The Nectar of Devotion , Vṛndāvana , 1972-11-13
Pradyumna: Uh Page... Uh [indistinct]. "Practice means employing our senses in some particular type of work. Therefore devotional service in practice means utilizing our different sensory organs in service to Kṛṣṇa. Some of the senses are meant for acquiring knowledge, and some are meant for executing the conclusions of our thinking, feeling and willing. So practice means employing both the mind and the senses in practical devotional service.
"This practice is not for developing something artificial. For example, a child learns or practices to walk. This walking is not unnatural. The walking capacity is there originally in the child, and simply by a little practice, he walks very nicely. Similarly, devotional service to the Supreme Lord is the natural instinct of every living entity. Even the uncivilized men like the aborigines offer their respectful obeisances to something wonderful exhibited by nature's law, and they appreciate that behind some wonderful exhibition or action there is something supreme.
"So this consciousness, though lying dormant in those who are materially contaminated, is found in every living entity. And, when purified, this is called Kṛṣṇa consciousness."
Prabhupāda: So even in the minds of the jungle people, there is obedience to the Supreme. As soon as there is some thunderbolt strike, so they offer obeisances. As soon as they see a big sea, ocean, they offer obeisances. Offering obeisances to the great, that is natural. That is the gradual appreciation of the potency or energy of the Supreme Lord. Because whatever we see, whatever there is, they're nothing but different manifestation of the energy of the Supreme Lord. Parasya brahmaṇaḥ śaktiḥ.
We can appreciate the potencies, the energies of the Supreme Lord, anywhere. As I explained yesterday, the potency is there in the seed. As Kṛṣṇa says, bījo 'haṁ sarva-bhūtānām [Bg. 7.10]. A big banyan tree is concentrated within a small seed, smaller than the mustard seed. There is the potency of a very big tree.
There is a story, it is very instructive story, that Nārada Muni was passing to go to Vaikuṇṭha, and on the way one very learned scholar, brāhmaṇa, met him, and he inquired from Narada Muni where he was going. Nārada Muni said that "I am going to see Nārāyaṇa, my Lord." So the brāhmaṇa asked him, "Oh, you are going to meet Nārāyaṇa. Will you kindly inquire for me when my..., when I shall be liberated," Nārada Muni said, "Yes, I shall inquire."
Similarly, on the way, he met one cobbler. He also inquired Nārada Muni where he was going, and he said, will you kindly inquire from Lord Nārāyaṇa when he would be liberated? So when Nārada Muni met Nārāyaṇa, so he inquired---because he's saintly person; he promised---that "Such-and-such brāhmaṇa inquired like this, and the..., and a cobbler also inquired like this." So Nārāyaṇa said, "The..., this cobbler will be liberated in this life, and that brāhmaṇa will take some time, some many births."
So Nārada Muni became astonished that he, he was a learned scholar and brāhmaṇa, and he would take so much time, and the cobbler would be liberated in this life? "Oh, what is the reason, Sir?" So Nārāyaṇa gave him one needle, and He requested him that "When they inquire what Nārāyaṇa was doing, you can say that Nārāyaṇa was pulling one elephant through the hole of the needle, this side and that side," in this way.
So when he came back, the brāhmaṇa said, "Sir, you are... I offer my respectful obeisances unto you and Nārāyaṇa. We cannot believe this, that through the needle, or through the hole of a needle, a elephant is being passed, this side and that side." And when it was informed to the cobbler, he began to cry. He said, "Oh, my Nārāyaṇa is so powerful that He can do everything." He believed immediately that "Yes, for Nārāyaṇa it is possible to pull the elephant through the hole of the needle, this side and that."
So Nārada Muni inquired, "How do you believe this? The other person, the brāhmaṇa, he's learned person. He did not believe. How do you believe it? What is your conviction?" He said, "Sir, I believe in this way, because I am sitting under this tree. This is a banyan tree. And so many," what is called, "figs are falling down. And each fig there are thousands of small seed, and in each seed there is a banyan tree. So if Nārāyaṇa can keep thousands of banyan trees within this fig fruit, how it is not possible for Him to pull an elephant through the hole of a needle?"
