The Nectar of Devotion , Vṛndāvana , 1972-10-27
Pradyumna: [reading] "Let me offer my respectful obeisances unto the lotus feet of Śrīla Rūpa Gosvāmī Prabhupāda and of Śrīla Bhaktisiddhānta Sarasvatī Gosvāmī Prabhupāda, by whose inspiration I have been engaged in the matter of compiling this summary study of Bhakti-rasāmṛta-sindhu. This is the sublime science of devotional service as propounded by Śrī Caitanya Mahāprabhu, who appeared five hundred years ago in West Bengal, India, to propagate the movement of Kṛṣṇa consciousness.
"Śrīla Rūpa Gosvāmī begins his great book by offering his respectful obeisances unto Śrī Sanātana Gosvāmī, who is his elder brother and spiritual master, and he prays that Bhakti-rasāmṛta-sindhu may be very pleasing to him."
Pradyumna: "He further prays..."
Prabhupāda: Our... Śrīla Rūpa Gosvāmī wanted to please Sanātana Gosvāmī. Our duty is to please the superior, not the public. We are giving service to the public according to the direction of the superior authority. We do not manufacture any program of service. That is not our business. Whatever is ordered by the... Just like Caitanya Mahāprabhu. Caitanya Mahāprabhu, He's Kṛṣṇa Himself.
Still, He was following the authorities. Śrī Kṛṣṇa, Bhagavān, the Supreme Personality, He was also referring to the Brahmā-sūtra = brahma-sūtra-padaiś caiva viniścitam. So this is the way, that any bona fide spiritual propaganda must be following the footsteps of previous authority.
At the present moment, it has become a fashion to manufacture some idea. But that is not the Vedic way. Vedic way is to receive the message through paramparā system. Evaṁ paramparā-prāptam imaṁ rājarṣayoḥ viduḥ [Bg. 4.2]. Not to deviate the paramparā. So Sanātana Gosvāmī was taught by Śrī Caitanya Mahāprabhu continually for two months personally in Benares, Vārāṇasī. Therefore he's our authority.
The Hari-bhakti-vilāsa, the Gauḍīya Vaiṣṇava sampradāya, they follow the principles of Hari-bhakti-vilāsa. In that Hari-bhakti-vilāsa Sanātana Gosvāmī recommends, tathā dīkṣā-vidhānena dvijatvaṁ jāyate nṛṇām [Hari-bhakti-vilāsa 2.12]. Dīkṣā-vidhāna, by the process of dīkṣā, a..., any human being can be elevated to the position of a bona fide brāhmaṇa.
Vidhānena. Vidhāna. The very word is used, vidhāna. Vidhāna means bona fide process. Tathā dīkṣā-vidhānena. There is another good suggestion = yathā kañcanatāṁ yāti kaṁsa-rasa-vidhānena [Cc. Ādi 7.47, purport]. Rasa. Rasa means ... Another meaning of rasa means... What is that? What is called? I forget. The metal...?
Devotee: Bell metal.
Pradyumna: Bell metal?
Prabhupāda: No, no. Not that. That liquid metal.
Prabhupāda: Mercury. [chuckles] Yes. Mercury. Hydrox... What is called? Hydroid?
Prabhupāda: No. Another name is hydrargyri. That is the chemical name of mercury. You know it. Hydrargyri? Yes. Unguentum hydrargyri. Yes. That is another name of the mercury. Hydrargyri. So in Sanskrit it is called rasa. Rasāyana. From mercury, rasa, the chemistry is called rasāyana-śāstra. Actually, rasāyana-śāstra, chemical composition, begins from mercury and sulfur. That is the beginning of chemical composition.
So rasa-vidhānena, by chemical interaction of sulfur and mercury, if you can add tin and copper, then it becomes gold. You can manufacture gold, provided you know the process, how to mix up copper, tin and mercury, with via media of sulfuric acid. Sulfuric acid is the mother of chemical.
Without sulfur, you cannot make any chemical composition. Therefore all chemical composition are called sulfate, sulfite, like that. So Sanātana Gosvāmī gives this idea of chemical composition. It appears that he knew how to work with chemicals.
dvijatvaṁ jāyate nṛṇām
So we are trying to follow Sanātana Gosvāmī, by dīkṣā-vidhānena, by initiating persons any, from anywhere; it does not matter. Because in this age, Kali-yuga, the dīkṣā-vidhāna is performed according..., according to Pāñcarātrika-vidhi. Not Vaidika-vidhi. Vaidika-vidhi is very strict. Unless one is bona fide son of a dvija, the initiation was not given. To the śūdras, there was no initiation. A brāhmaṇa, kṣatriya, vaiśya. So these are the Vedic process.
