The following is a class given by His Holiness Jayapataka Swami Maharaja on May 29th, 1982. The class begins with a reading from the Srimad-Bhagavatam, Canto 8, Chapter 18, Text 5.
On the day of Sravana Dvadasi [the twelfth day of the bright fortnight in the month of Bhadra, when the moon came into the lunar mansion, Sravana at the auspicious moment of Abhijit, the Lord appeared in this universe. Considering the Lord's appearance very auspicious, all the stars and planets, from the sun to Saturn, were munificently charitable. [Break]
Śrīla Viśvanātha Cakravartī Ṭhākura, an expert astrologer, explains the word nakṣatra-tārādyāḥ. The word nakṣatra means "the stars," the word tāra in this context refers to the planets, and ādyāḥ means "the first one specifically mentioned." Among the planets, the first is Sūrya, the sun, not the moon. Therefore, according to the Vedic version, the modern astronomer's proposition that the moon is nearer to the earth should not be accepted. The chronological order in which people all over the world refer to the days of the week—Sunday, Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday, Friday and Saturday—corresponds to the Vedic order of the planets and thus circumstantiates the Vedic version. Apart from this, when the Lord appeared the planets and stars became situated very auspiciously, according to astrological calculations, to celebrate the birthday of the Lord. Srimad-Bhagavatam Vamanavatara-lila ki
Jayapataka Swami: When Ramnanada Raya was asked by Caitanya Mahaprabhu to explain what was the most auspicious thing, he explained so many different things such as, varnashrama dharma, giving up everything to the Lord, but Lord Caitanya said “No. This is external, go higher, go higher.” When he said listening to the Bhagavatam in the association of devotees, then Lord Caitanya said, “iha haya. Yes, this is a purely internal aspect, this is a transcendental process.” So to hear the pastimes of Vamanavatara is most auspicious or any of the avatars in the Srimad-Bhagavatam. To hear the Srimad-Bhagavatam in the association of devotees is a special benediction because the vibration of the Srimad-Bhagavatam is purely transcendental.
So here it is describing the auspicious moment…
Listen. Fix your machine outside.
… describing the auspicious moment of the appearance of the Lord. The Lord is all auspicious. So when He appears everything is auspicious. So, when He appears everything… when He appears, everything must be in the most auspicious arrangement. So, the stars, they automatically took the most auspicious arrangement for the appearance of the Lord. This is a natural thing with the Lord. Similarly, when a eternally liberated soul appears, he also has the most auspicious arrangement. But not always… but the Lord’s arrangement is the most auspicious. This is being described here.
Similarly, when our consciousness is fully fixed on hearing the transcendental message of the Lord, then immediately, our consciousness also becomes auspicious. As soon as we begin to think about enjoying sense gratification, then our consciousness becomes contaminated. So by the mercy of the spiritual master to whom I offer my respectful obeisances, we today are able to hear the Srimad-Bhagavatam. Even though we are coming from so many different places, to hear the Srimad-Bhagavatam, this is a very, very wonderful opportunity.
It mentioned that when Vamanadeva appeared everyone in the whole universe became happy. In other words, the Lord’s appearing at an auspicious moment is not only good for Him. He doesn’t need anything good, He is already the topmost, pure, transcendental personality, but it creates all good fortune for everyone. So similarly, when we chant the Holy Name of the Lord and the Lord is present as His holy name, that brings all auspicity or good fortune to all of the living entities around the chanting of the holy name. The Harinama festivals that are being taken around Calcutta are causing an immense, unlimited amount of auspicious results for all of those devotees. Srila Prabhupada, he stressed to us how the holy dhama is also non-different from the Lord and how there it is all auspicious for the devotees. Similarly, we place the Lord in temples all over the world and this creates a very auspicious atmosphere for the devotees. To commit an offence against a pure devotee creates inauspicity. Just like when Daksha cursed Lord Siva…
Don’t sit like that.
