Evening Lecture , Bhubaneswar , 1977-01-23
Prabhupāda: So we shall continue that Rāmānanda? No. So who will read and explain?
Indian guest or devotee: So shall I read from the First Chapter?
Prabhupāda: No. Where he was.
Indian guest or devotee: [indistinct]
Hari-śauri: You won't be speaking, Śrīla Prabhupāda?
Prabhupāda: No. He will explain in Oriya. [break] [Gaura-Govinda translates in Oriya throughout] ...that is Vedic culture. As yesterday we were talking of varṇāśrama-dharma, four varṇas and four āśramas---brāhmaṇa, kṣatriya, vaiśya, śūdra. So the Vedic culture means to execute the varṇāśrama. Now we are known as Hindus. The "Hindu" word is not to be found... [break] [aside:] A little disturbance will mar the situation. So Vedic culture means this varṇāśrama-dharma. The Muhammadans from the other side of River Sindhu, they have called us Hindu. Actually, this word "Hindu" you'll not find any Vedic scripture. So to accept this position---brahmacārī, gṛhastha, vānaprastha and sannyāsa---is compulsory. It is not that one has to take sannyāsa as a fashion. No. Actually it is absolutely necessary for any person at the last stage of life to accept sannyāsa. This Rāmānanda Rāya also retired from the government service. He met Caitanya Mahāprabhu, and Caitanya Mahāprabhu advised him that "Now you retire from your governorship and come to Jagannātha Purī, your home, and let us talk together about spiritual life." So in this way he retired. So all the associates of Caitanya Mahāprabhu---śrī-rūpa sanātana bhaṭṭa-raghunātha śrī-jīva gopāla-bhaṭṭa dāsa-raghunātha---Six Gosvāmīs, the direct disciples of Caitanya Mahāprabhu, they were all in renounced order of life. Then? Read. You read. You'll hear.
Indian guest or devotee: "Although the Gosvāmīs were very aristocratic, they became mendicant just to deliver the fallen souls according to the order of Śrī Caitanya Mahāprabhu." [Gaura-Govinda translates]
Prabhupāda: About Gosvāmīs, Śrīnivāsa Ācārya, he has written, tyaktvā tūrṇam aśeṣa-maṇḍala-pati-śreṇīṁ sadā tuccha-vat bhūtvā dīna-gaṇeśakau karuṇayā kaupīna-kanthāśritau. [child talking] [aside:] Please take out. Tyaktvā tūrṇam aśeṣa-maṇḍala-pati-śreṇīm. They were ministers. Naturally their associates were very, very big zamindars and rich men, aśeṣa-maṇḍala-pati-śreṇīm. Maṇḍala-pati means leaders---social, political. So, gave up their company. Explain. Why? [Gaura-Govinda translates] Tyaktvā tūrṇam aśeṣa-maṇḍala-pati-śreṇīṁ sadā tuccha-vat bhūtvā dīna-gaṇeśakau karuṇayā kaupīna-kanthāśritau. Dīna-gaṇeśakau, the poor mass of people. We are thinking that we are advancing, but actually we are becoming poverty-stricken. So this very word is used, dīna-gaṇeśakau karuṇayā.
So this time is always. Unless the social leaders, the leaders of the society, they take care of the mass of people to educate them, dīna-gaṇeśakau karuṇayā, if they do not become compassionate to the poor mass of people, who will deliver them? They are poor because they have no spiritual conception of life. So that situation is always existing; therefore it is the duty of the leaders of the society, especially of the brāhmaṇas and kṣatriyas, to take sannyāsa and preach Kṛṣṇa consciousness to the mass of people. Dīna-gaṇeśakau karuṇayā kaupīna-kanthāśritau. Now we have got experience that many big, big leaders in political field---we have seen this noncooperation movement---they also took sannyāsa practically. But they could not live long because they could not tolerate the position of renouncement. But about the Gosvāmīs it is said,
bhūtvā dīna-gaṇeśakau karuṇayā kaupīna-kanthāśritau
vande rūpa-sanātanau raghu-yugau...