So in the Kali-yuga, because it is to be understood that everyone is a śūdra, therefore Vaidika-vidhāna cannot be applied. Vaidika-vidhāna requires that one must be born by a brāhmaṇa, kṣatriya. Then he's eligible for being initiated. But in the Kali-yuga, that is not possible. Therefore the Pāñcarātriki-vidhi is accepted [Cc. Madhya 24.331, purport]. Nārada-Pañcarātra. Tathā dīkṣā-vidhānena. This dīkṣā-vidhāna, recommended by Sanātana Gosvāmī, means Pāñcarātriki-vidhi.
Now Rūpa Gosvāmī says in his Bhakti-rasāmṛta-sindhu,
aikantiki harer bhaktir
Without undergoing the process of śruti---means Vedas---smṛti, the Purāṇas, and other corollary literatures, Bhagavad-gītā, Mahābhārata, Smṛti, Manu-smṛti, the laws given by Manu, Parāśara... So hari-bhakti, devotional service to the Lord, must be approved by Vedas, Purāṇas. Pāñcarātriki-vidhi. Otherwise, any show of devotional service is simply disturbance. Anyone can manufacture. And it is being supported by some very big missionary activities = yata mata tata pata.
You can manufacture your way of religious principle. But that is not Vedic way. Vedic way is evaṁ paramparā-prāptam [Bg. 4.2]. Although we are initiating people from low-grade society, still, following the principles of Pāñcarātriki-vidhi, injunction of the Gosvāmīs. Therefore it is bona fide. Bhāgavata-vidhi, Pāñcarātriki-vidhi, they are bona fide vidhi.
So Sanātana Gosvāmī... Rūpa Gosvāmī first offers his respectful obeisances to his elder brother, Sanātana Gosvāmī, because Rūpa Gosvāmī accepted him as spiritual master. And he was initiated by Caitanya Mahāprabhu, Sanātana Gosvāmī. Rūpa Gosvāmī also. So he offers his respectful obeisances to Sanātana Gosvāmī.
Pradyumna: "He further prays that by residing in that ocean of nectar, he may always feel transcendental pleasure in the service of Rādhā and Kṛṣṇa."
Prabhupāda: Yes. "Ocean of nectar." The Māyāvādī philosophers, generally they give this example that the, all the rivers, they flow down to the ocean. This example is generally given that when the river mixes with the ocean, it doesn't matter which course it is following. After all, it is coming to the ocean, merging into the ocean. So that is ultimate liberation.
But this analogy... Analogy, if you give some analogy, you must consider all the similar points. That is the way of analogy. The more you have got similar points, then the analogy is perfect. So the rivers merging into the ocean, then you must take further consideration that the superficial water mixing with the ocean is again evaporated. The water is evaporated by scorching heat of the sun.
Just like now we see cloud in the sky; this is nothing but evaporated water from the sea. So the water which merged into the water and into the ocean of the, water of the ocean, now it is evaporated in the sky. And again it will fall down, and then again glide to the ocean. So this is called avagamana, coming and going, coming and going.
But our Vaiṣṇava philosophy is not to merge into the water, but keep your identity and go deep into the water, so that you may not be evaporated. The fish and the aquatic animals within the water, they are not evaporated. They are not going to become cloud and again fall down. Therefore Sanātana..., Rūpa Gosvāmī says, "He further prays that by residing in the ocean of nectar he may always feel transcendental pleasure."
Our philosophy is go back to home, back to Godhead. Not in the spiritual sky, paravyoma. Spiritual sky, there is chance of falling down. Why chance? It is sure. Those who are merging into the Brahman effulgence, the śāstra says that they again fall down. Āruhya kṛcchreṇa paraṁ padaṁ tataḥ patanty adhaḥ [SB 10.2.32]. Āruhya kṛcchreṇa. They, jñānīs, they undergo severe austerities, penances to merge into the existence of impersonal Brahman. But they fall down again.
