(Kindly transcribed by Sheela mataji)
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From Sri Mayapur Chandrodaya Mandir!
Date: March 5th, 2014
Speaker: HG Anuttama Das
Subject: S.B. 5.13.17
So reading today from the Srimad Bhagavatam Canto Five Chapter Thirteen entitled “Rahugana converses with Jada Bharata’
tair vañcito hamsa-kulam samavisann arocayan silam upaiti vanaran taj-jati-rasena sunirvrtendriyah parasparodviksana-vismrtavadhih (SB 5.13.17)
Translation: “Being cheated by them, the living entity in the forest of the material world tries to give up the association of these so-called yogis, swamis and incarnations and come to the association of real devotees, but due to misfortune he cannot follow the instructions of the spiritual master or advanced devotees; therefore he gives up their company and again returns to the association of monkeys who are simply interested in sense gratification and women. He derives satisfaction by associating with sense gratifiers and enjoying sex and intoxication. In this way he spoils his life simply by indulging in sex and intoxication. Looking into the faces of other sense gratifiers, he becomes forgetful and thus approaches death.
Purport: Sometimes a foolish person becomes disgusted with bad association and comes to the association of devotees and brahmanas and takes initiation from a spiritual master. As advised by the spiritual master, he tries to follow the regulative principles, but due to misfortune he cannot follow the instructions of the spiritual master. He therefore gives up the company of devotees and goes to associate with simian people who are simply interested in sex and intoxication. Those who are so-called spiritualists are compared to monkeys. Outwardly, monkeys sometimes resemble sadhus because they live naked in the forest and pick fruits, but their only desire is to keep many female monkeys and enjoy sex life. Sometimes so-called spiritualists seeking a spiritual life come to associate with Krsna conscious devotees, but they cannot execute the regulative principles or follow the path of spiritual life. Consequently they leave the association of devotees and go to associate with sense gratifiers, who are compared to monkeys. Again they revive their sex and intoxication, and looking at one another’s faces, they are thus satisfied. In this way they pass their lives up to the point of death.”
Srila Prabhupada ki jaya!
HG Anuttama dasa: om ajnana-timirandhasya jnananjana-salakaya caksur unmilitam yena tasmai sri-gurave namah sri-caitanya-mano-‘bhistam sthapitam yena bhu-tale svayam rupah kada mahyam dadati sva-padantikam jaya sri-krishna-chaitanya prabhu nityananda sri-adwaita gadadhara shrivasadi-gaura-bhakta-vrinda
Hare Krsna Hare Kṛṣṇa Kṛṣṇa Kṛṣṇa Hare Hare Hare Rāma Hare Rāma Rāma Rāma Hare Hare
So in the Sri Isopanishad it’s explained that one should cultivate knowledge of both transcendence and nescience, side by side and we are seeing in our studying every morning, under Prabhupadas instruction and guidance, that studying and reading the Bhagavatam is the full expression of this methodology. And that the Bhagavatam in many many places, offers beautiful glorification and prayers and revelations of the Lord and His pastimes, His intimate loving affairs with His devotees.
Just like I live in Washington DC, we’re reading the Tenth Canto, it’s quite expansive, sometimes it’s quite hard for us to discuss. We just read and hear and hope to be purified, and don’t necessarily comprehend the exalted pastimes of the Lord.
And there’s other sections of the Bhagavatam where nescience is discussed a little bit more and there is very elaborate expositions, condemnations of the material world, various insights are given as to the dark dreary and dangerous nature of this world. Any one want to guess which part we are reading now?
(Dravida dasa: the lila!)
This is Dravidas transcendental vision, he sees lila in everything and of course ultimately it’s all lila, because it’s all, it’s part of Krishnas pastime to bring us back to Godhead. So in that sense it’s lila.
But for those of us down here, its not lila. If you think it is or those people they think it is, they missed lesson one of Bhagavad-Gita. So therefore the Bhagavatam repeats lesson one of the Bhagavad-Gita and elsewhere. The Bhagavatam here is fully manifesting the power of hearing from the great acaryas, and exalted paramahamsa devotees, senior devotees through our parampara system, to really shine a light upon the nature of this material world, to expose it, all of its absurdities, the illusions of material life, the danger and perhaps the most important – the pain of this material life.