There must be engagement, proper engagement. If the engagement is not Kṛṣṇa consciousness, then this so-called sannyāsa will be failure. Practically in Calcutta there was a big barrister, C. R. Das, he renounced everything, but he could not live long. Very shortly he died. [break] ...was their position.
So sannyāsa means to renounce for the Supreme, sannyāsa. Sat-nyāsa. If one takes to Kṛṣṇa consciousness and if he renounces family life and preaches Kṛṣṇa consciousness, then he will be happy, and the persons amongst whom he will preach, they will be happy. We have seen practically, many, many big, big sannyāsīs, they gave up this world---brahma satya jagan mithyā: "This world is mithyā. Let me take sannyāsa." But unfortunately, they could not stand in that position. After few years they come down again in social work, in political work. That means they could not understand what is Brahman. That is stated, confirmed in the śāstra that,
tvayy asta-bhāvād aviśuddha-buddhayaḥ
āruhya kṛcchreṇa paraṁ padaṁ tataḥ
patanty adho 'nādṛta-yuṣmad-aṅghrayaḥ
Ye 'nye 'ravindakṣa. Ye aravindakṣa. Aravindakṣa is Kṛṣṇa. "Persons who are thinking that 'I have become liberated,' vimukta-mānina, they're actually... They're not mukta. Therefore," āruhya kṛcchreṇa paraṁ padam, "although they underwent very severe austerities and achieved the position in nirviśeṣa-brahma," āruhya kṛcchreṇa paraṁ padam, "but because they could not understand, my Lord, Your lotus feet, they," patanty adho, "they fall down." Just like in the modern age they are going very high by aeroplane or sputnik, but because they do not get a shelter either in the moon planet or Mars planet, they again come down. So simply speculative knowledge, philosophical knowledge, will not give us actual shelter in the nirviśeṣa, nirākāra-brahman.
The Absolute Truth we can realize in three stages. This is stated in the Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam:
tattvaṁ yaj jñānam advayam
bhagavān iti śabdyate
Yes. The brahmānu-bhūti is simply negation of this material world = brahmā satya jagan mithyā. But brahmānu-bhūti is not final. We are part and parcel of Kṛṣṇa, sac-cid-ānanda-vigrahaḥ [Bs. 5.1]. So simply understanding of our eternity---ahaṁ brahmāsmi---is not sufficient. So that is only appreciation of the eternity portion. And then, if one further makes progress, he... Paramātmā. Paramātmā means cit, cid-āṁśa. And lastly, unless we come to the shelter of the lotus feet of Kṛṣṇa, there is no ānanda. And every one of us---ānandamayo 'bhyāsāt [Vedānta-sūtra 1.1.12]. God is also ānandamaya. We, being part and parcel of God, we are also seeking after ānanda. So you cannot get permanent ānanda either by Brahman realization or Paramātmā realization. Unless you come to God realization, Personality of Godhead, there is no ānanda.
tābhir ya eva nija-rūpatayā kalābhiḥ
goloka eva nivasaty akhilātma-bhūto
govindam ādi-puruṣaṁ tam ahaṁ bhajāmi
Govinda, Kṛṣṇa, is ānanda-cinmaya-rasa. He is in the ānanda cinmaya. His ānanda is not jara-rasa; it is cinmaya-rasa. We should not understand, or misunderstand, Kṛṣṇa's līlā is just like ordinary human activity. Śrīla Jīva Gosvāmī has described this Kṛṣṇa's ānanda, that,
ekātmānāv api bhuvi purā deha-bhedaṁ gatau tau
śrī-caitanyākhyaṁ prakaṭam adhunā tad-dvayaṁ caikyam āptam...