They fall down again because they have no shelter. Anādhṛta-yuṣmad-aṅghrayaḥ. As..., as in this sky there are many planets---you can go with high speed to the moon planet or Venus planet---but if you have no shelter to stay there, you come back again on this earthly planet. That is practically experienced. Similarly, you may merge into the Brahman effulgence. Just like our plane goes very high and, at a certain point, we see it is invisible, merged. Actually, it is not merged. Our eyes cannot see any more. They take it as merge.
Therefore Jīva Gosvāmī, this merging principle, he has explained = just like a green bird enters into a green tree, it..., it appears that the bird is no more existing, to the imperfect eyes. But the bird is existing. We cannot see. Both the tree and the bird being green, we see it has merged. Because the spiritual sky and the spiritual living being, a small, it merges means it does not merge; it is there.
The individuality is there. And because this individuality, fragment of the Supreme Brahman, is eternal, sanātana... It is not that spirit can be cut into pieces. Acchedyo 'yam adāhyo 'yam [Bg. 2.24]. Spirit cannot be cut into pieces. That is not possible.
So we are fragmental parts. That means eternally we are so, individual. Nityo nityānāṁ cetanaś cetanānām [Kaṭha Upaniṣad 2.2.13]. We are one of the nityas. There are innumerable nityas and cetanas, the living entities, part and parcel of the supreme living entity, Kṛṣṇa. They're all individual. Kṛṣṇa also says in the Bhagavad-gītā, "My dear Arjuna, do not think that I, you, or all these soldiers and kings who have assembled in this battlefield, they were not existing in the past. They were. And they are existing at present. And similarly they will exist in the future." That is stated in the Bhagavad-gītā.
So where is the question of merging, and loss of individuality? The individuality remains. It remained in the past; it is, at the present moment, it is continuing; and in the future also they will remain, the same way. This is clearly explained in the Second Chapter of Bhagavad-gītā. So merging does not mean, always, that losing one's individuality. The individuality's there.
Therefore the theory of merging into the existence of impersonal Brahman is to stay there for some time, again fall down. Just like the same example that the water of the rivers, they merge into the ocean, but again it is evaporated in the sky, and it falls, again goes through the river, merges. Bhūtvā bhūtvā pralīyate [Bg. 8.19]. This is going on. One mani..., once manifested, and again merging. This is going on.
So our philosophy is that once going into the ocean, no more coming back. Tyaktvā dehaṁ punar janma naiti mām eti kaunteya [Bg. 4.9]. That is our philosophy. If we once go in the spiritual world, we do not like to come back. We stay with Kṛṣṇa and dance with Him, or play with Him, or serve with..., serve Him as tree, as plant, as water, as cows, as land, as cowherd boys, as father, mother or as gopīs. This is our philosophy. Once we go to Kṛṣṇa, we live forever with Him in either of these capacity. "Let me live at Vṛndāvana in any capacity. It doesn't matter. But live there."
Therefore he says that "He further prays that by residing in that ocean of nectar he may always feel eternally, continually, without any cessation..." Ānandamayo 'bhyāsāt [Vedānta-sūtra 1.1.12]. To remain ānandamaya. That is the principle of Vaiṣṇava philosophy.
Pradyumna: "Let us offer our respectful obeisances to all the great devotees and ācāryas, or holy teachers, who are compared with sharks in the great ocean of nectar and who do not care for the various rivers of liberation. Impersonalists are very fond of merging into the supreme, like rivers that come down and merge into the ocean. The ocean can be compared with liberation and the rivers with all the different paths of liberation.
"The impersonalists are dwelling in the river water, which eventually comes to mix with the ocean. They have no information, however, that within the ocean, as within the rivers, there are innumerable aquatic living entities. The sharks who dwell in the ocean do not care for the rivers which are gliding down into it."
Prabhupāda: Yes. The shark, big fish, shark, big body, they have no place to come into the river, come back. There is no place. Big crocodile, big shark, they do not come to the river. They constantly remain in the ocean.
Go on. Yes.
Pradyumna: "The devotees eternally live in the ocean of devotional service, and they do not care for the rivers. In other words, those who are pure devotees always remain in the ocean of transcendental loving service to the Lord and have no business with the other processes, which are compared to the rivers that only gradually come to the ocean.
"Śrīla Rūpa Gosvāmī prays to his spiritual master, Śrīla Sanātana Gosvāmī, for the protection of Bhakti-rasāmṛta-sindhu, the ocean of the pure nectar of devotional service, from the argumentative logicians who unnecessarily meddle in the science of service to the Lord. He compares their arguments and logic to volcanic eruptions in the midst of the ocean."
