The following is a class given by His Holiness Jayapataka Swami Maharaja on October 28th, 1982 in Thailand. The class begins with a reading from the Srimad-Bhagavatam Canto 2, Chapter 1, Text 11.
Oh king constant chanting of the holy name of the Lord after the ways of the great authorities is the doubtless and fearless way of success for all including those who are free from all material desires. Those who are desirous of all material enjoyment and also those who are self-satisfied by dint of transcendental knowledge.
Translation with repetition:
Devotees: Oh king
Jayapataka Swami: constant chanting of the holyname of the Lord
Devotees: constant chanting of the holyname of the Lord
Jayapataka Swami: after the ways
Devotees: after the ways
Jayapataka Swami: of the great authorities
Devotees: of the great authorities
Jayapataka Swami: is the doubtless and fearless way
Devotees: is the doubtless and fearless way
Jayapataka Swami: of success for all
Devotees: of success for all
Jayapataka Swami: including those who are free
Devotees: including those who are free
Jayapataka Swami: from all material desires.
Devotees: from all material desires.
Jayapataka Swami: Those who are desirous
Devotees: Those who are desirous
Jayapataka Swami: of all material enjoyment
Devotees: of all material enjoyment
Jayapataka Swami: and also those who are self-satisfied
Devotees: and also those who are self-satisfied
Jayapataka Swami: satisfied by dint of transcendental knowledge.
Devotees: satisfied by dint of transcendental knowledge.
Purport by Srila Prabhupada:
In the previous verse, the great necessity for attaining attachment to Mukunda has been accredited. There are different types of persons who desire to attain success in different varieties of pursuits. Generally the persons are materialists who desire to enjoy the fullest extent of material gratification. Next to them are the transcendentalists, who have attained perfect knowledge about the way… about nature of material enjoyment and thus are aloof from such an illusory way of life. More or less, they are satisfied in themselves by self-realization. Above them are the devotees of the Lord, who are… who neither aspire to enjoy the material world nor desire to get out of it. They are after the satisfaction of the Lord, Śrī Kṛṣṇa. In other words, the devotees of the Lord do not want anything on their personal account. If the Lord desires, the devotees can accept all sorts of material facilities, and if the Lord does not desire this, the devotees can leave aside all sorts of facilities, even up to the limit of salvation. Nor are they self-satisfied, because they want the satisfaction of the Lord only. In this verse, Śrī Śukadeva Gosvāmī recommends the transcendental chanting of the holy name of the Lord. By offenseless chanting and hearing of the holy name of the Lord, one becomes acquainted with the transcendental form of the Lord, and then with the attributes of the Lord, and then with the transcendental nature of His pastimes, etc. Here it is mentioned that one should constantly chant the holy name of the Lord after hearing it from authorities. This means that hearing from the authorities is the first essential. Hearing of the holy name gradually promotes one to the stage of hearing about His form, about His attributes, His pastimes and so on, and thus the necessity of the chanting of His glories develops successfully… Excuse me. Succesively. This process is recommended not only for the successful execution of devotional service, but also even for those who are materially attached. According to Śrī Śukadeva Gosvāmī, this way of attaining success is an established fact, concluded not only by him, but also… for those who are already successful in their achievement as fruitive workers, as philosophers or as devotees of the Lord.
