Date: March 12th, 2011
Topic: Dhruva Maharaja Goes Back to Godhead
Speaker: HH Bhakti Madhurya Swami
yad bhrajamanam sva-rucaiva sarvato lokas trayo hy anu vibhrajanta ete yan navrajan jantusu ye ‘nanugraha vrajanti bhadrani caranti ye ‘nisam
TRANSLATION: The self-effulgent Vaikuntha planets, by whose illumination alone all the illuminating planets within this material world give off reflected light, cannot be reached by those who are not merciful to other living entities. Only persons who constantly engage in welfare activities for other living entities can reach the Vaikuntha planets.
[HH Bhakti Madhurya Swami: Heavy verse, very heavy verse.]
PURPORT: Here is a description of two aspects of the Vaikuntha planets. The first is that in the Vaikuntha sky there is no need of the sun and moon. This is confirmed by the Upanisads as well as Bhagavad-gita (na tad bhasayate suryo na sasanko na pavakah [Bg. 15.6]). In the spiritual world the Vaikunthalokas are themselves illuminated; there is therefore no need of sun, moon or electric light. It is in fact the illumination of the Vaikunthalokas which is reflected in the material sky. Only by this reflection are the suns in the material universes illuminated; after the illumination of the sun, all the stars and moons are illuminated. In other words, all the luminaries in the material sky borrow illumination from Vaikunthaloka.
[HH Bhakti Madhurya Swami : This is all very heavy information, very heavy information. This is real science.]
From this material world, however, people can be transferred to the Vaikunthaloka, if they incessantly [HH Bhakti Madhurya Swami: Look at Prabhupada’s language here - if they incessantly. Incessantly means constantly]
engage in welfare activities for all [HH Bhakti Madhurya Swami: Not some. If Prabhupada wanted to say some he would say some.] other living entities. [HH Bhakti Madhurya Swami: That includes germs, birds the worm in stool, not just human beings, all other living enitities. Otherwise Prabhupada would have said be merciful to humans. No he says, to all other living entities because he is repeating the verse. It says for other living entities, only persons who constantly engage in welfare activities for other living entities. So, mercy!]
Such incessant welfare activities can really be performed only in Krishna consciousness. There is no philanthropic work [HH Bhakti Madhurya Swami: Philanthrophic work means mundane charity such as opening hospitals. We have a Krishna conscious hospital also, Bhaktivedanta hospital but if you go in there the first thing you see is Srila Prabhupada in the lobby. You find Srila Prabhupada He is sitting in the lobby of Bhaktivedanta Hospital, surrounded by a nice little garden environment and what in America is called elevator music or lift music playing, instead of that there is Prabhupada singing on the loud speaker. So wherever you walk in the hospital Prabhupada is singing. Sometime other bhajan. Mostly Prabhupada singing wherever you go. The speakers are everywhere, in every hallway and every room. You have a dail that you can change. You can listen to Srila Prabhupada or you can listen to other bhajans. So the point is without Krishna there is very negative or very little value. So that is philanthropic work. It is a kind of mundane activity without Krishna] within this material world but Krishna consciousness that can engage a person twenty-four hours a day.
A Krishna conscious being is always engaged in planning how to take all of suffering humanity back home, back to Godhead. Even if one is not successful in reclaiming all the fallen souls back to Godhead, still, because he is Krishna conscious, his path to Vaikunthaloka is open. He personally becomes qualified to enter the Vaikunthalokas, and if anyone follows such a devotee, he also enters into Vaikunthaloka.
[HH Bhakti Madhurya Swami: This is very important. Prabhupada’s use of language is very specific. This is sravanam. The perfection of life following in the footsteps of .If we are going to perfect this sravanam we can perfect life. So his words are juicy and full of meaning. Just like Prabhupada was asked about Brahma-samhita. How many of you have read Brahma-samita. Well that is not too bad. The problem is that even for those that are well versed in the English language Brahma - samhita is very erudite. Erudite means very, very high class, very, very complex language. Even if you are well versed even if you have a good education in the English language still such a person is challenged. I have education in English language but I will admit that I am challenged in Bhaktisiddhanta Sarasvati Thakur’s purports to Brahma-samhita. Even if you are uninitiated one day I forsee that there out to be a version presented of Brhama-samita that has simplified languages because for example I have been preaching in India for eight years and people can’t understand the average English vocabulary what to speak of Srila Bhaktisiddhanta Sarasvati Thakur’s.
So Prabhupada was asked why he used such big words. Srila Prabhupada replied because he would only choose and he would only utilize the most perfect language. So that is Bhaktisiddhanta Sarasvati Thakur. So we have to appreciate that Srila Prabhupada is doing the same thing although he is using more digestible language.]
