The following is a class given by His Holiness Jayapataka Swami Maharaja on September 4th, 1982 at New Vrindavan farm community in West Virginia. The class is given on the occasion of the New Vrindavan festival.
Jayapataka Swami: Today devotees are coming from all over North America and different parts of the world to participate in this wonderful New Mayapur… uh, New Vrindavan (devotees laugh) festival. I was thinking how the only way to approach Vrindavan is that one has to go through Lord Caitanya. That’s why there was a little slip. (devotees laugh) It’s not that I say you have to go through New Mayapur to go to New Vrindavan, but actually when we worship Vrindavan and Radha-Krishna and Their transcendental pastimes in Vrindavan, we should also remember that… how we came to know about these transcendental pastimes is of course Radha-Krishna combined together… out of Their causeless mercy to share Their pastimes, They have combined together as Caitanya Mahaprabhu, and Lord Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu has brought that pure realization and pure love of Radha-Krishna, of Vrindavana-dhama so that the fallen souls of this Kali-yuga can get the opportunity. But whereas respectable… of course there’s plenty of feasts and festivities and I was just reminded how Srila Prabhupada, he used to give the example that in a feast, you feed sometimes the children all the sweets first because they’re getting impatient. They can’t go through all the vegetables. They want to go right to the sweet. Then they’re quiet, but actually this is what Radha-Krishna have done when They have combined as Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu and come down in this age as Lord Caitanya in the mood of a devotee. It’s that they gave us first, the sweets. This was the example Prabhupada gave: because we’re so disturbed in our mind in this Kali-yuga that Krishna’s given us first the dessert.
What normally yogis, jnanis, transcendentalists would go on trying to realize after so many ages, after so many births, after rigorous realization, finally when one comes to the topmost level, one can understand what is Vrindavana, what is Radha-Krishna, but by Lord Caitanya’s mercy, that is given first. So, Prabhupada said this is giving us first the dessert. First He’s giving us the ecstasy or the bliss of Krishna consciousness, that actually we are attached to Krishna, then we go into refining our devotional service, practicing avoiding offenses and breaking of principles. But immediately anyone, if they come, they can taste this happiness in Krishna consciousness. And naturally, once one receives that happiness, automatically everything else is achieved. One becomes fixed in devotional service to Krishna.
So, just as Raghunatha dasa Gosvami directly tried to approach Lord Caitanya and was refused by Lord Caitanya, instead he was told that, “No you just practice in your home, devotional service. You don’t have to join Me.” Then after about one year, Raghunatha dasa Gosvami, he was feeling an intense separation from Lord Caitanya. He followed His orders, everything had worked out quite alright, but he was feeling that, “Somehow I have not been accepted by Lord Caitanya because I did not approach Him in a proper mood.” So, that time, Nityananda prabhu was there at Panihati and he approached Lord Nityananda. He fell down at His lotus feet and said, “Please forgive me. I’ve committed so many offenses.” And then Nityananda said, “Yes. You tried to directly approach Lord Caitanya, avoiding Me. You tried to directly approach the Supreme Lord, avoiding the guru.” Nityananda is adi-guru. He’s the first spiritual master, you see. So, to approach… just as we have to approach Lord Caitanya through Nityananda, to approach Krishna, we have to go through the guru.
To get to Nityananda, you go through guru who is the original… he’s the representative of Lord Nityananda, and by Nityananda… guru’s mercy, we get Nitai’s mercy. By Nitai’s mercy we get Lord Caitanya’s mercy. By Lord Caitanya’s mercy we get the mercy of Radha and Krishna. Of course, then you know that Lord Nityananda, He then told Raghunatha dasa that, “Now I’m going to punish you for your offence.” And that punishment was that he had to feed everyone with chira and doi, with chipped rice and yogurt, fruits. So, being the son of a zamindar, type of king, Raghunatha dasa, he took it as a great punishment as well as a great mercy. So, he arranged prasada for all of the devotees.
So, here it’s very nice that in New Vrindavan, that the very first temple… of course is Prabhupada’s palace, teaching that to enter Vrindavana, first we have to go through the mercy of guru. By the mercy of guru, we get the mercy of Nitai-Gaura. By his mercy, then we can really understand Radha-Vrindavana-candra, Radha-Madhava, Radha-Krishna. We can understand the true glories of Vrindavana-dhama.
We may commit so many offenses in Vrindavana, but by the mercy of guru and Lord Caitanya, these offenses can be quickly absolved. Therefore, we need their mercy before we can grow and worship properly in Vrindavana. Otherwise, directly it’s very difficult to actually properly perform our devotional service in Vrindavana. Vrindavana is on the level of pure love, but the guru and Nitai-Gaura, they are all-merciful. So, they can absolve us of any mistakes that we make, making it actually possible for us to properly serve, for our service to be accepted while we serve in Vrindavana.
The holy dhama, is not limited. We have to see the holy dhama as being beyond time and place. In the spiritual world, Krishna’s eternally existing in His eternal dhama and that eternal dhama, He manifests in the material world in Vrindavana, in Navadvipa, where he appears and performs His pastimes, but the Bhagavatam also describes that where all the devotees are gathered together and glorifying Him, there the Lord is present.
