Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, December 13, 2000, pm
Shrila Bhaktivedanta Narayana Gosvami Maharaj
My lakhs and lakhs of humble obeisances in the lotus feet of my diksa-guru om visnupada Shri Shrimad Bhaktiprajnana Keshava Gosvami Maharaja, and my siksa guru om visnupada Shri Shrimad Bhaktivedanta Svami Maharaja. I met Svamiji, Bhaktivedanta Svami Maharaja, in 1947. Perhaps at that time you have not taken birth, or you were very young. And from then (1947) we have a thick relation. When he left India for New York, he requested me to send him his all books, kartalas, deities, and to help him in all ways. And I fulfilled his desire, I followed his desire. Also I sent so many things to Svamiji, even a sweet of India, very famous sweet, pera of Mathura. He was very fond of very tasteful sweets and preparations. He was also himself expert in all these things.
You know that he also requested me to give his samadhi. There were so many qualified there, his devotees and many of his godbrothers. He requested me to do [his samadhi] with my own hands. So I did. He also ordered me to help his devotees, so I am very happy that from several parts of the world, the devotees of Svamiji come to me and I help them as a family boy, without any self interest or gain. I know that anyone who is serving Krishna, or chanting, remembering, they are in the family of Gauracandra, Caitanya Mahaprabhu. So I have come only to fulfill the desire of Shrila Bhaktivedanta Svami Maharaja my siksa guru, without any caste and creed, without any caste and creed. I have not come to initiate so many disciples. So my devotees should not press anyone to take initiation at once. I want to help them without any self interest. Whether they are initiated by me or not. Especially I want to help those who are hopeless, and anyhow they are neglected from ISKCON devotees. Even they have been kicked from ISKCON. Especially for them I have come. Don't be hopeless. If anyone has left sannaysa even, but he wants to follow Svamiji, his gurudeva, and he wants to chant and remember Krishna in the line of Gaura Nityananda Prabhu, I think that he is still in the family of Svamiji.
So I want to help all. I am very happy that even the family, the son of Satru Koti Vinasana Prabhu, Subala Sakha, with his whole family is here. I am very eager to meet Satru Koti Vinasana Prabhu because he is in his last days. And very soon we will go there, even for one day. So here, seeing this gathering I'm very happy, I'm satisfied. There are so many devotees here, but nowadays they are hopeless because they have no sadhu sanga. But they should not be hopeless. They should not give up this bhakti-yoga practice, or chanting, remembering Krishna. If you are sincere Krishna will manage everything. If you are sincere Krishna will arrange himself, because he has promised like so: 'name bhakta pranasyati - Oh, My devotees.' So He will manage everything. He also promised that, "Those who have totally surrendered to Me, I will have to take everything on My head to support and nourish them." Then why to worry? Then why to worry? You can believe in Krishna. He has also promised, "Those who will take My shelter, I will liberate them from this world. His all sufferings and everything will go away at once."
mam ekam saranam vraja
aham tvam sarva-papebhyo
moksayisyami ma sucah
(Bhagavat Gita, 18.66)
He has told that, "Don't be worried. If you are sincerely surrendered to Me, then I will save you." So have a very strong patience and a very strong faith in Krishna.
I want to narrate a story from Shrimad-Bhagavatam. Hear very patiently. Very patiently they should hear.
In the beginning of creation, there were two demons. They were very powerful. Their names were Hiranyakasipu and Hiranyaksa. You know the meaning of this 'Hiranyakasipu' and 'Hiranyaksa'. That 'hiranya' means gold. Those who have an idea that by gold, by wealth they will be happy, they are called Hiranyakasipu or Hiranyaksa, both. I have come to know that in this land of Brazil, that there were so many hills of gold, and from Lanka, Ravana came here. He took so much gold from here. And his whole houses, whole capital and whole...
[Madhava Maharaja:] Walls, boundary walls.
[Shrila Narayana Maharaja:] Everything was of gold. So those who believe that by gold or by wealth we will be happy, they are all demons. If you also believe that, then you are also great demons. In whole world now, whole world, even the governments of whole world, and the prime ministers and rastapati, presidents, now all are like demons, all are demons. Those who believe in God, they are not demons.
Once the brother of Hiranyakasipu, Hiranyaksa, he was searching for a very strong personality to wrestle or fight.
