Prabhupāda: I do not have much practice in speaking in Hindi and I am from Calcutta and Hindi is not my mother tongue. I cannot speak Gujarati, though I can understand a bit like Damjibhai spoke in Gujarati and I understood everything. But I cannot speak Gujarati. So whatever possible I will speak in Hindi. Mr. Damji spoke about my disciple Mr. Alfred Ford. I have given him the name Ambarisa Maharaja. Ambarisa Maharaj was the emperor of the whole world. But his work was to chant the Lord’s name.
sa vai manak
vacâsi vaiku
Ambarisa Maharaj despite being engaged in the affairs of his kingdom, always kept his mind engaged at the lotus feet of the Lord. Sa vai manah, if one can keep his mind engaged at the lotus feet of the Lord the he will be benefited by this alone. So Ambarisa Maharaj used to keep his mind engaged always at the lotus feet of the Lord. And
When he would talk he would discuss only about the glories of the Lord. Since he was the King he did not need to talk much as his ministers and secretaries did all that for him. But if anyone came to talk to him especially then, vaiku Vaikuntha means Bhagavan. And there is Vaikuntha lok where the Lord resides. Vaikuntha means where there is no kuntha, anxiety. In this material world everyone is afflicted with anxiety all the time, whether man, demigod, animal, bird, everyone is anxious all the time as to what will happen in the future. This is inside everyone. So Vaikuntha means where there is no anxiety, no ‘kuntha’. Everyone is in bliss.
na úocati na kâṣk
That is Vaikunthaloka.
mad-bhaktilabhate parâm
So Ambarisa Maharaj when he would talk it would be about the glories of Vaikuntha. And when he was moving around it was to go to the temple. And when he would see something, it was the form of the Lord. And he would smell the tulsi leaves offered at the feet of the Lord. And he would taste the prasad with his tongue. That is all his sense organs, eyes, ears, tongue, hands, legs- all these. Ambarisa Maharaj knew how to engage all these sense organs at the service of the Lord. This is called bhakti.
sevana bhaktir ucyate
What does bhakti mean?
sarvapadhi-vinirmuktam tat-paratvena nirmalam.
We have to purify our senses, they are not pure now. Like we think this body belongs to us, but this is not pure knowledge. Pure knowledge is that, this body has been given to us by the Lord. Just like you give sanyasis like us a place to stay, similarly this body has been given to us by the Lord. Just like the landlord has given us a room to stay. It is does not mean that the room has become our property. No! The property belongs to the landlord. But we have been allowed to stay in that. Similarly this body, sense organs belong to God. They are to be used in the service of the Lord. And we have been allowed to stay in this body. If I use this body to do as the Lord desires that is called bhakti or devotional service. Nothing else! The work you are doing. The Lord says,
sva-karmana tam abhyarcya samsiddhih labhate narah
The work you are doing you continue to do it, nothing wrong with that. Even if there is something wrong with the work do not leave it. This is God.
sa-doapi na tyajet
Do any work in this material world, it will be contaminated with some faults. The Lord himself has said, like fire is pure but it has one fault, it has smoke. So in this material world there cannot be anything completely pure. But any work done if it is done in the service of the Lord then it is called bhakti. tat-paratvena nirmalam, that is pure. Because it is done for the Lord, it is pure. That is why the Lord himself has said,
api cet su-duracaro
bhajate mam ananya-bhak
If a person has started devotional service but is not yet advanced, there are some faults in his practice. What does the Lord say for these people? api cet su-duracaro.
If a person is engaged in devotional service but has a number of faults in him. The Lord says even if such a person is not pious but sinful, api cet su-duracaro, if he has just one quality of knowing nothing else but the Lord as his shelter. ananya-bhak. He knows only Krishna, krsnas tu bhagavan svayam. If one has this quality, even if his work seems to have some faults, then sadhur eva sa mantavyah- he is still a sadhu (pious man). This Mr. Damji was just explaining the greatness of a sadhu, in reality the sadhu is praise worth person. Caitanya Mahaprabhu says,
'sâdhu-saṣga', 'sâdhu-saṣga' --- sarva-úâstre kaya
lava-mâtra sâdhu-saṣge sarva-siddhi haya
All scriptures recommend the association of saintly persons.
tato duhsangam utsrjya satsu sajjeta buddhiman
So a intelligent person gives up the association of sinful people and associates with the saintly persons. Association of saintly people is of prime importance for engaging in devotional service. Association of saintly persons!
