Pradyumna: [reading:] "Foolishly, people who are enamored of the glimmer of modern materialistic advancement are thinking that the Kṛṣṇa consciousness movement is for less intelligent men. 'I am better off being busy with my material comforts---maintaining a nice apartment, family and sex life.'
"These people do not know that at any moment they can be kicked out of their material situation. Due to ignorance, they do not know that real life is eternal. The temporary comforts of the body are not the goal of life, and it is due only to darkest ignorance that people become enamored of the glimmering advancement of material comforts.
"Śrīla Bhaktivinoda Ṭhākura has therefore said that the advancement of material knowledge renders a person more foolish, because it causes one to forget his real identification by its glimmer. This is doom for..."
Prabhupāda: Bhaktivinoda Ṭhākura, he sings, jaḍa-vidyā saba māyāra vaibhava. This advancement of material education means advancement of the snares of the illusory energy of Kṛṣṇa. Māyāra vaibhava. Because we are already enamored by the glimmer of this material world. Just like the insects are attracted by the fire. They, with great force, enter into the fire without knowing that he's going to die. His forceful entrance into the fire means his sure death.
Actually, we are seeing, especially in the Western countries, this motorcar civilization, when we run on on the motorcar, especially if high speed, it is always we think that any moment danger can take place.
[aside to Śyāmasundara:] You remember, you were driving your father's car, eighty miles. So I asked him, "Don't go so fast."
So the materialistic way of life is that. We create some so-called comforts of life for temporary enjoyment, but at the same time, we take the risk of so many dangerous condition.
In the śāstra it is said that this place is padaṁ padaṁ yad vipadām [SB 10.14.58]. In every step there is danger. Although we are trying to mitigate all kinds of discomforts, it is simply changing the burden from head to the shoulder. Just like a coolie carrying some burden, when he feels uncomfortable, he change the burden from head to the shoulder, but actually, that is not mitigating the pains of burden.
Similarly, we are trying to get material comforts by manufacturing or adventing so many scientific discoveries, but that is not actually getting happiness. It is simply changing the position. Exactly we just consider that in your country, especially, you have got many motorcars, but riding on motorcars, how much dangerous conditions you accept. Everyone accept.
So this kind of changing the course of discomfort... Actually, it is a place for discomfort. You cannot expect real comfort within this material world. It is a place... Because Kṛṣṇa Himself certifies this place duḥkhālayam aśāśvatam [Bg. 8.15]. It is a place for miserable condition of life. Now, how you can make it a happy place? That is not possible.
So our attempt to make us happy, the example is given, just like to take the heavy burden from head to the shoulder. That's all. Changing the place. Now we are creating so many problems, you know. You have got many cars, many roads, but still, you have to construct highways or flyways, one road after another, one road after another. Still, there is congestion. Still, there is accident.
So in this way we cannot be comfortable. This is a vain endeavor. Durāśayā ye bahir-artha-māninaḥ. They are unnecessarily, hopelessly trying to become happy within this material world. And people, the so-called scientist, so-called advancement of material education, means... Now, the scientist says that they have finished their business; they have no more to discover. But the discomforts of life still is there, as it was two hundred years ago; still, I think it is more acute now than two hundred years ago. So in this way, we cannot.
The another example is that just like we dream. We dream something dangerous---a tiger is coming, a snake is coming---sometimes we want to change to another sort of dream. Those who have got practical experience... Dreaming another dream in dream. Similarly, our attempt, so-called attempt to become comfortable in this material world, and manufacturing some ways of comforts, it is simply useless endeavor, because such kind of artificial endeavoring will not make us happy.
Real happiness is, as we are trying to manufacture so many things, as Kṛṣṇa says, real happiness is there, sarva-dharmān parityajya mām ekaṁ śaraṇaṁ [Bg. 18.66] = to take shelter of the lotus feet of Kṛṣṇa. Samāśritā ye pada-pallava-plavaṁ mahat-padaṁ puṇya-yaśo murāreḥ [SB 10.14.58]. That is required. We have to take shelter of Mukunda, Murāri, Kṛṣṇa. Then we'll be happy.
Pradyumna: "This is doom for him because this human form of life is meant for getting out of the material contamination. By the advancement of material knowledge, people are becoming more and more entangled in material existence. They have no hope of being liberated from this catastrophe.
