieved of all his sinful reactions and attained …it says here he went back to the Gandharva Loka but in the purport, it explains, he went to the spiritual world. That means internally even though he went back to Gandharva Loka, he went back as a pure devotee, a paramhansa, who was in spiritual world internally. He attained life’s perfection. So really, was that a curse or a blessing? It was the greatest blessing. How does that translate to our own lives?
STORY OF GAJENDRA
Let us first examine Gajendra . Gajendra was Maharaj Indradhyumna, who was living in Draviddesh. He was a king and he was so pious that after raising his family and performing his duties perferctly according to dharma, he retired from family life, went to Malaya hills to perform Tapasya. How many kings are willing to do that? He grew matted hair, lived in the forest in a mountain ashram and absorbed himself in meditation and prayer. That’s all he did..fasting, performing austerities..and one day he was absorbed in meditation, Augustya Muni happened to come. And Augustya muni is..he is quite well known for his liking to eat Prasad and hospitality is, you offer someone Prasad. That’s hospitality of every culture in the world. You offer someone a sitting place, sweet words, we make them really feel that we want them there and then we give them Prasad. That’s universal principle of basic human culture. So Augustya muni came and Indradhyumna maharaj was just like this..sitting in meditation. So Augustya muni cursed him. What was the King’s fault. He didn’t even know that the sage was there
NOTHING HAPPENS BY CHANCE
Parikshit maharaj was cursed too, but he made a little mistake which didn’t warn the cursed to die. He just made a little mistake being under illusion for a few seconds, but Indradhyumna Maharaj didn’t make any mistake but he was cursed to become a dumb elephant. Now this is setback. You have lived your whole life as a king with only a few more years to live. You want to perfect it, want to go back. And this is pretty big setback. Instead of finishing it all off, and going back to Godhead, you get cursed by a sage to get the life of an elephant and the sage after cursing him left. But the most important part of this story, in one sense, is the next part. After the sage left, King Indradhyumna..he was happy..he was satisfied because he knew in his heart that nothing happens by chance. If this is the route that the Supreme Personality of Godhead wants me to practice my devotional service, then it is perfect. He was grateful. Tatte nu kampa... King Indradhyumna was thinking , actually I deserve so much worse but Krishna just gave me this little tiny bit and it will help me definitely. Because he had that gratitude towards Kishna..because he had that faith, Krishna was so pleased with him that at that point it was arranged that he was going to go back to Godhead. And Krishna orchestrated the whole thing by putting him the in the jaws of that crocodile knowing that he would cry out for him with love and devotion at that time and show the whole world the highest example. This is really very much the crux of the story.
REVERSALS ARE INEVITABLE, DON’T BE DISTURBED, BE GRATEFUL
King Indradhyumna Maharaj was not disturbed but he was grateful for receiving this curse. Major setback in his own spiritual life but he did not see it as a setback. He saw it as an opportunity that was not the way he expected. It was not the way he planned it but understood the wisdom of the Lord and it was perfect. So, in our lives, reversals come, materialistic people… reversals come, devotees… reversals come. And they won’t be what we want , someone may get a disease we have seen it, we have seen among our own devotees , maharaja Huhu it would have taken him millions of years to go back to godhead, but because of this reversal one life, so similarly devotees we have seen get terminal diseases and of course you have the choice when Krishna gives you mercy still you have the choice to accept it
Tat te nu kampam……
Three classes – Thank Krishna, Blame Krishna, deny Krishna’s existence: Or to fight against it or to blame Krishna for it. You can blame Krishna or you can thank Krishna. Either one is good. First is thanking Krishna. Second class is blaming Krishna. Third class is deciding Krishna does not exist, otherwise if he existed he would not do this to me. Sometimes people blame Krishna for a while and after that then they thank Krishna after sometime, they make some progress. But here we find that some devotees they get a disease and then they surrender to Krishna.