…then it created such an inauspicious situation that the followers of Daksha and Daksha himself, they became cursed and destroyed due to their offences. Citraketu, who was a devotee of the Lord. He committed an offence against Lord Siva for which he was cursed but he was not destroyed. A devotee may sometimes make a mistake, commit an offence, but Krishna promises, “na me bhakta vinasyati, My devotee will never be destroyed.” But a non devotee like Daksha, when he committed an offence, practically speaking, he was destroyed, it was only on account of other… praying on his behalf to Lord Siva, and because Lord Siva was so magnanimous that Daksha was forgiven for his offences, and thus he was delivered.
In this regard, Bhaktisiddhantha Sarasvati Thakura in his poem that Srila Prabhupad repeatedly referred to – dushta mana tumi kisera vaishnava? He describes to us about the dangers of giving up the sankirtan movement of Caitanya Mahaprabhu, the preaching, the glorification, the chanting, with other devotees. Kirtana… This is verse 7:
kīrtana chāḍibo, pratiṣṭhā mākhibo,
ki kāja ḍhuḍiyā tādṛśa gaurava
mādhavendra purī, bhāva-ghare curi,
nā korilo kabhu sadāi jānabo
He describes if one thinks that, “Let me give up the association of these vaishnavas who are chanting the glories of the holy name, who are preaching and engaging in the sankirtan movement of Caitanya Mahaprabhu, let me give up their association because of whatever reason…” they may, such a person, he may find some superficial defect. Such a person may find it too difficult to worship the Lord Caitanya Mahaprabhu in this difficult way. Or that person who is contemplating giving up the sankirtan movement may do so simply out of illusion or false pride. So, that is being described here, that this desire to leave the movement of Lord Caitanya is a great mistake.
One may think that, “If I go out by myself or somehow I do some very severe austerity, that this would create a very good name for me. I will leave the association of devotees, I will become independent and then I will do something very great by myself. I will chant 300,000 names, or I will do some very difficult austerity, or I may do some other so-called preaching work by myself.” But this is described as simply the desire for name and fame. This is not going to actually bring any glorification to Lord Caitanaya or it is not going to bring any auspiciousness to the world.
Kirtan, this process given by Caitanya Mahaprabhu is especially a complete and perfect process. By chanting in kirtan we have to cooperate with so many others. In the ordinary kirtan with mridanga, kartalas, there are one or two or more playing drums. Others are playing the cymbals, one is leading the kirtan, and all the others are replying, and some are dancing. In this way there is a cooperative mood. Someone may be playing a conch shell or ringing bells or in this way a whole orchestra effect is achieved. But the whole operation is meant for glorifying Krishna.
In a broader scale, the brihad-mridanga or the greater kirtan is described by Bhaktisiddhanta Saraswati Thakura and Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada, Founder Arcarya of ISKCON. The brihad mridanga or distribution of transcendental literature to everyone also requires a great cooperative effort amongst various types of devotees of Caitanya Mahaprabhu. Some are writing, some are translating, some are editing, some are proof reading, some are typing, some are printing, some are packing, some are shipping and some are distributing the same books all over the world. So… (bird calling)
So in this way from the point where one is distributing the books to the time when it is being written it is all a transcendental cooperative spirit. Similarly, bringing people to the temple, training them in the philosophy of Krishna consciousness, these are all forms of the sankirtana movement of Caitanya Mahaprabhu. So one’s false ego or a false desire to be independent from Krishna, to want to simply follow the dictations of the uncontrolled mind or senses, that is the nature of this material world. So whether one does that simply in a gross way to enjoy the senses or whether on a subtle platform to achieve some kind of independence from surrendering to Krishna, both of these are considered to be a fall down.
So to leave the sankirtana movement of Caitanya Mahaprabhu means a fall down from the highest spiritual platform. And someone who is advanced in spiritual life, naturally the mind may already be somewhat trained to avoid such a fall down. So the mind is very clever at trying to find some excuse for doing something which is wrong. As it’s said, the road to hell is paved with good intentions.
