Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam 1.2.18 , Calcutta , 1974-09-26
Bhāgavata: Oṁ namo bhagavate vāsudevāya. Oṁ namo bhagavate vāsudevāya. Oṁ namo bhagavate vāsudevāya. [devotees repeat] [leads chanting of verse, etc.]
bhaktir bhavati naiṣṭhikī
"By regularly hearing the Bhāgavatam and rendering service unto the pure devotee, all that is troublesome to the heart is practically destroyed, and loving service unto the glorious Lord, who is praised with transcendental songs, is established as an irrevocable fact."
[sound of small children]
Bhāgavata: Go! Celo.
bhaktir bhavati naiṣṭhikī
Naiṣṭhikī. Niṣṭhā. From niṣṭhā... Niṣṭhā means "firmly fixed up." Firmly fixed up. Ādau śraddhā tato sādhu-saṅgo tato bhajana-kriyā atha anartha-nivṛttiḥ syāt tato niṣṭhā [Cc. Madhya 23.14-15]. Śrīla Rūpa Gosvāmī has explained how one can be fixed up, niṣṭhā. This niṣṭhā stage comes when one is freed from anartha. Ādau śraddhā. Just like you all have come here out of śraddhā, some faith, that "Let us go to the Hare Kṛṣṇa temple, see the ārati or hear from the svāmīs." This is the beginning, śraddhā. To create śraddhā, little faith, these centers are established. And one takes to faith, then he gradually advances. Ādau śraddhā. And that śraddhā has been explained by Kavirāja Gosvāmī, what is śraddhā.
That śraddhā, he has said, śraddhā-śabde viśvāsa kahe sudṛḍha niścaya. Śraddhā means firm faith, viśvāsa; sudṛḍha niścaya, unflinching. What is that sudṛḍha niścaya? Kṛṣṇe bhakti kaile sarva-karma kṛta haya. This is the beginning of śraddhā. Śraddhā means... As in the Bhagavad-gītā it is said, sarva-dharmān parityajya mām ekaṁ śaraṇaṁ vraja [Bg. 18.66]. If one is agreeable to this condition, that kṛṣṇe bhakti kaile; if one agrees, "Yes, if I surrender to Kṛṣṇa, my all perfection of life is achieved," this is śraddhā. Not that "Kṛṣṇa is also good, and this demigod is also good. You are also good, I am also good. You are also God, I am also God." There is no śraddhā. Just like a chaste woman cannot say that every man is good. She'll say, "Only my husband is good." That is chastity. If some woman says that "Any man is good..." Similarly, śraddhā means to become chaste, pure kṛṣṇa-bhakta. That is śraddhā.
kṛṣṇe bhakti kaile sarva-karma kṛta haya
[Cc. Madhya 22.62]
Now practically you can see. These American and European boys, they began with śraddhā. I told them that "Kṛṣṇa is the Supreme Personality of Godhead." Kṛṣṇas tu bhagavān svayam [SB 1.3.28]. They accepted it. They did not present so many rascals, that "Here is another God, here is another God, here is another God." No. Kṛṣṇe bhakti kaile sarva-karma... They fixed up their faith. That is their fortune. They had no hodge-podge idea. Therefore they are making progress. Ādau śraddhā. Then sādhu-saṅga [Cc. Madhya 22.83]. That śraddhā, that firm faith in Kṛṣṇa, can be more and more firm by sādhu-saṅga. Sādhu-saṅga means... Who is sādhu? A sādhu means a devotee. Sādhur eva sa mantavyaḥ. Who is sādhu? Sādhu means..., does not mean that having a long beard and saffron-color dress. Sādhu means, mahātmā means, who is pure devotee. That is the explanation in the Bhagavad-gītā:
bhajate mām ananya-bhāk
sādhur eva sa mantavyaḥ
He is sādhu, even he is su-durācāraḥ. Just like sometimes we find these American, European boys, from our angle of vision, they are deviating little. But Kṛṣṇa confirms, "Even if he's deviating, still, he's sādhu." Why? Bhajate mām ananya-bhāk: "Because he does not know except Me, Kṛṣṇa." This is the certificate given by Kṛṣṇa. Sādhur eva sa mantavyaḥ [Bg. 9.30]. Samyak... "Oh, he may be sādhu, but not complete." No. Samyag vyavasito hi saḥ. He's complete sādhu. So what is the qualification? Now, bhajate mām ananya-bhāk. The example you can see, how they are making bhajana by the Deity worship. You'll never find in Calcutta such nice Deity worship. Bhajate mām ananya-bhāk. They do not know. All these boys and girls, they do not know anything but Kṛṣṇa. So this is the qualification, sādhu.