Śrīla Jīva Gosvāmī instructs that chanting of the holy name of the Lord should be loudly done, and it should be performed offenselessly as well, as recommended in the Padma Purāṇa. One can deliver himself from the effects of all sins by surrendering himself unto the Lord. One can deliver himself from all offenses at the feet of the Lord by taking shelter of His holy name. But one cannot protect himself if one commits an offense at the feet of the holy name of the Lord. Such offenses are mentioned in the Padma Purāṇa as being ten in number. The first offense is to vilify the great devotees who have preached about the glories of the Lord. The second offense is to see the holy names of the Lord in terms of worldly distinction. The Lord is the proprietor of all the universes, and therefore He may be known in different places by different names, but that does not in any way qualify the fullness of the Lord. Any nomenclature which is meant for the Supreme Lord is as holy as oth… as the others because they are all meant for the Lord. Such holy names are as powerful as the Lord, and there is no bar for anyone in any part of the creation to chant and glorify the Lord by the particular name of the Lord as it is locally understood. They are all auspicious, and one should not distinguish such names of the Lord as material commodities. The third offense is to neglect the orders of the authorized ācāryas or spiritual masters. The fourth offense is to vilify scriptures or Vedic knowledge. The fifth offense is to define the holy name of the Lord in terms of one's mundane calculation. The holy name of the Lord is identical with the Lord Himself, and one should understand the holy name of the Lord to be nondifferent from Him. The sixth offense is to interpret the holy name. The Lord is not imaginary, nor is His holy name. There are persons with a poor fund of knowledge who think the Lord to be an imagination of the worshiper and therefore think His holy name to be imaginary. Such a chanter of the name of the Lord cannot achieve the desired success in the matter of chanting the holy name. The seventh offense is to commit sins intentionally on the strength of the holy name. In the scriptures it is said that one can be liberated from the effects of all sinful actions simply by chanting the holy name of the Lord. One who takes advantage of this transcendental method and continues to commit sins on the expectation of neutralizing the effects of sins by chanting the holy name of the Lord is the greatest offender at the feet of the holy name. Such an offender cannot purify himself by any recommended method of purification. In other words, one may be a sinful man before chanting the holy name of the Lord, but after taking shelter in the holy name of the Lord and becoming immune, one should strictly restrain oneself from committing sinful acts with a hope that his method of chanting the holy name will give him protection. The eighth offense is to consider the holy name of the Lord and His chanting method to be equal to some material auspicious activity. There are various kinds of good works for material benefits, but the holy name and His chanting are not mere auspicious holy services. Undoubtedly the holy name is holy service, but He should never be utilized for such purposes. Since the holy name and the Lord are of one and the same identity, one should not try to bring the holy name into the service of mankind. The idea is that the Supreme Lord is the supreme enjoyer. He is no one's servant or order supplier. Similarly, since the holy name of the Lord is identical with the Lord, one should not try to utilize the holy name for one's personal service. The ninth offense is to instruct those who are not interested in chanting the holy name of the Lord about the transcendental nature of the holy name; if such instruction is imparted to an unwilling audience, the act is considered to be an offense at the feet of the holy name.”
It’s an unwilling audience. Sometimes the question came up that, “Well, we give lectures and maybe somebody’s not very faithful.” So Prabhupada said, “Well we advertise, and if they voluntarily come, we consider that they’re not envious.” And here it’s like an unwilling audience. Like sometimes, people they try to force it. Even they don’t want to hear, “turn or burn”.
Devotee: I was also thinking like to just make some offense when preaching (inaudible) Jayapataka Swami: It’s their responsi… they come. Still you have to know how to preach in such a way: kala, desa, patra.
“The tenth offense is to become uninterested in the holy name of the Lord even after hearing of the transcendental nature of the holy name. The effect of chanting the holy name of the Lord is perceived by the chanter as liberation from the conception of false egoism. False egoism is exhibited by thinking oneself to be the enjoyer of the world and thinking everything in the world to be meant for the enjoyment of one's self alone... Excuse me, one’s self only. The whole materialistic world is moving under such false egoism of "I" and "mine," but the factual effect of chanting the holy name is to become free from such misconceptions.”
Long Purport. So this is a very important verse. Here we see this that this chanting of
hare kṛṣṇa hare kṛṣṇa
kṛṣṇa kṛṣṇa hare hare
hare rāma hare rāma
rāma rāma hare hare
is a completely authorised process. It’s not that only Lord Caitanya Mahaprabhu presented this process Five hundred years ago. We find here that five thousand years ago in the Bhagavatam Sukadeva Goswami also is confirming the process, saying that the constant chanting of the holy name of the Lord is a doubtless and fearless way of success for all. You see, whether one is free from all material desires, whether one desires all material enjoyment, or whether one is self-satisfied, a yogi. Either for the devotees, for the materialists or for the yogis, chanting Hare Krishna is a perfect process recommended for all. So to get the maximum effect, it advises us here… the Bhagavatam has advised us here that we should avoid all the offences.
