Sankirtana Means Engaging Everything In Krishna’s Glorification
Om Namo Bhagavate Vasudevaya
Om Namo Bhagavate Vasudevaya
Om Namo Bhagavate Vasudevaya
Srimad Bhagavatam, third Canto, ninth chapter ‘Brahma’s Prayers For Creative Energy’, text thirty.
bhuyas tvam tapa atishtha
vidyam caiva mad-asrayam
tabhyam antar-hridi brahman
lokan drakshyasy apavritan
bhuyah — again; tvam — yourself; tapah — penance; atishtha — be situated; vidyam — in the knowledge; ca — also; eva — certainly; mat — My; asrayam — under the protection; tabhyam — by those qualifications; antah — within; hridi — in the heart; brahman — O brahmana; lokan — all the worlds; drakshyasi — you will see; apavritan — all disclosed.
O Brahma, situate yourself in penance and meditation and follow the principles of knowledge to receive My favor. By these actions you will be able to understand everything from within your heart.
The mercy the Lord bestows upon a particular person engaged in executing the responsible work entrusted unto him is beyond imagination. But His mercy is received due to our penance and perseverance in executing devotional service. Brahma was entrusted with the work of creating the planetary systems. The Lord instructed him that when he meditated he would very easily know where and how the planetary systems must be arranged. The directions were to come from within, and there was no necessity for anxiety in that task. Such instructions of buddhi-yoga are directly imparted by the Lord from within, as confirmed in Bhagavad-gita (10.10).
[End of Purport]
Which is the verse of Bhagavad Gita 10.10?
dadami buddhi-yogam tam
yena mam upayanti te
Very good. How many of you knew this verse? Raise your hands. Okay, very good.
bhuyas tvam tapa atishtha
vidyam caiva mad-asrayam
tabhyam antar-hridi brahman
lokan drakshyasy apavritan
O Brahma, situate yourself in penance and meditation and follow the principles of knowledge to receive My favor. By these actions you will be able to understand everything from within your heart.
So Brahma, when he got to know what the Lord wanted him to do, at first Brahma became very worried. He got into a great anxiety. “How am I going to do such a difficult task?” And can you imagine what the task was that was assigned to Brahma? He had to first situate different planetary systems in their respective orbits. That means he had to make huge planets float in the space and then he had to fill those places with living entities. That means he had to design different types of bodies for living entities according to their mentality, according to their propensity and ultimately according to their subtle bodies. So Brahma had to assign them different types of gross material bodies.
It’s a very difficult task so Brahma began to wonder, “What am I going to do? How am I going to do it?” He prayed to the Lord before that, “My Lord, it is You who enables everybody to execute different responsibilities. You empower living entities and only by devotion to You one can become qualified.” But still Brahma was, although he prayed to the Lord in that way, he was worried, “How am I going to do it?”
So now the Lord is reassuring Brahma, “Brahma, don’t worry. Don’t worry.” And here in this particular verse Krishna is giving the process how to receive Krishna’s mercy and He is talking about two things. One is ‘tapah’ and the other is, one is penance and the other is meditation. Bhuyas tvam tapa atishtha, become situated in penance and in the vidyam caiva mad-asrayam, vidyam, become situated in knowledge and become situated under My protection, mad-asrayam.
So what is actually penance? Does penance mean to lie in a bed of nails or sit in the middle of fire? Or pinch your body with sharp objects? People do things like that. Especially in India we see people are performing penances – so-called penances. I would say these are not real penances. They are the so-called penances: inflicting different types of sufferings to the body. Lie in a bed of nails. We see sometimes when we go to places like Benares and Haridwara, we see people are performing these kinds of penances. Sharp nails, they are lying on that. In the middle of the summer they light a fire and they sit inside the fire, but these are not the real penances. Prabhupada explains what is penance. The real penance is to control the flow of our senses from matter to spirit, control it from its flow from matter and project it unto spirit. So that is the real penance.
Generally our senses have a tendency towards the material direction, dhyayato visayan pumsah. [Bg 2.62] Dhyayato visayan pumsah, the senses have a tendency to go towards, run towards or drag our consciousness towards visaya. Visaya means the objects of the senses. Dhyayato visayan pumsah, our tendency is to be dragged by our senses and run towards the objects of the senses. “Oh, there is a beautiful object, so now let me enjoy it. There is a beautiful facility for comfort. Let me try to get it.” So these are the natural tendencies of the senses. And it has been described in Bhagavad Gita, Krishna explains what is the consequence of that. Dhyayato visayan pumsah sangas tesupajayate, as a result of that we develop our attachments. Sangat sanjayate kamah, due to that attachment or due to that desire to enjoy those objects we develop lust. Lust, sangat sanjayate kamah, then kamat krodho ‘bhijayate. When the lust is unfulfilled, naturally lust is never fulfilled. The desire to enjoy this material nature will never be fulfilled. As a result of that there will be anger, krodhad. And then anger, krodhad bhavati sammohah. [Bg 2.63] Due to anger one will become bewildered. Sammohat smriti-vibhramah, due to bewilderment he loses his memory, and smriti-bhramsad buddhi-nasho, as a result of losing his memory his intelligence will be finished, destroyed, buddhi-nasho. And buddhi-nashat pranasyati, as a result of losing his intelligence he will be doomed, pranashyati.