"In the Hari-bhakti-sudhodaya it is stated that Prahlāda Mahārāja, a great devotee of the Lord, prayed to Nṛsiṁha-deva (the half-lion, half-man incarnation) as follows = 'My dear Lord, I repeatedly pray unto Your lotus feet that I may simply be stronger in devotional service. I simply pray that my Kṛṣṇa consciousness may be more strong and steady, because happiness derived out of Kṛṣṇa consciousness and devotional service is so powerful that with it one can have all the other perfections of religiousness, economic development, sense gratification and even the attainment of liberation from material existence.'
"Actually, a pure devotee does not aspire after any of these perfections, because the happiness derived from devotional service in Kṛṣṇa consciousness is so transcendental and so unlimited that no other happiness can be compared with it. It is said that even one drop of happiness in Kṛṣṇa consciousness stands beyond comparison with an ocean of happiness derived from any other activity. Thus, any person who has developed even a little quantity of pure devotional service can very easily kick out all the other kinds of happiness derived from religiousness, economic development, sense gratification and liberation."
Prabhupāda: Dharmārtha-kāma-mokṣa [SB 4.8.41]. There are... People are generally after four principles of happiness = being religious, being economically developed, being very good candidate for satisfying senses, and when one is frustrated to derive any happiness from these three principles, he wants liberation, nirbheda-brahmānu-sandhana.
That is also not actual happiness, because, as I was explaining this morning, that even one merges into the Brahman effulgence after severe penances and austerity, there is chance of falling down. There is chance. Āruhya kṛcchreṇa paraṁ padaṁ tataḥ patanti [SB 10.2.32]. Paraṁ pada is to merge into the Brahman effulgence existence.
But from there also one falls down, as I was giving the example of many big sannyāsīs in the modern age. They are very learned scholar. They took to sannyāsa, giving up this world as false, but again, after some times, they come to politics, sociology. That means that is their falldown. Because they could not actually taste the Brahman, brahmānanda, for which they sacrificed everything...
So brahmānanda is not such a thing that one will come again to this false platform, which they rejected as brahma satyaṁ jagan mithyā. If jagat is mithyā, then why such exalted persons, who gave up everything for brahmānanda... That means they could not taste brahmānanda. Therefore they fell down.
Pradyumna: "There was a great devotee of Lord Caitanya known as Kholāvecā Śrīdhara, who was a very poor man. He was doing a small business selling cups made from the leaves of plantain trees, and his income was almost nothing. Still, he was spending fifty percent of his small income on the worship of the Ganges, and with the other fifty percent he was somehow living. Lord Caitanya once revealed Himself to this confidential devotee, Kholāvecā Śrīdhara, and offered any opulence that he liked."
Prabhupāda: Yes, Caitanya Mahāprabhu offered this Kholāvecā Śrīdhara..., wanted to benedict him with any kinds of benediction he wanted. But he said, "I am quite happy."
Go on reading.
Pradyumna: "Śrīdhara informed the Lord that he did not want any material opulence. He was quite happy in his present position and wanted only to gain unflinching faith and devotion unto the lotus feet of Lord Caitanya. That is the position of the pure devotees. If they can be engaged twenty-four hours each day in devotional service, they do not want anything else, not even the happiness of liberation or of becoming one with the Supreme.
"In the Nārada Pañcarātra it is also said that any person who has developed even a small amount of devotional service doesn't care a fig for any kind of happiness derived from religiousness, economic development, sense gratification or the five kinds of liberation."
Prabhupāda: Hmm. Dharmārtha-kāma, kāma-mokṣaḥ samaya-pratīkṣāḥ muktiḥ mukulitañjali sevate asmān [Kṛṣṇa-karṇāmṛta 107]. For a devotee, mukti is not a thing aspirable, because, as it is stated by Bilvamaṅgala Ṭhākura, mukti is trying to serve the devotee with folded hands. Because a devotee is already liberated. Sa guṇān samatītyaitān brahma-bhūyāya kalpate [Bg. 14.26]. A pure devotee, who is constantly engaged in devotional service, māyā cannot touch him. He's already liberated. So what he has got to ask from the liberty? He hasn't got to ask. Anywhere a devotee lives, he's liberated.