That we can commit an offence to the Lord, we can get forgiven from that offense by chanting Hare Krishna, but then we should avoid committing any offense to chanting Hare Krishna. Just like sometimes doctors go into plague areas and they try to help people who are suffering from epidemics. But then if… that’s like the last hope. But then if the people who are the plagued, if they kill the doctor then where is their hope, you see? This is the type of, they call biting the hand that feeds you.
Even the animals they learn not to bite the hand who feeds them. Even you can train wild tigers, lions and other animals to respect the person who feeds tem, as long as the person does not treat them badly, they generally speaking after according to certain training they will become trained. It’s only the human being even after all good instruction, still they are… it’s said that an envious man is worse than animal because you can hardly change him. So this enviousness is a very dangerous thing. It’s a very dangerous thing especially if we uh, commit offences to the holy name and the devotees who are preaching the holy name etc., these ten offences. Then where is our hope?
So that’s why that although the process is recommended for everyone, at the same time it is very hard to chant even the holy name without committing an offence. Chanting the holy name is the easiest process; at the same time because people are so fallen in the Kali-yuga, they can hardly chant without committing offences. Therefore, Lord Chaitanya Mahaprabhu, He has so kindly come because by His mercy a person can chant the holy name without committing any offence, or by chanting the Lord’s name
Before chanting Hare Krishna and the Lord, He is so kind that He does not… He reduces the effect of offences, making it possible for people in the Kali-yuga to chant the holy name in an offenceless way by His mercy. Therefore, practically speaking although this chanting was recommended throughout the ages, it’s not possible for people to chant in this age Hare Krishna without the mercy of Lord Chaitanya Mahaprabhu. Even if they chant it may take them thousands of births to reach Krishna if they go on committing offences.
If they can chant without offence, immediately you can reach Krishna. Even one Hare Krishna if you can chant without any offence, but our nature is so offensive that is very difficult for some… for most of us. So therefore we take the mercy of Lord Caitanya Mahaprabhu, and by His mercy, you see, because His mood is so merciful that He does not take any offence. That’s why Lord… that’s why Srila Prabhupada, he recommended that even in Africa where the people are committing so many offences, drinking cow’s blood with milk, you know crazy things. He said to Brahmananda Swami it’s more important they chant Sri Krishna Chaitanya than even Hare Krishna. Because by the mercy of Lord Chaitanya then they can get purified from these offences.
Once you chant Hare Krishna you continue committing offences, then the effect becomes neutralized in a certain way. You don’t get the full effect, you see. Therefore one needs the mercy of Lord Chaitanya Mahaprabhu. Not that there are certain types of bogus sampradayas that they think that “Well Because Chaitanya Mahaprabhu’s so mercy…” something like the Christians, who say, “Because Jesus died for our blood, so… for our sins, now we can go on committing sin.”
There’s Christian philosophies that say “We are so fallen that we can never become pure so just try to do good as you can and live a material life and remember Jesus, and that’s enough.” which in itself isn't the worst instruction but it’s not… It just is a type of cop out, where people then, they don't even try to become pure, you see. So the point is that one has to be sincere. One should try to come up to the platform, but Lord Chaitanya is so merciful that even if you are not up to yet, still He accepts your service because of your desire.
Not that you have no desire. You just chant Lord Chaitanya’s name, Krishna’s name and you don’t have any desire to reach Krishna, you are going to reach Him, immediately. Your reaching Krishna will be delayed. It will be delayed, but if you have a desire, even if you are fallen, even if you’re unqualified, even if you have so many offences, you have a desire and you try, you see, even you are not capable but you try, and you chant Lord Chaitanya’s name, and Krishna’s name, then, you see… Even you tried but you are not up to the standard… just with the Krishna’s name, until you come up to the pure standard you don’t get credit. But with Lord Chaitanya, if you’re trying, even you are not pure, still you get the credit, just by your endeavor, by your attempt. Of course that may be the less than what the materialists want, “Without any endeavor at all we can get.” Practically without endeavor because the endeavor is very little, still some attempt has to be there.
Of cource the other thing is Lord Chaitanya Mahaprabhu and Srila Prabhupada they have presented Krishna consciousness to the world so nicely, that practically speaking it’s like a cultural festival, you see. You don’t have to desire anything with difficult. At least you chant Hare Krishna, you take Krishna Prasadam, you associate with devotees. In this way just by association, by hearing the Bhagavatam every day, bhagavata nityam… nityam bhagavata sevaya, then automatically a person’s consciousness becomes purified.
