The following is a lecture given by His Holiness, Jayapataka Swami on November 15th, 1982, at Nepal. The class begins with a reading from the Srimad-Bhagavatam, 3d Canto, Chapter 15, Verse 19.
Jayapataka Swami: … like the mandara, kunda, kurabaka, utpala, campaka, arna, punnaga, nagakesara, bakula, lily and parijata are full of transcendental fragrance, they are still conscious of the austerities performed by tulasi, for tulasi is given special preference by the Lord, who garlands Himself with tulasi leaves.
“The importance of tulasi leaves is very clearly mentioned here. Tulasi plants and their leaves are very important in devotional service. Devotees are recommended to water the tulasi tree every day and collect the leaves to worship the Lord. One time an atheistic svami remarked, "What is the use of watering the tulasi plant? It is better to water eggplant. By watering the eggplant one can get some fruits, but what is the use of watering the tulasi?" These foolish creatures…
Note Prabhupada doesn’t say human being, only creatures, (devotees laughing)
… unacquainted with devotional service, sometimes play havoc with the education of people in general.”
(Aside in Bengali: aste, aste, aste)
“The most important thing about the spiritual world is that there is no envy among the devotees there. This is true even among the flowers, which are all conscious of the greatness of tulasi. In the Vaikuntha world entered by the four Kumaras, even the birds and flowers are conscious of service to the Lord.”
Thus end the Purport of Text 19, Chapter 15, Canto 3.
mukam karoti vacalam
pangum langhayate girim
yat-krpa tam aham vande
Bhaktivedanta Purports of the Srimad-Bhagavatam in the matter of the Description of the Kingdom of God.
So, we are all members of the International Society for…
Devotees: Krishna Consciousness.
Jayapataka Swami: Krishna Consciousness. That means we are to be conscious of Krishna. So, in the spiritual world, even the birds and the flowers are conscious of service to the Lord, you see. But, here, in the society for Krishna consciousness, we must also be conscious of service to the Lord. Thi… actually the purpose for being here is to become conscious of serving the Lord. When even the plants and the flowers in the spiritual world are conscious, you see, we can understand that this conscious of Krishna is not something material. It is something completely spiritual, and it is something which we must achieve if we want to actually get to Krishna, if we want to actually become situated in our original natural condition of eternal happiness and bliss… excuse me, eternal knowledge and bliss.
So remember so many times Srila Prabhupada, he was instructing different devotees on practical aspects of Krishna consciousness, and simply due to being unconscious, due to not being conscious of service to Krishna, they would mess up the service. They would make it a uh, complete failure.
So, we can understand that the activities that a devotee does during the day, whether it’s sweeping the floor, or whether its uh, cooking or whether its preaching, is not to be done just mechanically, but it’s supposed to be done with full consciousness of the service to the Lord. When we’re sweeping, we’re thinking how to do our service properly. How to get every last piece of dirt because we want to please the Lord. Not that we’re, “Oh, this service is not important. Let me just do this service very quickly and…” uh, we’re thinking of something else. No. Everything we’re doing, we should be fully conscious of the service to Krishna, you see. How, we are directly trying to please guru and Krishna.
The plants, they’re conscious that, “Oh, Tulasi-devi is a greater devotee. She’s got more favor from Krishna.” In material world, if someone is greater, then everyone wants to reduce that person’s power, wants to pull it down, you see. This is the nature of the material world. Nobody can tolerate someone being greater, but in the spiritual world, there’s not a tinge of envy. They’re conscious that, “Oh, Tulasi-devi has done greater austerity. She has greater qualities, therefore the Lord is preferring her.” They’re not envious. They’re trying to do their service to Krishna. If someone is doing better, they’re learning from that. Similarly, the International Society for Krishna Consciousness,… the only way that we can achieve full success is by also completely eradicating every last tinge of envy from the Society, because envy is something which does not exist in the spiritual world. So, therefore, in a spiritual society, there must also be no envy.
Envy taking shape… any form of intolerance about another devotee achieving some more recognition, or better type of uh, ability to serve is not to be the cause of envy, rather it should be the cause of adoration, or the cause of so many favorable sentiments. You see, envy is something which is completely the opposite of all spiritual sentiments. Just like you can engage everything, kama, lust, you can engage in the service of Krishna. Krodha, greed, sometimes people are very greedy to get all type of things for Krishna’s service. Uh, kama, krodha, lobha… krodha rather is anger. Sometimes uh, Hanuman was angry to see Sita was being offended, you see. Sometimes, even in Dvaraka, there’s some anger, Satyabhama became angry but that was uh, how to satisfy the Lord, better. So, this way, there are different moods in devotional service, but… and they can all be engaged in the service of the Lord. But, this particular thing, envy, to bring the other person down, that is not a desired, because that uh, how will that please Krishna? Rather, how to please Krishna more through service, that is the practical idea. If someone is able to please Krishna more, you know that uh, Krishna appreciates anyone who appreciates His devotee… so by appreciating that devotee, you’re serving Krishna. How is it a service to envy someone?
So, here we see that uh, the most important thing about the spiritual world is that there is no envy among the devotees there, right from the flowers, up to the very uh, gopis and other devotees. Even Radharani, we can understand that she is very eager to serve Krishna. Even she will bring any other uh, gopi to Krishna. She’s not uh, anxious to only take Krishna for herself. Whatever will please Krishna, more. Anyway, these topics are very exalted topics, but we should understand that in the spiritual world, there is nothing to do with the material viewpoint.