So we have to associate with such sādhus who has got unflinching faith in Kṛṣṇa and fully engaged in Kṛṣṇa's service. He is sādhu. Bhajate mām ananya-bhāk. Mahātmānas tu māṁ pārtha daivīṁ prakṛtim āśritāḥ, bhajanty ananya-manasaḥ [Bg. 9.13]. That is mahātmā. We are after mahātmā. Who is mahātmā? Sa mahātmā sudurlabhaḥ. Vāsudevaḥ sarvam iti sa mahātmā sudurlabhaḥ [Bg. 7.19]. One who's accepted Kṛṣṇa as everything, such mahātmā is very rarely to be seen. Otherwise, so-called mahātmās, they are loitering in the street = "You are God, I am God, everyone is God." Not that kind of mahātmā. Mahātmā means bhajanti: "He worships Me, Kṛṣṇa." Kṛṣṇa is bhajanīya, and we are servant. One who is convinced on this platform, he is mahātmā, he is sādhu. So we have to associate with such sādhus.
Ādau śraddhā tataḥ sādhu-saṅgaḥ [Cc. Madhya 23.14-15]. Pure devotee of Kṛṣṇa. They have no other desire. Anyābhilāṣitā-śūnyam [Brs. 1.1.11]. They have no other desire. Anyābhilāṣitā-śūnyaṁ jñāna-karmādy-anāvṛtam: uncovered by the mental speculation or fruitive activities, karma-kāṇḍa. Jñāna-karmādy-anāvṛtam [Cc. Madhya 19.167]. Not covered. If you mix up karma with bhakti, if you mix up jñāna with bhakti, or if you mix up yoga, it is contaminated. It is not pure. Pure devotional service is given by Rūpa Gosvāmī = anyābhilāṣitā-śūnyam [Cc. Madhya 19.167]. No desire for fruitive activities or philosophical speculation or yogic..., mystic yogic magic. No. Simply how to satisfy Kṛṣṇa. That is bhakti. Ānukūlyena kṛṣṇānuśīlanam. Ānukūlyena. Ānukūlyena means what is favorable, what Kṛṣṇa desires. Just like Arjuna. He did not like to fight. He wanted to be a very nice, nonviolent gentleman. But Kṛṣṇa was inducing him, "You fight." Then later on, he agreed = "Yes, kariṣye vacanaṁ tava [Bg. 18.73]." This is ānukūlyena. "Kṛṣṇa wants it. Doesn't matter whether it is violent or nonviolent, Kṛṣṇa wants it. I must do it." This is called ānukūlyena: not against the desire of Kṛṣṇa, but in favor of Kṛṣṇa. This is called anukūla, anukūla-sevā. So ānukūlyena kṛṣṇānuśīlanaṁ bhaktir uttamā [Cc. Madhya 19.167]. That is first-class bhakti. Not that "If I like it, then I shall do it." That is not anukūla. That is pratikūla. You like or not like, that doesn't matter. Kṛṣṇa likes it; you must do it. That is ānukūlyena kṛṣṇānuśīlanam.
So if we associate with sādhu... Sādhu means, mahātmā means, who are fully engaged in Kṛṣṇa's service. That is sādhu. That is mahātmā. Therefore it is recommended, ādau śraddhā tataḥ sādhu-saṅgaḥ [Cc. Madhya 23.14-15]. And if you associate with sādhu, then bhajana-kriyā. If we... Just like so many thousands of Europeans, Americans, they have joined us on account of sādhu-saṅga. First of all they come in the temple and hear for some days. Then all of a sudden he becomes shaven-headed. We haven't to request. He takes a bead and bead bag, although he's not initiated. Then, after some days, he approaches, "Please get me initiated." The bhajana-kriyā. This is called bhajana-kriyā. So we initiate. "Yes, now you are interested, we initiate." We give him hari-nāma: "Chant Hare Kṛṣṇa" This is the first initiation. "And chant sixteen rounds and observe these rules and regulation." Then, when I see, six months or one year, he's doing very nicely, then we accept him as my disciple, the second initiation. So this is bhajana-kriyā. Then he's admitted to worship the Deity or cook for the Deity, so many things. Bhajana-kriyā.
