Sao Paulo, Brazil, December 11, 2000, pm
Shrila Bhakti Vedanta Narayana Maharaj
Today is the last day, and then we will proceed to Rio. We will be there for about three days. I'm very happy that so many devotees are here, and so many took initiation. So much my heartly blessings to you, your wife.
[Madhava Maharaja:] Sudarananda.
[Shrila Narayana Maharaja:] Sudarananda Prabhu, his wife.
[Brajanatha dasa:] Ramesh.
[Shrila Narayana Maharaja:] Ramesh Prabhu, all, that we could all come.
[Devotee:] Satyaraja Prabhu.
[Shrila Narayana Maharaja:] Satyaraja Prabhu, yes. And all, to help me in my preaching.
[Devotee:] Kunja Bihari.
[Shrila Narayana Maharaja:] I know that he's the root cause of my coming to Brazil.
[Govinda Bhakata dasa:] Kunja Bihari Prabhu ki jaya!
[Shrila Narayana Maharaja:] He invited me to come.
[Due to tape problem, the following has not been checked with the tape.]
[Shrila Narayana Maharaja:] Anyhow I'm happy that I'm carrying the order of my siksa guru, Shrila Bhaktivedanta Svami Maharaja. As he requested and ordered me, I followed. I'm very happy that I'm following his order, helping so many. Not only new ones, but also the disciples, the senior disciples of Svamiji. I'm helping them also. This is my main object to come here or to go anywhere in western countries. And by the causeless mercy of my siksa and diksa guru I'm successful in this. I know very well that so many obstructions are coming, that some are directly warning devotees not to attend my classes. But even still sincere devotees, those who want to advance in Krishna consciousness, they are coming. A real guru, bona fide guru cannot tell like this, that don't go to higher class of devotee. That is why I'm telling that they are making offence to their guru also and to other vaisnavas. Like Kamsa, Jarasandha, Duryodhana, they were warning all that don't go in the side of Krishna and Pandavas. But sincere devotees were never stopped, they went in Krishna's side and side of Pandavas. But I'm not disturbed, not worried. Whatever they may do. They are my, like god-brothers and children. Due to ignorance they are doing so. So I don't worry. I'm very humble and sympathetic to them. I want their welfare and good. I never took their offences, an ignorant baby can pull the father's hair, and he make the stool in the lap of his mother, but the parents are never angry because of this. So I don't take offence, but I pray also to Krishna that He should also be merciful to them. Otherwise He may take offence.
Now I want to request you all, that what I have given in my classes, what I have given in my classes, they should follow very strictly and boldly. Even in dreams they should not give up, but be very strong in Krishna consciousness, like tigers, like Brazilian tigers. Now some devotees are coming, initiated, they are coming.
[Break in class while names of new initiates are given.]
Now we come to the point. We told yesterday that any process, any sadhana, that what we are doing is not sadhana if it is not for attaining rati or bhava. So the object of our sadhana should be to attain rati. If you are chanting, remembering, reading books, but you have no object for attaining rati, then it is a semblance of sadhana, not pure sadhana. So we explained that rati. Now how we can achieve these kinds of rati? We should start from shraddha:
adau shraddha tatah sadhu-
sango 'tha bhajana-kriya
tato 'nartha-nivrttih syat
tato nistha rucis tatah
athasaktis tato bhavas
sadhakanam ayam premnah
pradurbhave bhavet kramah
(Chaitanya-charitamrita, Madhya-lila, 23.14-15)
["In the beginning there must be faith. Then one becomes interested in associating with pure devotees. Thereafter one is initiated by the spiritual master and executes the regulative principles under his orders. Thus one is freed from all unwanted habits and becomes firmly fixed in devotional service. Thereafter, one develops taste and attachment. This is the way of sadhana-bhakti, the execution of devotional service according to the regulative principles. Gradually emotions intensify, and finally there is an awakening of love. This is the gradual development of love of Godhead for the devotee interested in Krishna consciousness." (BBT)]
So adau shraddha. What is shraddha? Can you define? What faith?
[Devotee:] Faith that you will achieve Krishna. Faith in the process.
[Shrila Narayana Maharaja:] No
[Another Devotee:] Faith in sadhu, sastra and guru.
