M orning Temple lecture on 2nd February, 2015 was given by HH Candrasekhara Swami . Text SB 6.3.28 was discussed.
Transcription of the lecture:
It’s a rare privilege to be speaking to you all here in Mayapur. I guess by either some twist of fate or somebody’s mistake I wound up giving class today. But if you pray for me and give me your mercies maybe I’ll be able to say something of value in the few moments we spend together, especially in such a holy place at such a wonderful time.
So I really like these sections in Srimad Bhagavatam where it highlights the importance of the holy name. Because I know without the holy name I wouldn’t be here. The holy name has the ability to pull someone out of the deepest regions of the material existence into Krishna Consciousness, and I know many of you maybe have some similar experience.
Just to review how this particular canto started, we had a question by Maharaj Pariksit to Sukadeva Goswami. He asked a simple question. My dear Sukadeva, you’ve explained all about the hellish worlds and the various punishments awaiting those who perform various sinful activities. Now please explain to me how someone can live in such a way that they will not be forced to go to hell.
Sukadeva Goswami answers “Actually, one must perform atonement for various kinds of activities which counteract sinful life and its effects.” Of course, this is not the answer. It was a trick. You can’t trust those swami’s. Maharaj Pariksit did not fall for it. He said “But what if you atone but then you just sin again. Isn’t that just like an elephant taking bath?” So, the idea of an elephant bath is quite simple. Elephants, when they take a bath, they go into the water. And when they come back out, one of the first things they do is spray mud on themselves. I notice that here in Mayapur you have a few of those guys walking around. Also, at one time in New Vrindaban, we also had an elephant. I personally witnessed.
I heard, actually, on some science channel, that the reason elephants do that is apparently it’s the elephant’s version of sun tan lotion. You can’t imagine. An elephant seems like not at all tender or anything. His skin probably appears to be like the outer shell of a tank or something like that. But evidently, they are sensitive to the sun rays and they put dirt on them to deflect the sunlight. At any rate, what is the use of an elephant bath where you wash off something and then you immediately get dirty again.
And this, of course, is the perennial question. How do we actually get free from sin forever? Not just get free from the reaction of sin, but get free from sin itself.
When someone performs a sinful act then one of the first things that happens is that there are various levels of prarabdha and aprarabdha reaction. Prarabdha reaction is when we get slapped in the fact right away for what we just did wrong. Aprarabdha means there’s deferred karma. What happens is that first there is something called the kutastha. That means we have a tendency for the same sinful act again.
And that leads to the bija stage which is the seed where we want to perform that sinful activity again. So it’s quite obvious, and we notice it, it is certainly not rocket science or a hidden value that whenever someone performs a sinful action there is a desire to perform that sinful action again. Part of the sinful reaction is that you want to perform the sin again.
And this stock piles until we get the big stick of karma that whacks us on the head and we get the full burn of all that karma. What’s special, of course, about the holy name, is that it frees us from all that possibility.
We’ll find out later that it fries the sinful desire seeds so they do not sprout again. And it aborts the sinful activity reaction that was heading our way. So the holy name gradually awakens us to the foolishness of material desires that lead to sin in the first place.
So who is in charge of sin and punishment. It’s Yamaraj. Yamaraj actually is the person who among the demigods is in charge of deciding what happens to sinful people. And in fact, Yamaraj is only in charge of sinful people and not animals. Despite pronouncements of various Popes. Maybe you all don’t know. Recently the Pope Francis said that animals go to heaven. Doggies go to heaven. But in the Vedas, as much as we wish they would go to heaven, they only go one step up until they become human again.
At any rate, the idea is that the Yamadutas are angry because they’ve been charged with bringing to justice the sinful Ajamila. And when they went to get him it didn’t work, the Vishnudutas intervened and they took Ajamila. So they’re naturally confused and angry and they’re wondering, “Well, are the gods crazy. Who’s this really up to. We thought you were it. You said who gets punished and who doesn’t. But we couldn’t do our duty so what’s wrong?”