We are all motivated to seek happiness, its our nature, we want to avoid pain and the Bhagavatam points out to us where the pain is coming from and usually its quite painful to hear where the pain is coming from, because we want those things without the pain. (laughter). So therefore sometimes it’s painful to hear.
We’ve all had that experience. You go sometimes on harinama and people walk by, they cover their ears, no I don’t want to be purified, I don’t want to hear about God. Sometimes we offer someone a book, I used to distribute books full time many years ago and I can remember many times offering someone a book and they don’t know what it was, they were sometimes a little, maybe they were interested, maybe they were not.
But there were a certain percentage of people that kind of knew what it was and wanted nothing to do with it at all. No! I don’t want that book. Because they don’t want to hear, they don’t want to hear, because they are very convinced, they are determined. Prahlada Maharaj describes they are determined, no matter what, to go on with materialistic life.
So Jada Bharata, we are hearing from him here and we know this whole story has been evolving for a couple of chapters here. He came across the King or the King came across him. He was pressed into the King’s service and instead he decided, elaborate story but, that he would take the opportunity to instruct the King. And ofcourse the King, by nature Kings are generally very materialistic persons, very absorbed in their money, in their power, their prestige, in their wives, in their armies, in controlling and conquering as much of the world as they possibly can.
And we can see that with Maharja Rahugana. When Jada Bharata is stumbling and stepping in an awkward way, he immediately chastises him. He doesn’t say, “excuse me is there a problem? Do you see something that I don’t see? Am I not understanding things properly?” That would be a little bit more of a brahminical or self analytical response. He immediately goes to chastise him, “you better do this right. Or you are in big trouble.” A couple of times he chastises him.
So this is the problem with the position of being the King or the enjoyer and we can see in Lord Caitanyas lila with King Prataparudra, he would you know try to avoid him, because it’s too dangerous for a renounced person to be with a materialistic person.
So Jada Bharata here although he hadn’t spoken before, generally he was considered to be foolish and stupid, and maybe even dumb that he couldn’t speak because he rarely ever did but now he is speaking with full force. It’s kind of like, “ok, King here comes the mercy. I haven’t given it to anybody before. You think you are chastising me and my low position? Well, here it comes, who is really low.”
And he speaks to him rather bluntly and obviously Sukadeva Goswami and the great acaryas in our line they have also felt it’s a lesson for us to hear, or it would have been maybe pushed aside. So many great teachers in the history have spoken to their disciples. Why is this particular story there? Because, this is particularly significant to wake us up. To help us understand the nature of this materialistic life.
And so far there have been sixteen verses where the dangers and the horrors of materialistic life have been exposed, it’s been compared to a forest in rather blunt terms. Not necessarily the section you would want to read at like, if you were invited to say speak at an event, basic principles of Krishna consciousness. I would request, as your humble servant in the communications ministry, don’t go to this chapter as the first introduction to people to Krishna consciousness. It may be a lesson, it is a lesson that they need to learn at some point in time, but it may be hard for them to swallow.
Just like, you know, most of the books we distribute, books like, Chant, Prabhupada would say ‘Chant, dance and Be Happy’. Once you get a little taste for chanting, dancing and be happy then we read these things about what’s holding us back from chanting, dancing and be happy. First you got to be a little convinced about the need to chant, dance, be happy and how nice it is.
So yesterday, we were reading about how the conditioned soul in this world, they take shelter of their King particularly, the living entity, the merchant that’s gone into the forest, take shelter of their wife and sensual life, or if a woman takes shelter of her husband to provide all of her sensual needs. But the living entity because they are afraid of death, even though they are very attracted to sense gratification, sometimes out of that fear they take shelter of spiritual guides.
And particularly discussed here is the shelter of bogus leaders and todays verse then goes on to explain, in little more detail, how they are cheated by those persons. They are not directed to the Supreme Lord but they are told something else. And we can see this in Kali-yuga, so many people, so many books, so many philosophies and they just teach people, you know, you’re ok, just be a little more determined in your sense gratification. Or just chant a little mantra and have more sense gratification. Just practice yoga to become stronger for your sense gratification, etc etc. So many different varieties are there.
But then, as it is explained in the Bhagavatam, those same persons because they do have some impetus for spiritual experience, they become frustrated by those people that are not able to give them proper guidance and again return to materialistic life and again they spoil their lives by taking shelter of the material energy.
