- God’s elder brother,
- Srila Prabhupada Appreciation; and
- Guru Maharaja’s instructions.
GOD’S ELDER BROTHER?
Who is Lord Balarama?
Lord Balarama is the elder brother of the Supreme Personality of Godhead. Balarama actually renders service to Krishna. Although Balarama is Krishna’s expansion, Balarama is the source of all the service to Krishna and any paraphernalia that is used in serving Krishna that is actually an expansion of Krishna. When you offer aartik, those paraphernalia are actually expansions of Balarama; the camara, the bell, the lamp they are expansions of Balarama. So anything that is used in serving Krishna even this singhasan is an expansion of Balarama. The throne where Krishna is situated is an expansion of Balarama. Krishna’s bed Ananta Sesa is an expansion of Balarama. Everything that is used in rendering devotional service to Krishna is actually an expansion of Balarama. It is a very profound realisation of the absolute truth so unless and until one has the basic knowledge it is difficult to understand. Unfortunately just in one meeting it is not possible to explain the science of the Supreme Personality of Godhead, the Absolute Truth to the fullest extent so that is why we always request people to read books. We have many books to reveal our philosophy or establish our points that after all we are not blindly following certain dogmatic process. We are not blind followers, we are following the highest philosophy that has been founded by the Supreme Personality of Godhead Himself and thus we are following the Absolute Truth. There is no room for imagination and mental speculation or any kind of concoction. This knowledge that we are practising is flowing in the disciplic succession, guru parampara and the Supreme Personality of Godhead is the original guru and then He imparted the knowledge unto the first created being on this universe Brahma and Brahma gave the knowledge to his son Narada, Narada gave this knowledge to Vyasadeva (the compiler of the entire Vedas) who simplified the Vedas for people of this age of Kali. In this way the knowledge is flowing in a bona fide disciplic succession. The support of this knowledge is the scriptures and whatever we follow, preach and propagate is based on those scriptures. We never say anything just out of our mental concoction. Whatever we say is supported by the scriptures so that’s why it is so authentic and appealing especially to the intelligent class of people.
In one way I was saying that it is completely baffling to a layman especially a man from the West who is not very familiar with the spiritual culture. When we say that today is the appearance day of God’s elder brother it is baffling but still we see that intelligent class of people are joining this movement and celebrating the birthday of the Lord’s elder brother. It shows that it is not a blind, superstitious ritual. This is a practice of the Absolute Truth. One thing we can very very boldly announce that if anybody gives us a chance to preach to him for 7 days and if he listens to us we can guarantee that he is going to become a devotee of the Lord. When we say Krishna we mean God. When we say God it is not a Hindu God or Muslim God or Christian God and so and so forth or an Indian God or Russian God or Chinese God. GOD IS GOD! He is one without any second, He is the Supreme Personality. Although He is one He has innumerable names according to His innumerable pastimes and qualities even in English also we notice God is addressed as Almighty, Omnipotent and these are names of God. Since God is all powerful that is why He is Almighty or Omnipotent. The same way God is all cognisant that is why another name of God is Omniscient. So the same way in Sanskrit God’s different attributes and qualities have been analysed in different names. Krishna in Sanskrit means all attractive. God is all attractive that is why He is Krishna. It is not that when you call him Krishna He’s one personality and when we call Him Jehovah He becomes another personality. A self-realised person who knows God he will see that Krishna and any other name of the Lord is addressing the same personality. Although the Supreme Personality of Godhead is one without any second and although there is no one equal to Him or superior to Him that is another attribute of the Lord in Sanskrit He has been described as Asama one who does not have an equal. There is no one superior or equal to the Lord. Although He is one without a second but still expands Himself into innumerable forms and although He expands Himself in innumerable forms He still remains the original Supreme Personality. He expands with His inconceivable potency but still He remains the same personality it is not that His expansions are different from Him His expansions are identical to Him. Krishna is God and Narayana is also God. Now Krishna and Narayan are non-different; Krishna and Vishnu are non-different; Krishna and Rama are non-different; Krishna and Varaha or Kurma or Nrsinghadev or Vamana they are non-different. It is one personality that expands Himself into many different forms. From a material point of view it seems to be impossible or imaginary but even from our material perspective we can understand by some examples even from the material platform one man can have different features or appearances. Let us consider s high court judge, when he is in the court he is the judge and everybody is looking at him with great awe and reverence and he is addressed as “My Lord” then when this same person goes to the club then he is just a so and so with his friends and there he is dealing with others in an equal platform and then when that same person goes home then someone is his son and someone is his wife and someone is his daughter and someone is his mother and so and so forth. Now the same person in high court appears to be one and in the club appears to be in another form and at home in another form. Although He expands Himself His potency does not deteriorate. If in the material platform we can see different individuals have different features although he is the same personality so what to talk about the Supreme Personality of Godhead who has inconceivable potency and who can do whatever He wants. So when God wants He can expand Himself into innumerable forms it is possible for Him. Although the Lord is the Supreme Personality of Godhead and He expands Himself in innumerable forms with equal potency but still He remains the original personality. Govindam Adi Purusham. Now in the material platform it is impossible to understand that how a person can expand himself into innumerable forms but still he can remain the same because in the material platform when we see when you take something away from something it diminishes and when you add something to something it increases but on the spiritual platform this is the absolute platform.