So, just recently, there was one criminal in America who from his very birth he was always killing and harming people. He was put in jail. Some so called social worker, a journalist made a campaign since he was in jail since he was six years old, to remove him from prison as he was there for over twenty thirty years, he was already a middle-aged person, to let him out, let him not have to suffer such a stigma. But as soon as the person was let out, within a week or two, he broke a bottle, attacked a woman and raped her by force, using the broken bottle as a weapon. When he was arrested and he was asked why he did this, he said “It’s not my fault. Actually this is the fault of the society, why the women are dressing like this, why a person is not immediately able to have his desire satis... It is not my fault, I am simply doing a good thing but everyone else is not cooperating and they are all wrong. It is very difficult.” and so on and so forth, and so he had so many excuses. He would never have thought that he did a wrong. This was his illusion. So even a person does something wrong, the mind is such it will say, “Oh, yes, this is alright.” Even though he knew he would come back in jail, he was committing a bad activity, he knew it was illegal, but somehow his mind said “It was alright to do this.”
So many thieves, they think that it is alright I am stealing from someone, they don’t deserve it, I deserve it. So like this the mind, is being addressed in this prayer that “Don’t be such a fool, don’t think yourself to be a vaishnava and at the same time by any trick of the consciousness give up the sankirtana of Caitanya Mahaprabhu so that you can become more important in some material calculation or so that you can stand off aside.” The sankirtan means take the humble position, be one of the members of the sankirtan, one may lead the kirtan, another one may dance, other one may follow, one can play the kartals, everyone can’t lead, everyone can’t dance, everyone can’t play the kartals, everyone has to take their part!
If someone wants to take another’s part, that is simply their enviousness, you see. Automatically, the Lord will call, “You lead, you play the kartals, you play the drum.” as it happens in kirtan. One is not always leading, he gives way and another leads. Another plays the mridanga for some time, then gives way to another, in this way everyone gets the opportunity as desired by the Lord as it happens. But if someone doesn’t play the kartals very powerfully, just like Srila Prabhupad said, you don’t play, and asked someone else to play, in this way if someone out of false pride or illusion thinks let me go outside from the sankirtan movement, then he should question his mind, “What is the use of that? This pride, what is the use of it?”
Madhavendra Puri is the example given here, that nobody can imitate him. Actually, Madhavendra Puri is on the transcendental platform, and Madhavedra Puri, his good name, his good fortune was always expanding, he was serving the Lord. The Lord stole… Ksira-cora… ksira for him, and he naturally became famous as a devotee for whom the deity stole condensed milk. But Madhavendra Puri, he did not want any false pride, he did not want any kind of name or fame. Rather, he fled away that so many people would come to him and disturb his service to Krishna, and try to agitate his mind and so he fled away avoiding this type of false… in that sense, it was a real fame but he was trying to avoid it. But in any case, because he was a real devotee even if he tried to avoid the fame, he was always simply trying to make the Lord glorified, but nonetheless he was also glorified by the Lord’s own intervention.
So a devotee does not have to independently desire, rather it is a great danger to do so, to desire for any personal fame, personal type of pratistha or importance. The Lord Himself will lift up the devotee as Srila Prabhupada described, the cream rises to the top by itself. And if someone ever thinks that it is other than the Lord’s mercy to get any type of mercy in devotional service, then the risk is always there that the Lord can remove one’s shelter at any moment. The spiritual master can remove the shelter. So one should always remain in this mood of simply participating in the sankirtana movement of Caitanya Mahaprabhu in a humble attitude and that is the greatest protection against all types of illusion. And the mind must be trained in this way and trained not to go on this independent path even if it seems very alluring. We should know it as an illusion, and as a grave danger which can destroy our advancement in Krishna consciousness.
