The following is a lecture given by His Holiness Jayapataka Swami on December 26th, 1982 in Atlanta, Georgia. The class begins with a reading from the Srimad-Bhagavatam, Canto 2, Chapter 1, Verse 22.
Jayapataka Swami: Sri Suka Uvaca
Devotees: Sri Suka Uvaca
Jayapataka Swami: jitāsano jita-śvāso
Devotees: jitāsano jita-śvāso
Jayapataka Swami: jita-saṅgo jitendriyaḥ
Devotees: jita-saṅgo jitendriyaḥ
Jayapataka Swami: sthūle bhagavato rūpe
Devotees: sthūle bhagavato rūpe
Jayapataka Swami: manaḥ sandhārayed dhiyā
Devotees: manaḥ sandhārayed dhiyā
Devotees: …śuka uvāca
Jayapataka Swami: Śukadeva Gosvāmī said
Devotees: Śukadeva Gosvāmī said
Jayapataka Swami: jita-āsanaḥ
Jayapataka Swami: controlled sitting posture
Devotees: controlled sitting posture
Jayapataka Swami: jita-śvāsaḥ
Jayapataka Swami: controlled breathing process
Devotees: controlled breathing process
Jayapataka Swami: jita-saṅgaḥ
Jayapataka Swami: controlled association
Devotees: controlled association
Jayapataka Swami: jita-indriyaḥ
Jayapataka Swami: controlled senses
Devotees: controlled senses
Jayapataka Swami: sthūle
Jayapataka Swami: in the gross matter
Devotees: in the gross matter
Jayapataka Swami: bhagavataḥ
Jayapataka Swami: unto the Personality of Godhead
Devotees: unto the Personality of Godhead
Jayapataka Swami: rūpe
Jayapataka Swami: in the feature of
Devotees: in the feature of
Jayapataka Swami: manaḥ
Jayapataka Swami: the mind
Devotees: the mind
Jayapataka Swami: sandhārayet
Jayapataka Swami: must apply
Devotees: must apply
Jayapataka Swami: dhiyā
Jayapataka Swami: by intelligence
Devotees: by intelligence
Translation by His Divine Grace Srila A.C.Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada: Śukadeva Gosvāmī answered: One should control the sitting posture, regulate the breathing process by the yogic prāṇāyāma and thus control the mind and senses and with intelligence apply the mind to the gross potencies of the Lord [called the virāṭ-rūpa].
Translation with Repetition: Śukadeva Gosvāmī answered:
Devotees: Śukadeva Gosvāmī answered:
Jayapataka Swami: one should control.
Devotees: one should control.
Jayapataka Swami: the sitting posture
Devotees: the sitting posture
Jayapataka Swami: regulate the breathing process
Devotees: regulate the breathing process
Jayapataka Swami: by the yogic pranayama
Devotees: by the yogic pranayama
Jayapataka Swami: and thus control the mind
Devotees: and thus control the mind
Jayapataka Swami: and senses
Devotees: and senses
Jayapataka Swami: and with intelligence
Devotees: and with intelligence
Jayapataka Swami: apply the mind
Devotees: apply the mind
Jayapataka Swami: to the gross potencies
Devotees: to the gross potencies
Jayapataka Swami: of the Lord
Devotees: of the Lord
Jayapataka Swami: [called the virāṭ-rūpa].
Devotees: [called the virāṭ-rūpa].
…port by Srila Prabhupada:
The materially absorbed mind of the conditioned soul does not allow him to transcend the limit of the bodily conception of self, and thus the yoga system for meditation (controlling the sitting posture and breathing process and fixing the mind upon the Supreme) is described in order to mold the character of the gross materialist. Unless such materialists are able to cleanse the materially absorbed mind, it is impossible for them to concentrate upon thoughts of transcendence. And to do so one may fix one's mind on the gross material or external feature of the Lord. The different parts of the gigantic form of the Lord are described in the following verses. The materialistic men are very anxious to have some mystic powers as a result of such a controlling process, but the real purpose of yogic regulations is to eradicate the accumulated dirty things like lust, anger, avarice and all such material contaminations. If the mystic yogī is diverted by the accompanying feats of mystic control, then his mission of yogic success is a failure, because the ultimate aim is God realization. He is therefore recommended to fix his gross materialistic mind by a different conception and thus realize the potency of the Lord. As soon as the potencies are understood to be instrumental manifestations of the transcendence, one automatically advances to the next step, and gradually the stage of full realization becomes possible for him.
As soon as the potencies are understood to be instrumental manifestations of the transcendence, one automatically advances to the next step, and gradually the stage of full realization becomes possible for him.
Thus end the Pur… Bhaktivedanta Purport of Text 23, Chapter 1, Canto 2, in the Srimad-Bhagavatam in the matter of the First Step in God Realization.
So, here the virat-rupa or gigantic form of the Supreme Personality of Godhead is about to be described. The material form which is recommended for people beginning spiritual life, who don’t have any faith in the personal feature of the Lord. That if they meditate on this virat-rupa of this universal form, then it may be helpful for them, you see. If one has faith or understanding in the form then it may be helpful for them, you see. If one has understanding or faith in the direct in the personal form of the Lord, then there is no difficulty if that person immediately starts to render devotional service and directly connects with that form of the Lord, you see. first of all people, generally when they see the picture of Krishna or think of God as the person, they try to carry over all the material limitations that an ordinary human being experiences, and try to place those same limitations upon God. So, just to clear up that type of a mistake… mistaken conception, you see, this whole virat-rupa or universal form is described, so we can see that the great potencies of this universe are but an extension of the energy of Krishna, and they also form thus one of His uh… transcendental, one of His bodies, one of His uh, bodily manifestation, even though was within the material world because it can instil within a materialist some awe If they actually medidate on the size of the universe, and on the gigantic manifestations and see that these are only a fraction of energy of God. Of course if someone can understand from the beginning that the Personality of Godhead is above all these manifestations, then one doesn’t have to go through all of this medidation on the virat-rupa. One can directly engage in the service of Krishna.
You see, one can directly begin to chant
Hare Krishna Hare Krishna
Krishna Krishna Hare Hare
Hare Rama Hare Rama
Rama Rama Hare Hare
and serve in the temple the Lord, render the sankirtana-yajna to the Lord, there’s no difficulty.
So, one point here that Prabhupada said, the materially absorbed mind of the conditioned soul does not allow him to transcend the limit of the bodily conception of self, thus the yoga system for meditation is prescribed in order to mold the character of the gross materialist, that means controlling sitting posture, breathing process, fixing the mind upon the Supreme.