In the absolute platform everything is absolute, like the Supreme Personality of Godhead is absolute; His expansions are absolute; His nature is absolute; His paraphernalia is absolute; His pastimes are absolute; His name is absolute; everything is absolute. It is inconceivable because from the material platform we cannot conceive the spiritual nature but in mathematics we find something that actually defines the spiritual nature. In mathematics there is a concept infinity, now when you take something away from infinity it remains infinity and when you multiply something by infinity it remains infinity. Although in mathematics they are using this expression where no mathematical law ultimately applies. Even the greatest mathematician does not know what this infinity actually is. Their concept is that beyond this nature at a certain point all the laws of mathematics do not apply and that is infinity. Actually from our point of view this infinity is the Absolute and this infinity is God. God is multiplied into different forms but still He remains that Supreme Personality of Godhead. So that is the Supreme Personality of Godhead with His inconceivable potency He remains unchanging and eternally the same. The Supreme Personality of Godhead expands Himself at first as Balarama and when the Lord appears in this material nature to perform His pastimes He does so in order to attract the living entities. We have rejected the Supreme Personality of Godhead and that is why we have fallen in this material nature and we are suffering. God who is our Supreme father or dear most friend or dear most lover, He never rejects us although we have forgotten and rejected Him but He did not reject or forget us. We leave Him but He goes wherever we go and that is why the Lord is present in everybody’s heart in the form of Paramatma, supersoul. Krishna is telling Arjuna in Bhagavat Gita “I as the super soul am present in everybody’s heart.” The Supreme Personality of Godhead is present in everybody’s heart and He is waiting for the living entity to turn his face towards Him. Rejecting God we all are suffering but the way to get rid of this miserable condition is to surrender to the Lord or establish our lost relationship with the Lord. When we re-establish our relationship with the Lord then immediately we become joyful. I will repeat the same point there is no question of a Hindu God, Muslim God or a Christian God and so on and so forth. GOD IS GOD! Religion actually means the process to establish our relationship with the Lord. It is not that different religions have different Gods or are showing different ways to approach God, NO. There is ONE God and the way to approach Him is also ONE so in that respect there is ONE religion. Unfortunately less intelligent people have made all kinds of discriminations and have imposed all kinds of sectarian concepts on religious processes which have caused a lot of damage to this world and which is completely bewildering innocent people. Real religion is One and the aim is to take everyone back to Godhead, help everyone establish a loving relationship with the Lord that is THE religion and must be followed by everyone and if we do there won’t be any misconception of religion. Nowadays different kinds of religion are simply causing disparity.
SRILA PRABHUPADA APPRECIATION
This society that was propagated by Srila Prabhupada is the International Society for Krishna Consciousness it is not International society for Bhaktivedanta or Prabhupada consciousness, it is International Society for Krishna Consciousness. Prabhupada never presented himself as the centre point. Prabhupada always presented Krishna, for many many years even today what to talk of the western world even in India some do not know that this International Society for Krishna Consciousness was established by A C Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada. Prabhupada always remained in the background and he put Krishna in the front. Prabhupada simply presented Krishna as the Supreme Personality of Godhead and that is why it worked.
GURU MAHARAJA’S INSTRUCTIONS
Hena nitai bine bhai radha Krishna paite nai. Without Nityananda prabhu one cannot approach RadhaKrishna. Without the sanction of Balarama one cannot approach RadhaKrishna because our original shelter is Balarama so we have to go back to our original shelter in the spiritual sky. Balarama is the source of all the living entities. By Balarama’s mercy we are engaged in devotional service to Krishna.
(The content of this E-magazine is based on a lecture given by HH Bhakti Charu Swami Maharaja in Zurich on 19 August 1986, the appearance day of Lord Balarama)
(Compiled and edited by Hemavati Radhika dasi)