So this is called faith. The faith is not blind. There is proof. He..., the cobbler was not blindly believing that Nārāyaṇa was pulling an elephant through the hole of a needle, but he sees practically the potency, the power of the Lord, bījo 'haṁ sarva-bhūtānām [Bg. 7.10], how He keeps all the potencies of the banyan tree within the seed. So otherwise there is no meaning "all-powerful." He can do whatever He likes. Inconceivable.
Śrīla Jīva Gosvāmī therefore explains that unless we believe [in the] inconceivable potency of the Lord, then we cannot understand the activities. Parāsya śaktir vividhaiva śrūyate, svābhāvikī-jñāna-bala-kriyā ca [Śvetāśvatara Upaniṣad 6.8, Cc. Madhya 13.65, purport]. We cannot judge how things are happening, but we have to believe. Therefore Vedic knowledge is so important. We cannot make research. We cannot judge. Simply if we take the Vedic truth...
Just like we have several times explained, the Vedas accept the cow dung pure, whereas the stool of other animal is impure. So we have to accept like that. So veda-vāṇī. Veda-vāṇī means you cannot deny it. You cannot argue on it. You have to accept as it is. Therefore learned scholar, when he speaks something, he gives evidence from the Vedas, śruti, śruti-pramāṇa. That is the best evidence.
Pradyumna: "There are certain prescribed methods for employing our senses and mind in such a way that our dormant consciousness for loving Kṛṣṇa will be invoked, as much as the child, with a little practice, can begin to walk."
Prabhupāda: The Gosvāmīs, or in the Pañcarātra system, in the śāstras, the regulative principles are so made that if we practice it, gradually our dormant Kṛṣṇa consciousness will be awakened. Therefore these prescribed rules and regulation, as it is given in the śāstras and confirmed by the ācāryas... Narottama dāsa Ṭhākura says, tāṅdera caraṇa-sevi. We have to follow the footprints of the ācāryas.
Ācārya means paramparā. One ācārya is following the previous ācārya. A ācārya does not manufacture anything, something novel. He follows the previous ācārya. And therefore he, he's ācārya. And one who follows... Ācāryavān puruṣo veda. Ācārya upāsanam, in the Bhagavad-gītā it is said. So we have to accept the principles laid down by the ācāryas. Tāṅdera caraṇa-sevi-bhakta-sane vāsa [Nāma-saṅkīrtana 7].
kabe hāma bujhaba śrī-yugala-pīriti
Narottama dāsa Ṭhākura. These are... Narottama dāsa Ṭhākura's versions are accepted as Vedic versions, śruti-pramāṇa. Viśvanātha Cakravartī Ṭhākura says that the statements of Narottama dāsa Ṭhākura are as good as Vedic evidences. Therefore we quote from Narottama dāsa Ṭhākura often. Not, not only Narottama dāsa Ṭhākura---Kṛṣṇadāsa Kavirāja Gosvāmī and the six Gosvāmīs, they are authorities.
So we have no difficulty. Tāṅdera caraṇa-sevi-bhakta-sane vāsa. That's all. Let us follow the footprints of the ācāryas, Gosvāmīs, and live together as sincere, serious devotees. Then our life is successful. It is not very difficult. Bhakta-sane vāsa. Tāṅdera caraṇe. We should live together as devotee and follow the footprints of the ācāryas. Don't manufacture concoction. Then it will be spoiled. Simply try to follow. They will protect. They'll give protection. Because Kṛṣṇa says, ahaṁ tvāṁ sarva-pāpebhyo mokṣayiṣyāmi [Bg. 18.66].