And in the purport Prabhupada gets even heavier, in his analysis. Because here Prabhupada describes that, even sometimes persons may take shelter of a guru, a bona fide guru, but they are not able to follow that person, their spiritual master, they give up the association of those advanced personalities and again they return to materialistic life taking shelter of sex, intoxication, sensual life in various ways, until they die.
So I have to say when I was reading this text ahead of time, you know I was kind of, I was like looking around, like who is he talking about? Is it me? (laughs) Is it you? Is it? Who is he talking about? And of course generally our tendency is to think, I hope ‘you’ are all listening to this, ‘you’ need to listen to this, ‘you’ are at danger, ‘you’ are at risk. Of course if we think like that we miss the whole message.
Because as teachers and preachers it may be, it is, we should understand everyone is at risk but primarily we should understand this message is meant for ‘me’. Just as Prabhupada would say, “you are selling my books but are you reading my books.” Same way we could say, ‘you are preaching the philosophy, are you applying the philosophy. You are hearing the condemnation of the material world, are you taking that into our own hearts.’ As Prabhupada said first you should save yourself, first priority is save ourselves.
So when we hear, we should also, as a first priority try to see, what is this saying to us. So as I was reading this I was thinking, it comes to mind, there are three primary messages here. The first one, again and again and again and again and again, sometimes you can hear your false ego going, ‘all right already, I got the message.’ But we really didn’t! I got the message or did I get the message, there is no satisfaction in the material world. That’s the first message.
Prabhupada says in a few purports mixed in here, he says “its not that there is no happiness in the material world.” Sometimes we read this, we think that Prabhupada is saying there is no happiness, but I get happiness! When the sun comes out and it stops raining there is a little bit of happiness. When there is hunger and I feed my stomach there is a little bit of happiness.
But it’s explained just like a drop of water, in quality it is water, there is some happiness but it’s a drop, its just not sufficient. And generally materialistic people they don’t want to admit that it’s not sufficient. Because the false ego is all about ‘I am sufficient!’ Isn’t it? ‘I don’t need Krishna, I don’t need anything else. I am sufficient.” So if someone comes up and says to us “you know, you are not really happy!” “What are you talking about? Me?! Not happy!”
We’ve all had experiences like this. I’ve told this story, I think maybe here, before. Meeting a person on book distribution with a broken arm and his eyes were all damaged, he obviously had some horrible mess, accident and I tried to approach him. I assumed he would want to take the book. And he was the most resistant person I remember ever talking to, and I was thinking how many more messages do you have to get before you realize that there is no happiness in this material world.
So again and again the Bhagavatam is giving us this message, again and again the guru, the advanced devotees give us this message, life gives us this message, that we really can’t be happy, there’s not enough happiness in this material world. But why is it so hard for us to understand that? Why do we continue going on chewing the chewed?
In part, because it’s the core of our false ego, it’s the core of our rebelliousness. I must be able to enjoy this matter, because if I can’t then I’m not in control. There is some other controller other than me. If I can’t enjoy matter then it means, maybe I’m not the enjoyer. Maybe there is a higher personality than me that I’m meant to surrender to. Maybe I’m not the master. If I can’t enjoy this, if I can’t control it then awhh, maybe I’m not the master. And that’s a hard message to hear, because that’s why we came here. At the root of our materialistic consciousness, the first layer covering our real identity, is this false ego thinking that I’m the master.
So it’s hard for us to get that message. Therefore the Bhagavatam repeatedly tells us, that we have to be ready, to repeatedly hear the message about the nature of this materialistic life, materialistic consciousness, ready to practice devotional service and to be purified.
And also, we have to always remember, through this primary message that there’s no real happiness here. That the ups and downs of life that we all experience, you know sometimes we become devotees and we think, you know by the time we get initiated, or maybe second initiation, or maybe our fifth anniversary, or tenth anniversary, that life will just be like they say, a bed of roses. But it’s not. At every stage, whether a new bhakta you’ve got to deal with your ego, and you have to deal with envy and anger and lust and greed etc. And when you are initiated and second initiated and the temple president, a sannyasi, a guru, whatever you’ve still got to fight the same problems that are still there.
