[This lecture was one of the last given by HH Gour Govinda Swami, before departing from this world]
Mayapura: February 21, 1995 – Srimad Bhagavatam 4.18.33 – 36
gunadhikam mudam lipsed
maitrim samanad anvicchen
na tapair abhibhuyate
Translation: Every man should act like this: when he meets a person more qualified than himself he should be very pleased; when he meets someone less qualified than himself, he should be compassionate toward him; and when he meets someone equal to himself, he should make friendship with him. In this way one is never affected by the threefold miseries of this material world.
Purport by Srila Prabhupada: Generally when we find someone more qualified than ourselves, we become envious of him; when we find someone less qualified, we deride him; and when we find someone equal we become very proud of our activities. Theses are the causes of all material tribulations. The great sage Narada therefore advised that a devotee should act perfectly. Instead of being envious of a more qualified man, one should be jolly to receive him. Instead of being oppressive to a less qualified man, one should be compassionate toward him just to raise him to the proper standard. And when one meets an equal, instead of being proud of one’s own activities before him, one should treat him as friend. One should also have compassion for the people in general, who are suffering due to forgetfulness of Krishna. These important functions will make one happy within this material world.
Lecture by HH Gour Govinda Swami
These are the instructions of Narada Muni. Narada Muni is a mahajana, and this is mahajana-vakya, the words of a great personality. Mahajana yei kahe, se satya mani — what a sadhu-mahajana says, that is truth, satya. Mahasano yena gatah sa pranthah — the mahajana has shown us the path, and that is the path we have to tread. We have to follow the footprints of the mahajanas. There is no need of manufacturing some new path. Here Narada Muni instructs Dhruva Maharaja how to be happy here — how one should behave and how he should deal with others so that he will never be affected by the threefold miseries of the material world. “When he meets a person more qualified than himself, he should be very pleased; when he meets someone less qualified than himself, he should be compassionate toward him; and when he meets someone equal to himself, he should make friendship with him.” These are the dealings of a Vaisnava, a devotee. One who is not a vaisnava, he behaves in the opposite way. As Srila Prabhupada has said in his purport: “Generally we find someone less qualified, we deride him; and when we find someone equal we become very proud of our activities. These are the causes of all material tribulations.” Whatever is said here by Narada Muni describes the behavior of a Vaisnava, especially a madhyama-adhikari (second class) Vaisnava.
srimad-bhagvatam pramanam amalam prema pum-artho mahan sri caitany mahaprabhor matam idam tatradaro na parah (Caitanya matta manjusa)
Srimad-Bhagvatam is amala-pramana, the spotless proof, and prema-pum-artho mahan, prema bhakti is the highest truth. These are the opinions of Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu.
bhgavati je na mane se yavana sama
tara sasta ache janme hanme prabhu yama
(CB. Adi, 1.39)
On who does not accept Srimad-Bhagavatam is a mleccha and a yavana. He is to be punished by Yamaraj, not for one life, but janme janme — life after life. So we should accept Srimad Bhagvatam, and all mahajana vakyas are there.
These are the dealings of a madhyama-adhikari:
balisesu dvisatsu ca
yah karoti sa madhyamah
Isvare, one who has developed love for isvara, love for the Supreme Lord Krishna; tad-adhinesu, one who has developed friendship with those who are equal Vaisnavas; balisesu, one who becomes compassionate or merciful towards balisa, ignorant fools, murkha, and dvisatsu ca, one who ignores an offender is amadhyama-adhikari. A madhyama-adhikari behaves in this way.
In Harinama Cintamani also Bhaktivinoda Thakura Mahajana, a great acarya in our Gaudiya Vaisnava-parampara, has said like this:
krsne prema krsna bhakte maitri acarana
balisete krpa ara dvesi upeksana
karile madhyuama-bhakta suddha-bhakta hana
krsna-name adhikara karena arjana
Krsne prema krsna-bhakte maitri acarana, one who develops love for Krishna and makes friendship with krsna bhaktas; balisete krpa, one who becomes compassionate or merciful towards a balisa, a murkha, and ignorant fool; are dvesi upeksana, one who ignores an offender; someone who behaves like this is amadhyama-bhakta. Madhyama-bhakta suddha–bhakta hana, such a madhyama-bhakta becomes a suddha-bhakta, a pure devotee. Then what happens?Krishna-name adhikara karena arajana, then he gets adhikara (qualification) in chanting krsna-nama. This is Bhaktivinoda Thakura’s instruction.