So if we take shelter of the ācāryas, that means we take shelter of Kṛṣṇa. Yasya prasādād bhagavat-prasādaḥ. If the ācārya, guru, is satisfied, then we must know certainly that Kṛṣṇa is satisfied. Yasya prasādād bhagavat-prasādaḥ. Ācāryaṁ māṁ vijānīyāt [SB 11.17.27]. So this is the principle, and the ācāryas give us direction. It is not very difficult. Simply we have to be..., become very serious and sincere. Then everything is all right.
Pradyumna: "One who has no basic walking capacity cannot walk by practice. Similarly, Kṛṣṇa consciousness cannot be aroused simply by practice."
Prabhupāda: Artificially-practiced Kṛṣṇa consciousness is not possible. There is Kṛṣṇa consciousness = nitya-siddha kṛṣṇa-bhakti 'sadhya' kabhu naya. It is not by the practice, but following certain method... Just like sex impulse is there already in everyone's heart. When there is opportunity, it becomes awakened. It is not that artificially a dull stone can be awakened in sex impulse. No. In a human being, or animal, a living being, there is sex impulse, but it becomes awakened in favorable circumstances.
Similarly, if we keep ourself in favorable circumstances, that means bhakta-sane vāsa, living with pure devotees, without any material desires, then the Vṛndāvana... Living in Vṛndāvana---what is the meaning of living...? Because bhakta-sane vāsa. Here, whoever comes, he comes for the purpose of developing devotional attitude. Not for any... Here, nobody comes for making business or making money. If anyone comes, he makes offense, dhāma-aparādha. Dhāma-aparādha. It is called... There are many kinds of dhāma-aparādha, nāma-aparādha, sevā-aparādha. There are aparādhas, offenses. That will be described in the Bhakti-rasāmṛta-sindhu.
So here, in Vṛndāvana-dhāma, nobody should make any business. Nobody should try to satisfy his senses in Vṛndāvana-dhāma. Then his living in Vṛndāvana-dhāma will be profitable. Of course, anyone living in Vṛndāvana-dhāma, he is fortunate because the dhāma itself has its own power. But ānukūlyena kṛṣṇānu-śīlanam [Cc. Madhya 19.167]. Similarly, if we live in the dhāma in ānukūla way, favorable way, then our achievement, or ultimate success, is very easy. If we commit offenses, it will be delayed. But still, anyone some way or other who is living in Vṛndāvana, sticking to the dust of Vṛndāvana, he is certainly benefited.
Pradyumna: "Actually, there is no such practice. When we wish to develop our innate capacity for devotional service there are certain processes which, by our accepting and executing them, will cause that dormant capacity to be invoked. Such practice is called sādhana-bhakti."
Prabhupāda: Hmm. The practice, following the rules and regulation of śāstra and ācārya, direction of the spiritual master, that is called sādhana-bhakti. That, every..., anyone can do, provided he's serious. Ādau śraddhā tataḥ sādhu-saṅga atha bhajana-kriyā [Cc. Madhya 23.14-15]. This bhajana-kriyā means sādhana-bhakti.
So if our bhajana-kriyā is proper and in the line, then anartha-nivṛttiḥ syāt, then all the anarthas, unwanted things, bad habits, that will be immediately vanquished. After anartha-nivṛttiḥ, tato niṣṭhā tato ruci athāsaktis tato bhāvaḥ. If this way, we shall increase our attitude of devotional service, ultimately getting shelter of the lotus feet of the Lord.
Pradyumna: "Every living entity under the spell of material energy is held to be in an abnormal condition of madness. In the Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam it is said, 'Generally, the conditioned soul is mad because he is always engaged in activities which are the causes of bondage and suffering.'
"Spirit soul in its original condition is joyful, blissful, eternal and full of knowledge."
Prabhupāda: Nūnaṁ pramattaḥ kurute vikarma [SB 5.5.4]. These materialistic persons, they are mad. Mad.
māyā-grasta jīvera se dāsa upajaya
We, those who are materialistic persons, we are mad after sense gratification. Exactly like a person who is ghostly haunted, he speaks all sorts of nonsense, similarly, in our material condition we speak simply all nonsense.