There are two processes one is called the pancaratrika-vidhi and the other is called Bhagavata-vidhi. Bhagavata-vidhi means daily chanting the holy name of the Lord and hearing the Bhagavatam. Pancaratrika-vidhi means mangal-aratis, pujas things like that. Doing all the worship, formal worship. So one has to do one or the other or both. It’s recommended that both is best. To do basic pancaratrika and basic Bhagavata-vidhi. But if you don’t do either, then where is the spiritual life, you see? It has to have at least one or the other, if not both.
So pancharatrika-vidhi is not strong enough in this age to purify anyone completely. It can help something. But just to do the worship without chanting Hare Krishna and hearing the Bhagavatam will be very slow because of these offences. This chanting can get rid of all the other offences easily, you see. And we are bound to make offences in worship. Someone says “Why not just do chanting and Bhagavatam? Why do any worship?”
The thing is that by nature we are impersonalists in many ways and we’re materialists so to train us, as it’s said in the end here, to get rid out of our false egoism that “I am this body, that I am the owner of everything, that I am the proprietor.” It is very beneficial for us to bow down before the Deity of Krishna to witness to the arati of Krishna, to worship Krishna in a formal way. This helps to train our mind to have at particular time every day, a type of Deity worship, because our mind’s nature is to always gradually get a little more and more independence and drag us into sense gratification.
So if we are already in the level that we have a taste for chanting and hearing of Bhagavatam and so simply hearing the Bhagavatam and chanting our mind is completely absorbed in spiritual uh, Krishna Consciousness, if that’s enough, then even without the formal worship, we can go on. But in the beginning stages when we don’t have a spontaneous attraction for hearing and chanting, to that full extent so that the form of worship is also very beneficial. And even advanced devotees to show example, they also perform this formal worship, and they also… it’s not that there is not transcendental benefit or relishment there. There’s also transcendental benefit there but an advanced devotee not only experiences it in the worship, but in all his service to the spiritual master.
So it’s important that we have regular programs of Deity worship, chanting Hare Krishna and… Simply deity worship without the chanting won’t be successful because of all the offences we commit. So especially we should base everything around without fail having daily Bhagavatam classes, Gita classes and chanting Hare Krishna.
Srila Prabhupada in America, when he came daily he would give Bhagavatam class, Gita class. If not daily, at least three days in a week he would give. And the devotees said sometimes that they would come by when they were just karmis, you know, they’d look in the window and they would see Prabhupada sitting alone with the Bhagavatam, or with the Gita, giving a lecture. And they’d look, and there’d be no one else in the room. Only Prabhupada alone. Did not… one… They didn’t see anyone. But he is giving a lecture… as if… he’s speaking, shouting as if the whole room is filled. And looking, “What’s going on?”
So then they were attracted. So then they came in, sat down, you see. If Prabhupada… “Well if there’s nobody is here, so no class tonight.” So then who would come? Whether they came or not, he gave a class. And slowly… gradually, people walking by advertised, then they started to come, and just by association, by taking Krishna prasadam, by hearing the class, they started to realize that they’re not the body, you see.
It’s practically impossible to preach pure Krishna Consciousness anywhere in the world today. If you want to look at it logically because everyone in this world either a person’s a Christian, a Muslim, a Hindu who believes in one sect or or other sect or a Buddhist or a atheist or Communist or something. Basically speaking, it’s impo… you can take it just from a logical way, how’s it possible to preach Krishna Consciousness anywhere? You see, how could Prabhupada go to the West? This is what logically all the great so-called the spiritual masters of India told Prabhupada that “You’re wasting your time trying to preach God consciousness to the Westerners and other people around the wold, this is only for the Indians. You can’t preach there where they have their own religion and own culture.”