That the normal people absorb in their material affairs, they are absorbed in the bodily concept of life, and so for them if you say that, “Alright you’re absorbed in the bodily concept, so now meditate on your body, do these asanas. You see that the grossest materialist become attracted to do hatha-yoga, it’s good for health, increases so many physical potentials. So they can get right into it, and then by going step by step, even for very grossly attached materialist, after they know how to sit properly, do different asanas, then they start doing pranayama, breathing exercise and meditate, then in this way step by step, gradually they are brought into a type of spiritual realization. Even though the initial step is to do exercise.
Even uh, big tennis stars and other people, they do this yogic exercises, it’s is very healthy. So, if they keep going, then they can gradually get up to platform of meditation. But actually, that process is especially for the materially absorbed mind of the conditional soul, who is fixed within this bodily conception of life, you see. But if somebody can understand that they’re not the body, at least philosophically if they can come to that conception then there’s no need of going through all the exercises, one can directly engage in meditation by chanting
Hare Krishna Hare Krishna
Krishna Krishna Hare Hare
Hare Rama Hare Rama
Rama Rama Hare Hare
In fact, because time is very short we don’t want to waste any time. We don’t want that we embark on a spiritual path which there is no guarantee at all for any success in this life. If one embarks on that ordinary hatha-yoga process, there is no guarantee one will be able to actually achieve God realization or anything close to it in this life. It’s a very gradual, slower process which was geared for a much longer time periods than what we have today. It was geared for the golden age Satya-yuga. In this present disturbed age, a special facility has been given by chanting
Hare Krishna Hare Krishna
Krishna Krishna Hare Hare
Hare Rama Hare Rama
Rama Rama Hare Hare
You see. The consciousness automatically opens to the spiritual platform surpassing all… the kundalini-cakra, sarvajna-cakra, and other cakras. One can directly approach the spiritual consciousness. So, one thing here we should… we can meditate on is this leading statement.
It’s not good to shake you leg.
“The materially absorbed mind of the conditional soul does not allow him to transcend the limit of the bodily conception of life.”
I was listening to a tape, where Srila Prabhupada was discussion being mad after Krishna, that, “If you want to be mad after Krishna, if you to want develop love for Krishna, if you want to develop your complete realization of Krishna. So to be mad after Krishna, then you have to stop being mad after the material nature, after the enjoyment, you see.”
One side, a person is completely materially absorbed, habits, living style, thoughts, everything is completely absorbed in the material conception of life, then its not possible to come to the realization of the com… supreme spiritual absolute truth. Instead one will always be considering oneself on the bodily platform, and this is what is exactly happening. That in spite of this different yoga processes brought to the West, where some direct purification by like chanting Hare Krishna was not employed, and rather the people are just engaging in different exercises and other type of meditation, you see the people don’t get off the bodily platform.
I used to visit yoga camps in North America and I saw in the yoga camps you know, all the women in their bikinis and everyone were there. It was like a country resort, and they walked… one woman walked up and embraced the Swami, said “Swamiji!”, wearing her bikini and everyone was enjoying in different ways, and it was like… just like a big party up there, uh, but they were vegetarian… (laughter) meals, you know, and there was some meditational classes but I mean, there might be different asramas, I don’t say they’re all the same, but in general, you see, it’s very difficult for them.
When I was trying to explain to them that they weren’t the body. Mean they couldn’t completely…they couldn’t relate with it at all. Because no one had ever expressed that particular point, rather they expressed that, “Now you… if you do this exercise, you massage you liver and kidney, and you do this exercise you’re massaging your pituitary gland, then…” you know. Ultimately the God realization part was you know, put back on the back burner so much, that nobody really… that was just like a clichī or something. It wasn’t really the part of the whole process, it was kind of just a kind of thing to be in there, you know. To visit there, have a good time with so many people. So we were able to rescue a few sincere seekers of the truth who can pick up that the vibration there was not one where one was really going to make a lot of spiritual advancement in a short amount of time. And they came off with us. After that they didn’t invite us anymore. Anyway, this is the way of the modern Western yogi camps. This Krishna conscious movement has got a very specific goal of bringing the condition souls to their full original spiritual consciousness, and for creating in the world, an atmosphere most conducive for the general population to make a grada… step by step advancement back to home, back to Godhead. So, to do this, we cannot compromise, you see, our basic principles. But that doesn’t mean that we don’t know all about every practice of yoga. We know the practice of yoga, we know when it’s practiced properly, when it’s not practiced properly. We know the different stages, this things are all revealed in our scriptures. It’s a very scientific process, and bhakti-yoga is the... or the yoga of devotion which we practice, Krishna consciousness, is the culmination of all the yogas. So it contains all the essential facets of all the yogas, and bhakti-yoga is contained in all of the yogas, you see.
So in this way the devotee knows automatically about the yoga process, and knows actually the topmost yoga understanding. So this begins from understanding that, “We are not the body.” and therefore we immediately transcend all of the preliminary things which are meant to get a person out of bodily consciousness. We already start from above that. Just like if you start from your post graduate course. You don’t have to go to the primary, secondary, you can immediately start university level, you see. If a person already has that accumulated knowledge you don’t have to go through it. So all those lower levels, are just to bring a person out of the body consciousness; so as soon as one experiences happiness or Krishna consciousness above this material plane and one desires in that direction, then immediately one can perceive uh, that, uh, that “This happiness is beyond the body, therefore I am not the body.” Therefore we pray to Lord Nityananda to bless us:
hā hā prabhu nityānanda, premānanda sukhī
kṛpābalokana koro āmi boro duḥkhī
That, “You please, Lord Nityananda prabhu, You are a ocean of transcendental mercy, You are always filled with spiritual ecstasies. I am the most unfortunate soul, therefore Lord Nityanada because I am so miserable, I require Your transcendental mercy now. Please give Your mercy to me now.” You see. The devotee is begging to Lord Nityananda to just have a drop of that ecstasy. With one drop of the ecstasy of Lord Nityananda, a person is flooded with an ocean of transcendental happiness! And when you are flooded with an ocean of transcendental happiness it’s very easy to be mad after Krishna, you see. So, this is the short cut. How to become spiritually absorbed, how to become absorbed in Krishna. If you taste the ecstasy which is so great that it has no material comparison, it’s very easy to be mad after Krishna. So, that’s… the short cut is that Lord Nityananda, Lord Caitanya, They are giving that special mercy very easily.
So if a person chants Hare Krishna and he gets the ecstatic experiences, transcendental ecstasy, transcendental bliss, then it’s very easy to… for that person to motivate himself, to go beyond this bodily consciousness into perfecting yoga, you see. But in spite of all good experiences, and good instructions you see, if someone hasn’t actually achieved that experience yet, and is somehow or another not able to coordinate the mercy of Lord Nityananda due to regularly chanting Hare Krishna, and following the other systems, or just somehow or another isn’t able to get the mercy of Nityananda, which means a person is most unfortunate because Lord Nityananda gives His mercy to anyone who wants it, and instead if that the person is completely materially absorbed, and mad after trying to satisfy the senses, then he doesn’t get any time to see beyond the body.