Unless we engage our tongue in the talking of kṛṣṇa-kathā... Vacāṁsi vaikuṇṭha-guṇanuvarṇane [SB 9.4.18]. Unless we engage our tongue in describing about the glories of Vaikuṇṭha---Vaikuṇṭha means the Supreme Personality of Godhead---then we shall be talking politics and other nonsense, and waste our time. Just like the frog. The frog is crowing. That means jihvāsatī dārdurikeva [SB 2.3.20]. In the Bhāgavata it is said that we have got tongue, but if we don't use the tongue for kṛṣṇa-sevā...
Sevonmukhe hi jihvādau [Brs. 1.2.234]. Our devotional service begins from the tongue. People will be, "How service begins from the tongue?" Yes. Sevonmukhe hi jihvādau svayaṁ eva sphuraty adhaḥ. So the tongue is very good instrument for developing devotional service. If we don't use this tongue in devotional service, then it is compared with the tongue of the frog. Jihvā dārdurikeva.
Why? Why? "My tongue is so nice. Why it is compared with the tongue of a frog?" Now, because the frog, crowing, [imitates frog sound:] "kakara-kaw, kakara-kaw," that means inviting the snake. The snake cannot see where is the frog, but by hearing the sound, crowing sound, the snake can understand, "Here is my food." So his crowing sound will be stopped as soon it is swallowed up by the snake.
Similarly, we have got this tongue, human body. It is not the cat's tongue or dog's tongue or tiger's tongue or hog's tongue. It is the human being tongue. So this should be engaged for Kṛṣṇa's service by chanting Hare Kṛṣṇa. "Hare Kṛṣṇa, Hare..." This is... The tongue is being used. And tasting kṛṣṇa-prasādam. If we simply..., if you do not read any śāstra, if you simply chant Hare Kṛṣṇa mantra, the tongue is... And simply we do not eat anything which is not offered to Kṛṣṇa. If we take this vow, that "My tongue should be used only for Kṛṣṇa, by chanting Hare Kṛṣṇa mantra. And chanting, chanting, when I become hungry, I take some little prasādam..."
Actually, that was the original process of paramahaṁsas, Gosvāmīs. They used to... Kṛṣṇa-kīrtana-gāna-nartana-parau. Their tongue was always used for kṛṣṇa-kīrtana.
dhīrādhīra-jana-priya-priyakarau nirmatsarau pūjitau
śrī-caitanya-kṛpā-bharau bhuvi bhuvo bhārāvahantārakau
vande rūpa-sanātanau raghu-yugau śrī-jīva-gopālakau
[Śrī Śrī Ṣaḍ Gosvāmy Aṣṭaka]
So the Gosvāmīs used to spend their time by using... Haridāsa Ṭhākura, Haridāsa..., Nāmācārya Śrīla Haridāsa Ṭhākura, he was using his tongue = Hare Kṛṣṇa, Hare Kṛṣṇa, Kṛṣṇa Kṛṣṇa, Hare Hare/ Hare Rāma, Hare Rāma, Rāma Rāma, Hare Hare, like this. Very simple thing. But it is difficult also.
So gradually... We should not imitate, but follow the footprints of great saintly persons, ācāryas. Then gradually, we shall be practiced. Tādera caraṇa-sevi-bhakta-sane vāsa. This society, Kṛṣṇa consciousness society, is made just to create some devotees so that people, by the association of the devotees and following the footprints of the Gosvāmīs, they'll be automatically elevated to the transcendental platform. This is the meaning of Kṛṣṇa consciousness Society. It is not a joint mess, that "You bring something, I bring something, and let us cook together, and eat and sleep." It is not that Society. We should always be engaged. Always we shall use our tongue.
