Radhanath Swami: We are reading from Srimad Bhagvatam 8th Canto, Chapter 9 entitled “The Lord incarnates as Mohini Murti”, verse number 29. Sukhadev Goswami has described in great detail the story of how the demigods and the asuras made a truce from their enmity and fighting for a purpose that they shared which was to achieve nectar through the churning of the ocean of milk. Interestingly they performed the same activity for apparently the same goal but their motives were altogether different. During this churning of the ocean of milk, both the suras and the asuras were literally doing exactly the same activity. They were churning. They were lifting mountains. The same obstacles came before both of them and physically they were both dealing with those obstacles in very similar ways. If you didn’t know which team was which, you would just see them just doing the same thing. There was no difference and what they were doing it for was exactly the same. They both wanted that pot of nectar, same pot with the same nectar. So what was the difference between the two? We find in this verse Sukhadev Goswami explains, one is an eternal activity for the benefit of all living beings and one is a temporary activity that’s not really for the benefit of anyone. How could this be? They are doing the same thing exactly, in the same place, in the same way for the same thing. But yet the results are described practically like black and white. One is sat and one is asat. One is working under illusion and one is working for the highest truth.
Srila Prabhupada explains here in the purport that within this world and the translation specifically focuses on this- everyone has to perform various activities for the protection of one’s wealth and one’s life by one’s words, mind and actions. But our motivation is what determines the actual result. In Kurukshetra, Arjuna was fighting with arrows and Karna was fighting with arrows. Duryodhana was fighting with a club and Bhima was fighting with a club. In the same place, very much in the same way and all of them were very, very highly trained and expert but the results were opposite because one was acting selfishly and the other was acting in the service of the Lord. So to understand the difference between material and spiritual is on this basis, as revealed in the shastras, the holy scriptures, as revealed by the great acharyas. oà pürëam adaù pürëam idam.. Everything is emanating from the absolute truth and because the absolute truth is perfect everything emanating from the absolute must also be perfect. Just like all light that is emanating from the sun is light. We do not see darkness emanating from the sun because the sun is nothing but light, everything that emanates from the sun has to be light. So similarly everything that comes from Krishna who is purely spiritual who is purely spiritual and this material world is also coming from Krishna. Everything is coming from Krishna – aham sarvasya prabhavo mattah sarvam pravartate iti matva bhajante mam budha bhava samanvitah. ‘All material and spiritual worlds, everything emanates from Me’, Krishna says. The wise who know this perfectly engage in my devotional service and worship Me with all their hearts. Everything coming from the sun is light but if we personally turn our backs to the sun then we see a shadow. That shadow is indirectly caused by the sun although, it’s the absence of the sun caused by the sun because we turn away. In the same way everything within this world is in fact spiritual. But if we forget its relationship with its source, with God, then it affects us as something material. According to the philosophy of bhakti, the difference of material and spiritual is simply our cognizance. When we see anything’s connection to its source or to God, then we actually enter into the spiritual essence of our perception of that thing. But when we forget its relationship with God then we are bound to the material result of that perception.
