Srimad Bhagavatam 4.30.17
The Lord then blessed all the Pracetas, saying: My dear princes, by My mercy, you can enjoy all the facilities of this world as well as the heavenly world. Indeed, you can enjoy all of them without hindrance and with full strength for one million celestial years.
The duration of life prescribed for the Pracetas by the Supreme Personality of Godhead is calculated by the time measurements of higher planetary systems. Our six earth months are said to equal twelve hours in the higher planetary systems. Thirty days equal one month, and twelve months equal one year. In this way, for one million years according to the calculations of the higher planetary system the Pracetas were allowed to enjoy all kinds of material facilities. Although this life-span was so long, the Pracetas were given full bodily strength by the grace of the Lord. In the material world, if one wants to live for many years, he must endure the difficulties of old age, invalidity and many other miserable conditions. The Pracetas, however, were given full bodily strength to enjoy material facilities. This special facility was given to the Pracetas so that they could continue rendering full devotional service. This will be explained in the following verse. (end)
HH Kadamba Kanan Maharaj: (invocatory prayers)
The Pracetas were very pious souls who were naturally inclined towards religiousness, who were full of knowledge, who were respecting their elders and who were obedient servants of their father, who had instructed them to perform austerity and to worship the Supreme Personality of Godhead so that they might get, might prepare for a suitable marriage and might then have suitable off springs. So we can see that their father was instructing them to approach the Supreme Lord for a mundane purpose, for a material purpose, a pious purpose nonetheless but not fully transcendental. The attitude of the Pracetas was such that they had all good qualification so Lord Siva being a great devotee of Supreme Lord, being always absorbed in remembering the Supreme Lord in deep meditation, he could see that these Pracetas were qualified recipients to receive the mercy of pure devotional service and therefore he instructed them accordingly and gave them prayers based on just devotional service.
So the Pracetas stand there as an emblem of purity and punya. The Caitanya Caritamrta describes to us that there are different kinds of piety. It is said there is karma unmukhi sukrti, moksha unmukhi sukrti and bhakti unmukhi sukrti or piety that is the result from engaging in karmic activities in the mode of goodness, then pious activities which are aiming at liberation but then there is the benefit of devotional service which stands as eternal and that is truly our topic. It is there where the Pracetas became a subject matter, where the Pracetas became worthy of being mentioned in the Srimad Bhagavatam because the Srimad Bhagavatam is dedicated to that point – the worship of Supreme Personality of Godhead, Sri Krishna.
So the Srimad Bhagavatam is establishing Lord Krishna as the Supreme Personality of Godhead and devotional service sa vai pumsam paro dharmo (SB 1.2.6) as the supreme activity which can completely satisfy the self. Then as Srila Prabhupada pointed out material assets in itself have no value in devotional service. They are zero but if you put one in front then all these zeroes become meaningful. So piety in itself, mundane piety in itself no value but when engaged, but when a pious person engages in the service of Krishna then that becomes a great wealth and great opulence because that piety will be a great support in spiritual life. What to do for most of us?
kaler dosha-nidhe rajann asti hy eko mahan gunah (SB 12.3.51)
It is the age of Kali, the age where we, it’s the ocean of faults and that ocean of faults is within our hearts.
aprarabdha-phalam papam kutam bijam phalonmukham
kramenaiva praliyeta vishnu-bhakti-ratatmanam (Padma Purana)
It is stated that within the heart, the heart is filled with aprarabhda karma or karma that is now not manifesting but the seeds of many sinful activities are stored within the heart. So the heart is the storehouse of sinful reactions and the result is a sinful inclination and then the result is more sinful activities which increase the sinful stock and which increases the sinful inclination even more which leads to more sinful activities which still creates it adds on to this stock and creates the intensity of our sinfulness. Therefore one could say in this age of Kali we are thoroughly sinful. And what can we say? The sinfulness in our hearts may be buried in so many places, in so many places there are remnants of our previous sinful activities may be there or as they say in colloquial American -everyone has skeletons in the closet. Right? So that’s there! What to do? But then in the middle, in the middle of that
kirtanad eva krishnasya (SB 12.3.51) that sankirtana movement of Lord Caitanya has appeared. Oh yes Krishna is the Supreme Personality of Godhead – the all-attractive. Generally speaking we are translating the word Krishna as all-attractive, Krishna to ‘akarshan’ meaning to attract. Srila Bhaktisiddhanta Saraswati Thakura had an interesting angle on the word Krishna and he said that he used the word ‘akarshan’ also to attract as Krishna as being the one who can be attracted by devotional service. So both definitions are there. Krishna is attracting us and Krishna can be attracted by devotional service. That is our saving grace.
