The following is a lecture given by His Holiness Jayapataka Swami on September 27th, 1984 at Murari Sevaka farm in Mulberry, Tennessee. The class begins with a lecture from the Srimad-Bhagavatam, First Canto, Chapter 7, Verse 10.
All different varieties of atmaramas
Devotees: All different varieties of atmaramas
Jayapataka Swami: those who take pleasure in atma
Devotees: those who take pleasure in atma
Jayapataka Swami: or spirit self
Devotees: or spirit self
Jayapataka Swami: especially those established
Devotees: especially those established
Jayapataka Swami: on the path of self realization
Devotees: on the path of self realization
Jayapataka Swami: though freed from all kinds of material bondage
Devotees: though freed from all kinds of material bondage
Jayapataka Swami: desire to render unalloyed devotional service
Devotees: desire to render unalloyed devotional service
Jayapataka Swami: unto the Personality of Godhead.
Devotees: unto the Personality of Godhead.
Jayapataka Swami: This means that the Lord possesses
Devotees: This means that the Lord possesses
Jayapataka Swami: transcendental qualities
Devotees: transcendental qualities
Jayapataka Swami: and therefore can attract everyone,
Devotees: and therefore can attract everyone,
Jayapataka Swami: including liberated souls.
Devotees: including liberated souls.
Lord Śrī Caitanya Mahāprabhu explained this ātmārāma śloka very vividly before His chief devotee Śrīla Sanātana Gosvāmī. He points out eleven factors in the śloka, namely (1) ātmārāma, (2) munayaḥ, (3) nirgrantha, (4) api, (5) ca, (6) urukrama, (7) kurvanti, (8) ahaitukīm, (9) bhaktim, (10) ittham-bhūta-guṇaḥ and (11) hariḥ. According to the Viśva-prakāśa Sanskrit dictionary, there are seven synonyms for the word ātmā, which are as follows: (1) Brahman (the Absolute Truth), (2) body, (3) mind, (4) endeavor, (5) endurance, (6) intelligence and (7) personal habits.
The word munayaḥ refers to (1) those who are thoughtful, (2) those who are grave and silent, (3) ascetics, (4) the persistent, (5) mendicants, (6) sages and (7) saints.
The word nirgrantha conveys these ideas: (1) one who is liberated from nescience, (2) one who has no connection with scriptural injunction, i.e., who is freed from the obligation of the rules and regulations mentioned in the revealed scriptures like ethics, Vedas, philosophy, psychology and metaphysics (in other words the fools, illiterate, urchins, etc., who have no connection with regulative principles), (3) a capitalist, and also (4) one who is penniless.
According to the Śabda-kośa dictionary, the affix ni is used in the sense of (1) certainty, (2) counting, (3) building, and (4) forbiddance, and the word grantha is used in the sense of wealth, thesis, vocabulary, etc.
The word urukrama means “the one whose activities are glorious.” Krama means “step.” This word urukrama specifically indicates the Lord’s incarnation as Vāmana, who covered the whole universe by immeasurable steps. Lord Viṣṇu is powerful, and His activities are so glorious that He has created the spiritual world by His internal potency and the material world by His external potency. By His all-pervading features He is everywhere present as the Supreme Truth, and in His personal feature He is always present in His transcendental abode of Goloka Vṛndāvana, where He displays His transcendental pastimes in all variegatedness. His activities cannot be compared to anyone else’s, and therefore the word urukrama is just applicable to Him only.
According to Sanskrit verbal arrangement, kurvanti refers to doing things for someone else. Therefore, it means that the ātmārāmas render devotional service unto the Lord not for personal interest but for the pleasure of the Lord, Urukrama.
Hetu means “causal.” There are many causes for one’s sense satisfaction, and they can be chiefly classified as material enjoyment, mystic powers and liberation, which are generally desired by progressive persons. As far as material enjoyments are concerned, they are innumerable, and the materialists are eager to increase them more and more because they are under the illusory energy. There is no end to the list of material enjoyments, nor can anyone in the material universe have all of them. As far as the mystic powers are concerned, they are eight in all (such as to become the minutest in form, to become weightless, to have anything one desires, to lord it over the material nature, to control other living beings, to throw earthly globes in outer space, etc.). These mystic powers are mentioned in the Bhāgavatam. The forms of liberation are five in number.
Therefore, unalloyed devotion means service to the Lord without desire for the above-mentioned personal benefits. And the powerful Personality of Godhead, Śrī Kṛṣṇa, can be fully satisfied by such unalloyed devotees free from all sorts of desires for personal benefit.
Unalloyed devotional service of the Lord progresses in different stages. Practice of devotional service in the material field is of eighty-one different qualities, and above such activities is the transcendental practice of devotional service, which is one and is called sādhana-bhakti. When unalloyed practice of sādhana-bhakti is matured into transcendental love for the Lord, the transcendental loving service of the Lord begins gradually developing into nine progressive stages of loving service under the headings of attachment, love, affection, feelings, affinity, adherence, following, ecstasy, and intense feelings of separation.