Material viewpoint is something altogether different. There, one is conscious of the bodily needs. One is conscious of the mental needs. One is conscious of everything except serving Krishna. Bhaktisiddhanta Sarasvati Thakura said that in this material world, there’s nothing missing. Everything is there for our sense gratification, you see, but the real thing that’s missing is service to Krishna. So, when people are conscious that, “Yes, I should serve Krishna.”, if you say serve Krishna, the atheists will say, “Why serve Krishna? Who is Krishna? How do I know there’s Krishna? Why should I serve Krishna? What will I get out of servin...” There’s so many questions they’ll bring up because they don’t have any understanding of who they are. They have no understanding who is Krishna. They have no consciousness about the importance and the necessity of serving Krishna. That’s why they’re rascals, you see. That’s why they’re most unfortunate.
So, this human society is being misdirected by such so-called… by such rascals in the dress of uh, of saintly people, just to destroy any consciousness they have of service to Krishna, and the devotees, what they institute immediately is consciousness of service to Krishna. Everyone should be conscious that we should serve Krishna, you see. Because this consciousness of serving Krishna is so powerful, even if contemporary religions, their consciousness of serving God is not so strong as the consciousness of God supplying the needs to us. “Oh Father who art in Heaven, Hallowed be Thy Name… Give us this day, our daily bread.” Give us what we want. Or like in Durga-puja dhanam-deya, pratistha-deya, sriyam-deya, pujam-deya, give me money, give me wealth, give me power, give me beauty, give me give… the consciousness of “give me, serve me, God. Serve me, God. Serve me with this. Serve me with that. Serve me with this. Serve me with that.” You see, we want God to serve us. That’s ordinary religion, but here, this Bhagavatam is a completely different creation.
Here, the jiva understands, “I am Kr… simply Krishna das. Jivera svarupa haya, nitya krsna das. I am the eternal servant to Krishna. gopi-bhartuh pada-kamalayor dasa-dasanudasah, and to serve Krishna, that is the culmination, that is the apex of spiritual realization. This is what we should be hankering for, to simply serve Krishna because serving Krishna itself is the most intimate and the most confidential realization which includes everything else. If you serve Krishna, you’re so close to Krishna, that you can see everything from the highest transcendental viewpoint, you see. You want to see what’s going on in the kingdom. No one knows better than… of all the background things that are controlling the kingdom, than the king himself because he’s got his spies, he’s got his intelligence going… the common man. He’s got his people in the government. He’s got people, everywhere. His management ability, if he’s a… if he’s a well-placed king is going to be all-pervasive. So, anyone close to him also will have the very good perpective on what is actually happening, you see, and everyone knows that that’s the most powerful position. So, similarly, to be the servant of Krishna, that is the most exalted position. It’s not an ordinary thing, you see.
So, anyone who’s intelligent, they know there’s no use in envying the trusted person of the Lord, because if you do that, simply it means that you are untrustworthy, that you are not qualified to come into the intimate circle. That means you must have some ulterior motive. Because a truly trusted person is only going to act on the interest of the Lord, and you want some other interest, therefore, you are… you are angry at him. If your interest is also the Lords, you are very happy that, “Oh, such a good person is serving the Lord. Now, finally uh, some uh, nice service can be done to the Lord.” Because interest is one. Therefore, you also become admitted. “Alright. You’re also in… in the intimate circle.” So, this service to Krishna is actually the most confidential secret.
It’s not even revealed in most of the religions of the world. It’s only hinted at that we should love God. What does love mean? To render Him service, you see. Rendering service is so important. So, what service we can offer God? What service we can offer of course, he has everything. But, He’s so kind that although He has everything, He accepts even a simple offering from His devotee.
We can begin by offering a tulasi leaf in a glass of water. Uh, patram, puspam. Patram means, what? That’s the leaf. The leaf is tulasi leaf. Uh, toyam. You offer tulasi leaf in water, and the Lord, He will accept that. (coughs) Patram puspam phalam toyam, these simple things, the first thing, patram, that leaf, that’s a tulasi leaf. If we offer that to Krishna, we can please Him, if we offer with devotion. That’s Krishna’s magnanimity.
That’s His greatness, that although He’s in the most exalted position… He has nothing to fear. He cannot be impeached. He cannot be dethroned. He cannot be in any way challenged. If someone wants to oppose Him, He just puts him in the material world and lets him fight with His material energy. There’s no… there’s no problem for Him. He could stay aloof. He is aloof, at the same time, He not in a condescending mood, but in a mood of uh, love and reciprocation, He agrees to accept the offering of His devotees. You see, that’s what Krishna’s so wonderful. When one hears about the wonderful qualities of Krishna, then naturally, one wants to serve such a great person. Everyone wants to serve such a great person except for the demons and atheists and the envious people who want themselves to be glorified and want to serve themselves and who have all type of misconceptions about the truth. So, therefore, we preach Bhagavad-gita, Srimad-Bhagavatam.
We educate the people, what is real knowledge, because if they actually understand who they are, if they have real knowledge, then they can give up this false position. They can give up their envious position. Caitanya Mahaprabhu has given us a simple process of serving, beginning from chanting and hearing. That chanting and hearing… by chanting the Hare Krishna Mahamantra:
Hare Krishna Hare Krishna
Krishna Krishna Hare Hare/
Hare Rama Hare Rama
Rama Rama Hare Hare
It’s very easy to develop, I mean… to develop our spontaneous awakening into Krishna consciousness. Here we see that in the spiritual world, everyone is already awakened, that even the flowers, they are conscious. The birds are conscious. Everyone is conscious.