Yesterday morning I met Stoka Krishna’s daughter and I was remembering him, it may have taken him few a lifetimes for him to go back to godhead, but when he had cancer he was smiling, at the beginning it was confusing but after he accepted it and just really accepted it in his heart and is Krishna s mercy in turn to Him within a few months he saw Krishna, so is that a curse or blessing . You are going to die anyway within a few years, physically but he transformed curse into a blessing, and then relatives of somebody who dies, that person may have gone back to Godhead, what’s the problem, devotee, we see, devotee goes back to godhead they go through some crisis, they die they go back to godhead we see we know their going back to godhead or being elevated very close in that direction because of their consciousness that’s something that we can visibly understand . So then for the relatives why? Why did this happen to me. The father , the mother , the husband , the, wife the child is being blessed in a very very special way, but its painful. Its painful for them when they are going through it, but then they are liberated, but its painful for us after they are liberated, as long as we are just stuck on the superficial level of the waves.
We are just seeing how the waves are moving but if we go down deeper we understand that we lose everything eventually of this world, but if only we are just grateful to Krishna in our sorrow, if we grateful to Krishna in our desperation but one of the reasons that it hurts so much is this is not what we expected when we came to Krishna consciousness, this is hard because we are expecting “chant and be happy”, and its true you will be happy but what type of happiness Krishna does not want to give you happiness on the wave happiness. You will get that too there will be nice Prasad, nice kirtans, sometimes nice friendships, lot of happiness on the waves. But to go deeper Krishna does something. He makes things happen that is not what we want and not what we expected. Sometimes devotees think that if I knew that I had to go through this I would have never joined this movement. That’s why Krsna concealed these things from you at the beginning.
You can’t understand the 10th canto till you go through the first 9 cantos. So Krsna reveals what it takes to bring you back to Godhead after he gives you some of the happiness and bliss of being a devotee. But this is the cause of so much suffering and pain and it is one of the impediments to our spiritual progress, is this conditioning of expecting things to go our way, even in our spiritual life. Rupa Goswami says that we should always be expecting Krsna’s mercy. That we should expect. But His mercy is different than what goes on in our mind. Krsna says, “Sometimes when I give my first installment of My supreme mercy, I take everything away.” So that we really understand the raw truth of material existence and simultaneously understand that the mercy of God is always there if you go deeper down.
HOW A BOMB CAN MAKE YOU A GOPI
Even world wars are just rippling waves on the surface of material existence. Even the dropping of nuclear bombs. They are just little bigger waves. But none of them can disturb the truth if we just go a little down. Srila Prabhupada explains that when he was in Calcutta and the Japanese were bombing the city. People were in panic running helter-skelter in all directions. He was sad to see people suffering. On the surface part he was very sad and compassionate for sufferings of people, but deeper down he was thinking that Krsna has come in the form of these bombs. If I just remember Krsna in the form of these bombs, it is just an instant ticket back home back to godhead. Much easier than dealing with all family problems for the next 40 years and disappointment of children, the wife and husband are not living up to your expectations, and bills and too much heat, too much drought, too much rain and old age and disease. Life is difficult. Here it is A BOMB and “you are a gopi! Making garlands with Radharani. It is a good bomb. If you are remembering Krsna, chanting His names, and the bomb comes that’s what happens. It is beautiful and you cant appreciate this unless you go below the surface. Because all around it looks total ghastliness. But every single person there can go back to Godhead in a moment. But the world is not going to be what you expect it to be. But those are the best times. The more they against what we want are the best opportunities for us to connect to Krsna. If we just make that choice. We should not be stuck in our own routine of judging things in a certain way. By our own free will we have to break out of that mould. And that’s what all the stories of Srimad Bhagavatam are telling us.
STORIES IN THE SCRIPTURES, HISTORY ARE FILLED WITH TRAGEDY
Almost every major story of the Srimad Bhagavatam is built on the foundation of major crices. Why it is like that? Why it isn’t just beautiful stories of peace, and love and happiness and prosperity, everything going your way. Is there any story like that in Bhagavatam? Is there any story like that in Ramayana, or Mahabharat? Was Bhavadgita spoken in that setting? Why? Because, it’s the reality of what it takes.