That is the statement of Śrīla Rūpa Gosvāmī, īhā yasya harer dāsye karmaṇā-manasā vācā: "Anyone who is simply engaged in the devotional service of the Lord by his activities, karmaṇā, by his mind and by his words, such person is always liberated in any condition of life." Īhā yasya harer dāsye. Simply we have to engage ourself in the devotional service of the Lord, then māyām etāṁ taranti te [Bg. 7.14]. One who has surpassed the boundaries of māyā, he's liberated. He's liberated. He's already liberated. Why he should aspire after liberation? He's already liberated.
Pradyumna: "Any kind of happiness derived from religiousness, economic development, liberation or sense gratification cannot even dare to enter into the heart of a pure devotee. It is stated that as the personal attendants and maidservants of a queen follow the queen with all respect and obeisances, similarly, the joys of religiousness, economic development, sense gratification and liberation follow the devotional service of the Lord. In other words, a pure devotee does not lack any kind of happiness derived from any source. He does not want anything but service to Kṛṣṇa. But even if he should have another desire, the Lord fulfills this without the devotee's asking."
Prabhupāda: Yes. Generally, a devotee is anyābhilāṣitā-śūnyaṁ jñāna-karmādy-anāvṛtam [Brs. 1.1.11]. He's simply engaged to serve the Lord as He desires, just like Arjuna did. Other things follow. Just like a child who takes shelter of the father without any demand, the father sees to his necessities of life. Yoga-kṣemaṁ vahāmy aham [Bg. 9.22]. Kṛṣṇa, one who is fully surrendered unto Kṛṣṇa, and he's engaged in His devotional service, He would see what is the necessity of his life, what does he require. Yoga-kṣemaṁ vahāmy aham. This is the process.
Pradyumna: " 'Rareness of Pure Devotional Service.' In the preliminary phase of spiritual life there are different kinds of austerities, penances and similar processes for attaining self-realization. However, even if an executor of these processes is without any material desire, he still cannot achieve devotional service. And aspiring by oneself alone to achieve devotional service is also not very hopeful, because Kṛṣṇa does not agree to award devotional service to merely anyone. Kṛṣṇa can easily offer a person material happiness or even liberation, but He does not agree very easily to award a person engagement in His devotional service."
Prabhupāda: This is very confidential. To attain Kṛṣṇa's service, that is not so easy. You can get liberation---if you want from Kṛṣṇa, Kṛṣṇa can give very easily---or any material opulence. But to give engagement in devotional service, that requires very sincerity. As it is stated by Rūpa Gosvāmī, anyābhilāṣitā-śūnyaṁ [Brs. 1.1.11]. People generally go to temple and churches for mitigating some material wants. Ārto arthārthī. Jijñāsī jñānī ārto arthārthī. Generally, people go to Kṛṣṇa to mitigate some material distresses, ārto, or one who is in need of money.
Just like Dhruva Mahārāja. He went to Kṛṣṇa..., he went to worship Kṛṣṇa under the instruction of his mother in the forest with a desire to achieve the kingdom of his father or better, better kingdom than his father. That was his aspiration. But later on, when he actually met the Supreme Personality of Godhead, he said, "My dear Lord, I have no other aspiration. I am completely satisfied." Svāmin kṛtārtho 'smi varaṁ na yāce [Cc. Madhya 22.42].
So this is the advantage of worshiping Kṛṣṇa. Even one has got some material desires, that material desires will be fulfilled. At the same time, he shall become a pure devotee, just like Dhruva Mahārāja became. He went to worship the Supreme Personality of Godhead, fulfillment, for fulfilling his material desires, but because he engaged himself in severe austerity and penances for having darśana, or seeing the Supreme Personality of Godhead, when he saw Him actually he forgot all his material desires. That is the advantage.
We need not go to any other demigod for fulfilling our material desires.
akāmaḥ sarva-kāmo vā
yajeta paramam puruṣa
yajeta paramam puruṣa
Even if you have material desires, still, you take shelter of Kṛṣṇa, Kṛṣṇa will fulfill your material desires and at the end will give shelter at His lotus feet. This is the advantage of devotional service. Whereas if you worship other demigods, you may get some temporary benefit, but at the end the benefit will be finished, you'll be finished, and the demigod who has given you the benediction, he will be also finished. Antavat tu phalaṁ teṣāṁ tad bhavaty alpa-medhasām [Bg. 7.23].