Goes on to say in verse 8 :
tomār pratiṣṭhā,-'śukarer viṣṭhā',
tār-saha sama kabhu nā mānava
matsaratā-vaśe, tumi jaḍa-rase,
majecho chāḍiyā kīrtana-sauṣṭava
The mind is being addressed, being chastised that, “What the mind is thinking to be very important, or to be a great name or fame, is actually lower than the stool of pigs. It is simply mental concoction. A distasteful thing which has no beauty and no attraction for the Supreme Personality of Godhead. Real devotees are automatically attractive even for Krishna because of their dedication, their surrender, their purity of purpose, their austerity. All of their good qualities are manifest because of their devotion to the Lord. So if one does something for any other reason than pure devotion, even it may seem to be very important, that importance is considered to be simply the lowest of the low, lower than the stool of the pigs, according to the great opinion of the most exalted Vaisnava, Srila Bhaktisiddhanta Saraswati Thakura.
How would you say that?
tār-saha sama kabhu nā mānava
Devotee: He will not accept equal to his.
Jayapataka Swami: You’re not even equal to a human being.
Devotee: tār-saha sama
Jayapataka Swami: I understand that. kabhu nā mānava?
Devotee: Will not accept, never accept.
Jayapataka swami: Means, he’s lower than a human. In other words, you’re lower than a human, or an animal, that a real civilized person would not do something like that. The human mind is meant for becoming God conscious. Animal mind is absorbed in sense gratification, absorbed in its own particular bodily consciousness and absorbed in enjoying mood.
When a mind of an animal sees something it only sees it in relation to how it is enjoyable to the senses or not. But a human mind is meant to be developed to the stage of seeing everything in relation to Krishna. If Krishna is satisfied, hari-tosanam, that is considered to be the real qualification. If Krishna is not satisfied then that means that that work is considered to be sa eva gokhara, or rather, srama eva hi kevalam, simply a useless waste of time. So a mind which, giving up surrender to the Lord Sri Krishna, instead is absorbing itself in any type of subtle or gross sense gratification, is not even a civilized human mentality, it is lower than the human mentality, it is like the mentality of the animals. Because such a mind is simply absorbed in tasting the different type of flavors of sense gratification in this temporary, material world.
That sense gratification flavours are available in the animal species. Sex, intoxication, eating, mating, sleeping and defending, different types of activities are sources of happiness for the animals and not a suitable source of happiness suitable for human beings. So when a person due to envy, as it says here, matsaratā-vaśe, due to some type of enviousness, gives up the sankirtan movement of Caitanya Mahaprabhu and then starts to enjoy the mind and senses and the objects of enjoyment, this is considered to be a fall down not only from spiritual life but from human life to the platform of animal life, and we can understand that that means one will have to lose one’s spiritual progress and take many, many rebirths before one can again achieve the transcendental platform if one takes such a gross step, after having achieved such a great fortune as joining the sankirtan movement of Caitanya Mahaprabhu.
So what type of enjoyment is that when one has given up pure spiritual happiness which is not tinged with any material misery, with any material inebriety which is unending and permanent, and due to some type of false prestige, due to over proud mind, that one absorbs himself instead in imitating such activities and actually simply enjoying sense gratification of mind and senses? What type of transcendental activity is that? It is simply uh, a very disgusting, and very unfortunate activity which any sincere seeker of the truth or transcendentalist or devotee should avoid, as the most dangerous of all dangers. Rather if one surrenders and simply absorbs himself in the sankirtan movement, then one is always tasting the transcendental reciprocation with Krishna that is fully satisfying.
