Verse: Srimad Bhagvatam 1.1.2
Transcription by: Anita Mataji
Edited by: Ambarish Maharaj Prabhu
dharmaḥ projjhita-kaitavo ’tra paramo nirmatsarāṇāṁ satāṁ
vedyaṁ vāstavam atra vastu śivadaṁ tāpa-trayonmūlanam
śrīmad-bhāgavate mahā-muni-kṛte kiṁ vā parair īśvaraḥ
sadyo hṛdy avarudhyate ’tra kṛtibhiḥ śuśrūṣubhis tat-kṣaṇāt
dharmaḥ — religiosity; projjhita — completely rejected; kaitavaḥ — covered by fruitive intention; atra — herein; paramaḥ — the highest; nirmatsarāṇām — of the one-hundred-percent pure in heart; satām — devotees; vedyam — understandable; vāstavam — factual; atra — herein; vastu — substance; śivadam — well-being; tāpa-traya — threefold miseries; unmūlanam — causing uprooting of; śrīmat — beautiful; bhāgavate — the Bhāgavata Purāṇa; mahā-muni — the great sage (Vyāsadeva); kṛte — having compiled; kim — what is; vā — the need; paraiḥ — others; īśvaraḥ — the Supreme Lord; sadyaḥ — at once; hṛdi — within the heart; avarudhyate — becomes compact; atra — herein; kṛtibhiḥ — by the pious men; śuśrūṣubhiḥ — by culture; tat-kṣaṇāt — without delay.
Completely rejecting all religious activities which are materially motivated, this Bhāgavata Purāṇa propounds the highest truth, which is understandable by those devotees who are fully pure in heart. The highest truth is reality distinguished from illusion for the welfare of all. Such truth uproots the threefold miseries. This beautiful Bhāgavatam, compiled by the great sage Vyāsadeva [in his maturity], is sufficient in itself for God realization. What is the need of any other scripture? As soon as one attentively and submissively hears the message of Bhāgavatam, by this culture of knowledge the Supreme Lord is established within his heart.
Religion includes four primary subjects, namely pious activities, economic development, satisfaction of the senses, and finally liberation from material bondage. Irreligious life is a barbarous condition. Indeed, human life begins when religion begins. Eating, sleeping, fearing, and mating are the four principles of animal life. These are common both to animals and to human beings. But religion is the extra function of the human being. Without religion, human life is no better than animal life. Therefore, in human societies there is some form of religion which aims at self-realization and which makes reference to man’s eternal relationship with God.
In the lower stages of human civilization, there is always competition to lord it over the material nature or, in other words, there is a continuous rivalry to satisfy the senses. Driven by such consciousness, man turns to religion. He thus performs pious activities or religious functions in order to gain something material. But if such material gains are obtainable in other ways, then so-called religion is neglected. This is the situation in modern civilization. Man is thriving economically, so at present he is not very interested in religion. Churches, mosques or temples are now practically vacant. Men are more interested in factories, shops, and cinemas than in religious places which were erected by their forefathers. This practically proves that religion is performed for some economic gains. Economic gains are needed for sense gratification. Often when one is baffled in the pursuit of sense gratification, he takes to salvation and tries to become one with the Supreme Lord. Consequently, all these states are simply different types of sense gratification.
In the Vedas, the above-mentioned four activities are prescribed in the regulative way so that there will not be any undue competition for sense gratification. But Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam is transcendental to all these sense gratificatory activities. It is purely transcendental literature which can be understood only by the pure devotees of the Lord who are transcendental to competitive sense gratification. In the material world there is keen competition between animal and animal, man and man, community and community, nation and nation. But the devotees of the Lord rise above such competitions. They do not compete with the materialist because they are on the path back to Godhead where life is eternal and blissful. Such transcendentalists are nonenvious and pure in heart. In the material world, everyone is envious of everyone else, and therefore there is competition. But the transcendental devotees of the Lord are not only free from material envy, but are well-wishers to everyone, and they strive to establish a competitionless society with God in the center. The contemporary socialist’s conception of a competitionless society is artificial because in the socialist state there is competition for the post of dictator. From the point of view of the Vedas or from the point of view of common human activities, sense gratification is the basis of material life. There are three paths mentioned in the Vedas. One involves fruitive activities to gain promotion to better planets. Another involves worshiping different demigods for promotion to the planets of the demigods, and another involves realizing the Absolute Truth and His impersonal feature and becoming one with Him.