Ādau śraddhā tataḥ sādhu-saṅgo 'tha bhajana-kriyā tato 'nartha-nivṛttiḥ syāt [Bhakti-rasāmṛta-sindhu 1.4.15]. If there is bhajana, then he'll be freed from all anarthas. Anartha means unwanted things. Just like one man is smoking. Smoking is not essential for living. If you don't smoke... Just like we don't smoke. That does not mean we are dying. It is an anartha. But anyone who has learned this smoking, he cannot stop it. Anartha. The result of bhajana will be substantiated when anartha-nivṛttiḥ syāt, he's no more interested with some unwanted things. We have practiced so many unwanted things. The first of all = illicit sex, making so-called lusty affairs without any married bondage. Illicit sex. This is anartha. Why? If you want sex, get yourself married according to śāstra. Then there is no hindrance. According to Vedic civilization, the..., a girl must be married. But in every country I see the female population is more than the male population. Then how every girl should be married? Therefore in India more than one wife was allowed. Now it is not allowed. That is the Vedic injunction, kanyā-dāna. The father must get..., find out a husband for his daughter. There are many history, the Kulīna [indistinct].
So anartha. We should not create in the society anarthas, unwanted disturbances. The unwanted disturbance is illicit sex. And meat-eating. Meat-eating... Why one should eat meat? No animal foodstuff. Kṛṣṇa has given so many nice things. Produce. Kṛṣṇa says in the Bhagavad-gītā, annād bhavanti bhūtāni [Bg. 3.14]. Kṛṣṇa never says māṁsād bhavanti bhūtāni, matsyād bhavanti bhūtāni. Never says. Annād. Anna, anna. Anna means food grain. Produce sufficient food grain. So the... In the village side you go, hundreds and thousands of acres of land is lying vacant. Nobody is interested. Now they are interested opening slaughterhouse. Kill the poor animals and eat, but don't produce food grain. The whole world, this rascaldom is going on. I have traveled over many countries, all over the world. In Africa there are so much vacant land. In Australia there are so much vacant land. But nobody is producing food grain. They, they have kept some cattles, these cows. They are automatically maintained. There is grass. And when they are fatty, take them and send to the slaughterhouse and eat. But the land is lying vacant. The land is lying vacant.
So therefore people are not following the rules and regulation given by God or by nature's own way. They have invented their own way of living condition. Therefore they are suffering. Now we see in Calcutta or any other... Now it is a problem. Everywhere, the problem will be food shortage and fuel shortage, power shortage. This is the prediction of many, many great scientists. Because people are committing so many sinful life, they must starve. That is the punishment. That is the punishment. These sinful rascals must be punished. Tān ahaṁ dviṣataḥ krūrān kṣipāmy ajasram andha-yoniṣu [Bg. 16.19]. These godless persons, dviṣataḥ, envious of God = "Why there should be God? Why Kṛṣṇa shall be God?" Envious.
So these are dirty things. We began in this chapter that,
hṛdy antaḥ-stho hy abhadrāṇi
Abhadrāṇi, all dirty things, they are accumulating. So by hearing about Kṛṣṇa... Nityaṁ bhāgavata-sevayā. Nityaṁ bhāgavata-sevayā [SB 1.2.18]. You have to hear... Not that Bhāgavata-saptāha. I don't find this Bhāgavata-saptāha in anywhere in the Bhagavad, Bhāgavata. But they have invented some means for professional reading. Nahi. In the Bhāgavata it is said..., not said, saptāha bhāgavata-sevayā. Why it is said, nityaṁ bhāgavata-sevayā? You have to hear Bhāgavatam daily, regularly. That is the injunction of Bhāgavatam. You have to hear from, not from the professional men, professional reciters. Bhāgavata-saptāha, and then, after one saptāha, you do your all nonsense things and he takes some money for livelihood, for maintaining his wife and children. And so many umbrellas, so many suits, so many utensils, and sell in the market, get some money, and maintain them. This kind of bhāgavata-sevā will not help. Nityaṁ bhāgavata-sevayā. Caitanya Mahāprabhu's order is bhāgavata paṛā giyā bhāgavata-sthāne. If you want to realize what is Bhāgavata, then you must go and learn Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam from a person whose life is Bhāgavatam, not the professional Bhāgavata reciters.