It is now quite some years back when the deities of Panca tattva came down this Bhaktisiddhanta road on the carts and were brought in unto the property and were installed in this temporary temple. And I remember at that time different leaders were interviewed as to what their expectance was and the expectance was obviously ‘now things are going to change’. Something is going to happen. So it is unfolding right under our eyes right here. We see that the temple is coming up, it is moving along, its really there its coming, it must be because the Lord cannot remain in this temporary structure with just some, that’s all it is. Looks like a nice hall but if you look at the top it’s just a temporary structure some trusses and some, it’s a hole. This one is a little more fancy but also temporary. So the temple must be made because when the Lord is there He must be provided with a suitable environment, worshipping the deity means that making arrangements, arrangements for the Lord where He can be situated with all the paraphernalia that are befitting, befitting to Him. So the temple must be there.
The other day I was reading some quotes of Srila Bhaktisiddhanta Saraswati Thakura and they are still fresh in my mind, so they are coming out on this day. And he was describing how one of his disciples had spent his life savings to built this beautiful temple in Calcutta and then Srila Bhaktisiddhanta was continuing and was saying yes this temple made of cement and bricks is not the real temple. He said the real temple must be made, must be made in the heart. The heart must be made into the real temple and then he said, and in order to achieve that many books will have to be written. So Prabhupada did that. Many books were written and now and then of course the next thing also distributed. Many books must be written, many books must be distributed because this knowledge of the Bhagavata, this knowledge of Bhagavan that must be spread all over the world, how to serve the Supreme Lord. So I gave the definition of the word Krishna which was a little different than the usual one – Krishna is all-attractive but that devotional service attracts Krishna. We also have the word Bhagavan which is the basic word of the Bhagavata of Srimad Bhagavatam, of the books, the Bhagavatam being the center of all the books that had to be written and have been written. So the center of the Bhagavatam is Bhagavan Krishna. Generally Bhagavan is translated as ‘Bhaga’- opulences and ‘van’- that’s He who possesses all opulences. Krishna is sad aisvarya purna, who has all opulences, the six opulences
aisvaryasya samagrasya viryasya yasasah sriyah
jnana-vairagyayos caiva sannam bhaga itingana
(Visnu Purana 6.5.47)
all beauty, all wealth, all knowledge etc. But Srila Jiva Goswami gives another translation of the word Bhagavan. I also want to share that with you and he says we can break up the word Bhagavan in three syllables – Ba, ga and va and he says the meaning of the word Bhagavan is bhajaniya guna vasista. And bhajaniya guna vasista is very nice because it means that Lord, that Lord who is irresistible you have to worship Him. And everything rests on that. Simply in this ocean of faults the Holy name is penetrating, abhinnatvan nama naminah says Padma Purana non different from Krishna. bhajaniya guna vasista you have to, you have to, when that Holy name penetrates people cover their ears, they don’t want to hear, they stuff their ears and we chant louder and somehow or other it penetrates.
I didn’t want to hear the Holy name. I saw the devotees and they looked like the emblem of religious fanaticism. I had never seen anything like it. Hare Krishna Hare Krishna Krishna Krishna Hare Hare/ Hare Rama Hare Rama Rama Rama Hare Hare. The brahmacaris thought they were fired up, to me it looked like total extremism. So I stayed clear, I stayed clear from the Hare Krishna’s. Then got a girl friend who had a dog named Krishna. (laughter) The Holy name penetrates and I was out at night and the dog wouldn’t come back, so calling out Krishna! Every night around the block starting Harinam! (laughter) Lord Caitanya just everywhere, everywhere entering into our lives, making arrangements for His pure devotee. Srila Prabhupada arrived, oh it wasn’t easy but the time was right, people were looking, they wanted something, ok their heads were in the clouds literally. Right? They were way out there and one two three four/ what are we fighting for/ not going to Vietnam and all that. And Prabhupada said Arjuna had to fight. So he did not compromise and gave the pure truth. In his trunk he had brought Srimad Bhagavatam that he had printed in India. That was his mission. Prabhupada once said that Srimad Bhagavatam should be placed in every home on the planet. This temple of the Vedic Planetarium it is not a planetarium, its not a planetarium, it is the fifth canto, its the Bhagavatam, it’s the Bhagavatam. It is actually, its not about the planetarium, its about the Bhagavatam. It is the temple which makes the Bhagavatam.
So Srila Bjaktisiddhanta was saying that on that temple in Calcutta. He was saying yes not only a temple of bricks and cement but a temple in the heart and a temple of books he said. Then yes then it will be done. So the temple of books is here and also spreading everywhere in the world by book distribution and by all.