In this connection we’ll also speak about who is a kanishta-adhikari:
arcayam eva haraye
pujam yah sraddayehate
na tad-bhaktesu canyesu
sa bhaktah prakrtah smrtah
A kanistha-adhikari is one who offers worship to the Deity form of Lord Hari, arca-vigraha, according to laukika-sraddha (ordinary faith), not sastriya-sraddha(faith based on sastra). It is a question of sraddha. Two types of sraddha are there, sastriya-sraddha and laukika sraddha. When we speak of sraddha we meansastriya-sraddha. One should develop sastriya-sraddha, not laukika sraddha. And, na tad-bhaktesu canyesu sa bhaktah prakrtah smrtah, one who doesn’t pay respect to hari bhakta, the devotee of Lord Hari, and isn’t compassionate toward other living entities in whom Lord Hari is present, he is a kanistha-bhakta.
Then who is an uttama-adhikari?:
sarva-bhutesu yah pasyed
bhutani bhagavaty atmany
“The most advanced devotee sees within everything the soul of all souls, the Supreme Personality of Godhead, Sri Krishna. Consequently he sees everything in relation to the Supreme Lord and understands that everything that exists is eternally situated within the Lord.” (Bhag. 11.2.45) Also in Caitanya-caritamrta, Stavara-jangama dekhe, na dekhe tara murti
Sarvatra haya nija ista-deva-sphurti (Madhya 8.274)
This is uttama-adhikari. He sees the moving and nonmoving entities, sthaivara-jangama, but he never sees their outward form. What does he see? He sees hisista, his most beloved Deity, Krishna, everywhere, sarvatra haya nija ista-deva-sphurti. This is a completely Krishna conscious person. And who is completely Krishna conscious and what is complete Krishna consciousness? Krishna says in Bhagavad-gita:
yo man pasyati sarvatra
sarvan ca mayi pasyati
tasyaham na panasyami
sa ca me napanasyati
“One who sees Me everywhere and sees everything in Me, he is completely Krishna conscious, tasyaham na panasyami sa ca mena panasyati. I am never out of his sight and he is never out of my sight. He sees Me, I see him. This is complete krsna consciousness. That is an uttama-adhikari. Stavara-jangama dekhe, na dekhe tara murti, sarvatra haya nija ista-deva-sphurti, he sees moving and nonmoving entities but never sees the outward form. Everywhere he sees his ista, his most beloved Deity, who is there in the heart, Lord Krishna. That is an uttama-adhikari.
Then there is bhagavata-uttama. Who is a bhagavata-uttama?
visrjati hrdayam na yasya saksad
dharir avasabhihito Œpy aghaugha-nasah
sa bhavati bhagavata-pradhana uktah
“One who chants the holy name of the Supreme Lord, Hari, even unconsciously is freed from all sins. When Lord Hari grants liberation from sin to one who even unconsciously or negligently chants His holy name, the position of one who never abandons the shelter of His lotus feet must be considered highly exalted. Such a devotee can never give up the association of the Lord, nor can the Lord give up his association of the Lord, nor can the Lord give up his association. Krishna Himself dwells eternally within his heart. Such a great soul is known as bhagavata-pradhana —– the most exalted devotee of the Lord.”
By uttering the name of hari all sinful reactions are destroyed, and that Hari is bound up in the heart of a Vaisanva, pranaya-rasanaya, but the rope of love. In other words, Lord Hari never leaves the heart of such a Vaisnava, a bhagavata-uttama.
According to Faith
Also in Caitanya-caritamrta Kaviraja Gosvami has spoken of these three types of Vaisnavas.