So tāṅdera caraṇa-sevi-bhakta... It is very important passage given by Narottama dāsa Ṭhākura. Tāṅdera caraṇa-sevi... Our business should be how to execute the orders of Lord Caitanya Mahāprabhu. The Gosvāmīs, the ṣaḍ-gosvāmī, Caitanya Mahāprabhu... Caitanya Mahāprabhu said,
sarvatra pracāra haibe more nāma
[CB Antya-khaṇḍa 4.126]
He wanted that human being, those who have taken birth as a human being in India, they should take the cause, the mission, of Lord Caitanya Mahāprabhu and spread all over the world. Janma sārthaka kari' karo paropakāra. The India is made for doing good to others. India is not meant for exploiting others. That is not India's mission. From the very beginning, from long, long distant place, people used to come here to learn spiritual advancement of life. It is said that Lord Jesus Christ also came here, and he lived here for twelve years. Similarly, many Chinese scholars and transcendentalists used to come.
So India is a land of knowledge and culture, especially spiritual knowledge, since very, very long time. So especially those who are born in India, they should take advantage of the privilege. Unfortunately, they are criticizing the foreigners, those who have taken to it. They're suspecting. It is very, very regrettable fact. But anyway, that is the way, that is the order of Śrī Caitanya Mahāprabhu, that those who are intelligent person, intelligent Indians, they should take advantage of the gifts of the great sages and saintly persons, make their life successful and preach the cult all over the world. That is the mission of Caitanya Mahāprabhu. Our Kṛṣṇa consciousness movement is meant for that purpose.
Pradyumna: "Only by his implication in material activities has he become miserable, temporary and full of ignorance. This is due to vikarma. Vikarma means actions which should not be done. Therefore we must practice sādhana-bhakti, which means to offer maṅgala-ārātrika [Deity worship] in the morning, to refrain from certain material activities, to offer obeisances to the spiritual master and to follow many other rules and regulations which will be discussed here one after another. These practices will help one to become cured of madness. As a man's mental disease is cured by the directions of a psychiatrist, so this sādhana-bhakti cures the conditioned soul of his madness under the spell of māyā, material illusion."
Prabhupāda: So, as they are mentioned, the first principle is that every devotee must try to rise early in the morning. That is first business. This practice should be done first. No one should sleep more than six hours. Or, if you want to sleep more... But you must rise in early in the morning, at four o'clock, attend the ārātrika, maṅgala-ārātrika. Maṅgala-ārātrika means auspicious beginning of your day.
If you stand before maṅgala-ārātrika... In Vṛndāvana you see now, every temple, as soon as there is four o'clock, the ding-dong bell immediately begins. People can rise early in the morning, take bath in the Yamunā and visit the Deities in the temple. There is no necessity of passing M.A. examination, taking B.A. degree for devotional service. Simply you have to follow the regulative principles. Then automatically you'll become spiritualized. Very simple method. Vṛndāvana is specially meant for that purpose. Why people come to Vṛndāvana? To take the advantage. Here the atmosphere is surcharged with devotional service. We should take advantage of it.
This is called sādhana-bhakti. Sādhana. Sādhana-bhakti means we have to practice it. And it does not require much education. It does not depend on your riches, that you have to become a very rich man to follow the regulative principles, rise early in the morning. Anyone can rise ea... It is simply a practice. You can take bath in the Yamunā. It is simply practice. You can visit the temples early in the morning. It is simply practice. So this is called sādhana-bhakti, practicing.
Pradyumna: "Nārada Muni mentions this sādhana-bhakti in the Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam, Seventh Canto, First Chapter, thirtieth verse [SB 7.1.30]. He says there to King Yudhiṣṭhira = 'My dear King, one has to fix his mind on Kṛṣṇa by any means.' That is called Kṛṣṇa consciousness."