The impersonal aspect of the Absolute Truth is not the highest. Above the impersonal feature is the Paramātmā feature, and above this is the personal feature of the Absolute Truth, or Bhagavān. Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam gives information about the Absolute Truth in His personal feature. It is higher than impersonalist literatures and higher than the jñāna-kāṇḍa division of the Vedas. It is even higher than the karma-kāṇḍa division, and even higher than the upāsanā-kāṇḍa division, because it recommends the worship of the Supreme Personality of Godhead, Lord Śrī Kṛṣṇa. In the karma-kāṇḍa, there is competition to reach heavenly planets for better sense gratification, and there is similar competition in the jñāna-kāṇḍa and the upāsanā-kāṇḍa. The Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam is superior to all of these because it aims at the Supreme Truth, which is the substance or the root of all categories. From Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam one can come to know the substance as well as the categories. The substance is the Absolute Truth, the Supreme Lord, and all emanations are relative forms of energy.
Nothing is apart from the substance, but at the same time the energies are different from the substance. This conception is not contradictory. Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam explicitly promulgates this simultaneously-one-and-different philosophy of the Vedānta-sūtra, which begins with the “janmādy asya” sūtra.
This knowledge that the energy of the Lord is simultaneously one with and different from the Lord is an answer to the mental speculators’ attempt to establish the energy as the Absolute. When this knowledge is factually understood, one sees the conceptions of monism and dualism to be imperfect. Development of this transcendental consciousness grounded in the conception of simultaneously-one-and-different leads one immediately to the stage of freedom from the threefold miseries. The threefold miseries are (1) those miseries which arise from the mind and body, (2) those miseries inflicted by other living beings, and (3) those miseries arising from natural catastrophes over which one has no control. Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam begins with the surrender of the devotee unto the Absolute Person. The devotee is fully aware that he is one with the Absolute and at the same time in the eternal position of servant to the Absolute. In the material conception, one falsely thinks himself the lord of all he surveys, and therefore he is always troubled by the threefold miseries of life. But as soon as one comes to know his real position as transcendental servant, he at once becomes free from all miseries. As long as the living entity is trying to master material nature, there is no possibility of his becoming servant of the Supreme. Service to the Lord is rendered in pure consciousness of one’s spiritual identity; by service one is immediately freed from material encumbrances.
Over and above this, Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam is a personal commentation on the Vedānta-sūtra by Śrī Vyāsadeva. It was written in the maturity of his spiritual life through the mercy of Nārada. Śrī Vyāsadeva is the authorized incarnation of Nārāyaṇa, the Personality of Godhead. Therefore, there is no question as to his authority. He is the author of all other Vedic literatures, yet he recommends the study of Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam above all others. In other Purāṇas there are different methods set forth by which one can worship the demigods. But in the Bhāgavatam only the Supreme Lord is mentioned. The Supreme Lord is the total body, and the demigods are the different parts of that body. Consequently, by worshiping the Supreme Lord, one does not need to worship the demigods. The Supreme Lord becomes fixed in the heart of the devotee immediately. Lord Caitanya Mahāprabhu has recommended the Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam as the spotless Purāṇa and distinguishes it from all other Purāṇas.
The proper method for receiving this transcendental message is to hear it submissively. A challenging attitude cannot help one realize this transcendental message. One particular word is used herein for proper guidance. This word is śuśrūṣu. One must be anxious to hear this transcendental message. The desire to sincerely hear is the first qualification.
Less fortunate persons are not at all interested in hearing this Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam. The process is simple, but the application is difficult. Unfortunate people find enough time to hear idle social and political conversations, but when invited to attend a meeting of devotees to hear Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam they suddenly become reluctant. Sometimes professional readers of the Bhāgavatam immediately plunge into the confidential topics of the pastimes of the Supreme Lord, which they seemingly interpret as sex literature. Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam is meant to be heard from the beginning. Those who are fit to assimilate this work are mentioned in this śloka: “One becomes qualified to hear Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam after many pious deeds.” The intelligent person, with thoughtful discretion, can be assured by the great sage Vyāsadeva that he can realize the Supreme Personality directly by hearing Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam. Without undergoing the different stages of realization set forth in the Vedas, one can be lifted immediately to the position of paramahaṁsa simply by agreeing to receive this message.