The dhama also means the heart of the devotees. So, when all the devotees are coming together, when they’re chanting Hare Krishna, when they’re performing devotional service, glorifying the Lord, the Lord becomes fixed up in their heart, and that place becomes the residence of the Lord. It becomes the holy dhama. As long as the devotees are chanting and serving and keeping Krishna in the center, then anyone who comes to that dhama, that sacred place of pilgrimage, they will actually feel the transcendental effect.
Just as recently, we heard that in the television, the announcer said, after touring New Vrindavana, he said, “Now we are leaving the spiritual world and going into the material world.” (Devotee laughs) So, they could accept that Srila Prabhupada’s temple, it was a different atmosphere. It was the spiritual world. That effect is there because of the devotees worshiping the Lord. The Lord personally resides there. So, thats Srila Prabhupada’s mercy that he didn’t want to limit the holy dhama in any way, rather… nor did he want to glorify the original holy dhamas in Mayapura and Vrindavana, but wanted that the holy dhamas should be manifested all over the universe in different temples. Each temple is like a sripatha. It’s also a residence of the Lord where people can go and gain spiritual shelter.
Of course, purity is the force. As much as we can maintain the purity in those temples, so shall the Lord manifest His transcendental presence. Of course, He can always exceptionally manifest out of His own free will.
So, this Krishna consciousness movement is meant for everyone. Man, woman child, young, old. All the races of the world, Krishna consciousness is meant for everyone. We are born in this world. Everyone is searching happiness, but what is the real purpose of life? That of course, human beings, we can ask. Athatho brahma jijnasa. If we don’t ask, then what type of human being are we? Human being is meant to ask, “Where have I come from? Where am I going? What is the cause of the universe? What is beyond this planet? Are there creatures on other planets?” Like we are intelligent, “Are we to think that all the other planets, there’s no intelligent beings there? How is it possible? So what are on these other planets?” These are all the questions of human beings, so the Krishna conscious movement is not a sectarian practice that is meant just for people who like Indian culture, or people who are fed up with the Christianity or Islam or Judiasm or whatever, no. People of all these faiths of the world, all different shades of agnosticism or whatever they may be, for everyone, these principles of Krishna consciousness that serve in finding or realizing one’s relationship with God and acting in that relationship, these are applicable for everyone.
Just a simple example: When Prabhupada described the Bhagavad-gita sloka kaumaram yauvanam jara, dehantara praptir dhiras tatra na muhyati. That dehantara praptir dhiras tatra na muhyati just as they’re growing from kaumara, childhood to yauvana, youth, to jara, to old age, similarly at the time of death we also changing our body just as we’re changing so many bodies from childhood body to youthful body to old age body, so Prabhupada said that what is sectarian about that statement? Only the Hindus are going from childhood to youth to old age? Not the Christians? Not the Jews? Not the Muslims? Not the atheists? Not the dogs? Everyone is going from childhood to youth to old age.
The Bhagavad-gita was not spoken with the idea that, “This is only for one section of the human beings.” It was spoken for the entire human race, without any exception. In fact, it was even spoken for the benefit of demigods who were present. Everything about Krishna consciousness is universal. It is meant for everyone. Therefore, people who come here, they don’t have to feel that, “Well is there anything wrong if I chant? Or if I participate, or if I start to feel happy?” There’s nothing at all wrong. You just let yourself be happy chanting Hare Krishna, feasting on the prasadam. Don’t at all feel self-conscious. Here, no one is looking that, “Oh, that person is chanting.” Rather they are looking, “Oh, he’s not chanting.” (laughter) “Why he is, or she is not chanting?” You see.
Here, everyone can feel very much at ease for chanting and for just becoming happy in Krishna consciousness. We come into this world. We want to find out what are the answers, but actually that’s a very long path, the path of self-realization. At the end of that path, there’s pure nectar, pure bliss. So this Krishna conscious movement is so wonderful that first you’re getting the nectar, so why should you complain? First you get the nectar, the pure bliss. Even in the beginning, simply by chanting:
hare kṛṣṇa hare kṛṣṇa
kṛṣṇa kṛṣṇa hare hare
hare rāma hare rāma
rāma rāma hare hare
You see. And by chanting the consciousness is purified. All the answers are revealed very easily. Our consciousness requires to be purified to understand philosophical concepts. We have to open our vision. That is automatically done by cleansing away… Actually, we are all Krishna conscious. It’s not the people become Krishna conscious. Everybody already is Krishna conscious. It’s just that that Krishna consciousness is covered up. Simply we have to remove the dirts and the Krishna consciousness is there. Every day we go out in the street. We get our clothes dirty. We don’t think twice to wash our cloth, but we don’t realize every day we go out, in our car with our family and our friends in our society, our consciousness is being soiled with lust, anger, greed, with illusion, with intoxication, with envy. And we’ve built up a coating of karmas, a coating of contaminations over our original pure Krishna consciousness, and we’re seeing everything through that colored glass of those coverings. Therefore, we see ourselves as being, young or old, as American, as a Chinese or as an Indian. As a Catholic or as a Protestant or whatever. As a Capitalist, or a Communist. These are all superficial coverings. And by chanting
hare kṛṣṇa hare kṛṣṇa
kṛṣṇa kṛṣṇa hare hare
hare rāma hare rāma
rāma rāma hare hare
Those artificial coverings, those dirts get cleansed away. Ceto-darpaṇa-mārjanaṁ bhava-mahā-dāvāgni-nirvāpanaṁ. As soon as they’re cleansed away, the first symptom is you feel transcendental happiness. You feel the miseries going away. Bhava-mahā-dāvāgni-nirvāpanaṁ the forest fire of miseries are given away.