Sraddhavan jana haya bhakti-adhikari
Œuttama’, Œmadhyamna’, Œkanistha’—sraddha anusari
(CC. Madhya 22.64)
According to one’s sraddha, faith, one’s eligibility for bhakti is classified as uttama, madhyama or kanistha.
sastra-yuktye sunipuna, drdha-sraddha yanra
Œuttama-adhikari’ sei taraye samsara
(CC. Madhya 22.65)
One who is very expert in presenting sastric evidences and who has unflinching faith in sadhu-sastra-guru, unflinching faith in Krishna, drdha-sraddha, he is uttama-adhikari. Taraye samsara, he can deliver the whole world.
sastra yukti nahi jane drdha, sraddhavan
madhyama-adhikari sei maha-bhagyavan
(CC. Madhya 22.67)
Who is madhyama-adhikari? He doesn’t know so much sastra-yukti, logical arguments on the basis of revealed scripture, but he is drdha sraddhavan, he has strong faith in sadhu-sastra-guru, strong faith in Krishna. Sadgati-padata krsne karaha visvasa, put complete faith, unflinching faith, in Krishna, who is adgati-padata. One who does so is madhyama-adhikari. Sei maha-bhagyavan, he is very fortunate.
Two Kinds of Faith
Yahara komala sraddha, se Œkanistha’ jana
Krame krame tenho bhakta haibe Œuttama’
(CC. Madhya 22.69)
One who has not developed sastriya-sraddha (faith in sastra) but has developed only laukika-sraddha (faith in what common people say), he is kanistha-adhikari. Sastriya-sraddha is described in Caitanya-caritamrta:
Œsraddha’‹sabde—visvasa kahe sudrdhna niscaya krsne bhakti kaile sarva karma krta jaya (CC. Madhya 22.62)
Sraddha means visvas, faith, sudrdha, very strong faith, unflinching faith. Faith in what? Faith in sadhu-sastra-guru, faith in Krishna. This is faith. If someone develops krsna-bhakti, all his activities are finished, krsne bhakti kaile sarva-karma krta haya. Nothing is left out if you have faith.
yahara koimala sraddha, se’kanistha’jana
krame krama tenho bhakta haive’uttama’
(CC Madhya 22.69)
Whose sraddha is soft, who has not developed sastriya-sraddha, only laukika-sraddha, he is kanistha jana, a neophyte. By associating with more elevated Vaisnavas, hearing from them and putting firm faith in their words, gradually he will make advancement and ultimately also become uttama.
What is sastriya-sraddha and what is laukika-sraddha? Sastriya sraddha means unflinching faith in the sastriya siddhantas, the teachings which are given especially as found in the Srimad Bhagavatam, which is the essence of all Vedas, Vedanta, and Upanishadas:
nanyatra syad ratih kvacit
Srila Jiva Gosvami has put emphasis on sastriya-sraddha. One should develop sastriya-sraddha, not laukika-sraddha. One who is a neophyte devotee, akanistha-adhikari, he has only faith in the words of materialistic people, materialistic scientists, philosophers, etc. He has not developed faith in the words of sadhus, Vaisnavas, mahajanas, those who are acaryas.
For example, people in this locality say, “Oh there is a ghost in that tree.” Then someone comes and hears from them. He says, “Oh, the people say there is a ghost in that tree.” If he comes to this area when the electricity is off and there is dense darkness, he may see something — as if someone is standing there wearing white cloth. “Oh, yes! A ghost is there.” Because he has heard it from these people. This is laukika-sraddha. But when the electricity comes, he sees, “Oh, what is this” Oh, it is only a dead tree”. Because it looks white he thinks it is a ghost.
We should not develop laukika-sraddha. We should develop sastriya-sraddha. Unless you develop sastriya-sraddha, unless you deal with others as Narada Muni has instructed here, then you will be affected by the threefold miseries of this material world. You will never be happy
So who are offenders? Skanda Purana states that there are six types of offenders and they all fall down and go to raurava, naraka (hell).