âdau úraddhâ tatasâdhu-
saṣgo 'tha bhajana-kriyâ
tato 'nartha-nivsyât
tato nirucis tata
athâsaktis tato bhâvas
sâdhakânâm ayaprem
The sole aim of human life is to attain love of Godhead. We are entangled in the love of this material world. We need to take leave from this love for the material world- love will remain but for God! Love is present inside everyone, animals have love inside them, even the dog looks after its puppies, and the tiger looks after its cubs. When the cubs fall on the huge tiger playfully, the tiger finds it very soothing and enjoyable. This is love! Love exists inside everyone. Every living entity! But if we place this love on this material world it is called Maya and if we place that love on God then it is called devotional service. That is why the scriptures say,
sarvapadhi-vinirmuktam tat-paratvena nimalam.
hrishikesha-sevanam bhaktir uchyate
One of God’s name is ‘Hrishikesha’. Hrishi means sense organs. When the senses are purified, tat-paratvena nimalam and are applied in the service of the Lord, that is called devotional service. So this book that I have is ‘Caitanya Caritamrita’. We have translated this into English. We have 17 volumes of this book that you see with me. This has been accepted with much reverence all over the world. Caitanya Caritamrita! I will read a shloka from this book today for all of you. it is about Sanatana Goswami. Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu had six principle disciples, the six Goswamis- Rupa, Sanatana, Bhatta Raghunath, Sri Jiva, Gopal Bhatta, Dasa Raghunath. They lived in Vrindavana and spread the message of Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu. We are following in the disciplic succession of Sri Caitanya Mahaprahu and the six Goswami’s for preaching their message and spreading their mission. We have left all other scriptures and are translating these books into the English, German, French, Spanish languages. These books sell very well. You will be surprised to know that we are selling around Rs. 25 to 30 lakh worth of these books every month. We meet our expenses through this and this young man Mr. Alfred Ford has donated at least Rs.1.5 crores to us. (everyone claps). This is how we meet our expenses. Our monthly expenditure is at least Rs 20 lakhs per month. We have 100 centres and they are all running because of the mercy of the Lord and we have one centre in Nairobi. Please cooperate nicely there and read our books and understand what our preaching mission is all about. This is not religion specific. Actually this is what is dharma (prescribed duties). What is dharma? This has been explained by Yamaraja, who is ‘dharma raja’, one who deliberates on dharma. When his associates asked him about Ajamila who was to be brought to him on account of his being sinful but the Visnudutta’s came to his rescue and did not allow them to bring him in. So what is dharama and adharama? At that time Dharma raja said,
Dharmam tu saksat bhagavat-pranitam
Dharma means the codes of laws given by God. Rest everything is adharma. That is why it is mentioned in the Bhagavat,
dharmah projjhita-kaitavo atra
atra srimad bhagavate projjhita-kaitavo dharmah
projjhita means ‘ prakrishta rupene urjjhita’ (?)
Just like you clean the nicely and remove all the dirt and filth in it. So similarly what is not dharma has been swept and thrown out.