But the first thing Prabhupada did when he came to the West is told people “You’re not this body.” When they could understand that they are not the body, they’re not an American, they’re not a German, they’re not an Englishman, they’re not a Japanese or a Chinese, or a Thai, whatever, then they could… they… as soon as they understand that basic thing, that they are going through so many births, so just because born in a particular country, why should they identified with that culture? There’s no more value to identifying with that culture you’re born in than the previous birth you were in another culture, so they can start to see in a more broad way. So then the next stage is to give them the factual understanding of what is the universe, who are they.
Basically… here in Thailand of course, in name people are Buddhist but in practicality just like anywhere else people are ma… absorbed in their ordinary material activity. They don’t know much about philosophy, they don’t know much about what is the purpose of life? Some people may know something about the temporary nature of this world here, because there are so many monks or something, to what extent, it’s hard to say. How many actually know or really believe in the temporary nature of this world, and are trying to get out of it?
So there are purports in the Bhagavatam you can find out where Prabhupada describes… I was just reading, just within the past month we read some purports. I think it was in the second canto also. Maybe it was on another canto… where it was describing about the Mahat-tattva and how one can realize this Mahat-tattva? Maybe it was Prithu Maharaj went through his disintegration and he realizes the Mahat-tattva from there. Either there or second canto, I believe. And describes that how when you disin… dissolve the material ego, that everything is gone except before the material ego and you are identifying with the material energy: the pradhana, the Mahat-tattva, that is the nature of Nirvana, you see the material nirvana. Then you go from there and you cross the Viraja, and then you come into the spiritual Brahma-jyoti. Then you actually get rid of your material ego and then you develop your spiritual identification. But only those who know about the Supreme Personality of Godhead and about the perso… about the spiritual planets, they can go on to the spiritual world.
So Srila Prabhupada advised that preachers in Japan, other places that the only way that ultimately you can transcend impersonalism is when people understand the transcendental rasas of the spir… of the spiritual world, when they can understand the transcendental rasa existing in spiritual quality, then they can transcend impersonalism. Unless they can realise the spiritual nature of these transcendental relationships, they cannot transcend impersonalism, you see. But Lord Chaitanya is so kind that someone just chant Sri Krishna Chaitanya, Hare Krishna, takes Krishna-prasadam before they know it, they’re already experiencing some spiritual bliss which gives them already a foothold. You can talk about spiritual rasas till you’re blue in the face, but if a person already tastes a little bit of spiritual happiness, just even a drop, that is worth more than so much discussion, you see.
So, simply we have to have people who are a little bit uh, open to listen. Come, hear the Bhagavatam, chant Hare Krishna, take prasadam. Doesn’t have to be at all a hard sell. Very soft, just by association, by preaching, by taking prasada, by being dealt… friendly, in a very friendly way by the devotees and gradually more and more, they’ll just start to open up and experience transcendental ecstasies in devotional service, rasa in devotional service and then uh, when they experience that, they realize.
Just that Sukadeva Goswami was a Brahman realized and he… when he started hearing about Krishna, he forget everything and became a Krishna devotee. What happiness people have in this world? Everybody wants happiness. When they start to taste even a drop of that ecstasy by the mercy of Nitai-Gaura, doesn’t matter what they were, what they thought. They forget about everything. They become mad like all of us, just to get a little bit of a taste of Krishna consciousness, you see.
So this is the point, and we have to provide a program and now it seems think that Krishna is giving us, that people can come regularly, hear about Krishna, taste Krishna-prasadam and uh, chant Hare Krishna. Whether it’s in the medium of English classes and German classes or yoga classes or just our regular program where we invite people. Srila Rameswara Swami encouraging that they print… what they’ve already printed in Hong Kong, those invitation cards for the Sunday Program. This still haven’t got it together in Japan, but people are coming through giving out books and other ways they come. But just if people come, that’s the basis all over the world. They come and start to take prasada and listen. They develop more and more friends. First all we need books bhaktas, you see. Then after that, you can develop further into other programs.
I am sure that in future people we’ll find that actually preaching outside of Bangkok, will be uh, a big uh… a big success, that people will become very attracted just to see the Krishna Conscious cinemas, if you get some Thai song-tracks and take some prasadam. Even if we have very simple things. Even the philosophy of Buddha… I was made completely detached from material life just by hearing the life of Buddha.