Therefore you have, just like in uh… in Christian uh, philosophy nowadays, that in spite of the philosophy explaining that there is a soul, the general people have the idea that, “I have a soul.” That, “Yes, I have a soul, and when I die my soul will go to heaven.” You see, they are identifying, “I, the body have a soul.” You see, they are identifying that, “I am the body, but I have a soul.” It’s like a little there somewhere, right? They don’t see. Self-realization means that “I am a soul. I have a body.” You see, the whole reference point is backwards, so everything they are doing is directed on the body and then have a catch… you know, they have a special like, in reserve bank someone has a soul. So the conception is completely materialistic which uh, I don’t believe was originally the, fully the intention of Lord Jesus, but somehow it came that way through the ages, so we were joking a minute ago to Balavanta Prabhu and he said that last night they had a special TV show for two hours. The Hidden Years of Jesus, his age from 12 to 30, and the whole show was projecting that through ancient scrolls and Tibet and other revealed historical texts, that Jesus is proven that he… it was actually Jesus who went to India and studied under Brahmanas in Jagannatha Puri, and they showed this for two hours, Jesus travelling through India, and how… that the real source of all spiritual knowledge in the world is India,
Jayapataka Swami: Including the source of Jesus’ you know, fine tuning on spiritual knowledge, and he was already a spiritual personality, but he got, you know his information… this is what they projected to the public last night for two hours. So, we’re getting a little bit closer to the truth.
Jayapataka Swami: The point is that the basic teaching… not that we have a soul. We are the soul, so therefore we should stop living as if we are the body. You have to take care of your body. Everyone has a car, they take care of the car. We have a body. We take care of the body. Not that we neglect it. But we shouldn’t gear the whole life just for keeping your car polished. Nobody’d do it. They have other… they have their family life, they have village, no one just sits there. If someone just all day polishes his car, this… That guy’s a little bit demented, right? Somebody’d think that the guy has got some kind of fetish. He just keeps polishing his car, you know fixing up, tuning it, you know he is missing out on a lot of things. You see… He is absorbed in this machine. Well that’s what happened. There are such people though, there are such people who you know, buy the auto magazines, the whole day they are tinkering with their car.
It’s like that the people have become, you know, completely body consciousness, and the whole time they are absorbed you know. “Wow, now there is a new disease. There is the cancer. There is the TB. There is the Herpes, There’s the this one, There’s the that.” and become absorbed, “I might get diseased.” and then they’re thinking about this body thing and that body… everything, and then, you know, even though they’re spiritual people… 99% of the people America believe in God, so I would assume if they believe in God, that must mean they also believe in soul, right? But they don’t have any conception, or any education or any training whatsoever.
What is the soul? What is the self? And then, how is one supposed to act in that relation? Instead people are naturally just going on in the same old bodily concept of life. Just that they have added a little touch of belief of God, just you know, “Yes, I believe in God.” You see, but… so here in the yoga process it’s mentioned here, that actually one is supposed to control the body, control the mind, control the senses with intelligence. Bring the body under the control of the intelligence, which is the closest thing to the self, and by regulating the body by engaging the body in either yogic process or directly in the service of God, one is supposed to transcend the bodily concept of life.
Unfortunately, in spite of so many people in the world believing, quote, unquote in God, they do not to actually try to come above the bodily conception of life, you see. Therefore, the whole world is uh, racing, you see more and more madly after bodily pleasures, bodily comforts, bodily conceptions of life, and as a result, people are becoming more and more materialistic, they become more animalistic, they are becoming more dissatisfied. Daivī hy eṣā guṇamayī mama māyā duratyayā This just proves this sloka, that this material energy is so difficult to overcome. By our own effort we cannot overcome this material energy. We have to have the advice and teaching from Krishna Himself, and Hi… from His representatives.
By our own effort, without referring to the Vedas, without referring to the spiritual books, and getting the information from the spiritual masters, it is not possible for us to on our own get out of the bodily concept of life, you see.
tad viddhi praṇipātena
upadekṣyanti te jñānaṁ
If we approach a bona fide spiritual master who has information of tat, of the truth, tad-viddhi, and we ask questions, we perform service, we surrender, you see, then a perfect situation is created and one can come above the bodily concept of life, you see. One can come above the bodily concept of life and when one is above bodily concept of life, then it’s possible to understand the position of Krishna to some extent, you see, because He is completely above this bodily concept, He is completely above the material nature.
So unless one can bring one’s own conscious above the… the complete absorption in bodily consciousness and material consciousness, how can such a person understand God? He will always be bringing his bodily ideas over to God, which is… who is above this material energy. But, when ones comes above the bodily concept of life, then the avenue is open for understanding more about Krishna, you see. So, this is the beginning for those people who just can’t get out of the bodily concept of life.
So then another process is given, “Alright, through bodily conciousness you perfect you body, make your body very well controlled, control it in yoga, to control the body get mystic powers, by this mystic powers you will be able to control the material nature.” So, even someone in bodily concept of life, he thinks are very attractive. If you tell somebody you can reach out, get a Seiko watch from Hong Kong, you can get a Rolex watch from uh, Switzerland, or you can get an apple from anywhere, you can…you know whatever…. It’s a little attractive to the most grossest materialist, so the yogic powers they attract people, people… gross materialist are paying $4000 to the TM’ers, so that they can learn how to levitate, you see.
We have many members, some of the so called acaryas or teachers, instructors, they have all come to our movement, because when they reach a certain point, they realize that uh, in this type of process, it’s so gradual that just takes one barely above the bodily concept of life. When one comes above the bodily concept of life, they don’t have much more to offer. Then they come to Krishna consciousness to know what to do when one’s on the spiritual platform. So many have come, you see… When they get to that point of realizing that “I am above the body.” when one gets tired of playing with the body, even expending some yogic powers, when they actually realize that “I am not the body and the supreme truth is above the material world.” then immediately they wanna get up to… closer to the supreme truth, then the process that they are employing is so slow, that they are not satisfied. It’s not satisfying to self, it might be satisfying to the mind or body, one can manipulate certainly the material world, you see, but after one starts to advance spiritually you wanna go beyond manipulating matter, you see.
Nowadays, you can do with this little uh, you know with this little video games, they think that they are in Star Wars or something, right? They are controlling the world. They are taking planets and destroying them, pow all on your video screen, you know, they think they’re God. So then you know, after a while you get tired, and go back you know, and have a uh, turn the channel or something. So this is the problem. It’s that it’s not satisfying because it’s not the real position. It’s not the natural thing.
So even if you take it that you have real power, you can actually create a planet or destroy a planet, but so what? Then you got a headache, just if a person creates his own family he has got to feed the kids, you have to take… educate them, you have to you know, satisfy the wife, you have to satis… serve the husband whatever, it’s enough of a problem already, if you imagine you create a whole planet!