Radhanath Swami on Soul is a part and parcel and servant of Krsna
As we were describing yesterday, Sri Chaitanya Mahaprabhu, He gave this very simple, comprehensive understanding of everything – jévera svarüpa haya nityera kåñëa däsa that every living entity is constitutionally by nature the servants of Krishna. We as spirit souls, we are a part of God and the part naturally serves the whole. Srila Prabhupad gives simple analogies – the hand is part of the body so the function of the hand is to serve the rest of the body. If the hand wants to enjoy separate from the rest of the body, it would be in a very diseased condition. So when the soul sees herself or himself as the eternal servant of Krishna and sees everything within this world as the creation of Krishna, mother nature who is the source of everything we perceive with our five senses, she is an expansion of Lakshmi devi, Bhu devi, the goddess of fortune. The goddess of fortune is forever engaged in the loving service of Narayan, the Supreme Lord. So everything created by the mother earth is a service for the pleasure of the Lord and a devotee understands, not just an idea but a fact that every tree, every blade of grass, every molecule of hair, everything is manifesting from the goddess of fortune Bhu devi for the pleasure of the Lord. And we – ahaà béja-pradaù pitä, we are all the sons and daughters of Krishna who is the father and mother of every living being and this body and our particular life form that we have is coming from mother earth. We may have, we do have a mother and a father when this case are two human beings but actually their bodies, all the energy and all the materials that were utilized for the purpose of giving birth to us are all given by mother nature. A father’s semen, a mother’s body, her womb, all the food that she eats to nourish us is all products, gifts of Mother Nature. So factually every living being both from a material and spiritual perspective we are all intimately relatives of one family. It’s a big family. Every germ, every insect, every fish, all the plants and the trees, all the animals and the birds and all different kinds of human beings is one family. Spiritually we have the same mother and father – Radha Gopinath. We are all eternally Their parts and parcels emanating like the sun rays from the sun and materially we have the same mother and father. Essentially mother earth is our mother and the Lord is her consort. So, spiritual vision actually unifies. Some believe in an order for there to be actual unity to create oneness then the absolute truth must be completely formless without characteristics, just one unlimited oneness that exists forever. That is the Brahman perception of God. But the Parabrahman conception of God is to understand the unlimited variagatedness that exists that how all that incredible varigatedness is united, is harmonized and is ultimately one in essence because it’s all coming from God and its all ultimately meant for the pleasure of God.
Pleasure of Krsna – Faith
This is achintya bheda abheda tattva.. that there is inconceivable simultaneous varigatedness in everything, everywhere forever, both on the material and spiritual platform. The difference is in the material platform we are all forgetful of our purpose, our essence, our origin but in the spiritual platform we are conscious of that. Srila Prabhupada named our movement Krishna consciousness. Krishna explains in Gita that he is everywhere for one who sees Me everywhere and everything in Me that person is never lost nor is he or she is ever lost to Me. So Krishna is everywhere. To be conscious of that is spiritual vision. To not be conscious of that is material vision. It’s like a dream. So yes we find that the asuras and the devatas the same activity for apparently the exact same result but ultimately they get a completely different result and it is very graphically revealed in this story. Even though the asuras apparently won, they lost and although the devatas apparently lost, they won. That makes sense when we understand that ultimately the result of our activities is to bend our entire consciousness. The asuras they made every possible arrangement from the very beginning of the churning of the ocean of milk. The asuras knew that they would get it, all of it, because they knew they were more powerful. For them, the demigods this was a very sentimental type of a thing. We are going to churn the ocean, the asuras were far more powerful in every way materially. They had just defeated the demigods, beaten them down, taken everything away. The demigods had no power to do anything to protect themselves or their property. So now they are coming to us to say let us churn, get nectar and we are in such a higher, upper position that when we get the nectar we’ll just take it all like we’ve taken everything else from them and we get all the benefits, more benefit than anybody could possibly imagine and the demigods will get nothing. Materially that was the only way it could possibly work out. Now why would the demigods want to churn the ocean of milk if they knew that the demons would get everything? From a material perspective the demons had to get everything. But the demigods did it on the basis of their faith in Vishnu, that’s all. That was their only hope was their faith because Vishnu told them you do it and I’ll be there for you. It was almost like blind following.
You know on a far more spiritual platform and a pure, totally ecstatic platform of love of God, Aghasura had his mouth open and the gopas saw it and someone said oh. One of the gopas said, ‘This is a big mountain cave. Look his teeth are like big icicles! His tongue is like a big red road.’ Then another gopa said, ‘No that is a giant snake! Just step back a little can’t you see. They started running away. Some other gopa said, ‘No no don’t run away. Yes it is a giant snake but let’s go in, Krishna will protect us!’ So here is this giant serpent, who is a massive asura – demon whose only intent of coming to Vrindavan was to swallow and kill all the residents of Vrindavan. That was his motive. Can you imagine you were just walking down Marine Drive and you saw this gigantic serpent, miles wide with its mouth open, such a monster! Anybody would be afraid, but the gopas were not afraid. They were laughing, clapping their hands, dancing as they ran into the mouth of Aghasura and as they were running in they were looking at Krishna smiling because they knew Krishna would save them. So materially it didn’t make sense they should have ran the other direction. But they had faith.
