sarvākṣa-mārgair agatādhvane namaḥ
TRANSLATION: The Pracetas spoke as follows: Dear Lord, You relieve all kinds of material distress. Your magnanimous transcendental qualities and holy name are all-auspicious. This conclusion is already settled. You can go faster than the speed of mind and words. You cannot be perceived by material senses. We therefore offer You respectful obeisances again and again.
PURPORT: The word nirupita, meaning “concluded,” is very significant in this verse. No one has to conduct research work to find God or make progress in spiritual knowledge. Everything is conclusively there in the Vedas. Therefore the Lord says in Bhagavad-gita (15.15), vedais ca sarvair aham eva vedyah: understanding the Supreme Personality of Godhead through the process of the Vedas is perfect and conclusive. The Vedas state, atah sri-krishna-namadi na bhaved grahyam indriyaih: [BRS. 1.2.234] the transcendental names, forms, qualities, paraphernalia and pastimes of the Lord cannot be understood by our blunt material senses.
Sevonmukhe hi jihvadau svayam eva sphuraty adah: when a devotee engages his senses favorably in devotional service, the Lord, through His causeless mercy, reveals Himself to the devotee. This is the conclusive Vedic process. The Vedas also indicate that simply by chanting the holy names of the Lord one can without a doubt become spiritually advanced. We cannot approach the Supreme Personality of Godhead by the speed of mind or words, but if we stick to devotional service we can easily and quickly approach Him. In other words, the Supreme Lord is attracted by devotional service, and He can approach us more swiftly than we can approach Him with our mental speculation. The Lord has stated that He is beyond the range of mental speculation and the speed of thought, yet He can be approached easily by His causeless mercy. Thus only by His causeless mercy can He be attained. Other methods will not be effective. (end)
HG Anuttama Prabhu: (invocatory prayers)
So my name is Anuttama dasa. I am based in Washington DC and am very grateful for the opportunity to have the association of so many dedicated servants of Srila Prabhupada and for the opportunity to try to speak a few words about the illustrious Srimad Bhagavatam.
So here in these series of verses we have been reading this story for so many days, we understand that after ten thousand years of austerity the Lord has appeared to the Pracetas. And He has spoken many verses, we have been reading those verses for several several days. But now in todays verse text 22 this is where the Pracetas begin to respond to the Lord.
So He appeared before them and He spoke so much knowledge, so many benedictions and now the Pracetas they are speaking. They are responding to the Lord and offering many different prayers. And as is appropriate they are beginning the very first comment the very first words they are saying are glorification of the Lord.
And they are saying that “You are one who relieves distress, all kinds of material distress. Your qualities Your names are all-auspicious. You are faster than the mind and the senses. We offer our respectful obeisances unto You.”
So they begin by offering glorification to the Lord. Prabhupada says in many places in his purports that this is the proper way of offering prayers to the Lord. We should always begin with some glorification. We may have some particular need or some feelings we’d like to express to Krishna. That’s appropriate to do so, He is a person, He wants to hear from us, He wants to reciprocate with us. But also we should be careful to always begin our prayers with particular specific glorification of the Lord and His qualities, some of His wonderful attributes. Prabhupada instructed we should follow in that way.
So in his purport Prabhupada emphasizes the word ‘nirupita’. He says it is very significant and he says it means ‘concluded’. So he is summarizing in his purport, what he says is the ‘conclusive Vedic process’. So he is pointing out that this verse gives us a hint to understand what is the conclusive Vedic process and then he explains in his purport, he expands that, he clarifies for us what is that conclusive Vedic process.
So this is the mercy of our founder acarya Srila Prabhupada who is as we understand is the preeminent teacher, preeminent siksa guru instructor for all of us, that he clarifies for us this transcendental knowledge. Just like everytime the lights go out and I try to look at my notes it becomes unclear and I have to pick them up and try to get a little light coming in from outside and then it becomes clear. So without the light I am in darkness and my thoughts become confused and I am distracted.