nindam kurvanti ye mudha
patanti pitrbhih sardham
hanti nindati vai dvesthi
krudhyate yati na harsam
krudhyate yati na harsam
darsane patanani sat
Skanda Purana says, nindam kurvanti ye mudha vaisnavanam mahatmanam — those who blaspheme a mahatma Vaisnava, they are great offenders. Patanti pitrbhih sardham maharaurava-samhnite – they definitely go to maha-raurava, naraka. Not only them, but pitrbhih (all his ancestors also). The six types of offenders are: those who try to kill a Vaisnava; those who blaspheme a Vaisnava; those who upon seeing a Vaisnava do not pay pranama, obeisances, those who become angry with a Vaisnava; those who develop enmity with a Vaisnava; and those who upon seeing a Vaisnava do not become jolly, but instead curve their faces, “Oh who is he!” They are offenders. Here Prabhupada says, “Instead of being envious of a more qualified man, one should be jolly to receive him.” Instead of becoming jolly, such a person becomes envious and covers his face. He is an offender. These six types of offenders fall down to maha-raurava, naraka.
See Krishna Everywhere
Srila Prabhupada formed this society for Krishna consciousness. It is a society of Vaisnavas. Why did he form the society? Because those who will become members of this society should develop complete Krishna consciousness. That opportunity is given here.
yo mam pasyati sarvatra
sarvam camayi pasyati
tasyaham na pranasyami
sa ca me na panasyati
This Bhagavad-gita verse describes complete Krishna consciousness. Krishna says that one who sees Him everywhere, stharva-jangama dekhe, na dekhe tara murti, sarvatra haya nija ista-deva-sphurti, he sees the different moving and nonmoving entities, but he never sees their outward form. He sees his ista, his move beloved Diety, Krishna everywhere. Who is such a person?
bhakta ama preme bandhiyache hrdaya-bhitare
jahan netra pade tahan dekhaye amare
(Cc. Madhya 25.127)
That devotee who as bound Me up in his heart with the rope of love, jahan netra pade tahan dekhaye amare such a bhakta, wherever he looks he sees Me. Such a premi-bhakta, who has bound up Krishna with the rope of love in his heart, he can see Krishna everywhere. Otherwise no one can see Krishna everywhere.
Krishna also says:
naham prakasah sasrvasya
loko mam ajam avyayam
These are the words of Krishna. “I am never manifest before everyone, I am never manifest everywhere. I am covered by My yoga-maya potency. Mudho Œyam nabhijanati. Krishna says they are mudhas, rascals, “They cannot see Me. They cannot understand Me.” In other words, Krishna keeps Himself hidden. But if Krishna keeps Himself hidden, how can we see Him? Who can see Him? Bhakta ama preme bandhiyache hrdaya-bhitare, jahannetra pade tahan dekhaye amare.Only such a premi-bhakta can see Him, one who has developed krsna-prema, who has bound up Krishna in his heart with the rope of love. This bondage is very, very strong. Even Krishna, who is almighty, cannot break it. He says na paraye na paraye na paraye, I cannot, I cannot, I cannot. Such bondage is so strong. Krishna cannot keep Himself hidden before the eyes of such a premi-bhakta. A premi-bhakta sees Him everywhere, though Krishna keeps Himself hidden.
Society Without Envy
This is the society for Krishna consciousness formed by Srila Prabhupada. One who becomes a member of this society gets the opportunity to develop complete Krishna consciousness, to see Krishna everywhere.
yo mam pasyati sarvatra
sarvam ca mayi pasyati
tasyaham na panansyami
sa ca me na panasyati
This is the goal. Prabhupada has written in his books, “The Krishna consciousness movement aims at creating an atmosphere of non-envy. Of course, it is not possible for everyone to become Krishna conscious, but the Krishna consciousness movement can create an exemplary society wherein there is no envy.” Where is the question of enviousness? One who is envious is not a Krishna conscious person. In other words, he is not a Vaisnava. A real Vaisnava sadhu is not at all envious. He sees every jiva as Krishna’s jiva. Krishna is the object of his love, so how will he be envious?
Enviousness means lust. What does that mean? Pride is your enemy, crookedness (kapata). If someone is making advancement on the spiritual path, others become envious of him. They cannot tolerate it. “Oh, he is making such advancement.” They start to speak all nasty things about him. Combining together, they start pulling down on him and attacking him. This is enviousness. In a society of Vaisnavas that should not be done. A Vaisnava is not envious at all, atra paramo nirmatsaranam satam vedyam. Who understands bhagavata-dharma-tattva? Only a Vaisnava, who is non-envious can understand. Others will speculate, “Oh, this is that, this is that.” Only speculation will go on because they cannot understand. They are not Vaisnavas, they are all envious persons. Prabhupada says, “One who is envious of the success of a Vaisnava is certainly not a Vaisnava himself but an ordinary mundane man.” He may be pretending to be a Vaisnava, but actually he is only an ordinary mundane man.