Radhanath Swami on Faith of the Demigods
On a lesser level the demigods, here they are churning this ocean, working so hard, risking their lives, struggling and straining to get nectar when for all practical purposes the demons were so much stronger they had such a upper hand that they were going to definitely take it all. The only thing the demigods had was their faith. If Krishna said we should do it and he is our well wisher so we should do it. It’s this faith beyond material conceptions that is foundational to all great spiritual things that have ever been done in this world.
Faith of Srila Prabhupada
Srila Prabhupada was given the order to go to the west to give this message of Sri Chaitanya Mahaprabhu. Now what chances on a cargo ship, after several heart attacks, arriving in New York City, knowing no one, no money, seventy years old and even after struggling and trying in New York City, apparently after eight months, six months everything was like a failure. His typewriter was stolen, his books were stolen, his life was threatened. Why did he keep trying? The Jaladuta prayers explain it’s simply based on faith. His guru told him to do it. Guru tells him to do it that means God is telling him to do it through the Guru – Säkñäd-dharitvena samasta-çästraiù. In Prabhupad’s struggle with faith when we see because that’s faith in Krishna, in God how the impossible became possible.
Radhanath Swami on Faith in great spiritual paths
We study in any great spiritual path. The early Christians they were being persecuted. Their savior Jesus was just crucified and he told them go out and preach and there was basically a government ordinance that if anybody was preaching this they would also be killed, tortured and killed. In factually almost every one of his original disciples was either crucified or killed in some way. Why did they do it? Because they had faith in something that was not seen by the eyes. They knew if I do it I’ll go back to God so they gladly were willing to die with faith that they were going to go back to Godhead. Now there is faith in the mode of goodness, passion and ignorance. Some people have faith in the wrong things. Everybody on the material platform has faith in the wrong things, sometimes even in the name of God.
But that’s really all the demigods had – is their faith. Mahabharata is so much about faith. Ramayana is so much about faith. Arjuna, Yuddhisthir, there were certain situations within that battle where it was hopeless. But they had faith in Krishna’s direction and they overcame all obstacles. So we find here so graphically how things work sometimes even on a path of service to the Lord. The demigods are working and working and working along with the demons to get the nectar. The demons are seeing it from the material perspective we are going to get it all because we are stronger and the demigods because Krishna told us to do it we are going to get it. Other than that why we shouldn’t be doing this. And after everything happens and finally the nectar comes what happens? The demons get it all. They, exactly as they planned, is what happened and the demigods were completely bereft with nothing. All this trouble to try to get our abodes back, now we are going to never get it back. All they could do is turn to Krishna. They had faith and even though the demons got everything they wanted by their own egos they were fighting over it. It’s the materialistic way of life.
Radhanath Swami on Materialistic way of life
We get something we fight over it just like every nation whether it is America or India or anywhere. America was a British colony and somehow or other they had to fight an entire bloody war to get independence. Now this is our country. Whether it’s the democrats or the republicans they are constantly fighting, always fighting over who is going to be in charge, over who has the power. Essentially over who this country belongs to. How many parties are there in India? And as soon as a party gets in power, then even that party starts splitting up and fighting. So that’s material life. We fight for something to be ours but then when it’s ours then we fight over which is mine. And once something is mine we fight over which is really mine.
Simple peace formula
The seed of all of this enmity is just selfishness and that selfishness is born of forgetting who everything really belongs to. Therefore this simple peace formula which Srila Prabhupada has given us – bhoktäraà yajïa-tapasäà sarva-loka-maheçvaram suhådaà sarva-bhütänäà jïätvä mäà çäntim åcchati. Krishna is the proprietor of everything and Krishna is the enjoyer of everything. Krishna is really our best friend, He loves us forever, we should trust Him. We just understand these principles there can be peace within our own heart and there can be peace among all living entities.