Prabhupāda: Yena tena prakāreṇa manaḥ kṛṣṇe niveśayet. The practice means somehow or other, you fix up your mind on the lotus feet of Kṛṣṇa, as Mahārāja Ambarīṣa did. Sa vai manaḥ kṛṣṇa-padāravindayor [SB 9.4.18]. Practice in such a way that you'll be able to think of the lotus feet of Kṛṣṇa twenty-four hours, without any stop. That is the first-class yoga. Immediately you become a first-class yogī. You don't have to practice the meditation, samādhi, dhyāna, dhāraṇā, āsana, praṇāyāma, this aṣṭāṅga-yoga. Without practicing aṣṭāṅga-yoga, you simply practice the one simple thing, simply thinking of the lotus feet of Kṛṣṇa always; then you become a first-class yogī.
It is not our statement; it is Kṛṣṇa's statement.
śraddhāvān bhajate yo māṁ
sa me yuktatamo mataḥ
He's first-class yogī. Who? "Who is always thinking of Me within his heart." Śraddhāvān. "With faith and love, he's always thinking of Kṛṣṇa." He's first-class yogī. So our this Kṛṣṇa consciousness movement is so nice that if we take it seriously, then immediately, on the first stage, we become a first-class yogī. Immediately, without any bodily endeavor, mystic exercise. No need. In the Kali-yuga it is not possible.
The yoga practice, in your Western countries it is very popular; but that is a farce. Yoga practice is very difficult, especially in this age. Kṛte yad dhyāyato viṣṇum [SB 12.3.52]. Yoga practice was being done in the Satya-yuga. People were very strong; they used to live for many, many years. They could practice yoga. Here we do not know when we shall die. There is no, I mean to say, fixed-up time. At any moment we can die. Padaṁ padaṁ yad vipadām [SB 10.14.58]. We are simply in the midst of dangerous condition. At any moment. Just like when you were coming from that Mr. Choudhuri's house, immediately there would have been a motor accident in this Vṛndāvana. Immediately.
So padaṁ padaṁ yad vipadām. Here, especially in this Kali-yuga, the time is very bad. At any moment there can be any turmoil, and we can die at any moment. Therefore the recommendation is:
kalau nāsty eva nāsty eva nāsty eva gatir anyathā
[Cc. Ādi 17.21]
You are chanting Hare Kṛṣṇa, Hare Kṛṣṇa, Kṛṣṇa Kṛṣṇa, Hare Hare/ Hare Rāma, Hare Rāma, Rāma Rāma, Hare Hare. If you..., if I die chanting Hare Kṛṣṇa, it is a great opportunity. So this practice, kīrtanīyaḥ sadā hariḥ [Cc. Ādi 17.31], this is the only sādhana. Sādhana-bhakti. Chant always Hare Kṛṣṇa mantra, fix up your mind on the lotus feet of Kṛṣṇa, and it will be very easily possible to make your life perfect.
Pradyumna: "It is the duty of the ācārya, the spiritual master, to find the ways and means for his disciple to fix his mind on Kṛṣṇa. That is the beginning of sādhana-bhakti."
Prabhupāda: Yes. The ācārya or the spiritual master's duty is to give direction to the disciples how he can fix up his mind always on the lotus feet of Kṛṣṇa. He should... He knows how to engage a particular devotee in a particular type of service. Sva-karmaṇā tam abhyarcya [Bg. 18.46]. The... We are..., everyone has got some particular talent. So it is the duty of the spiritual master to engage his disciple's talent in the service of the Lord so that constantly he can think of the Lord. This is spiritual master's duty.
Pradyumna: "Śrī Caitanya Mahāprabhu has given us an authorized program for this purpose, centered around the chanting of the Hare Kṛṣṇa mantra. This chanting has so much power that it immediately attaches one to Kṛṣṇa. That is the beginning of sādhana-bhakti. Somehow or other, one has to fix his mind on Kṛṣṇa. The great saint Ambarīṣa Mahārāja, although a responsible king, fixed his mind on Kṛṣṇa, and similarly, anyone who tries to fix his mind in this way will very rapidly make progress in successfully reviving his original Kṛṣṇa consciousness."