The attachment of an inactive devotee develops up to the stage of transcendental love of God. Attachment of an active servitor develops up to the stage of adherence, and that for a friendly devotee develops up to the stage of following, and the same is also the case for the parental devotees. Devotees in conjugal love develop ecstasy up to the stage of intense feelings of separation. These are some of the features of unalloyed devotional service of the Lord…”
These are the different stages of prema.
“…According to Hari-bhakti-sudhodaya, the import of the word ittham-bhūta is “complete bliss.” Transcendental bliss in the realization of impersonal Brahman becomes comparable to the scanty water contained in the pit made by a cow’s hoof. It is nothing compared with the ocean of bliss of the vision of the Personality of Godhead. The personal form of Lord Śrī Kṛṣṇa is so attractive that it comprehends all attraction, all bliss and all tastes (rasas). These attractions are so strong that no one wants to exchange them for material enjoyment, mystic powers and liberation. There is no need of logical arguments in support of this statement, but out of one’s own nature one becomes attracted by the qualities of Lord Śrī Kṛṣṇa. We must know for certain that the qualities of the Lord have nothing to do with mundane qualities. All of them are full of bliss, knowledge and eternity. There are innumerable qualities of the Lord, and one is attracted by one quality while another is attracted by another.
Great sages, such as the four bachelor-devotees Sanaka, Sanātana, Suna… Sananda and Sanat-kumāra, were attracted by the fragrance of flowers and tulasī leaves anointed with the pulp of sandalwood offered at the lotus feet of the Lord. Similarly, Śukadeva Gosvāmī was attracted by the transcendental pastimes of the Lord. Śukadeva Gosvāmī was already situated in the liberated stage, yet he was attracted by the pastimes of the Lord. This proves that the quality of His pastimes has nothing to do with material affinity. Similarly, the young cowherd damsels were attracted by the bodily features of the Lord, and Rukmiṇī was attracted by hearing about the glories of the Lord. Lord Kṛṣṇa attracts even the mind of the go… goddess of fortune. He attracts, in special cases, the minds of all young girls. He attracts the minds of the elderly ladies by parental affection. He attracts the minds of the males in the humors of servitude and friendship.
The word hari conveys various meanings, but the chief import of the word is that He (the Lord) vanquishes everything inauspicious and takes away the mind of the devotee by awarding pure transcendental love. By remembering the Lord in acute distress one can be free from all varieties of miseries and anxieties. Gradually the Lord vanquishes all obstacles on the path of devotional service of a pure devotee, and the result of nine devotional activities, such as hearing and chanting, becomes manifested.
By His personal features and transcendental attributes, the Lord attracts all psychological activities of a pure devotee. Such is the attractive power of Lord Sri Kṛṣṇa. The attraction is so powerful that a pure devotee never hankers for any one of the four principles of religion. These are the attractive features of the transcendental attributes of the Lord. And adding to this the words api and ca, one can increase the imports unlimitedly. According to Sanskrit grammar there are seven synonyms for the word api.
So by interpreting each and every word of this śloka, one can see unlimited numbers of transcendental qualities of Lord Kṛṣṇa that attract the mind of a pure devotee.
Thus end the Purport of Text 10, Chapter 7, Canto 1 of the Srimad-Bhagavatam by His Divine Grace Abhay Carana Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada.
ātmārāmāś ca munayo
nirgranthā apy urukrame
kurvanty ahaitukīṁ bhaktim
Jayapataka Swami: So this verse has been preached on by Lord Caitanya in different occasions. It's very important verse, because how Lord Caitanya explained in such detail. Actually the verses in the Bhagavatam, you can take every verse and take it word by word and you can get so many different purports from each verse. Here if you take the eleven factors in the sloka and then each factor has somehow between seven… four to seven different meanings, then, how many different combinations can you get of those? Each one seven, these six will stay, this one change, this six again change, you know like… How many total combinations, that's how many basic understandings of the verse could be derived, but Lord Caitanya, He gave 64 meanings just like that but actually practically speaking we can get hundreds of thousands of meanings, unlimited meanings. Because then, if you take each of the synonyms then with those synonyms you could also find synonyms and further break it down.
The point is that someone who is completely material… of course there are so many points, one of the basic points is that someone who is completely materially spiritually satisfied, still he is attracted by the transcendental qualities of the Lord engages in His pure unalloyed devotional service. Anyway if somebody thinks, “Well, we have to serve the Lord for some material reason.” that this verse very conclusively establishes that even people who are completely materially transcendental or who are independent of so many material controls, they willingly engage in the devotional service of the Lord although their material realization, being attracted by His transcendental qualities.