Sri Chaitanya Mahaprabhu in the Jharikhand forest
Sri Chaitanya Mahaprabhu was roaming through the Jharikhand forest and although from a perspective of a tourist the forest is a very peaceful place, yes? It’s like you are living in a city and there is so much competition and so much people just fighting and trying to get more for themselves, traffic and pollution and you go to the forest it’s a very peaceful place. But really in the forest, you know, the spiders are eating the ants, the flies, and the tigers are eating the deers – jiva jivasya jivanam. It’s just all about a stronger being eating a weaker being. And if there happens to be snakes or tigers or leopards or panthers or elephants or rhinoceros then even it might not be so peaceful for you because they are stronger. So Sri Chaitanya Mahaprabhu was travelling through a tiger infested forest Jharikhand! People didn’t go there. So many tigers and leopards and mad wild elephants. These mad wild elephants were not in a good mood if they saw a human being. They would just crush you into dust. And the deers they are always running away from tigers and the tigers are always hunting deers. It’s really basically, for the lower species, most of their life they are just looking for food. Just smelling around and looking around for food. It’s really an important part of survival is to eat. They don’t have to worry about paying rent; they don’t have to worry about saving money for their children’s education. Basically it’s just about food. And then the sexual impulse sometimes they have to deal with that one. Just very basic physical needs that they are totally absorbed in day and night. So when Sri Chaitanya Mahaprabhu was in the forest because He is Krishna and He was in the centre, He was uniting all of these animals in a spirit of devotion through kirtan, chanting God’s names and we find the deer and the elephant who are literally the worst possible enemies. The tiger looks at a deer only to eat her, to jump on her with their sharp teeth, to pierce their throats and eat their flesh and just leave their bones, that’s all. When a tiger sees a deer that’s the only thought. He doesn’t think, oh such nice peaceful eyes, how they jump so gracefully. That’s the way we see a deer. For the tiger it’s just about drinking their blood and eating their flesh and the deer when they see a tiger its death personified. But when Lord Chaitanya was there, and they both recognized their relationship with each other based on their love for the Lord. The tiger and deers began to embrace in ecstatic love. Nowhere has this ever been seen in this material world. And Lord Chaitanya was thinking of Vrindavan because that’s the way it is in Vrindavan. Because Krishna’s the centre everyone realizes their eternal connection to each other on every level. And there is harmony, there’s peace, and more than that there is love, there is actual love.
Radhanath Swami on Story of Mrigrari, the hunter
So, Chaitanya Mahaprabhu told the story of Mrigrari, the hunter. He was very deeply habituated to finding pleasure in torturing and killing animals. It was in his genes. He was born in a family that did that. Some people are addicted to smoking cigarettes, some are addicted to alcohol, some are addicted to other things. He was addicted to this sense gratification of watching other creatures die under his prowess. It’s an addiction. And he justified it all as being his career. Yes we can justify anything. People in the business world, sometimes they lie, they cheat, they ruin peoples’ lives and say well that’s business, that’s my job what can I do? That’s the consciousness of Mrigrari that’s all. Just justify anything to hurt others on the basis of it’s my job what can I do. It’s my career. It maybe your career but because it’s your career it doesn’t in any way shape or form to protect you from karmic results if you hurt others. Career, no career the laws of karma stand. And Narada Muni was so merciful, he showed that to Mrigrari. He actually showed the vision of the future where Mrigrari saw every one of these animals he ever hurt all coming back to him in other forms to give him the same torture. He became a little sober. He said maybe this isn’t such a good career. I think I am covered over by illusion. It was his selfishness and then by the grace of Narada he understood and after that he was so, he was, by the grace of his Guru, he was able to see the relationship he had with all living beings and now instead of hating these weaker beings, he loved them and wanted to serve them. Amanina manadena – He was offering honor and respect to every living being and when Narada Muni came back, Mrigrari the hunter, Narada Muni saw him offering obeisances to ants, not wanting to in any way inconvenience them what to speak of hurt them even inconvenience them. He didn’t even want to walk in front of them. He wanted to let them pass out of respect. What a change of heart! Did Mrigrari starve? No. Krishna provided. We have faith. If we do things the right way Krishna will provide. We may not get the same type of temporary, karmically, infected prestige as if we do it our way but that prestige is nothing but a massive burden. Material burden that’s going to just push us down in this life and the next.