In the material world, everyone is unconscious of their relationship with the Lord. They’re very conscious about… or maybe depending on their gun… the gunas or qualities of nature, they’re relatively more conscious, or less conscious, and their consciousness is diverted either mode of goodness to helping others, to magnamy… magnanimity, peace truthfulness, cleanliness, they’re very conscious of being clean. They may be very conscious of telling the truth. They may be very conscious of being religious. They may be very conscious of things like that. That’s all in the mode of goodness.
And a person on the mode of passion is very conscious of getting his profit. Very conscious of getting the pleasure, and the things that he wants. That that person wants out of every situation. Out of accumulating more and more. Out of defeating any enemies. These are all in the mode of passion.
And the mode of ignorance, there, one is very unconscious, or the consciousness is diverted into uh, frivolous things. Into… uh, into uh, intoxication, into uh, sleep, into uh, madness, but even in all these three of these three, naturally the mode of goodness is uh, more elevated, but even there, it’s not that nece… necessarily there is consciousness of service to the Lord. That is why even the material mode of goodness is not good enough to take one to the spiritual world.
Therefore, whether one is relatively good passionate or ignorant, the necessity of awakening the original consciousness of our relationship with the Lord, of our service with the Lord, is essential. So, because Lord Caitanya’s movement is purely on this transcendental platform, therefore He can awaken anyone, whether they’re in the mode of goodness, passion or ignorance.
Normal Varnasrama understanding, this uh, hindu understanding because they don’t know about the service to the Lord, they’re not conscious, therefore they think that, “Well whatever quality a person is born in, because they see that it normally stays… staying the same…” say, “That’s a fixed thing.” They have this very rigid conception of the caste system.
Of course, even in material life, it is seen that uh, some uh, ksatriya, some kingly people like uh, Visvamitra, he was born as a… as a administrator, he was born as a… in a… in the caste of ksatriyas. Ksatriya mean the warrior caste, but he wanted to become a Brahmana. He wanted to become a sage, a rsi, so he did great tapasya, and by doing tapasya, he was gradually elevated up to the platform of being a Brahmana. Then, he became… from a Brahmana, he became a rsi. Then he became a maha-rsi. Then he became a brahmarsi. So, finally when he achieved the stage of brahmarsi, and he was able to control matter with his mystic powers, (he was able to do amazing things, he had previous birth recollection, he could see the future, so many things he achieved by being a brahmarsi, could travel to different planets, he could create things, he had all the mystic powers.), at that time, Vasistha, who was the guru of Ramacandra, who was, right from the beginning, he was born a Brahmana, and there was always some… he was a brahmarsi… before that, there was some rivalry because Visvamitra was… wanted to prove himself that he was as good as Vasistha, but he had never come up to that level of being a brahmarsi. He was always on the lower stage, so finally, when he got the blessing from brahma, to become a brahmarsi, then Vasistha congratulated him that, “Yes. Alright, so you’re a brahmarsi, but this is not the top.” Said, “What?! I’m a rsi! I’m the top!” Says, “No. I’m also a brahmarsi. I know. Now you have finally become a brahmarsi. I can see that you’ve achieved that level of consciousness. You’ve achieved that power, but we are not the top level. Top… One far far greater than us are the pure servitors of the Lord, of Visnu, of Krishna. Because even we’re brahmarsis, still our power is within this material world, and their power goes beyond into the spiritual dimension.”
Visvamitra was, he was taken a… taken aback by that. He didn’t understand how its… “I’d worked all along to become a brahmarsi. Now there’s something greater than that?”, you see. That’s also mentioned that when one achieves even the brahman realization, from there, you can go into spiritual, into actual pure devotional service.
na socati na kanksati
samah sarvesu bhutesu
mad-bhaktim labhate param
After realizing brahman, then it’s possible for them to… going to pure devotional service. So, normally, a person would go through all the different yogas, would achieve full realization, become completely freed from all sinful reactions, become elevated to the spiritual platform, and then, from that platform, could enter actually to serve the Lord. Because how can one serve the Lord, unless one is completely pure?
So, this is the special facility that Caitanya Mahaprabhu has… has given and that Krishna Himself gave to some extent when He was there, that if one directly surrenders to the Lord, even though one hasn’t gone through all those other step by step by step by step, austerities and penances to come up to the level of liberation, that simply by surrendering unto the Lord, one can achieve that uh, level of devotional service, and if surrendering unto the Lord is difficult, that Lord Caitanya has made very easy that even without surrendering, if you chant Hare Krishna, because Krishna’s name is so sweet, as I mentioned yesterday, that one gradually develops a taste for that chanting, starts to relish it, and by relishing Krishna, the desire to go to Krishna and to serve Krishna in… finds its place in the heart.
It’s already there, it’s uncovered and then it’s very easy for one to come up to the perfectional platform. So, in the spiritual world, everyone is conscious of their service to the Lord, and in the material world, we lack that consciousness. So, the uncovering of that original consciousness, where we see that uh, the perfection of life is to be in the service of the Lord, that has to be awakened. In the Vaikuntha-lokas, they are… this taste for serving the Lord is so strong, not only amongst the flowers and amongst the bees and amongst birds and amongst all the other residents, even there, the humans, no one’s… no one is a human, per se, but those having the humanlike form, the original form from which the human being form are made, the residents of the Vaikuntha-lokas, even they’re there, husband and wife are together, even they’re engaging in… their service to Krishna is so relishable… The service to Narayana is so ecstatic that even there, there’s hugging or kissing that the desire to have uh, sex never even comes in the heart. They’re already so satisfied that that desire is not at all existing, and all the concomitant difficulties that come from what we see in the material world as a gross sex-life, that is not even there.