But those lessons, we should always try to remember, it’s explained by the acaryas and we should try to have some little faith in this, a little hard sometimes, those lessons are actually good for us. The ups and the downs are there to help us to reflect upon our position. What does it mean? Why am I going through this experience? What am I meant to learn from this? What can I learn from this? What does this mean about my misconceptions of spiritual life? What is this problem I am experiencing, what is it telling me about what I need to do better? How I can learn, how I can practice my spiritual life with a more sincere heart. Whether it’s pain, whether it’s joy, whether it’s disease, whether it’s old age, whether it’s poverty, whether it’s dishonor or honor, all these things are meant to teach us. So that’s the first lesson I pulled from this, we really, I have to be become convinced there is no happiness in this material life.
Second thing, as Prabhupada says in the Bhagavad Gita in his purports and elsewhere “there is danger even on the royal road” we should remember that and therefore be careful to execute our devotional service very attentively. Prabhupada gave that example and we have all used that in our teachings, that spiritual life is like a razors edge and not that we think “ok you know now I am initiated I can take it easy. Now I have a spiritual name, now its ok.” Or not that we think “now I am in the dhama its ok I am protected. I can come and live in the dhama and everything is ok because not many people get to live in the dhama, so obviously I’m very special. (laughter) We shouldn’t think like that. Definitely, we shouldn’t think, ok now I am married, take shelter of grhastha life, that’s also described as a fortress. So now I am safe, now I am protected, now I am ok. I don’t have to worry.” No! there is danger at every step.
We shouldn’t think oh I am brahmacari, wearing saffron isn’t it. Like in India wearing saffron, in America people think what are you, a stoplight? (laughter) What’s wrong, why are you wearing these funny clothes? But in India so much respect, isn’t it. You wear saffron, so much respect comes. We shouldn’t think ok now I have some saffron cloth, now I am ok. We should be careful, that there is danger at every step.
And here it is described, we shouldn’t think ok I am the temple president, whatever it is, I am ok. So much prestige, authority, I don’t have to be careful anymore. No you have to be more careful, more careful because if you are not careful you can make more trouble to yourself and to others. So as we kind of like have more responsibility or position or status we have to be more and more careful in our spiritual practice.
And here we see that sometimes we see living entities take shelter even of a bona fide spiritual master, but if they are not careful they may again fall back into materialistic consciousness and of course we have all seen this. Every year locally, nationally, globally someone who had taken up the path very seriously, many people who had taken up the devotional path, they become a little careless, a little inattentive, or at least temporarily they are again swept away by material desires. It’s not a surprise. Prabhupada says we shouldn’t be surprised who leaves Krishna consciousness, we should be surprised who stays, because as he said ‘its like a war against maya’. When there is war there is going to be a lot of causalities’. But understanding you are going to war you have got to be a little careful. It’s not that you think, ok I am going to war and there will be casualty, so you know que sera sera, whatever happens will happen. No you have to careful, you have to protect yourself, you have to keep good association, you have to be thoughtful, not inattentive, etc. So second lesson there that we should always be careful, always associate carefully with devotees, do not allow ourselves to become isolated physically, emotionally, intellectually, spiritually, devotionally, from peers and elders. We all need that, every one of us.
Third lesson, also described in the Isopanishad. We all tend to be cheated in this material world. So many stories, we’ve all been cheated so many times. Just try to get from Calcutta to Mayapur you better watch it. (laughter) Isn’t it? Be very very careful, you know. Everyone morning somebody lost this, somebody left this, this was stolen, that was stolen, even in the dhama, we have to be careful. There is a tendency to be cheated here and we tend to be cheated by people, we tend to be cheated by institutions.
I was talking with some Vaisnavis, some book distributors yesterday from Africa and they were telling me that when they go on the streets of Nairobi because I was talking to them about cultivating government leaders, they said no no we really don’t want to do that. I said why? They said we meet them on the streets and they ask us for bribe in the middle of the street. See, you know Prabhupada talks about rogues and thieves in the garb of government leaders. They said, they come by and say “you should buy me some tea.” And they said tea is very expensive. Just meet them on the road and you should buy me tea. What to speak of so many ways we are cheated by so many other people.
But also and perhaps even more, a sub topic here that there is, we tend to be cheated, what’s the other half of it? We tend to cheat, we also have that tendency. We shouldn’t think again you know, oh they are talking about him and her and her and him, and him and him, it’s about me, I have the tendency to cheat. In the same way I should be careful that I am not cheated. Possibly you could argue that I have to be even more careful that I am not a cheater. Because if I am cheated by somebody else, that’s my karma to suffer in that way. If I cheat, I am simply increasing my karma. They may be, whoever may be victimised by me, but what is the result of karma effect upon me.