Radhanath Swami on Krsna’s master plan
What’s important is that we do the right thing in the right way for the right person. But because Bhakti is so precious, Krishna will make things temporarily appear that it’s happening just like the atheists say it will. Yes? It’s like the atheist would accuse the devotees in Navadwip, that what is the use of your worshipping God and giving up so many things that we enjoy? Because after all, we are atheist we die, you are devotees you die. What’s the difference? Both die, both get sick. What is God doing for you? We see beyond, we see within. Of course for realized devotees, all of these accusations – it’s like a blind man saying there is no such thing as the sun in the month of May at 12 o’clock noon and standing at Chowpatty beach. You can’t take it seriously. But for someone who doesn’t see, for someone who has not realized on the basis of faith in great souls, in scriptures, in God, we understand that there is something beyond all this. Sometimes devotees, they dedicate their lives and they get sick or they have family problems or it appears that they are failing in their endeavors just like everyone else. So people say so what is all the use of this chanting and all this stuff? Same things are happening to you as the rest of us. That’s part of Krishna’s plans that things appear to be the same when reversals come to test do we really want it? If we really want it we are willing to persevere even though things are not going exactly in the magical way that we would like them to. They are going in a magical way but in a way that will actually help us to really surrender and love God. When you are sick, the doctor doesn’t always give you a remedy that you enjoy. Yes? If you have a heart problem and you have to have a triple bypass surgery, it doesn’t feel that good. But you do it. Some people do it. So sometimes treatment is not what we want, but it works. So in this world we have this disease of being selfish, of being egoistic, of seeing in terms of I and mine instead of Krishna and it’s a very deeply chronic heart disease and when we take to Krishna Consciousness, Krishna wants to see that we really want to get better. So there is going to be tests. But sometimes it really appears that it’s just not working. Why is Krishna abandoning me? Is He watching and that’s what happened here after this? We may do years and years and years of sadhna and then it seems like everything is just going wrong. But it’s not going wrong. It’s going according to a master plan.
So here the demigods worked really hard. It’s like their sadhna. They were following Krishna’s direction. They were risking their lives. They were struggling and straining and at the very, very, very end when the nectar finally comes the demons take it all! Now an atheistic person would say to the demigods, you see we told you. What did you do all that for? They were totally bereft. But then at the very end when there was no hope, there was no way; there was nothing they could do. What’s really amazing is the demons were fighting against themselves for the nectar. They were really disunited. But why didn’t the demigods attack at that point in a united way to take it away. The reason – because they didn’t have a chance. They were so much weaker that even though the demons were disunited and fighting amongst each other, the demigods knew that they didn’t have a chance to get it because as soon as they came, the demons would unite and destroy them. So they were just, all sitting in a corner just watching, thinking – finished, failed, nothing, only hope, nothing we could do. They were really crying out for Krishna, really crying out for Krishna. Not just Hare Krishna Hare Krishna Krishna Krishna… No. They were really crying out. Everything was based on Krishna saving them because there was nothing they could do. And then in a most mysterious and wonderful way Mohini Murti appears and gives all the nectar to the demigods. So in the end all the nectar comes to those who love God, who follow the will of God. But we can know before we even start the path that when we follow the will of God we still go through many of the same challenges and disappointments as everyone else in the world on the external level. Sometimes people’s faith is very much based on how temporary circumstances go the way we want them to go. Krishna warns us – Sometimes I’ll take everything away just so that you really understand how you are depending on me. If we see God’s grace and God’s love within the situation we can welcome it and be happy. If not we become bewildered and that is why we need to regularly hear in the association of devotees to maintain the substance of that faith, real faith. Everyone has faith, either in the temporary, illusory energy or in God. It’s not a matter of faith or no faith; it’s a matter of where you put your faith. An immature devotee thinks when I come to Krishna consciousness materially everything is going to happen my way and for sometime Krishna may actually make it appear that way. But then after some time it’s not necessarily going to happen. Our shelter, our fulfillment is something on a much deeper platform. That’s where it always has been. If everything went our way, our conception of devotion and love is based on myself being the controller, my will being the controlling factor. Real love of God, even the impediments and difficulties, as well as the wonderful successes of this world should all be an impetus to go deeper to find shelter in what is eternal, what is permanent. Because ultimately the body does have to die and everything does get taken away. That’s just the life we have chosen in this material world, whoever we are. So before that moment comes, Krishna really wants us to be in connection to the divine within ourselves to really be in connection to his infinite eternal love and grace. Therefore all of the successes and failures of this world are really meant to prepare us to take shelter of the immortal because from the perspective of the eternal soul whether things go the way we want them or not in this world is a very, very temporary situation. Do they