Then I was thinking yesterday evening as I was sitting there in the kirtana and it was so transcendental. I was first what can I say, I start a raga and it transforms into rock that’s due to the sixties and seventies. What to do but then Sacinandana Maharaj began in his prayerful and enthusiastic way and he is the inspiration of this Kirtan mela and I was looking at the Panca tattva, at their amazing effulgence, that very extraordinary beautiful golden darshan and I was thinking its all Gauranga! It’s all His plan! He just inspires Sacinandana Swami who is deep, who has the strength, he is into going into depth in spiritual life. He is into deep bhajan, into deep worship, he is the one who gave us japa retreats, Govardhana retreats, gave us Kirtan mela. Who says to us, “My dear devotees, I will tell you something very important.” You know. (laughter and applause as Maharaj mimics Sacinandana Swami) And basically he means to say is quality if you burn it down to one word quality, quality chanting, quality contemplation not just automatic pilot, not just be there and go along with the flow. No! work for it, work hard, try to get the mercy of the Holy name, go in, chant concentrate, fix the mind and so forth and so on. That’s what he is preaching all the time in different ways and that’s what is needed because Srila Bhaktisiddhanta continued speaking about that temple and he said “Yes not just the temple of bricks.” He said, “The temple of bricks is like a seat, it is like a asana, like a vyasa asana.” It is a great platform, a great platform for chanting Hare Krishna. It is a great platform for discussing Srimad Bhagavatam but the essence is that.
Prabhupada also said in this age of Kali, which is an ocean of faults. Then he in the purport to the verse krishna-varnam tvishakrishna sangopangastra-parshadam (CC Adi 3.52) in the purport to that verse Prabhupada is saying that in this age of Kali no one is interested in going to temple, no one is interested in going to the mosque, go to church. He said but when there is wide chanting, widely everywhere chanting of the Holy name of Krishna then people get attracted – bhajaniya guna vasista. He is irresistible, you have to.
So we also we had so many festivals but the Kirtan mela has become an element of the festival that will never leave, I guarantee it. It cannot leave anymore because we are already terribly attached to it. We already want it again. I am already thinking well! I guess I am coming next year and probably the year after that also because and that attachment will grow and it will grow bigger and it will be in that big temple. And the power will grow, the absorption will grow and we don’t know what we will see, what will happen. When we sometimes read the stories of Bhakti Ratnakar, we see how in the kirtans of Narrotama dasa Thakura suddenly the Panca tattva appear, they are there, they are dancing with the devotees and everyone is swept up in ecstasy and then they disappeared and all the devotes cried rivers of tears so much that the ground became muddy. What to say! Miracles! Miracles happened and miracles will happen. Miracles happened, miracles are happening and more miracles to come. Make sure you are around to be part of the fun. Don’t miss out.
So in this way it is a wonderful time. Oh its Kaliyuga, that’s going to be the last thing I say because time is running out. Its Kaliyuga an ocean of faults. Sometimes devotees come together and we have some Kaliyuga katha. Oh you know, its really bad out there! Oh yeah! So bad! the things that they are eating, the things that they are doing, we get into Kaliyuga. Once I was in Karoli where the deity of Madana Mohan is and I said the same thing to the pujari. I said, “You are in such a nice place. You don’t know what it’s like our there, Kaliyuga.” He said, “Yeah Kaliyuga, there are a thousand Kaliyugas in a day of Brahma. They come and go very quick.” (laughter) He wasn’t impressed by Kaliyuga but we are because we are affected by Kaliyuga, we feel the burden of Kaliyuga within our hearts. One devotee told me, I stopped chanting. Oh! I just have no taste, no taste. Yeah well that’s ok. The first reason why we are chanting is for purification. If we cannot with taste then let us chant out of fear, fear of hell. I am sorry to say but lets chant out of fear of hell and lets look for some purification. There is a hell in the fifth canto.
