May 18, 2004 part 1: Badger, California
Shri Shrimad Bhaktivedanta Narayana Maharaja
I offer my humble obeisances unto the lotus feet of my diksa-guru, nitya-lila pravista om visnupada Shri Shrimad Bhakti Prajnana Kesava Gosvami Maharaja - and the same, so many, humble obeisances unto the lotus feet of my siksa-guru, nitya-lila pravista om visnupada Shri Shrimad Bhaktivedanta Svami Maharaja.
I have told you the purpose of my coming to the West, and I have glorified my siksa-guru, Shri Shrimad Bhaktivedanta Svami Maharaja. Now I want to explain the reason for which I have come - why Shri Chaitanya Mahaprabhu, my guru-parampara, my Gurudeva and Shrila Svami Maharaja have sent me here.
It is now Kali-yuga, the Iron Age, and it began five thousand years ago. Once, just before the beginning of the Age, eighty-eight thousand rsis, maharsis and other advanced devotees were gathered on the bank of the River Gomati at Naimisaranya. These elevated personalities were very worried, because Kali-yuga would be coming very soon. It had been somewhat controlled by Pariksit Maharaja after Shri Krishna's disappearance, but now it would be uncontrolled. This age would be so dangerous that it would even change the mood of religious persons. Ladies would always be engaged in sense gratification; no chaste ladies would be found anywhere. Men would behave like bulls and other animals, and they would also be continually engaged in sense gratification. Kali-yuga would spoil everything.
Presently, in spite of the leaders in Kali-yuga having created the United Nations for the benefit of the entire world, wars are taking place almost everywhere, especially in countries like Afghanistan and Iraq. I don't know why, but they call these "Holy Wars".
So the rsis and maharisis in Naimisaranya were discussing what to do, and in the meantime Shri Suta Gosvami, the disciple of Shrila Sukadeva Gosvami arrived there. They all honored him. They gave him a seat in the midst of the assembly and glorified him and his Gurudeva. They told him, "You have heard all spiritual subject matters from Shrila Sukadeva Gosvami, your respected and all-knowing Gurudeva, and you are his special disciple. And actually, you are a disciple of Shri Baladeva Prabhu. He inspired in your heart all the knowledge of the scriptures, such as the Vedas, Upanisads and Bhagavad-gita, and he seated you on the vyasasana. You are thus present before us. Kindly tell us the best course of action for everyones benefit."
atah sadho 'tra yat saram
bruhi bhadraya bhutanam
["There are many varieties of scriptures, and in all of them there are many prescribed duties, which can be learned only after many years of study in their various divisions. Therefore, O sage, please select the essence of all these scriptures and explain it for the good of all living beings, that by such instruction their hearts may be fully satisfied."(Shrimad-bhagavatam 1.1.11)]
kalav asmin yuge janah
manda-bhagya hy upadrutah
["O learned one, in this Iron Age of Kali men have but short lives. They are quarrelsome, lazy, misguided, unlucky and, above all, always disturbed." (Shrimad-bhagavatam 1.1.10)]
In this Iron Age, we have a very short duration of life. Shri Prahlada Maharaja has said that in a one hundred-year life-span, you spend fifty years sleeping and twenty years becoming very expert in any occupation. Then, for the final twenty years, from eighty to one hundred, you cannot do anything; you cannot even sit straight. In this way, so many years are gone. The remaining years are spent in developing your home and taking care of your children by arranging their studies and so on. These remaining years go in a moment.
What should you do for yourself? From the beginning of your life, from the age of five, you must try to do bhajana and accept any bona-fide Guru who can help you in transcendental life.
All the devotees assembled at Naimisaranya were rsis and maharajis. Some were even more qualified than Shrila Suta Gosvami. Saunaka Rsi, a pure bhakta, was present there. Shri Narada Rsi and Shrila Vyasadeva, his Grand-guru, were sitting there; and even the father and Guru of Shrila Vyasadeva, Shri Parasara Muni, was present there. Representing the eighty-eight thousand sages, Saunaka Rsi asked this above-mentioned question.
What is the meaning of yenatma suprasidati? Saunaka Rsi asked how people's souls - not bodies - could be fully satisfied. You should all know that the body you are taking care of is a bag of stool, urine, blood, and other thoroughly contaminated substances. If any doctor will operate on your body, he will not see the transcendental soul and Supersoul (paramatma) inside. The Supersoul is outside and inside the body. He is everywhere and He is transcendental. But Guru may give you transcendental eyes, just as Shri Narada Rsi gave transcendental eyes to Shrila Vyasadeva.
