Shri Shrimad Bhaktivedanta Narayana Maharaja
Alachua, USA, May 24, 2001
Yesterday we were explaining sadhana. When our objective is to attain rati, and with these material senses - the tongue, mind, etc. - we do our sadhana, only then will it be real sadhana; otherwise not. First there must be the objective: "I want to attain rati." What is rati? Rati is that mood of our specific relationship with Krishna - which should be our objective."
krd asau bhava ucyate
["When devotional service is executed on the transcendental platform of pure goodness, it is like a sun-ray of love for Krishna. At such a time, devotional service causes the heart to be softened by various tastes, and one is then situated in bhava (emotion)." (Madhya lila 23.5)]
What is this bhava? We should know. If you don't know what is bhava, what is rati, then how can your objective be to attain it? If you do not know this, how can you do sadhana? If, not knowing this you are doing 'sadhana', it will not be sadhana. It may be sadhana-abhasa, or even less than that. It is not actually bhakti. We are all in this category.
What is rati? What is the meaning of suddha-sattva-visesatma? What is sattva? What is suddha-sattva? What is visuddha-sattva? What is suddha-sattva-visesatma? There are four truths to know.
What is sattva?
Devotee: Sattva means goodness and suddha-sattva means non-material goodness.
Shrila Narayana Maharaja: No. Try to attend the classes of the devotees. You should not think, "I know everything, I am the master of all." Try to give up this false ego. Be humble and try to attend the classes of Madhava Maharaja, Aranya Maharaja, Vana Maharaja, Tirtha Maharaja, Syamarani, and such qualified Vaisnavas, and then you will become qualified.
We must know what is sattva, and then we must know what is suddha-sattva. Sattva means existence. This body is material sattva. It has no actual existence. All kinds of existence in this world and that transcendental world are sattva. Sattva is of two kinds: Suddha-sattva and misra-sattva. All the souls who are captured in the material energy are now misra-sattva. One who gives up the material sattva and considers himself an infinitesimal part of the Lord, the Supreme Personality of Godhead, is suddha-anucit. Transcendental substance is called suddha-sattva.
Next, what is suddha-sattva-visesatma? What is this type of suddha-sattva? Baladeva Prabhu is the origin of all suddha-sattva, transcendental existence, and everything that exists in this world also comes from Him. He is the presiding Deity of sandini-sakti, Krishna's potency of existence. Everything that comes directly from this sandini-sakti in the form of Baladeva is suddha-sattva. Do you understand?
Perhaps after two days you will forget this, and therefore you should try to note it down in your heart. Suddha-sattva-visesatma. Hladini-sakti and samvit-sakti belong to the category of the svarupa-sakti of Krishna. Krishna's svarupa-sakti is hladini and samvit. Hladini-sakti is love and affection, with ananda. Samvit means knowledge. From that knowledge all the various kinds of bhava to serve Krishna which are in Radhika may partly come in the jiva. The essence of hladini and samvit, on the platform of sandini, is suddha-sattva visesatma.
How will it come? It will not come by any sadhana that can be performed by a jiva. It will come by krpa-siddha. What is krpa-siddha? It is perfection by mercy. Mercy is of two kinds. The first is Krishna's mercy, and that includes the mercy of Shrimati Radhika, Vrnda, and all tadiya, associates. Secondly, mercy comes from high-class devotees of Krishna, like Sankara, Narada Gosvami, Uddhava, and even more advanced than that, Rupa Gosvami, Raghunatha dasa Gosvami, Shrila Bhaktisiddhanta Sarasvati Gosvami Prabhupada, Shrila Bhaktivinoda Thakura, our Gurudeva, our Shrila Swami Maharaja, and others in this line.
Devotee: And you.
Shrila Narayana Maharaja: Not myself. I want to be the dust of their lotus feet. This comes by mercy only. It comes when we surrender and we hanker for rati, always weeping and thinking that we will do everything necessary to attain it, and meanwhile always hankering after the mercy of Krishna and devotees. At that time the devotees' hearts will be melted by seeing our eagerness and endeavors to practice bhakti, in the same way that Krishna looked towards the efforts of mother Yasoda and His heart was melted. If their hearts are not melting by seeing your efforts, they will not sprinkle their mercy. They will think, "Oh, he is very proud. He has so much false ego and so many worldly desires. He is not endeavoring. Although he is sleeping and not chanting, still he is proudly thinking, 'Oh, I have done sixteen rounds of harinama.' This will not do."
You have seen in the lives of Shrila Raghunatha dasa Gosvami and Shrila Rupa Gosvami that they have accepted four qualities:
trnad api sunicena
taror api sahisnuna
kirtaniyah sada harih
Being humble like a blade of grass, more tolerant than a tree, and unselfish, their lives were totally for others. They were always giving proper honor to all Vaisnavas. They were never criticizing others, whether those persons were wrong or right - especially worldly persons. They are always praising the devotees, Krishna, bhakti and so on.