[Shrila Narayana Maharaja:] Not full.
[Another Devotee:] Smallest particle
[Shrila Narayana Maharaja:] You should define.
[Govinda Bhakata dasa:] It has been explained.
[Shrila Narayana Maharaja:] You should hear patiently and try to judge yourself whether this transcendental shraddha is in you or not. And if not then try to practice it
[Govinda Bhakata dasa:] Shrila Krishnadasa Kaviraja has explained in Chaitanya-charitamrita that the word shraddha means that one has a firm and unflinching conviction, that all I have to do is engage in Krishna bhakti. To render unflinching one pointed service to guru. And by this one pointed devotional service, then I have no other obligations. Then I have no other obligations to relatives, society, I have no other obligations to demigods, I don't have to perform any other extraneous activity. That just by this one determination by this one pointed devotional service, then all other obligations are completely fulfilled. By this determination one serves only Krishna, and because Krishna is the root of all existence, and by serving Him, all the branches are satisfied.
[Shrila Narayana Maharaja:] Now I think that you have some idea, but you should know more. These are outer symptoms. To have strong faith in words of Hari, guru, and vaisnava, this is also outer symptom. Especially in the words of guru and qualified vaisnava and sastra varga. But this is also outer symptom. What is the inner? What is the constitutional form of this shraddha? It is given by guru or vaisnava and that is, a desire to serve Krishna. Again you should hear. A desire to serve Krishna, this is the internal constitutional form of bhakti, of shraddha. When a strong desire comes in the heart of a devotees from any qualified vaisnava, and from the mercy of Krishna and guru, that I should serve Krishna. If anyone cuts me in pieces, I will not give up chanting, remembering, worshipping of Krishna. So he will be like Haridasa Thakura, even beaten in twenty-two markets, but he can never give up chanting. Also you can see Prahlada Maharaja, he was poisoned, he was given so many things, but he never stopped his remembering Krishna.
Don't sleep, sit like me, not like this.
[Shrila Narayana Maharaja slumps over indicating how some devotees are sitting.]
[Shrila Narayana Maharaja:] Sit very strong, and with your eyes like this.
[Shrila Narayana Maharaja opens his eyes wide.]
[Shrila Narayana Maharaja:] Anyone sleeping I must see them. So I want that you should sit like this.
[Shrila Narayana Maharaja indicates someone sitting straight & attentive.]
[Shrila Narayana Maharaja:] I'm more than 80 years and I'm sitting like this [upright], and you
[Shrila Narayana Maharaja again indicates how some devotees are sitting.]
[Shrila Narayana Maharaja:] Then? What I was telling?
Now you should judge yourself in your heart, keeping your hand here [Maharaja puts his hand on his heart] that is my shraddha transcendental? Or unreal? Or this mortal, material thing? Are you ready to give up your life for Krishna and guru and vaisnavas? Really? If you are really, then this real shraddha, transcendental shraddha is there. Oh, I think that if I will have a barometer to put in your heart and then to see, then all will fail. Only some rare will be qualified. I want that you should have this real and transcendental shraddha. I've come to inject for this. Always be ready to give up your life for the service of, for the benefit of Krishna and his devotees.
You know there was a devotee, disciple of Shrila Bhaktisiddhanta Sarasvati Thakura, who jumped in the face of death. He took the garments of his gurudeva, and he changed the dress of his gurudeva, because his gurudeva was at that time in danger, so many were wanting to kill him. And thus he kept an example of what is called guru-seva. And who is he? The sannyasa guru of Shrila Bhaktivedanta Svami Maharaja, and my diksa-guru. That is Shrila Bhakti Prajnana Kesava Gosvami Maharaja. At that time there were so many disciples of Bhaktisiddhanta Sarasvati Thakura, but all ran away, keeping their feet on their heads. What I told in the last? Keeping their feet on their heads? That they ran away, forgetting that 'where is Prabhupada', but only this one disciple remembered.