One Must Give Up All Kaitavo Dharma (Cheating Religion)
This literally means that when one becomes free from all material desires, then only his heart becomes purified, his heart becomes free from contamination and the grossest form of that contamination is envy. When one becomes detached or when one gives up all the desires for material enjoyment, then only one becomes free from envy and then only his heart becomes completely purified and then only he becomes eligible to understand the Supreme Personality of Godhead. Unless and until our heart is purified, we cannot possibly get to know Krishna or get to understand Krishna. We may practice, or we may chant the holy name and do devotional service but we won’t develop genuine Krishna consciousness or genuine love for Krishna and through that genuine love for Krishna alone one can understand Krishna.
That’s what has been explained vedyaṁ vāstavam atra vastu śivadaṁ: gets to recognize or gets to realize the reality. That is śivadaṁ means giver of peace and tranquility. This awareness of Supreme Personality of Godhead gives us peace of mind. Real peace of mind is attained only by Krishna consciousness and that is tāpa-trayonmūlanam- that uproots the threefold miseries. The threefold miseries are adhyatmika, adhidaivika and adhibautika. Adhyatmika miseries are the miseries caused by our body and mind. Miseries caused by other living entities are called Adhibautika. Miseries caused by the different controllers of material nature, the demigods are called Adidaivika. These are the threefold miseries and all living entities are actually suffering from these three fold miseries. Old or young, rich or poor everyone is suffering from these threefold miseries. That is the very basic state of material nature. Whoever is there is bound to suffer these threefold miseries. When one gets to know Krishna, then these threefold miseries are totally uprooted. Tāpa-trayonmūlanam, ūlanam means uprooted. Then these miseries become ineffective when one becomes devotee of Krishna. When one renders devotional service unto Krishna, when one becomes aware of Krishna as the Supreme Absolute Truth, then these threefold miseries are mitigated.
What is the basic criteria, basic requirement for that? Basic requirement for coming to this platform of recognizing Krishna, understanding Krishna and becoming free from all kind of material miseries is dharmaḥ projjhita-kaitavo ’tra: one must give up kaitavo dharma. Kaitavo dharma means cheating religion or false religion. The religion that apparently appears to be like religious activity but actually they are not. That has been described here as kaitavo dharma- cheating religion and what are those cheating religion? So called religious activities that are actually motivated by sense gratification. When you do something, apparently it appears to be like religion but we want our sense gratification out of those activities. They are actually activities prescribed in karma-kanda and jnana-kanda section of the Vedas.
Karma-kanda section of the Vedas describes how to act to fulfil our material desires. Different living entities have different desires. Some people want to be rich, some want to be wise, some want to have a beautiful wife, some want to be powerful and so and so forth. Karma-kanda actually gives us the prescription, how to fulfil those material desires and that is known as the karma-kanda section of the Vedas.
There is one more section known as jnana-kanda section or the knowledge section of Vedas. The ultimate consideration of this jnana-kanda section is liberation and it has been pointed out that liberation also is a kind of sense gratification. Desire for liberation is also a kind of sense gratification. Either we want to cater the demands of the senses or we want to be completely free from the demands of the senses. Now both are actually pertaining to the senses and that’s why both are sense gratification - to enjoy with our senses and then by realizing, that by means of our senses we are simply receiving pain and suffering. Then to be free from the suffering by means of liberation is also a kind of sense gratification.
Liberation - An Acute Form of Sense Gratification
Actually this has been described - it is the higher form or more intense form of sense gratification. Not higher but more acute form of sense gratification. Liberation is actually even more acute sense gratification. Why? Because through this process of liberation one wants to become one with God. This liberation is known as sayujya mukti. How many types of liberations are there? Five. Sāyujya, sārūpya, sālokya, sārṣṭi and sāmīpya. So there are five types of liberation. First four types of liberation are positive and sāyujya is considered negative. Why? In the sayujya mukti there is no awareness of Krishna. They want to become liberated but in that liberation they do not have any awareness of Krishna and why? That is because they lose their consciousness in sayujya mukti. They penetrates through the coverings of maya.