[Cc. Ādi 1.5]
So we should understand Kṛṣṇa, how He is ānanda-cinmaya vigraha. Śrī Caitanya Mahāprabhu is ānanda-cinmaya vigraha---combination of hlādinī śakti, Śrīmatī Rādhārāṇī, and Kṛṣṇa together. Therefore the Vaiṣṇava sings, śrī-kṛṣṇa-caitanya rādhā-kṛṣṇa nahe anya. Rādhā-kṛṣṇa nahe anya. If we take shelter of the lotus feet of Śrī Kṛṣṇa Caitanya Mahāprabhu, then there is possibility to understand the Kṛṣṇa science.
So this Kṛṣṇa consciousness movement is trying to impregnate or push this movement throughout the world through the mercy of Śrī Kṛṣṇa Caitanya. And actually it is happening. By taking shelter of the lotus feet of Śrī Kṛṣṇa Caitanya Mahāprabhu, these Europeans and Americans, although they are supposed to be born in mleccha, yavana family, they are taking Kṛṣṇa consciousness so seriously. Otherwise it is very difficult to understand Kṛṣṇa.
kaścid yatati siddhaye
yatatām api siddhānāṁ
kaścid vetti māṁ tattvataḥ
Out of many many millions of persons, one is interested how to become perfect. Manuṣyāṇāṁ sahasreṣu kaścid yatati siddhaye. Siddhi means to understand one's own position.
Therefore we request everyone to take shelter of the lotus feet of Śrī Caitanya Mahāprabhu to understand Kṛṣṇa. Śrīla Rūpa Gosvāmī, he has given his direction:
nāmne gaura-tviṣe namaḥ
[Cc. Madhya 19.53]
Idea is Śrīla Rūpa Gosvāmī, offering his obeisances to Caitanya Mahāprabhu, namo mahā-vadānyāya: "The greatest munificent charitable person, because You are giving kṛṣṇa-prema. Nobody can understand Kṛṣṇa, but You are giving kṛṣṇa-prema." Namo mahā-vadānyāya kṛṣṇa-prema-pradāya te kṛṣṇāya kṛṣṇa-caitanya [Cc. Madhya 19.53] = "You are Kṛṣṇa. You have appeared again as Kṛṣṇa Caitanya. Therefore I offer my obeisances." Similarly Sārvabhauma Bhaṭṭācārya, who was the learned scholar, paṇḍita, in the assembly of Mahārāja Pratāparudra... [break] ...sabhā-paṇḍita. So he also has written many verses. One of them is that,
śikṣārtham ekaḥ puruṣaḥ purāṇaḥ
kṛpāmbudhir yas tam ahaṁ prapadye
[Cc. Madhya 6.254]
"This Caitanya Mahāprabhu is the same person." Vairāgya-vidyā-nija-bhakti. "In order to teach Kṛṣṇa consciousness, He has now appeared as Kṛṣṇa Caitanya." Vairāgya-vidyā-nija-bhakti yoga-śikṣārtham ekaḥ puruṣaḥ purāṇaḥ [Cc. Madhya 6.254]. Śāśvata-purāṇa. Kṛṣṇa is the purāṇa. Nava-yauvanaṁ ca. In the Brahma-saṁhitā it is said, advaitam acyutam anādim ananta-rūpam ādyaṁ purāṇa nava-yauvanaṁ ca [Bs. 5.33]. He's the oldest person, ādi-puruṣa, but nava-yauvana. So in every way you'll find that if we want to understand Kṛṣṇa, then we have to take shelter of this Kṛṣṇa's renounced order of life in the form of Śrī Kṛṣṇa Caitanya Mahāprabhu.
So Śrī Kṛṣṇa Caitanya Mahāprabhu's one of the confidential devotees was an Oriya, this Rāmānanda Rāya and Śikhi Māhiti. So it is a great opportunity for the Oriyas to understand Kṛṣṇa consciousness science through the mercy of Śrī Caitanya Mahāprabhu. We are discussing the talks between Caitanya Mahāprabhu and Rāmānanda Rāya. You'll kindly hear and take advantage of it and be benefited. [break]
That's all. So we can..., if they require, any question-answer. [break]
Indian man (1): ...Kṛṣṇa consciousness in gṛhastha āśrama?
