Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam 1.5.28 , Vṛndāvana , 1974-08-09
Pradyumna: Oṁ namo bhagavate vāsudevāya. Oṁ namo bhagavate vāsudevāya. [devotees repeat] [leads chanting of verse, etc.]
viśṛṇvato me 'nusavaṁ yaśo 'malam
saṅkīrtyamānaṁ munibhir mahātmabhir
Translation = "Thus during two seasons, the rainy season and autumn, I had the opportunity to hear these great-souled sages constantly chant the unadulterated glories of the Lord Hari. As my devotional service began, the coverings of the modes of passion and ignorance vanished."
viśṛṇvato me 'nusavaṁ yaśo 'malam
saṅkīrtyamānaṁ munibhir mahātmabhir
Ātma-rajas-tamopahā. This is the perfection of life. We are now covered by the modes of material nature, tri-guṇamayī, three guṇas = sattva, rajas, tamas. So mukti means to get out of this entanglement of three guṇas. That is called mukti. We are suffering different modes of material nature. We have several times explained, kāraṇaṁ guṇa-saṅgaḥ asya sad-asad-yoni-janmasu [Bg. 13.22]. There are different types of bodies. From specie point of view, there are 8,400,000 forms, and they are due to these material modes of nature. I have several times explained, there are three modes of material nature, and if you mix, three into three, it becomes nine, and nine into nine equal to eighty-one. So little more or less, there are 8,400,000 species of life. So in order to get out of this repetition of birth and death, we require to be freed from the influence of the modes of material nature. That is the perfection of life.
So here Nārada Muni says that "During the four months..." In India there are six seasons. There is summer season, there is spring, there is autumn, then there is winter, there is fall. In this way, there are six seasons. So the saintly person, in the..., during the autumn and rainy season, they keep together; they do not move. Because saintly persons, sannyāsīs, their business is to move... Gṛhiṇāṁ dīna-cetasām, mahad-vicalanam. Mahad-vicalanam. Mahat means mahātmā, great souls. Great soul means not crippled souls; those who are anxious to meet the great, or the Supreme Brahman, or the Supreme Personality of Godhead. Those who are crippled souls, they are entangled with the limited circle of material enjoyment. But mahātmā... Mahātmā is described in the Bhagavad-gītā, mahātmānas tu māṁ pārtha daivīṁ prakṛtim āśritāḥ [Bg. 9.13]. Mahātmās are not interested within this material world. They are not under the influence of the external energy. Of course, nowadays it is... Sometimes politicians are called "mahātmā." But that is not the purpose of mahātmā. Mahātmā is not interested with politics or sociology or---they are all material things---or philanthropy. They are interested with the Supreme = Brahman, Paramātmā and Bhagavān. Brahmeti paramātmeti bhagavān iti śabdyate [SB 1.2.11]. They're interested. Especially mahātmā is he who is interested with the Supreme Personality of Godhead, Kṛṣṇa.
Every kṛṣṇa-bhakta, Kṛṣṇa conscious person, is mahātmā, real mahātmā. How it is? Kṛṣṇa says, mahātmānas tu māṁ pārtha daivīṁ prakṛtim āśritāḥ, bhajanty ananya-manasaḥ. That is mahātmā. Mahātmā does not mean that if you dress yourself with a certain colored cloth and have some big hairs and beards, then you become mahātmā. No. The mahātmā is he... Who? Daivīṁ prakṛtim āśritāḥ: "He is not under the influence of this external energy." Daivī-prakṛti means... There are two prakṛtis, two natures = internal and external. Internal energy is spiritual energy, and external energy is material energy. So mahātmās, they are not under material energy.