So here it is said... And who will recite Bhāgavatam daily unless he has dedicated his life for Bhagavān? He's bhāgavata. Grantha-bhāgavata, and the person bhāgavata. Bhāgavata. Mahā-bhāgavata. A person, a devotee, is called bhāgavata. And the grantha-bhāgavata. So we have to serve both. We have to hear daily Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam from the realized person. Nityaṁ bhāgavata-sevayā [SB 1.2.18]. The guru, the devotee, they are bhāgavata. So we have to serve; we have to please them. That is also said in the Bhagavad-gītā. Tad viddhi praṇipātena paripraśnena sevayā [Bg. 4.34]. If you want to learn the transcendental subject matter, then you must adopt three things. Tad viddhi... First of all surrender. Find out that kind of person where you can surrender. If there is no surrender, it is not possible.
So the..., the Vaiṣṇava philosophy begins from surrender. Therefore Kṛṣṇa says, sarva-dharmān parityajya mām ekaṁ śaraṇaṁ vraja [Bg. 18.66]. That is the order of Kṛṣṇa. And what is the difference between Kṛṣṇa and His representative? The representative says that "You surrender to Kṛṣṇa." He never says that "You surrender to me. I have become Kṛṣṇa." That is a nonsense, rascal. He will say the same thing. Therefore he's Kṛṣṇa's representative. Kṛṣṇa is personally asking that "You surrender to Me," and it is the duty of this bona fide spiritual master, guru, to say to his disciple that "You surrender to Kṛṣṇa." He'll never say that "You surrender to Me. I have become Kṛṣṇa. Now I am realized soul, I have become Bhagavān." He's a rascal.
So these are the process. Tad viddhi praṇipātena paripraśnena sevayā [Bg. 4.34]. Here it is also, the same thing. The same thing is said in a different way. That is śāstra. Actually, as Kṛṣṇa says in the Bhagavad-gītā... What is Veda? There are four Vedas and 108 Upaniṣads, then Vedānta-sūtra, then so, so many books. All of them are Vedas. And what is the purpose? Vedaiś ca sarvair aham eva vedyaḥ [Bg. 15.15]. You read all the Vedas, all the Purāṇas, Brahma-sūtra, Rāmāyaṇa, Mahābhārata. What is the purpose? To understand Kṛṣṇa. If you don't understand Kṛṣṇa, then it is useless. Your so-called study of Vedas are useless. Śrama eva hi kevalam. That is the confirmation of Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam.
notpādayed ratiṁ yadi
śrama eva hi kevalam
You are spoiling your energy. You are... Dharma... A brāhmaṇa is executing his brahminical culture very nicely. It is very good. A kṣatriya is doing his duty very nicely. That's all right. A vaiśya, he's dutying... But the test, whether he's perfect or not, or simply working for nothing, wasting his time, what is that test? That is also stated by Sūta Gosvāmī:
He must understand whether by executing his... It doesn't matter whether Hindu or Muslim or this or that. Your duty is, by executing your religious principles, whether you are satisfying Kṛṣṇa. That is wanted. Tasmin tuṣṭe jagat tuṣṭam.