So in a similar way without the light, without the torch of knowledge given by our parampara, by the mercy of Lord Krishna He sends His different representatives and especially for the members of ISKCON, our founder acarya is Srila Prabhupada and his wonderful purports. Without him giving this explanation to us we would not understand what is the concluded truth or what is the conclusive truth of the Vedas. And we see that all around us. There are so many people in the world, they study the Vedas or other scriptures and they come up with all kinds of different conclusions. Some of them a little pious, some of them completely confused, some of them very inauspicious and as it says in the Bhagavad-gita, Krishna tells Arjuna people under the influence of the modes of material nature they know not what is to be done and what is to not be done. They are confused. So this is the nature. Even people that study sastras, they go to the Vedas and become confused.
So Prabhupada here in his purport he is condensing it very nicely, what is the conclusive truth. And he says first of all we should understand the goal of the Vedas, the goal of all spiritual truths, the goal of life is to understand God. And he quotes evidence to that – Krishna in the Bhgavad-gita edais ca sarvair aham eva vedyah (BG 15.15) that the goal of all knowledge is to understand Krishna, that is the purpose, makes that first point, the purpose, understand that. And then he explains, he quotes from the Padma Purana, nice verse:
atah sri-krishna-namadi na bhaved grahyam indriyaih sevonmukhe hi jihvadau svayam eva sphuraty adah (Nectar of Devotion 1.2.234)
The full verse he doesn’t give in the purport but ‘no one can understand the transcendental nature of the name, form, qualities and pastimes of Sri Krishna through his materially contaminated senses. Only when one becomes spiritually saturated by transcendental service to the Lord are the transcendental name, form, quality and pastimes of the Lord revealed to him.’
So Prabhupada is quoting those references in this purport, that we are meant to understand God but we cant do it through our materially blunt senses and then he says simply by chanting one can become spiritually advanced. That’s the next point that he makes in this purport.
And then he says the Lord is easily approached although it says in this verse that the Pracetas are glorifying Him -“You are faster than the speed of the minds and words, You cannot be perceived.” But Prabhupada says, ‘but He is easily approached’ and then he uses this nice expression ‘if we stick to devotional service’, if we don’t give up, if we accept the process of bhakti, of devotional service and we stick to it then we will be successful.
And he explains why is that true. Because it attracts Krishna. It pleases Him and then He approaches us out of His causeless mercy. Prabhupada is revealing to us the most basic and essential truth that human life especially is meant to realize God and ultimately he comes to this highest explanation, the only way ultimately to please Him, to achieve Him, to have Him reveal Himself to us is to serve Him in devotion and in this way the Lord chooses to appear.
Just as He was pleased as He said in many many verses before, He was pleased by the austerities of the Pracetas, of their devotion, of their surrendering to their authority and acting according to those guidelines to try to please the Lord and to purify their hearts.
So Prabhupada often refers to this process as ‘the science of Krishna consciousness’. He would argue many times like this, it’s a science, its not a theory, its not just some belief but you test it. You apply yourself to this process of Krishna consciousness and see what results is there.
So in this way we are all very very fortunate, we are sitting here in Mayapur and perhaps there are some people in other parts of the world listening in this most holy dhama and we have been given the opportunity to hear the Bhagavatam from Srila Prabhupada and to see the beautiful forms of the Lord, to associate with the devotees and chant the Holy name and in this way be engaged in devotional process.
So we are very fortunate to be able to take part in this. Prabhupada would often say how fortunate we all are to be able to take part in this science of Krishna consciousness. And as I was reading this purport I was thinking of how important it is for all of us to remember how fortunate we are. Sometimes we all suffer from various bodily difficulties, different disturbances of the mind, sometimes there is financial distress, sometimes there is family distress, sometimes there is emotional distress, sometimes there is legal problem, sometimes there is Government problem, sometimes there is problems in our relationships, different types of difficulties come.
But we should try to remember that despite whatever temporary obstacles may come we are still very very fortunate we are in contact with Krishna and we are in contact with His Holy name. There is an English expression it says ‘you should count your blessings’. And sometimes the fact is due to the nature of our mind, our minds are very fickle, sometimes the mind likes to focus on the negative things. This is one of the wonderful abilities of the mind especially in this age of Kali.
Like Srila Prabhupada says the moon is there, sometimes we see in the night how beautiful the moon is and how it gives such wonderful rays. But still our mind says oh! But still there is some spots, there is some spots in the moon.