Others, who engage in envious activities, are known as karmis. [Oooh! That is a slap. That is a chop. We use the word karmi like slang.]
Karmis are envious of one another. [HH Bhakti Madhurya Swami: Yes not only envious of devotees, envious of the holy name, envious of Krishna and envious of each other. Obviously that’s why there are constant wars. I mean even in India, India and Pakistan are fighting over a glacier, a glacier! I have seen photographs of what they are fighting over way up in the northern tip, way up in the Himalayas. The soldiers have to wear these suits this thick because it is an iceberg. I remember the men with guns on one side and the men with guns on the other side for Pakistan. They were fighting a war for an iceberg. What is the practical application? An iceberg! This is called ahankara, false ego. Mine! No mine! [Barks] In India there are a lot of street dogs so at night the patrol their territory. [Barks] Get out! Go away! So our hso called human society, dvi-pada-pasu, two legged animals as if any better. Unless you have Krishna consciousness, unless you hear from the devotees of the Lord, starting with the pure devotees of the Lord, means especially Srila Prabhupada and his representatives also who are repeating Srila Prabhupada. Here Prabhupada is saying envious of one another. This is obvious. They are fighting over an iceberg - useless. It has no value to it except ‘I’ and ‘mine’]
Simply for sense gratification, they can kill thousands of innocent animals.
[HH Bhakti Madhurya Swami: Unfortunately in India, in Delhi where I have been preaching for the last few years, there is the largest slaughter house in whole of Asia. It is a great scandal and the Indians do nothing about it, even the so called good Hindus do nothing about it. 15 000 animals per day are slaughtered in Delhi in Asia’s biggest slaughter house. All the Hindus just remain silent. These days it is a fashion, they go to McDonalds. So this is hellish and extremely dangerous. The only reason why Krishna hasn’t blown Delhi off the map is because there are devotees. [Claps] Jiva jago. It is not me. I am not asking for applause for my sake. It is the concept. The proper .to understand is that there is me, the speaker, then there is the message of Krishna and Prabhupada and then there is sastra. In this way it is multidimensional. Try to understand. Sastra is multidimensional. Bhagavatam is multi dimensional. It is not linear. If you want to make it linear you will become bored with Krishna consciousness.
In other words the speaker gets to hear also. Why? Because the message of Krishna is in cognition with Krishna, you understand? If we are talking about devotees, if we are talking about devotional service that pravacan, that message that is incognizant, that is Krishna Himself in sound vibration. Just as Sukadeva Goswami was speaking, that is kirtanam. Maharaja Pariksit was hearing, sravanam. Okay we are not on the level of Sukadeva Goswami but still it is sabda Brahman. How many of you know the meaning of sabda brahaman? Uh oh! Ladies and gentleman you know what is coming! I respectfully submit if you don’t know what is sabda Brahman you are not reading Prabhupada’s books.
You have got to read Srila Prabhupada’s books if you want to advance in Krishna consciousness. We say para dukha dukhi. Here this whole purport is about compassion. The verse is about compassion but to become compassionate we have to become purified. Our biggest homework task - as school children we have to do homework - our biggest task is to become purified - ceto-darpana-marjanam bhava-maha-davagni-nirvapanam [Siksastakam verse 1] Our hearts have to become clean. So in order to become purified by contact with Srila Prabhupada’s books which means direct contact with Srila Prabhupada. Don’t think that the contact with Srila Prabhupada’s books is indirect. No. Contact with Srila Prabhupada’s books means direct contact with Prabhupada. So I respectfully and offer my dandavat pranams to all of you exalted devotees. Anyone who chants the holy names is exalted.
When Mahaprabhu went to a village in South India and every time He went touring South India they would have only one question, “Who is a Vaisnava?” Kulinagram is the name of the village. They would ask, “Who is a Vaisnava?” So Mahaprabhu said, “Whoever chants hare Krishna they are Vaisnava.” That is one answer. He gave three different answers.
So here we have an assembly of exalted devotees. We should take the dust of the feet of all the devotees and put on our heads because one who chants the holy names of the Lord within guru parampara under the direction of Srila Prabhupada’s line of disciplic succession such persons are mahatama, actually great souls. So I will continue. This animal slaughter is very serious. Prabhupada doesn’t mention it here but many times Nrsimha guru, Prabhupada is roaring against animal slaughter.]
Jnanis are not as sinful as karmis, but they do not try to reclaim others back to Godhead.