dharmah projjhita-kaitavo atra
paramo nirmat-saranam
And this supreme dharma is for whom? It for the "nirmat sar" those who are non-violent, ‘matsarata’. This word has been explained by Sridhar Swami as
matsarata para utkarsah asahanam
To be envious of someone who is doing better than you, that is called matsarata. para utkarsah asahanam, the other person is advancing, this is the way of this world that if your brother is advancing even then you are envious. Forget about others. Person to person or between individuals, enviousness is there anyways; in society, between nations, between faiths like Hindus, Muslims, then national, party- this is only enviousness. Only enviousness! Therefore this Bhagavata dharma is for one who has given up enviousness. Parama nirmat-saranam. This is not a false substance but in reality, dharmah projjhita- this is reality. Just like the Lord says
dharma-samsthapanarthaya sambhavami yuge yuge
"I incarnate in different yugas to establish religion!" and what is that religion that the Lord is talking about? What dharma does He come to establish? That is
sarva-dharman parityajya mam ekam saranam vraja
All these religions that have been created in this world are not the real religions! These are all ‘kaitavo’ dharma or cheating religions. The real dharma is to surrender unto the Lord. ‘Oh Lord! I had forgotten you for such a long time and have been traveling all over the cosmic manifestation through the 840000 species of life, without any knowledge of you! But now by Your mercy." tat prasada madhusudana. Just like Arjuna says, "Out of Your causeless mercy, nasto moha, my attachment has been destroyed." And what is the result of destroying this attachment? Karisye vacanam tava- "I will act according to Your instruction." This is called moha nasto. I will not act whimsically. I will do whatever you instruct me to do. This is what the Lord also says, sarva-dharman parityajya mam ekam saranam vraja, surrender unto Me. So what does surrender mean? Follow what the Lord says! This is called devotional service. Not whimsical. To do what the Lord asks us to do, that is called devotional service. And that is called religion. Those who surrender unto the Lord and follow his instructions are called devotees and if one is a devotee then he is liberated. At that same time he is liberated because the Lord says that if you surrender unto Him then,
aham tvam sarva-papebhyo
And if the Lord is absolving the devotee from all his sins then what else is needed for liberation? A man suffers because of his sinful activities. And the Lord is saying,
aham tvam sarva-papebhyo
So for one who surrenders unto the Lord, he has no more sinful reactions. All his sins are destroyed as long as he does not commit any further sins. Then he is absolved and is liberated. In this regard the Lord has said
mam ca yo ’vyabhicarena
bhakti-yogena sevate
sa gunan samatityaitan
brahma-bhuyaya kalpate
One who engages himself unfailingly at the service of the Lord. Unfailing devotional service means one who follows the instructions of the Lord as described in the pastimes of the Lord, as explained by the saintly persons and scriptures- that is called unfailing devotional service. Vidhi bhakti- like the great saintly persons have indicated the ‘vidhi’ or the process. All the processes have been given by the Lord, forget anyone else. Acharya is one who follows the instructions of the Lord. So when the Lord says, sarva-dharman parityajya mam ekam saranam vraja, "Surrender unto Me. There is no need to follow any other religion." This is called pure devotional service. The scriptures talk about worshipping the various demigods. For whom is that instruction? For those who are lusty! For those who want to enjoy in this material world! For them! kamais tais tair hrta-jnana yajante anya-devatah. Those who worship the demigods who are they? kamais tais tair hrta-jnana, they are devoid of knowledge due to their lusty desires. That is why they worship the other demigods. Whatever they ask these other demigods, cannot the Lord give them that? Who are these demigods? They are the servants of the Lord! So what is it that the master cannot give? If you have any material desires and you pray to the Lord, can’t the Lord fulfill your desires? So the scriptures say,
akama sarva kama va moksa kama udaradhih
tivrena bhakti yogena yajeta paramam purusam
Who is the ‘parama purusam’ (supreme person)? Krishna! Just like Arjuna understood,
param brahma param dhama
pavitram paramam bhavan
purusam sasvatam adyam
This is Lord Krishna, adi purusa, Govinda!
There are three kinds of people in this world. One is Akami, those who have no desires at all. For one who has found God, he has no desires.
svamin krtartho 'smi varam na yace
Just like Dhruva Maharaj, was a five year old boy was insulted by his step-mother. So he vowed that he would acquire a kingdom that was bigger than that of his father. So he prayed to the Lord and when he saw the Lord, because he was purified by the devotional process, he had no desires at all. So when the Lord appeared before Him and asked him what he wanted? You are a small child and you are performing such austerities. Ask what you want! So at that time Dhruva Maharaj says,
kacam vicinvann api divya-ratnam
"I came in search of glass pieces and I have found a diamond! So what more could I want?" svamin krtartho, that’s all I want, nothing else! I have seen you, what more could I want? svamin krtartho 'smi varam na yace. This is the advantage of devotional service. If you get devotional service then you get everything else along with it. Just study the business point of view, I started this Hare Krishna movement with forty rupees. Now we have forty crores of rupees. And that too in ten years! Get me a business man ( who can do this)! Laughter! Get me a businessman and we have 102 centers! How many branches can a businessman open? So this is true that,
Yam labdhva caparam labham manyate nadhikam tatah..