Prabhupāda: They follow Śrī Rāmānanda Rāya. He was a gṛhastha. He was a responsible government officer. Still, he was the best disciple of Caitanya Mahāprabhu. Rāmānanda Rāya, while talking with Caitanya Mahāprabhu, he was feeling little shamefulness because Caitanya Mahāprabhu was a great sannyāsī and coming from a very respectable brāhmaṇa family, and Rāmānanda Rāya, he belonged to the karaṇa caste of Orissa, and he was gṛhastha, at the same time in government service. So he was feeling little shameful like that, that "I am teaching Caitanya Mahāprabhu." So when he was feeling like that, Caitanya Mahāprabhu encouraged him,
yei kṛṣṇa-tattva-vettā sei guru haya
[Cc. Madhya 8.128]
"You become a sannyāsī or you become a gṛhastha or you are a brāhmaṇa or a śūdra, the Kṛṣṇa consciousness has nothing to do with these material things. If you know actually what is Kṛṣṇa, then you can become guru." Another place also, Kṛṣṇa, er, Caitanya Mahāprabhu has said that,
kṛṣṇa-bhajane te nāhi jāti-kulādi-vicāra
[Cc. Antya 4.67]
"Anyone who is a devotee, he is great. And who is not devotee, he may declare himself as great, but he is the most fallen." In the devotional service there is no such distinction as jāti and kula. So if you follow---the example is there in your country, Rāmānanda Rāya---then wherever you are, you are exalted. Narottama dāsa Ṭhākura, he has also said---he is ācārya---gṛhe vā vanete thāke hā gaurāṅga bale ḍāke narottama māge tāra saṅga: "It doesn't matter whether he is a gṛhastha or he's a sannyāsī." Vanete means vānaprastha, sannyāsī. "Wherever he may be, if he's actually a perfect devotee of Śrī Caitanya Mahāprabhu, I want his association. Never mind." Gṛhe vā vanete thāke hā gaurāṅga bale ḍāke narottama māge tāra saṅga.
So Kṛṣṇa bhajana is so magnanimous, so exalted, in any position you can become the greatest guru, provided you follow the footsteps of Śrī Caitanya Mahāprabhu. [break] ...says how one can become perfect. Man-manā bhava mad-bhakto mad-yājī māṁ namaskuru [Bg. 18.65]. Four things. Simply think of Kṛṣṇa, this chanting of Hare Kṛṣṇa mantra---Hare Kṛṣṇa, Hare Kṛṣṇa, Kṛṣṇa Kṛṣṇa, Hare Hare/ Hare Rāma, Hare Rāma, Rāma Rāma, Hare Hare... So you remain gṛhastha. Bhaktivinoda Ṭhākura has said, nāmāśraya kari thākaha āpana kāje: "In whatever occupation you are, remain there. There is no need of changing." But nāmāśraya kari. If you remain a gṛhastha, what is your loss if you chant Hare Kṛṣṇa mahā-mantra? And if there is gain, why don't you take it? Simple thing. And Kṛṣṇa also says, man-manā bhava mad-bhakto mad-yājī māṁ namaskuru, mām evaiṣyasi asaṁśayaḥ [Bg. 18.68]. These four things will get you back to home, back to Godhead. What is that? Simply think of Kṛṣṇa. But if from the very beginning you want to understand the meaning of Kṛṣṇa---"Kṛṣṇa is nirākāra. He has no hand, He has no leg"---then how you'll think of Kṛṣṇa? You have to give up all this nonsense idea. Then wherever you live, you will be perfect by Kṛṣṇa consciousness. [break] ...Kali-yuga the special advantage is that people cannot become very much advanced in spiritual life, but for Kali-yuga there is a special concession. Kalau nāsty nāsty eva nāsty eva gatir anyathā. Harer nāma harer nāma harer nāma iva kevalam [Cc. Ādi 17.21]. And Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam also, it is confirmed, kīrtanād eva kṛṣṇasya mukta-saṅga paraṁ vrajet [SB 12.3.51]. So you remain gṛhastha. It is now difficult to give up gṛhastha life. But don't be merged into this black hole. Don't make black hole tragedy. Be alive, take to Kṛṣṇa consciousness and you'll be happy. So there is no distinction in kṛṣṇa-bhajana whether one is a gṛhastha or a sannyāsī. He must take the science. Then he will be all right.