[HH Bhakti Madhurya Swami: In other words, in America we say cerebral. It means the front globe of the brain, intellectualism. Jnanis are intellectuals. They just want word jugglery. “I think. In my opinion. Perhaps, maybe.” Isn’t it? And they call that science. This is what they say, “Perhaps; maybe; in my opinion.” Who are you?! Who cares for your opinion? You are born. You are going to grow old; you are going to die with your opinion also. And then after your death your opinion will be changed by others. It certainly is. I may discharge at those who believe in the modern scientific paradigm. I may discharge.
In America there was a book, a famous periodical called, ‘Scientific America’ How many of you heard of it? It is one of the world’s most famous, most prestigious scientific magazines. All the latest stuff, all the hot stuff, all the latest theories, the lasts speculations, all these things are published in ‘Scientific America.’ If you can get published in ‘Scientific America’ wow, you are going to get really big, big pratista. Pratista means position. But my challenge is very simple.
Please pick up a forty year old copy of ‘Scientific America’ Check what it says against what they say now. “Oh but we don’t believe that anymore.” That means what you were marketing before; this hot knowledge was nothing but avidya, ignorance. So forty years old it gets dead just like you will be dead one day also. What is the use? That is not knowledge, science. The word science comes from a Latin word. The root Latin word for the word science is ’scio’ You know what it means? Scio means to know. As they say, ‘Perhaps, maybe, we think.” You think! That is the problem. Mental platform, mano-rathena - means the chariot of the mind. Everybody is riding the chariot of the mind. Like in the west they have roller coasters. Sometimes they are imitating so you also get them in India. If you are very successful you can vomit. They ride and everybody screams. You go to these theme parks, they are screaming. This is pleasure? That is like this mind, mano-rathena - chariot or rollercoaster if you like. Jnanis are just following the chariot of the mind or the useless mental speculation. So jnanis are not as sinful as karmis but they do not try to reclaim others.]
They perform austerities for their own liberation. Yogis are also engaged in self-aggrandizement by trying to attain mystic powers.
[HH Bhakti Madhurya Swami: In other words the yogis want to become powerful by siddhis. Sometimes these days there may be a modern charlatan who presents himself as God. He may have some mystic powers but that still does not make him God. If you go to Kumbhamela, ther are some yogis there but we are not interested.]
But devotees, Vaisnavas, who are servants of the Lord, come forward in the actual field of work in Krishna consciousness to reclaim fallen souls. Only Krishna conscious persons are eligible to enter into the spiritual world. That is clearly stated in this verse and is confirmed in Bhagavad-gita, wherein the Lord says that there is no one dearer to Him than those who preach the gospel of Bhagavad-gita to the world. [End of Srila Prabhupada’s purport to SB 4.12.36]
HH Bhakti Madhurya Swami: the first point Prabhupada is making or the verse is making, self effulgent Vaikuntha planets. There is no illumination by sun or moon or electricity. Once I was in one of these new-age bookshops in Los Angeles where they have different versions or different translations of Sanskrit literatures for those that are shopping for something spiritual but don’t know what they are doing. I saw one edition of Bhagavad-gita written by a so called scholar. He was furious that Prabhupada wrote that the planets are not illuminated by electricity. He was furious. He was blaspheming Prabhupada, “What is this that Swami Bhaktivedanta says, no electricity, as if there was no electricity 5 000 years ago.” Was there electricity 5 000 years ago?
How many of you know the answer? Yes there was. Now the next question is where do we have a discussion in Prabhupada’s books readily available about electricity 5 000 years ago? Anybody knows?
Prabhu: In Krishna book.
HH Bhakti Madhurya Swami: In Krishna book. [Claps] That is the correct answer. Which story Prabhu?
HH Bhakti Madhurya Swami: Dvaraka was well fortified but I believe it was one of the demons. Yes fortified with a moat. Moat means a ditch full of water around it. Electric fence is specifically mentioned there. Unless you want to be a blasphemer, you want to be a charlatan you can say, “That Swami Maharaja he didn’t translate it properly.” Okay fine you can say like that and there are lower planets available. [Laughter]
It was fortified with electricity and another layer of poisoned gases and barbed wire. So much fortification, so much defense he had around. That was his defense against human beings. It did not do any good, I think it was Krishna’s cakra that just wiped it out. It wasn’t any good against the force of Krishna but in the purport Prabhupada writes that even my modern security standards it was well fortified by the best of modern technology. This fort was well fortified by modern standards of technology. They have got this type of technology of poison gases. Prabhupada is commenting this technology was there. So much for primitive culture, so much for primitive India. This was in India.
The Vaikuntha planets are not illuminated by electricity or the sun or moon. So this demoniac person couldn’t stomach that Prabhupada wrote, “Not illuminated by electricity.’ He couldn’t handle it, couldn’t take it. Because it wasn’t supposed to be. He is such a muddha, such an ass. There wasn’t supposed to be electricity 5 000 years ago but there was and these principles are going on since time immermorial.