So we should try to be like this. Otherwise any difficulty is coming and at once you can change your guru, or you can give up chanting and remembering. You may be Christian also. This is very bad, no shraddha at all. Like western people, changing, divorcing, divorcing first, second, third, fourth, fifth, even twenty-six times. They are going for record in Guinness book. Here also I have noticed. Here I noticed one Prabhu changed his guru so many times. He also came to me and told that, "I want initiation." I told him that when he's unsatisfied he will also change me. He wanted to take ekadasa-bhava. I know that he's not qualified for this. I know that that guru and that disciple are not qualified also, not qualified for taking ekadasa-bhava.
All are making so much offences to Krishna. This is guru-aparadha, vaisnava-aparadha, nama-aparadha. We should avoid. Even I know they have changed their guru, Shrila Bhaktivedanta Svami Maharaja. And for this offence, Krishna will have to manage a new, special hell for them. So they are going to hell even. So you should not be like.
So this transcendental faith should come in the words of guru, in the words of Krishna, in the words of epics. Also in constitutional, the desire to serve Krishna, this should be there also. If you are so bold, then Krishna will help you, guru will inspire, always they will help. And if you are doing like so, then gradually nistha will come. What is nistha? And what is anistha? We should try to know. And then try to come from anisthita-bhakti to nisthita-bhakti. I know you are not qualified yet to be in nisthita-bhakti. When nisthita-bhakti will come, there are so many symptoms. Can you speak something on nisthita-bhakti?
[NOTE -- Due to not having access to the tape of this class, the following are notes only, to give some idea of what was discussed. If anything is unclear or incorrect, please excuse me. Vana Maharaja discusses the following six stages discussed in Madhurya-kadambini about anisthita bhakti (unsteady bhakti), utsahamayi (false confidence), ghana-tarala (sporadic endeavour), vyudha-vikalpa (indecision), visaya-sangara (struggle with maya), niyama-aksama (inability to uphold vows), taranga-rangini (enjoying the waves).]
[Vana Maharaja:] So the sadhaka, when he enters into devotional service, at that time he first accepts the lotus feet of a bona fide guru. So first also comes shraddha, firm faith to lotus feet of guru. So Jiva Gosvamipada in Bhakti-sandarbha explained.
[Vana Maharaja recites one sloka.]
shraddha is when he has firm faith in the lotus feet of his guru, faith in sastra, faith in guru, and he is also one pointed, and he is thinking that if I serve the lotus feet of my guru, my life will be successful. And then when he serves the lotus feet of gurudeva, that gurudeva gives his mercy or bhakti to the disciple. This is called the tendency to serve Radha and Krishna. At that time the disciple always follows the rules and regulations.
Then Visvanatha Cakravartipada describes another stage called sadhu-sanga. Always associate with a bona fide guru. Always requiring the good conduct of sadhus. Then Shrila Rupa Gosvamipada also explained this about sadhu-sanga. [Vana Maharaja recites one sloka]
So in Madhurya-kadambini it is discussed nisthita-bhakti and anisthita-bhakti, fixed and not fixed. Six types of anisthita-bhakti are described. First he told utsahamayi is coming in heart. First called utsahamayi-bhajana. Visvanatha Cakravarti Thakura explained nicely these things.
When one takes diksa or harinama from his gurudeva, at that time gurudeva gives him some instruction, he should chant every day sixteen rounds, but that time he is chanting more than sixteen rounds, and he's also enthusiastic in heart. But he is not having proper association of sadhus, so after a few days he does not realize the taste of his harinama. His chanting of harinama goes down. Then is called ghana-tarala, mixed sometimes.
[Shrila Narayana Maharaja:] The sadhaka was told that you should chant 16 rounds or anything, and by one name it will give you salvation from this world and your all misery will go away, and your life will be successful. So some days he did like so, very enthusiastic. This is utsahamayi. But gurudeva told, "You should control your mind, and have a mamata with your Krishna, and you should chant daily." After some days he loses enthusiasm. Oh, then he becomes hopeless, hopeless, what will be. So sometimes very thick, and sometimes very weak. This time is very critical. He has given up worldly sense gratifications. But he has not attained even a little taste, so he is in dilemma, what to do or not to do. If there is no sadhu sanga at that time he can give up chanting, remembering. But this is called, sometimes very mixed, ghana-tarala.