One who is under the material energy, they are entangled with these three guṇas = sattva-guṇa, rajo-guṇa, tamo-guṇa. The lowest is the tamo-guṇa, and via media is the rajo-guṇa, and the topmost, goodness, is sattva-guṇa. So even in sattva-guṇa, that is also entanglement. Rajo-guṇa, tamo-guṇa is certainly entanglement, but even rajo-guṇa, even one is situated in the sattva-guṇa... Sattva-guṇa means perfect brāhmaṇa = satyaṁ śamo damas titikṣā ārjavam, jñānaṁ vijñānam āstikyaṁ brahma-karma svabhāva-jam [Bg. 18.42]. Even if you become a perfect brāhmaṇa, brāhmaṇa with qualities, still, it is bondage. In bondage because, in this way, that even if you become a brāhmaṇa you'll think yourself, "Now I have got so much knowledge, Vedic knowledge. I speak truth, satya. I can control my senses. Satyaṁ śamo damaḥ. I can control my mind. I have got knowledge. I can tolerate." So all these qualities, one becomes bound up. But Śrī Caitanya Mahāprabhu teaches, nāhaṁ vipro na ca nara-patiḥ, that "Even... I am not even a brāhmaṇa. I am not a kṣatriya. I am not a vaiśya. I am not a śūdra," He says. This is called sarvopādhi-vinirmuktam [Cc. Madhya 19.170]. Even if you become a brāhmaṇa, still, that is upādhi, designation.
So although there is bondage in the sattva-guṇa... Ūrdhvaṁ gacchanti sattva-sthāḥ [Bg. 14.18], you can be promoted to the higher planetary systems, but that is also bondage. Kṛṣṇa says, ābrahma-bhuvanāl lokāḥ punar āvartino 'rjuna [Bg. 8.16]. If you remain within this material world, even if you are promoted to the highest planetary system, Brahmaloka, Satyaloka, still, you have to accept the material bondage, means janma-mṛtyu-jarā-vyādhi [Bg. 13.9]. Brahmā, he also dies. Although he has got very, very long duration of life, he also dies. So Kṛṣṇa therefore recommends, yad gatvā na nivartante tad dhāma paramaṁ mama [Bg. 15.6] = "If you come to My place, then you are no more under the laws of birth, death, old age and disease." Tyaktvā dehaṁ punar janma naiti mām eti kaunteya [Bg. 4.9]. That should be the aim of life. Those... There are others, who are aspiring to go to the heavenly planet or Satyaloka or Brahmaloka, but Kṛṣṇa says, mad-yājino 'pi yānti mām. Yānti deva-vratā devān pitṝn yānti pitṛ-vratāḥ, mad-yājino 'pi yānti mām [Bg. 9.25]. Therefore the Kṛṣṇa consciousness movement is that "Why we should go to the heavenly planet or Brahmaloka or any other material planet? We shall go directly to the abode of Kṛṣṇa, Goloka Vṛndāvana." That is the aim of the devotees.
So that aim you can fulfill by practicing bhakti-yoga. That is mentioned here, bhaktiḥ pravṛttā ātma-rajas-tamopahā. So rajas-tamas... So long one is situated in the modes of passion and ignorance, there is no hope. There is no hope. But when one comes to the platform of sattva-guṇa, there is little hope of transcending. So bhakti-yoga is above sattva-guṇa. In the sattva-guṇa, in the modes of goodness, you can become a nice brāhmaṇa, but simply by becoming a nice brāhmaṇa you, your..., you are not free from the material bondage. When you become a pure Vaiṣṇava, then you are free from the bondage of the material world. And to become Vaiṣṇava, you require this devotion, bhakti. Bhakti. Immediately, beginning of bhakti means rajas-tamopahā, upahā. One who is situated even beginning, he is above the rajas-tamo-guṇa. He's situated... Tadā kāma-lobha...