Lord Brahma creates the universe, he is always has to find someone to be a Manu, someone to be a Indra, right?, he has to beg from one person in the Bhagavatam , “Please, you know, I was… I just wanna be a Brahmacari.” “We don’t have anyone else to be a Manu.”
Just like you are looking for Temple President, you are looking for a Temple Commander, he has to look for a you know a Universal Supervisor, so this material world means that as soon as you create something then you have to maintain it. So for Krishna, even for Him, it’s uh… it’s not the easiest task, but actually because He is God, because He is all powerful, it’s also not very difficult. I mean He does it, but even then, it’s has to… it’s only possible for Him, it’s not possible for anyone else to maintain this whole world, you see. He can do it because He knows everything, you see.
Even then, sometimes personally He comes down… of course it’s said that He only personally comes down especially for His devotees, He makes it appear as if He has to come down, so sometimes that bewilders certain philosophers, but actually the fact is that He can do everything through His energies. He can empower different energies to do everything; He doesn’t actually have to personally do anything. That’s His supreme position, but out of His own sweet will He comes down here to Benedict the devotees.
vināśāya ca duṣkṛtām
sambhavāmi yuge yuge
So, the principal thing coming there through, paritranaya sadhunam, to satisfy His devotees. So, the devotees they want to see Krishna, they won’t be satisfied with anyone else, therefore He comes down, you see. But the ordinary materialist creates something. It’s a big headache to maintain. You become… you become a King or the President, then you see they start… hairs starts getting grey. They work so hard to get the power, when they get it, then they have worry about, “Alright, now I have to you know, go and convince the congress to sign my bill. I have to you know, get this treaty signed. I have to do that. Then there’s this problem and that problem, and unemployment.” whatever, like they have so many headaches.
Even though they’re the… supposed to be the people with the power, they have uh… they have uh, you know the sepulcher, they have power in their hands but it’s a big headache. Even if you are an absolute King, you don’t even have to go, still it’s a headache, to satisfy the minister, satisfy the citizens, satisfy everyone, it’s practically an impossible task. So, materially, increasing one’s power, influence, uh, it only creates along with it, a uh, a lot of problems for that individual, a lot of responsibilities. Therefore, to just avoid all these type of obstacles a devotee, even he gets this mystic potencies, you see, he understands them to be instrumental manifestations of the transcendence. One automatically advances to the next step, and gradually the state of full realization become possible for him.
If a yogi get’s the power, doesn’t get infatuated, goes on to the next step, then he can make full realization of transcendence. So, what’s that next step is actually bhakti, is actually Krishna consciousness. So, that means from here A to X, all these yoga processes that are there, taking one up to this uh… to this transcendental level, all those can simply be bypassed. Just like if you go in these big buildings, like Empire State Building, they have elevator, one to thirteen floor, thirteen to twenty-six floor, they don’t put thirteen, they put you know like fourteen and skip thirteen. One to twelve, fourteen to twenty-six and then twenty-seven to… they go like that. They have so many different elevators, and then they have one, one to the top. Just go right from the ground floor, up to the top, penthouse, roof top, skylight restaurant, whatever, it goes right up to the top.
So here, this Krishna conscious movement is to… meant to take a person right from the, you know... point A right to the final, full stage of realization, you know, bypassing all these different levels of gradually getting out of bodily consciousness, and star… already skipping over that and coming right up to the platform where one acts not as the body but as a pure spirit, as an eternal living entity and the body is simply instrumental, and in that consciousness performs transcendental service, transcendental meditation, chanting
Hare Krishna Hare Krishna
Krishna Krishna Hare Hare
Hare Rama Hare Rama
Rama Rama Hare Hare
It’s the form of that purely transcendental meditation. So, this is a great mercy that this type of shortcut has been provided.
These great mystic yogis, the great demigods, it’s described in the Vedas that they are actually crying, they are crying that if only they could come down here to this material world, at this time… to the planet Earth at this time when Lord Caitanya’s movement is manifested, because what would ordinarily take a long time to go step by step, now there’s a special facility that without all this stages one can directly go to the top-most platform. One can go to the transcendental platform and from there one can further develop, bypassing all these relative material platforms. So, factually speaking they are crying to come here, you see.
You can imagine, they can’t commit suicide, they have such long life, they are stuck there. Right ? How do they come down? So just those who are fortunate to be born at that time you see, they’re able to participate. The demigods, what can they… they can of course sometimes come as an expansion, those who are fortunate came and participated with Lord Caitanya, but basically someone who during the movement of Lord Caitanya can leave their body, you see, oh they are so fortunate.
Even Lord Brahma came down to participate in these pastimes, and that he by chanting Hare Krishna… I think I explained this before, that how when Lord Brahma had offended Lord Krishna. By stealing his cows and calves, then he was chas… then Krishna revealed His full mystic powers, then how he came to Nabadvipa dhama and he was meditating there. There he’s meditating in the central island called Antardvipa.
Nabadvipa and Vrindavan they have a similar shape, it’s like a lotus or like it’s like a spiritual lotus, Goloka Vrindavana. Go! So, Nabadvipa also has that lotus shape, and there is one central, the whorl and around that there are eight spiritual petals. So the central whorl is (inaudible), representing the Bhakti process of Atmanivedanam, complete surrender, full surrender, self surrender. And the other eight processes of bhakti-yoga, devotional service are each one is like one petal of that lotus.
So, Brahmadeva, he was meditating in Antardvipa, because he heard that Lord Caitanya forgives one of all offenses, He is very merciful. He was going to come in the next age in Kali-yuga, it was Dvapara-yuga then, so he was meditating there on Lord Gauranga, and in his meditation, finally before him Lord Caitanya appeared with His associates, dancing, and Lord Brahma He became completely overwhelmed with transcendental ecstasy, he fell down at the lotus feet of Lord Caitanya, paid his obeisances with his foreheads, you see. Then he prayed to Lord Caitanya that, “You are going to appear here, You are going to manifest Your pastimes before the whole world in the coming age of Kali, you see. I am praying for Your benediction, that I am a great offender.” Because… Brahma was lamenting that “How I became so powerful demigod. I was able to directly create this world on behalf of the Lord, and then I am so offensive, I get so puffed up over my paltry position that I have… you know, so foolish, I was offending Krishna, stealing His cows. How I am going to get over these offenses? When will I get real devotional service?” You see, he is lamenting in tha… so, when he finally he had the darsana of Lord Caitanya, he was praying that “I am so proud, I am so offensive, that I want You to somehow or another, You are the most merciful, You somehow purify me so that I can become rid of all thes false ego and then I can stop committing any offenses in devotional service. You please benedict me that I can get, you see, the transcendental opportunity to associate with You.”