The next interesting point is that these planets are giving off reflective light to the material world. So the real light is coming from Vaikuntha and is reflected in the planets and just as the light of the sun and is reflected in stars. Prabhupada writes, . after the illumination of the sun, all the stars and moons are illuminated. In other words, all the luminaries in the material sky borrow illumination from Vaikunthaloka.” This is amazing. They borrow illumination from Vaikuntha.
In the Bhagavad-gita we also see that Krishna says, “I am the light in all luminous things.” This includes the Vaikuntha planets, includes the material planets, includes the suns and the moon. It even includes the headlights on your automobile. Does everybody agree? If it shines Krishna says, “That’s me.” Yes He is the light.
In order to get to Vaikunthaloka the verse is saying only persons who constantly engage in the welfare activities can reach the Vaikuntha planets. We have to reach some understanding what it means to reach Vaikuntha. First of all you can perform austerities and penances, you can go but in Vaikuntha and also Vraj you must actually have the invitation of a devotee. You must render service to a devotee and that devotee must have a link through disciplic succession, a link to that effulgent realm to the spiritual world. Otherwise you can’t get there.
So if we want to try to understand what is our link, our link we also have got disciplic succession. Srila Prabhupada used to refer to Srila Bhaktisiddhanta Sarasvati Thakur as a Vaikuntha man. That means he was not from the material world. He was not actually from a Vaikuntha planet. He was not a devotee of Lord Visnu. Actually the confidential identity of Srila Bhaktisiddhanta Sarasvati Thakur - how many of you know? He is a manjari. I don’t recall the name exactly but his name was known.
He was a manjari. Manjari means the maid servants of Radharani, who are primarily maid servants of Radharani more so than servants of Krishna. They are fully absorbed in service to Radharani. The chief of those manjaris is Sri Rupa Manjari. She is in charge of all manjaris. Her best friend is Rati Manjari. Rati Manjari is Sanatana Gosvami. Rupa Manjari descends as Rupa Goswami.
I know this is broadcast internationally through the internet. My friends in the United States have emailed me with feedback on the class given in Mayapur. It goes all over the world by internet. Incidentally my name Bhakti Madhurya Goswami was for those on the internet I was formerly known as Makanlall dasa, disciple of Srila Prabhupada since 1968.
So we are followers of Rupa Goswami. As far as people in the west are concerned you can say these days the ladies are very concerned about ladies movement in the west and they may sometimes challenge, “What about you Hare Krishnas, what is the role of women in the Hare Krishna Movement?” They may say in the west, no so much in India or Asia but in the west they may say in a challenging way. “What is the role of women in the hare Krishna Movement?”
So we can say, “They run the Hare Krishna Movement.” How many of you agree? Who owns and operates all the devotees? Let me see a show of hands. Who owns and operates all the devotees? Srimati Radharani. She owns all the devotees. She also owns all the devotes in Vaikuntha. Vaikuntha is managed through the goddess of fortune, Her expansion. Here in the material world She has got this vast jurisdiction but the devotees work under Her. Why? Because She is hladini sakti, She is the internal potency.
Ther is no such thing as devotional service outside of Her jurisdiction. She is the original devotee and She is the best devotee. Just like Caitanya Mahaprabhu descendedjust to try to understand the mood of Srimati Radharani. Prabhupada makes it clear most of our acaryas are manjaris. Bhaktivinode Thakur is a manjari, SadGoswamis are manjaris. You understand why I said the movement is run by ladies? Radharani and Her manjaries are running this movement but They appeared for external reasons in male bodies as acaryas in the movement of Caitanya Mahaprabhu. Mahaprabhu is Radharani Herself. Krishna wanted to experience the mood of Radharani.
So we should try to understand not only Vaikuntha but in the time we have remaining, only a few minutes we should try to appreciate, try to understand what the position is of Srila Prabhupada. He is also mahajana. We know about the twelve mahajanas - Janaka; Bhisma; Prahlad; Bali Maharaja. There are twelve prominent mahajanas. We have to understand Prabhupada writes there are actually many more mahajanas, not just those twelve. There are many more mahajanas.
There are a few quotes here about what is mahajana. I just want to emphasis the Srila Prabhupada is also mahajana. This we have to understand. Prabhupada say, “A mahajana is a spiritual authority on the level of Brahma and Narada.” He was speaking of Vidura although he was a human being. “Qualification on a par with the great demigods is possible only on attainment of spiritual perfection.” [Purport of SB 1.9.45] was Srila Prabhupada on the path of spiritual perfection? How many of you agree? Some of you don’t agree? I don’t see your hands. Anybody disagrees? Attainment of the path of spiritual perfection that means mahajana.