Therefore, there’s no need for birth, and there’s no material sex-life means there’s no birth. No birth means there’s no death. Everyone is existing eternally, in transcendental full knowledge and bliss. So, of course these things are very difficult for understanding, but everything is there in the spiritual world, but it’s there in a perfect form.
So, for the purpose of creating a material world, so that those souls who are fallen from the spiritual world, so, so many facilities have been given to ensure that uh, there is a future generations so more souls that are coming can get a place to ensure that uh, things are maintained just like for eating, if we didn’t… food didn’t taste good, why would we eat? Poison, generally speaking doesn’t taste good. Things that are rotten, bad, they don’t taste good. Things that are very juicy, very healthy for us, they taste good. So, in this way, we uh, eat because maybe… an ordinary person is eating because it tastes good, but actually we need to eat for our body.
It’s essential, so it just happens that nature has… Krishna has arranged things so nicely that good things also taste good. Ordinary people, they’ll eat because it gives sense gratification, but that also maintain the body, otherwise how people will uh, maintain? When we feel pain, just like we cut ourselves, it hurts. If we didn’t feel that pain, just like there’s a certain, bleeders, what do you call ‘em? Bluebloods or something?
Jayapataka Swami: Hemophiliac, they cut themselves, they don’t know it. They’ll be walking along, they’ll be bleeding to death. They don’t feel pain. Their nervous system has that defect. So when they cut themselves, if they don’t see… if someone doesn’t tell them, or if they don’t see the actual blood coming, they can just die, just by bleeding .
They won’t know. So, it’s essential that we also feel pain. If we don’t feel pain, how will we know that uh, would… something is amiss in our body. Just like the uh, big jumbo jets, when they’re taking off, they have all so many emergency systems. Little lights go on and off, and then there’s something, just we’re going to take off, and uh, the plane took off and then uh, the pilot uh, was told that “Your cargo door is open.” So, then they had to dump all the fuel, and then circle around and land, because the cargo door was open, they couldn’t go across the Atlantic, because one little switch in the plane didn’t record… didn’t work, it became defective, so like that, in our body, we have so many psychic, so many mental, so many physical warning systems and uh, if we’re conscious of those, the best warning system is ultimately the Supersoul in our heart. He tells us.
That’s known to… sometimes it’s called as the conscience, tells us when we should do something. He tells when we shouldn’t do something, but we’re not tuned into the Supersoul in conditional life. So, even though, He may tell us, “Do this. Don’t do that. It’s for your welfare.” We’ll do it, anyway. Against the advice, or we won’t do it even though we’re advised to due to leth… laziness, due to lethargy, due to attachment, due to envy, that’s why in material life, one has to have a spiritual master, because by the guidance of a spiritual master, he’s confirming what we’re already hearing from within.
When one first hears from the spiritual master, it won’t be that what he’s speaking is completely new. But it’ll be almost as if we’d heard these things as some intrinsent truth that we can understand very easily, and we get even a confirmation from inside that, “Yes, this makes sense.”, you see. Because the Supersoul and the guru, the spiritual master are non-different. The Supersoul is working from within as caitya-guru, or the guru uh, of the conscience, of the consciousness, and the spiritual master is working from outside to give guidance.
So, the two are to be considered as one, although of course the guru is in the mood as servant of Krishna, and in fact he is the servant of Krishna, but for the disciple, they see that directly Krishna is helping me in the form of guru, so from within and without, then the uh, candidate for liberation is guided until full consciousness of service of Krishna is developed. At that time, then the relationship with the spiritual master is there, but then it becomes much more of… on a friendly level. While before that, it is more on a formal service, reverential level. In the spiritual sky, then even the spiritual master is uh, introducing one into the direct services of Krishna, which are not possible until one is completely free from all material conceptions.
So, here the four Kumaras they are already brahman-realized. They’ve already realized the uh, absolute truth in the impersonal form. This is beyond the conception of nirvana. This is going that… they can see their soul and they can see the spiritual light of which the soul is a part, but they have no direct realization of Krishna yet. So, they had the desire to go and see the Vaikuntha worlds. So, they went from the light and they went to the Vaikuntha planet, and now they’re going into the Vaikuntha planet, and this is what they’re seeing. They’re seeing that even the flowers, they’re all conscious. That they’re conscious entities. The flowers, they’re seeing how the flowers are conscious, and they can see that how the flowers themselves are respecting the tulasi plant as a more elevated amongst them and that they’re… how they’re engaging in service.
They’re seeing that the king of bees hums in a high pitch. They sing the glories of the Lord, and there is a temporary lull in the noise of the pigeon, the cuckoo, the crane, the cakravaka, the swan, the parrot, the partridge and the peacock. Such transcendental birds stop their own singing simply to hear the glories of the Lord, while one’s singing. The others stop to listen, “Oh, what is that bird’s glorification?” In other words, here, maybe the birds are just singing some song, but there, the birds, they know the language. They’re actually singing the glories of the Lord, and so, if one… here again, there’s no envy. One bird is singing, “Alright”, others will listen. Then when he stops, another one. All singing the glories of the Lord. These are the descriptions. When the kumaras came, for the first time, into the Vaikuntha planets, they were singing.
“In the Vaikuntha planets the inhabitants fly in their airplanes, accompanied by their wives and consorts, and eternally sing of the character and activities of the Lord, which are always devoid of all inauspicious qualities. While singing the glories of the Lord, they deride even the presence of the blossoming madhavi flowers, which are fragrant and laden with honey.”
