Radhanath Swami: Yadubar Prabhu was speaking on how important it is to unite on a higher principle without ulterior motives. When Srila Prabhupada asked us to cooperate together considering the nature of Kali Yuga, it’s a great challenge because it’s the age that the predominating influence is quarrel and hypocrisy. We see these two qualities so wide spread everywhere and the tendency to quarrel over insignificant issues. But the nature of the mind that is not finding inner fulfillment is the tendency to make insignificant things seems so important. Things that are practically meaningless we interpret so meaningful. Fights, arguments, divorce, wars based over trifling things that are interpreted to be so important. As long as we don’t focus our consciousness on higher principles, they are important, at least they seem that way. If there is a little hill in front of your house and that’s all you have ever seen, it seems gigantic. But if you look at the Himalayan Mountains, then that little hill is insignificant because you have seen something greater. Krishna is great, Devotion is great, and the satisfaction of Bhakti is great. When we have some connection to that, some experience with that then all of these little things we see it for what it is otherwise Maya means that which is not.

Things that are really have nothing to do with us nothing to do with reality obsess us, possess us, rule over us and cause us to fight, to battle, to become envious, angry. paraà dåñövä nivartate we can only overcome these things when we experience something higher. That’s the real solution.

There is a classic story in Srimad Bhagavatam about something which was apparently very significant and important was later on seem to be what it was. This is in the 4th canto where Maharaja Prthu, a saktyavesa avatar, in a role of a devotee of course. “yad yad äcarati çreñöhas tat tad evetaro janaù” Krishna tells in Gita what leaders do, the followers naturally imbibe that spirit. Parents are leaders of the family. Teachers are the leaders of the classroom. Friend leaders are the leaders of the assembly of friends. Political leaders, leaders within the society, they may be sport figures or entertainers, politicians wherever there is a following what the leader does is going to very seriously influence people. So Prthu appeared in a very extraordinary way and practically the great sages, Brahmins and common people were glorifying him. Prthu Maharaj was so honest and humble that he said I haven’t done anything, why are you glorifying me? They were doing on the basis of his horoscope and on the basis of people who are reading into the future. He says you shouldn’t glorify me. I haven’t done anything. Let me do something then you speak if you want. This is something very important to understand. Ultimately Krishna explains in Gita, “prakåteù kriyamäëäni guëaiù karmäëi sarvaçaù ahaìkära-vimüòhätmä kartäham iti manyate[BG 3.27].” People who are bewildered by this false ego think themselves to be the doers of their activities. Actually for a materialistic person they are simply the puppets of the modes of material nature. The modes of material nature is empowering us to do what we can do and ultimately “mayädhyakñeëa prakåtiù süyate sa-caräcaram[BG 9.10]” Krishna is the controller of the material nature and for a devotee, devotee is empowered by Krishna directly through His energies so Prthu Maharaj ultimately even after he did so many wonderful things he never took credit because he understood, it’s not me who is doing, Krishna is the doer.

If we do bad things and we have to take responsibility for not following what Krishna has done but it’s still the modes of nature. We are choosing to come under particular modes of nature to degrade us or we could choose to come under the influence or follow the dictations of the higher modes of the nature and elevate us. We can choose to follow the direction of Krishna coming through the parampara which liberate us. So we have the choice but we are always influenced.

So later on Prthu Maharaj, for the sake of all of his citizens wanted to do 100 Asvamedha Yajnas. Now at that time Indra, he had the world record. He did a 100 Yajnas. Prthu Maharaj was about to tie that record and then he was about to break it, now for Indra this is a very serious problem because he really worked hard to be the only person who had ever done a 100 Asvamedha Yajnas in this universal creation of the timeline he was living so he considered this a major threat and in every possible way whatever the means he had to protect his record. It was not only a record but when you have a lot, tendency is you fear losing what you have and the more you have the more you have to fear losing.

In this little room, the brahmacaris have a little box, they have a lock on it. Most of them have a little lock but if you go to the Brahmacari Ashram, you just kick it will open, I mean, any theif it’s just a hit of a hammer it will open it’s not a very security strong locks. If somebody emptied out their whole locker, I don’t think any Brahmacari would even care, there is not much fear because there is not much to be afraid of. The more we have the more we fear losing and the more we have the tendency is it doesn’t have to be this way because we become attached. We become extremely immersed in identifying ourselves with those things and that’s what is material life is about. We identify with things. “janasya moho aham mameti”. We identify with I am this body that’s the beginning and whatever is in relationship with this body is mine. My family, my occupation, my prestige, my house, my furniture, my computer, my technological instruments, for children my toys.

When I was a little boy, my mother had a little slogan that she would often say, she will say toys are poison because there were three sons and there was always fighting over toys and for her it was absolutely ridiculous what toys? they are all just stupid things these toys were, why you are fighting over them. She said it is poison but adults they just have different types of toys and they just fight over them nuclear bomb toys, toys of building and factories, industries, these are all child stuff for a self realised soul, he has grown up spiritually. When Srila Prabhupada first came to America, he would often said, the biggest problem in India, the people are totally attached to politics and they think this is going to give solution to the whole world and therefore they don’t care about spiritual life so much and for them it is something in the background.