“Bhismadeva was known all over the universes,”[Purport to SB 1.9.45] Prabhupada is also known all over the universes otherwise why do we sing: ebe jasa ghusuk tribhuvana [Sri-guru-vandana - from the Prema-bhakti-candrika ofSrila Narottama dasa Thakura] Tribhuvanath - you need to know what you are singing, ebe jasa ghusuk tribhuvana. Tri - like tripod - three - bhur, bhuva sva - upper, middle and lower planetary systems. Everyday all over the world we are singing but we should also meditate on the meaning that Srila Prabhupada is known all over the three worlds - bhur, bhuva and sva. [Claps]
The applause is not for me. The applause is for Prabhupada because that is the truth. It is a fact. If you tell a lie in front of the Deities you can go to hell. You have to be very careful of what you say in front of the Vaisnavas. You have to be careful of what you sat in front of the Deities. In the old days when there was some dispute let’s say a business dispute and one business partner suspects the other business partner of lying or some customer feels he is cheated. In the old days they used to say, “All right let’s go in front of the Dieties then you tell me the same thing.” It used to be known that if you tell a lie in front of the Deity you will go to hell.
So I am declaring that Srila Prabhupada is Tribhuvanath. He is known in the upper, middle and lower planetary systems. If you think I am exaggerating please consider Prabhupada has written, I believe it is in the Caitanya-caritamrta that this Krishna consciousness movement will spread all over the universe. There is no time to elaborate on that but Srila Prabhupada makes this statement. It is not only in just this earth planet. And who gets the credit? It is Prabhupada who gets the credit. He is known in bhur, bhuva and sva just like Bali Maharaja is know and just like Bhismadev is known in the upper, middle and lower planetary systems.
Now Prabhupada is going on to Yamaraja who appeared as Vidura. “He was the incarnation of Yamaraja, one of the twelve mahajanas, on the level with such exalted personalities as Brahma, Narada, Siva, Kapila, Bhisma, Prahlada, etc. Being a mahajana, it is the duty of Yamaraja to preach the cult of devotion to the people of the world, as Narada, Brahma, and other mahajanas do.” [SB 1.13.15] Was Srila Prabhupada preaching throught the world, not only this world but all three worlds? He was preaching and still is preaching via the instruments of his books. So this is mahajana we have to understand.
” . spiritual knowledge, will be revealed within the core of a devotee’s heart because of his having taken shelter of the lotus feet of a mahajana such as Prahlada Maharaja.” [SB 7.7.17] So we all are in Prabhupada’s line. He is the founder acarya. Bhakti Charu Swami gave a seminar here in Mayapur a few years back which I attended, on ‘Srila Prabhupada the Founder acarya’
- the meaning and significance of founder acarya, special heavy weight category.
I had personal experience in that regard. I became president in 1972, of a small temple in Middle Western United States. The first letter that I had written to Srila Prabhupada was to send some recommendations for initiations because that was the temple president’s duty to recommend devotees for initiations. So I sent off a letter with recommendation for initiation. The response came back with chastisement. When I received the letter I noted when Prabhupada wrote something you had to be ready for it.” Your letterhead does not say founder acarya.” I hadn’t noticed. I didn’t print the letterhead. I inherited the letterhead from a previous temple president. I hadn’t noticed it did not say founder acraya. Prabhupada noticed big time. “Your letter head does not say A. C Bhaktivedanta Swami - Founder Acarya.” Correct that.
Having received that direct order from Prabhupada I immediately had the letterhead reprinted. But I will be very, very honest with you at that time I couldn’t understand. I will just be straightforward. I won’t tell a lie. My mentality at that time was, “Why is Prabhupada making such a big deal about founder acarya.” I couldn’t understand. We know he is the founder acarya of Iskcon but why is he making such a big deal about it? Quietly I said to myself. In other words I was silently offensive but I didn’t say anything and I didn’t write anything. I kept my mouth shut. I was silently offensive by wondering “What’s the big deal?”
Now after Prabhupada’s departure we find out it is huge, it is massive. Founder acarya is different. Bhakti Charu Swami is a great authority on this subject. He is a .on the subject of the position of founder acarya being distinctly different from other gurus, not the same. I only want to conclude by saying there are different levels of gurus, spiritual masters. As Rajendranandana Prabhu was speaking about the importance of spiritual master yesterday and of course this is clear from the sastra - the importance of a spiritual master. We also need to know there are different levels of spiritual masters.