Vaimanikah, flying in the airplanes. So, this is Sanksrit. Vaimanikah, it’s written over 5,000 years ago. It’s not uh, science-fiction, you see. Maybe they though that uh, who was it, Frank Lloyd Wright, or whoever, was the first one to invent, or fly or someone… Who was the first one?
Devotee: Wilbert and Orrville Wright
Jayapataka Swami: Orville Wright, and then Frank Lloyd Wright’s the one that flew across.
Devotee: No, Frank Lloyd Wright’s a architect, from Wisconsin.
Jayapataka Swami: Oh, who’s the one who flew across the…
Jayapataka Swami: Lindberg, Lindberg yes. Frank Lloyd Wright’s the architect (laughing), so Orrville Wright, the first one to invent the airplane, but actually the airplane had existed even in the… eternally, it’s in the spiritual planets. People fly around in airplanes even in the higher planets. It’s just that here… of course now you can… get airplanes that run on petroleum and liquefied hydrogen and things like that, but there, there are different types of airplanes, but nonetheless there are airplanes.
"So, it appears from this verse...", Prabhupada said, “…there are airplanes in which the inhabitants travel in the spiritual sky with their sweethearts. There is a breeze carrying the fragrance of blossoming flowers, and this breeze is so nice that it also carries the honey of the flowers. The inhabitants of Vaikuntha, however, are so interested in glorifying the Lord that they do not like the disturbance of such a nice breeze while they are chanting the Lord's glories. In other words, they are pure devotees. They consider glorification of the Lord more important than their own sense gratification. In the Vaikuntha planets there is no question of sense gratification. To smell the fragrance of a blossoming flower is certainly very nice, but it is simply for sense gratification. The inhabitants of Vaikuntha give first preference to the service of the Lord, not their own sense gratification. Serving the Lord in transcendental love yields such transcendental pleasure that, in comparison, sense gratification is counted as insignificant.”
So, there are many descriptions of great souls who have left the material world. The four Kumars were born in the material world. They left the material world. They saw the higher planetary system. They saw the impersonal brahman. They went into the spiritual world. And these descriptions have been recorded, here. The four Kumars have a whole disciplic succession of uh, they… they came back and they initiated gurus, and they described these things, and uh, these descriptions are also of different spiritual masters and different uh… who have achieved these realizations, and they’ve been handed down and… of course, one may be able to say, “Well, how do I know that it’s like this.” May just want to doubt. Of course, there’s no way that anyone’s going to be able to say what is beyond this universe. You can’t even say what’s really on the… on the Pluto, or on uranium, or some of the other… Uranus, or whatever the other planets are, in the universe. One can’t even say what’s on them. The material scientists are still trying to figure out what’s on Jupiter, what’s on… Jupiter has all the rings?
Jayapataka Swami: Saturn has the rings. They don’t know exactly what the rings are made of. Now they’ve been hearing, from Saturn, they’ve been hearing music. (devotees laughing) And they don’t know really, what’s going on. They say that it’s definitely music. You can say that it has a very modulated uh, definite repeating type of frequencies, and it appears to be music, or some kind of like a vibration, and of course they don’t know exactly what it is.
You know, because they’re all trying to figure it out from the telescopes and by sending probe satellites, and things like that, it’s practically impossible really to get any clear kind of understanding. So, the mystic yogis, they would go in their spiritual form, their spiritual bodies, and they would see the… not only this universe, but what’s beyond. So obviously there’s no other way of knowing what’s beyond.
At least, they’ve been so kind to come back and explain the basic step-by-step process that one can achieve realization of the spiritual body, and so although, you may not be able to immediately say yes or no to what they describe as the ultimate realization, but they’re taking us from point A, from the very groundwork, so we can know that, well, they describe that you go from here. You do this, and you get up to the next step. So, one does that much, one can do. Like, you chant Hare Krishna. First of all, you associate with devotees. You chant Hare Krishna. Then, you come up to the next level, where you’ll become… start to become purified from so many material agitations and desires and you’ll become gradually more fixed. You’ll become more uh, you develop a certain stage of steadiness. And uh, so then a person is going out… from there… so the next stage will develop a type of ecstasy, a taste.
Sure enough, that comes. Then you… one goes then you becomes attached. Then attachment brings another form of transcendental pleasure with it, of having some feeling of very great intimacy with the Lord, and then at every step, it tells one, from the external point, from the sideline point, from the personal ex… experience of… one will feel, as well as from subtle… subtle symptoms. How the mind will start gradually, change. How a person in advanced devotional service doesn’t waste any time. How he’s always engaged in devotional service. How he can see that the identification with Krishna becomes more and more strong. All these things are very nicely documented, you see.
So, ultimately if one follows the process, the road is already uh, road marked. The signs are already there. Someone who’s never gone… just like Columbus, he told everyone, “Well, I went over to America, and this is what I saw. Everyone was going, how would… how would we know. We don’t believe you. We didn’t see it, you know. So then he went back again, brought over a plant, or something you see, “Look at that. This is not from here.” So, similarly they had been… brought back much greater than bringing back anything else… what they have brought back from the spiritual world, is the spiritual ecstasy.
As soon as one tastes even a drop of that ecstasy, immediately one knows that this is not from this world. This is out of this world, you see. This is something completely different, and so as soon as you taste, even one drop of that spiritual ecstasy, then one can understand that actually, this whole uh, understanding, this whole thing which is being given in the Krishna conscious movement is not from this world. Actually, these great spiritual masters have crossed beyond the material world, and they have brought back that which is not available in this material world, you see. That is the simple understanding.