Until the time Narada gave him those eyes, Vyasadeva could not decide what to do. He was thinking, "I have divided the Vedas into four and I have written all worldly and spiritual truths. I have written about all subjects matters for the benefit of mankind in the Puranas. So I don't know why I feel dissatisfied." His Gurudeva, Shri Narada Rsi, told him, "You have given importance only to dharma (religiosity), artha (economic development), kama (sense gratification) and moksa (liberation). You gave no importance to pure bhakti, and especially to vraja-bhakti.
"Have you written that Yasoda bound the Supreme Personality of Godhead, and that Sudama and Shridama take the food remnants from their mouth and put them by force in the mouth of Lord Krishna? Have you written that Shridama defeated Krishna in wrestling, and this made Krishna happy? Have you written in any Veda, Upanisad or Purana that Krishna began to massage Shrimati Radhika's lotus feet, put His vamsi (flute) at Her feet and begged pardon, saying, 'I will never again commit any offence at Your lotus feet. Please excuse me.' Have you written this?"
Shri Vyasadeva replied, "No Gurudeva." Narada Muni then told him to write Shrimad-bhagavatam. He taught him how to first see the Shrimad-bhagavatam in trance, and then write. Vyasadeva followed his instructions:
samyak pranihite 'male
apasyat purusam purnam
mayam ca tad-apasrayam
["Thus he fixed his mind, perfectly engaging it by linking it in devotional service [bhakti-yoga] without any tinge of materialism, and thus he saw the Absolute Personality of Godhead along with His external energy, which was under full control." (Shrimad-bhagavatam 1.7.4)]
yaya sammohito jiva
paro 'pi manute 'nartham
["Due to this external energy, the living entity, although transcendental to the three modes of material nature, thinks of himself as a material product and thus undergoes the reactions of material miseries." (Shrimad-bhagavatam 1.7.5)]
["The material miseries of the living entity, which are superfluous to him, can be directly mitigated by the linking process of devotional service. But the mass of people do not know this, and therefore the learned Vyasadeva compiled this Vedic literature, which is in relation to the Supreme Truth." (Shrimad-bhagavatam 1.7.6)]
yasyam vai sruyamanayam
bhaktir utpadyate pumsah
["Simply by giving aural reception to this Vedic literature, the feeling for loving devotional service to Lord Krishna, the Supreme Personality of Godhead, sprouts up at once to extinguish the fire of lamentation, illusion and fearfulness." (Shrimad-bhagavatam 1.7.70)]
Vysadeva saw the Purusa-purnam, Shri Krishna, in the battle of the Mahabharata, in Mathura and in Vraja. He also saw that He was begging pardon at the lotus feet of the gopis. He saw rasa-lila and all other pastimes. Even for those who have no connection with Krishna, he wrote these down in the Shrimad-bhagavatam.
All jivas, living entities, have a transcendental connection with Lord Krishna. Now that is forgotten, but it is received by the mercy of Shri Guru. You should realize who is really Guru. Guru must be a bona fide Guru, not a kan-guru. He should be qualified to help devotees in all transcendental matters.
Shri Vyasdeva wrote:
kalav asmin yuge janah
manda-bhagya hy upadrutah
["O learned one, in this iron age of Kali men have but short lives. They are quarrelsome, lazy, misguided, unlucky and, above all, always disturbed." (Shrimad-bhagavatam 1.1.10)]
Shri Saunaka Rsi said that in this Kali-yuga people are manda, lazy. Manda mattayo means misguided. Manda bhagya means unfortunate and hy upadrutah means there are always so many disturbances - problems, problems, problems. The people themselves make problems for themselves. Many ask me, "Maharaja, should I marry?" or "Maharaja, please allow me to have a son" or "Maharaja I am very unfortunate; please order me to give my wife a divorce." They create so many jobs and are always coming and going to those jobs.
You are very lucky to be in the line of Shri Chaitanya Mahaprabhu, Shrila Rupa and Sanatana Gosvamis, Shrila Bhaktivinoda Thakura, Shrila Bhaktisiddhanta Sarasvati Thakura Prabhupada, my Gurudeva Shrila Bhakti Prajnana Kesava Gosvami Maharaja and Shrila Bhaktivedanta Svami Maharaja. And I am helping you to remain in line. Give importance to bhajana, to Krishna consciousness. This is not the first or last human form that Krishna is mercifully giving you.
Saunaka Rsi requested Shri Suta Gosvami, "Please tell us the essence of what you have heard from Shrila Sukadeva Gosvami, what you have heard from Narada Gosvami, from Shri Vyasadeva, and what you have realized from Shri Baladeva Prabhu.
Yenatma suprasidati - if the soul is happy, the body must surely be happy, so try to follow all these teachings.