Never criticize anyone, whether he is a very wretched person or lusty, no matter what he is doing. If you do, all those bad qualities will come into you. Give proper respect to all, and don't have any ambition or desire to be respected. You should especially follow Shrila Rupa Gosvami and Raghunatha dasa Gosvami. Accept whatever is favorable for bhakti. Whatever is unfavorable for bhakti, whether it is your body, friends, society, wife, children, wealth, or even your life, you will try to give up. Do these things properly.
What is the first thing to do? You should accept any transcendental guru - even if he is a madhyama-adhikari. He must be selfless, expert in all kinds of siddhanta and in removing all kinds of doubts, and he should never have any worldly desires. Then, duly take diksa initiation in the real sense. Daily chant harinam, continuously, and whatever mantras Guru Maharaja has given, you should also do daily. This is lacking in all devotees. They do not chant, they do not even have tulasi mala, and still they are telling of themselves, "I am a disciple of Shrila Prabhupada" or any other guru. You should know the meaning of your mantra, and you should know who is the predominating Deity of that mantra and what your relationship is with that Deity. You should have strong belief in those Deities, that they will support and nourish you. This is called prapatti.
Next is saranagati. If you have belief in Krishna, and you have given yourself at His lotus feet, why are you worried about maintaining your life? If Krishna can create this whole world, this whole universe, in a moment, and you are taking shelter of that very Krishna who is so powerful, why are you worried?
I have seen so many small dogs with their masters. The master puts a belt around the dog's neck and attaches a chain to that belt. Then the master takes him walking. If that small dog sees a very big dog coming, he wants to jump and bark. When he is walking alone, however, he will run away. He is proud when he is with his master. He thinks that his master has a gun, and if anyone attacks he will shoot him. He is such a powerful master.
Similarly, if you have taken shelter of the Supreme Master, who is so powerful, why fear for your maintenance? If you are worried for this, you have not really surrendered. There is a loophole at the root, and this is why you want to have a very good house, good family, and so on. You have no faith in Krishna. This is lacking. Even though our gurus have opened our eyes to see, still we try to keep our eyes closed. Try to see and understand all these things, then suddha-sattva may come. Otherwise, how can it come?
If the devotees' hearts are not melting in Goloka Vrindavan Dhama by seeing all your endeavors, they will not pray to Krishna, and without their prayers, Krishna's mercy cannot come. Krishna's mercy is dependent on His devotees' mercy.
Try to please devotees. If you cannot please your gurudeva who always wants to sprinkle his mercy, if you cannot serve him, if you cannot make his heart melt, then how can you receive mercy? There must be a loophole at the root of your bhakti. Something is wrong. If you do not know all truths about the mantra, how will the effect of the mantra come? How can it come? You are planting the seed on barren land, on sand, and yet you think, "Very soon it will sprout."
Even one name, in one mantra, chanted even one time, can give the result. Yet, your gurudeva has told you that you should practice chanting this mantra ten times, or one hundred and eight times, or even more than this. Nyasa means to take a sankalpa, a vow, that, "I will follow all these principles." You must promise, "I will certainly do all these things." That is nyasa. If you are not really following, you will not get the result.
First you should obey Shrila Rupa Gosvami's Upadesamrta, and then Shrila Raghunatha dasa Gosvami's Manah-Siksa:
gurau gosthe gostalayisu sujane bhusura-gane
sva-mantre Shri-namni vraja-nava-yuva-dvandva-sarane
sada dambham hitva kuru ratim apurvam atitara
maye svantar bhratas catubhir abhiyace dhrta-padah
["O my dear brother, my foolish mind! Taking hold if your feet, I humbly pray to you with sweet words. Please give up all pride and quickly develop sublime and incessant rati for Shri Gurudeva, Shri Vraja-dhama, the residents of Vraja, the Vaisnavas, the brahmanas, your diksa-mantra, the holy names of the Supreme Lord, and the shelter of Kisora-Kisori, Shri Shri Radha-Krishna, the eternally youthful divine couple of Vraja." (Sloka One)]
You should follow all these practices. Don't neglect your diksa-mantras and harinama. Make your goal rati. First comes sraddha, then nistha, ruci, asakti, and then rati. You should have this rati for chanting nama, but first have it for guru, both siksa and diksa-guru. The next word in the sloka is gostha. Have rati for the dhama: Nandagram, Varsana, Radha-kunda, Puri, and all the pastime places. The next word is gostalayisu, love and affection for those who are there in the dhama: Nanda Baba, Yasoda Mayia, and all others. Have rati for Rupa Gosvami, Sanatana Gosvami, and for all those who are in our sampradaya. Also, you should honor those who are not in our sampradaya, those in the Nimbaditya sampradya, and all others. You should also give proper respect to them. Don't criticize them. We should also respect brahmanas. Even if they are not one-pointed to Krishna, still try to honor them. Especially have love and affection for harinama and our mantras, and also for Radha-Krishna Yugala and Chaitanya Mahaprabhu.
In this way give proper respect to all, have abundant rati, love and affection, for all of these, and go on practicing. Then, the mercy of the Vaisnavas, the mercy of Krishna will come and you can realize all these things. This is our objective now. We should therefore follow all these principles and try to realize them.