And not only in Hindu religion, in every religion!.every religion – We find the very basis, the foundation is reversals. The old testament – all the children of God, Ibrahim, they were slaves living in Egypt for generations, doing hard labor getting ripped and beaten. They were literally slaves, generation after generation, and finally after a great difficult efforts, they escaped from being slaves and they all lived in bewilderness for 40 years. And everybody who escaped from slavery – they lived and died in bewilderness, and they were all supposed to go to promised land and none of them made it. They all died in bewilderness. And then finally, their descendents made it to the promised land, there was other people living there and there was war after war after war. Peace and love – that is the history.
And Christians – Lord Jesus was a self realized Jewish man who preached the basis of their religion, but he did it according to time, place and circumstance, trying to find the essence and present that. He was the popular. He was tortured, he was crucified, he was persecuted. And then, every single one of his followers, were hunted down, persecuted, killed, tortured, or living like hiding – very difficult.
And Islam, so many wars, so many battles, escaping, so much persecution. The Paresis – driven out of their own country, becoming refugees in a foreign land. Hari Hari! – why? Why are not religion books simply sweet story books?
Now if we read about Goloka Vrindavan, its really sweet book where every thing s nice. But here, when Krishna descends in the world, there was demon coming every day. Even in Gokula Vrindavan! Yes! – Putana comes, Trinavarta, Aghasura, Kesi, Aristasura, Pralambasura, Dhenukasura, Bakasura, blazing forest fires, Kaliya, and every time they came – made the devotees more and more dependant on Krishna. And in the Srimad Bhagavatam, in the beginning cantos – Gajendra, Prahlada, Dhruva, Ambarish, the Pandavas – all based on the setting of crises. And each of these great souls taught us how to turn to God in that situation with a grateful heart. But even more important, in each situation, we find how God loves His devotees. And He is there for them, when we really turn to Him.
This story of Gajendra moksa is the most important story for our particle spiritual life because we are all in the crocodile of material existence and the jaws of that crocodile is very strong and we cannot escape on our own, however strong, intelligent, wealthy, powerful we are. No material arrangement brings real happiness. Maya’s illusion feels if you become wealthy you will be happy, but historically we can see general tendency of people who becomes wealthy, is they become isolated and they hardly have any real friends. That’s the truth about most people who become wealthy and famous. There are exceptions. But that is the tendency. Your whole life is so superficial, you really don’t have real brothers and sisters, everything is just based on superficial interactions, either for cheap enjoyment or just to get things done. It is hard to have deep relations. The reason is that more you are controlling, more you become addicted and condition to controlling spirit. You want to control everything and everyone and you can’t have deep relationships as long as your controlling. So there is little love for people who are extremely successful. It’s always been that way. The only way they can be is if you take a humble position and really accept people as your equals. So here is the promise, people are fighting, fighting to get there and then when they get there they can’t give up what they have and at the same time, it’s a very lonely and unsatisfying life. Srimad Bhagavatam is trying to break through the misconception of this type of dream for happiness. That is why Srila Prabhupada was so strong when he spoke there is no really no happiness in the material world. All the so called happiness is just on the level of this ever chaning waves and foaming bubbles. In the 1st canto Prabhupada says, “All of our happiness, all of our possessions, all of our relationships in this world are like foaming bubbles on the surface of the ocean of material existence and all these bubbles any movement will burst into oblivion.” So are we going to be attached to the bubble or we are going to be depth of what’s deeper in the ocean. He krsna karuna sindhu. Deeper down there is ocean of Krsna’s mercy, Krsna’s kindness, Krsna’s love. That’s where we want to dive deep. The entire ocean is Krsna’s love. We are attached to the foaming bubbles. Jiv Jago Jiv jago. Mahaprabhu say’s wake up sleeping souls. Usually waking us means to get us out of the sleep, it’s disruption. Just like if you are having a really sound sleep and the alarm clock rings, what’s your first reaction. You don’t have to say it publically. First reaction is it’s a disturbance. Is it not ? You are sleeping, you are dreaming that you are having a vacation with your lover on a tropical island and all of a sudden. Today there are so many alarm clock’s, different bells. All of sudden (Maharaj makes sound of alarm clock). You just turn it off. It’s disruptive but wakes you up. So the problems in this world are like alarm clocks, the reversals and difficulties. Because when things keep going our way we just stay in our dreams. Yes, we stay asleep. May be good dream, may be bad dream. When reversals comes, it is like a alarm clock to wake us up. But we have a choice of actually waking up from that alarm clock, now they have snooze controls. Snooze controls means, “Yeah I know I should wake up, I should become serious about my spiritual life, but later. I will do it after this and this and this is complete, then I will do it. So some people just turn off the alarm clock and just go back to sleep. Some people do the snooze control thing, which means I knew I turn it off, I am little wake up, I will become serious like Kailash of Narad Muni. He was always on snooze control. Yes Gurudev, I know there is suffering, I know I should be chanting the name of God and associate with saintly people, but I will do it later. Just let me do this more, let me sleep little longer, then I will do it. After all last night I didn’t got so much sleep, just a little longer.