Or sometimes, we all have experience, we all perhaps do this from time to time. Someone gives us some wonderful prasadam to honor, and we look at two subzis, two kinds of rice, some other preparations, some juices and we think that sweet ball is so small. His is so much bigger! Why did he get a bigger gulab jamun than I got? This is the nature of our mind.
As Krishna says in the Bhagavad-gita, mind is no friend, he is our enemy. Confirmed by Prahlada Maharaj to his father. He said, ‘You are so powerful, you think you have so many enemies. Actually you have only one enemy and that is your mind.’
So our mind’s not so good at appreciating our blessings. And if we don’t appreciate our blessings, the problem with that is sometimes we don’t take advantage of them. Just like sometimes somebody may give you some money in a foreign currency and you don’t know what it is. It says one thousand. You think that’s not very significant. And in some parts of the world the piece of paper which says a thousand or whatever from the Government is maybe worth less than the piece of paper its printed on.
But in other parts of the world a thousand has great value. But if we don’t understand it and therefore not seeing it clearly in the context then we may waste it, we may think oh thousand! That has no value! We discard it.
So in a similar way we are very fortunate, any human being is fortunate to have a human form of life and to be able to enquire about God is great fortune. But we are especially fortunate.
So if you’ll just allow me to remind us of a few of those, actually there is too many to count but just a few of those. The first one is rather significant. The blessing that we have is that Krishna or God is our, your best friend. That’s a pretty nice thing, that’s a pretty important blessing.
There’s another English expression which says ‘its good to have friends in high places.’ If you know someone who is politically connected, socially connected. If they are socially connected and if you are their friend you get to go to all the big parties. If you have friend at the bank and you bounce a cheque or there is some shortage of money you talk to your friend who says I’ll take care of that for you. If you have some political friends and you have some difficulty with the law, they say don’t do it again, I’ll talk to the judge, I’ll tell him you are a good person. You’ll have to pay some fine but it will be reasonable – friends in good places!
So we have a good friend in the highest place. The highest office in the land, in the universe. He Himself says in the Bhagavad-gita, I am not saying this, He says in the Bhagavad-gita Sixth chapter “I am your best friend. I am your well-wisher.” So that’s a very important blessing.
We have many friends but we should always remember that our very best friend is God. He is running the show. And whatever problems we may have, He is in charge and He is ultimately looking after our welfare.
So that’s the second blessing among many that we can think about, came to my mind while I was preparing for the class. Not only is God our best friend, but He is actively trying to help us. It’s like sometimes we have this idea what is called deism in the West. In America some of the founding fathers had this idea – deism. There is a God, He kind of gets everything in motion and its continuing but it’s like mechanical.
But that’s not Vaisnava philosophy. We understand that He is actually He is directly involved in our life, He is interested in our life and He is making arrangements to try and help us, the whole world. The material scientists speculate what is the purpose of the universe. They seem to think there is no purpose, it just came about by chance.
But we say we know the purpose of the universe, Krishna reveals throughout the scriptures, the purpose of the universe is because He loves us and He is trying to help us come back to Him. So He creates this whole place just to allow us to come here, act out our foolish independent desires, gradually become convinced this playground is no fun, I don’t like this place, isn’t there somewhere else I can go? And then He shows us and He takes us back.
So that’s a very great blessing that He is actively trying to help us. And not only that He never abandons us. We’ve all had friends, everyone here is an adult, maybe there are some children who have not experienced this. But all of us have had probably I would assume if not this life in previous lives but most of us have had in this lifetime some friend who you depended upon and sometimes something happened and they abandon you. Knowingly or maybe unknowingly when you really needed help they weren’t there or they weren’t able to help. Or maybe they forgot you or maybe sometimes even you know material energy comes in and affected their mind and they didn’t help you, they could have. Maybe they work against you, its very painful!
But Krishna is not like that! Prabhupada says the conclusive truths of the Vedas. Whats the Bhagavatam? The whole Bhagavatam is Krishna and His devotees, Krishna protecting His devotees, Krishna chastising the demons, ultimately bring them around as well. Devotees forget what’s my relationship with Krishna, they become little bewildered, we become little offensive and Krishna brings them around, again and again and again.