And so this whole chapter has a whole bunch of really important verses in there that describe that the Supreme Lord is the source of religion. We hear also about the importance of the holy name and we hear that actually there are many demigods but none of them are supreme. And so these are very essential verses. You know, “dharmam tu saksad bhagavat-pranitam,” that’s in this chapter. And it explains that the demigods themselves are confused about religion. And that even the great sages can be confused about religion. But religion is known to twelve Mahajans; another famous verse in this chapter.
So religion is enacted by the Supreme Lord. It is not up to popular vote.
And here of course Yamaraj first explains that he is not supreme, that there is someone superior to him. And then he tells the Yamadutas that they should not bring devotees to him. So I understand this to mean that when someone becomes a devotee they are no longer under the jurisdiction of karma. We see, though, that nevertheless sometimes it’s happened to devotees and they suffer. So what’s up with that?
The issue here is that Yamaraj says he is not qualified to punish the devotees. That if he were to punish the devotees, the Supreme Lord would punish him, Yamaraj. But there’s a fine print. Yamaraj is not qualified. But the Supreme Lord certainly is qualified to punish the devotees. That’s the fine print. And so the Supreme Lord is certainly not any stranger to tough love. If we need it, He certainly will give it to us. But there are other reasons why devotees suffer which i’m not going to go into because of time concerns.
So this particular verse talks about Yamaraj saying “Don’t bring to me devotees, no!” Don’t bring devotees. Bring this kind of people. What kind of people? Those who never drink the honey of the lotus feet of the Lord; who do not associate with Paramahamsas, and are attached to family life which is the …and its enjoyment which is the road leading to hell.
In this purport Prabhupada quotes this verse:
yan maithunadi-grhamedhi-sukham hi tuccham kanduyanena karayor iva duhkha-duhkham trpyanti neha krpana bahu-duhkha-bhajah kandutivan manasijam visaheta dhirah
That translates into English “Sex life is compared to the rubbing of two hands to relieve an itch.” Does it really say that? Maybe we should turn the cameras off. This is really politically incorrect, all this stuff!
“Grhamedhis, so-called grhasthas who have no spiritual knowledge, think that this itching is the greatest platform of happiness, although actually it is a source of distress. The krpanas, the fools who are just the opposite of brahmanaas, are not satisfied by repeated sensuous enjoyment. Those who are dhira, however, who are sober and who tolerate this itching, are not subjected to the sufferings of fools and rascals.”
You don’t get any kind of down than that. It’s kind of the Bhagavatam at its worst for material life. This particular verse is not necessarily what you will find in the movies. They don’t wrap things up like this. Rubbing together of two hands to relieve an itch? That’s pretty extreme.
You know, in our modern world people do all sorts of obscene and blasphemous things all the time. In fact it’s getting to the point where there’s practically nothing you can do to offend anybody. But somehow I got a feeling that if you read this verse to most materialistic people they would feel offended.
Our materialistic society really packages up sex life like it’s the cream of the cream, it’s the what of the what, it’s the best of the best and you just have to have it and there’s just no way and no reason to not always engage in it. But everybody knows well all of those uncomfortable realities that surround sex enjoyment. That’s a class in itself. The only way actually to be relieved from the haunting of sex life is to engage in devotional service, particularly in chanting the Lord’s holy name.
If we come to a holy place and associate with paramahamsas and the Supreme Lord, we can be ultimately freed from sex life. And of course there’s the ashram of married life, grihastha life, not grihamedhi life, grihastha life. And actually these things become very easy if one wants to give Krishna to others; if you make the effort to give Krishna to others, then Maya Devi will release you from the bondage of sex life which is otherwise unavoidable.
Those who engage in running after money. . . you know in another place in Bhagavatam it says money is the honey. And of course money is used for sex life. That’s its main purpose. I have this image in my mind of a man, his last breath, lying on the ground with his hand outstretched as far as it can go and just a few inches from his dead hand is a dollar bill. And that’s modern man.