If the purpose of forming his society fails, how will Sria Prabhupada be happy ? This is a most important factor. So here it is said, “Generally when we find someone more qualified than ourselves, we become envious of him.” This is the general nature of people who are avaisnavas; who are not Vaisnavas, they become envious when they see a person more qualified than themselves. But a Vaisnava, who is completely Krishna conscious, he’ll never become envious. “Instead of being envious of a more qualified man one should be jolly to receive him.” Krsne prema krsna-bhakte maitri acarana — he who develops krsna-prema, he develops friendship with Vaisnavas, krsna-bhaktas. And when he sees a more qualified Vaisnava than himself he becomes jolly. That is a real Vaisnava, a pure Vaisnava. This is the purpose for which Srila Prabhupada formed this society for Krishna consciousness.
Therefore Prabhupada says, “The Krishna consciousness movement can create an exemplary society wherein there is no envy at all.” Prabhupada says in the concluding lines of his purport, “One should also have compassion for the people in general who are suffering due to forgetfullness of Krishna.” Who becomes compassionate for the people in general? One who is a completely Krishna conscious person, who sees Krishna everywhere; only he can become compassionate. Otherwise, how can one have compassion? The jiva is suffering. He is Krishna’s jiva, so why is he suffering? It’s because of his forgetfulness of Krishna. One who sees Krishna and who sess the jiva’s relationsip with Krishna, he becomes compassionate. Otherwise, there is no question of compassion. This is most important. Only such a Vaisnava who sees Krishna everywhere is a completely Krishna conscious person. He becomes compassionate.
Prahlada Maharaja, a pure devotee, saw his most beloved Lord in a stone pillar. “Yes, the lord is everywhere.” However when his very powerful demoniac father Hiranyakasipu, who had conquered the three worlds, heard his son Prahlada Maharaja speak like this, he became angry, “Why you say He’s everywhere. Is He there in this stone pillar?” Who sees? A completely Krishna conscious person, a premi-bhakta, always sees. Bhakta ama preme bandhiyache hrdanya-bhitare, jahan netra pade tahan dekhaye amare; wherever he looks he sees Krishna. Krishna gives him darsana. Krishna cannot keep Himself hidden from the vision of such a completely Krishna conscious person, a premi-bhakta, always sees. Bhakta ama preme bandhiyache hrdaya-bhitare, jahan netra pade tahan dekhaye amare;wherever he looks he sees Krishna. Krishna gives him darsana. Krishna cannot keep Himself hidden form the vision of such a completely Krishna conscious person,premi-bhakta. The premi-bhakta says, “Yes, He’s there.” But his demoniac father, who had conquered over the three worlds, could not see.
It is a question of vision. One who sees Krishna everywhere, one who sees krsna-sambandha; the relationship with Krishna, that the jiva is suffering because of a lack of Krishna consciousness, he will think , “Let me go and inculcate Krishna consciousness into others.” That is the real beneficial work. Therefore, if one develops Krishna consciousness, understands his position, and establishes his relationship with Krishna, there will be no suffering at all. Such a Vaisnava who sees Krishna and krsna-sambandha everywhere, his heart bleeds seeing the suffering of the jivas here. He cannot sit tightly. He will go out and preach the science of Krishna consciousness. “Yes, let everyone be Krishna conscious, let everyone be happy.”
Therefore, in this verse Narada Muni sayus, “Every man should act like this.” So there will be no miseries at all. This world will be turned into a vaikuntha jagat, “When he meets a person more qualified than himself he should be very pleased.” There should be no enviousness. This enviousness is one of your enemies. Kama, kridha, lobha, moha, mada, matsarya; in Sanskrit it is matsarya. Enviousness is one of your six enemies.