This material nature has eight coverings and a person aspiring to be liberated in this way, through sayujya mukti, by means of the spiritual austerities and penances, can penetrate through the covering of maya but then they come in contact with brahmajyoti and when they come in contact with glaring effulgence of brahmajyoti they lose their consciousness. It has been compared to somebody who has been in a dark room for very long time and all of a sudden if he is taken out and made to look at the midday sun. What will happen to his eye? He becomes blind. Now this material nature is dark, there is eternal darkness. Everybody here is in a region of darkness but all of a sudden if he is taken to the spiritual effulgence, taken out of this material nature and made to look at the glaring effulgence of Brahmajyoti, he will immediately become blind, he will lose all his consciousness. That is what actually happens with mayavadis and this is also described in this sloka:
Ye ’nye ’ravindākṣa vimukta-māninas
tvayy asta-bhāvād aviśuddha-buddhayaḥ
āruhya kṛcchreṇa paraṁ padaṁ tataḥ
patanty adho ’nādṛta-yuṣmad-aṅghrayaḥ (SB 10.2.32)
When somebody by the means of austerity and penances elevated themselves to paraṁ padaṁ : the spiritual nature, they fall down because they disregarded the lotus feet of Krishna. So that is the condition of mayavadis. That is why it is considered that sayujya mukti is negative.
More graphically we can describe it like this. This material nature is like a prison house and everyone in this material nature is imprisoned in this prison house. If somebody wants to get out from this prison house, he can actually get out by two different means, either he can scale the walls of the prison house, run away or dig a tunnel, or somehow or other run away. This running away from the prison is not positive. It’s actually negative. Although he is outside of the prison, although he managed to get out of the prison but still he is not free. The police will be after him, he will have to run. He has to hide in all kind of strange places and when police catch him then his sentence will be more severe.
This is the negative freedom. But there is positive way to get out of it. The positive way is that the person recognizes his mistake, he realizes why he has been imprisoned and he realizes that he disregarded the law of the king and then he appeals to the king that “I made a mistake, I broke your law, now I realize that I made a mistake and I give my word of honour and I take a vow that I will never ever break your law. I will just become a law abiding citizen in your country.” Then the king may release him. Then the king will say: “Ok let see if first he really meant it.” The king will inform the warden of the prison. He is asked to watch this person if there is any change in his nature and if the report is good the person may be released from the prison. The king may send the order “Now release him, his consciousness has been rectified, he has become submissive and law abiding.”
In the same way we are in this material nature, which is like a prison house. We all are prisoners and the cause of our prison is that we broke the laws of the king of the kings. We disregarded Krishna’s law and that is why we a have fallen in the prison house of material nature and in this prison house like in any other prison, we are being punished constantly. Prisoners are put in prison to get punished in order to rectify their consciousness. Their consciousness has been perverted, their consciousness has become defected and that’s why they are being punished now to rectify their consciousness. Now we are also in same condition. We broke the law of Krishna. That's why we have fallen into this material nature and in this material nature we all are suffering constantly. Now when some intelligent person or fortunate person becomes aware of this fact that he is actually suffering, then he tries to get rid of the suffering.
He tries to become free from the suffering. And if he does not come into contact with a proper teacher or bonafide Guru, if he is misled by some misconception, then he may think, “I am in this material nature and because of my being in this material nature, I am suffering. So by hook or cook, somehow or other, let me get out of this material nature.” and he tries to get out of this material nature by some unnatural means like digging a tunnel through the prison or scaling the wall, climbing the wall. It is very strenuous or troublesome to run away from the prison house like that.