Wake up. Life is short. You should take advantage, take the opportunity now and the tragedies that come upon us transform them into blessings .That’s wisdom, wisdom is not memorizing slokas, wisdom is applying the slokas to your life and what does it mean, here is a sloka
Tat te anupamkam
Wisdom is when there are reversals which appear to be a curse however painful, distasteful and unacceptable it may appear, to transform it into a blessing by trying to go deeper not deal with it on the level of foaming bubbles in the waves but to go deeper and this Srimad Bhagavatam is taking us deeper.
HOW LIKE GAJENDRA, YOU ALSO CAN SEE KRSNA TODAY?
Gajendra was being totally humiliated, publicly, he was the king , he was the unrivalled champion, and here he was in front of all of his friends, his children, his wives and his family members and everyone else being defeated helplessly. For a long time he was about to die, very painful ,extremely painful, very humiliating can you imagine having the jaws of a powerful, celestial crocodile digging deepxly into your leg, very painful and Gajendra was factually in pain . Don’t try to make the story into something thats not, don’t think that Gajendra was in the crocodile, but because its in the Srimad Bhagavatam the crocodiles teeth felt like lotus flower petals due to love just like vishvanatha cakravarti thakur says that when a lover bites his beloved it feels very nice but if somebody else bites you it hurts . This crocodile was not his lover so it really hurt, excrutuating pain, he was in excrutiating pain he was humiliated, he was in pain and was going on for thousand celestial years, wasn’t just like a mosquito bite, that it hurts for fifteen minutes and then its gone. This was ever increasing, the pain was getting worse and worse and worse year after year after year after year.
And He was about to loose his life, he was about to loose his family, his kingdom, he was in absolute mortal pain. Everything was going wrong. There was nothing he could do about it. He was totally helpless. That was the point, when he remembered Krsna. Until that point he was thinking that he was an elephant. He forgot that he was Maharaj Indradyumna. It was at that point that he remembered his past life and remembered the prayers that he had learnt. And he prayed to God from his heart. And it is explained that God came. Krsna came to him because he was his devotee. He accepted the curse of Angira Muni as a blessing, Krsna had to come to save him. But he put him in just the situation to perfect him. In the Bhagvatam it is explained that even though he was in so much pain, when Krsna came to him, he didn’t say to Krsna “give me some anesthesia. This is too much I can’t handle this pain anymore.” Even at the peak of his suffering, he picked a lotus flower and lovingly offered that lotus flower to Krsna. And the demigods and others are watching and thinking, just see a person in that painful situation offering a lotus flower to Krsna with love and devotion. Such a vaishnava. In that situation he just wanted to please Krsna. He didn’t want to burden Krsna with his problems. He just wanted to give his life to Krsna. He wanted to offer Krsna the best thing he had, this lotus flower. And in offering that lotus flower, he was offering his body, mind and life to Krsna with gratitude, even in that painful condition. If you can do that, offer the lotus flower of your body, mind, words and life, even in a painful condition, then you can see Krsna today. And on that very day Krsna took his hand and pulled Gajendra out of the water. And just by touching him Gajendra was completely free of all of his good and bad karma, everything.