[Shrila Narayana Maharaja:] And he went to Varunadeva, and he challenged him to fight, but he raised his hands, "Oh, I cannot fight with you. You should go. There is a very strong personality like Visnu, and He will crush you into ashes, into dust."
Then he began to laugh very much, "Oh, where is that Visnu? I want to fight with Him." Then he told that, "Oh, this is the problem. He is everywhere but not anywhere. Only Narada can tell that where He is, otherwise anyone cannot tell. In a moment He can be here, and in a moment He can be there, everywhere. He's in the atom of air, in the atom of water, everywhere, but demons cannot see Him."
Then he began to laugh very loudly. He went anyhow to Narada. "Oh can you tell where is your Visnu?"
He told, "Yes, I know. Now He's in the rasatala."
Rasatala you know?
[Devotee:] Lower planetary system.
[Shrila Narayana Maharaja:] "To bring the earth from there and to keep the earth in his position, right position. You can go and see Him."
At once he ran into the water, in the ocean, and he went in rasatala, very low, and he saw a very big boar. Oh, very big. And he saw that on His teeth, earth was there. He was carrying earth on His teeth, and very fast running to the location of earth out of water.
Then he began to challenge Him, Visnu, that, "You should fight with me."
But Visnu, in the shape of boar, very, very fast, quickly, very quickly He put the earth in its location and He began to fight. For thousands and thousands of years they were fighting. For thousand and thousands of years they were fighting together. At last Visnu, He killed that demon.
Hearing this, Hiranyakasipu became very worried, that this Visnu in another form He has killed my brother. He took the dead body, and he brought it in his council, in his house. Seeing this the wife of that demon, Hiranyaksa, and all the family persons began to weep loudly. Thousands and thousands of demons were assembled there and all were weeping. There was none to pacify or control them. Then Hiranyakasipu was a very learned person of Vedas, and he began to console them. "Why you are all weeping? Can you tell me that if whole world is weeping for anyone and he may return. Oh, anyone cannot return by weeping. If that dead Hiranyaksa will come [by weeping] we will all weep loudly. But he cannot be saved. He will not be in life again. He has gone to a place from where anyone never returns. So don't weep. I know that he was killed in a battle. So he has gone to heaven. So don't weep."
He told a history to his family. Once there was a king. His name was Suyajna. He was a very strong king or emperor, but he was not satisfied with his wealth or anything of this world. There was a king in rivalry with him, rival to him. He wanted to defeat him and to be the only one emperor of whole world, whole universe. But in the battle he was killed himself. His dead body was brought to [the] palace. All were weeping. Oh, his wife was weeping that, "Oh, my husband has gone." All his sons, his so many sons were weeping that, "Our father has gone." Father and mother were weeping that, "My son has gone." So all were weeping. In the meantime a very small baby of five years came, he came at once there. But he was really the controller of the dead, that is Yamaraja. He was himself not a baby, but Yamaraja. He came in the shape of a boy and he told that, "Why you are all weeping?" They were not replying. After some time when he was repeating that, "Why are you weeping? Why weeping?" then an old person came and told, "Oh, you cannot realize this. Go and play with boys."
But he told that, "I know everything that you are not knowing, a very wonderful thing. I know but you are not knowing. Why they are weeping, tell me frankly."
They told that, "He has gone."
Then he told that, "Oh, any day he may come, he will return."
Then they told that, "Oh, he has gone there from where anyone not returns."
Then this Yamaraja told, "Have you seen who has gone? Why you are weeping? Oh, that king, your son, your husband is lying here, covered with white cloth. So you can talk with him."
Then they replied, "No, no, no. We are not weeping for this body, we are weeping for what has gone, and now he is dead. That is we are weeping for soul."
Then he told that, "Have you ever seen that soul? Was he black or golden color? How long he was? Have you seen personally?"
They told, "Never."
Then why you are weeping? So many persons daily they die, so why you are not weeping for them? Oh, this is the nature [a natural thing]. Oh, here, those who are babies, they will be young, and after some time they will be old, and after some time what they will be?