In the same way to get out of this material nature that way also is very difficult. If somebody tries to get out of this material world by penetrating through the coverings of maya, it is very difficult. That's why Krishna says in Bhagavad Gita:
daivī hy eṣā guṇa-mayī,
mama māyā duratyayā (BG 7.14)
It is impossible to surmount this maya and if somebody does by chance or by dint of his own, very severe, hard endeavour, then what happens? He gets out of material nature and apparently he becomes liberated but actually it is even worse than being in the material nature. First of all the situation is not permanent. To be situated in brahmajyoti is not a permanent situation. He is going to fall down again and when he falls down or when he is pulled back to this material nature then his punishment is going to become even more severe.
Devotees – Already Liberated Souls
So that's why this liberation sayujya has been considered as a negative liberation but other four are positive. They are: Samipya means to be close to the Lord- by which liberation one comes closer or one gets the chance to associate with the Lord. Salokya means to be in the same planet with the Lord, to be in Vaikuntha. All these liberations are Vaikuntha liberation. Sarupya means to have same form as the Lord and Sarsti means to have the opulence as the Lord himself. These are four positive liberations but the wonderful thing is that a devotee doesn't even want these liberations. Why? Especially in the line of Chaitanya Mahaprabhu devotees don't want this liberation because devotees are already liberated. So the first thing is devotees are already close to the Lord, isn’t it? They are in the temple, the Lord is there. So they very close to the Lord. They are offering service to the Lord. They are dependent upon the Lord. That's why devotees don't really separately aspire for His association. Devotees simply want devotional service. Beyond that they don't want anything.
Regarding that, there is a very nice example. I hope all of you have read Chaitanya Charitamrita. There is an incidence - Chaitanya Mahaprabhu was travelling to South India after He took sannyasa. He was travelling through South India. In South India there is a place called Udupi and that is the place of Madhvacharya’s followers. So there, some of the Madhvacharya’s followers are called tattvavadis. They were very much involved in all kind of rituals. When Mahaprabhu arrived there in Udupi these people did not take Chaitanya Mahaprabhu very seriously because they saw this man is a sannyasi but his behaviour is not like a Sannyasi, he is not grave, he is not into the rituals and so and so forth. He does not even study so much, he simply chants and dances. Apparently he seems to be very frivolous. They became negative about Chaitanya Mahaprabhu. Chaitanya Mahaprabhu had a very unique way of winning people over. Chaitanya Mahaprabhu had a discussion with their Acharyas and He told them to bless Him and told them, “Why don’t you give me some instructions? After all I am just a young sanyasi. You are so learned. You are such wise men. Please give us some instructions.” Then he started to describe these tattvas and he told Chaitanya Mahaprabhu that liberation is the ultimate goal of life. Chaitanya Mahaprabhu wanted to teach him with the philosophy and this man instructed that liberation is the ultimate goal. Chaitanya Mahaprabhu quoted from Srimad Bhagavatam and some other scriptures. He said: “If liberation is offered to the devotees, devotees do not accept it.”
dīyamānaṁ na gṛhṇanti
vinā mat-sevanaṁ janāḥ( SB 3.29.13)
Krishna himself is telling, “dīyamānaṁ”- even if it is offered “ca” although , “na gṛhṇanti” devotees do not accept -vinā mat-sevanaṁ janāḥ. So my devotees do not want even liberation, do not offer this to them because they don't want anything besides my service.
Liberation Personified Waits to Serve the Devotee
Another sloka Mahaprabhu quoted from Krishna Karanamrita. This sloka says: “Mukti mukutanjali sevataya asmin.” Mukti means liberation personified (Mukti Devi). Mukti(liberation) with folded hands prays to the devotees, “Please engage me in your service. Let me do something for you.” So we can see the liberation is eagerly waiting to serve the devotees. That means devotees do not surrender to liberation. On the other hand liberation is eagerly waiting to receive the mercy of a devotee.
When Mahaprabhu quoted this sloka that this became very clear to the Acharayas and they asked him to be seated. They realized that the devotees don't want liberation. There is no need to aspire for liberation separately. Liberation has been already attained by a devotee.
Kaitava Dharma – The Religion of Sense Gratification
I will go back to the same point dharmaḥ projjhita-kaitavo ’tra : Dharma means religion, kaitavo means cheating or false. Now what is the false religion? False religion means the religion that is motivated by sense gratification. Some people worship Krishna. Apparently it seems that he is very religious person, but at the back of his mind he prays to Krishna, “Please give me lot of money, please make me famous or please give me nice children.”