So we thank the organizers of the festival for making this program for us to come together and chant. In the Upadesamrta, Srila Prabhupada, in translating the six exchanges of loving relationships of devotees, namely offering of foodstuff, accepting foodstuff, offering of a gift and accepting a gift in return, offering of some… one’s mind and accepting one’s confidential talks: these six exchanges, in the purport, Srila Prabhupada explains that the whole International Society for Krishna Consciousness has been made so the devotees can exchange loving relations and loving feelings between each other.
Srila Prabhupada ki,
Jayapataka Swami: So, that we can come together and we can discuss Krishna and we can exchange His intimate spiritual loving exchanges and increase our closeness, bring us together and to uplift the consciousness… a festival in Sanskrit is called utsava. The ut means transcendental, means to uplift. The utsava means that time when everyone’s spirit, everyone’s transcendental mood is uplifted. Normally, in the modern day, we find festival, everyone goes and gets drunk and then they go to sleep. Where’s the questions of uplifting? They go under the table. You see. But here, we chant Hare Krishna.
Actually, people forget about sleeping and forget about so many bodily considerations. Even they live in crowded conditions, or they accept sometimes so many physically what might seem to be inconveniences, but because their consciousness is being uplifted in the association of so many devotees, and the loving exchanges with so many devotees, that these things are completely considered insignificant. There’s actually an upliftment of consciosuness. Then, many devotees come together, that’s called maha-utsava, or mahotsava, a great upliftment of consciuosness. So everyone should see while they’re here that they keep their consciousness in the transcendental platform by always exchanging in these loving exchanges, chanting Hare Krishna, keeping the mind focused on Krishna. This is our secret of success. Then we’ll always be tasting nectar at every step. Purna… prati-padaṁ pūrṇāmṛtāsvādanaṁ sarvātma-snapanaṁ paraṁ vijayate śrī-kṛṣṇa-saṅkīrtanam
hare kṛṣṇa hare kṛṣṇa
kṛṣṇa kṛṣṇa hare hare
hare rāma hare rāma
rāma rāma hare hare
Are there any questions?
Devotee: Yes I was wondering how important is faith in chanting? Like one goes on (inaudible) consciousness, devotional service. So I was reading the ninth chapter, and Prabhupada says that faith is the most important thing, so I was just wondering if keeping faith is the most important part of chanting, then you’ll actually… the process really works, and you become purified and self-realized.
Jayapataka Swami: In the same Upadesamrta Sanatana Gosvami described the first thing is enthusiasm. Utsaha niscayat dhairyat. Then next is the… being convinced, being determined. And confident. That, “By chanting, we will achieve the desired result.” Of course, then the third is patience. That, “Even if it takes little longer than what we may have expected or hoped, we should be patient. We shouldn’t lose our faith. So, these three aspects, you can see how they are fitting with each other.
The faith is something that cannot just be manufactured. It comes naturally. Initially we place some faith. Just like, nowadays in America, they use a similar system for building up credit. They give you a little loan. You pay it back. They give you a little bigger loan, you pay it back. As you keep on paying back your loans, you get more and more credit. So, in the same way, as you put your faith in Krishna, or if at first you chant Hare Krishna, that’s also faith. You chant and then you start to get some reciprocation. Then, you start giving some service. You start doing some more. And as you’re doing more and more, putting more faith in Krishna, you get more reciprocation.
But, sometimes, a devotee is not very careful and although, apparently they’re putting some faith in Krishna, they may be committing some offenses, or may actually, only be externally putting faith in Krishna, internally, they may have differnet plans, so they don’t get that complete reciprocation. Then they start to apparently lose faith. It's not losing faith. That meant they didn’t give their faith to begin with. Therefore we’re advised by Lord Caitanya, in the Madhya-lila of the Caitanya-caritamrta that we have to… first of all, to develop this high level of faith, we have to pull out the weed, the anarthas, the upasakhas. He names six main ones, but there are many. He mentions jiva-himsa, the first one is uh… nisiddhacara, kuti-nati, jiva-himsana, labha, puja pratisthadi yata upasakhagana.
That first one is the forbidden activities. Like breaking regulative principles. Second one is kuti-nati. Diplomatic behavior, being unstraightforward when dealing with Vaisnavas, being motivated but trying to appear unmotivated, all those things. Then, jiva-himsa, unneccesary violence, cruelty, dealing harshly with others, or killing animals. Then labha, puja, pratisthadi: Profit, labha, puja, worship and pratistha, importance, position. All these type of desire or practicing activities which fall under these categories and other similar categories, they’re weeds. So, the weeds, you know that if you water your field, you go through the labor of watering, fertilizing, but if you have weeds in the field, the weeds may outgrow your standing crop of sorghum or maize or whatever you’re growing.