Therefore the conclusion is, even if we have got material desires... Generally, a devotee has no material desires, a pure devotee. Anyābhilāṣitā-śūnyam [Brs. 1.1.11]. But even one has got some material desires to be fulfilled, if he worships Kṛṣṇa, that desires will be fulfilled. At the same time, he'll get shelter under the lotus feet of the Lord. This is the advantage.
Pradyumna: "Devotional service can in fact be attained only through the mercy of a pure devotee. In the Caitanya-caritāmṛta it is said, 'By the mercy of the spiritual master who is a pure devotee and by the mercy of Kṛṣṇa, one can achieve the platform of devotional service. There is no other way.'
"The rarity of devotional service is also confirmed in the Tantra-śāstra, where Lord Śiva says to Satī, 'My dear Satī, if one is a very fine philosopher, analyzing the different processes of knowledge, he can achieve liberation from the material entanglement. By performance of the ritualistic sacrifices recommended in the Vedas, one can be elevated to the platform of pious activities and thereby enjoy the material comforts of life to the fullest extent. But all such endeavors can hardly offer anyone devotional service to the Lord, not even if one tries for it by such processes for many, many thousands of births.' "
Prabhupāda: You cannot achieve the platform of devotional service by karma-kāṇḍa and jñāna-kāṇḍa processes. Therefore Narottama dāsa Ṭhākura sings,
karma-kāṇḍa jñāna-kāṇḍa sakali viṣera bhāṇḍa
amṛta baliyā yeba khāya
nānā yoni brahman kare, kadarya bhakṣaṇa kare
tāra janma adho pāte yāya
amṛta baliyā yeba khāya
nānā yoni brahman kare, kadarya bhakṣaṇa kare
tāra janma adho pāte yāya
So jñāna-karmādy-anāvṛtam [Cc. Madhya 19.167] = "Devotional service should not be contaminated by jñāna-kāṇḍa, karma-kāṇḍa, by fruitive activities or mental speculation." Devotional service should be taken exactly in the line of the great authorities. Just like our sampradāya, Gauḍīya Vaiṣṇava sampradāya, they are following. Rūpānuga.
śrī-rūpa sanātana bhaṭṭa-raghunātha
śrī-jīva gopāla-bhaṭṭa dāsa-raghunātha
śrī-jīva gopāla-bhaṭṭa dāsa-raghunātha
Ei chaya gosāi yāra tāra mui dāsa [Nāma-saṅkīrtana 6]. We have to follow the principles of these six Gosvāmīs. That will make us happy.
Otherwise, if we adopt the ritualistic ceremonies, śubha-karma... Sama-śubha-kriyā matir pramādaḥ. If we take devotional service as one of the pious activities, śubha-kriyā, that is offense. We should not take devotional service, or chanting of Hare Kṛṣṇa mantra, equal to some Vedic pious activities, ritualistic ceremony. That is offense. We should simply follow the path... That is also Vedic. But because we cannot select... Vedeṣu adurlabha. If we study Vedas independently, without going through the lines chalked out by the six Gosvāmīs, then we'll be misled. Vedeṣu durlabham adurlabham ātma-bhaktau [Bs. 5.33].
These Gosvāmīs, they were personal devotees of Lord Kṛṣṇa. They are eternal associates of the Lord. Therefore if we follow their principle, our success is guaranteed. But if we take to the Vedic ritualistic ceremony without any reference to the path chalked out by the Gosvāmīs, it will not be possible to be successful.
Devotional service is not dependent on śubhāśubha-karma. It is simply dependent on the mercy of Kṛṣṇa and His devotees. Kṛṣṇa de... Sādhu... Guru-kṛṣṇa-kṛpāya pāya bhakti-latā-bīja [Cc. Madhya 19.151]. Guru-kṛṣṇa-kṛpāya. Naiṣāṁ matis tāvad urukramāṅghriṁ, mahīyasāṁ pāda-rajo-'bhiṣekam niṣkiñcanānāṁ na vṛṇīta yā... [SB 7.5.32]. Unless we surrender to the lotus feet of a pure devotee, it is not possible to come to the platform of devotional service. That is the way.