help bring us closer to God or do they just frustrate us on a mundane platform? That’s the choice that all of us have. Krishna has promised. In Ramayana, in Mahabharata, in so many of the other scriptures we find there are always tests and apparent reversals for devotees. But in the end the nectar, the nectar of immortality, the nectar of Krishna is manifested through the nectar of the holy name when we take shelter. It’s a very important story and this particular reversal purport is explaining the difference between truth and illusion, material and spiritual is simply the difference between being selfish and having a spirit of selfless service to God and to others. God and to others means when you water the root of the tree, automatically, you are doing the greatest benefit to all others. Philanthropy, altruism on a mundane platform is temporary relief for a few people. But when we actually act for the welfare of others on the basis of our love for God we nourish the souls of others. We are actually doing the greatest benefit for every living being whether they recognize or not, that is their free will. Now apparently for most of us we don’t see the root, we see the rest of the tree. Is it blind faith to pour water on the root of the tree? A mundane person will criticize you. What are you doing putting the water in the ground for? The tree needs the water not the ground. What is this nonsense? Put it on the leaf, put it on the twig, put it on the branch. Say no no because if I put it on the root of the tree every part will get. That’s based on faith and what you can’t see because you don’t see the root but based on the experience of others, based on good logic and philosophy we understand this. And when we actually do or when we see it works. Pouring water on the root of the tree is doing something that is very unseen, you don’t even see the root. Yes? But yet you are putting your water. Why not put the water on what you see? There is faith. For serving God the faith is even more tangible. We see through history, we see through scriptures, we see through our own experiences how it works. Krishna appears. The root of the tree is appearing in such beautiful forms, Radha Gopinath, just to unite our efforts. And Sri Chaitanya Mahaprabhu’s movement is for the welfare of all humanity by developing love of God to serving the lordships who unify all of us. We could actually nourish the hearts and the souls of all beings. But loving devotional service is without selfish desire, without egoistic expectations. It is for the pleasure of the Lord. According to the will of the Lord. Through such an approach Krsna reveals our relationship with Him and our relationship with all other living beings.
What is the difference between the material world and the spiritual world?
So that is what Srila Prabhupada is revealing to us, the difference between the material world and the spiritual world. One person is cooking in a house, simply for the family and another person is cooking for Krsna and offering it to the family. It seems like the same thing. It may be the same spices, the same rice from the same rice merchant. Yes? May be served on the same plates, may be leaves from the same banana tree. But when you offer it to Krsna and then give it to your family, it is not only karma free but it is spiritually rejuvenating. So yes, same activity, the difference between it being material or spiritual is our conscious awareness of connection, relationship with God, which is only actuated, it actually happens through the spirit of service because that is our eternal relationship with Krsna.
Thank you very much.
Question to Radhanath Swami: Thank you Maharaj for your wonderful class. Maharaj, you were mentioning about the different activities of demigods and demons that essentially one is doing in ignorance and one is doing in knowledge. So in course of our preaching locally and internationally also we meet many people. We are also essentially preaching about the Hare Krsna Mahamantra and the Vedic culture. Overall trying to create awareness of importance of Vedic culture and then there are many organizations that are wanting that the Vedic culture should come. But they don’t have the typical concept or concept that Krsna is the Supreme Personality of Godhead and the Holy Name as prominent in their activities. But they are very good in their activities such as cow protection, protecting the Vedic culture and aspects of it. So many of them, they offer us also to collaborate with them, which is seen in our community with extreme opinions. This is getting too political or this is not right from Vaishnavism point of view to collaborate with Hindu organizations or rather pro Hindu organizations who appear to be doing things very fanatically but from a Vaishnav perspective we need so many things. So when someone is doing certain things in aggression, how do we see our collaboration in certain fronts?
Answer by Radhanath Swami: Rupa Goswami’s principle is that we accept what is favorable for devotional service and do not accept what is unfavorable for devotional service. It is required that we analyze a particular situation. There’s no general statement that can really answer your question accept to accept what is favorable not accept what is unfavorable. Whatever particular situation, whatever particular alliance that would possibly, may be proposed you should analyze it. If it possibly would embroil us in political activities then it is unfavorable but if there are common goals like cow protection that we really believe in and we find that is actually favorable in helping people in general to come to a higher platform of Krsna consciousness then we accept that. In this world there are always extreme opinions. Because it is the nature of conditioned human mentality is that it is very easy to be extreme, black or white, that’s Krsna discusses, this path is not for one who eats too much or eats too little, sleeps too much or sleeps too little. We have to analyze a thing from its merit or from the perspective of what’s favorable to Krsna consciousness. And we should not be disturbed by extreme opinions.
