Tridandi Shri Shrimand Bhaktivedanta Narayana Gosvami Maharaja
Eugene, Oregon: April 30, 2001 (morning)
The Nectar of Instruction, Upadesamrta, was written by Shrila Rupa Gosvami. Chaitanya Mahaprabhu inspired in him all rasas, along with the process by which we can very easily have that highest rasa. But remember always: in kali-yuga, harer nama harer nama harer namaiva kevalam, kalau nasty eva nasty eva nasty eva gatir anyatha. In kali-yuga, neither yoga, nor tapasya, nor any other process is required. Among the limbs of bhakti, this maha-mantra, nama sankirtana — Hare Krishna Hare Krishna — is the most prominent. Everything is in the name.
nama cintamanih Krishnas
purnah suddho nitya-mukto
["The holy name of Krishna is transcendentally blissful. It bestows all spiritual benedictions, for it is Krishna Himself, the reservoir of all pleasure. Krishna's name is complete, and it is the form of all transcendental mellows. It is not a material name under any condition, and it is no less powerful than Krishna Himself. Since Krishna's name is not contaminated by the material qualities, there is no question of its being involved with maya. Krishna's name is always liberated and spiritual; it is never conditioned by the laws of material nature. This is because the name of Krishna and Krishna Himself are identical." (Shri Chaitanya-Charitamrita Madhya-lila, 17.133)]
You should always have strong faith in these lines — always. Nothing else is required. Sadhana and sadhya are both in the name. There is a process by which to chant, however, and it is performed under the guidance of a very rasika tattva-jna Vaisnava. By always chanting the name in that process, that name will bestow all realization. There is no need to speculate or imagine. Everything will come.
There is one thing to note here. We should try to keep that transcendental wealth in our heart, like our own soul. We should not distribute it. If you distribute it, what will happen? It will become like camphor kept in the open air. It will evaporate in a moment. Camphor should be kept in a bottle with some black pepper — airtight. Then it will not evaporate.
We should only let it out as Mahaprabhu did — with only three and one half persons — because it is our life and soul. Otherwise, even if tears are coming, after some time you will see that your tears have gone and they will never return. Try to keep all this in mind. Keep it sacred and secret. Don't take it to the market, the fish market, or here and there. Only speak deeply to those who are very qualified. Whisper in their ears. This very careful whispering is like the black pepper. My dear children, try to obey all these things. Otherwise you will lose everything.
Also, you should try to follow all the principles and teachings of Shrila Rupa Gosvami. He has given the name 'amrta,' nectar, to his Nectar of Instruction. Whose instructions are these? Are they his own? They are Mahaprabhu's instructions, and by following them you can very easily taste that nectar. The nectar has two forms. One form is what not to do, and the next is what to do. What we should do and what we should not do is explained there. First is what not to do.
For whom is this told? It is especially told for those who have taken initiation, for those who want to taste the nectar of Mahaprabhu's instructions — raganuga-bhakti in the stage of rati. It is for those devotees — not for ordinary people. Very deep meanings are there in Upadesamrta; so try to follow them as you would drink nectar. Shrila Rupa Gosvami first writes:
vaco vegam manasah krodha-vegam
etan vegan yo visaheta dhirah
sarvam apimam prthivim sa sisyat
["A wise and self-composed person who can tolerate the impetus to speak, the agitation of the mind, the onset of anger, the vehemence of the tongue, the urge of the belly and the agitation of the genitals can instruct the whole world. In other words, everyone becomes a disciple of such a self-controlled person." (Upadesamrta, verse 1)]
Syamarani dasi: Shrila Rupa Gosvami is saying that there are six urges to control in the beginning of the bhakti process. Vaco vegam: one should control his speech. He should control his tongue and only speaking about Krishna, not letting his tongue speak about sense gratification. Sita Devi, in her naravata-lila (human-like pastime), did not control her tongue when she spoke to Laksmana. A great war broke out because of her one statement to him, and so many died. Similarly, Draupadi did not control her tongue when speaking to Duryodhana. She made fun of him, and because of her one statement there was a Mahabharata War. The tongue has no backbone, no strong will to do the right thing. It simply goes back and forth, but it is a great source of danger.