For Indra, by performing the 100 Asvamedha Yajnas he had achieved so much, he had achieved the post of Indra, immense wealth and immense power so he naturally thought if Prthu Maharaja could equal me or surpass me in doing those Yajnas it must be because he wants what I have. This is a material conception. The world is the mirror of our own mind. We often interpret according to the way we see. Prabhupada says if we look through rose colour glasses everything looks rose colour for us. If we look through yellow colour glasses everything looks yellow colour for us. We are looking through the mind, the soul is looking the world through the mind and it’s very much coloured by our own envy, passions, arrogance and attachments. So Indra saw like this that as a major threat but actually Prthu Maharaj was doing it for the welfare of all the citizens and for the pleasure of God, so he wanted to stop it.

Each time he was sabotaging the Yajnas, stealing the horses, and every time they would try to catch him he would disguise himself as a saintly person and in this way he was creating irreligion. He was creating terrible irreligion doing serious damage to the whole universe just to protect his own egoistic record. He didn’t want to be matched and Prthu Maharaj seeing how Indra was engaging in such irreligious and immoral cheating activities, criminal activities, Prthu Maharaja was about to arrest him and punish him at that time Lord Brahma came and told Prthu Maharaj, Indra is a devotee, he is engaged in service to the Lord and he is doing a very important service. It’s fact he is having a big ego, it’s fact but he is very attached to his position and he is very attached to his prestige and it’s fact that he engaged in miserable immoral activities for the sake of protecting his prestige but still he is a devotee, he is part and parcel of Krishna, he is serving Krishna and so are you. You are also a devotee, a part and parcel of Krishna so instead of creating this antagonism with him just let him have the record don’t do anymore Yajnas and keep things peaceful. Brahma was seeing the bigger picture and Prthu Maharaj immediately accepted alright I will not do anymore Yajnas. Let him have the record forever.

So Vishnu came down, He more or less chastised Indra but He was very pleased with Prthu Maharaj because he gave up something that was not very important for a higher principle whereas Indra was engaging in immoral activities for a lower principle because he wasn’t willing to adjust things according to a higher principle. This is Krishna Consciousness. Ultimately Indra was very embarrassed by this situation because he saw how the Lord was pleased with Prthu Maharaj.

Krishna Consciousness means to see everything in relation to the higher principle of devotional service of what could please Krishna. Prabhupada said you can show your love for me by how you co-operate in Krishna Consciousness. To keep that higher principle is really a challenge and it’s actually the way we show our love. To love someone in the spiritual sense is not how I want to love you, it’s not based on how I want to love you, and it’s based on what you want. That is love. It’s not Prabhupada; I am going to kick this devotee’s face in every way I possibly can so that I can get ahead that may what you like that may be what you think is showing love for Prabhupada because I accomplish so much by doing that but if it’s not Prabhupada wants it’s not love at all. It’s just selfishness. This is the challenge how to co-operate in this Age of Kali by adjusting every situation according to this higher principle by what it means to love Krishna, what it means to love the spiritual master, what it means to love the Vaishnavas and these stories in Srimad Bhagavatam, Prabhupada explains that Sukadeva Go swami, out of vast history of the universe, selected the most essential and important stories for the Srimad Bhagavatam that could reform one’s character and bring one to the point of real Prema Bhakti , unalloyed Love for God.

You see in matters of love, people don’t really love you for what you accomplish. People might be impressed, people might be envious, people love you actually for your character if you look among your friends the people who you are most affectionate toward are people you love them because of their character, because of their goodness not because of what they accomplished and that’s the way Krishna is. Prabhupada wanted us to accomplish things but his books are all about building our character, a devotional character because ultimately that’s what Krishna sees. There are people who create unbelievable projects in this world for their prestige, money; Prabhupada was not impressed with that. But Yadubar Prabhu, you know there are Hollywood films; Prabhupada was necessarily impressed with these block buster Hollywood films but he was very impressed with Yadubar Prabhu’ s little documentary in a projector even if it was playing too slow because of his character. He was doing it as a humble sincere offering for the upliftment of humanity and the service of God and that’s the way Krishna sees. So the real disease is selfishness and the real cure is selfless service and as devotees we have to take to heart this sacred principle of Srimad Bhagavatam.

Now everyone here today which touches your heart and impresses you deeper, Indra’s accomplishment of 100 sacrifices or Prthu Maharaj’ s humility to accept the higher principle of Cooperation even if he would never touch the record which impresses you more. How many are most impressed and your hearts are really deeply touched and really inspired by Indra protecting his world record? How many are very much impressed and inspired to mould your life after Prthu Maharaj who put aside his own achievement to show the principle of higher character. Be careful Indra is listening but don’t worry the Indra today is different from the Indra then. Indra is a post so for every manvantara there is a different Indra so doesn’t worry about it. I am sure even today’s Indra will also vote for Prthu Maharaj. So we shouldn’t be so greedy to accomplish things if it is undermining the higher principle. We have to be very enthusiastic and eager to accomplish wonderful things for Krishna but always it must be with a focus of the higher principle. It always must be harmonised with this higher principle of what will please Krishna. We know what will really please Krishna when we are not selfish, when we don’t have ulterior motives when we are actually in the spirit of servant of servant of the servant and we are actually happy to see others getting blessings even doing better than us, that pleases Krishna and that’s where real spiritual empowerment comes and that’s the spirit Chaitanya Mahaprabhu taught us to chant the Holy name.

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.