But there is the other way. The other way is tapah. Do you remember that, what happened to Brahma? Brahma tried to find out his origin and find out everything by his external endeavor. Brahma climbed down the stem of the lotus, the stalk of the lotus and went quite deep down but still Brahma couldn’t find the bottom. That means by our external endeavor we will never be able to understand our origin. We will never be able to understand our real identity. We will never be able to understand our real responsibility. If Brahma couldn’t do that, what is our chance? Brahma couldn’t by his external endeavor. Therefore Brahma became frustrated, Brahma became completely disappointed and in totally anxiety he got up and started to wonder, “What am I going to do now? When my external endeavor for finding out my origin, my identity, my responsibility, I could not, after such an endeavor I could not find out, then what should I do?”
Then Krishna instructed through the heart of Brahma through the splashing of the waves. What was the sound that was generated from the splashing of the waves in that ocean of disaster, ocean of devastation? What was the sound? [audience: tapah] Tapah, and what is the meaning of the word tapah? What did Brahma understand from this word, from this sound ‘tapah’? Actually, Krishna instructed Brahma through that sound, “Brahma, go within.” Go within means withdraw your senses from the objects of the senses and project it internally. And that is the process of meditation.
So Brahma did that. Brahma became antarmukhi. Bahirmukhi and antarmukhi; bahirmukhi means when our face is turned towards the external nature and antarmukhi is when we project our consciousness internally. Internally means what? The senses are dragging our consciousness towards the external world. So now we have to reverse the process. The senses will not be allowed to go out. That is the beginning aspect of dhyana actually, meditation, pratyahara (withdraw). Withdraw the senses and project it internally.
Where is the consciousness coming from? Consciousness is coming from the soul, but are we doing? What are we doing with our consciousness? We are allowing our consciousness to flow through our senses. What is the state of our consciousness at this point in our material state of existence? Our consciousness is running through the senses and whatever we perceive through our senses, that is the limit of our consciousness. I am holding this, but what is this that I am holding? With what I am holding? And what am I experiencing? I am holding a material object, with what? My hand, a part of my material body. I am experiencing, I am feeling this object with my senses.
So this is how our consciousness is functioning in general condition, but what did Krishna tell Brahma? “Don’t do that. By doing that you’ll never be able to understand yourself. Withdraw your senses from running towards the objects of the senses. Withdraw, project it internally, and vidyam caiva mad-asrayam, depending upon Me become situated in vidyam or transcendental knowledge, then you will receive My mercy.”
That is the qualification that Krishna is instructing that that is the way to receive Krishna’s favor. “O Brahma, situate yourself in penance and meditation and follow the principles of knowledge to receive My mercy, to receive My favor.” So when we project internally then what happens? Internal projection also has different aspects. One is to see the soul and the other is to see the Supersoul. The less intelligent yogis they simply try to see the self and that is their objective, that is the purpose of their meditation: to see the self. Some of them do see the self but just trying to see the self is not enough. By seeing the self what will one understand? The understanding will be aham brahmasmi, I am Brahman. I am the source of everything. That is called brahma-sayujya: merging with Brahman realization, or Brahman realization and merging with Brahman. It’s true, I am Brahman, I am spiritual. Just recognizing that I am a spiritual entity is not enough. The real understanding is that I am a part and parcel of the Supreme Spiritual Personality. I am Brahman, aham brahmasmi, but the even higher understanding is param brahman param dhama pavitram paramam bhavan. [Bg 10.12-13] Krishna is the Param Brahman, I am Brahman, but Krishna is the Param Brahman. And who is that Param Brahman? That Param Brahman is perceived in the heart as the Supersoul.
So just Brahman realization is not enough, Paramatma realization is even higher than that. But then that Paramatma realization becomes realized through the surrender to the Paramatma. The ultimate realization of Paramatma is by surrendering to the Paramatma. If I am seeing I am a minute atma and He is the Paramatma, Supreme atma, what will be my natural tendency? My natural tendency will be to surrender unto Him and that surrender is the beginning of devotion. This surrender is called saranagati.
sri-krishna-chaitanya prabhu jive doya kori’
swa-parshada swiya dhama saha avatari’
atyanta durlabha prema koribare dana
sikhaya saranagati bhakatera prana
[Srila Bhaktivinoda Thakura, Saranagati, song: Sri Krishna Chaitanya Prabhu Jive Doya Kori]
So this saranagati is the life and soul of bhakti, sikhaya saranagati bhakatera prana. And we must remember, sri-krishna-chaitanya prabhu jive doya kori, He came to give this knowledge of saranagati or process of saranagati being very merciful to the living entities. So here we can see that just recognizing the Supersoul is also not enough. Through the proper yoga system one perceives the Supersoul – Paramatma realization. So this Paramatma realization is not enough. The real culmination of Paramatma realization is surrendering to that personality. That is the saranagati.