In fact, in Murari I just saw one field like that. I just came from Murari Sevaka. They had one field where the weeds have outdone the other crops. So, because they didn’t properly take out the weeds, they allowed the seeds to go there, they grew up, they did it in what they called (inaudible) or something, and so therefore, the field became overrun with weeds. So, you could only see smothered amongst all those weeds was some stunted plant of corn or something. That wasn’t… just one field was like that. Otherwise, they’re doing alright.
So this is the same thing can happen to our devotional creeper. We may put on this show of cultivation, of putting our faith, but if we these weeds there, then instead of actually our devotional creeper growing, these weeds may grow, and then it smothers our enthusiasm. It smothers our determination. It smothers our original devotional creeper. So, that’s why we also have to have the humility that if we’re not getting the reciprocation, not to think that, “Well” doubt Krishna, or doubt the guru. Rather we should approach the spiritual master, senior Vaisnanvas, see that “What is the weed that I must be… must be growing. Some offenses, some weed must be growing. Otherwise, certainly I would be getting more Krishna conscious happiness by my devotional service.”
So in this way, we put our faith in Krishna. More and more, He will reciprocate, and as… even He may make it difficult for us sometimes, or Maya will make it difficult, and then again we have to learn to rely on Krishna and He helps us. And this is what… again this is like increasing your credit rating, increases your faith rating. Even in difficulty you didn’t fold. You didn’t look to someone else to help you; you looked to Krishna.
What was the greatness of the Pandavas? In every difficulty, who did they look to as their only helper, as their only shelter? Simply Krishna. Therefore, they’re glorified. Duryodhana, he depended on his intelligence, on his strength, on his diplomacy, on his military allies, on his political intrigues, this is what Duryodhana armed himself with. And the Pandavas, they armed themselves with Krishna’s mercy. So Arjuna, he won the battlefield. He achieved Krishna’s eternal mercy. And Duryodhana with all his family members were all killed. So you decide whether one should follow the footsteps of Arjuna, placing faith in Krishna, or placing rather, like Duryodhana’s, faith in ones own limited materialistic sense activities. What do you think is the best course of action?
Devotees: Hare Krishna.
Devotee: Srila Prabhupada… So Krishna consciousness is like a festival, even sankirtana, but sometimes if one gets a little bit too much of an enjoying mood, sometimes maybe he loses an interest to study, or maybe he just isn’t… he’s not in a mood to read the books. He doesn’t see that also as… It seems there's a different mood. If he fixes his mind, or there’s someone to do it, is there anything wrong with that?
Jayapataka Swami: Could be. Every devotee is different. Of course we have devotees in India who don’t know how to read and write, frankly. But the do sankirtana and they do service, but they have to… some of them, they know only enough to read the title of the book. They can’t read what’s in the book. Because they’re farmer boys, something. They joined. Only 29% of the population of India is literate. So, there you have a unique situation where you can hardly tell them that you have to read the books everyday. Somehow or another, they maintain, but in the Western countries, we’re very habituated to thinking, to speculating, to trying to philosophize in different ways, and its more essential, the more that one has already become habituated to reading, and thinking in that way, the more complex one becomes, it’s more essential that we keep our mind purified and stop from speculating.
So whether you’re illterate, you have to hear the class every day for two hours, or whether you’re literate then you have to hear the class, plus read something, we have to keep the mind filled with Krishna, somehow or another. And we may have a temporary… we may have some enthusiasm, but if we don’t regularly hear the Bhagavatam, either by personal reading and classes, or by classes, then gradually our mind can start to become uh, contaminated by material speculations. Therefore, we advise, bhagavata nitya sevaya, that daily we should read the Srimad-Bhagavatam. That’s our nitya-seva, our daily service, eternally. So, if we’re not attending the two hours class a day, we should be reading two hours a day. We should be filling our mind with the Bhagavatam. Gita, Bhagavata, that will help us to control the mind and to remain enthusiastic to remain in the full taste of Krishna consciousness.
In this Kali-yuga, that is like charging our battery, hearing the Bhagavatam, chanting Hare Krishna. Simply serving without hearing Bhagavatam, without chanting Hare Krishna, one cannot maintain indefinately. The material energy of Kali-yuga is very powerful; it will draw the mind away. Srila Prabhupada has given us a perfect system of having regular classes twice in a day, reading his transcendental books, chanting every day at least sixteen rounds for initiated disciples. If we follow, then we can remain very safe. We can actually keep that taste for Krishna consciousness. If we start to neglect, then our mind and senses will gradually become stronger, and it will become harder and harder for the soul, spiritually directed intelligence to control the mind and senses. They will leap out at one point or another and embarrass us.
Is that alright?
He had a…
Devotee: We had the instruction… the general instruction to depend on Krishna and offer His murti. Like you were speaking…
Jayapataka Swami: Mano-vrata, the six parts of surrender.
Devotee: Then you were speaking in the beginning of getting the mercy of Lord Caitanya by approaching through Lord Nityananda, but then we also have the general understanding that the spiritual master is the transparent media for these exchanges. So to actaully call out to Lord Nityananda, is that bypassing your spiritual master? Is that an acceptable, direct to identify…?