Indian man (2): ...without taking dīkṣā from the guru also utters the name of Lord Kṛṣṇa with devotion and...
Prabhupāda: There is no devotion unless you go to a guru. Forget it. Ādau gurvāśrayam. First thing is, first business, is to accept a bona fide guru. Otherwise there is no devotion; it is simply false imitation.
Indian man (2): These four things, this, er...
Prabhupāda: This is the injunction of Rūpa Gosvāmī in Bhakti-rasāmṛta sindhu. Ādau gurvāśrayam: "Your first business is to approach bona fide guru and take his āśraya." Otherwise there is no devotion. That has been the defect in the modern society. They imagine. This business should be given up. He must follow. Sādhu-mārgānugāmanam, which is prescribed by the sādhu, guru, you have to accept that. You cannot manufacture your own way.
Indian man (2): The world is so vast, and people who are living in this world and also wishing to attain God or just remember God, the preach..., or say about the God... Also the namaskāraṁ is, Gurudeva said, that, mentioned in the Gītā, that all these are fruitless, the soul which is remembering God either in the form of Kṛṣṇa, but he has not met a guru. Because to get a real guru is a real occasion. It doesn't happen in the case of everyone. One in million get a chance to get a real spiritual guide. There are so many in the name of spiritual guide. And he will false pray, because his inner soul hankers and inner soul thinks that "This is my guru, and somehow I will accept whatever he says." And the ultimate aim and objective is to love God or to recite His name or surrender to Him.
Prabhupāda: This question has been answered by Śrī Caitanya Mahāprabhu while He was teaching Śrīla Rūpa Gosvāmī.
guru-kṛṣṇa-kṛpayā pāya bhakti-latā-bīja
[Cc. Madhya 19.151]
The guru word is there = guru-kṛṣṇa. If you are actually hankering after Kṛṣṇa---Kṛṣṇa is within yourself---He will give you a guru. He will give you a guru. Guru-kṛṣṇa-kṛpāya. But we must be fortunate to get real guru. If I am unfortunate, I'll not get a guru. Otherwise why Caitanya Mahāprabhu said, guru-kṛṣṇa-kṛpāya pāya bhakti-latā-bīja [Cc. Madhya 19.151], mālī hañā se bīja kariya āropaṇa? In this way you'll find in the Caitanya-caritāmṛta. So even Caitanya Mahāprabhu, He accepted guru, Īśvara Purī. He is Supreme Personality of Godhead, Kṛṣṇa Himself. As Sārvabhauma Bhaṭṭācārya said that,
śikṣārtham ekaḥ puruṣaḥ purāṇaḥ
śrī-kṛṣṇa-caitanya śarīra dhārī...
[Cc. Madhya 6.254]
He's the puruṣa purāṇa, Kṛṣṇa, but now He has appeared as Kṛṣṇa Caitanya. So He also accepted guru, what to speak of our... Kṛṣṇa also accepted guru. So how you will get the ultimate goal of life without accepting guru? Why do you manufacture this idea? There is no need of manufacturing this. You have to follow. Mahājano yena gataḥ sa panthāḥ [Cc. Madhya 17.186]. If you manufacture, then you'll be cheated. Don't do this. That has become a fashion, that you manufacture your own way of service. That is not possible. Therefore Rūpa Gosvāmī stresses, ādau-gurvāśrayam: "The first business is that you must find out a bona fide guru." Then other things.
Indian man (3): Gurudeva said the only aim of human being is to surrender to Śrī Kṛṣṇa, to the lotus feet of Śrī Kṛṣṇa.
Indian man (3): In India especially, there are so many temples and gods and goddesses...