Recently we were discussing in the Srimad Bhagavatam class how the demigods are praying to Krishna. Through their prayers we could see how demigods are not pure devotees. And why we do not consider demigods to be pure devotees? Because they are motivated by the material desires. They worship Krishna but it is motivated by material desires. What they praying to Krishna for, “O Krishna, Vritra has driven us out of our kingdom, we lost everything. Please come and kill Vritra.” That is the prayer. Although, before that they are glorifying Krishna with all kinds of beautiful prayers, “O my Supreme Lord, you are the source of all creation. By your inconceivable potency everything is maintained.” So many wonderful prayers and ultimately they say, “Vritra has driven us out of our kingdom, so you please kill Vritra, so that we can enjoy in our kingdom.” This is karma-kanda. Demigods are actually the karma-kandis or refined karma-kandis. So in this way, demigods are not pure devotees or anybody who has any desire to enjoy this material nature is not a pure devotee. A pure devotee is a person who is not at all motivated by sense gratification and he does not desire anything but pleasing Krishna.
Dharma of the Soul – To Love Krishna
The word dharma means the inherent quality of a substance, like fire is a substance and what are the inherent qualities of fire? Wherever there is fire, there is heat, also there is light. Can you imagine fire without heat and light? No. If there is fire, then actually it is not fire, like firefly gives out light. What do we call it, fire? No, because there is no heat. The burning ability to burn is the dharma of fire. Another way to look at it is electricity. Apparently it does not show the light and heat but when the electricity pass through some substance, then it burns like a thunderbolt. When a thunderbolt falls at somebody's head, what happens? He will immediately burn, the whole body becomes black. I haven’t seen it but I have heard that when a thunderbolt hits you, the body burns because the thunderbolt is actually electricity and electricity is subtle fire. Fire has a burning ability and that is the inherent quality of fire- light and heat or the ability to burn.
Now what is the inherent quality of water? Liquidity is the inherent quality of water. When the water becomes solid, it does become solid, isn't it? When it remains solid, do we call it water? No, we call it ice. When the water becomes evaporated, it is steam, it is not water any longer. As you taste the water if you are very thirsty and somebody offers you steam, will you get the taste of water or if somebody gives you a cube of ice? No, only when the ice is melted and the steam has become condensed, then only it can quench your thirst. This way every substance has a certain inherent quality and spirit soul is a spiritual substance and what is the inherent quality of the spirit soul? To love God and that is the dharma of the spirit soul. Unless and until a spirit soul becomes engaged in this dharma, the spirit soul is not satisfied and can never be satisfied. Spirit soul tries to do so many things. Did you try so many things to enjoy, do you become satisfied? Why does a soul become engage in the service of Krishna? Well you can get unlimited service.
Material Service Brings Never ending Unhappiness
You know the story of that ghost. A ghost came and told somebody that I want to serve you. Whatever you want I will get for you, but on one condition that you have to always keep me busy. So the man agreed, “It's wonderful, I will give you enough service.” Then he said, “You build a palace for me.” The ghost immediately built a palace for him. Then he said, “Now you bring a lot of money for me.” The ghost immediately brought lots of money. The ghost said, “If you desire something I will immediately bring it to you.” Then he didn't have any more service to offer to the ghost and ghost actually told him that if you can't offer me any service I will break your neck. So the man got really worried now the ghost has come and he does not have any service to be given. There was a pole, long huge pole. The ghost came and asked for some service. The man said, “Ok you climb up the pole, and then climb down the pole, then climb up the pole and this is your next service. You climb up and up to the top, then climb down and down to the bottom.” So then the ghost got an endless service.
Now if you do that since your tendency is to be engaged in unlimited service. You can become engaged in such unlimited services, climbing up the pole and climbing down the pole but will you be happy? Will you be satisfied? Material world people are engaged in so many services, are they happy, and are they satisfied? Unless and until a person begins to love God, he cannot become satisfied and why? Because that is the inherent desire of a living entity. So unless and until he becomes engaged or he becomes situated in his inherent propensity, he cannot be satisfied because then he is in an unnatural state. Only when he is situated in his constitutional position or only when he is engaged in his inherent propensity, then only he becomes situated in his constitutional position. That means satisfaction.