Arjuna by Krishna’s arrangement he forgot his relationship with Krishna, didn’t understand who the Lord was and Krishna brought him around again. At the end of Bhagavad-gita Prabhupada writes he says Krishna was so kind that He is ready to repeat the entire Bhagvad-gita to Arjuna if needed again. And we understand from our Vaisnava acaryas that Krishna He is in our heart. He is not only in the heart of the human beings He stays with us birth after birth, life after life no matter how sinful we are or have been or become. He never abandons us. He may chastise us, He may correct us which He certainly does but He does it out of affection, out of well-being.
So that’s a great blessing to know that. How many people have such a powerful friend who is actively trying to help them? Those people in the material consciousness they don’t know this but as we understand, as we become spiritually awakened we know this. So Krishna is God, He is our best friend, He is actively trying to deliver us.
And what’s another wonderful blessing is we have all somehow or other by the causeless mercy of Krishna and Prabhupada, we’ve come in contact with Srila Prabhupada. The Lord’s pure devotee who was empowered by Him to spread this Krishna consciousness all over the world and we got the opportunity to come in contact with his society, with ISKCON. That’s a great blessing!
Another blessing despite all the shortcomings we may have, or doubt or problems or imperfections or impurities, we’ve been given the opportunity to directly serve Srila Prabhupada. We can hear from him through his words, we can see his murti, we can serve with his society, we can carry out his mission, we can associate with his devotees and help spread this great movement and actually benedict the entire world. That’s exactly a blessing. Not everybody in the world has that. It’s rare actually! It’s a rare thing.
In addition to that so many more blessings. We have the opportunity to associate with the Vaisnavas, people who have dedicated their lives to understanding God, to serving Krishna and avoiding sinful activity. How many people in the world have taken a vow no intoxication – not very many! How many people have taken a vow I want to minimize violence, I will kill no animals, I will eat no meat, fish or eggs – not very many! A few outside of ISKCON but not so many. How many people have made it their express goal in life to try to become pure, to become lovers of God – not so many. We have this opportunity to associate with those people.
So if we remember these things and so many other blessings that we have – the Holy name, Mayapur, the other dhama’s around the world. Vrindavana Dhama, Krishna prasadam, the deities, hearing from the Bhagavatam, there are so many. If we remember those blessings then we’ll be inspired.
If you realize how fortunate you are, just like if someone finds money on the ground they get very inspired. Wow! Look what I found! This is great and immediately think of all the things they are going to do with that good fortune. And they call their friends up – looks lets go use this together! We can make some nice progress in whatever our goals are in life.
So in the same way if we are remembering this we will be inspired and also if we remember this in the times which are difficult as sometimes they are, this is the world of sukha dukha – happiness and distress, honor and dishonor, pleasure and pain. When we feel some difficulty, if we remember these blessings we will always feel protected, we’ll always feel some strength. So that way we will feel sheltered, when we feel some difficulty in some service in our life, we should stop and remember these blessings we have. So fortunate, Krishna is my best friend and He is actively trying to help me. And Prabhupada is there and I have the association of the devotees.
So remember those things and feel inspired and also if we remember those things we wont fall asleep. We will remember we have a duty to perform. Just like if you are citizen of a great country and they give you so many benedictions like nice roads, peaceful environment, opportunity for economic development, you have a responsibility to pay some debt back as a citizen. You pay some taxes, maybe you serve in the jury, you have to do things like that. You have an obligation. If your father and mother they give you a lot of money, they give you a nice education, when they get older or after they pass away you have some duty to try to repay them because of the gifts they have been giving you.
So in the same way Prabhuapda told this -if you appreciate what I have given you. Some devotees they approached and said Prabhupada we feel we have some debt to you. You have given us so many gifts. He said this is a proper sentiment of a disciple, grand disciples, or we are all siksa disciples of Srila Prabhupada. He said if you feel some debt, it is appropriate for a disciple to feel some sense of debt, he said that you should preach vigorously just as I am doing.
He said actually you can never repay the debt to the spiritual master. It’s not possible, the gifts are too great. You can never repay the debt but he said if you want to try this is the proper mentality and way you do it preach vigorously just as I am doing.