We all have a very sacred task, we are here at the lotus feet of Sri Sri Radha Madhava and Srila Prabhupada, Lord Nrsimhadeva and Panca Tattva. Very, very fortunate. Somehow or other by the causeless mercy of our predecessor acaryas and the Vaisnavas that have helped us in so many ways. So we have this sacred task to become Krishna conscious and also as Prabhupada begged us, requested us, advised us, ordered us, begged us – Please help others become Krishna conscious. Please preach as he said, just like I am doing. So as described in the sastra we shouldn’t become a father, we shouldn’t become a mother, we shouldn’t become a guru, we shouldn’t become a teacher if we cant deliver those that are dependent upon us.
So in the same way Prabhupada advised in one lecture, I heard Prabhupada was giving second initiation or he was talking about brahminical life and he was speaking very strongly – don’t become a brahmana and then fall or violate the honor or the obligations of that position. He said – if you do it, it will ruin everything. He spoke like that, it will ruin everything.
So as time goes by and our movement grows and we can see, those of you that live here you see all the devotees coming from around the world, it increases every year. Those of us that visit periodically see every time we come it’s growing. We see that TOVP, the beautiful temple is growing, its almost like the number of languages that you hear, you really hear a lot of languages, languages are increasing, the number of seminars are increasing, the number of sankirtana parties is increasing, books are increasing in so many parts of the world etc.
So our movement is growing and it will continue to grow and as it does people will pay more and more attention to us. In the beginning they kind of think you are little strange they don’t pay much attention, but gradually we know specially in the years to come specially when the temple opens, so many temples are opening in other parts of the world, so many books are being translated in different languages, more and more people are starting to give us some serious attention. Not so much yet but they are starting to.
In a couple of years 2016, we will be celebrating a very important event. What is that event? ISKCON’s 50th anniversary. That’s a very very big deal and if we all join together and make that an emphasis along with the other services we have, we are going to be getting a lot of attention from the governments, the media, from religious leaders. They are going to look at us more and more and they are going to expect more and more from us. So we should be careful to think and to look and to do everything we can, will we be up to the task of showing them an example and of representing Srila Prabhupada and Lord Caitanya. That’s not a cheap thing.
Sometimes we think well I am a follower, let them do it. You are like in the wake of a boat; you are just a raft that is pulled along by the wake. But that’s not really what it means to follower. Follower means we have to represent, we have to take the mission upon ourselves according to our own small capacity. We have to take responsibility and we have to be a representative. People will look at us to see what’s the nature of your guru; they study the disciples isn’t it? I read a little something the other day it said – if it’s hard to discern the quality or the character of a man, look at his friends. That’s quite wise. So Prabhupada is not physically present, many people of course read his books but they basically see him through the people that claim to be his followers. So we have to ask ourselves and be careful, how well am I reflecting or giving an example of representing Srila Prabhupada.
Just like here in this verse it’s describing that people need shelter but they are often misguided. So we should pray while we are here in the dhama, we all come here to get inspired, those of us that are visiting and those of us that are here, very important for ourselves to set a very nice example, that we don’t want to misguide or let others down. A very, very important responsibility we have. It’s actually great violence if someone comes to the temple, or we give someone shelter, we have a home program, a namahatta or a bhakti vriksa, people are coming to our house, that’s a great responsibility. If we are a devotee in the temple for one week and a new person comes they look up to us to set an example. That’s a great great responsibility.
So how do we avoid that, not cheating, not misguiding. Main thing we always have to remember is that we are the servants, not that we are the master. We have to remember that, if I’m the bhakta leader, what’s the definition of a bhakta leader? Means servant of the bhaktas. What’s the definition of a temple president? Means servant of the temple. If you are the community president, that means servant of the community.