Hare Krsna! So as far as you are saying, some of these alliances some of it may be favorable or some would be very unfavorable. So we should have proper motive, proper intelligence. We have really understand Srila Prabhupada’s teachings very carefully and consult people or senior devotees who are very experienced or are very wise in these calculations. Hare Krsna!
Question to Radhanath Swami: Maharaj, you were mentioning that in devotional service there will be tests and reversals and a devotee means one who is happy and chants Hare Krsna and is happy. We also hear that basic platform of the soul is pleasure seeking so one cannot perform any activity unless it gives pleasure. So devotional service can be a miserable life since tests are coming and desires are not fulfilled. So how can a sadhaka be happy in performing devotional service in such circumstances?
Answer: The real pleasure is in taking shelter in process of Krsna consciousness. The real pleasure is not in the thing that is happening externally. If things go your way, very nicely, it could be miserable if it distracts you from the process of Krsna consciousness. It is temporary, coming and going. But in every situation we analyze real pleasure to how we are connecting to Krsna, to how we are giving pleasure to Krsna. As we make spiritual advancement, as Caitanya Mahaprabhu would see a beautiful feast cooked for the deities, He would be in ecstacy. All He wanted was a little boiled rice. But seeing hundreds of sweets and sabjis offered to the Deities was His happiness. So after all what is happiness? Are you this mind, this body or are you the soul? We have to focus on what gives happiness to the soul. So when there are reversals and when we take shelter of Krsna we are giving happiness to the soul. It’s not that we look for miseries. We are looking for happiness, we are trying to arrange our Krsna consciousness life in such a way that there is some quality and some stability. But whatever we plan or arrange, miseries are going to come. But they are wonderful opportunities to learn to find pleasure, not that we find miseries, not that devotees find miseries, they find pleasure in taking shelter of Krsna. Whether it is in happiness or distress, whether it is pleasure or pain, honor or dishonor, success of failure, victory or defeat, whatever may come in our way the happiness is not in the thing, it is not in the result, it is turning to Krsna, remembering Krsna. Connecting to Krsna especially through chanting His Holy Names… Hare Krsna Hare Krsna Krsna Krsna Hare Hare Hare Rama Hare Rama Rama Rama Hare Hare. If you look for Krsna in that you will find Krsna in that if you look for happiness in Krsna, you will find pleasure in Krsna and then that pleasure is unlimited. And if we you look for pleasure in temporary situations in this world that is where you are going to find pleasure in this world. So sometimes miserable situations make us look for Krsna, but we should be doing that even in pleasurable situations, in all situations. Does that answer your question? So when Srila Prabhupada said that chant and be happy, Srila Prabhupada wanted the best material situations that were favorable to devotees. When Srila Prabhupada saw that devotees are not getting Prasad, are not getting basic facilties, sleeping and everything, he was very much concerned. He wanted the devotees to have basically healthy and give basic comforts so that they were not overly stresses and a distress to their bodies. In Mayapur, he was careful. Devotees had mosquito nets, in Vrindavan there were ashrams and guest house. Devotees, even from the West, could even feel the basic comforts in Vrindavan which even now it is not available anywhere else. But no matter what arrangements you make for this simple, basic comforts, miseries come. And some devotees had no comforts, hardly at all, but they were happy. Yes? The six goswamis lived under the trees. They were the happiest people because they were always turning to Krsna. So you should always be providing the Vaishnavas a comfortable life as far as possible but while we are doing that we should be cultivating that internal consciousness, which means our real happiness or our real pleasure is not in these arrangements. Our real pleasure is in connecting in reservoir of real pleasure, in chanting the Holy Names, Hare Krsna Hare Krsna Krsna Krsna Hare Hare Hare Rama Hare Rama Rama Rama Hare Hare.
Srila Prabhupada ki jai!