So then, Lord Caitanya, He agreed. He said, “Tathastah- so be it. You will appear in the family of the Yavanas, of Mohameddans, you see, the meat eating people in India, and because of that you will be forced to be very humble.” You see, this is also advised that when a Western preachers go to India, they should be humble. That they are coming from a different habits, you see. They should be humble when they are preaching, that touches the people’s heart rather than coming in as if you’re on the top of the horse or something. You should be humble. There are also Brahmana’s in India, not that only Westerner’s can be Brahmanas. We should be humble when are preaching. Taking it that we were delivering from a very despicable situation, and given this great opportunity.
So anyway in those days society, at least when Lord Caitanya came was a little more strict, nowadays people don’t even follow that many rules and regulations. So, if someone born in this type of family will be forced to be a little humble, specifically during the time of Lord Caitanya when the Vedic culture was still at a very high peak. So, Lord Caitanya told Brahma that, “You appear in the family of a Mohammedan, but you will constantly chanting the holy name. You will be chanting the holy 300,000 times a day. So by this you will become purified. The chanting of Hare Krishna will purify you so much that for the rest…” Brahmas only half life is gone, little less than half. One paradha is finished you see. Half life is gone, another half he’s got left. So He said, “By this, the rest half of your life…” which is millions and billions of years. You can’t begin to calculate how long it is. “You will be completely…just by this one chanting…” for you know, a few… forty years, fifty years of his manifested pastime. “By this chanting you will become completely purified for the rest of your existence, in this life, and then you will be able to return back to the spiritual world.” So, and then Lord Caitanya said, “And your name will be Haridasa.” then Lord Caitanya disappeared… no then He told him, “so you prepare yourself”. then disappeared.
So, Lord Brahma, he went back to his uh, Satyaloka, his planet, the planet of Satya, and then, of course he came down and he appeared as Haridasa Thakura, and assisted Lord Caitanya in His transcendental pastimes. So, this opportunity to be in the pastime of Lord Caitanya was received even by great great demigods like Lord Brahma and others, you see. It’s something very special, so we should also take it like that there is a special opportunity. Somehow or another, this is the uh, closeout sale of the Supreme Personlity of Godhead. I noticed when I came to America, that are a lot of close out sales, selling to the bare walls, you see. So this is the closeout sale. If you miss it, at this time if you are left over, then it’s a very unfortunate situation. Then it’s practically that person… and that means that in the close out sale, if you go there like after the sale, and whatever is left you know it’s gonna be really bad stuff, right? It will be really junk because af… after the end, if nobody bought it, it must be, you know, not be any good, because everybody cleaning… you know, trying to pick out anything good at the… at a cheap rate. Of course here it’s all cheating, they jack up the price and then say “half off.” (laughter) Business you know. But this is not like that. That actually, this is a real bargain. This is the only real bargain, you see, where actually thing are sold below cost, you see, it’s given out free, you see. But somehow or another, even after this, if a person somehow avoided the mercy of Lord Caitanya… was so clever to avoid the mercy of Lord Caitanya, well that person is the most unfortunate, you see. He is the dregs, unfortunate, you see. Most misfortunate... Unfortunate. So, we should be very careful, not to be any one of those, and to take the mercy of Lord Caitanya and try to give it out to everyone. Everyone that can accept it, given the opportunity,
“Chant Hare Krishna.”
“Alright, I have no time.”
Prabhupada pointed out, that people have not time to hear about their immortality. They are racing so fast to death, the time is so short, before they are going to die, they have no time to hear about their immortality. How Prabhupada has written in his books, “They have no time to hear about their immortality.” Because they are going to die any moment, they are going to rush, you see, they have no time.
They’re immortal; they are not going to die. But the illusion is so strong that they think, “I have no time. I have no time to hear about my immortality.” Just see the foolishness.
“Sir, we just want to tell you, that there is no actual danger, that you are not going to die."
“I have no time to hear all these things. I am too busy, you see. Life is so short, I have not time to hear what you are going to tell me.”
“Sir, I just want to.”
“I have no time.”
That’s why vimudhatma, they are called vimudhatma, that mudha means foolish like an ass, and vimudhatma means is a special… special quality of a foolish like an ass. Especially foolish. That they don’t take the time to really find out their real self-interest. They are not selfish. The really selfish person, or one who really has his real self-interest at heart, is the devotee. He is saving himself, really, but he’s also selfless, because in his absolute world all the contradictions meet, you can be the most selfish person and be the most selfless person, simultaneously on the absolute platform. All the contradictions where they unite, if you have two parallel lines, where they unite, that’s the absolute truth, where everything unites. So, there all the contradictions, they are also uniting.
You can be the most selfish person, because it’s to your greatest self-interest to be Krishna consciousness. At the same time it’s the greatest welfare work helping everyone and because it’s completely the desire of Krishna, therefore it’s the most selfless. So this contradiction is only possible in pure God consciousness or pure Krishna consciousness. So somehow or another, those who are fortunate enough to be in Krishna consciousness, they should become selfish to protect their Krishna consciousness, and they should be selfless to give the Krishna consciousness to others.
Hare Krishna Hare Krishna
Krishna Krishna Hare Hare
Hare Rama Hare Rama
Rama Rama Hare Hare
Thank you very much.
Jayapataka Swami: Any questions?
Devotee: Yes sir… Acaryapada, Your Divine Grace, in search for liberation, in a conversation between Prabhupada and the Beatles, um, there is a devotee who is also responding with Prabhupada, and he was describing to the Beatles four sampradayas, the Rudra, the Laksmi, the Kumara and the Vaisnava. And the devotee said, “Now there is only one sampradaya”, then he stops for a minute, and says, “perhaps two.” and I was wondering we all know that the vaisnava-sampradaya has survived, and I was wondering what the devotee meant, you know by that statement. Is it possible one or the other sampradayas still have a small group of people? Are they bonafide, maybe?
Jayapataka Swami: The devotee said that or Prabhupada said that?
Devotee: Uh, the devotee.
Jayapataka Swami: There… there are cases of the four sampradayas. Vishnu swami is Vallabhacharya. There is, He has followers. Ramanujacharya is uh, in South India they have many temples, followers. And uh, Nimbarka also. Nimbarka Swami, Goswami, he has followers. The point is that, sometimes the sampradaya will have a great acarya person, will have pre… preachers present , and they will be preserving those teachings and broadcasting, and sometimes it’s like they come in like a wave. They come in an ebb where somehow the material nature has uh, subdued the preaching effort of that particular sampradaya. So, in that sense, there is a lot of compromising being done in different sampradayas, but the teachings are all bonafide.