Allow me to just give a small example. For some, whatever you know, the GBC has its structure and it has to go through various responsibilities every year. So this year I was asked to serve in the capacity of a chairman. And I was, you know ofcourse I was thinking, I don’t know if I can do this. I have to, cause I was asked, I don’t know how can do this. I was thinking Krishna how do I this and then He gave me a little insight. I was thinking actually this is very fortunate, because when I am in Washington I get to be the servant of the devotees in Washington. And when I travelled in my ministry my service to Prabhupada doing communications, I get to kind of serve the communications devotees and the other devotees. And then I was thinking it’s a small not such an important title but whatever it is Chairman, I was thinking wow what mercy because that means I am serving the Russian devotees, Indian devotees, German devotees, the men devotees, the lady devotees, senior devotees, the junior devotees, you know. I can try to do that, I just have to serve everybody. And if do that then I may fail in the different responsibilities that are there, but at least if I can try. That’s what I should try to do for this next year.
So remember that, not that we think I am a devotee, and we sometimes think like this – I am a devotee, therefore I can do whatever I want. If I mistreat someone, I am the temple president, respect me. I am a sannyasi, you have to do what I say. I’m a Prabhupada disciple, move over.
What does it mean to be a Prabhupada disciple? It should mean we have had more years to practice being a servant, that’s what it means. If we haven’t understood that, not much credit to say I’m a Prabhupada disciple. It’s kind of like I am a disciple but I am not very disciplined. I’m a temple president but I haven’t really understood what the position means. I’m a renunciate but maybe I am not so renounced yet. Ofcourse I’m speaking to myself first and foremost, it doesn’t matter what our situation is, it’s based on being a servant.
So these are three points that I would request we try to take away from this wonderful verse and wonderful description. First there is no happiness in this material world. It’s like a forest fire and all those things that seem to give us shelter they really don’t, unless Krishna is in the center. If Krishna is in the center the same things that were dangerous from materialistic consciousness become sources of inspiration and shelter for us. But this we should be careful.
Second point that there is danger at every step, always be careful.
The third point here is that we should pray and beg –Please Prabhupada let us represent you properly. Please Guru Maharaj let me represent you properly. Please let me not try to cheat. Let me not ever try to enjoy my position, my title, my power, my influence. But let me understand that the first quality of being a Vaisnava whether I am a 1 year devotee or a 101 year devotee, is to be a servant of others and in that way if I can do that then I can avoid this forest fire, I can help as many people as possible to get out of this forest fire and I can represent a little bit the wonder and the beauty and the knowledge and the mercy that’s coming out through the parampara, I can be an instrument in the hands of my spiritual master to help spread Krishna consciousness more and more and more around the world, working cooperatively as Srila Prabhupada asked us to and sharing the mercy of Lord Caitanya with everyone we meet. Seeing that in 2016 it’s a glorious celebration, when this temple opens it’s a glorious celebration and actually every single day we get to live in this world and serve Krishna, it’s a glorious celebration.
So I will stop here. Thank you very much. Srila Prabhupada ki jaya!
(Applause – Hari Bol!)
Any questions, comments?
Devotee: In this verse you first pointed out that of course how this section of the Srimad Bhagavatam repeats again and again how the material world is not a place of happiness. And sense gratification never leads to happiness. So I want to ask the question why is it, we hear this over and over again and we may even be in a very renounced position in life, chanting and hearing and have withdrawn completely from sense gratification, but what is it that, why is it that something inside of us that always hopes, always hopes, hope against hope. In other words what is it, how do you give up that hope that some day the material world is going to turn around in such a way and it will be a wonderful enjoyable place for you?
HG Anuttama dasa: One comment I’ll make, it’s a nice question, one comment I’ll make, is that what you just said shows why Krishna needs to continually allow us to suffer some in this life. There’s that other side, isn’t it, Krishna why me? I’m chanting your name, I’m a devotee, whatever you gave I use in your service, why did you have to take it away. Because maybe there is a little thought still there – yeah actually I could kind of enjoy this. And we know of course that there’s whole planetary systems for living entities who want to enjoy like anything, recognise Krishna is there, but also still enjoy like anything. Isn’t it? But we don’t want to be demigods, we don’t want to go through that process, maybe we’ve been through that process a few times. So hope against hope. We can have a whole conversation but as I understand it, it gets back to that false ego, that’s very very very subtle; it’s like the first covering. So we are cleaning cleaning cleaning cleaning but there’s still that root, until we are completely purified that’s there.