If we see the Paramatma but don’t surrender then what’s the use? What happens when one sees the Paramatma but doesn’t surrender? That is another aspect. That is called Paramatma-sayujya. There is Brahma-sayujya, I am Brahman, and there is Paramatma-sayujya, that is I am Paramatma. I am Paramatma, now I have become Paramatma myself. I am the Supersoul of every living entity. And it has been described this Paramatma-sayujya is even worse than Brahma-sayujya. I am Brahman is tolerable but I am Paramatma, well, that’s even more dangerous. Because if we feel that I am Paramatma then where is the possibility of surrendering to that Paramatma? That is why it is very, very important that one becomes situated in a proper disciplic succession, in a proper sampradaya. Because it is only through the sampradaya’s teachings that we get to know what is the ultimate conclusion of this knowledge. Vidyam caiva mad-asrayam, that vidya is very, very important. And we are fortunate that the vidya that Brahma received from the Supreme Personality of Godhead we have access to that vidya, that knowledge. There are lines, they follow that path: you follow this process and you will become Paramatma yourself. But those are very, very dangerous conclusions.
So sri-krishna-chaitanya prabhu jive doya kori. Doya kori, very mercifully the Lord has given that understanding. Here also, by following this process you will receive My favor, Krishna is reassuring. “This is the way to receive My favor. Surrender unto Me.”
So Brahma saw the Paramatma, saw the Supreme Personality of Godhead in the heart. But what did Brahma do? Did Brahma think that, “Now I have become the Supersoul?” No, Brahma simply surrendered himself. We can see, what did Brahma do when he saw the Supreme Personality of Godhead in the heart? Brahma started to offer prayers in a mood of surrender. And when Brahma surrendered then what happened? The Paramatma became Bhagavan.
What is the difference between Paramatma and Bhagavan? The definition or Paramatma is He is the witness. He is the witness, He is seeing everything. He is watching. He is just sitting in the heart, not active. He is seeing how the living entities are acting and accordingly He is giving him the result of his actions. He is a witness. But when there is a surrender, when there is devotion, when there is love, as we can see through Brahma’s prayer, that witness who was situated in the heart as the Supersoul, He became active. He was not just an inactive Supersoul.
So what did the Lord do? The Lord started to tell Brahma, “Brahma, don’t worry.” Brahma expressed his heartfelt feelings and he expressed his anxiety and the Lord is reciprocating. So this reciprocation of the love of a devotee is the aspect of Bhagavan. The difference between Paramatma and Bhagavan is that Paramatma is inactive, He is an inactive witness, but Bhagavan is active. And the more active He becomes, the more wonderful the relation becomes.
Then from Supersoul, Paramatma, we come to Vishnu. He is active. Here we can see that He is not just sitting there, but He is lying down and He is breathing and He is not just a witness. He is the creating aspect of the entire creation. That is the Vishnu aspect. Then Narayana, He is more active in Vaikuntha. He is more active, but He is not that active. Narayana, He is sitting on His throne, next to Him is Lakshmidevi, and everyone is offering prayers, everyone is worshipping Him and He is reciprocating. “Nanda, Sunanda, how are you doing? Oh, look at this devotee! He is performing such nice, dedicated devotion. Just go and bring them here.”
Or the Lord sometimes smiles and Lakshmi asked, “My Lord, why You are smiling?” And the Lord says, “Look at that devotee of Mine. You see, he is meditating on Me. In his meditation he is offering all kinds of beautiful, delicious foodstuffs to Me. And he cooked, in his mind he is cooking. He got the best kind of rice, best milk, best sugar, best ghee, best raisins, best cashews, best elaichi and he cooked this sweet rice. In his mind he is cooking it. In his mind he is creating all that. And he created the best fire and he is boiling that milk and cooking the sweet rice. And then he wanted to check whether the sweet rice was cold enough, but when he put his hand in the sweet rice he got a blister. He is so involved in his meditation that his meditation is having effect on his gross body. So this is how devoted this devotee is.”
Then Lakshmidevi said, “Then bring him here.” Then Narayana said, “Okay, Nanda, Sunanda, take the chariot and bring that devotee to Me.”
So there Narayana is active but He is not so active. But in Vrindavana He is running, He is playing, He is stealing, He is making fun, He is dancing. That is the most active aspect of the Supreme Personality of Godhead. The more active He becomes, the more of His bhagavatya becomes manifest, and that is Krishna. Therefore Krishna is svayam Bhagavan. Narayana is also Bhagavan but Krishna is svayam Bhagavan. In His original identity He is most active.