Once you get this then there is no question of any more profit. Everything is profited! It is such a thing devotional service. We should try to practice devotional service in our human form of life. Devotional service means love for God. We should be ready to do anything for God. Just like the Gopi’s, Krishna plays the flute in the middle of the night and the Gopi’s run to Him. Some of them were looking after their children, some boiling milk, some doing household chores- they all left that. Their father, father in law, husbands were enquiring, "where are you going?" but they never listened! That is why Caitanya Mahaprabhu has said that the way the Gopi’s chanted the Lord’s name- for the sake of the Lord, they would give up their life, wealth, mind, material world, family- they gave up everything! There is no greater service than this according to Caitanya Mahaprabhu.
ramya kacid upasana vraja-vadhu-vargena ya kalpita
There is no better mode of worship than that which was conceived by the vraja-vadhus, the damsels of Vrindavana. And the most elevated Gopi amongst them is Radharani. Anayaradhitah iti radha..
These are some thoughts on devotional service. And according to Śrīmad Bhagavatam,
Śrīmad-bhagavatam amalam puranam
This is a great Purana and we follow the great acharyas in our disciplic succession and by the Lord’s mercy we are seeing the results also.
There is not enough time left but I will talk about a couple of things.
The six Goswamis who gave their life and soul for the preaching of this message of devotional service, one of them was Sanatana Goswami. Who was Sanatana Goswami? In those days the Muslim Pathan rulers of Bangladesh, Nawab Hussain Shah was the king of Bangladesh. He was the finance minister of that king. When he met Caitanya Mahaprabhu, he left his official duties and went to Caitanya Mahaprabhu. It was not easy as the King was not letting him go because he was the Prime Minister and all the work was done by him while the Muslim king enjoyed. The official duties were carried out by these two brothers, Rupa Goswami and Sanatana Goswami. So the Muslim king was badly hit by the resignations of these two brothers. Sanatana Goswmai was sent to prison so as to not allow him to leave. But he somehow managed to get away. He left Bangladesh and met Caitanya Mahaprabhu in Kashi Varanasi where he was then preaching. He was initiated and given the sanyas attire and for two months he was taught on the topics of devotional service. So when Sanatana Goswami met Caitanya Mahaprabhu for the first time, his question was,
kripa kori yadi more koriache uddhar, apana kripa te kaho kartavya amar.
"By Your mercy I have been brought to your lotus feet after giving up my ministership. By your mercy I have been brought out of that hell, please tell me what is my duty"? This is what it means to approach a spiritual master. Spritual master is not something official that once you accept him, he stays in his house and you in yours. Sanatana Goswami is teaching us that after accepting a spiritual master what is our duty! Our job is to learn from him what is our duty in this world?
These are the injunctions. Sad dharma prchha.. We must accept a spiritual master and ask him what is ‘sad dharma’, how should we shape our life?
tasmâd guruprapadyeta
jijṣâsuúreya uttamam
Who needs a spiritual master? One who is inquisitive about the highest good. Spiritual master is not a fashion, that I have also accepted one! No!! Such a person needs a spiritual master who,
tasmâd guruprapadyeta
jijṣâsuúreya uttamam
sreyam means well-being, so everyone wants to do well for himself. So to find out what is the highest good- that is why we need a spiritual master.
tasmâd guruprapadyeta
jijṣâsuúreya uttamam
So the spiritual master should be one who can reveal to us the highest good.