And also in part because we’re marginal energy, we’re still influenced by the material energy. So in a few verses from now, it’s quite interesting, there’s one purport which describes that Jada Bharata, even after this whole exchange he still, his mind was feeling some envy or anger or something towards the King and it describes, he just let it go. Which I thought was very interesting, such an exalted soul but it still, because sometimes we kind of condemn ourselves, why is it that I have been chanting for so long and I still have this desire? It’s just the material energy. We have to just let it go, try not to act on it, let it go. It’s not like because the desire is there, forget it you’re finished, you’re a dog, etc. No I am jiva, I’m in the material world, I am trying my best, Krishna please protect me. Is it ok?
Devotee: If Krishna consciousness gives higher taste and association with devotees, association with sadhus, gives higher taste, why as it is stated in this verse some of those who got such association leave it? Didn’t they get this higher taste or somehow this lower taste of material life is better for them?
HG Anuttama das: The persons described in this verse they got the higher taste why did they go away for the lower taste? That’s a great question.
A lot of different ways that could be answered. In part, unless you are all experiencing something a lot different than I am, the higher taste is a gradual process. It’s not like you walk in the door ok spiritual ecstasy, spit at the thought of all the sense gratification. It’s not like that that. And why is that? Because Krishna gave us free will. He is still giving us the choice, do you want spiritual life or do you want Him? Ok I am suffering like anything. Ok, here is a little taste, maybe there is something else. Prabhupada says, in other purports, sometimes people come they get a little relief from their misery and they go away. They really didn’t want Krishna they just wanted relief from their misery. So Krishna is always giving us this opportunity, Maya of course she is always tempting us, material energy is always tempting us through so many different things.
So it’s a gradual process for experiencing that higher taste and the lower taste doesn’t completely go away as long as we don’t want it to be there. We’re still kind of, maybe I could enjoy. Maybe I should enjoy. Then Krishna says ok you want to enjoy, here’s, how about a car accident? How’s that? How about a law suit? Would you like a lawsuit? Let’s send you a lawsuit or here, why don’t we put you sick on your bed for a week and a half. Are you enjoying now etc.? So these are all the ways Krishna is trying to help us.
In the higher taste it’s a gradual thing. When I first came here years ago I remember siting on the banks of the Ganges, where the sannyasi was talking about such great higher taste. I was thinking I’m sitting, I’m hungry, my stomachs all in shreds, sunburnt, I don’t have mosquito stock, I’m sleeping on the roof, it’s like I want to go home to my mother (laughter), and where is the higher taste? I can remember thinking you know, where’s the higher taste? So, you know Krishna, I think we all experience, He gives, its almost like we said to Krishna go away, isn’t it? Go away I want my own world, I want my own universe. Please God go away. But He is kind of like behind the pillar going yes I am still here if you want Me. Do you want Me? No go away! And then as soon as you go, Krishna please help me.
A little story Prabhupada tells of this old woman who is carrying bundle on her shoulders. She slips and falls ands drops the bundle. She prays dear God please help, please help, please help. She is so sincere and He shows up. What would you like? Thank you for coming. Can you please put the bundle back on my head! (laughter) So please God help me help me help me but that desire has to become more pure. And when its really pure then that taste gradually manifests.
But also we should be careful, we should be a little thoughtful because there is a taste just in living with the people who get up in the morning and for fun want to go to the temple and praise God. Wow that’s beautiful! You know live with people that in the morning before they go to work into the rat race they like to sit down and just talk philosophy. How do I become a better person, how do I purify my heart, how do I minimize the violence I cause to the world and to other people. Wow that’s wonderful! And then they sit and before they eat anything they offer in a spirit of appreciation to the Divine and they try to minimize the violence of everything they eat, etc etc etc.
Even these kind of, we start taking for granted, these are wonderful things, those are also higher taste. We may not be so pure to really relish them, but at least in our minds, our hearts and our intelligence we should try to recognize how fortunate we are. Like they say the simple pleasures in life are the most important. So reflecting and thinking about that and appreciating that, you know. That you’ve got girlfriends and other people that really care about you, care about each of us, they want to help us understand God, they’ll say to us , you know, hey you’re getting off now – You need to work on this, you need to work on that. Most people don’t have it. Their friends are all about competition. Climbing to the top, if they can use you they will and then they’ll kick you in the face. Generally. Not everybody is so nasty but you know the tendency is there. But to live with people who are trying to give up that tendency that’s very fortunate, that’s a higher taste. Ok?
Thank you all very very much. Srila Prabhupada ki jaya!