He doesn’t sleep at night. Not only during the day He is active, He tends the cows throughout the day with His friends and does all kinds of things, kills all kinds of demons and then He comes back. Everyone is tired, everyone is hungry. So He also comes, He also eats, He also takes His bath. He is bathed by His mother, by the gopis. He is dressed nicely. Then Nanda Maharaja and Balarama and others sit down with Him and take prasada and after prasada He is put to rest, He is put to the bed. And mother Yashoda sings all kinds of wonderful songs to put Him to sleep. Mother Yashoda sings lullabies to put Krishna to sleep and Krishna lies down and He falls asleep. But as soon as mother Yashoda walks out of the room, He just jumps out of the bed and runs through the window! [laughs] And He goes to the forest of Vrindavana and He plays on His flute, and hearing the flute all the gopis – no matter in whatever condition they were in – they just run to meet Him. And throughout the night He plays with the gopis. During the days He plays with the cowherd boys and at night He plays with the gopis. And between He has some exchange with mother Yashoda and Nanda Maharaja.
So that is how active the Supreme Personality of Godhead is in Vrindavana and that’s why Vrindavana is Vraja. Vraja means moving, it’s constantly moving. No static situation, constantly moving. But there is only one thing that doesn’t move there. Everything moves there, but one thing doesn’t move there. Vrajati nahi yatrapi samayah. [Sri Brahma Samhita, 5.56] One thing that doesn’t move there is time. See the difference between material nature and spiritual nature. In the material nature everything is static. The only thing that moves and makes everything moves is time, but in the spiritual nature everything moves but the thing that doesn’t move is time. There time is static. Time is there eternally present. Time is there nitya vartamana, eternally present, whereas in the material nature time is moving and time is making everything move, otherwise nothing would move here. It’s the time that makes everything move.
So the Supreme Personality of Godhead is very kind to His devotees who have completely dedicated themselves. They don’t have any desire for sense gratification. They don’t have any tendency to enjoy themselves but they’re constantly engaged in giving pleasure to the Supreme Personality of Godhead. And by doing that they experience an incredible joy and that joy is not a joy or pleasure of the senses. That joy is the spiritual bliss that is experienced by the soul and its effect is there externally also. That joy is experienced inside by the spirit soul but the external manifestation of that joy is romanca-kampashru-taranga-bhajo. [Sri Gurvastakam] Romanca, due to that joy the hairs stand on end. Due to that joy the body begins to tremble. Due to that experience of joy tears flow from the eyes.
So these are called asta-satvika-vikara, the eight symptoms of ecstasy. Internally ecstasy is experienced but externally they’re manifest in these eight symptoms. So that is how when one becomes engaged in devotional service and becomes simply involved in providing for the Lord’s enjoyment also experiences that joy himself. But that cannot be described or understood by any sensual means, by any material means. How one experiences that joy, materially he will never be able to understand. Only when we experience it ourselves we will experience what it is. So that is how real the spiritual world is, spiritual life is.
Now, there is another aspect to that, like as we discussed here. Like what did we discuss here? That the spiritual process is to withdraw the senses, withdraw the consciousness from the external platform to the internal: internalization of the consciousness. But then there is another aspect. This aspect was actually not known to them. This aspect became manifest through Sri Chaitanya Mahaprabhu and this aspect has been properly understood and explained by personalities like Srila Bhaktisiddhanta Saraswati Thakura and Srila Prabhupada. And what is that aspect? That aspect is sankirtana. Sankirtana is using everything in service of Krishna. I do not have to internalize myself as such. I can very much be involved in external activity, but through my activities if I am catering to the pleasure of Krishna.
What is actually happening? No need to sit down and meditate and perform this astanga yoga to perceive the Supersoul in the heart. This is a step even beyond that. To understand that, we have to understand what will one do when one sees the Paramatma and surrenders himself unto Him? When one is situated in the saranagati platform, then what? After saranagati, after surrender, what happens? After surrender comes engagement, active involvement in providing for the pleasure of the Supreme Personality of Godhead.