The maha-bhagavata or the nitya siddha means the eternally liberated, who never came from this material world. Sadhana siddha means who worked their way up through saddhana bhakti and became a pure devotee. There is no time to elaborate on these things but pure devotee doesn’t only mean maha-bhagavata or nitya siddha. Pure devotee means not only when fully self realized. It means who follows acarya carefully. Such a person can be called a pure devotee.
In 1969, a long time ago, Los Angeles, California during Bhagavad-gita class during the question and answer period someone asked - he wasn’t called Prabhupada as yet, “Swamiji how many pure devotees are there on the planet?” That is an important question. Prabhupada turned to Tamal Krishna Goswami, “How many disciples we have got?” In 1969, six months ago smoking marijuana, six months ago having illicit sex, drinking liquor and all these things. But no! He asked Tamal Krishna Maharaja, “How many disciples we have got?” That kind of credit he is giving. The broad scale pure devotee who follows the acarya. At the top of that pyramid like definition pure devotee means self realized soul.
It is a big word, pure devotee. Pure devotee is one who follows acarya carefully, who is chanting sixteen rounds, who rises early in the morning, who is hearing the Srimad-Bhagavatam, who is reading Prabhupada’s books, who is preaching who is doing all these things, who comes to Bhagavatam class regularly. Such a person can be called a pure devotee but that is a broad definition. Prabhupada didn’t mean that all his disciples are maha-bhagavatas. That is not what he meant. That wasn’t the meaning of his statement, but if you follow then he was giving that much credit.
brahma-bhutah prasannatma, na socati na kanksati [Bg 18.54]
The brahma-bhuta platform, the transcendental platform, the spiritual platform. The only way to get to the spiritual platform is by following acarya. Whether one is directly initiated by Srila Prabhupada or is linked to the disciplic succession that is fine the link is there. Just like if somebody is drowning in the swift river and there is a chain of people that can reach out and catch that drowning person and you may not be highly qualified as a life saver but if you are in the link of persons and somebody can reach out and grab that person who is drowning and pull him that is called disciplic succession. Whoever is representing Srila Prabhupada is also in that bona fide line. Who is following? That is the point.
I have many other quotes which I would like to read but we are running out of time. Prabhupada says who can become a spiritual master, who knows the science of Krishna, who is following. The most important of all is who is following acarya carefully and not deviating from guru parampara they also can become spiritual master. That is Prabhupada’s statement. But there are different kinds of guru. Founder acarya is special. Nitya siddha - Prabhupada descended from the spiritual world, from Goloka Vrindavana, that kind of devotee is most rare.
Prabhupada told more than one disciple, he told Bhavananda and somebody else, you know about that, “I was in the spiritual world with Krishna and Krishna asked me, ‘I want you to go to the material world.’” Prabhupada said, “I don’t want to go.” Krishna replied, “You must go because I want you to write these books.” So Prabhupada is an eternal resident of Vraj.
I will give you another example, ‘Nectar of Devotion’ How many of you have read ‘Nectar of Devotion’? That is not too bad. Still only about 30%. So the others please read ‘Nectar of Devotion’. ‘Nectar of Devotion’ says that you should meditate on an inhabitant of Vraj. So one young lady disciple asked, “Srila Prabhupada It says in ‘Nectar of Devotion’ we should meditate on a resident of Vrindavana but I like Nanda Maharaja, the gopis and the cowherd boys so I am not so clear on whom I should meditate on.”
Then like thunder and lightning, far surpassing thunder and lightning of Indra Prabhupada said, “I am that resident of Vrindavan.” Ki! Jai! Srila Prabhupada Ki! Jai! Nitya siddha maha-bhagavata Srila Prabhupada Ki! Jai! Nitai-gaura-premanande! Hari-haribol! Anybody has any questions?
Prabhu: Hare Krishna Maharaja. Thank you very much for the nice class that you just gave. My question is if you can become a spiritual master even if follow strictly except you don’t follow the institution, can you become a guru?
HH Bhakti Madhurya Swami: What are you going to do? Become our own guru?
HH Bhakti Madhurya Swami: What is your qualification?
Prabhu: I am a Srila Prabhupada disciple so I can follow.
HH Bhakti Madhurya Swami: You are a Prabhupada disciple?
Prabhu: No I am giving you an example.