Jayapataka Swami: Well, if one… when Lord Caitanya was personally present, then Nityananda was representing that guru-tattva, you see. Now, Nityananda is personally present in the form of… is representated by the guru, so we serve Nityananda through the spiritual master. Spiritual master is considered to be the most confidential servitor of Lord Nityananda. So, if one tries to directly approach Nitai-Gaura without a spiritual master, that will also be a… considered jumping over. But with the blessing… Prabhupada said, “You try to cling at the lotus feet of Nitai-Gaura.” So, that’s his order, so following his order, you’re not bypassing, or jumping over him. You’re just carrying out his instruction. He said, “Cling to Their lotus feet.”
Because, you see it’s a practically established fact that in Kali-yuga we are going to commit, or we have already committed so many offenses or mistakes, before we even came, and we are liable to at any moment develop some offensive mentality. But Nitai-Gaura’s mercy is that They can forgive one of all these offenses so we can actually worship Krishna properly. The example is given that in Vrindavana, the demons came and Krishna killed them and gave them liberation. But in Vrin… in Navadvipa, the demons came and Nitai-Gaura… just like Jagai and Madhai, They didn’t kill them. Instead they delivered them and gave them pure devotion, you see.
If we approach Krishna with an offensive mentality, His Vrindavana-lila would call for Him to (devotees laughing) you see, but Lord Caitanya’s mercy is that even we come with an offensive mentality, once we determine… we actually become determined to give up our offensive mentality, to correct ourself, well He has the mercy and the special quality of giving previously offensive people that mercy that they can give up their offenses and they can approach Krishna in the pure mentality.
So that we… we’re doing it automatically through the spiritual master, when we are engaging in the sankirtana yajna, that’s on the order of Lord Caitanya. We’re… We are approaching Vrindavana through sankirtana, through preaching. While we’re preaching, then we can experience Vrindavana. While we’re engaging in sankirtana, that moment we’ll be able to experience our intimate relationship with Vrindavana… the most intense. Bhaktisiddhanta Sarasvati Thakura, in his poem dusta mana tumi kisera vaisnava, Prabhupada in his poem Vrndavane Bhajana, meaning… those two poems, “Materialistic Mind, What Kind of Vaisnava Are You?” And “Worshipping Krishna in Vrindavana.” By Prabhupada. First one was by Bhaktisiddhanta, and both of the… the ultimate conclusion was that while one with so many devotees engaged cooperatively in the sankirtana movement, in glorifying the Lord, following in the ste… footsteps of the gopis: They’re always glorifying Krishna.
Following in the footsteps of Lord Caitanya Mahaprabhu, at that moment, you can actually understand Vrindavana. You can actually understand your intimate relationship with Krishna. Not by imitating so-called, imi… misimitating, misinterpreting what were the lives of the Gosvamis and going and just staying in the holy place and not engaging in the preaching work, in the sankirtana movement. That won’t bring the desired result, but engaging in the sankirtana movement means very quickly that realization of our intimate eternal relationship with Krishna, in His holy dhama of Vrindavana. Therefore, even in Mayapur, Prabhupada said that “This uh, Mayapur Chandrodaya Mandir is Lord Caitanya’s karma-sthana.” He said in Bhagavad-gita
janma karma ca me divyam
evaṁ yo vetti tattvataḥ
tyaktvā dehaṁ punar janma
naiti mām eti so 'rjuna
One who knows the transcendental nature of My birth and My activities, does not have to take again, rebirth in this material world, but comes back to Me.
So Prabhupada said, janma and karma, these two things are there: birth and activities. So Krishna was born in Mathura, he went to Vrindavana. Similarly, Lord Caitanya… birth is just a short… “What is more important” he asked us. “Birth? Just His birth? Or the activities for the rest of His life?” So the activities are more important, not that… birth is also transcendental, that appearance is transcendental, not ordinary, but His activities, they’re more important, so Srila Prabhupada is saying, “This is the karma-sthana. This is the place of Krishna-Caitanya’s activities. Similarly all over the world, we are manifesting the activities of Lord Caitanya’s sankirtana movement.” So that is more important.
So this way, how we can engage in these activities, that we do by the mercy of guru. He’s the one who instructs us how to perform these activities and the activities he instructs us are the activities which are authorized by Nitai…
…mercy of guru, taking his permission, then we approach Nitai-Gaura to give us Their mercy that we can then also understand what is the real meaning of Radha-Krishna worship.
Is that alright?
He had his hand up.
Devotee: So Srila Prabhupada, he had published first the Caitanya-caritamrta, the seventh chapter of volume two of Caitanya-Caritamrta and in this section of Caitanya-Caritamrta he preached very much about the chanting of śrī-kṛṣṇa-caitanya prabhu-nityānanda, like that, so after that… before the devotees didn’t chant so much śrī-kṛṣṇa-caitanya. We chanted Hare Krishna Hare Krishna, but we didn’t chant this other mantra so much, and after doing that, I was wondering if there was some special recommendation for many chanting… chanting say a whole mantra… a whole 108 mantras of this name, or is it sufficient do you think just to chant once, or do you think… I would like to know if there’s some special recommendation to chant the panca-tattva mantra.