The second verse of Bhagavatam says, darmah projhita-kaitavo Œtra paramo nirmatsaranam satam vedyam. Who can understand bhagavata-dharma-tattva; what is said in Srimad-Bhagavatam? Paramo nirmatsaranam stam bedyam. Satam means devotee, Vaisnavas. Paramo nirmatsaranam; those who are not envious at all. Only they can understand Srimad-Bhagavatam. Only they can understand bhagavata-dharma-tattva. Otherwise the Bhagavata will never appear, never manifest at all. This is a most important thing and this is the purpose for which Srila Prabhupada formed the Society for Krishna Consciousness. The Krishna consciousness movement aims at creating an atmosphere of non-envy. “Of course it is not possible for everyone to become Krishna conscious, but the Krishna movement can create an exemplary society wherein there is no envy.” This is the purpose of Srila Prabhupada, the Founder-Acarya of ISKCON, International Society for Krishna Conscoiusness; that all should be pure Vaisnavas, Vaisnava in the true sense. A Vaisnava is not envious. He’s nirmatsara, not envious at all. That is Vaisnava. Here Prabhupada says, “Generally when we find someone more qualified than ourselves we become envious of him.” All mahajanas have said. Bhaktivinoda Thakura has said. Sastra says. Narada Muni, a mahajana, here he says.
Bhaktivinoda Thakura Mahajana, who is considered the Seventh Goswami, a great acarya in our Gaudiya-Vaisnava-parampara has said (Sarangati 4):
parere udvegadiyachi je kata
diyachi jivere klesa
I am such a rascal, such an envious person. I always give pain to others and put them in anxiety.
nija sukha lagi’pape nahi dori
I am very selfish for my own name, fame, adoration and prestige‹for my own happiness.
I am not afraid of committing any sinful activity. Daya-hita, I am a merciless preson a greatly selfish person.
Para sudhe dukhisada mithya-bhasi
When I see someone is becoming more advanced it is very painful to me, so I become envious. Sada-mithya, I only speak lies. Para-dukha sukha-kara, when I see someone is suffering I become jolly, “Yes, very good, very good!”
asesa kamanahrdi majhe mora
So many material desires are there in my heart. I gen angry in flimsy cases. Dambha-parayana. I am proud, puffed up fellow, “I am great! Is there anyone greater than I?” Especially in Kali yuga, the most degraded age, this pride is the measuring rod. Everyone thinks, “I am great” Then another says, “What? You are great? I am great!” Then fighting , quarrelling begins. This is Kali yuga. This dambha, pride, is the measuring rod. Two persons quarrel. Two groups quarrel. Two neighbors quarrel and fight. Two states, two nations, “I am great! Hey! What are you? You are great? I am great!!” Then fighting. This is dambha (pride).
mada-matta sadavisaye mohita
I am always puffed-up and proud, intoxicated with the desire for material enjoyment. I am a great materialistic person, and hims-garva, always envious and proud. These are my ornaments, vibhusana.
nidralasya hata sukarye virata
akarye udyogi ami
lobha-hata sada kami
Such a person is a lazy fellow. He sleeps too much and never does any good work. He is always very enthusiastic to do evil, nasty, abominable activities for his own prestige, name fame and adoration. Sathya-arcana, he acts in a very duplicitous, crooked way. Lobha-hata sada kami, so much lust is in his heart.
e heno durjanasajana-varjita
This is durjana, not sajjana. Such a person is rejected by sajjanas. He is always an aparadhi, a great offender, so his dealings are very crooked, duplicitous dealings. As it is said in the verse, “When one finds someone more qualified than himself he becomes envious of him. When one finds someone less qualified he derides him. When one finds someone equal with him he becomes proud of his activities. These are the causes of all material tribulations. “Such a person is adurjana, a most wicked person. He is not a sajjana. He’s an aparadhi, always a great offender.
nana dukhe jara-jara
He never does anything auspicious. He’s covered up, surrounded with so many anarthas. He’s nana dukhe jara-jara, always afflicted, by the threefold miseries of this material world. He will never be happy at all.
This is the statement of Narada Muni, “Every man should act like this: when he meets a person more qualified than himself, he should be very pleased; when he meets someone less qualified than himself, he should be compassionate toward him; and when he meets someone equal to himself, he should make friendship with him.” Otherwise he’ll suffer. “In this way one is never affected by the threefold miseries of this world.” This is the statement of sadhu-sastra-mahajanas.