Prabhupāda: Yes. Na tāṁs tarkeṇa yojayet. Acintyāḥ khalu ye bhāvā na tāṁs tarkeṇa yojayet [Mahābhārata, Bhīṣma parva 5.22]. Simply by arguments, logic, you cannot understand Kṛṣṇa. That is the Vedic injunction. Tarko apratiṣṭho. You cannot establish the truth by simple logic and arguments. You may be very great logician, but somebody may come who is greater logician than you, and he defeats you. That is going on. Tarko apratiṣṭha śrutayo vibhinnām.
Now, if you read the Vedas, you'll find some contradiction. Not contradiction; but to the neophyte, it appears to be contradiction. Just like we have cited the example that animal stool is impure, but cow dung is pure. So by logic you can say that "Cow dung is also the stool of an animal. How it becomes pure?" But in Vedas you'll find such things.
Therefore by simple studying, without surrendering yourself to the spiritual master, you'll find all these contradiction and you'll be bewildered. Śrutayo vibhinnā. They are not vibhinnā, but to our limited knowledge, sometimes they appear as vibhinnam, different. Śrutayo vibhinnaṁ nāsau munir yasya mataṁ na bhinnam. And you won't find a philosopher who does not agree..., who does not disagree with other philosophers.
Therefore dharmasya tattvaṁ nihitaṁ guhāyāṁ mahājano yena gataḥ sa panthāḥ [Cc. Madhya 17.186]. We have to follow the footsteps of great ācāryas. That is the way. These mahājanas are described in the śāstra like Lords Brahmā, Lord Śiva, svayambhūr nāradaḥ śambhuḥ kapilaḥ kumāro manuḥ [SB 6.3.20]. They are all mentioned.
So you follow any one of these great personalities. Brahmā... Brahmā is the greatest personality within this universe, and he has got his sampradāya, which is known as Brahmā-sampradāya. Similarly, Lord Śiva has also a sampradāya, which is called Rudra-sampradāya. Similarly, Nārada-Pañcarātra, Kumāra-sampradāya.
So follow the sampradāya. Sampradāya vihīnā te mantrās te viphalaṁ matāḥ [Padma Purāṇa]. If you do not follow any bona fide sampradāya, then your path of spiritual advancement will be baffled. You will simply waste your time. Viphalaṁ matāḥ. So we should follow the footsteps of great ācāryas. Then our progress is positive. There is no fear.
So to take shelter of the lotus feet of the Supreme Personality of Godhead... Just like Rūpa Gosvāmī's described..., describing herewith that he wants to take shelter of the ocean, deep into the ocean, and he doesn't care for the river. And the...., what is called? Bharavagni [?]? There is some whirling pool in the water. That is compared with the arguments. Sometimes these logicians, they create argumental calamity in the process of devotional service.
But Rūpa Gosvāmī recommends that we should not be deviated by the arguments, karmīs, jñānīs and yogīs. Let them do their own business. We do not care for them. We give them respect as far as possible, but we don't..., don't accept the path of karma-jñāna-yoga. Jñāna-karmādy-anāvṛtam [Cc. Madhya 19.167].
Jñāna-karmādy-anāvṛtam. Anyābhilāṣitā-śūnyaṁ jñāna-karmādy-anāvṛtam [Brs. 1.1.11]. We should not be deviated by the process of karma-jñāna-yoga. That is pure devotional service, śuddha-bhakti. Śuddha-bhakti. We should stay. We should fix up in śuddha-bhakti path. That is the recommendation of Śrīla Rūpa Gosvāmī.
Pradyumna: "In the midst of the ocean such volcanic eruptions can do very little harm. Similarly, those who are against devotional service to the Lord, and who put forward many philosophical theses about the ultimate transcendental realization, cannot disturb this great ocean of devotional service."
Prabhupāda: Go on.
Pradyumna: "The author of Bhakti-rasāmṛta-sindhu, Śrīla Rūpa Gosvāmī, very humbly submits that he is just trying to spread Kṛṣṇa consciousness all over the world, although he humbly thinks himself unfit for this work. That should be the attitude of all preachers of the Kṛṣṇa consciousness movement, following in the footsteps of Śrīla Rūpa Gosvāmī. We should never think of ourselves as great preachers, but should always consider that we are simply instrumental to the previous ācāryas...,
Pradyumna: ...and simply by following in their footsteps, we may be able to do something for the benefit of suffering humanity."