To understand this point we have to go back. Let’s go back to Goloka Vrindavana. What the residents of Vrindavana are doing? Yes, gopis are there but what the gopis are doing? They’re always making arrangements for Krishna’s pleasure. Somebody is making a garland for Krishna. Somebody is making a bed for Krishna. Somebody is grooming the forest for Krishna. Somebody is picking flowers from the forest. Somebody is cooking for Krishna. So there everybody is engaged in various activities to please Krishna, to give pleasure to Krishna. So that activity, when enacted in this material platform, is called sankirtana. Whatever you are doing, do it for Krishna. Now when you do that, then what’s the difference between…a resident of Vrindavana is making arrangements for Krishna and you are doing it here for Krishna. What’s the difference? Is there any difference? No. So as a result of that what is happening? A part of this material nature is transformed into the spiritual reality. The devotees making garlands here for Krishna and the gopis making garlands there, there is no difference. It’s the same service, same service. Then the flowers, what are those flowers? Are they material flowers? No, they’re spiritualized because they are being engaged in Krishna’s service. And that is what is sankirtana. Sankirtana; engage everything in Krishna’s service, engage everything in glorifying Krishna. In this world people have forgotten Krishna, so what’s the best way to serve Krishna? Remind everybody about Krishna and that is sankirtana, not only just chanting the Hare Krishna Mahamantra or singing collectively, but using everything in the service of Krishna. That is the ultimate sankirtana.
The ultimate consideration is becoming engaged in giving pleasure to Krishna by spreading His glory all over the world. Now when we look at it, then we can see, what is more important: just worship the Deities in the temple or going out and spread the glory of the Lord? Yes, worshipping the Lord in the temple is important. When the temple is there, that service is very important, but even more important is to go out and distribute the knowledge of Krishna. Remind everybody about Krishna, go outside and spread Krishna’s glory. Remind them about Krishna so that they also can become engaged in serving Krishna. That is why in this age more important than aradhana or worship is sankirtana, yajnaih sankirtana-prayair. [SB 11.5.32] This has been started by Sri Chaitanya Mahaprabhu. This is the mercy of Sri Chaitanya Mahaprabhu. No one else ever gave that kind of mercy to the living entities before. The highest understanding, highest engagement was to worship the Lord in the temple. Dvapare paricaryayam. [SB 12.3.52] So you can see the gradual development? In Satya yuga it was dhyana (meditation). The meditation that the Lord is talking about, that was the process for Satya yuga. Then tretayam yajato makhaih, in Treta yuga it is sacrifice, not just meditation. After meditation what is coming? Offering me and whatever belongs to me to the Lord; myself and whatever belongs to me to the Lord. That is the process of sacrifice. Then dvapare paricaryayam, in Dvapara yuga directly serving the Lord in the temple. But kalau tad dhari-kirtanat, in the age of Kali that process is to engage everything in the service of the Lord.
Apparently it looks like these are material activities. “Look what these Hare Krishna devotees are doing. They are going out and they are selling books. They are selling books! This is not the job of a sadhu. A sadhu should sit in a temple, better still, a sadhu should go to the Himalayas and meditate.” People cannot relate to that. “Why are the Hare Krishna devotees doing that? Oh, look what these Hare Krishna devotees do! First we saw that they were selling books, now see what a big property in the city, a big property costing so many millions of dollars. And there what did they do? They set up a restaurant. They started a business. Okay, first they started a restaurant. That was not so bad, because after all they were giving out Krishna prasada, but next what did they do? See, they opened a boutique! [laughter] They are getting things from all over and selling them here. And then what did they do? They started a big business here!”
Now why all these arrangements? These arrangements are to spread the glory of Krishna all over the world. If the devotees were just sitting, say, we built a temple here, if the devotees were just sitting here and doing the puja, will there be much result of that? No. We are seeing. Initially there was some interest, people were coming. [In Hindi:] “Oh, the Hare Krishna’s have built a big temple. They built a marble temple, let’s go and see!” So initially there was a lot of interest but that interest faded away gradually. And then therefore we had to start this preaching program, Bhakti Vriksha program, Nama Hatta program, to attract them. And this is how different arrangements have been made to invite people and motivate them to become Krishna conscious. And it will keep on increasing, it will keep on increasing. Nama Hatta, people are coming. Bhakti Vriksha, people are coming, or students of UYF, or what do you call that? [devotees: IYF] IYF, ISKCON Youth Forum. Nice young boys, but as they are students they’re engaged in devotional service. But then they pass out, they finish their studies, then they have to go for a job. So they are losing out. These people are just going out getting jobs outside, and as a result of that, gradually they lose their Krishna consciousness. Therefore won’t it be better if we can create jobs for them? Then they won’t have to go out. They can be within. So create jobs for them. Now in order to create jobs for them we have to set up a business. Fine, like set up businesses. These boys can be engaged and the profit can be used in Krishna’s service.
So this is what sankirtana is: using everything in the service of the Lord, using everything in order to glorify the Lord. And this spirit has been established by Srila Bhaktisiddhanta Saraswati Thakura and then it has been furthered by Srila Prabhupada. Bhaktivinoda Thakura planted the seed, Bhaktisiddhanta Saraswati Thakura gave it a shape and Srila Prabhupada made it a reality. And now, as Srila Prabhupada’s followers, what should we do? Should we sit in the temple and ring the bell and have a picnic? No! We have to take up the spirit of Srila Prabhupada and spread this Movement all over the world, and that is the meaning of becoming a real follower of Srila Prabhupada. Prabhupada was not sitting in Vrindavana and doing nirjana bhajana. Prabhupada left Vrindavana to go to New York. So this is an indication of Prabhupada’s mood. While everybody was thinking, “Oh, I’ll just stay in Vrindavana and get my siddha deha”, Prabhupada left Vrindavana to give the whole world, the living entities of the whole world to give them their siddha deha’s. He didn’t care for his own siddha deha. He didn’t care for his own perfection. And that is the ultimate perfection: make others perfect, give them pure devotional service and in this way deliver them all.