QUESTIONS AND ANSWERS
Devotee: I appreciate very much that you explained to us how Srila Prabhupada’s purpose is to create a society without envy.
Gour Govinda Swami: That I quoted from Prabhupada’s purports from Srimad-Bhagavatam.
Devotee: We see that amongst devotees that are most advanced, the principle is trnad api sunincena taror api sahisnuna. It’s not an artificial thing to actually believe…
Gour Govinda Swami: Not artificial, baba! How many days can you act like this? Before your svarupa (real form) will be revealed! How many days can it go on artificially. But with a Vaisnava it’s quite natural.
Devotee: My question is, Srila Prabhupada has said that even if one does not have the practical vision that Krishna is behind everything, is in everything, and is connected to everything, still, if one understands this theoretically he is a devotee that is rightly situated.
Gour Govinda Swami: Rightly situated? One who sees theoretically is rightly situated?
Devotee: But if one has theoretical understanding that he has gotten form the words of the spiritula master, then one is rightly situated. So in your class you said that only the topmost devotee can be compassionate.
Gour Govinda Swami: Yes, only one who sees Krishna.
Devotee: So my question is, does that mean no one else can be compassionate?
Gour Govinda Swami: One may be compassionate to fulfill his own selfish desire. One may be compassionate to some and not compassionate to others. He hasraga and dvesa, liking and disliking. He is not equal to one and all. He cannot be. Unless one sees Krishna how can he be compassionate? He will see, this is Krishna’sjiva suffering. His heart bleeds. He cannot sit tight. He will go out and preach Krishna consciousness. And who preaches? Prana ache yara, sei hetu pracara; one who has life? What is life? Jivanam sarva-bhutesu. Krishna says, “I am jivan, I am the life in all living entities.” One who sees Krishna everywhere. Who sees Krishna’sjiva suffering because of forgetfulness of Krishna, because of a lack of Krishna conscoiusness; he has prana, life. He goes out and preaches. He is completely surrendered to Krishna. Therefore Krishna came as Mahaprabhu, as a bhakta (a devotee), to teach devotion, to teach how to surrender unto Krishna (sikhaya sarangati bhakater prana). Saranagati is the life of the devotee who is completely surrendered. Krishna tare kore atmasara (then Krishna accepts him). Prana ache yara, sei hetu pracara (he has got life, therefore he goes out and preaches). Otherwise, who can preach? How can one preach unless one sees Krishna, sees Krishna’s jiva suffering? He does not want anyone to suffer. Everyone should be Krishna conscious. Therefore, here Narada Muni says that everyone should act like this. This is the purpose of Srila Prabhupada forming the society for Krishna consciousness.
Uttama Acting as Madhyama
Devotee: Maharaja, a madhyama-adhikari has strong faith in the process of Krishna consciousness but he doesn’t have a very good knowledge of the scriptures. How can he preach if he doesn’t have good knowledge of the scriptures?
Gour Govinda Swami: He should have it by associating with an uttama adhikari. He should get it. Maha-bhagyavan, he’s very fortunate [the madhyama-adhikari] because he has strong faith. This is most important. Adau sraddha, the first thing is your faith. He has strong faith in the words of sadhu-sastra-guru. He has strong fiath in Krishna. He puts faith in Krishna, in the words of Krishna. And sadhus, those who are mahajanas, they speak what Krishna has said.
Devotee: If an uttama-adhikari wants to preach, generally he comes down to the level of madhyama and acts like a madhyama.