Jayapataka Swami: Srila Prabhupada said that before we chant the Hare Krishna mantra, we should chant the panca-tattva mantra, but he didn’t give any number. I remember that my uh… in the beginning of the movement, sometimes he would have whole kirtans of Sri Krishna Caitanya going on for half hour or one hour and then in the end, Hare Krishna. Recently Brahmananda Maharaja said that Prabhupada told him that for Africa, you should especially concentrate on the Panca-tattva mantra. (devotees laughing) because if people are very fallen, then Lord Caitanya’s mercy is more. But Lord Caitanya ordered us that we have to chant Hare Krishna, therefore, we chant Hare Krishna.
Were there any questions from the mothers?
Jayapataka Swami: You all heard the question? The question was “If Krishna’s equal to everyone, then why He gives some people mercy, or what is the idea behind… about mercy?” Am I correct? Devotee: (inaudible)
Jayapataka Swami: So the mercy comes that first the equality is that Krishna gives everyone uh, the opportunity to get whatever they want, and the demons want to forget about Krishna, the atheists, so He also allows them to forget. The devotees want to know Krishna, so He gives them the opportunity to know. Now, accordingly to the law of karma in the material world one works and he gets the result, but Krishna sanctions every result. But when one will get, that’s also His mercy, so Prabhupada took it down right to the final last denominator that actually we can do nothing. All we can do is desire. “I wish to do this.” Iccha.
We desire to do something, we desire to speak. Krishna gives us the ability to speak. Because we want to speak, the athlete wants to run. He has no… if… in one second he can just become paralyzed. Why a rock cannot speak and we can speak? The body is running automatically. The person doesn’t think, now I’m going to move my jaw and there are 37 muscles in the face, or 58 and they’re all moving this way. It’s just happening automatically. That also is through the mercy of Krishna, that He’s working through His material energy. So in the terms of devotional service, actually speaking we may want to achieve Krishna but we… if it was purely a question of equality, then we should be 100%, cent percent fixed in Krishna, and then we could expect that we could get Krishna. But practically speaking even when Krishna told Arjuna that, “You should think of Me 100% of the time.” He said that, “It’s not at all possible. It’s easier to control the hurricane, than to control one’s mind. I cannot guarantee that 100% of the time, I’ll only think of You.” But then Krishna said, “You practice thinking about Me, then still you will come to Me.”
So, actually to achieve Krishna is such a great thing that there’s no amount of work you could do to actually deserve it. If it was just a question of equality, there’s actually no amount of work that one could do to actually deserve to get Krishna, but when a soul is desiring to have Krishna and that soul is also trying to do something pleasing to Krishna in that direction, so then Krishna out of His own mercy, He accepts that devotee, even before that devotee deserves to actually be brought back to Krishna. So, because the devotee is desiring to reach Krishna another is desiring to forget Krishna and someone is desiring to become the President, and Krishna’s giving them the opportunity to go off to their desires, but that He gives people their desire, especially the desire to return back to Him, even before they should get it, even before technically they’re 100% ready for it, but He just speeds up the process. That’s His mercy.
Is that clear?
Devotee: When Jagai and Madhai got special mercy from Gaura-Nitai, they never engaged anymore in abominable way, in a sinful way. So what would happen to a person who accepts a spiritual master, but somehow or another, by misfortune or by some kind of contamination, he again falls in… falls down? But if it’s possible to gain the shelter of the spiritual master? Is there a way for him to become again, accepted by the Lord.
Jayapataka Swami: You’re saying that Jagai and Madhai, once they surrendered to Lord Caitanya, that they promised never to break the principles again, and they kept their vow. What happens if someone who has made similar vows to their spiritual master, breaks them subsequently falls down, falls away and then he comes back. You’re asking if he can come back, or no?
Devotee: No. If he comes back, will he be again accepted by the Lord… Oh, by his spiritual master…
Jayapataka Swami: If the spiritual master accepts him…
Devotee: Yeah, again.
Jayapataka Swami: If the spiritual master accepts him, then why the Lord will not accept? The spiritual master is not independent. He’s acting on behalf of the Lord, so if the person falls down, again comes back, surrenders to their spiritual master and again takes up devotional service, then again that person can be reinstated in his relationship, in his devotional service. Whether or not he’ll be able, since he’s lost that time, to finish up in this one birth, that’s another question that can only be answered by Krishna, but no matter how… if a person falls away, he can always come back to Krishna. We’re eternally related to Krishna.
Our falling away is a temporary thing. Even we fall away, and we commit offenses and we lose the association of guru, even we commit guru-aparadha, for one million lifetimes of Brahma we may not get a guru, but then after that, we may again get guru sometime. And then again we may go back to Krishna. So, even a million lifetimes of Brahma in eternity is only a drop, but at this point, we don’t want to delay our going back to Krishna by one million lifetimes of Brahma, so we avoid committing offenses to the guru. (devotees laughing) And somehow or another if we make any mistake and we come to our senses to realize that we’re making mistake, that we’ve become mislead, then as quickly as possible, we should run back and cling to the lotus feet of our spiritual master and beg his forgiveness and somehow or another be reinstated in the service of Krishna and try to our utmost never to become mislead like that by Maya again. And then there’s still the hope that we can get back to Krishna, even in this life. And even if we can’t get in this life, at least we will be so much closer to Krishna, and we’ll be given every opportunity to get back in our next life.