Prabhupāda: Because fix up mind on the lotus feet of Kṛṣṇa is yoga. Dhyānāvasthita-tad-gatena manasā paśyanti yaṁ yoginaḥ [SB 12.13.1]. Who is yogī? Dhyānāvasthita: always thinking of Kṛṣṇa, Kṛṣṇa's lotus feet. Dhyānāvasthita-tad-gatena manasā... Tad-gatena manasā, absorbed in the thought of Kṛṣṇa. This is yoga system. Some way or other, if you fix up your mind on the lotus feet of Kṛṣṇa, that is perfection of yoga. Yoginām api sarveṣāṁ [Bg. 6.47]. That is the verdict of all śāstras. So by fixing up your mind on the lotus feet of Kṛṣṇa, immediately you become first-class yogī. There is no doubt about it.
Pradyumna: "Now this sādhana-bhakti, or practice of devotional service, can also be divided into two parts. The first part is called regulative principles. One has to follow these different regulative principles by the order of the spiritual master or on the strength of authoritative scriptures."
Prabhupāda: Yes. The regulative principles means that you don't manufacture anything. Regulative principle means authorized---as they are mentioned in the authorized scriptures and as it is confirmed by the spiritual master. Because we do not know. When it is confirmed by the spiritual master, yes, it is right. Sādhu guru..., sādhu-śāstra-guru-vākya, tinete kariyā aikya. The same statement of Narottama dāsa Ṭhākura. Sādhu, principles which are followed, sādhu-mārga-anugamanam. We cannot follow asādhu-mārga. We must follow sādhu-mārga.
Mahājano yena gataḥ sa panthāḥ [Cc. Madhya 17.186]. We cannot follow an upstart, manufacturing some song, manufacturing some ideas. We cannot follow that. What is authorized song, we shall sing. What is authorized method, we shall follow. Sādhu-guru-śāstra-vākya. Sādhu and guru means on the basis of śāstra. And śāstra means the statements of sādhu and guru. Therefore sādhu and guru and śāstra, they are identical. So they must be corroborated. If somebody's sādhu is speaking against śāstra, then he's not sādhu. If somebody's guru, if he's going against śāstra, then he's not guru. And śāstra means the original guru and sādhu.
What do we mean by śāstra? Just like in Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam. Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam means we are studying the character of original sādhu and guru. Just like Prahlāda Mahārāja, Prahlāda-caritra, Dhruva-caritra, Ambarīṣa-caritra, the Pāṇḍavas, Bhīṣma. So Bhāgavata means the glories of Bhagavān and bhaga..., devotees. That's all. This is Bhāgavatam. So sādhu-guru-śāstra-vākya, tinete kariyā aikya.
So this is sādhana-bhakti. We must take instruction from the spiritual master. Ādau gurvāśrayam, sad-dharma-pṛcchāt. Who requires a spiritual master? One who is inquisitive of sad-dharma, not asad-dharma. Sad-dharma-pṛcchāt. Tasmād guruṁ prapadyeta jijñāsuḥ śreya uttamam [SB 11.3.21]. A man requires a spiritual master when he's inquisitive to know about the transcendental subject matter. A spiritual..., a spiritual master... To accept a spiritual master is not a fashion. Just like we keep a dog, pet, similarly if we keep a spiritual master, pet spiritual master, to get sanction of all my sinful activities, that is not accepting spiritual master.
Spiritual master means tad viddhi praṇipātena paripraśnena sevayā [Bg. 4.34]. You should accept a spiritual master where you think that you can surrender yourself fully, and offer his..., your service. That is spiritual master. Sādhu-mārga-anugamanam. Sad-dharma-pṛcchāt.