So, even if a person just makes a little advancement in Krishna consciousness in this life, whether we’re able to at once achieve the spiritual planet… even if you make a little advancement, that guarantees us uh, for future progress and that saves us from so many great dangers. Just like we were praying this morning that just by taking the water that is o… used to bathe Krishna, that this protects one from dying, untimely. akala-mrtyu-haranam, uh, what’s the verse, this one?
Devotee: akala-mrtyu-haranam sarva-vyadhi-vinasanam
Jayapataka Swami: That it protects one from all type of diseases, things like that. So, even the… from the uh, material standpoint… even if a person doesn’t go up to the platform of full spiritual realization, in the… in this particular lifetime, still there’s so many unlimited side-benefits which of course, those side-benefits are so important for the materialists that they’ve forgotten about the ultimate benefit.
In the whole Vedic culture, that the… the scriptures always tell what is the ultimate benefit, but then because people don’t generally relate with that, they give all the side-benefits. That, if you read the Bhagavatam, in your future birth, you can get thousands of cows, you can become a great king, or you can attempt to go to the heavenly planets, you can get this thing or that. So, as the people became more and more materialistic, and… nowadays, they don’t… they don’t… not even thinking what’s the ultimate objective. They’re just thinking you read the Bhagavatam so you get a good wife, or get a good husband, or so you can get long life, or you can have… they’re just… because, they’re just seeing that… those things are not the main thing. Those are side-benefits.
In fact, those are not even mentioned in the Bhagavatam. They’re mentioned generally in the other lower-level scriptures. Although some reference is sometimes given in the Bhagavatam, but they’re not stressed to that extent because the Bhagavatam is uh, directly trying to take one to the ultimate objective. But, there are countless side-benefits which on automatically gets.
So, even if one doesn’t complete in this life, there’s no loss. In fact, there are so many side-benefits and moreover, what it does is it just sets one up so that in the next life, one can take off from where you left, and again further progress. Whatever material desires are there, you get more facility to finish those. Because two ways are going to help one to get to Krishna, quickly. One is to have all the desires satisfied. Of course, one after another, desires are coming. But as one becomes more and more spiritually advanced, then the new desires are not coming as frequently, you see. One is already partially desiring Krishna and partially there’s so many already accumulated desires which one’s… is not ready to give up, yet.
So, as those accumulated desires, one achieves them and realizes that, “Oh, this was the one I wanted. That isn’t what I wanted, this wasn’t what I wanted.” Then more and more one is able to finally put a little more energy into Krishna. “Maybe Krishna is really what I do want.” Then, “Well no. Let me try this.” Then again, they try that. They get that. “Oh, that wasn’t exactly. Maybe Krishna.” Then a little more service to Krishna along the way. And then gradually… This is a very slow process because still one is trying to enjoy the material world because of attachment, but even just by having association with Krishna, one is protected in so many ways, and ultimately one can achieve the position… When… Because Krishna won’t force Himself on anyone. The devotees, we’re maybe a little more obnoxious. We force ourselves (devotees laughing) But Krishna’s not like that. He doesn’t force Himself on anyone.
He uh, will only accept one back into the… His own association, when they want to really come. When they don’t have any other desire. He’ll give them every other thing first. And then when you don’t want anything else… because once you have Krishna, then there’s nothing else. When you realize Krishna, you realize that everything is within Krishna. So, then there’s no possibility of dual vision, of that type of duality of something that’s completely separate uh, from a relation with Krishna. So, it’s either everything is related with Krishna in service and anything which is out of the service of Krishna, then you have to be in material consciousness.
Anyway, that’s a subtle point, but uh, one way or other, Krishna, He allows one any other desire, first. One gets special mercy one lets… one has a desire that, “Krishna You please… whether I have another desire or not, somehow, You simply drag me to You.” Unless one somehow or another amidst that time of… many devotees of Lord Caitanya pray like that, that, “Even though I’m so fallen, You please just drag me. You just give me Your mercy. It will take me a long time to get rid of everything. You just flood me with the ecstasy of pure transcendence, then automatically, I’ll become immune from all these lower attractions.
So, that is the special rapid uh, mercy that Lord Caitanya and Lord Nityananda give. That they give immediately that nectar from the spiritual world, which is so attractive that if one even tastes a little drop of it, then immediately the whole perspective of life changes, and one becomes immunized from so many material attachments, from so many material problems. The more that one is able to relish that transcendental happiness, then one becomes absorbed in the spiritual ecstasy, and achieves full Krishna consciousness. Hare Krishna.
Are there any questions?
Devotee: What is the difference between the Mayavadi and Brahmavadi? Those Kumaras were Brahman realized. What’s the difference between the… them and Mayavadis?
Jayapataka Swami: Well, the four Kumaras had already realized the brahman. Uh, the Mayavadis may… may have not realized the brahman, but they’re speculating on what brahman is what maya is. They want to become brahmavadis, but in doing so, they make so many misconceptions. The four Kumaras, they had no preconceived conceptions. Even Buddha, he never said there’s no God. He said, “Why you bring up this thing? I know what I know and uh, so that’s enough. You don’t need to ask about more.” Just avoided the whole subject. The four Kumaras, they’re not offensive. You see, Mayavadis, they not only want to realize brahman, but they’re actually against Krishna. The four Kumaras are not against Krishna. They’re just not at all… it wasn’t something that they were really concerned with. They were concerned with brahman. They didn’t understand Krishna, then there wasn’t something that… how do you say… a preoccupation with them. They weren’t at all preoccupied. They were preoccupied with brahman. Just like, there are many people in the material world who are preoccupied with uh, material life. They’re not against Krishna. They’re just preoccupied with material life.