Suta Gosvami became very happy by hearing the inquiries of the sages. He first remembered and uttered the verses of mangalacarana (auspicious invocation):
janmady asya yato 'nvayad itaratas carthesv abhijnah svarat
tene brahma hrda ya adi-kavaye muhyanti yat surayah
tejo-vari-mrdam yatha vinimayo yatra tri-sargo 'mrsa
dhamna svena sada nirasta-kuhakam satyam param dhimahi
["O my Lord, Shri Krishna, son of Vasudeva, O all-pervading Personality of Godhead, I offer my respectful obeisances unto You. I meditate upon Lord Shri Krishna because He is the Absolute Truth and the primeval cause of all causes of the creation, sustenance and destruction of the manifested universes. He is directly and indirectly conscious of all manifestations, and He is independent because there is no other cause beyond Him. It is He only who first imparted the Vedic knowledge unto the heart of Brahmaji, the original living being. By Him even the great sages and demigods are placed into illusion, as one is bewildered by the illusory representations of water seen in fire, or land seen on water. Only because of Him do the material universes, temporarily manifested by the reactions of the three modes of nature, appear factual, although they are unreal. I therefore meditate upon Him, Lord Shri Krishna, who is eternally existent in the transcendental abode, which is forever free from the illusory representations of the material world. I meditate upon Him, for He is the Absolute Truth. (Shrimad-bhagavatam 1.1.1)]
This is mangalacarana, and its explanation is very high and very deep. He then offered obeisances to his Guru:
yam pravrajantam anupetam apeta-krtyam
dvaipayano viraha-katara ajuhava
putreti tan-mayataya taravo 'bhinedus
tam sarva-bhuta-hrdayam munim anato 'smi
["Shrila Suta Gosvami said: Let me offer my respectful obeisances unto that great sage [Sukadeva Gosvami] who can enter the hearts of all. When he went away to take up the renounced order of life [sannyasa], leaving home without undergoing reformation by the sacred thread or the ceremonies observed by the higher castes, his father, Vyasadeva, fearing separation from him, cried out, "O my son!" Indeed, only the trees, which were absorbed in the same feelings of separation, echoed in response to the begrieved father." (Shrimad-bhagavatam 1.2.2)]
His Gurudeva is Shrila Sukadeva Gosvami, whose Guru is Shri Vyasadeva. Vyasadeva's Gurudeva is Shri Narada Rsi, and Narada's Guru is Lord Brahma. Brahma, Narada, Vyasa, Suka, Suta Gosvami, Madhvacarya, Shri Chaitanya Mahaprabhu, and Shrila Rupa and Santana Gosvamis are all in one line. We are very fortunate to be in this special line of Shri Chaitanya Mahaprabhu, Svayam Krishna Himself.
Shri Suta Gosvami replied to the sages:
sa vai pumsam paro dharmo
yato bhaktir adhoksaje
["The supreme occupation (dharma) for all humanity is that by which men can attain to loving devotional service unto the transcendent Lord. Such devotional service must be unmotivated and uninterrupted to completely satisfy the self." (Shrimad-bhagavatam 1.2.6)]
The sages had inquired: "By what practice can we attain perfection of the soul?" There are two kinds of souls - soul and the Supersoul, or atma and Paramatma. Paramatma is the fraction of Karanadakasayi Visnu, who is the fraction of Maha Sankarsana. Maha Sankarsana is the fraction of first phalanx of plenary expansions - Vasudeva, Sankarsana, Pradyumna and Annirudha. Shri Baladeva Prabhu is akanda guru-tattva (the undivided and complete principle of Guru). His Guru and all-in-all is Vrajendranandana Syamasundara. Regarding this Syamasundara Krishna of Vraja, if He were powerless, He would not be able to do anything. His power does everything for Him. Who is that power? Hladini-sakti Shrimati Radhika.
Lord Krishna always begs mercy from His power. Krishna can only desire; He cannot do anything without His power. He will desire, and at once, in a second, and even before He desires, His Hladini-sakti, Shrimati Radhika is ready to fulfill His all desires.
So who should we take shelter of? Not Lord Krishna, because He cannot do anything independently. We should take shelter of His power, Hladini-sakti. She is the root of bhakti.
Shri Suta Gosvami offered pranama to his Gurudeva and guru-parampara, and all others present offered pranama to him. Without guru-nistha (strong faith in Guru), one cannot gain any advancement in spiritual life. Guru-nistha is first.
[Thus ends part 1.]
Transcriber: Dhanvantari das
Editor: Shyamarani dasi
Typists: Krishna Bhakti dasi and Narayani dasi