HH Bhakti Madhurya Swami: Bhagavad-gita says,
tad viddhi pranipatena, pariprasnena sevaya upadeksyanti te jnanam, jnaninas tattva-darsinah [Bg 4.34]
You have to approach a bona fide spiritual master and you have to enquire. Even reading Prabhupada’s books still some sadhu sanga is required. I will give you an example. A very powerful Prabhu, he is now an initiating spiritual master in Iskcon, a disciple of Prabhupada, he is GBC for South America and so forth, he has said that before he came in contact with devotees he was actually reading Srila Prabhupada’s books and they had a sort of club with all sorts of sanga. They were a group of admirers of Krishna consciousness who were reading Prabhupada’s books and he admits he read many of Prabhupada’s books but they made all kinds of false conclusions and philosophical mistakes. He admits they had a nice club of devotees but he admits they were making all kinds of philosophical errors. Why? Because they didn’t have guidance.
Guru means guidance actually, either directly or through representatives. I am using Prabhupada’s own statements for example because one cannot just read and become a self appointed guru. No. You can’t find that. Everyone has got guru throughout the Srimad-Bhagavatam. You won’t find any instance of any acarya, even when Krishna appears; Krishna and Balarama have got guru. They are God but They are taking Sandi Pani Muni as guru. Everyone is taking guru you see. That is why you cannot become self appointed guru. That is not possible.
Prabhu: There is one purport in Srimad-Bhagavatam where Srila Prabhupada says, “Anyone who is trying to be aloof from this Krishna Consciousness Society and yet engage in Krishna consciousness is living in a great hallucination, for this is not possible.”[SB 4.9.11]
HH Bhakti Madhurya Swami: Hallucination! So we have to be very careful.
Prabhu; With regard to this last statement about being Krishna conscious outside the institution Srila Prabhupada said at the incorporation of Iskcon, this is a statement of Acyutananda Prabhu who was present at that time that if the institution has reverses you renounce the institution and continue chanting Hare Krishna.
HH Bhakti Madhurya Swami: About the institution Prabhupada said, “Iskcon is my body.” Iskcon is an institution but Prabhupada said it is my body. So there is no difference between the institution of Iskcon and Prabhupada’s body. Sometimes there may be pimples on the body. [Laughter] Sometimes there may be some problem with the body, some meningitis, there may be problems with the body but we cannot throw out Prabhupada’s statement, “Iskcon is my body.” We have to see the institution, by participating in the institution that we are participating in Srila Prabhupada. This is required actually.
There are other exalted Vaisnavas outside of Iskcon. That is all right but there are also differences. There are different ways of doing things and some of the institutions have a different Tulasi puja mantra, the mangal arati prayers are different, so many things are different. So as far as siksa and diksa is concerned we are supposed to stick, we are supposed to be Prabhupadanugas, we are supposed to stay within Prabhupada’s line if we want to get the full benefit from Srila Prabhupada’s teachings.
Prabhu: Regarding getting the credit for the spreading of Krishna consciousness all over the universe, we should get more credit than Srila Prabhupada for this. What is your opinion?
HH Bhakti Madhurya Swami: Others will get credit for spreading throughout the universe but those that are honest will accept that Srila Prabhupada is the foremost pioneer. I will give you an example. There is Prabhupada’s godbrother Sridhar Maharaja and his chosen successor is Govinda Maharaja. He used to always give full credit to Srila Prabhupada in his lectures. He didn’t call him Prabhupada, he called him Swami Maharaja. “He broke open a hole in the nirvisesa sunyavadi, he broke open and I am just taking the remnants.” So that honest is there.
Others will get credit. We are not misers. Others will get credit but where will the lion’s share go? Who pioneered, who had the guts and who came to the west when others feared that they would fall down if they crossed the ocean - because that saying is there in scripture that if you cross the ocean you will fall down. So many Vaisnavas feared that statement from the scripture. The point is yes they will get credit in the wake of Srila Prabhupada.
Prabhu: I appreciate your sentiments but what you are saying is wrong because it contradicts the statement of Srila Krsnadasa Kaviraja Goswami in the Caitanya-caritamrta where he says that, “After the disappearance of Lord Caitanya Mahaprabhu, some of the branches, for unfortunate reasons, deviated from His path.”[Adi 12.68]
“Some branches did not accept the original trunk that vitalized and maintained the entire tree.” [Adi 12.68]
HH Bhakti Madhurya Swami: Some of the branches, I mean Advaita Acarya for example one of his sons went mad - so to speak - and so there were some branches coming after Mahaprabhu that deviated. Others we see continued properly within parampara.
Prabhu: That verse Caitanya Mahaprabhu is nourishing and vitalizing the entire tree so He should get the most credit.
HH Bhakti Madhurya Swami: You won’t find anywhere in the sastra where the acarya is not given the credit by Krishna and by Mahaprabhu. You won’t find that credit going only to the Supreme Personality of Godhead.
Prabhu: No I am not saying that. I am saying.