Then with the Sudarshan cakra, cut off the mouth of the crocodile. And then the crocodile as soon as the mouth got cut off, after going through that difficulty, the crocodile becomes King Huhu. A beautiful personality and bows his head grateful. Then he things that the whole thing was a blessing. He thinks Devala Rsi, my best friend made me a crocodile. And as a crocodile I was acting like a crocodile. And now because of my association with Gajendra, and because you have come to save him, I get saved too. And he goes back to Godhead. And then the Lord for Gajendra, he gives him not the body of King Indradyumna, the Lord gives him the body of the resident of Vaikuntha the spiritual world. And the Lord personally on that very day, escorts Gajendra back home back to Godhead, to be an eternal associate in the spiritual world.
SEEING CURSES AS BLESSINGS
So the curses of great souls always become blessings. Because Krsna is in their heart and they are acting with compassion. But not only that, the apparent curse, tribulations, of this world are the greatest blessings. If we simply remember this principle, tat te nu kampam susumiksa mano, and turn to God. Mahajano ena gatha sapantha, the perfection of life is to follow in the footsteps of Mahajans and analyse the lives of Mahajans. Bali Maharaj is a mahajan. Can you imagine the tribulations he was put through. One day he is the king of the universe and the next day he is tied with ropes and lost everything. And he surrendered. And Prahalad and Narada Muni, he was also cursed by Daksha, that you are never allowed to stay in any one place. And how did Narada Muni respond to that, he didn’t coutner curse Daksha, he said good I will just travel around and preach. Everyone of these mahajans were put in very very difficult situations. And they all though by their examples. And you may say “Why does it have to be like this?” How many are thinking like this? So, we go to some other spiritual paths, where people just say, “Don’t worry about this stuff – Rules, regulations, talking about suffering. Just be happy and do a little yoga. Be nice.” That path – you can find little happiness. But, ultimately you are going to suffer as bad as anyone else. You are going to suffer as much as any devotee. But the difference is, you will never get out of material existence. You will never find God. It’s the problem. If we want the real thing, we have to accept God’s plan. And its God’s plan for everyone. Its just a matter of accepting it and responding accordingly. And Krishna makes Himself so available. Just chant the holy names with sincerity and you will go back to Godhead. You will attain the treasure of spiritual love and peace within your heart. But what it takes to get is to really chant the holynames in te spirit of taking shelter of Krishna with all humility – the world is designed to bring us to that point. And real spirituality, real sanatana dharma teaches us how to respond to the world and gain the optimum spiritual benefits. From our heart like Gajendra, offering the lotus of our hearts, through sincerely taking shelter of the Lord’s holy names.
Hare Kåñëa, Hare Kåñëa, Kåñëa Kåñëa , Hare Hare
Hare Räma, Hare Räma, Räma Räma, Hare Hare
Is there any questions?
Question: Maharaj, you mentioned about blaming. We may not blame Krishna or Guru. We may chant more rounds also. We may read more sastra also. But we analyze and blame our surrounding – our equals, our juniors, our superiors. We have that courtesy of not blaming our Guru and Krishna, but we keep blaming others analyzing with our fertile brain. So, is it beneficial in Krishna consciousness?
Radhanath Swami: It is absolutely not beneficial. At least, if we blame Krishna we are thinking of Krishna. But if you blame other people around you, then you forget Krishna too. Then you are missing the whole point. Its just maya’s trick of cheating you of the opportunity. As long as we blame the surroundings, blame other people around us, then we totally miss the opportunity to advance and to grow and to get Krishna in that situation.
trinad api sunicena, taror api sahishnuna
amanina manadena, kirtaniya sada hari
to be humble like grass – that means I deserve to be stepped on. I am grass. And tolerant like tree means you don’t blame anyone. We just keep giving, keep giving and keep giving – whatever situation. To give all honor to others and expect none in return. This is the way we can chant with quality.