We cannot taste the honey within the bottle. The bottle must be opened by the expert. If you simply lick up the bottle, if we think, "Now we are tasting honey," that is not the proper way. We should get the bottle opened by the expert, and when we taste within the bottle, then actually... Similarly, devotional service without being opened by the..., open, without the door being opened by the devotee, we cannot enter into the region. Guru-kṛṣṇa-kṛpāya pāya bhakti-latā-bīja [Cc. Madhya 19.151].
Therefore the process is, as recommended by Śrīla Rūpa Gosvāmī, ādau gurvāśrayam. You must select, you must accept the guru who's coming in paramparā system. Evaṁ paramparā-prāptam imaṁ rājarṣayo viduḥ [Bg. 4.2]. Sampradāya. That is recommended. We have got Vaiṣṇava-sampradāya, four sampradāya = Rāmānuja-sampradāya, Madhva-sampradāya, Nimbārka-sampradāya. So intelligent persons should select guru from these sampradāyas and follow his instruction. Then the path of devotional service will be very easily opened. This is the way.
Yes? Go on.
Pradyumna: "In the Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam it is also confirmed by Prahlāda Mahārāja that merely by personal efforts or by the instructions of higher authorities one cannot attain to the stage of devotional service. One must become blessed by the dust of the lotus feet of a pure devotee who is completely freed from the contamination of material desires."
Prabhupāda: Yes. Niṣkiñcanam, the devotee, the... You have to select a guru who is niṣkiñcana. Niṣkiñcana means who has no more anything materially desire. He has finished. The another verse:
tasmād guruṁ prapadyeta
jijñāsuḥ śreya uttamam
śābde pare ca niṣṇātaṁ
jijñāsuḥ śreya uttamam
śābde pare ca niṣṇātaṁ
One who has accept..., accepted the lotus feet of the Lord, brahmaṇy upaśama, he has finished the material desires---no more material desires. Niṣkiñ... That is called niṣkiñcana. Caitanya Mahāprabhu also said, niṣkiñcanasya bhagavad-bhajanonmukhasya. Bhagavad-bhajanonmukha, those who are actually desiring to be entered into the path of devotional service, must be niṣkiñcana. Caitanya Mahāprabhu said. Niṣkiñcanasya bhagavad-bhajanonmukhasya pāraṁ paraṁ jigamisor bhava-sāgarasya [Cc. Madhya 11.8].
Bhagavad-bhajana means to go on the other side of the ocean of nescience, not in this material world. Anyone who is desiring to be promoted to the heavenly planet, Svargaloka, Janaloka, Maharloka, Tapoloka, Brahmaloka... There are so many higher planetary systems. But a bhagavad-bhakta, devotee, knows that they are unnecessary. Ā-brahma-bhuvanāl lokāḥ punar āvartino 'rjuna [Bg. 8.16]. Again we have to come back. Kṣīṇe kṣīṇe puṇye martya-lokaṁ viśanti [Bg. 9.21].
So this botheration is not very much liked by the pure devotee. Pure devotee does not... Even if he's offered such... Of course, a pure devotee [is] never offered such material benefits. Because Kṛṣṇa says, "The pure devotee, after giving up this body..." Tyaktvā dehaṁ punar janma naiti [Bg. 4.9]. Punar janma means to take birth in one of the planets, or in one of the species of, out of 8,400,000 species of life. That is called punar janma. But the devotees who are following Caitanya Mahaprābhu's instruction, they do not mind, even there is birth again. Caitanya Mahāprabhu says, janmani janmani bhavatād bhaktir ahaitukī tvayi.
So even there is birth... Just like Bhaktivinoda Ṭhākura says, kīṭa janma hao yathā tuyā dāsa. "My dear Lord, if You like that I shall take birth again, so kindly give my birth in a place where there is Your devotee." That is wanted. Bahir-mukha-brahma-janma nāhi mora āśa. "And if I become nondevotee and take my birth as Lord Brahmā, I don't want it. Let me become an insect in the house of a devotee." This is the aspiration---the same thing is explained here---because without the benediction of a pure devotee, it is not possible to enter into the path of devotional service.
Thank you very much. Hare Kṛṣṇa. [end]