HH Bhakti Madhurya Swami: For example Krishna said I think it is in the Siva Purana I could be mistaken, Krishna says, “Those who say they are My devotees they are not My devotees but those who are the devotees of My devotees, they are the real devotees.” That is Krishna’s statement.
Prabhu: Maharaja when you made the statement in class that the credit goes to Srila Prabhupada for spreading Krishna consciousness all over the universe,
HH Bhakti Madhurya Swami: Yes it is also in the Caitanya-mangala.
Prabhu: the thought comes to mind that Narada Muni is also preaching Krishna consciousness throughout the universe.
HH Bhakti Madhurya Swami: That is okay. It is interesting that you mentioned that because in the Caitanya-mangala by Locana dasa Thakura there is a conversation between Narada and Krishna. In that conversation between Narada and Krishna, Narada goes to Krishna in complete anxiety. He says, “In Kali yuga, hopeless situation, total darkness what is going to happen. They have no chance, they are lost, they are doomed. What to do?” Krishna says, “I am going to send my general [Applause] who will spread My holy name to foreign countries.” Prabhupada was the first to do that. Others yes that is fine. I am not trying to say there is completion between Narada Muni and Prabhupada. There is no completion. Prabhupada often spoke about the whole parampara and existing acaryas. Narada Muni is an eternal spaceman. He is still alive. There is no completion. That is not the point. We are all under Narada Muni certainly.
Prabhu: Thank you. As Srila Prabhupada said in the question and answer part in Bhagavatam is like istagosti, discussing the points there. So another example for your consideration: The leading disciples of Bhaktisiddhanta Sarasvati Thakur say that he went to the moon planet to spread Krishna consciousness. One time on a morning walk on this road out here he looked up at the moon and said, ‘Just see even Kali yuga is spreading on the moon planet.” And the disciples on the morning walk their understanding was that he was saying he wanted to go preach Krishna consciousness there. If that is true then the statement that Prabhupada gets credit for spreading Krishna consciousness everywhere in the universe - although the mood is wonderful in glorifying the spiritual master but whether or not Srila Prabhupada gets the credit of spreading Krishna consciousness everywhere in the universe that is something to .
HH Bhakti Madhurya Swami: Well the thing is that he is also tribhuvanath - ebe yasa ghusuk tribhuvana, Bhaktisiddhanta Sarasvati Thakur also, Bhaktivinode Thakur also but the thing is Prabhupada speaks in the future tense in that particular purport. He speaks in the future tense, this Krishna consciousness movement will spread all over the universe. In future tense. Once again there is no competition between Prabhupada and Bhaktsiddhanta Sarasvati Thakur. He said, “I am just the humble servant of my Guru Maharaj.” So there is not some competition going on but the credit goes to Bhaktsiddhanta Sarasvati Thakur for the empowerment of Srila Prabhupada to bring on this work an future generations in our line and other Vaisnavas are completing all this work. It is a vast work but he said, “Will spread.” He did not say has already spread.
About Bhaktsiddhanta Sarasvati Thakur preaching on the moon, I cannot say. If the disciples say then that is one thing but I have not heard before but he is also famous in all the three worlds.
Prabhu: Regarding Srila Bhaktsiddhanta Sarasvati Thakur preaching on the moon planet how can this be harmonized with the statement of a disciple of Srila Bhaktsiddhanta Sarasvati Thakur, Candrasekhara Prabhu. He states the Srila Bhaktsiddhanta Sarasvati Thakur said he will come back and he will preach in Vrindavan and South India, install deities of Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu and reclaim his lost men, disciples from the planet.
In Gaudiya Vaisnavism we take the direct meaning of the verse of Caitanya Mahaprabhu in this discussion with Bhaktsiddhanta Sarasvati Thakur. So the direct meaning is that he will reclaim those disciples whom he initiated during his manifested pastimes in the .century. That means he should be appearing around this time. So I am just saying..
HH Bhakti Madhurya Swami: The short version of this comment please Prabhu.
Prabhu: He is giving a quote saying that Bhaktsiddhanta Sarasvati Thakur will come to reclaim fallen disciples, past disciples.
HH Bhakti Madhurya Swami: It is all right. We don’t have a problem with that statement. It does not mean . That is standard procedure with the guru when he initiates. He may have to come back again. Prabhupada said to his disciples, “Don’t make me come back again.” Citing Bivamangala Thakurs example he said don’t make him come back like that, who had to be preached to by a prostitute who was representing guru. We don’t want to put that kind of force on guru that he has to come back. We have to end now. If you want to discuss more we can discuss privately. Thank you very much. Jagat guru Srila Prabhupada Ki! Jai! Srimad-Bhagavatam Ki! Jai! [Applause]
[To receive Mayapurlive lectures by email, write to firstname.lastname@example.org]