There is a... There is a verse. Naṣṭa-prāyeṣv abhadreṣu nityaṁ bhāgavata-sevayā [SB 1.2.18]. Here the same thing is described, that saṅkīrtyamānaṁ munibhir mahātmabhiḥ. Saṅkīrtyamānam. We have to hear the saṅkīrtana not from professional men. That will not be... If you hear saṅkīrtana from the professional men... Professional men = who makes saṅkīrtana as the means of livelihood. Just like people do some business or work to get some money to maintain the life, similarly, if somebody takes the saṅkīrtana as the means of livelihood, that will not help you. You can go on hearing saṅkīrtana from such professional men for millions of years; still, you will remain where you are, not rajas-tamopahā. You cannot get out of the bondage of...
Therefore you have to hear from the saṅkīrtyamānaṁ munibhir mahātmabhiḥ. Mahātmā. Mahātmā means mahātmānas tu māṁ pārtha daivīṁ prakṛtim āśritāḥ, bhajanty ananya-manasaḥ [Bg. 9.13]. Mahātmā means those who have finished this material business. Simply they're interested with Kṛṣṇa and... Just like Haridāsa Ṭhākura or followers, Caitanya Mahāprabhu's followers. If you hear... Just like Nārada Muni. In his previous birth he heard from these mahātmās, great devotees, only for four months. It is stated here. The time is..., śarat prāvṛṣa, prāvṛṣa, prāvṛṣikāv ṛtū. Śarat and autumn, two ṛtūs, he heard. The association was there. And the result was = viśṛṇvato me 'nusavaṁ yaśo amalam. Kṛṣṇa's glorification, amalam, without any spot, without any... Kṛṣṇa's glories, that is real nirguṇa. Nirguṇa does not mean to become impersonal. Nirguṇa means without any material attributes. So when Kṛṣṇa's glories are chanted, that is not anything of this material world.
Just like Narottama dāsa Ṭhākura says, golokera prema-dhana, hari-nāma-saṅkīrtana. This hari-nāma-saṅkīrtana, that is not any vibration of this material world. That is spiritual. Golokera prema-dhana, hari-nāma-saṅkīrtana, rati nā janmilo kene tāy. Saṁsāra-viṣānale, dibā-niśi hiyā jvale, viṣaya-viṣānale. Viṣānale and dāvānale, these things are described about this material world. Just like in... You sung, immediately, saṁsāra-dāvānala-līḍha-loka-trāṇāya kāruṇya-ghanāghanatvam. So the saṁsāra, this material world, is just like blazing fire, dāvānala, a forest fire. Forest fire means nobody goes to set fire in the forest; it takes automatically. Similarly, we want to live very peacefully in this material world, but that is not possible. There will be fire. And viṣaya-viṣānale. Viṣaya means things which is required for sense enjoyment, āhāra-nidrā-bhaya-maithunam. So either you say viṣaya-viṣānale or saṁsāra-dāvānale, the matter is the same. So Narottama dāsa Ṭhākura says, therefore, viṣaya-viṣānale, dibā-niśi hiyā jvale, juṛāite nā koinu upāy. If you want to get out of this viṣānala, the blazing fire of poison or forest fire, then we have to take shelter of this hari-saṅkīrtana.
rati nā janmilo kene tāy
dibā-niśi hiyā jvale juṛāite nā koinu upāy
[Narottama dāsa Ṭhākura]
So in order to get out of this blazing fire of material existence, which is a combination of rajas-tamaḥ-sattva-guṇa, one has to take to this devotional service, and that can be achieved only by hearing from munibhir mahātmabhiḥ, those who are munis. Munis means they are silent about material affairs. They are simply interested with spiritual advancement of life. To give up something and to accept something... To give up something is negative, but if you do not accept something positive, this give up something will not stay. Simply to become renounced of the material world will not help. Big, big sannyāsīs, they gave up this material world---brahma satyaṁ jagan mithyā---but they, because they did not engage themselves in devotional service, they again come back to this material world for philanthropic work, for altruistic work, for charity, for opening school... So simply negative will not help us. We have to accept positive.