Manasah vegam means urge (agitation) of the mind. One should control the mind and always think of Krishna. Krodha vegam is the pushing of anger. Vega means pushing or urge. Jihva vegam means the urge of eating. Shri Chaitanya Mahaprabhu instructed Shrila Raghunatha dasa Gosvami not to eat luxuriously, not to run after the tongue, even while taking Krishna prasadam. Udaropastha vegam: Udara means stomach. Our Guru Maharaja, Shrila Prabhupada, said that there is a straight line between the tongue, belly and genitals. If the tongue is not controlled, then there will be so many diseases in the stomach. Also, by that pressure downward, one develops lusty desires. We should not eat foodstuffs that are prepared by materialists, because then our mind becomes evil. If one takes foodstuffs offered by a prostitute, for example, then he will develop lusty desires.
Etan vegan yo visaheta dhirah: one who is dhirah, who is controlled in these six urges, sarvam apimam prthivim sa sisyat. He becomes qualified to be jagat-guru and make disciples all over the world.
Shrila Narayana Gosvami Maharaja: This is the first drop of nectar, but it will appear to be bitter, very bitter. Many devotees don't want to take it. What do they want? Only rasa — the very sweet pastimes of the night, of nisanta, and of all other times. They don't want to control the six urges, but this is more important. What is the meaning of dhirah, sober? A person who can tolerate the urge to speak is known as sober. This is the problem. This tongue has no backbone, and it makes quarrels everywhere — everywhere. I have explained so many times that you should not speak as you like. Don't do what the tongue wants to do. This uncontrolled tongue caused the Mahabharata battle, and also the Ramayana Battle of Lanka. All were destroyed. Telling the sweet pastimes of asta-kaliya-lila which are in Govinda-lilamrta and Krishna Bhavanamrta is another kind of loose tongue. Even if it is very, very hard, you should control this tongue. If you want a drop of nectar, you should be silent about confidential topics. Do not distribute them here and there in the markets.
Krodha vegam. We should try to control anger. From where does anger come? It comes from so many desires. Where there are no desires, there is no frustration and anger. You will be very happy always, and you will be smiling always. Your face will tell that no anger is there.
If you want to enjoy the transcendental nectar of Krishna and Radhika, first try to take this drop of nectar. Jihva vegam: There are so many drinks, like Pepsi and Coca-Cola, but try to control the tongue. Only take what you require to maintain your life. Be like Shrila Raghunatha dasa Gosvami, and then no desires will come. She explained a straight line — from the mind, to the tongue, to the belly, to the genitals. But who can control these urges? Even Sankara failed, and Brahma also failed. Only Haridasa Thakura was saved. Why? He offered his everything to Krishna, to Chaitanya Mahaprabhu. Maya came in a very beautiful shape to Haridasa Thakura — like a young lady. Haridasa told her, "Oh, please wait. I will fulfill your desire. Wait a little. I am in a yajna, and I must chant one crore (ten million names) of harinama. Very soon it will be finished. Sit down and wait. I will certainly fulfill your desire."
He was not finished in one day, or even two days. He took three days: harinama, harinama, harinama. Surely if anyone will chant like this, it will be purifying. The lust of that prostitute was at once washed away. In a straight line — mind, tongue, stomach and genitals — all became pure, and she became like Haridasa Thakura. She did not become exactly like him, but some of his qualities came, and she became at once renounced. She told him, "Prabhu, I want to take your shelter." Haridasa then instructed her, "Go to your house, sell all your property, and give it in donation to the greedy brahmanas. They will very easily accept it. Don't keep anything. You should be akincana, niskincana, and keep with you only one white sari." That beautiful teenage girl did everything he said, and then she returned to him. He told her, "I am giving you this nectar: Hare Krishna Hare Krishna Krishna Krishna Hare Hare, Hare Rama Hare Rama Rama Rama Hare Hare.
"Don't go here and there. Be seated here. Only if you want to take bath, or to pass urine and stool — then you can go. Here is Ganges. You should take bath here. Here in this asrama is Tulasi. Do parikrama of her, and chant day and night without rest."