So Prabhupada he requested devotees from all around the world, its so wonderful to walk around here. I have the disadvantage of being born in America which means, some of my fellow countrymen or countrywomen are becoming more sophisticated, I was born in a generation when being born in America means speak one language. So in one way it’s a benefit. Because when you walk or drive around in India and you are bombarded with all of the disgusting loud noises coming out of those rickshaw carts it hurts your ears but at least you don’t know what they are saying. So that way it’s a benediction.
But on the other hand it’s a curse. Because when I am here in the dhama I don’t know any languages, I can decipher a few but there is dozens of languages being spoken here. You walk by you hear some Russian and then you hear some Italian, and then you hear some French, and then you hear some Bengali, and then you hear some English, and then you hear some Spanish and then you hear some German and then you hear some Dutch etc etc etc. some Swahili.
So you are hearing so many things, you don’t even know and it’s wonderful. You can’t understand. It’s just interspersed every now and then you hear – something something something Guru, something something something seva, something something something Krishna, and of course the one you hear most often is something something something prasadam. That one you hear so many times. (laughter).
So such a wonderful thing we come from so many different places, how many of our paths would have ever crossed. Probably many of us would never even have landed in the same country. But by the mercy of Prabhupada and Prabhupada’s servants, representatives and so many wonderful senior authorities we have in the various parts of the world, they have given us a chance to come to Mayapur, as Prabhupada requested.
He said every year I want my followers especially my senior disciples, leaders of our society to come to Mayapur, to associate together to become enlivened to become purified to become unified. He wanted us to come here to be unified and then he asked us to go back home wherever you are serving and give others Krishna consciousness.
I was in a room with Tamala Krishna Maharaj a few years years after Prabhuapda had passed away from this world, physical he left and some devotees were asking in an evening lecture, a devotee asked Tamala Krishna Maharaj, how is it we come to Mayapur, we come to Vrindavana, we associate with so many advanced devotees, its very nice. Then we have to go back to wherever we are from and deal with so many headaches, so many new people, so many problems, quarrels in the asrama, this and that. Why do we have to do that? Its very unpleasant. Why cant we just stay here?
And Tamala Krishna Maharaj gave a beautiful answer. He said actually this is Prabhupada’s program. This is his process. You come here, you get enlivened and then you go back and give that association to others. Whatever you have learnt, whatever little purification is there you go and give it to others.
That was his process. So we come here to count our blessings, to become more aware of the great gifts Prabhupada has given us and then we go back and share those with others.
We also come here not just to hear philosophy and to understand philosophy but to pray to Krishna let us become symbols of your teaching. Let us become your instruments. As St Francis prayed to God ‘let us become instrument of Your peace’. This is also very very important instruction because Prabhupada said just as Sanatana Goswami told Haridasa that you practice both acara and pracara. Not just speak nicely you act nicely.
So its important message also for us to remember when we go back many people in the places we are trying to teach and preach and spread Krishna consciousness, they are not so philosophical. You know we can quote so much Sanskrit, we can give them so much philosophy, we can explain to them why the impersonal perception of God is not so good but the whole time they are listening, they are watching. And more important what they hear for most people is what they see.
I think it was one American writer who said something to this effect that ‘what you do is so loud I can’t hear any words you are speaking.’ So we have to remember this as devotees that people are watching us when we go home.
You know we say we have mercy on all living entities but what about the little old lady getting on the bus as we are going on sankirtana. Do we push her out of the way because we have to serve our spiritual master and distribute books to deliver all the conditioned souls? When we are waiting in line for prasadam we may be more senior but are we remembering that actually there is junior people here who will be perhaps inspired if I show them a little bit of kindness! Are we thinking like that? Are we actually feeling some compassion for other people? Are we treating other people like we understand they are all parts and parcels of Krishna? Do we actually see that? Do we actually act in that way with respect and compassion?
So we have heard that devotees should respect only to the Vaisnavas, respect is only meant for the Vaisnavas. Then we have to ask who is not a Vaisnava? Where is there a jiva who is not a Vaisnava who is in some degree of forgetfulness. So of course sometimes people they act in a very sinful ways, we take that into consideration. Prabhupada said you don’t embrace the tiger. The pure devotee sees the tiger, oh he is also a devotee of Krishna but don’t embrace them because a tiger is not necessarily acting like a pure devotee. He is definitely not acting like a pure devotee.