The original teachings are actually, the teachings which give some real information about God realization, you see. They actually present the Supreme person as being above the material world, and they present the living entity as being permanently in some connection with Him. What that connection is and how they have slight shades of difference, which lead one to a different conception about the four ultimate form of God, whether His ultimate form is majestic or intimate or what the ultimate type of service, you know, but in the…that’s like very fine focus, that’s very fine focus which the ordinary materialists, they won’t be able to uh… comprehend any of those things, but once one is already on the liberated platform then there is different ways that people approach God or see Him. So those fine, philosophical differences are there, but because they all agree that Krishna and Vishnu is in the transcendental position and living entities are ultimately also in the transcendental position, they are in… the material world is uh, subordinate, therefore there is no contradiction. There is no contradiction with them. So we accept… in the kind of basic issues we all agree, you see. So, we accept, but in terms of their active uh, having a lot of life or spirit now, it’s like they are at the… at the present time at the end of their enthusiasm. It’s like they are running from the previous momentum, but… we said Lord Caitanya came to that particular sampradaya Lord Caitanya came in the most recent incarnation… It’s always that Krishna comes to re-establish the religious principles. So then, He came and in His teachings He has actually taken the essential aspects of each of the other Vaisnava sampradaya. He has taken two essential teachings from each, and combined them. That’s why the teachings of Lord Caitanya, although He came in the line of Madhvacarya, the Brahma-sampradaya, that in spite of that, His teaching are somewhat different, because they combine all the different essence of all the different sampradayas.
Therefore He describes it separately as Gaudiya Vaisnava… Brahma Gaudiya Vaisnava Sampradaya. Brahma Gaudiya. The different… Gaudiya signifies Lord Caitanya, and He take the four sampradayas and combining them together, so it’s predicted in the Padma Purana that these four sampradaya’s will unite and become one in the Kali-yuga, and that someone will initiate this effort who would be born in Jagannatha Puri, and it’s significant that actually it was Bhaktisiddhanta Sarasvati Thakura who was born in Jagannatha Puri, and he initiated this, he build the temple in Mayapur with the four sampradayas represented on each corner of his temple there. And he preached, went to South India, preached that all the sampradayas, uh, should be united in this way, and then of course he empowered Srila Prabhupada, who was specially sent by Krishna for furthering and actually manifesting the message of Lord Caitanya all over the world. So, many of the uh, Gaudiya Vaisnavas have accepted that. Bhaktisiddhanta was the prediction for… fulfilment of the prediction for uniting the four sampradayas for initiating that, and in any case they are all to combine within Lord Caitanya’s sankirtana movement and that is happening more and more. By Prabhupada’s mercy, this preaching is being accepted by all the Vaisnava sampradayas.
There was once an attempt by Jiva Goswami… or he did not attempt… he actually established known as the Visva Vaisnava Maha Sabha, which was a great congress of all Vaisnava devotees of the Lord. To create a… you know a worldwide spiritual consciousness, or within that Visva Vaisnava Mahasabha, he gave a basic blue print how the whole world could be based upon pure God consciousness, pure Krishna consciousness, and he gave twenty-six different categories of world spiritual conquest of which Prabhupada has already given most… you know, given all of them in different forms, you see. It’s just that we are at different levels of implementation.
So simply by following Srila Prabhupada’s books, simply by following the blueprint he gave, then the whole world will become Krishna consciousness, you see. If the devotees simply are determined to continue establishing this philosophy, it doesn’t take any backward steps. It just keeps going forward. We can see just like by these television show… different things, gradually even the Americans who are very conservative, they don’t like to see anything apart from… like the whole world began you know, in the Hebrew area there, and Jesus was walking in Tennessee, couple of hundred years ago as far as the (laughter) So, I mean even they’re being exposed to so many you know, understandings about the Indian source of spiritual knowledge, that hopefully this will gradually make them a little more receptive to understanding the teachings of the Bhagavad-gita, which would definitely inspiration to the religious leaders that they hold dear. Then could come a little bit out of the body consciousness, and work for their real welfare of the whole world. Hare Krishna.
Jayapataka Swami: Yes?
Devotee: Jaya Srila Acaryapada.
Jayapataka Swami: This is Nirguna?
Jayapataka Swami: Fired up from the Marathon ?
Nirguna: Yeah, it was wonderful, everybody was giving. It was very nice, so…
Jayapataka Swami: I heard just like England, they are going to carry on the marathon light through January. I heard you want to carry it right through, too.
Nirguna: Yeah, I figure at least ‘til the 9th, or so because I believe after the first, everybody… there’ll (inaudible) going on. Anyway, you explained some of these pitfalls of these different categorical um, gradual advancement of differnet yoga systems. So, in bhakti-yoga isn’t there also um… dangers that practioners can fall into and which are they and where is the means of counteracting it?
Jayapataka Swami: There are dangers which are of a different category. Anyone who perfectly follows any yoga system will make progress according to that yoga system. It’s just that if you perfectly follow the stairway can walk up, you reach the top of the building. So, the other yoga system, if it’s properly followed, a person will eventually reach the top, but the point is that first of all it’s very difficult to follow, just because it’s very different process, it’s a very strenuous process, it’s very physically demanding.
You see, just like Maharaja Prithu I believe, he lit the four fires on each side, in the middle of the summer you know, and did… was it he, and he did this severe meditation. I mean this is what the yogis do. They learn to you know, transcend the body in a very physical way, so uh, it’s a difficult… it’s a difficult process, but if one perfectly does it then will come up to point of God realization, and at which point he can render devotional service to God. The difficulty is that if a person stops, doesn’t continue in the yoga process, then they get stuck up.
The difficulty here in the West, because the yoga process is so difficult that they don’t present the yoga process as it is. We would have no serious objection if the yoga process as it is was presented to the people and they were trying to practice. Instead, they are being presented some kind of watered down process of yoga which is just more suited… just you know, more suited to them as a… you know, in a terms of like a marketing procedure. And so instead, they don’t actually develop any… many of them don’t develop that much of a real spiritual quest or real spiritual development. They get misled.
The sincere yogis, they have all respect for the bhakti-yogis, you see. They understand that Bhakti is a necessary factor, even of a mystic yoga process. They don’t fully understand bhakti, but they know that it’s a necessary aspect, you see. Similarly the bhakti-yogis, they respect a sincere yogi, trying. The point that they know it’s like a person that’s… there in grade school, that they are going you know, through the grades, you can skip up, and make very quick progress. The real, only the real dangers are not in the yoga systems. The dangers are when we look out of the yoga system, when we stop practicing the yoga, you see. So they’re not… There’s… The danger is simply, in our own inability to practice the yoga system properly.
So, comparatively, it’s… it’s physically almost impossible, and there is no guarantee that we can complete… the course is so long, there is no guarantee we can complete the mystic yoga process in this short life. So therefore, right from the word you know, go, it’s like a impracticality, but uh, Krishna consciousness within this time there is not difficult… even within one day you can become perfect in Krishna Consciousness, even in a moment, like Maharaj Khatvanga, in one moment he became Krishna consciousness. Sukadeva Gosvami uh, taught Bhagavatam to Pariksit Maharaja. In seven days he became pefect. So the point is that, the basic is that ahaituki apratihatā yayātmā suprasīdati. Has to be unbroken… has to be unbroken practice, and it should be unmotivated. This is the basic.