Humility is not a weakness. Ignorant people think that to be humble is to be weak. Of course, material conception of humility – that may appear to be true, but that’s not humility. Real humility is to see that the power of God is within me and within everything. Real humility is to give up the ego that I am the doer. And thoroughly dive into the truth that Krishna is the doer. And to be an instrument of the highest power. Real humility is the greatest power in all creation. Because it connects us to the power of the Absolute truth. We cannot be connected as long as we have false ego. Its all around us. Humility tunes us in to the highest power. Ego tunes us in to the other frequencies. That just complicates our lives. Does that answer your question?
This is why we remain in this material world, because we are blaming other people, blaming other situation for our situations, we really never seak a solution, which means turn to God. Gajendra didn’t blame the crocodile, he didn’t blame the family members and his friends for not being able to help him. He just understood, this is an opportunity to turn to God and he became perfect. He tried his best, we all have to try our best to deal with reversals.
Any other questions.
Hare Krishna. Thank you very much Maharaj.
Question: Maharaj, my question is that facing the reversal will give us the shelter of Krsna. But there is a fear to face the reversal. It’s very fearful situation when you facing death. Especially because right now we are in bodily conception. So how do we gain more strength to face that fear ?
Radhanath Swami: They will come whether you like it or not. Even if you cut off your shikha and start smoking cigarette, drinking alcohols, having girlfriends and going to the cinemas, it is still going to happen. You can’t escape it. Material existence is what it is. But as devotees we have to practice.
räga-dveña-vimuktais tu viñayän indriyaiç caran
ätma-vaçyair vidheyätmä prasädam adhigacchati
By practicing the principles of bhakti we can access the mercy of Lord and we can overcome all these dualities. Just like in our BACE classes, some of you are having Bhakti Sastri exams, Yes, the exams you have. If you want to pass the exams, you know it is coming, you have to prepare, you have to come to classes, then you have to study, do your homework, then when the inevitable exam comes you are prepared. For athletes, it is not that the champion cricket player just goes to the champion match and wins. Practically every day of the year, that person is practicing and practicing and doing exercises to become strong and practicing techniques, practicing together as a team. Then when they go to the champion match, they actually prepared to win. So we know the reversals are going to come, it is inevitable. This is what the material world is, old age, disease and death and so many things in between. So that’s why we do our sadhana. Our sadhana is preparation, stabilizing and strengthening our consiciouness connecting with the Absolute Truth on a daily basis, accessing the power of the Absolute truth through our chanting holy names. Kirtaniya sada Hari. We should be practicing to always be chanting the Holy Name. We should start by chanting our prescribed rounds everyday,
nañöa-präyeñv abhadreñu ityaà bhägavata-sevayä
bhagavaty uttama-çloke bhaktir bhavati naiñöhiké
(Srimad Bhagavatam 1.2.18)
Regularly reading Srimad Bhagvatam, Bhagavat Gita. Sadhu sangh, sadhu sangh sarva sastra koya.
çuçrüñoù çraddadhänasya äsudeva-kathä-ruciù
syän mahat-sevayä vipräù puëya-tértha-niñevaëät
(Srimad Bhagavatam 1.2.16)
By associating with great souls and serving great souls the taste for the holy names, the taste for Bhagvatam awakens within our heart. So daily we chant, daily we hear, daily we do satsang, daily we serve, in this way we are developing spiritual strength or making the connection. Then when the inevitable difficulties do come, they come in the most unexpected ways in the most unexpected time, we are ready. Doesn’t mean it is not going to be painful, it means we are going to turn to God. We are going to connect like we have never connected before. This is our opportunity. We have to be prepared to take this opportunities. Does that answer your question ?
One more question,
Qusetion: Maharaj, you have given the example of Kunti Maharani and King Indradumna who became Gajendra. My question is that sometimes you get into difficulties, you may accept it because it is your Karma. But then you see that if you don’t correct that person at the right time, they may destroy themselves. So what you do in that situation, just accept it as your karma, or because Krsna has put you in a position of working in service as a family member, so you just watch and allow things to happen the way it is or try to correct the situation ?