Hare Krishna! Thank you very much. All glories to Srila Prabhupada! Gaura Premanande Hari Haribol!
Yes, any question? Yeah?
Devotee: This material world or this universe is limited, so why Brahma, he could not find the end of this universe?
BCS: Yeah, material world also is not limited. The material world is also unlimited. Just consider; what is the material world? The material world is consisting of the universes from the body of Brahma, right? And these universes are generated even from the pores of Brahma’s body, I am sorry, pores of Maha-Vishnu’s body, right? Body of Maha-Vishnu. Now is Maha-Vishnu’s body limited? So are the universes coming out of Maha-Vishnu’s body limited? Therefore the material nature is also unlimited.
Hare Krishna! Yes, Anshul?
Devotee: Guru Maharaja, the first question is from Deepak prabhu from Pune. Lord Brahma entered the whorl of the lotus and divided it into three divisions, that is the three worlds, and then into fourteen divisions, that is the fourteen planetary systems. So did Brahma create his own residence that is Brahmaloka?
BCS: Brahma’s residence was created by the Lord Himself. The lotus where Brahma was sitting, that is Brahma’s residence, the topmost region of this universe. And on the stalk of that lotus there are fourteen planetary systems. Of these planetary systems the topmost is Satyaloka, the residence of Brahma, but below that there are other lokas. Below Satyaloka is Tapaloka, then Janaloka, then Maharloka, then Svaraloka and then comes Bhurloka. So the Bhurloka is the middle planetary system. And then there are lower planetary systems, the other seven planetary systems: Tala, Atala, Sutala, Vitala, Mahatala, Rasatala, Patala.
So Brahma had his position, but then of course, as Brahma’s associates came, they got their places also. But the original place was, yes. Brahma’s abode, Brahma’s residence or Brahma’s situation, place of situation, was created by the Lord Himself.
Alright, Deepak? Anyway, tomorrow when you come we will discuss more about it. He is coming tomorrow or today? We are looking forward to your coming, Deepak. Hare Krishna!
Devotee: One more question. This is again from Deepak prabhu. Is it possible to do bhakti without taking jnana-marga or without knowing the Absolute Truth?
BCS: Yes, to do bhakti all you have to do is surrender. To start bhakti you have to just have the shraddha that Krishna is the Supreme Personality of Godhead and you are His eternal servant, so you surrender. And when you surrender to Krishna then jnana will automatically come, knowledge will automatically come. For that you don’t have to go to a university and study the Vedanta. The Vedanta will become manifest in your heart, tene brahma hrida adi kavaye. And this verse also is describing that jnanam which manifested in the heart, tabhyam antar-hridi brahman. The transcendental knowledge is manifested in the heart.
Devotee: This is a question from Guru Gauranga prabhu. So we can pray to Sri Chaitanya Mahaprabhu to give us a taste for preaching and will He give us that taste unconditionally?
BCS: Yeah, yeah, actually, the taste is not only unconditional but the taste is ever increasing. The more you get the taste, the more you want to have it and the more it increases.
Like you just try something with a little…, because you are not sure how it will taste. It may be bitter, it may be sour, it may be sweet, it may be very pungent. You don’t know what the taste will be like. So how do you take the first thing, the first taste? You take a little bit in your finger and just touch it on your tongue and when you touch it you see how relishable it is. And then what happens? Then you don’t take the touch with your finger, you grab it with your hand, then you get the taste even more. Then you use both hands. [laughter] And that is what the spiritual life is like; the more the taste you get, the more you want. And because it is unending and your ability to relish it is not limited by your stomach. Like you can keep on relishing it more and more and more, endlessly.
Devotee: This question is again from Guru Gauranga prabhu. What is our payment, is it shraddha or tapasya or seva?
BCS: What is our payment? Oh, what is our penance?
Devotee: No, payment.
BCS: Payment, yeah, okay. So our payment begins with shraddha. When it begins there is no payment, then it is an exchange. In love, is there any payment? Do you pay anything in your love? No, you reciprocate love with love. So when you love Krishna, or how do you begin to love Krishna? Because you see how much Krishna loves you and then you begin to love Him. And then Krishna reciprocates by giving you more love, then you reciprocate with more love, and this is how it keeps on increasing. So there is no payment as such. The beginning aspect is just shraddha. And then in vaidhi bhakti there are different processes, as long as you are in the vaidhi platform. But when you transcend the vaidhi platform, or sadhana platform – not just vaidhi – the sadhana platform, then it comes to the siddha platform. And in the siddha platform there is only loving exchange.