[Shrila Narayana Maharaja:] Anyone cannot stop this. So you should realize this. Myself I have come only to make you remember, to remind you of this. Especially the beautiful ladies and boys. Especially the ladies who became like naked and walking the streets, like this. And boys like this. One day you will have to give up this body. Always remember this. I'm not telling, Yamaraja was telling. Don't take any ill feeling from me, from what I am saying. One day you will have to die. Remember always. So try to be very humble. Don't go in sense gratification so much. Anyhow you should try to maintain your life and chant Hare Krishna Hare Krishna Krishna Krishna Hare Hare Hare Rama Hare Rama Rama Rama Hare Hare.
Otherwise your life will be ruined. Again he told. Again he told, "Oh, there were two birds. There was a pair of pigeons, wife and husband. They had so many children in their nest. One day they flew to a forest to bring something for their children. In the forest, a very beautiful forest, so green grasses were there. Oh so many beautiful things, a river was there. They sat on a branch of a tree. They were sitting on a branch of a tree. The lady pigeon, she saw in the grasses very beautiful, some rice pieces. They were glittering. The wife told, "O my Prabhu, let us go and pick up the rice for us also and for our children also. Very beautiful fresh rice."
Husband told, "There is some conspiracy here. There is no rice field here at all. No banya, business person of rice. How they can come here? Perhaps any hunter has made a trap, and he has scattered some rice, so we should not go."
But wife was not listening. And she again and again told her husband, requested her husband to come, but he never came. Then she flew at once and sat on where the rice pieces were there and began to take.
In the meantime a hunter was hidden behind a tree there. A very strong and blackish person. He became very happy, and he took the rope of the trap and at once the lady was caught in the trap.
Oh, now she began to weep loudly, and her husband was also worried, but she was in the trap and he was out of the trap, but both meeting, their mouths together, and both weeping loudly. Husband told that, "I'm unqualified to protect and save my children. Without mother, father cannot do anything. So I wish that I should be in trap and you should be out of trap and you should go and save them." But it was impossible.
Hunter saw that both are weeping, especially husband was weeping so much, and he was totally absorbed in weeping. Oh he [the hunter] laughed very loudly and took his arrow and he did like so [maharaja makes bow gesture] and he shot that bird, he shot her husband. And at once the arrow came in his heart and went through, out, and blood was there and he died at once.
And at once he came running and took the legs of that dead pigeon, and the lady which was inside the trap, and he tied their legs, and killed her, and then took them to his family.
So this is the example which Yamaraja told. We are seeing that our forefathers, father, all, they died. But we think that we will not die and we are involved in sense gratification. Eat, drink and be merry. Eat, drink and be merry, this policy. So you should not be like that. Death is waiting, old age is waiting. We are now old. You are young but you will be also old and after some time you cannot walk, not even by stick, and you will die. What is the meaning of 'die', 'death'. Oh soul is here in heart of this body. There are two bodies, one is gross body, and other is subtle body, and our soul is covered. Don't see that, "I am this physical body." Soul is there, and his constitutional form is eternal servant of Krishna. You cannot be happy in this world if you are not serving Krishna. And saying this, Yamaraja at once disappeared.
So this is actually our position. So you should try to realize this and try to chant, to be happy, the powerful names of Krishna: Hare Krishna Hare Krishna Krishna Krishna Hare Hare Hare Rama Hare Rama Rama Rama Hare Hare.
After that what happened? That demon, Hiranyaksa was dead, and now Hiranyakasipu was very powerful. He was so powerful that he took some boon from Brahma the creator, that, "I should not die in day or night, not even in sky or on earth, not in any day, month, not even in month, not on earth, not on sky, I should not be killed by anyone created by you like humans beings, tigers, lions, snakes, or anyone of this world I cannot be killed by." Thus he was like a.
[Shrila Narayana Maharaja:] Not mortal. He had so many sons. But one son, the youngest son, his name was Prahlada. By chance he was, from beginning he used to chant Hare Krishna Hare Krishna Krishna Krishna Hare Hare Hare Rama Hare Rama Rama Rama Hare Hare. Hiranyakasipu put him in school to learn hypocrisy, politics, to cheat others, to make, to be wealthy. So he sent his boy, youngest boy in school. After some time he thought that he is now somewhat expert and he called his son. He was very decorated. His mother had decorated him. And Hiranyakasipu took him in his lap, and asked him. What he asked you should tell. Yesterday you did not tell anything. Go on. Go on.
[The following is what was typed during the class. It has not been checked with the tape as the recording was stopped.]