The first time I heard that I completely lost all the desire for university. I lost all desire for material life, just when I heard the story of Buddha. Immediately, I wanted to search out what was the real purpose of life. Everything I was doing I completely lost taste, not that that alone gave me a taste, but at least completely made me frustrated, that whatever I was doing I was completely hopeless just because “Yes, just like Buddha… Everyone gets old, we’re going to die, again rebirth. Everything is simply a waste of time.” Of course then until I found Srila Prabhupada, I didn’t have any peace, so even many of the things that Buddha taught, at least up to the point of detachment, there’s no harm in using those to preach to people, but we have to be careful because just as Prabhupada avoided us preaching from the Bible because then people point out in the Bible, that “Well, Krishna…” “Jesus didn’t say this. He didn’t say that. He didn’t say this. Then you get into a whole argument over the Bible so some… there, he said just better not even to refer to the Bible at all.
So we have to say… I don’t know exactly that… to what extent Buddha’s teaching are going to also provide us that same kind of difficulty. Although as far as I understand, he didn't really negate anything. He did not say that there wasn’t a God, he didn’t say there wasn’t anything. He said, “Don’t ask those things. When you get up to that stage, then you'll know.” And he did say reincarnation, he did say karma, he did say everything that we say, except he just… when it came up to a Supreme Godhead, or a spiritual world, he just said, “Why are you asking now? You haven’t even got up to the stage yet. So just get up to the… first to that stage, then you think about if there’s any, whatever. Don’t ask these stupid questions. You don’t even know about the first stage and you are asking about tenth stage.” Something like… whatever. In his own way, he just put them off.
So the main thing that, when we always preach to Christians, they always argue, “Well what about reincarnation? What about this? What about…” They don’t believe in karma. They don’t believe in reincarnation. They say “It doesn’t say it in the Bible.” We give some quotes they give some counter-quotes. It becomes a whole ugly scene. But I don’t know. I don’t see that we may even find that type of obstacle because the teachings of Buddhism are perfectly in line up to a certain stage, just that they leave off at impersonalism and we go on. So to presented that in such a way that they are not offended. At least though, that they can relate with it. In any case, there are so many Christians here, so many other groups are here, beginning Governmental support.
Nowadays, in South America we registered there as a society and the Roman Catholics came down against us. That, “You’re a society, but you’re doing religious work. You’re doing this, you are doing that.” So we had some friends in the Government. So what we did now is, we re-registered again as a church. And because they are Roman Catholic have… made the laws protecting churches so strong, but they never made a sectarian rule that only Catholic Church, so because now we are registered as the Hare Krishna Church, we enjoy tremendous Government aid, so mu… just like the Catholics do, we get all the benefits.
And before we could uh… before they could uh. They warned us. Kind of… people came and said… and they tried to do something against the society, then immediately we hired the best lawyer and we got registered as a Church. So then everything was alright now. Just in Bolivia there was a little problem. So that way, we also have to see to our financial base. You have to see to the legal aspect, how to register the society properly, naturally. But our main program is just this principle: That chant Hare Krishna, hear the Bhagavatam every day and then take some Krishna-prasada. And then if we can get them to bow down to Krishna, if we can get them to identify more and more with Krishna consciousness in anyway, either through material desire or whether they’re yogis or whether they are detached… whether they’re detached yogis or monks or whether they’re materially desirous people, like our Chinese businessman or whether they’re devotees who are actually attracted to worship to Krishna, whatever they may be, this chanting is universal for all.
hare kṛṣṇa hare kṛṣṇa
kṛṣṇa kṛṣṇa hare hare
hare rāma hare rāma
rāma rāma hare hare
And we have to have faith that Srila Prabhupada will help us in continuing, and therefore more we can expose the fallen souls to this medicine, then we’ll see the effects on them. They’ll be no results until we… people regularly hear the Bhagavatam, and hear the chanting and take Krishna-prasada. When that arrangement is there that people can regularly hear and chant and take Krishna-prasadam, associate with devotees in a favorable way. Then automatically you will see the results. It’s so strong that Kali cannot resist it, you see. You have to have faith in that process. Simply by chanting and hearing Bhagavatam and Krishna’s name, everything will be successful.
Transcribed by Diptimoyi Radha Devi Dasi
Revised by Jagannatha dasa Brahmacari