The question can then come up, “How can someone give up the sankirtan if one has practiced.” Due to this false pride, if one gives up the sankirtan, loses the shelter of Krishna, and allows his mind to take control, thinking the mind to be his friend when in fact his mind is acting as his enemy and because of his pride not hearing the good advice of other Vaisnavas, of the spiritual master, of sastra, of spiritual intelligence and instead follows the mind which is fixed in a false misidentification as to what are the real values of life, then due that false pride, one can forget his real duty and fall into this type of illusion. So one therefore has to constantly remind his mind, control the mind, with his superior intelligence. Therefore the process of bhakti yoga is known as buddhi yoga or yoga of the intelligence, where the intelligence is always controlling the mind and senses, keeping them out of the dangerous waters of material sense gratification, of material… mental sense gratification of desiring fame, distinction and adoration.
And Verse 9:
tāi duṣṭa mana, 'nirjana bhajan,'
pracāricho chale 'kuyogī-vaibhava'
prabhu sanātane, parama jatane,
śikṣā dilo yāhā, cinto sei saba
So here again the mind is being addressed, chastising the mind, so “My very naughty mind, you materialistic mind, you have led me astray. You have given some many rationale, so many logics, but they are all like the false yogi. Simply misleading me out of my real duty. Leading me into nirjana-bhajana or solitary worship, leading me away from the sankirtan shelter of Caitanya Mahaprabhu, you have cheated me. You are cheater, my mind. Why should I follow a cheater? My master, Sanatana Goswami, he has so carefully given his teachings to avoid all types of weeds in devotional service.”
Just as it mentions the different types of weeds in devotional service, in the teaching to Sanatan Goswami by Caitanya Mahaprabhu in Caitanya-Caritamrita.
Niṣiddhācāra kuṭi-nāṭi jīva-hiṁsāna
puja labha pratiṣṭhāśādi yata upasakha-gana
And many other verses. That breaking regulative principles, being devious or duplicitous, in one’s dealings with the spiritual master and other Vaisnavas, being violent to living entities, desiring to be worshipped, desiring some special position in the society of devotees, or desiring some kind of profit in exchange for one’s devotional service and many other similar weeds in devotional service should be given up and avoided. So the mind here is constantly being reminded and put in its place.
The mind should be very humble. Bhaktisiddhantha Saraswati Thakura, we are told by Srila Prabhupada, he used to tell his disciples that every morning, he would get up and he would beat his mind a hundred times with a broom and a hundred times with a pair of shoes to pound the mind into submissiveness to the order of the spiritual master, to the order of Caitanya Mahaprabhu. Without that basic submissiveness and surrender seated in the mind, then the mind always becomes our enemy, trying to drag us away from the pure path of Caitanya Mahaprabhu’s sankirtana movement.
So, Indra, he assumed the false garb of a false sanyasi to steal away the sacrificial horse of Prthu maharaj. And thus he started so many apasampradayas or false disciplic successions based upon this imitation yogi or imitation sannyasi. Even today there are many false sampradayas which do not preach the transcendental truth but rather preach some type of distortion which looks similar to the truth but is simply based upon misidentification of body, mind and soul and is not authorized by the authorities like Sanatana Goswami or like the authorized revealed scriptures.
So the mind is very expert in presenting distorted, philosophical presentations. It can take a sloka from the shaastra and completely misinterpret it and give us a reason to perform sense gratification. This the mind has capability of doing. Therefore one has to simply surrender to the instruction of one’s own spiritual master.
The initiating guru is the ultimate shelter. Unless he authorizes one to take an instructing spiritual master, one should not take any another instructing spiritual master. Srila Prabhupada has told us that we have him as our initiating guru and siksa guru for all of his disciples. He said that I am the diksha and siksa guru for all of my disciples. He did not authorize us to go anywhere else apart from his shelter. Like that one has to follow the instructions of the superior authority, the spiritual master, because if we follow the mind, the mind will give us so many reasons which appear to be philosophically correct but our mind can cheat us in that way. Therefore we have to follow the instructions of the spiritual master, then we are safe.
It is said in the Svetasvatara Upanisad, one who has implicit faith in the order of spiritual master and the Supreme Personality of Godhead, that he very quickly achieves the full shelter of the Lord. Everything, all the secrets of the Vedas are revealed to him. So it is the duty of every transcendentalist to train the mind.