[Vana Maharaja:] So Hiranyakasipu put his son in school. Sanda and Amarka taught him. After some days Hiranyakasipu thought, "My son must now have learned something, so I want to meet with him." So Prahlada Maharaja came back to his house. Hiranyakasipu raised his son and took him in his lap. He spoke to his son very lovingly, he asked, "My dear son, what have you learned in your gurudeva school? What is the best thing you have learnt?"
Prahlada Maharaja told him very politely that:
tat sadhu manye 'sura-varya dehinam
sada samudvigna-dhiyam asad-grahat
hitvatma-patam grham andha-kupam
vanam gato yad dharim asrayeta
"O my best of the demons, I think this house is like a blind well. So I think give up the house and go to Vrindavana and also take renounced. And chant the Lord's name and chant Hare Krishna, Hare Krishna, Krishna Krishna, Hare Hare. Hare Rama, Hare Rama, Rama Rama, Hare Hare. Because this house and all the material things is distress, so I think this is a waste. Learn to chant the Lord's name, harinama. Because Hari is the Supreme Personality of Godhead, if you chant the Lord's name, then you will be happy."
[Shrila Narayana Maharaja:] Explain more deeply, what is the explanation of this sloka? What is blind well?
[Madhava Maharaja:] So when Hiranyakasipu asked Prahlada, what you have learnt in your school, then Prahlada Maharaja told:
tat sadhu manye 'sura-varya dehinam
sada samudvigna-dhiyam asad-grahat
hitvatma-patam gaham andha-kupam
vanam gato yad dharim asrayeta
That means that Prahlada is addressing his father, not telling 'my dear father', but addressing him as 'best among demons'. Who are demons? Those who have bodily conception in this world, who have no clear conception of Hari, guru and vaisnavas. Who lives always in anxiety, they try to earn some bad things, sense gratifications. These are blind well. So why is this a blind well? Being in this situation, anyone can kill his own soul. So living in a renounced situation, going to forest to do bhajana of Hare, I think this is best. So what is a blind well? Our acaryas have explained in Shrimad-Bhagavatam.
One time one king went hunting. By chance he became separated from his soldiers, and one tiger chased after him. He wanted to save his life. There was a tall, tall tree. He could not climb up the tree. He saw there was a blind well. There was some small trees. He held the branches of that tree and went down inside the well. As soon as he went down he saw some black serpents at the bottom of the well, hissing, wanting to bite him immediately. The king thought, "My god, there are so many cobras. But on the top a tiger is roaring so loudly." So now he's in dilemma what to do. He noticed when he was hanging from the two branches of that tree that on top of the branches there was a beehive. He noticed two rats came out of that blind well, and started to bite the branches on which he was hanging. And he noticed more, that there is a beehive on the tree, from the next branch honey was dropping down in front of him. Seeing honey he could not control himself. He forget that death is down, and death is also in the form of a rat cutting those branches which he is holding. He took his chance and licked the honey, "How sweet honey this is, how sweet."
So what is that rat who is cutting the branches? One was black, another was white rat. What was the tree? Tree was like our lifetime. Rats are symbol of day and night. Black rat symbol of night, and white rat for daytime. So they are cutting our lifetime, day and night, one week, fortnight, month, year, like this, cutting our lifetime. What is tiger? Symbol of death. What are the snakes? They are symbol of problems in this world. What is the honey which is dropping down in front of him.? This is the happiness of this material world.
[Shrila Narayana Maharaja:] Love and affection of husband, wife, children.
[Madhava Maharaja:] Love and affection of husband, wife and children. If someone goes to his business, and there are too any problems with his colleagues, and he became upset. When he came back he saw his small baby, who is talking with his father in broken language, he forgets all problems. "Papa papa."
[Shrila Narayana Maharaja:] This is the sweet honey.
Madhava Maharaja:] This is the sweet honey in this world. So Prahlada Maharaja is telling to give up all these things, to go to the forest and to take shelter of Hari, this is the best thing I learnt in school. What is the forest? Sadhu sanga. Whatever you do, do under guidance of vaisnavas. Take shelter of Hari, then our life will be successful.
[Shrila Narayana Maharaja:] Then what happened?
[Shrila Narayana Maharaja:] Tomorrow in class we will explain.