úâbde pare ca ni
This is the quality of a spiritual master. úâbde pare ca ni just like we take bath in water by completely immersing ourselves in that water and are purified, similarly when a person has immersed himself in Brahman, úâbde pare ca niand as a result of this, brahma?y upaúamâúrayam he gives up all his material affairs and is fixed firmly in the Absolute Truth, this is the quality of a spiritual master.
So Sanatana Goswami approached Caitanya Mahaprabhu and asked, what is my duty? By Your mercy I have given up the ministership and now please tell me what is my duty? .
Ke ami kene amaya jare tapa-traya, apani kaha prabhu kiser hita haya
Sanatana Goswami says that now I have come to You, please tell me- Who am i? Am I a minister? Am I Sanatana Goswami? Am I something else? I do not know! I became whatever I was made to become and worked accordingly but who am I in reality, please tell me? This should be our question to our spiritual master. Self-realization! Every person has a bodily concept of life, dehatma buddhih. I am Hindu, I am a Muslim, I am a Gujarati, I am a Marathi, I am an American, I am an Indian and accord so many such designations to myself but who am I in reality? This we need to ask! Who am I? Neither am I a Hindu, Muslim, Christian, Gujarati, Bengali, white,black---who am I? This he is asking. This you should ask the spiritual master- Self-realization! Atma jnana!
úrotavyâdîni râjendra
nsanti sahasraúa?
apaúyatâm âtma-tattva
Those who do not understand the Absolute Truth, they remain foolish. So that is why Santana Goswami is asking;
Ke ami kene amaya jare tapa-traya
This devotional service, he first explained to himself
Ke ami kene amaya jare tapa-traya
Who am I and why do I have undergo suffering on account of these three kinds of worldly miseries? I don’t want to! Who wants to die but everyone does- this he wants to ask! I do not want to die, I do not want to become old, I want to remain youthful always. So why am I being forced to become old? This should be our question.
Ke ami kene amaya jare tapa-traya
We have these spiritual gatherings and in India we have the writings of so many saintly persons especially Bhagavad Gita which is spoken by the Lord himself. So it is appropriate on our part to take the instructions as given in Bhagavad Gita and enrich your life. And we have opened this center and this is our mission, nothing else. This is Caitanya Mahaprabhu’s mission. What is His mission? This is His mission, He has said three times,
bhârata-bhûmite haila manujanma yâra
janma sârthaka kari' kara para-upakâra
Those who are born in the land of India is not an ordinary person. Even the demigods pray to God to be allowed to be born in this land of India. Being born in India is such! Till today even though so much atheism has spread here, Kumbha Mela is held and it attracts crores of people to it and if people like us organize some celebrations then everyday 20000 to 30000 people come to attend and hear. This is India! That is why Caitanya Mahaprabhu has especially said about India,
bhârata-bhûmite haila manujanma yâra
janma sârthaka kari' kara para-upakâra
So you are all Indians, born in India but have come here now because of business reasons or any other reasons. That is all right but Caitanya Mahaprabhu says
amara agya guru hoiya tara ei desh
With My permission all of you Indians become Guru (spiritual masters).
amara agya guru hoiya tara ei desh
You have come to Africa so do welfare for the people of Africa. This is your duty. Not to earn money alone. Earn money but spend it on the welfare. This is the duty of an Indian and this is what Caitanya Mahaprabhu also says. And how to do this? Become a spiritual master. How to do so? We are not qualified and we do not know anything! No! It is not necessary to be learned. Then how to become a a spiritual master?
yare dekho tare kaho krishna upadesha
That’s all, you can become a guru. No need to cheat or make gold. Just repeat whatever Krishna has said. Then you become a spiritual master. This is our request to you. You are Indian so please do welfare for these people. See how these African people are chanting and dancing. We are getting people from abroad to make them dance, can’t you do this? Why? This is our request. You make them dance, you are here. We get these poor Americans and Europeans here to make them dance! This is our request to you. This is our request, accept it and work accordingly. The center is there, build it up nicely, work as per the injunctions of the scriptures, become spiritual masters and do welfare.
Thank you very much! Hare Krishna! [end]