The yogis are doing pranayama, doing hatha yoga, exercises to control the body. When their body is controlled they do breathing exercises to try to control the mind. When the mind is controlled they engage in meditation, keep it out of mischief and finally in their meditation they try to achieve samadhi or trance when the function of the mind is stopped and they are meditating on the form of the Lord. So the path of bhakti yoga is avoiding these mechanical processes of breathing exercises and acrobatic exercises and is directly dealing with fixing the mind on Krishna. So when the mind tries to resist, the bhakti-yogi with full determination and strength smashes that mind, makes it surrender, defeats it with the higher intelligence, based on words of scripture, based on the words of the spiritual master, does not allow the mind to become independent and forcefully brings the mind to listen to the chanting of
Hare Krishna Hare Krishna
Krishna Krishna Hare Hare/
Hare Rama Hare Rama
Rama Rama Hare Hare
and to engage in the sankirtan process of dis… of glorifying the holy name. In this way the mind is kept under control. If we allow the mind to go out of control, then we are in a very, very dangerous position. In the Bhagavad-gita it is stated that the controlled mind is our friend, and the uncontrolled mind is our worst enemy. So here today we are reading about the appearance of Vamanadeva how everything was auspicious. So when we can keep Krishna in our mind, when He appears in our mind and we don’t allow the mind to just deviate anywhere else, then everything is auspicious. Then our consciousness is happy. Just as it mentions here that all the people here, they became happy. The demigods, the cows, the brahmanas, the hills and the mountains were all filled with joy. There was happiness in all directions. So when the Lord appears our consciousness will be happy. If we are not happy in devotional service that means that somehow we have not been able to bring Krishna into our consciousness. If we are able to bring Krishna into our consciousness, we must become happy.
So the way we think Krishna in our consciousness is by serving Krishna. Krishna is not object of our enjoyment, we cannot enjoy Krishna, that is material. We don’t enjoy chanting the holy name, we surrender to chanting, we chant and if the holy name is pleased with our chanting, we feel joy. The sahajiyas want to enjoy Krishna, want to enjoy the holy name. They want to enjoy the pastimes of Krishna, and therefore due to that offence they miss the real joy which comes from the spiritual platform and thus they fall into various type of illicit activities, feeling their inner desires unfulfilled. So, real happiness begins when we can bring Krishna in our consciousness by preparing that consciousness through proper service attitude, and that service attitude is best achieved by serving the lotus feet of Krishna’s pure devotee, either personally or by following his instruction.
So Vamanavatar has come, He created all auspiciousness. Similarly, the Lord, He also will come to us just suited for the particular need that we may have to serve Him. Our particular relationship with Him to serve Him. He will come in the form just suitable, that we can serve Him appropriately.
Vamana came suitable to the need. Krishna will come in each of our minds, in our hearts, when we approach in a proper devotional attitude just suited to our relationship with Him and He reciprocates perfectly. This is why He is the Supreme Personality of Godhead. He is complete and He is all perfect. So if we feel any incompleteness, any imperfectness, there is no other solution but to further fix ourselves, take our mind in the hand of intelligence, and purify it, engage it in devotional service until it becomes the proper receptacle to allow the Lord to appear there. Then we achieve real happiness. There is no other short cut, no other type of happiness or so-called happiness will satisfy us. So we should give up all other desires, all other hopes, except for simply surrendering to this chanting, to the sankirtan and allowing the Lord to appear at His own sweet will in our mind, thus giving us complete fulfillment and allowing us to engage perpetually in His service, even life after life.
hare kṛṣṇa hare kṛṣṇa
kṛṣṇa kṛṣṇa hare hare
hare rāma hare rāma
rāma rāma hare hare
Transcribed by Jayaraseshwari dd
Revised by Jagannatha dasa Brahmacari