Now, that has been described for our benefit, what are the types of motivations that come in, gross and subtle. What are the type of uh, distractions are there, that can break the continuous flow of bhakti-yoga, of practice of devotional service. So it’s just, that’s just further guard us, because we might not you know… due to inexperience we might not consider something to be an obstacle. We might think, “Oh what’s wrong with that, that’s alright.”
You might consider “Well, what’s wrong with opening up you know, hospitals or doing different kind of activity.” We might… If we are doing some unrelated work which appears to be good in a material sense, but it may have some spiritual dangers there, so for that we warned… just it’s described to us all the different kind of material dangers that are there, so in case they try to come and distract us, we will be able to distinguish between matter and spirit, between the spiritual path and the material.
Actually, as long as we just stick to Krishna consciousness, we don’t ever break the Krishna conscious flow, we don’t uh, pollute our consciousness with some type of other ulterior motive... Some kind of like, “I wanna practice Krishna consciousness in order that I can get a new car, in order that I can get a new good material body, which is going to die anyway. This one’s already going to die. Now another one’s going to die.” Anything like that… just some ulterior motives, then that will produce that… the motive thing will give us that result. We won’t get pure Krishna consciousness and the distractions they may whatsl… waylay us. So the actual… in the process itself there is no danger. The dangers are all on the periphery, all on the sides. So, that way it just telling us that what the dangers are so that we can avoid them, you see.
Actually, if you are just… just like Parikshit Maharaja, he then he really had to get into all the …just day and night, all he did for seven days is just hear about Krishna. There was no distraction. They didn’t even stop to eat or drink water. He just… for seven days and nights, he just listened. So, he got, you know, this is unbroken, continuous flow of Krishna consciousness. He had no other motive except to uh, achieve his ultimate spiritual welfare, he achieved… but we have the you know, whole life, so within that life there are so many desires may come up, so many distractions. We are just being told that what those dangers are from outside, because it’s like you are on the ship and the sharks were you know try to lure you off, “You come over here.”
Just like Ravana told Sita devi, “Just step out here. It’s alright.” She was safe as long as she was within that area. You know the story how she put the… Laksman put the line that no one could go in. Ravana tried to go in but he got burnt. So, then he tried to trick Sita that “I will fast… I will go away hungry if you don’t come out and give.” you see, so, he was dressed like a very saintly person, like a sadhu, like a saint but then as soon as she came out, he threw off his robes and there he was, Ravana the demon, and then he grabbed her and kidnapped her. This was the situation that actually within devotional service, as long as we just keep that unbroken… one have like… uh, unbroken flow of devotional service, there is no danger, but the difficulty is… is that uh, because our flow may not be so unbroken, it may not be you know, so complete and full in the beginning stages, that little bits of uh, of contaminations can creep in, so we’re warned, you see, what those contaminations are so that we can be on the look out, you know.
Just like when you are driving on the road, they put a sign, “Dangerous Curve”, that means you have to especially careful when you go around the curve. If you are a little carelessly, go around a little wildly, you might sleep off the road, you see. Actually the road is all paved, it’s all you know, good road. You just have to know where the curves are, so that way you are given some warning, this are the dangerous places, you have to be careful about it. So that way, 50% of energy we do to keep our foot on the accelerator, to keep the uh… to keep the uh, devotional service going, you see, and then other 50% we have to keep our eyes on the road, you see, pulling out the weeds of devotional service, keep bewaring of all the, you know other type of little dangers, trying to just test us, or try to distract us. Actually on the path there is no dangers. The danger is somehow or other to distract to get off the path or slow down our progress, you see. So that way it just uh, there is no real… there is no deficiency or danger within devotional service, but it’s just warning us what the dangers outside might come so we can differentiate, what is devotional service and what is actually Maya? What is material activity, so don’t fall into material activity uh, with some kind of sentiment that, “Well this is also spiritual.” and then you know uh, get stuck up, just like someone who takes the wrong turn because he didn’t read the road sign properly. Happens all the time right? And then after you go a ways, then you realize you realize that, “Oh ! This is not the right road.” Then you turn around, then it’s not always, you don’t find the turn around so easily, so you waste a little time.
So just so you don’t waste any time, first the path is given, this is the direction, right?, but then just to be sure that you don’t make any wrong turns you see, watch out when you get this point, there is a wrong turn, you could take, don’t take it. This… So that way just makes it that much easier, but if the person even say doesn’t know all those things, if he can just, he just you know stays on that, you know on a straight road, doesn’t go here and there, doesn’t just you know, then even then it’s alright. This is all like additional information given, just to provide us a special security.
First that’s why always the… First is always you chant, first practice, there is a positive, this is what you have to practice, then avoid these things, because if you avoid these things that will help you so much. Devotee: What’s the…what’s the practical example of pulling out the weeds?
Jayapataka Swami: Pulling out the weeds? Well, just like for instance uh, the first weed is described as Nisidacara, unauthorized behavior, say that a person uh, is habituated to uh, eating meat, but chanting Hare Krishna… friend of Krishna, coming but you know still he eats meat. So, then the person gradually stops eating meat, that is pulling the weed out. Or then, say, in the beginning stage, but then say something that might even attack an older person that’s in devotional service, kutinati or labha, puja, pratistha. Kutinati means diplomatic behaviour, just like say a neophyte devotee, not very strong, he is trying to practice devotional service, he’s practicing, but somehow he got mislead… miss… you know, like waylaid. Went out, did something wrong, maybe went out, got drunk or something, you know. Just fall… said, “I met some old friends.”
They said, “Come on!”
“Next thing you know, I had a beer can.” in his hand, whatever, and so got in trouble. So then… I met a devotee like that. That was not a devotee, initiated, but just like a bhakta type person, and then he had something like that happen… then he got picked up for drunken driving. Very… he was com… (inaudible) was apologizing. He was going to really try to be Krishna conscious again, so the thing was that if a person… say that a person does something like that, and some senior person is there to help him, some spiritually advanced person, and then if tries to like lie about it, hide the truth, so or… that’s one form of kutinati, being devious you know. Well, if the person was straight forward, “Yeah, I had this problem, can you help me?” Then he gets some good advice, and that gives him some more inspiration, some more strength to just stay on the path, you see. So that, lack of being straightforward of you know, confiding in uh, people who are actually there to help you spiritually, that’s one form of kutinati, there are many others, like different have diplomatic behavior, so if one… one gives up that behavior and then takes the uh, you know, straight forward path, takes the consequences whatever it may be, you see, there is no consequences like that in devotional service, no one is going to uh, put anyone unnecessarily on the spot, rather one is compassionate, trying to help someone if they are having difficulties. So, that’s how you pull the weed.