What do we actually want? Love for Krishna!
The way Prabhupada told us, he gave us example of a fish out of water. When the fish is on the land you may offer him all the facilities of the land, will the fish be happy? But when you put the fish back into water, then immediately it becomes happy. So the same way we are in a foreign place. We actually belong to spiritual nature. Spirit soul is the spiritual substance. So it belongs to the spiritual nature but this material nature is a foreign place. So that’s why in material nature although we are getting so many facilities - you have your houses, you have your cars, you have money, you have your plans and so and so forth, but still you are not happy, why? Because what you actually want is not available here and what you actually want is love of Krishna. So that’s why the inherent quality of a living entity is to love Krishna and that is the dharma of a living entity. The dharma of the spirit soul is to love Krishna but not only love Krishna we have to get to know Krishna. That is why our endeavour is to know Krishna through associating with the devotees, coming in contact with the spiritual master and studying the scriptures and as we get to know Krishna, the more we develop our love for Him. So that is the real dharma and any other activity besides that is called kaitava dharma (cheating religion). When one gives up this cheating religion and become situated in his original religion, dharma then he is (inaudible).
Although in the beginning we may desire to be engaged in a particular service but that is due to our lack of advancement. When a person becomes really advance and when he becomes really pure then he simply depends on Krishna. Whatever service Krishna would like him to do or Krishna’s representative would like him to do. He depends on Krishna or Krishna’s representative for being engaged in service. But if we say, “I will only render that service and not that service.” That is not the sign of advancement. Mother loves her child. If the mother says, “I will only feed my child and I will not clean the stool of the child”. The mother does both the service with equal love because she loves the child. So when we love Krishna then we would like to do anything that would please Him.
The Cure for Krishna’s Headache – Dust from the Feet of His Devotees
The example is when once Krishna had a headache and Narada Muni asked Krishna how the headache could be relieved. And what did Krishna tell him? “Get the dust of my devotees. If I put that dust on my head that alone can relieve me of my headache.” And Narada Muni went all over the universe looking for the dust of some devotees’ feet and everyone said, “How can we give the dust of our feet?” Narada Muni said, “Please, Krishna has got a terrible headache and Krishna’s medicine is the dust of His devotees’ feet. You are such a great devotee. Please give me some dust from your feet.” And that person’s response immediately was “How can I offer the dust of my feet to Krishna, I will go to hell if I do that. Please I can’t offer this to Krishna. You go to somebody else.” In all the fourteen worlds Narada Muni could not find single one who could voluntarily offer dust from his feet.
Then Narada Muni came to Vrindavana and the Gopis saw Narada Muni and asked, “O Naradamuni, how are you doing?” Narada said, “I am doing fine but Krishna is not doing well. He has a terrible headache.” Gopis asked, “How can He be relieved of His headache?” Narada Muni said, “He needs some dust from the feet of His devotee. I went over all the fourteen planetary systems but couldn’t find a single one who would voluntarily be willing to give the dust.” The Gopis said, “I don’t know whether we’re devotees of Krishna or not but you can take the dust of our feet, if that relieves Krishna’s headache, then we don’t mind giving it. Narada said, “Do you know if Krishna puts dust of your feet on his head then what will happen to you? You will go to hell, for so many lifetimes, so many Kalpas.” The Gopi said, “It doesn’t really matter, Krishna’s headache will be relieved. That’s what matters to us. For how many Kalpas we go to heaven is no consideration to us.” That is the mood of a devotee. They will undergo any situation or any curse or any difficulty, just in order to please Krishna. So advanced and pure devotees would accept service without such kind of consideration whether he likes it or not. He does not even bother about it. The way the mother doesn’t care. The mother is not bothered about - although she doesn’t like to touch the stool but cleaning the stool of the child she doesn’t mind. That’s what actually love is.
Questions & Answers
HHBCS: A very nice question. That has been very nicely answered by the Goswamis.