The prostitute followed his instructions, and by that she became a very high-class devotee. All advanced devotees used to come to see how the impossible was made possible. This very wonderful change can surely take place.
One who follows this is actually guru, and the entire world becomes his disciple. Even Brahma and Sankara will come to take his darsana, and even Krishna may come to him when he is chanting.
The second drop of nectar is:
atyaharah prayasas ca
jana-sangas ca laulyam ca
sadbhir bhaktir vinasyati
["The following six kinds of faults destroy bhakti: (1) eating too much or collecting more than necessary; (2) endeavoring for that which is opposed to bhakti; (3) engaging in useless mundane talk; (4) failing to adopt essential rules and regulations, or fanatically adhering to rules and regulations; (5) taking bad association; and (6) being greedy or restless in the mind to adopt worthless opinions." (Upadesamrta, verse 2)]
We should note this down in our heart. What is the meaning?
Prema-prayojana dasa: By the inspiration of Shri Chaitanya Mahaprabhu, Shrila Rupa Gosvami tells that there are six activities to be avoided. Atyaharah, over eating, is not only with reference to the mouth. We have five knowledge-acquiring senses. If they are engaged in material enjoyment, this is called over eating. Prayasas ca. Any activity which is detrimental to our bhajana is an over-endeavor and must be neglected. Prajalpa means talking unnecessarily about mundane matters. Niyamagraha has two meanings. Niyama means rules and regulations, and agraha means rejecting the rules and regulations and acting whimsically or independently of the orders of Guru and Vaisnavas. Niyama agraha also means over-adherence to the rules to the point that even when there is chance to make spiritual advancement by good association, you neglect that association. Jana-sanga means association with persons who are against bhakti. Laulyam means greediness and the restlessness of the mind that hankers for different philosophies that don't come from our guru-varga. These six cause the destruction of bhakti.
Shrila Narayana Gosvami Maharaja: You should very carefully understand the meaning of sadbhir bhaktir-vinasyati. If you have taken initiation and have somewhat advanced in bhakti, and even if your bhakti is at the stage of ruci and asakti is about to come, if you engage in these six activities, your bhakti will go away. Have you understood this? Even if your bhakti has reached ruci, and asakti is coming, if you do these things you will fall down.
These first two drops of nectar are very important, and if you are not following them, you will see that you are doing aropa-siddha-bhakti and sanga-siddha-bhakti — not suddha-bhakti, pure bhakti, real bhakti. What will be the result?
There is a very big ISKCON center in Calcutta. We read yesterday in the 'Times of India' that over seventy devotees have been arrested there. There were quarrels, beatings, and death threats. Who was involved? They are 'god-brothers.' Although they had taken initiation from a great personality, they are now quarrelling with each other for control of their center and all the devotees.
One of them had become guru, and he had been controlling all. The second party, the rtviks, had no faith in him, and they themselves wanted to control all of ISKCON. Both sides were saying, "We are the real ISKCON." Who is the real ISKCON? Those on both sides, and those who have been arrested and taken to jail, are not ISKCON. I want that we should not be like them. From the beginning you should avoid the six prohibitive activities; otherwise you are bound to do as they did. This is why I am not going to establish big centers here and there — in Los Angeles, in San Diego, or anywhere else. I want you to practice all these things and preach all over the world. That is the best thing. Tell everyone:
harer nama harer nama
harer namaiva kevalam
kalau nasty eva nasty eva
nasty eva gatir anyatha
["In Kali-yuga there is no other way for the jiva than chanting harinama. There is no other way, there is no other way." (Brhan-naradiya Purana)]
You should chant, and you should be like a guru and tell others. What does it mean to be guru? You should practice and follow all these principles, and then become guru and tell others. At that time you will actually be a Vaisnava.
A Vaisnava will be akincina, without any sense of proprietorship, and dinahina, very humble and not quarrelling with anyone. Why are the god-brothers quarrelling? Are they quarrelling for bhakti? They are only quarrelling because they are greedy for mundane achievement.