So the Kṛṣṇa personally says that "You surrender unto Me." That is the only business. There is no other business. Simply to see that "Whether I am satisfying Kṛṣṇa?" So that will be possible... Here it is said that naṣṭa-prāyeṣu abhadreṣu. Not completely. There are so many dirty things within our heart. If at once it becomes all cleared, then immediately we are liberated person. And that is not possible. Gradually. Gradually, you go on hearing, hearing, śṛṇvatāṁ sva-kathāḥ kṛṣṇaḥ [SB 1.2.17]. Gradually, all the dirty things will be cleansed. So naṣṭa-prāyeṣu: almost clean. Not purely, not completely clean. Even it is almost clean... Naṣṭa-prāyeṣu abhadreṣu. How it is cleansed? Nityaṁ bhāgavata-sevayā [SB 1.2.18]. You serve your spiritual master, the representative of Bhagavān, bhāgavata, and you hear Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam---these are the two kind of Bhāgavatam---and you do it. Nityaṁ bhāgavata-sevayā. Naṣṭa-prāye... Almost, almost cle... Then what is that? Bhagavaty uttama-śloke bhaktir bhavati naiṣṭhikī. The result will be that you'll be fixed up in the devotional service. Uttama-śloka.
Bhagavān's another name is Uttama-śloka. Uttama-śloka means selected prayers. Just like Brahmājī is offering prayers to the Supreme Personality of Godhead:
lakṣāvṛteṣu surabhīr abhipālayantam
govindam ādi-puruṣaṁ tam ahaṁ bhajāmi
There are so many prayers in the śāstras. So therefore His name is Uttama-śloka. These prayers are composed by not ordinary, rascal poet. They are composed by very, very stalwart, great personalities like Lord Brahmā, Lord Śiva and others, Sūta Gosvāmī, Śukadeva Gosvāmī, Vyāsadeva. Therefore they are called uttama-śloka, "selected poetry." Therefore Bhagavān's another name is Uttama-śloka. He is offered prayers by the great personalities with selected composition of poetry and prayers. So bhagavaty uttama-śloke.
If actually we follow these regulative principles, nityaṁ bhāgavata-sevayā, then gradually our heart will be cleansed. Ceto-darpaṇa-mārjanam [Cc. Antya 20.12]. Caitanya Mahāprabhu said. The process is to cleanse the dirty heart. Actually, we are clean. Asaṅgo 'yaṁ puruṣaḥ. We have no business to be contaminated with the material qualities. We do not contaminate. Just like we know... In Bengali we say, tele jale mesera[?]. You put oil in the water, it will never mix. Similarly, we are spirit souls, ahaṁ brahmāsmi. We have nothing to do with this material world. But somehow or other, I am in contact. So simply I have to be contactless. That Caitanya Mahāprabhu says, ceto-darpaṇa-mārjanam. As soon as your heart is cleansed with all dirty things, then bhava-mahā-dāvāgni-nirvāpaṇam, immediately you become out of this contamination, bhava-mahā-dāvāgni.
This contamination means we are in the blazing fire of this material world. Blazing fire. It is, has been expl... Blazing fire... Bhava-mahā-dāvāgni. Mahā-dāvāgni. Dāvāgni means the fire in the forest. In the forest nobody goes to set fire, but it takes place. Just like we, in India, we thought that "By driving away the Britishers, we shall be happy." No. The dāvāgni is so that... That is not the medicine. Medicine is bhavauṣadhi. Medicine is Kṛṣṇa consciousness. Not that simply changing from this ism to that ism, this political party to this... That is not. Because everyone is imperfect. How they can give you perfect happiness? It is not possible. They are themselves andha. Andha means blind. So if you follow the blind man, how you'll cross? That is not possible. Andhā yathāndhair upanīyamānāḥ. Why they are andha? Na te viduḥ svārtha-gatiṁ hi viṣṇum [SB 7.5.31]. They do not know the ultimate goal of life is to surrender to Kṛṣṇa. That they do not know. They are manufacturing their own ways of advancing. That will never be successful. They do not know. Na te viduḥ svārtha-gatiṁ hi viṣṇuṁ durāśayā ye bahir-artha-māninaḥ [SB 7.5.31]. They are thinking, "By adjustment of this material world, we shall be happy." That is not possible. The māyā, the material energy, will not allow you to become perfect unless and until you surrender to Kṛṣṇa. That is her business. Therefore it is said in the Bhagavad-gītā,
mama māyā duratyayā
mām eva ye prapadyante
māyām etāṁ taranti te
This is the way.