Devotee: The next question is from Premavallabhi mataji. Hare Krishna, Guru Maharaja. Can you please elaborate more on how we do not have internalized but engage externally in the service of the Lord.
BCS: Yes. What are you doing? Since you came to ISKCON, have you been asked to just sit and meditate on the Lord in the heart? Or you have been asked to render more and more service? Premavallabhi, start this Bhakti Vriksha program. Premavallabhi, go to the old age home and make programs with them. Premavallabhi, go to the children’s school and create this program for them. So what is happening to you? Premavallabhi, are you becoming more and more engaged, more and more active? Or you are becoming more and more inactive? If it was just meditation then you would have become inactive, but this is opposite to meditation actually. It is spiritual activity, transcendental involvement. That is what Krishna consciousness is. That is what ISKCON is meant for. In Prabhupada’s words; “Service now, samadhi later.” So now you serve and then you will see what the samadhi will be like. But the reality actually is, your service started beyond your samadhi. You left your samadhi stage behind. Now you are in a transcendental involvement stage.
Devotee: She is saying, “Yes, Guru Maharaja.” And one comment from Guru Gauranga prabhu: thank you for a gorgeous class.
BCS: Hare Krishna. Thank you, Guru Gauranga, for your appreciation. And that is the reward for me, that somehow or other I can encourage you to become more and more involved in your devotional service. That is my only business.
Yes, Soni, you have a question?
Devotee: Maharaja, in Brahma Samhita it is said that Krishna ishvara parama and in Bhagavatam Krishnas tu Bhagavan svayam, so ishvara and Bhagavan is the same?
BCS: Yeah, yeah. Not only ishvara, ishvarah paramah Krishna. Ishvara paramah Krishna, parama ishvara. Ishvara means controller. Like you are also an ishvara, do you know that? You are an ishvara. You are the ishvara of your home. You are the master, you are the lord, you are the proprietor of your home, isn’t it? So there are many, many ishvaras. Then there is UDS ishvara, the chairman of UDS or CEO of UDS. Then Ujjain ishvara. Then Madhya Pradesh ishvara. Then Bharateshvara. Then Prithveshvara. Then the Brahmandeshvara, Brahma. Then in this way you go beyond and then ultimately the one who is the ishvara and there is no one beyond him, that is the Parameshvara, and that is Krishna, alright? And Bhagavan is actually the Parameshvara, the Parameshvara is Bhagavan.
Devotee: A comment and a few questions, Guru Maharaja. This is from Lalita Shyama (?) Mataji. Thank you so much for the class and helping us understand what Krishna wants. The second question is from Saranagati mataji. Please tell Guru Maharaja that all the guests have also enjoyed the class and we are celebrating with another kirtana at the UN on March fourth.
BCS: [laughs] Okay, thank you so much, Saranagati. I received your emails, so I will reply them. And thank you very much for bringing your guests and please convey my best wishes to all your guests, and tell them that when I go to New York I am looking forward to meeting them.
Devotee: Next is a question from Krishna Dasa prabhu. Guru Maharaja, what if one feels more inclined internally than externally? Is that okay?
BCS: More inclined internally than externally, yeah, go along with your nature, with your tendency but always remember that internalization is only a momentary phase. After you internalize then they will become externally involvement.
Devotee: Maharaja, transcendental time doesn’t move but once Krishna had His bath and mother Yashoda had put Him to bed and then He leaves at night, and then He goes, that has already become past.
BCS: Yes, that is because we are looking at it from our concept of time. It appears to be like that. When you go to the spiritual sky then there will be another concept of time. We wouldn’t know what eternal time actually means, because we do not know what present actually is. You see, in our concept of time present practically doesn’t exist. It’s just past and future. It’s future, and before we could even say present, ‘p’ of the present, it is gone. So what is present? We do not know what present is. It is always, gacchati iti jagat, that’s why this material nature is called ‘jagat.’ It’s constantly moving, time on time, whereas in the spiritual sky we don’t know what it is like.
Like, yes, Krishna is in bed, mother Yashoda left the room and Krishna jumped out of the bed and went. So Krishna was in the bed, that was past, and now that Krishna jumped out of the window is the present, it’s not like that. In the spiritual sky time has a completely different dimension. That reminds me, Maithili sent me a question a few days ago, that she asked that in the spiritual sky everything is conscious, everything is alive, everything is living, everything is a personality, then what about milk? When Krishna drinks the milk or the cowherd boys drink the milk then what happens to the milk? Again, the answer is we wouldn’t understand what it actually means. Do we know what a conscious living entity means? Do we really know? Because our consciousness is only limited to our body and senses, but the spiritual consciousness is completely different. The spiritual identity is completely different. Here our identity is in relation to the gross material body, whereas in the spiritual sky the identity is completely different. Like as you were saying, each flower is a living entity, then the garland is made and then it becomes the Vaijayantimala, another personality.