Prabhupāda: That has been described in the Bhagavad-gītā. Those who are hṛta-jñānāḥ, less intelligent, all these gods and goddess are for them. Hṛta-jñānāḥ. Kāmais tais tair hṛta-jñānāḥ yajante anya devatāḥ [Bg. 7.20] = "Those who are after other demigods, they are hṛta-jñānāḥ." Hṛta-jñānāḥ means they have got little knowledge---that is taken away by māyā. Māyayāpahṛta-jñānā. These words are there. So this demigod worship is for the less intelligent class of men, not the actual intellectuals. Actual intellectual is he---bahūnāṁ janmanām ante jñānavān māṁ prapadyate [Bg. 7.19]. So he's actual intelligent when he surrenders to Kṛṣṇa. Vāsudevaḥ sarvam iti sa mahātmā su-durlabhaḥ. So the demigod worship is recommended for the less intelligent class of men. Otherwise, to surrender to Kṛṣṇa is the highest stage of perfection.
Indian man (4): Sir, what is the difference between renunciation and surrender?
Prabhupāda: Yes. Renunciation is the beginning of this material world. You cannot take..., you cannot surrender to Kṛṣṇa unless you renounce this ma.... If you have got material necessities... Sarva-dharmān parityajya [Bg. 18.66]. Kṛṣṇa says, "Absolute surrender." And if you want material necessities, then you have got so many dharmas---this dharma, that dharma, social dharma, family dharma, national dharma, community dharma and so on, so on. But Kṛṣṇa demands, sarva-dharmān parityajya. So it is not very easy thing. Therefore renunciation and surrender. Surrender means full renunciation, no reservation. And renunciation means you renounce something and keep something. That is difference.
Indian man (4): Supposing any person, he renounces everything, his material property, and if he just came to Kṛṣṇa consciousness, can he live?
Prabhupāda: We are living. You can see practically. We have got more than one hundred centers, and we are maintaining at least ten thousand men, just like these Europeans. And you have seen our opulence. We are advertised as fabulously rich. [devotees chuckle] You can see here also. We have got at least four cars here. Who has got four cars? Don't you see how we are living?
Indian man (4): Sir, what I meant... Supposing...
Prabhupāda: No. Your question is that... We are living very opulently because we are surrendered to Kṛṣṇa. That is point. So if you come to us, you will also live very opulently. Surrender. [laughter] Do that by practical seeing. We have no anxiety. Do you know what is our expenditure? In New York we are spending twelve lakhs of rupees per month---only in New York. Similarly, in Los Angeles we have got huge expenditure. And our income is also, daily, five lakhs. You can see. Take our account, audit. People do not touch, as soon as one hears, "Oh, it is a religious group." And we are selling religious books, this Bhāgavata and Śrīmad Bhagavad-gītā, six lakhs of rupees daily. Can you imagine?
Indian man (5): Where is this consciousness of surrender will come in human life? At what stage it can come?
Prabhupāda: At any moment. You must be prepared. Kṛṣṇa said, sarva-dharmān parityajya mām ekaṁ śaraṇaṁ vraja [Bg. 18.66]. So if you have got intelligence, you can do it immediately. Where is the difficulty? But you'll not do it. They have done it, these young boys. They have no other business. And Kṛṣṇa assures, ahaṁ tvāṁ sarva-pāpebhyo mokṣayiṣyāmi mā śucaḥ. Don't hesitate. But you are hesitating, so there is no surrender. So all right, you remain under the clutches of māyā and suffer. Daivī hy eṣā guṇamayī mama māyā duratyayā [Bg. 7.14]. Māyā is very strong. Mām eva ye prapadyante māyām etāṁ taranti. As soon as you surrender to Kṛṣṇa, immediately you are mukta. Immediately, instantly. It is in your hand. You follow Kṛṣṇa's instruction, do the needful, you are mukta. Chant Hare Kṛṣṇa.
Devotees: Jaya Śrīla Prabhupāda! [end]