Prabhupāda: Yes. Just like Narottama dāsa Ṭhākura says, tāṅdera caraṇa-sevi-bhakta-sane vāsa [Nāma-saṅkīrtana 7]. Tāṅdera caraṇa-sevi. Our main business is...
[noise in background, sounds like monkey attack]
[pause] Hut! Hut! [laughter, applause]
So our main business is to serve the ācāryas. This Kṛṣṇa consciousness movement means why..., we are trying to serve the ācāryas, Caitanya Mahāprabhu and His direct disciples, the ṣaḍ-gosvāmīs, and their disciples, rūpa-raghunātha-pade haibe ākuti. That is required.
janame janame mora ei abhilāsa
So this Society is attempting to create a society of devotees all over the world, without any discrimination of caste, creed, color. One must be a devotee of Kṛṣṇa. Yei kṛṣṇa-tattva-vettā sei guru haya [Cc. Madhya 8.128]. One must know the science of Kṛṣṇa. Then he can preach to others. Sei guru haya. That is our purpose.
People may not misunderstand our propagation, that we are proselytizing some persons to Hinduism. Yesterday one so-called jñānī came to me, and he challenged me that "Swāmījī, formerly the Christians used to convert the Hindus, and the Muhammadans used to convert the Hindus into Muhammadanism or Christianism. Now you are converting the Christians into Hinduism. Then where is the difference between their activities and your activities?"
So this fool does not know this is not making a person from Christian to Hindu. This is not the process. We are not interested. I never said in any meeting in the Western countries that "Hindu religion is better than your Christian religion. You give up your Christian religion and come to Hindu religion." No, that was not my propaganda.
There are many old students here present. They may remember. I never made propaganda. Rather, when they inquired whether one can attain perfection by following Christian principle, I said yes. [monkey still bothering]
So our propaganda is not to proselytize people from Christian to Hinduism. Our propaganda is to make everyone know this fact, that everyone is eternally servant of Kṛṣṇa. That is our propaganda. Jīvera svarūpa haya nitya kṛṣṇa dāsa [Cc. Madhya 20.108-109]. That is our propaganda. We are trying to convince people that "Your original position is servant of Kṛṣṇa. You have now forgotten that. You revive your Kṛṣṇa consciousness, and you'll become happy." That is our propaganda.
Do not misunderstand that we are trying to spread Hinduism. "Hinduism" is a fictitious term. Because there is no fixed-up conclusion. Somebody's accepting this, somebody... Even the Jains and the Sikhs and many other sub-religions, they are also ruled by the Hindu rules, Hindu law. So actually this word Hindu is given by the Muhammadans. We don't find this word in the Vedic literature, Hindu. It is later, I mean to say, prakṛta. Or in Bhagavad-gītā you won't find the word Hindu, or in Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam, or in any other Vedic literature. This is the convention of latest age.
Actually, we, the followers of Vedic principles, our system is varṇāśrama-dharma, four varṇas and four āśramas. This is..., this can be applicable. But varṇāśrama-dharma is applicable in any, in anywhere. Cātur-varṇyaṁ mayā sṛṣṭaṁ guṇa-karma-vibhāgaśaḥ [Bg. 4.13]. The creation of God... Just like sun. Sun is creation of God. Sun is visible everywhere. Not that something American sun and something Indian sun. No. The sun is the same.
Similarly, cātur-varṇyaṁ, the four principles of division, brāhmaṇa, kṣatriya, vaiśya and śūdra, they are everywhere. It is not the monopoly of India. Anywhere there are intelligent class of men, God conscious men, they are called brāhmaṇas. Anywhere who are prepared to fight for the right cause, administrator---kṣatriyas.
Anywhere who are interested in business, trade, agriculture, they are called vaiśyas. And anywhere who are simply satisfied by serving others, he's called śūdra. So our principle is not to proselytize from Christian to Hindu or Muhammadan to Hindu. We are teaching simply how to revive his own constitutional position to become servant of Kṛṣṇa. This is Kṛṣṇa consciousness movement.
So it is applicable anywhere and everywhere. It is not that it is monopoly of India or for the Hindus. No. And actually it is being accepted, practically, in all countries, even from all religious sect. In our Society there are boys and girls, they are coming from Christian group, Jews group, Muhammadan group, but when they come here, all of them become the servant of Kṛṣṇa. That is Kṛṣṇa consciousness movement.
Thank you very much. [end]