But still we should try to see the people and treat them as devotees of God as much as possible. Are we able to put aside our own selfish desires for fame, for power, for money to serve others selflessly. Because that’s really what it means to preach. Its one thing to speak nicely, its more important we act nicely. And if remember that and if we try to our greatest capacity then our words will also have ever increasing potency to change people’s heart and attract people to Krishna. And they will want to actively join and be a part of the Krishna consciousness movement and follow Prabhupada and serve Krishna.
And otherwise if we don’t do that despite our endeavors to preach people will see as hypocrites. Many of us here maybe we were born in this movement, many of us joined this movement, many of us my peers are in this movement we couldn’t stand the hypocrisy in other religious communities. And if that same hypocrisy comes within our society, other people will say I don’t want to do anything with ISKCON because they are hypocrites. They say one thing and they do something else.
And we can say no! no! no! our philosophy is very exalted. And they’ll say maybe yes maybe no. but what’s your behavior? One of the acaryas in my succession, one of my physical successions not Prabhuada our spiritual line, Abraham Lincoln great acarya in American history, he said one time “I have no respect for man’s religion if his dog and donkey are not better because of it.”
So common people they think like that, you speak big big words but you are not acting differently if I don’t see the way you take care of each other. I do some interfaith work in the West. The very first year we had a Christian Vaisnava dialogue the topic was the Kingdom of God. I chose the topic. And I thought we are going to show them how much we know. That was my subtle desire.
We were going around the room. The devotees were saying Krishna is there with Balarama and the cows and they are doing so many wonderful lilas. You know the Christians were nicely listening and frankly they didn’t have so much to say about the Kingdom of God. So in my false egoistic way I was thinking a little bit yes, we are winning. We are showing them our good stuff. Not exactly but there was a tinge of that pride.
Then it came to one minister who is a scholar who studied ISKCON and he said you know to tell you the truth I don’t know that much about the Kingdom of God but I know in my book the Bible it teaches that the Kingdom of God is a very nice place, I have faith in that and I have faith that God will take me there. What I am more concerned about is trying to make sure we realize the Kingdom of God, that we become agents of that, that we try to live like that and we teach others by the way we live in this world.
And as he was speaking I could feel myself going down in the chair, a little embarrassed. Because I was thinking, actually I am thinking we are speaking such good philosophy but am I living it? Am I demonstrating that I actually believe every single being as part and parcel of Krishna. Am I living in such a way that I actually believe that this entire world belongs to Him and there is no point in trying to exploit it or exploit other people. Or am I simply becoming a little proud because I can claim to be a member of some powerful religious tradition and therefore I must be special. I follow Prabhupada. If I follow Prabhupada my head should be a little lower in humility and not raised up in pride.
So Prabhupada has given us so many blessings. Let us pray while we are here in Mayapur that we can more clearly understand these blessings, this mercy he has given us. Let us all pray that we can feel more sense of gratitude for Krishna’s kindness. This gratitude that Krishna the Supreme Lord is such a loving person. And that we can be inspired to purify our hearts and to act as humble servants of Prabhupada here when we are together and when we go back to our places of service and thus be empowered to spread the Holy name, to engage in Vaisnava seva, to spread the culture of Krishna consciousness and Vaisnavism all over the world.
Prabhupada wanted that, he asked us to do that. He left this world now physically many many years ago but by his mercy, by his plan, by his arrangement, he has given us this ISKCON society, he has given us Vaisnavas. He has given us and he has told us whatever little bit you understand you tell others. We don’t know very much, we may not be very qualified but he said whatever you know you tell others and in this way we can fulfill our lives and we’ll be happy and we can give the greatest benediction to others.
So I’ll stop there. Thank you very much. Srila Prabhuapda ki jaya!