So if we accept the positive, the negative will automatically result. Just like here it is said, bhakti-pravṛttā. As soon as bhakti is accepted, then ātma-rajas-tamopahā: you immediately become free. Your soul becomes free from the influence of rajas-tamas. Rajas-tamas means lust and desire. Tadā rajas-tamo-bhāvāḥ kāma-lobhādayaś ca ye. If you are entangled in rajas-tamas, then you'll be influenced by lusty desires, kāma and lobha. The lusty desires will never be satisfied. You'll want more, more, more. That is called greedy, lobha, lusty desires and greediness.
You'll never be free if you remain in the kāma, in the rajas-tamas.
kāma-lobhādayaś ca ye
ceta etair anāviddhaṁ
sthitaṁ sattve prasīdati
Here the two modes of nature is explained, kāma and lobha, er, rajas-tamas. So if we are entangled with rajas-tamas, then our perpetual desire for lusty sense enjoyment and greediness will not stop. It will drag me more and more, more and more, and entangle me. But sthitaṁ sattve prasīdati. But if we give up these two qualities, the remainder quality means goodness, that sattve, you will give..., you will get, at least, peace of mind. Sthitaṁ sattve prasīdati. Evaṁ prasanna-manasaḥ. When you are in, in the platform of satisfaction, sattva-guṇa... Just like the brahminical qualification = they are satisfied with anything. A brāhmaṇa is not supposed to improve his economic condition. He's not interested. He's simply satisfied = "By the grace of God, whatever I have got, that is sufficient." God is supplying everyone, even birds and beasts and cats and dogs. Eko yo bahūnāṁ vidadhāti kāmān [Kaṭha Upaniṣad 2.2.13]. He is giving food to everyone. So sattva-guṇa means to remain satisfied whatever is obtained by..., from God, by His free will. That's all. They are not after economic development.
So Vaiṣṇava, being inherently a brāhmaṇa, he should be satisfied = "Whatever Kṛṣṇa has given, that's all right. My business is how to make advance in Kṛṣṇa consciousness." Tasyaiva hetoḥ prayateta kovidaḥ. That is the Vaiṣṇava's business, that simply how to make perfection of life in Kṛṣṇa consciousness. That is Vaiṣṇava's demand; not for any other improvement, economic development or this improvement. No. Because economic... It is... It is a false idea that one will be satisfied or be happy simply by economic development. No, that is not possible, practically. In your country, America, there is immense economic development, but you could not get any happiness. That is not possible. Happiness will be possible when, first of all, you are situated in the brahminical position, sattva-guṇa; and to come to that brahminical position, you have to give up the activities of rajas-tamo-guṇa. The rajas-tamo-guṇa is that illicit sex, meat-eating, intoxication and gambling. That's all. So if you voluntarily give up, and be situated in the sattva-guṇa, then you'll be happy. Evaṁ prasanna-manasaḥ.
And that happiness can be obtained, as it is stated here, bhakti, by devotional service. Bhakti-pravṛttā. As soon as you begin devotional service... Yayātmā suprasīdati. There are many references.
yato bhaktir adhokṣaje
So by bhakti-yoga you'll be happy, and as soon as you become happy, then your Kṛṣṇa consciousness is very easily advanced. Evaṁ prasanna-manaso bhagavad-bhakti-yogataḥ [SB 1.2.20]. Evaṁ prasanna-manaso bhagavat..., mukta-saṅgasya jāyate. Bhagavat-tattva-vijñānaṁ mukta-saṅgasya jāyate. In this way we shall understand bhagavat-tattva-vijñānam, and that is the perfection of life.
So Nārada Muni admits that "Simply by hearing from the realized souls, munibhir mahātmabhiḥ, for four months during their stay in the cāturmāsya period, gradually I developed my Kṛṣṇa consciousness, and then I began devotional service." This is the process.
Thank you very much.
Devotees: Jaya Śrīla Prabhupāda. Haribol. [end]