[Vana Maharaja:] Then sadhaka comes to the stage called vyudha-vikalpa, that is called indecision. Then he is thinking, "What to do? What not to do?" That time his mind is fully disturbed. Because he's reading Shrimad-Bhagavatam and sastra.
[Shrila Narayana Maharaja:] "Should I do bhajana from grhastha life or giving up grhastha life and by being in renounced order? What to do? Big problem for me whether I should remain in my family life or I should give up all these things and be like Sukadeva Gosvami and others?" So I know that so many are like this, having this consciousness.
[Vana Maharaja:] Visvanatha Cakravartipada in Madhurya-kadambini explained, he gives the example that when sadhaka is reading Shrimad-Bhagavatam. Some slokas of Shrimad-Bhagavatam are favourable, and other slokas he's thinking, "This is not favourable for my life." Therefore he's thinking, "I will do bhajana in my grhastha life, or I will do bhajana going to Vrindavana." So when he reads slokas of Shrimad-Bhagavatam, 8 Canto, Prahlada-carita.
[Shrila Narayana Maharaja:] Sometimes he thinks, "This world like fire, I should give up."
[Vana Maharaja:] Something he's thinking that Bharata Maharaja gave up his kingdom and did bhajana, so I should do this. But another sloka is saying if you cannot control your senses then you can marry, and another is saying to be renounced like Sukadeva Gosvami, Narada Gosvami, like Caitanya Mahaprabhu, Raghunatha dasa Gosvami, and many. That time his mind is thinking, "What to do? What to do?"
[Shrila Narayana Maharaja:] "If I'm going what will be of my children, my wife, my father is so old how he will maintain?"
[Vana Maharaja:] So his mind is fully disturbed. And also sense gratification he's thinking of, so many material things, at that time he's visaya-sangara.
[Shrila Narayana Maharaja:] He is thinking that, "I will not take delicious food. I will fast. On Ekadasi I will not take even water, no sleep, nothing." And he begins, but next day he becomes sick and he could not do. He is fighting with sometimes being well and sometimes being sick. Sometimes he takes delicious food offered to Thakuraji, and other times he gives up and wants only one subji like sak. This is visaya-sangara.
[Vana Maharaja:] Then sadhaka comes to fifth stage. Niyama-aksama. Sometimes he maintains the rules and regulations, sometimes he could not maintain the rules and regulations. So sixth stage comes called taranga-rangini.
[Shrila Narayana Maharaja:] What is niyama-aksama? He promises that, "From today I will chant not less than one lakh name, sixty four rounds, otherwise I will not drink water or anything." But when he chanted up to twenty, thirty two rounds, he was feeling head ache, and also very much hungry, and he wanted so much water, so much thirsty. What to take? He promised he would not take anything. Headache comes so he gives up. This is niyama-aksama. He's not able to fulfil what he wants. Then taranga-rangini. What is it?
[Vana Maharaja:] Name and fame, ( labha, puja, and pratishtha), are coming in his heart. When the kanistha adhikari chants harinama, and everyone gives him respect and gives him garland round his neck, at that time he is thinking he's guru.
[Shrila Narayana Maharaja:] Best of all
[Vana Maharaja:] Best of all the gurus. This explained in Shrimad-Bhagavatam. Upadesamrta. Sometimes kanistha-adhikari acts like guru. No qualification of bona fide guru. Name and fame come in heart. So he also cultivates many disciples. This is called the blind-guru. So Bhaktisiddhanta Sarasvati Thakura in his verse, sloka, said this is like something in a ditch. So sadhaka is in stage where name and fame come in heart, so Visvanatha Cakravartipada explained that the sadhaka should very carefully check these things. And we should serve bona fide guru and read sastra.
[Shrila Narayana Maharaja:] Even something remains to be nisthita. It was not complete. There are so many things to explain, we will explain it in Rio. And you can come and I will have to explain in so many places. You can hear. Try to be sincere, very humble, try to follow 'trnad api', this sloka. Be very humble, more than blade of grass, giving always honour to others, according to their qualification, don't want your own praise. Be tolerant like tree, then your name will be developed, otherwise not. This is the process. I told it in a very brief way. But if you are doing like so, in one year after, I may come, and then if you are following it regularly, same process, then your bhakti may come in nistha. Otherwise like pendulum, here and there.