Devotee: Can we… can we offer tulasi directly to the guru and what… on behalf to the guru, or only to… only to the deity of Krishna? That’s the…
Jayapataka Swami: Of course, things you offer to the guru with the understanding that he’s going to offer them to Krishna.
Devotee: What if someone offers to guru that he is… is actually the external manifestation of Krishna? Jayapataka Swami: But, when we worship, we put the tulasi in the hand or the head of the guru, and at the feet of Krishna, only.
Devotee: What about the service… devotional service, sravanam, kirtanam, smaranam, like hearing… you… when you mentioned service and immediately stated the instance of offering something like water with tulasi to Krishna, what about just hearing uh, Krishna, is that enough service? Is that itself enough to elevate…
Jayapataka Swami: It was enough for Pariksit. It was enough. If you just hear, and don’t do anything other, nonsense or don’t… just hearing’s enough. Just like all he did was hear. Non-stop he heard for 7 days, and then he left his body.
Devotee: That seems to be an easy service, anyone can engage in.
Jayapataka Swami: Easy? Yeah, he didn’t eat or drink. He just served, or just heard. (to lady guest) How are you feeling?
Lady guest: Okay. I coughed.
Jayapataka Swami: Any questions, today?
Lady guest: Uh, yes, I do. Yesterday you mentioned offenses while chanting, can you explain?
Jayapataka Swami: There are ten different offenses to the holy name. You wanted to know each of the offenses?
Lady guest: Is it…
Jayapataka Swami: I can say it short, but uh, the… basically, the ten offenses to the holy name:
The first one is to offend any devotee, that means to blaspheme or cause some physical harm to a devotee, or a pure Vaisnava, who has dedicated uh, his life for the preaching of the glories of the holy name. Of that… that is, you know, that person is very dear to the holy name, so an offense to that person will be an offense to the holy name.
Then the second offense is uh, to consider chanting any other name of some demigod like Siva, or Brahma, or Durga, or Indra or something to be on an equal level as Visnu or Krishna’s name. When chanting a name of a demigod, that may be there, certain mantras are there for chanting the names of demigods, and you’ll get some material benefit from that, even mystic powers may be achieved by certain demigods, but uh, even Lord Siva himself said, no one else can give liberation, except for Visnu. So, if one considers that another name is equal with Visnu’s name, that’s uh, that’s the second offense.
Third offense is to disobey the order of uh, the spiritual master. If the spiritual master gives one uh, an order or… and one doesn’t follow that, that’s an offense.
The forth offense is to blaspheme any scriptures, or literatures which uh, glorify the holy name, or expound the glories of the holy name. One shouldn’t disrespect those.
The fifth is to give some kind of uh, mental uh, some concocted uh, meaning to the chanting, that uh, there are descriptions of the chanting. What is the chanting, but just like… like Allen Ginsberg, he was saying that, “Well, this chanting… by chanting it seems to regulate the breath. So, it’s actually a form of pranayama.” It was completely just a speculation. So, that’s like the fifth offense, is to try to put your own idea, rather than just take whatever the authorized version is.
The sixth offense is to uh, think that the glories of the holy name… I may… the fifth and sixth I get backwards sometimes, sorry. I don’t know if I did that, this time, or not, but the uh, the sixth… they’re both very close. The sixth uh, is to uh, consider the glories of the holy name as an imagination. In other words, there are so many glories of the holy name, and then someone thinks, “Oh, that’s… I… How is that possible, something like that?” That’s uh, one type of offense.
Then uh, the seventh is uh, offense is to sin on the strength of chanting. You see, the offense and sin are two different things. Sin just means bad karma. In other words, everything we do, there’s a reaction, in the material world, so those uh reactions, if we take the responsibility, then it’s in… that’s the freedom we’re given, that we can act in the material world, and uh, we can do pious activity, and get pious reactions, or we can do uh, uh, all sinful activ… or activity which harms others, or which hurts our body, and then we have to accept the pain or suffering which would have come from that. Now, when someone understands that by chanting, I can get rid of uh, I can neutralize the effect of karma, it’s one of the secrets of chanting, so, then if a person makes like uh, a… a conscious plot that, “I… well, it’s alright for me to do this, and then I’ll chant Hare Krishna, and then I won’t have to suffer for it.” Then, that’s an offense, because Krishna’s name and Krishna are non-different.
He’s intelligent so, uh… most intelligent, so, obviously He’s not going to be so foolish that uh, a person can do that. If one… one may do uh, some activity within the field of karma, and still chant Hare Krishna. That’s not… that’s not the same, that’s not that offense. The uh, conscious uh, idea to kind of exploit chanting is uh, considered offensive. If one still takes responsibility for what one does, not asking that, “Well by chanting, I’ll… just by chanting that somehow or other, I can come above all the karma, and that’s not offensive. That’s a sincere.
Eigth offense is to consider the chanting of Hare Krishna as equal with a pious activity. Just like uh, the Buddhists, they’re trying to always accrue merit, means good karma. They feed the monks, they do so many pious works to get merit, or to get punya, as they would say in the Sanskrit, to get good karma. So someone thinks that, “Well, chanting Hare Krishna is another form of good karma.”, that’s an offense, because chanting Hare Krishna is far beyond good or bad karma. It’s actually a complete spiritual vibration, which uh, can not only uh, give good karma, but it can do a lot more than that. It’s like a uh, understatement. It’s like uh, if uh, if you… there was a very… a great person… like if you called a king… “You’re one of the nicest minister’s I’ve ever met.” Or something, it would be the greatest offense, I mean, for… underst… So, then uh, the uh, that’s not the greatest offense.