So spiritual master is required for a person who is interested in the transcendental subject matter. Tad viddhi praṇipātena paripraśnena sevayā. Tad-vijñānārthaṁ sa gurum eva abhigacchet [MU 1.2.12]. Tad-vijñāna, tad-vijñāna, the science of spiritual life. One who is interested in the science of spiritual life, not that to keep a spiritual master as a fashion. No. One must be serious. Tasmād guruṁ prapadyeta jijñāsuḥ śreya uttamam [SB 11.3.21].
First of all, one must know in which subject matter he's inquisitive---in material things or in spiritual matter. If he's actually interested in spiritual matter, then he should search out a proper, bona fide spiritual master. Gurum eva abhigacchet. Must find out. It is not option. It must. Must. You cannot avoid it. Without bona fide spiritual master, you cannot go a step forward.
Pradyumna: "...and there can be no question of refusal. That is called vaidhi, or regulated. One has to do it without any argument. Another..."
Prabhupāda: Yes. You cannot argue with the spiritual master. First of all, you have to select a spiritual master where you can completely surrender. And as soon... Just like Arjuna surrendered to Kṛṣṇa. When he saw that "The questions which have arisen in my mind, it cannot be solved by ordinary person," therefore he selected. He told Him that "I can understand, without Your Lordship nobody can mitigate all the doubts in my mind." Tasmād guruṁ prapadyeta [SB 11.3.21]. Śiṣyas te 'haṁ śādhi mām [Bg. 2.7].
Therefore original spiritual master is Kṛṣṇa. Kṛṣṇa is original spiritual master. Tene brahma hṛdā ādi-kavaye [SB 1.1.1]. Kṛṣṇa first instructed Brahmā, Ādi-kavi. From Brahmā we have got these Vedas, Vedic knowledge. Therefore, Kṛṣṇa is the original spiritual master. Aham evāsam agre. Before creation, Kṛṣṇa was there. Aham ādir hi devānām [Bg. 10.2]. Kṛṣṇa is the origin of all the devas. Devas means Brahmā, Viṣṇu, Maheśvara, then all other demigods. So in this way, Kṛṣṇa is the original spiritual master, just like He's the spiritual master of Arjuna.
So study of Bhagavad-gītā means if you follow the footprints of Arjuna, then you are also as good as Arjuna. Not as good; I mean to say that your knowledge is perfect. Perfect in this sense = that Arjuna accepted Kṛṣṇa as Paraṁ Brahman; you accept Kṛṣṇa as Paraṁ Brahman; then your study of Bhagavad-gītā is perfect. And if you make your so-called erudite scholarship, commentary, "It is not to Kṛṣṇa," then you are spoiled. Your life is spoiled, your study is spoiled. Sādhu-mārga-anugamanam.
So if you want to study Bhagavad-gītā, you follow what Arjuna says. Where is the difficulty? What Arjuna has said about Kṛṣṇa, that is already there in the Bhagavad-gītā. Arjuna said, paraṁ brahma paraṁ dhāma pavitraṁ paramaṁ bhavān, śāṣvataṁ puruṣam ādi [Bg. 10.12]. You accept Him, Kṛṣṇa. Why do you try to make minus Kṛṣṇa Bhagavad-gītā? This is rascaldom. That is not study of Bhagavad-gītā. Bhagavad-gītā as it is. Study Bhagavad-gītā as it is; then you'll be benefited.
And actually we are seeing that. We are presenting Bhagavad-gītā as it is all over the world, and it is becoming successful. Not adulteration. That is spoiling. Adulteration means... The example is given..., it was given by my Guru Mahārāja that there is a cup of sweet rice, and you mix with some grains of sand. Then it is..., whole thing is spoiled. You cannot comment Bhagavad-gītā according to your whims. Kṛṣṇa did not leave Bhagavad-gītā to be understood by your commentation. Try to understand Bhagavad-gītā as it is you'll be benefited. That is sādhu-mārga-anugamanam [Brs. 1.1.74].
Chant Hare Kṛṣṇa. Hare Kṛṣṇa. [end]