The devotees are not punished by Yamaraj. They’re above the usual platform of regular punishment by Yamaraj. They’re freed from these kinds of calamities. But they have to perfect the chanting of the holy name. Ajamila chanted but he was actually chanting the name of his son. In Harinam Cintamani, Bhaktivinoda calls that sanketa. Sanketa means to chant meaning something else. Parihasa is to chant in a joking mood. Stobha is to chant derisively, actually in a negative or angry way. And helana is to chant neglectfully. These are four flavors of namabhasa, to chant neglectfully, to chant derisively, to chant in humor, or to chant meaning something else.
But in Harinam Cintamani, Bhaktivinoda says even namabhasa can bring any kind of material benediction. Namabhasa can rid one of any sin, in fact more sin than anyone can commit in the course of a single lifetime. But there is one thing that namabhasa cannot give. What is that? Prema. That’s the one thing that namabhasa can’t give.
So we have to learn how to chant, removing, of course, we usually don’t chant in parihasa, in humor. We usually don’t chant in stobha, in some kind of derisive mood. Ours is hela, we chant neglectfully. So if we can gradually rid ourselves of chanting neglectfully then we can truly taste the honey of the lotus feet of the Supreme Lord as is mentioned in this verse.
I will end here. If there are questions I will attempt to answer them. Or if they go above my head I will poll our illustrious audience here for some other help.
Drutakarma Das: “Regarding dogs, what about the story of Lord Caitanya and the dog?”
Answer: Right. He was sent to Vaikuntha. There’s also the story of Yudhisthira and, actually the dog was going to heaven but turns out it wasn’t a dog. So it’s true, there are those rare. . . so I should repeat the question. Drutakarma just asked what about the dog that Lord Caitanya sent to heaven. But actually he didn’t go to heaven, he went to Vaikuntha, which is better than heaven.
For those of you maybe weren’t up with the news, about a month ago, or something, Pope Francis said that dogs will go to heaven. That made the news. You know, PETA made a whole thing about it. Turns out that it wasn’t Pope Francis that said it. He was simply quoting Pope John before him who said that. But the Pope in between, Benedict, said that they don’t. So it’s still an issue there.
Vaisesika Das: Maharaja, you mentioned in your class about punishment for the sinful, that some living entities have to go to hell and suffer unbearable punishments. So, at what point, since it seems they don’t remember it in their next life, at what point to they get benefit from that.
And if so, how. How does that help them?”
Answer: That’s an important question actually. What Vaisesika asked one may wonder, and it’s a reasonable thing to wonder, if when you perform sin you’re punished, you go to hell, you suffer like anything. But when you come out in a new body you don’t remember any of it. So what’s the point of that.
The whole system of dharma, or, rather not dharma of karma, of sin and its reaction and suffering for it is mostly hidden from view. In the western world, people don’t have any notion of these things. And when people suffer, they don’t know why they’re suffering. But when you suffer enough you begin to ask the primal why, “Why is this all happening to me?” When a person finally gets reduced to that point where they just can’t understand why they’re suffering, either they commit suicide or they get spiritual life or else they become a great blues guitarist or something. That’s another option.
But mostly, either they commit suicide or they take to spiritual life. And that investigation into why will lead them to spiritual life of some flavor.And if they’re really serious, it will lead them to the Vedas, which will explain why they are suffering. They will begin to understand. So we see that our world is actually a world of excessive miseries cycling over and over and over again and mostly people don’t get it. They just don’t get it. And that’s why we’re there. We’re supposed to try and explain why they’re suffering. When they do get it, it wakes them up to spiritual life. Only when they have knowledge from the Vedas can they put the whole picture into focus. Otherwise life is all meaningless.
Any other questions or are we ready to end. All right, so I’ve held you long enough. Thank you very much for your kind attention. Hare Krishna. All glories to the Vaishnava devotees of the Lord. All glories to the holy name which saved us all. Hare Krishna.
(Kindly transcribed by Sarasvati Priya DD)
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