But if we leave… if we come back and surrender to the spiritual master, we (unclear) in Krishna consciousness, there’s every assurance that we won’t have to again come back to material consciousness. After all yaṁ yaṁ vāpi smaran bhāvet tyajaty ante kalevaram it’s how we end the game, especially that’s the most important, you see. If at the very end of life, you’re able to fully concentrate on Krishna, then also that’s enough. Ajamila, his whole life, he was… he fell away from guru. The last moment he chanted the name of Narayana. Because of that one last moment he remembered Krishna. He was delivered, but that’s cutting it very close. (Devotees laughing) So, if you can come back with more time than that, then it’s much better. If you don’t take it to the last breath, if you choke up, then it may be too late.
Devotee: (inaudible) I don’t know anything about Krishna. I don’t know what is the truth.
Jayapataka Swami: So that same question was asked by Maharaja Nimi to the Nava-yogendras in the twel… eleventh canto, Bhagavatam, and they described what are the qualities of a spiritual master, of a pure devotee. Similarly in the Bhagavatam… in the scriptures you’ll find the qualities of a bona fide spiritual master, of a devotee who is a bona fide devotee, a mahabhagavata.
So, according to the qualifications given in the scripture, a person who wants to find a bona fide spiritual master, he has to see the scripture, hear from other devotees, who is a bona fide spiritual master, then he can approach different spiritual masters, he can test them. He can test them by asking questions, by applying those questions and answers in his life, seeing if they’re effective, and then when one is fully confident, that the person is in a bona fide disciplic succession, that the person is following the instructions of the scriptures, he has the basic qualities that are mentioned in the scriptures, then one should immediately surrender unto that person and accept him as a spiritual master.
So there’s no alternative… you have to… you may say, “There are many spiritual masters around. What to be done?” Every day you’re going out to buy a car. There are many car dealers around. Some of them are selling lemons. Some of them are selling good cars. So there may be spiritual masters; some may be bogus and some may be real. So you have to know what is the real spiritual master and you have to go and you have to test. As soon as you find the real one, then you should go and you should take shelter.
If you say that “Because they seem to be contradictions, or their seem to be false spiritual masters, I become angry. I don’t want to take any spiritual master.” then you won’t make any progress. Krishna says that if one doesn’t put his faith in anyone, then he can neither be happy in this life, or in the next. So, ultimately you have to put your faith. That way… Krishna’s in the heart. If you want to approach Krishna, if you want to actually reach Krishna, if you want to achieve the Supreme Absolute Truth, if you’re desiring in that way, Krishna will lead you to a bona fide spiritual master. And even if one, by some mistake gets a false spiritual master, but if he’s sincere, that will also be revealed to him, at that time, that false spiritual master, (inaudible) “Actually he’s not bona fide.” Then in that case he has to be given up, he’s not a he’s not a spiritual master. So we have to try according to the scriptures, according to the sadhus, the other advanced devotees, you have to find out who’s the bona fide spiritual master, then you take shelter, you put some faith and you depend on Krishna, and then if you’re sincere, Krishna will always help you. Prabhupada gave the example, cheaters and the cheated. That in India, in some of the holy places, sometimes women with loose morals, they would go there because they wanted to seduce a sannyasi, because their whole life they’re brahmacaris, they thought that would be some special conquest, so… some of them are also successful, but so what happened is some debauchee men, they saw this, that women are going to the holy places trying to get sadhus, so they came and they dressed like sadhus to go there and get the women. So, Prabhupada said, “This is cheaters and the cheated.” (Devotees laughing) You see.
So that is happening that pure spiritual master is giving absolute truth. He’s giving, “This is what you have to do. This is good for you. This is bad.” But then someone’s thinking, “Well, I have this idea. Can I find someone who gives according to my idea?” They’re not thinking, “What is the truth?” But they have some preconceived notion. They want that packaged ready solution. So, just to suit those type of not real seekers of the truth, the cheaters, so similarly some people are coming ready made to cheat them. One has to become detached from sense gratification, regulate ones material life and become transcendental to material desire by developing a higher spiritual taste, but there are people, they want to have their cake and eat it too. They want to uh, think that they’re very spiritually advanced and just be swimming in the ocean of sense gratification, you see. So there are some bogus gurus that they teach them how to swim in the ocean of sense gratification and tell them, “This is very spiritual.” But they’re all simply going deeper and deeper into darkest regions of materialistic existence. They’re not going any closer to Krishna.