So that is how the spiritual world is like. Like, the personalities are there, the consciousness is there, but the consciousness does get transformed, from one consciousness it is merging into another consciousness. My point is, unless and until we go to the spiritual sky we will not be able to understand. If we try to understand then what it will be like? It will be like the frog in the well trying to understand the ocean. His perception is limited to the well, so he will try to see everything in relation to the well. But now with his ‘well’ knowledge, can he understand what the ocean is? No. Similarly, with our material understanding we’ll never be able to understand what the spiritual reality is like. Therefore the best is to wait til we go there. When we go there we will see it ourselves. We will see whether we are milk there or a flower or Vaijayantimala! [laughs]
Yes, Hare Krishna!
Devotee: The last question is from Deepak prabhu. When does the Lord become more happy with us: when we serve the Lord or the devotees, or serving the purpose of the Lord?
BCS: Yeah. All are the same, but the lower you go, the better it is. Not only serving the devotee of the Lord, when you serve the devotee of the devotee of the Lord He gets more pleased. When you serve the devotee of the devotee of the devotee of the Lord He becomes more pleased. So that is how the Lord reciprocates, because the lower you go that means the more conviction, more faith, more love you have for Him.
Just like – an example can be given – you have a friendship with the mother and the mother is favorable to you, but when the mother sees that how much you love her baby, the mother becomes even more pleased. Our relationship with Krishna is something like that. You love the person, yes, there is love, but you love the loving object of that person, that love becomes stronger.
Yes, do you have a question?
Devotee: Maharaja, what does surrender actually mean? What is the devotional mentality when we are surrendered to Krishna?
BCS: When I am are surrendered to Krishna it means that, “Krishna, whatever You want, I will do. I do not have any independent thinking. Whatever You want. And make me an instrument in Your hand and use me in Your service.” And that is ultimately coming to the point that, “My Lord, whether You keep me of kill me, do whatever You want. If You want to kill me, it’s fine.” That is the real surrender, “Whatever YOU want.” Not that, “Krishna, I surrender myself to You, why are You making me die? Why don’t You protect me at a time like this? The Talibans have come with their AK-47, so why don’t You?” No! Rather, when they come with their AK-47, “Oh Krishna, You want me to die now, fine. I see that You are actually the doer, the Supreme Controller and I am surrendered to You, whatever You want to do.”
Like Prahlada Maharaja, you know the anecdote? His father wanted to kill him in so many ways. He was not defending himself. “Krishna, whatever You want.” And what did Krishna do?
Devotee: He saved him.
BCS: So similarly, when we depend upon Krishna, yes, Krishna will protect us. But we shouldn’t surrender to Krishna with an expectation that, “Krishna, You will protect us, that’s why I am surrendering to You.” At a neophyte stage we may feel that way but at advanced stages, “Krishna, I am surrendered to You even if You kill me, because I know that through that death, through that transformation I’ll achieve my perfection.”
Devotee: Thank you.
BCS: Hare Krishna! Okay, yes?
Devotee: Which type of senses can see Lord Krishna?
BCS: Which type of senses? Only purified senses. Now are senses are impure because they are flowing through our nervous system. These are the bodily senses but the spirit soul also has senses but they are spiritual senses. But because the senses have been contaminated with the nervous system of this body, we lost our spiritual faculties. With our material senses we can only perceive matter. Like, with our eyes, which is a faculty to see, what can it see now? It can see only the material objects and that also that are within the light range, length range of violet to red. Beyond that we don’t see. So this is how limited our senses have become and these are the contaminated senses. What to speak of the soul, our spiritual identity, we can’t even see our mind. We can’t even see air. Although we can feel it, the breeze is blowing, but can we see it? But when the senses become purified by devotional service then we will see Krishna, and also in the light of Krishna we will see different living entities in their spiritual identities.
Devotee: Just two comments, Guru Maharaja. One from Deepak prabhu. Thank you, Maharaja. It was very wonderful hearing you. And the second from Krishna Dasa. Guru Maharaja, I want to personally thank you and all the devotees for broadcasting in the evening. It is so very refreshing and enlivening hearing your classes after a long day at work.
BCS: Thank you, Krishna Dasa. Hare Krishna! And thank you, Deepak, and thank you all the viewers. So I look forward to seeing you personally some day. Hare Krishna! And I hope that it won’t be too long. It won’t be such a long wait, that’s what I meant. Yes, I want our meeting should be very long, but I hope that the wait will not be too long. Thank you, Hare Krishna!
Gaura Premanande Hari Haribol! Srila Prabhupada ki jaya!