Gour Govinda Swami: Yes. Otherwise he cannot preach, because an uttama-adhikari sees moving and nonmoving living entities, but he never sees the outward form. He always sees Krishna.
sthavara-jangama dekhe,na dekhe tara murti
sarvatra haya nija ista-deva-sphurti
He sees only Krishna. He says, “Oh, this living entity is Krishna’s devotee, he is engaged in Krishna’s service.” He never sees the outward form. His vision is completely different. Therefore he steps down to madhyama, otherwise how can he speak? How can he see that the jiva is suffering from a lack of Krishna consciousness, from forgetfulness of Krishna? Therefore, one who preaches, he steps down to madhyama-adhikari; but he’s uttama-adhikari, otherwise he cannot preach. Those who are uttama-bhagavata, cannot preach. Therefore, one who preaches steps down to the madhyama-adhikari stage. But he is not a madhyama as described here,sastra-yukti nahi jane; who doesn’t know sastra. The uttama-adhikari knows sastra. Such an uttama-adhikari who acts as a madhyama-adhikari is not like the general type of madhyama-adhikari, madhyama-bhakta. This madhyuama-adhikari, he is uttama-adhikari, but he has stepped own. He knows sastra and he is very expert in presenting and quoting sastric evidences, because, tasmac chastram pramanam te karyakarya-vyavasthitau (Bg. 16.24). This is sastra-pramana. What is to be done, karya, and what is not to be done, akarya; how can we decide? Unless he presents sastra-pramana, how can he decide what is to be done and what is not to be done? He is not a general ordinary madhyama-adhikari.
Devotee: One who has laukika-sraddha has to act under the guidance of one who has sastriy-sraddha?
Gour Govinda Swami: Yes, he should have a guru, a bonafide Vaisnava guru. He should do bhajana under such expert guidance. He should not act whimsically. Unless you have guru, how can you preach? Sravana kirtana, preaching means kirtana. Unless one has heard from a bona fide guru, what will he preach? What he has heard, he will say that thing. “I have heard this from authorities, from my guru.” Preaching is another name for sravana, another name for hearing. What I’ve heard I’m repeating. Therefore, only one who has heard, he can preach and do kirtana. Otherwise who can do kirtana? One who has not heard, what will he say, and who will hear all those nasty things?
Devotee: Many disciples of Srila Prabhupada were preaching under the orders of Srila Prabhupada and, seeing the miseries of the people, were spreading Srila Prabhupada’s teachings. Now many have stopped preaching.
Gour Govinda Swami: One who has life and sees Krishna can never stop preaching. He sees, “Krishna’s jiva is suffering.” He will preach in spite of all obstacles. When Bhaktivinoda Thakura became very old he had to lift up his eyelids to see. But even at that age he would say “I want to ride on a horse and go out and preach.” One whose heart bleeds, who has compassion, he says such a thing. It is a question of compassion. Are you preaching out of compassion? One who is not preaching out of compassion, he may preach for some days, but then he stops. “I lost all my enthusiasm.” “Oh, why did you lose it? You lost Krishna?”
Devotee: There are some that are still trying to preach, can we say they are actually keeping the orders of Srila Prabhupada?
Throw the Vedas
Gour Govinda Swami: Prabhupada said to keep Krishna. He came to give you Krishna. Following the siddhanta, he said, “Let them somehow be attracted to Krishna.” That was his aim. He went to the land of mlecchas and yavanas, the Western countries, and gave Krishna to them. How can they understand? They cannot understand all this sastra now.
Why did Buddha Deva, who was an incarnation of Lord Visnu say, “Throw out the Vedas.” How can Visnu, who is the source of the Vedas, say like that? He is so compassionate. What were they doing? They were killing animals, sadaya-hrdaya darsita-pasu-ghatam. His heart became so compassionate, seeing this killing “Hey! Stop this killing!” They replied, “Oh, it is described in the Vedas. Why you are stopping?” So Buddha Deva said, “Throw out the Vedas.” Why does he speak like that? Because unless they stop killing they cannot come ot the stage of sattva; goodness. They are in the modes of ignorance and passion. They cannot understand the Vedas. So he did like that. This is not siddhanta. Then all the Buddhists said, “Oh Buddha Deva said we can throw out the Vedas.” The result was that they became nastika, atheists. But the Vedas can not be lost. The Vedas are apauruseya they come from the Lord, so they should be established. Therefore the Supreme Lord Narayana gave the order of the very powerful Lord Siva, “You go, Mahadeva. You go and establish the Vedas, but keep Me hidden.” Then what did Siva establish? The gauna portion of the Vedas, the secondary portion (karma-kanda jnana-kanda). Sankaracarya came to do this. He thought. “This is the order of my master. I am the order carrier.”