Radhanath Swami: We should help the devotee that is our service. Arjuna surrendered his heart to Krsna with all humility but still he fought the war because that was Krsna’s will, Krsna’s will to help others. That’s part of what the reversals of material life are with the devotees. So many people, Why did Prabhupada go out and risk his life, his health and everything. To give Krsna conciousness to others. Why didn’t he say, well everyone is in Maya, so that’s fine, let me turn to Krsna. Turning to Krsna means to be an instrument of his compassion towards others and that means you have to accept hardship and sometimes even sufferings to help others. Infact that’s considered to be greatest of all types devotional service. But it should not be done with on ego. If you are actually trying to help a person based on proper guidelines, that’s our service. But if we are reacting due to our own ego, for our own self preservation.. Ofcourse we have a right for own self preservation, but it should not be done with ego, it should be with Krsna consciousness. Intelligence is whether what we do to help this person is going to work. Yes, that’s where we need discrimination. Sometimes when a person is going off, Prabhupada would chastise them, othertimes he would warn them, othertimes he would let them do what they want to do because he understood that that’s the only way they would learn there lessons. Othertimes he would encourage them, Oh you are doing this, very nice, chant Hare Krsna, So because he really cared about people, he searched his own heart, he was empowered by Krsna to deal with it so that he could help in a very tangible way. We should also be in that spirit. Is that answer your question?
We cannot refuse opportunity of all the assembled devotee’s from hearing Anand vrindavan Pr’s dynamic, exciting and often controversial question.
Question: We could understand that to become a pure devotee, Krsna is really going to churn us, we are going to be completely smashed with all the illusion we have in our life. But one doubt is coming in my mind, one person will struggle everything and he will become a pure devotee. And once that person becomes a pure devotee, his 21 generations will get liberation. And the doubt that comes is that 21 generations have not done anything. They have not struggled, they have not gone though all those ups and downs and trajedies and reversals, yet they have got the benefit, a jackpot. So sometimes the doubt comes to mind, that it is better not be a pure devotee, but it is better to be a relative to somebody. Can you tell us Maharaj, what about those people who have not struggled and have got pure devotion?
Radhanath Swami: With your permission I will speak my heart. You are in total illusion. Everyone struggles. All those 21 generations are going to go through the same miseries of material existence according to their particular karmas. The difference is that one person accepted it as an opportunity to love Krsna and because that one person accepted the opportunity, he is delivering all the rest. But don’t think that the rest are surfing in Hawaii, under perfect weather. And everyone is nice to them and their bank account is every increasing. Not like that. Everyone in the 21 generations is suffering the same miseries of material existence according to their particular type of karma and everyone is struggling. When you are driving down the streets of Mumbai, you see people walking, do they look blissful? Really this city, people look like they are struggling. But if one of their relatives becomes a lover of Krsna, they are going to get liberated, but doesn’t mean without struggling. Everyone suffers in this world, do you know anyone who is not suffering, there is happiness, but they are like ripples on the surface, sufferings come too, but for the soul to be without Krsna is suffering. The soul to be without pure love is a suffering condition. The person who is surrenders to Krsna is the happiest, because thourghout the difficulties he is seeing meaning and fulfillment. And even in the most difficulties he is finding the internal treasure of real fulfillment and bliss. So that person through the difficulties is finding such deep relief and satisfaction and love. The other people are not tasting that. What you are asking is this., if a whole family is in the ocean and they are all drowning and sharks are surrounding all of them, they are all drinking salt water and ready to die. And one person takes the life raft. Who is suffering less. The person who is taking the life raft comes out on the ship and then because he is done that Krsna takes a net and scoops up everyone else.
Question: Maharaj you mentioned that when tragedies come in your life you have to go deep. So I wanted to know what is the consciousness that a devotee should have so that we can get the consciousness of going deeper and deeper and not get affected by the outside world.
Radhanath Swami: It is based on our sincerity. That sincerity is nourished by associating with people who are striving to go deep. And hearing about people who are striving to go deep. Hearing about Gajendra. In the association of devotees, hearing Srimad Bhagavatam or hearing Bhavadgita is leading us into those deeper and deeper states of consciousness, leading us into deeper perception of reality. It comes through association, our sincerity and our own spiritual practices, and our prayers as well. Thank you very much.
Srila Prabhupad ki Jai!