So therefore, one has to actually be sincere, and actually take that determination, “Whatever it is, I want to know what is the truth. What is ultimately the end of all existence, what is the origin, what is the goal? If it’s difficult to achieve, or easy to achieve, that’s a separate issue. First, let me see what is the supreme destination then let me try for it.” Don’t compromise on absolute truth; you’ll get something else. So, that way, requires also some mercy.
brahmāṇḍa bhramite kona bhāgyavān jīva
guru-kṛṣṇa-prasāde pāya bhakti-latā-bīja
We wander throughout the universe, birth after birth. Somehow we get the desire to return back to Krishna, back to the supreme Lord, back to Godhead. Then, by Krishna’s mercy, he leads us to the bona fide spiritual master, and that spiritual master then advises, how to go back to Krishna. So, that mercy of guru and Krishna, that cooperation is there. The person is sincere, he’ll be lead to a bona fide guru.
Mother? Yes. Near the post here:
Jayapataka Swami: What did she say?
Jayapataka Swami: When this question was asked to Srila Prabhupada, he would reply that when the spiritual master is satisfied that means that Krishna is satisfied. Devotee may get an idea how to serve Krishna, but then that should be confirmed.
Devotee: Radha-Vrindavana-natabara ki, jaya!
Jayapataka Swami: This is who?
Jayapataka Swami: Vrindavan-natabara? Sri Sri Radha-Vrindavan-natabara, ki
Jayapataka Swami: That way we have sadhu, sastra, guru for testing. Whether something is going to be pleasing for Krishna, we have our senior devotees, we have our spiritual master’s instructions, we have the scripture, the sastra, so between these three, we have to do everything authorized. We don’t take any risks. We don’t gamble. If we don’t know that it is authorized, if we’re in doubt, you see, then we shouldn’t take any risk. We shouldn’t gamble. We should not do anything whimsically. That means that everything we do should be authorized by the scripture by the sadhus, by the spiritual master, by one or all, as many as possible.
Devotee: Is Lord Caitanya merciful upon time, place and circumstance, for example a mleccha like me that joined His sankirtana movement (inaudible) purified, toward like someone who was born in the future genera… will be born in the future generation, when the whole world is Krishna conscious…
Jayapataka Swami: You’re saying is Lord Caitanya merciful according to time place and circumstance. Well because someone fallen in this particular age, will He give the mercy to in other times, other mercy? Well, we find practical example of Lord Caitanya is that His uh, devotee Junior Haridas, was in the renounced order. He behaved irresponsibly, associating improperly with women and he was rejected by Lord Caitanya, on the one hand. But on the other hand, other grhastha devotees who were actually married, had children, they would come with the newborn babies. He would name the babies sometimes, would bless them. So, we can see that Lord Caitanya would deal with different people, differently. Wouldn’t deal with everyone the same, so we can expect that to continue. Especially Lord Caitanya is more merciful, the more fallen that one is, if one is very humble. The more proud one is, the more difficult to get the mercy of Lord Caitanya. The more humble one is, the easier to get the mercy of Lord Caitanya.
Devotee: In the beginning of that process, sometime we… we see lots of impurity coming out from them. We see all the impurity of the mind, the way of thinking and all that, but it’s good to see it, you know, to get away from that, but in the same time, it’s not very ecstatic to feel all this impurity going out. What should be the mood of the devotee during this… this experience.
Jayapataka Swami: I couldn’t understand, exactly.
Devotee: He would like to know what should the mood of the devotee be, while he’s experiencing…
Devotee: How should he take it?
Devotee: … the impurities due to his previous contamination whilst undergoing the process of sadhana-bhakti? How should…
Jayapataka Swami: He should feel lower than the straw in the street. You should feel actually repentant, that how fallen you were. How you had been so mislead. How you committed so many activities which were simply detrimental to your spiritual advancement, offensive to Krishna, then while one is uh, being purified, then naturally one will uh, by actually being repentant or being uh, humbled by that, that will bring one closer and actually attract the mercy of the Lord more intensely.
Tomar ache bhakti giti ache?
Devotee: So it’s mercy to see exactly how fallen we are.
Jayapataka Swami: Yes. I mean, the exact psychology that you’re representing, I don’t think that I perfectly uh… it’s appropriate. I don’t perfectly… maybe I don’t understand, but in becoming purified, one doesn’t uh, it’s not a painful situation when one is advancing in Krishna consciousness, it’s rather relieving situation.
Because one needs purification, that one feels in anxiety. Once you’re getting purified, then it’s already beyond that. Now there is… if you’re feeling anxiety because of so many attachments, that’s Krishna’s way of showing you, through His material energy, Maya, what are the obstacles standing between you and Him. So, by seeing those things, if one takes the proper attitude, and starts to follow the instructions of the spiritual master and surrender, and actually ta… feels humble and uh, feels uh, sorry or repentant that he’s done so many different things, that these, so many contaminations are there, and then in this way, allows the mind to become more intensely surrendered and cling to the lotus feet of Nitai-Gaura, then actually it brings one quicker to Krishna. But if one looks at those things with attachment, that, “Oh, what I am missing…” And feeling that pain, pain of separation from sense gratification, then of course, there’s going to be difficulty because the person is in illusion because… as still identifying with the body, rather than identifying with Krishna and one’s eternal self. One is misidentifying with the sense gratification of the body, therefore feeling anxiety. So, one has to adjust that mentality by chanting, and gradually by chanting one will be able to see that one is not this material body, but is a pure spirit soul.
[end of recording]
Transcribed by Jagannatha dasa Brahmacari