One very important anouncement. A little bird came by and dropped this message here and we want to evoke the blessings of all of the Vaisnavas. Today is a very auspicious day, it is the appearance day, the birthday of HG Jananivas Prabhu. Haribol! (applause) We are all very inspired his very wonderful example of service to deities. And of course his brother HG Pankajanghri Prabhu, they did take birth on the same day, that’s the meaning of being twins. (laughter) Hare Krishna! So to both of them we offer our prayers of many years of continued service to Srila Prabhupada’s movement and our gratitude for your wonderful seva throughout so many years. Thank you very much!
So any questions or comments anyone might have?
Vasudeva Prabhu: on the topic you touched upon, we often use the argument that if we do not know God, how can you love God. If you do not know what He looks like, if you don’t know His entourage and we know so therefore we can love God. The argument is against those who do not have all this information, lost information that our scriptures reveal. So is there a possibility for us to overuse this argument that we cannot love God unless we know so many details about God.
Anuttama Prabhu: we have a tendency to overuse everything. So I would say yes we could overuse that. I think of that beautiful story with Lord Caitanya and the one illiterate man who was reading Bhagavad-gita upside down or turning the pages, he couldn’t see, he couldn’t read, he could see but he couldn’t read. So most of us know this story. Lord Caitanya asked him what are you doing and he said I am reading Bhagavad-gita. People were laughing at him and Lord Caitanya saw him and He said what are you doing, I am reading Bhagavad-gita but actually I can’t read, I don’t read. My guru told me read, so I am turning the pages.
He (Lord Caitanya) said it is very nice you are so dedicated to the orders of your spiritual master but I notice you are crying. The words on the pages they are running from your tears. He said yes because when I hold Bhagavad-gita and this vision of seeing Krishna driving the chariot of Arjuna, He is the Supreme Personality of Godhead but He has so much love for His devotee Arjuna that He is driving his chariot. This brings tears to my eyes.
So how much knowledge did he have? He couldn’t have quoted any slokas, He had not so much knowledge, a little bit. In the same way how much knowledge do we have? Everyday we are gaining more knowledge. So we have little love for Krishna based on what we know now, we’ll have more love for Krishna when we know more. So Krishna is very kind.
Prabhupada writes in the purport of fourth chapter of Bhagavad-gita, Krishna says and Prabhupada explains in the purport Krishna sends different representatives in different times to teach different according to time place and circumstance to teach people as much about God as they can understand.
In the same way we all experience the more we can understand He gives us more. So we should never think we have a monopoly on the truth. Krishna is much bigger than we are and He is inspiring people all around the world and if we a little humble and if we open our eyes we’ll see there is many people that have great devotion. They may not have so much knowledge but they also can have great devotion. In the same way we are all struggling with lust and with greed and anger other people are struggling. Some of them are not so pure in their behavior but frankly I am not very pure in my behavior. Krishna tolerates me as I am trying to do better, so that’s His kindness.
So it’s true the more knowledge we have its easier for us to awaken our love for God but we shouldn’t become too sectarian. There is a nice example that I have heard some devotee scholars give about this, I will just kind of say it the way he does – “Has anyone met my mother? She passed away a few years ago. She is a wonderful woman. She was a wonderful woman. In fact I can say she is the best mother in the world. Ok? I can say that because I feel she is the best mother in the world. But if I say she is a better mother than any of you have. You really can’t say that. You have your relationship with your mother. I have my relationship with my mother.”
So in a similar way we have Krishna reveal Himself to us and we are very very fortunate to have such an intimate revelation of God. But it doesn’t mean He is not revealing Himself to others, that doesn’t mean they are also not getting some taste in their chanting their names of God. Its in the sastras, God has millions of names. How many of those do we know? Maybe a hundred, a thousand, five thousand. So we shouldn’t limit Krishna. Yes, Maharaj? What’s your full name Maharaj now?
(Bhakti Prabhupada Vrata Damodar Swami)! [formerly Prabhupada Das]
Anuttama Prabhu: Hare Krishna! Lets all offer our blessings to one of ISKCON’s newest sanyasis. Haribol! (applause) May Maharaj be inspired to preach and bring many souls to Prabhupada’s lotus feet more and more.
Maharaj: Thank you! Thank you all of you. Combining these two points, its really a comment. I can try to tweak it to make it sound like a question but it’s basically a comment. That the importance to act properly. . . .
[break in telecast from Mayapur]