That sloka which I mentioned:
āruhya kṛcchreṇa paraṁ padaṁ tataḥ
patanty adho ’nādṛta-yuṣmad-aṅghrayaḥ
means falls down because they have disregarded the lotus feet of Krishna. That has been explained as the gate of Vaikuntha is guarded by Lord Shiva. And Lord Shiva has a trident in his hand. And when somebody tries to trespass into Vaikuntha - paraṁ padaṁ tataḥ means supreme position- if some demon wants to take over Krishna’s (Vishnu’s) position in Vaikuntha and tries to trespass Vaikuntha, and they are not qualified (because the qualification to enter into Vaikuntha is that one must be surrendered to Krishna but they are not surrendered to Krishna, still they want to enter into Vaikuntha), Lord Shiva hurls his trident and being hit by the trident this soul becomes unconscious and fall down and they become unconscious like stone, at the most they become a piece of diamond and sapphire and they give out a little light, and think aham brahma asmi: I have become brahma now.
HHBCS: Durvasa was a devotee but not a pure devotee. He knew Krishna, he knew Vishnu and Vishnu’s Supreme position and that’s why he went to Vishnu to take shelter. He was not an impersonalist or a mayavadi. The worst kind of impersonalist are actually mayavadis. Durvasa was actually a sage. He performed great austerity and he is actually an incarnation of Lord Shiva. He was born with the potency of Lord Shiva.
HHBCS: Yes, they can become. One can fall in love just by a very insignificant impetus. Apparently it is a very insignificant impetus like if we talk about the fragrance of Tulsi. We don’t even get inspired by Krishna consciousness smelling the most fragrant perfume that may have been offered to Krishna’s Lotus feet. The thing is that fragrance reminded them of Krishna Supreme position and that’s how they become attracted to Krishna.
Some souls are very pure. With the slightest motivation or provocation they become attracted to Krishna and more advanced one is when easily attracted to Krishna. Like Rukmini - she didn’t even see Krishna. She only heard about Krishna and fell in love with Krishna. Whereas Duryodhana even in spite seeing Krishna, what to talk about seeing, he saw that Krishna killed Shishupal by His disc. He could see immediately, He is the Supreme Personality of Godhead. Not only that he heard Krishna’s pastimes from His childhood, how He killed Putana when he was three years old, lifted Govardhana, He killed Trinavarta, He killed Agasura, Bakasura, Kamsa.
Krishna killed so many big demons in his very childhood and then he saw in front of his eyes that his big friend Shishupal was killed by His disc and that was a sure indication that it is the disc of Lord Narayana but still he would not surrender to Krishna.
We don’t have to go very far look at ourselves, for so many years we have been practicing Krishna consciousness. Prabhupada has given us so many books. We read them but still our heart is so hard that we do not develop love for Krishna. We may think that when we see Krishna face to face, then we develop our love, forget it. If you did not develop your love as it is even in spite of seeing Krishna, you won’t develop it.
There is another nice story. One old lady was collecting some food in the forest. She was old and the bundle of log was heavy on her head. So it fell off her head and she just called out, “O Krishna!” Krishna immediately came there said’ “You called me what can I do for you?” The lady said, “Look I drop that bundle of log, so can you please help to put it back on my head.” Well in a way it’s not so bad. She did not actually deserve something unnecessarily from Krishna. She was just concerned about her immediate need. That’s a nice indication. At the same time you can see how foolish it is to just ask Krishna for such an insignificant thing. She saw Krishna, but she did not know who this person is, what His abilities are. If she knew, she could have told him, “O Krishna, please take me back to Godhead or make me your devotee because being a devotee means being going back home, back to Godhead.
A devotee may even be in hell, but still he is in Vaikuntha. He is in Vrindavana. Actually the western countries are hell. The citizens in the west are hellish. Maya is so strong but devotees don't mind. They are preaching Krishna consciousness in excessiveness. Even India is becoming hellish now. Calcutta is hellish, Delhi, Mumbai etc. All big cities are hellish. Villages have little bit of sanity still left but the cities are insane.
All Glories to Srila Prabhupada!
Gaur premanande Hari Hari Bol!