So in this verse it is confirmed... The same thing. In the Vedic literature the same thing is spoken in a different way, in different circumstances. But the ultimate goal is how to know Kṛṣṇa. Vedaiś ca sarvair aham eva vedyaḥ [Bg. 15.15]. So if we follow this principle, hear Bhāgavatam... Bhāgavatam means the words or the activities of Bhagavān. But the impersonalists, they think the ultimate goal, ultimate truth, Absolute Truth, is not a person. So there is no activity. If one is person, he has got activities. But if one is not person, void, just like a sky... In the sky, there is no activity. The only activity is the sky is covered with cloud, and you cannot see the sun. That is the only activity.
So that kind of activity is not required. Regular, varieties of activities. Therefore we have to hear about Kṛṣṇa. You'll hear about Kṛṣṇa in so many varieties of activities. Bhagavad-gītā, you hear. It's so many activities of Kṛṣṇa. So we have to hear about these. And unless there are activities, what you will hear? Simply "Brahman, Brahman, Brahman..." Nirākāra. How long you will hear? And how long you will enjoy? That is... There is no enjoyment. Therefore they, these Brahmavādī, these Nirākāravādī, although by austerities and penances they may rise up to the Brahman effulgence, still, they will fall down. Because we are living entities, we want varieties of enjoyment. We are not satisfied in void, in zero. That is not possible. Therefore śṛṇvatāṁ sva-kathāḥ kṛṣṇaḥ [SB 1.2.17]. One has to hear about Kṛṣṇa, varieties of activities. Varieties of activities. Not nirākāra, without any activities. No. That activity is different from material activity. Janma karma me divyam [Bg. 4.9]. Therefore it is called divyam. They are not ordinary activities. They are all transcendental, spiritual activities. The Māyāvādī philosophers, they cannot understand.
So we have got enough matter for hearing about Kṛṣṇa. Śṛṇvatāṁ sva-kathāḥ kṛṣṇaḥ puṇya-śravaṇa... If we simply sit down and hear, we become pious. And as soon as we become pious, then we can understand what is Kṛṣṇa, what is God. If we are involved or implicated in sinful activities, there is no chance. Therefore anartha-nivṛttiḥ syāt. By sādhu-saṅga [Cc. Madhya 22.83], by association with the sādhus, bhaktas, and by bhajana-kriyā, we'll be seen..., a person will be seen that he's no more involved in unwanted things. He's simply interested in executing devotional service. Nityaṁ bhāgavata-sevayā, bhagavaty uttama-śloke bhaktir bhavati naiṣṭhikī [SB 1.2.18]. When we are almost free from all this contamination, then we become fixed up in the devotional service. That is...
Bhagavān said in the Bhaga... Bahavo jñāna-tapasā pūtā. Pūtā. Pūtā means purified. So this bhakti process means to become purified, purified. That is... The Nārada Pañcarātra-sūtra also says that,
sevanaṁ bhaktir ucyate
[Cc. Madhya 19.170]
Bhakti can be performed when you are purified. Sarvopādhi-vinirmuk... Upādhi. These are the upādhis: "I am American," "I am Indian," "I am Hindu," "I am Muslim," "I am black," "I am white." These are upādhis. This is the description of the skin, not for me. Ahaṁ brahmāsmi. I do not belong to the skin. I do not belong... Because I do not belong to the skin, then so many skin description. Caitanya Mahāprabhu says that "I am not a brāhmaṇa. I am not a śūdra. I am not a sannyāsī. I am not a brahmacārī. I am not a kṣatriya." In this way, "not, not, not..." Then what You are? "I am gopī-bhartuḥ pada-kamalayor dāsa-dāsānudāsaḥ [Cc. Madhya 13.80]." When you understand that "I am eternal servant of Kṛṣṇa," that is purification. That is purification. You accept it blindly, or by the process of reading śāstra and Vedas, you have to come to the conclusion = vāsudevaḥ sarvam iti sa mahātmā sudurlabhaḥ [Bg. 7.19]. Then you become mahātmā, and your life is perfect.
Thank you very much.
Devotees: Jaya Śrīla Prabhupāda. [end]