It’s just that, you have to isolate, you have to recognize, “This is the defect, this is a mistake, this is a wrong thing.” and then you… then you work at uh, not doing it anymore. That’s how you pull it. That’s the meaning of pulling it. Just like you know, some people show you, “Look at my garden. Look at my lawn. It’s so beautiful; everything is green, right ?” Before… If I look at the lawn, I’ll think its great, but then if some you know, horticulturist comes, he says, “Well that’s crabgrass, that’s too… this is you know, this is uh, hog… hog… hog grass, and this is not you know you supposed to have all you know Kentucky blue or something. You got all this other garbage grass in there.” You see. For an ordinary, layman, it’s all grass, you know, who cares? But you know, if you really get into it, it’s all… some kinds of grass are ultimately weeds that don’t help the… They’re gonna take over the whole thing and make it very scrubby looking, but it looks the same, it looks similar, you see.
So all you do, you pull it out, take it out… so, you have to isolate it first, what is the weed and what is the real plant. Weed means it looks like a real plant… it’s a plant also, so it looks similar, it’s not necessarily a lot different, it might be a lot different or might even be similar, it’s a plant anyway. So, some of them are a slight different, some of them are really different, just like an oak tree and a piece of grass, same type of living entity: plant, you see, vegetation, but it’s not that completely different, may be in the beginning stages it looks similar, when it’s just like a 3 inches ha… high, but in the end you know it becomes completely different. So how you pull it out in terms of practicality, is by stopping doing that particularly or at least trying to stop. First you isolate what it is, then you work it pulling it out.
Is that alright?
Devotee: What books can you refer to in understanding the different weeds.
Jayapataka Swami: Caitanya Caritamrita, Madhya lila in the instructions to uh, Rupa Gosvami, Lord Caitanya describes about the weeds of devotional service, that’s one place, where he describes different weeds: Quite extensive purports by Srila Prabhupada. Then in the, also in the c.c Caitanya Caritamrita in the Madhya Lila or Anta Lila, I think it’s the Madhya Lila, it’s the Gundica Marjanam, it’s Madhya Lila, right?
Devotee: Madhya 5
Jayapataka Swami: Madhya 5. In the Gundicha Marjanam, there ah.. it goes into some details about uh, cleansing the heart, using the pastime of Lord Caitanya, cleansing the temple. And then in the purport, it describes about the different things that are in the heart that can be cleansed… types of weeds, then just off hand I would say that there are a lot of important instructions that one could learn by reading the pastimes in the Bhagavatam about King Puranjana. More… on a more material level, it describes a lot of the material type of problems. In that allegorical story about Puranjana, in general throughout it gives so many instructions. Specially those two parts of the Caitanya-Caritamrita, directly regarding pulling weeds, or what the weeds are in… by definition, but you will find instruction like that throughout.
Any one else. Nirguna?
Nirguna: Yes, I have a question about offering of Arati and the articles of worship.
Jayapataka Swami: Is it to do with this class?
Nirguna prabhu: Well, no, what I… what I was…
Jayapataka Swami: Otherwise you…
Nirguna prabhu: …saying very specifically some of the purpose of some of the articles, like for instance, the conchshell or water, how was that actually used by the recipient, and should it be warm or cold, and what is the purpose, and the handkerchief? In other words, try to understand why am I offering this worshipable person, how is it used. I’ve heard, you know different things, but I never could register. I never (inaudible)…
Jayapataka Swami: Well, the incense is pretty obvious, offering scent. Lamp… You are greeting… Arati means greeting, it’s the way you greet a person; you offer lights to him, very aesthetically pleasing, lighting up the person, it’s a form of greeting. Similarly, the conchshell, there is some significance, I don’t know… I have heard, something I can’t remember all of them, just off hand. The water in the conchshell, these are different ty… auspicious…. auspicious offerings which are very pleasing to Krishna, but there are so many different significances you know. Some of them are just purely practical like the incense, or the Chamara, or fanning an incense or even the cloth, you are wiping the Lord, something to wipe Him, wipe His face, offer water, then after that you offer the… you are offering water you know, then you offering the wipe, but it has you know this type practical significance and it also has so many esoteric meanings. Offering flowers, these are different offerings.
You can offer five items, sixteen items, sixty-four items, different items are being offered with devotion. So that’s a form of greeting the Lord and by witnessing these things also it’s very purifying. Even today in India, say like when I come to some places, then a lot of time there is a kirtana party meets me and then the people there take a… they take a tray with a Arati lights on it, then they offer like this. They offer the lamp, and on it they have piles of rice sometime, so they have different offerings, and these are Vedic uh, traditions for receiving someone, you see, but it’s very uh, auspicious and it’s very beautiful, at the same time.
So like this uh we… I sent anewsletter… I am writing a book on uh, the revised Arcana-padhati in a book on… handbook for these different types of spiritual practices, so I said that, “Anyone has any question, if they write, I will research you know, and include that in the book.” It’s there, it’s there in the Hari Bhakti Vilas, I read it what the water and the conchshell, it’s I think water of the seven seas are there and all the holy rivers, different thing. Each has some significance but uh, normally we don’t think about those, you know, every day we are meditating on mantras and chanting doing our service but if you want to know this, then we can consider not keeping the book two volumes, whatever… it’s just people ask the questions, if enough people want to know a particular thing and if it’s simple enough to explain it then we can put that in a book itself, so that it can be there for people in the future, but the basic attitude when you are offering should be, you know, more… rather thinking about what the individual thing is, the actual idea is that you are greeting the Lord, you are receiving Him, and so in that type of, this is just giving an opportunity to receive right?
Just like when you meet… when you see people meet at the airport, right? We were landed in the Nashville, it was Christmas Eve. So many people are coming in and they are laughing and hugging each other and , “Oh!” They were so happy to see their relatives and everyone, you know, then some people it was just like you know, a handshake, and other people, they were just you know laughing and hugging and everything, then after that it was all, you know… after a few seconds it died down. Some people, they went on and on, and it was going on in the hallways.
They were going to get their baggage, but usually, by the time everyone got down to the baggage collection there was already kind of work you know… petered out, but you know for five minutes, some… two seconds and you know, ten minutes, you know they kept a lot of you know, enthusiasm, then gradually you know, that type of… So here, you know, we can keep that enthusiasm for 45 minutes with the Lord doing arati, because there are so many things that… Krishna has given us, a procedure where we can go on expressing our joy to be able to greet the Lord and to receive Him and meditate on His transcendental form, that… lotus feet, it’s a vehicle for our receiving for meditation, for serving. So, that’s the principle, (inaudible) meditate, chant Hare Krishna, and receiving the Lord.
Transcribed by Sadananda Krishnaprema dasa
Revised by Jagannatha dasa Brahmacari