I don’t… the worst offenses of all, so far I’ve mentioned are the… to offend the devotee who has dedicated his life to cha… to preaching, and to sin on the strength of chanting. These two are very uh, are very serious. The first one is the most serious, and of course the greatest devotee is the guru, so if one offends the guru that’s of course a… not very good either. Offending the guru and disobeying the guru are two different offenses.
So, then uh, the ninth offense is to preach to the uh, to the unfaithful. To say the glories of the holy name, that… two of the offenses here… were mentioned were, about… that if one doubts the uh, description of the holy name, or if one sins on the strength of chanting, things like that, so then if one is… who doesn’t have really any faith in Krishna, is explained too much about the holy name, then sometimes, they may prematurely say uh, because they haven’t really come up to that level of philosophical or spiritual realization, they may commit that one offense, that, “Well, how can that be possible.” So, in this sense, the preacher is a little bit responsible for having told that person who wasn’t really ready to hear all the esoteric understandings about the holy name. That risk preachers take, all the time. There’s some quote lines given as separate instruction for preachers, what to do, what to do.
Then the tenth offense is inattentive while chanting. Meaning that uh, more and more, as one learns about the holy name and as one even is uh, able to experience different realizations from chanting, if still one is not very attentive to chant, not very serious about chanting, then because it’s coming… it’s uh, neglecting a lot of special favors that Krishna’s given, that the holy name has given, just due to being lazy or lethargic or in general, it’s a type… it’s an offensive mentality. That offense, practically everyone is more or less guilty of until one is completely uh, pure. So in the beginning stage… these are offenses. There’s a difference between karma and offenses. Because uh, an offense is directly related with Krishna. Just like uh, well, anyway I don’t… Can you understand the difference between offense and karma?
Lady guest: Yeah… I…
Jayapataka Swami: That uh, just like uh, say one of you go out and get a ticket for speeding. So as a result of that, you know, cause a lot of problem, but it’s not… it’s not going to destroy, generally speaking the relationship between two people. It’s just that… “Why’d you do that?” You have to suffer, because of getting the ticket yourself. But, something directly… directly like uh, doing something which directly is uh, (loud sustained sound) hurting a person. Hare Krishna. That’s an offense. So, karma’s not directly related with Krishna; that goes on, automatically. But the offenses, service and offenses, these things are directly related.
So, that’s why, no matter what a person has got, very bad karma, but if he, that person does some service to Krishna, that service can just penetrate through all the karmas, and can uplift the person. So, the only thing that could uh, stop that uh, service of Krishna from acting is offenses, which are the uh… doing something directly which is… which was painful for Krishna. So, it’s a saying that… somehow people say that, “Well, it’s dangerous. So, then I… better not to chant, because then… I’ll be committing offenses, but so that there’s the three stages.
The offensive stage, where we uh, reduce the offenses and one who’s completely offenseless, and that because Krishna’s so kind, just like a small baby commits so many offenses to the parents. Maybe he yells at them, or argues or sits and cries and does so many things, or maybe throws something on the floor, but because it’s still better to be offensive because at least there’s the relation like the baby and child, that some relationship is there, and that way, gradually from there, one can… one can uh, come forward. It’s better to be uh, chanting even if it’s offensive, than not to be chanting, at all.
Although better than that, then is to reduce the offenses, and then to come to offenseless chanting is almost impossible by our own endeavor. All we can do is come up to where we reduce the offenses and from there, to… to achieve offenseless chanting, that means we’ve already achieved complete realization of Krishna, and from that stage, you can’t fall down. So, that’s… that’s the perfection actually, of offenseless chanting.
Devotee: So what if one is chanting offenselessly, but then he commits a offense, like if one sits with his back to the deity, that’s listed as an offense. I was just doing it myself. Of course, I chant offensively, suppose. What is the weight of the deity offenses in relation to the nama-aparadhas?
Jayapataka Swami: How to complicate issues? (devotees laugh) That’s why the holy name is more merciful than uh...
Devotee: Than any other process.
Jayapataka Swami: Yeah.
Devotee: I understand we should just try to do whatever we can. As much as we can in Krishna’s service. Try to avoid the offenses.
Jayapataka Swami: That’s why it’s said it’s better not to read too many books. If you don’t know about… If you don’t know about uh, an offense. Even though it’s an offense when you do it, but you’re not as responsible. (Devotee’s laughing)
Lady guest: Ignorance is bliss.
Jayapataka Swami: Not fully, but uh… just like you were saying, “Well, sitting with the back to the deity, but you’re not with your back to the deity because that system is there that from Prabhupada to the deity, we keep one line, so we’re all sitting and basically, that… we’re sitting with our side to the deity. That system is there, but then if one just reads that one little, “Oh, back to the deity. I wasn’t facing…” You know. That way, we just follow the instructions of the spiritual master, then if we do that, then he’s responsible. If there’s any offense, then he’s responsible, as long as we’re acting in the call of duty. Just like, in the army, if the soldier’s told to do something and he does it, then he’s not held responsible, whether it’s right or wrong, it’s just whoever gave the order’s responsible.
[end of recording]
Transcribed by Jagannatha dasa April 25th, 2015 Sri Mayapura Dhama