The telephone rang in the temple and I never pick it up because I am a visitor. It was at ten o clock at night and I just somehow or other I picked it up. This lady goes “it’s not true! It’s not true! That all my family is going to hell.” Ok! I said, “Calm down lady! Calm down! Start at the beginning not at the end” (laughter) Someone had given her the book ‘A second chance’ (laughter and applause) and she read it as you can understand. Its kind of a heavy book. So chant chant if you have not taste chant for purification. That’s the first step. It can root out, agham dhunvanti kartsnyena niharam iva bhaskarah (SB 6.1.15) it roots out the sins from the heart, from the very root for good. So that is good. Yes we should of course then we become attracted with time and more and more attracted and finally Krishna kirtana gana nartana parau premamrtambho nidhi (Sad Goswami Astakam Verse 1) Eventually we will experience that this chanting is like an ocean of transcendental love, an ocean of transcendental love and it is said in Caitanya Caritamrta Adi lila chp 4 there the loving qualities of Srimati Radharani are described. It is said that Her love is embracing the qualities of Krishna and Krishna has unlimited qualities and each time She discovers a new quality of Krishna and Her love immediately embraces that quality also and then She finds another one and She embraces that also and another one and She embraces that also and all the devotees are also like that. We all discover more about Krishna and we embrace it also. We have already started and it will go on for ever and Krishna when He sees al that love in the heart of His devotees, His heart melts ands His love increases and in this way there is an ocean of ever increasing love of all the devotees and Krishna’s love combined and just going on and on. And this is premamrtambo the ocean of transcendental love. And through this chanting we are going to enter there and don’t stay outside and say I don’t know, I stopped chanting, I have no taste you know. (laughter) Don’t be sour. Chant! Chant! Chant! Chant! (laughter) Why, in the Laghu Bhagavatamrta it is said in Kaliyuga, in other Kaliyugas there is also harinama sankirtana, there is also an incarnation of the Lord a blackish form of Lord Visnu who preaches harinama sankirtana. Whats the difference between those Kaliyugas and this one? Those incarnations of the Lord they cannot give the same mercy as Lord Caitanya and therefore now in this age very quick result. You start off saying oh its so tough this chanting and before you know it is actually very nice and before you know its actually I cant stop chanting and so on. It is like that. Therefore Kaliyuga the ocean of faults. Srila Vishvanath Cakravarti Thakura says that when you have a jewel if you want to see the jewel you put it on a black background because then it looks even better. In this way actually that amazing mercy of Lord Caitanya, that amazing chanting of Holy name, this amazing miracle that is happening to us is on the background of the blackest of the blackest of the blackest background of Kaliyuga. In our black hearts there is this light of the Holy name and everything will change and Prabhupada has prayed that where we fall short that we will be accepted anyway. So don’t worry even if the performance is not great, Prabhupada’s prayer is there. So in this way everything will be auspicious and good. All good! Thank you very much. Srila Prabhupada ki jaya!
If there is one question or comment is welcome.
Devotee: Thank you Maharaj. What is the difference between Sacinandana Maharaj exhorting us to work hard and as the Christians say ‘ not by works’?
Maharaj: You know the Christians have to work hard. But that’s not all. That’s not all at all. If it was only hard work for the Christians where would they go? No they also have the mercy of Jesus. And that’s no joke! No joke! But look at what we have, we have the eternal process. The Christians have prayer which brings them closer to the Lord. We are already with the Lord, we are already with Him.
Devotees: applaud and Haribol!
Maharaj continues: from day one! The Adi Purana says that by chanting the Holy name one is associating with the Lord. We are already there. You know the joke of the Pope who came to Vrindavana. And you know met the devotees and had a phone, taking the call like you know, to the Vaisnavas he says who are you speaking to, oh that was God. I have a direct line with God. Oh! Can I use your phone? Yes yes yes! You can But not so long its very expensive you know long distance call. Ok ok! Sure keep it short. Then later the devotee pulls out his phone and he also makes a call. Whats that you also have a phone like that? Yes I do. Can I use it? Yes, no problem it’s a local call. (laughter) that’s the joke!
Devotee: but that’s no joke!
Maharaj: but that’s our joke with Christians. So what to say but the Christians were preparing the ground for Lord Caitanya’s movement. That what they were doing, they brought everyone closer, ready preparing. Jesus Christ he even took the name Christa, this is a name of Krishna. But preparing the ground that is all. By chanting the Holy name we are in the spiritual world. In the beginning we’re still sort of dazed and half sleeping and that’s why Sacinandana Swami will always say, “don’t sleep!” he’ll say all the time. Because we are in the spiritual world but we are sleeping but the chanting is awakening us. nitya-siddha krishna-prema ‘sadhya’ kabhu nayasravanadi-suddha-citte karaye udaya (CC Madhya 22.107) by just hearing and chanting, by chanting Hare Krishna and discussing Srimad Bhagavatam then our natural love for Krishna will awaken. Its already there, we are sleeping, it will just reemerge. So therefore all good Christians also will become devotees. I was once in a university and it was a Christian university and students were all hard core Christians and I gave a lecture and they gave me a New Testament after that and the Professor was a Budhhist, so the Professor was suffering a lot, that’s what Buddhists do. (laughter) and the Professor was saying that, the students were asking a question you know what about Jesus being the only way? I said Yes, Yes, Yes, He is the only way! That’s not the issue. That’s not what the discussion is. The only issue is that who are the Christians? As far as I can see the only real Christians in the full sense of the term are the Hare Krishnas.
Maharaj: Hare Krishna! Thank you so much! Srila Prabhupada ki jaya! And the professor was cheering. And at ten o clock we can all be back for the kirtana.
For video of the lecture, please go to mayapurtvarchives.com