This is basically a proof that devotional service is the summum bonum of life. This also proves the transcendental position of Lord Caitanya. When Lord Caitanya explained this atmarama sloka in Jagannath puri to Sarvabhauma Bhattacarya, that's what convinced Sarvabhauma Bhattacarya that Lord Caitanya actually was not a conditioned soul but He was the Supreme Personality of Godhead because nobody could have such an expansive and deep understanding of the verse. Similar situation happened when digvijaya Kesava Kasmiri was turning all over India. Wherever he went he got people to sign, he defeated people, in this way as a pandit as a great learned scholar, he was becoming more and more prominent and famous.
His secret of success was that he would worship mother Sarasvati. This way he would get so much knowledge he could defeat others. So when the Kesava Kasmiri had set his eyes in Navadvipa, where he wanted to go and defeat all the pandits in Navadvipa, then he would be the most prominent pandit in the entire north India, it's not the whole india.
So Kesava Kasmiri offered his worship to mother Saraswati as usual and the pandits of Navadvipa they were very afraid of this digvijaya because he was practically inde… undefeatable. So they came up to a plan of action and they actually asked Nimai pandit to meet him because they thought “Nimai pandit is so young and such a astute pandit that if he defeats him, well so, our glory will be enhanced so much that even one of our very young pandits could defeat him.” But although Nimai pandit was infact the most qualified, best of all the pandits. The second thing is well even if He were to lose then they could possibly get another chance saying, “Well, He’s just a small boy and by that time, they wouldn’t be able to figure out… so it was kind of a political move from their part to ask Nimai pandit to meet Kesava Kasmiri, they didn’t actually know the real transcendental position.
So Nimai pandit, Lord Caitanya went to the ocean or to the Ganges bathing, and it just happened that by the will of providence He met with Kesava Kasmiri there outside the city. So Kesava Kasmiri could understand that here was the person that he was actually supposed to meet. So they started to discuss and uh, Lord Caitanya, He took a humble position and said that “I’d like to hear your poetry.” He said, “I’m just a humble student of grammar and if I could learn you know, poetic art from you then it will be very nice.” So then Kesava Kasmiri immediately, he was just beside the Ganges, so he gave a hundred verses glorifying the Ganges, just like you know just composing, per… Sanskrit poetry just like a machine gun, bam bam bam one after the other. All seem to be, you know completely perfect as would be revealed by Lord Caitanya.
That’s how they belong. Put… hold it. Put them right. That’s how the crack. You’re putting ‘em backwards.
So right in the middle, Lord Caitanya asked the good and bad qualities of like the 54th verse. This has happened to me sometimes when someone would come and say, some Indian… you ask for questions and he raise his hand and… in South Indian, they say, “The fifth chapter 43rd verse of the Bhagavad-gita says that…” “…What you have to say about that?” you know, (laughter)
“Can't remember what the fifth and 43rd verse…” You know. Can I get a hint which… you know. They never tell you what the verse is, they just like tell you the number and then they say some part from it you know and then they ask you to comment.
So, “Bring out the Bhagavad-gita and let’s just go over it.” And then, it turns out that usually they misquote, they really meant the seventh chapter 22nd verse you know, which really threw you off. It happened to me when the guy kept saying…
I said, “Are you sure you mean…” We read out the verse.
Says, “…That’s not the one.” You know. He was like, you know twenty numbers off, but here Lord Caitanya, you know, He just picked out one verse in the middle which astonished… because even though he was composing hundred verses, but it wasn't even that he was to put that in memory himself, but here Lord Caitanya had put all of the verses immediately, tsh tsh, right to memory. So He picked out, any one He picked out and then He quoted, what are the good and bad quality of that? Immediately he got puffed up, good and bad qualities? As if there’s bad qualities in his composition, you know.
He says, “There’s no bad qualities in my composition, so then Lord Caitanya proceeded to show various uh, errors in the composition, double negatives, misuse of uh, syllables, certain grammarical and metaphorical errors. Then after that he showed the good qualities, how many similes, how many metaphors, how many, what do you call it, sillibants, different other type of poetic embellishments. In this way Kesava Kasmiri has said there is no fault in his composition and Lord Caitanya picked out the fault. Technically Kesava Kasmiri was KO’d (laughter) in the pandit arena.
So then Kesava Kasmiri went back to where he was staying and he was trying to, “Why is that? I said there was no fault in my composition. Why did Sarasvati Devi let me down like that?” So he prayed to Sarasvati Devi to please reveal how is it that he lost to Nimai pandita. What offence or something had he done to her, she misplaced intelligence, failed him. Then that night in the dream, in the dream or directly, I think in the dream, Sarasvati Devi appeared to him and told him that, “That person whom you think as Nimai pandit, you should surrender unto Him. He is actually my husband, He is my master, He is my eternal master, Krishna.”
So in this way next day Kesava Kasmiri, he surrendered to Lord Caitanya and then Lord Caitanya revealed His transcendental form to Kesava Kasmiri. Kesava Kasmiri became absorbed in pure devotional service. So human intelligence has a limit, it can always fail, big multinational corporations, they make big computer programs, they put… one was recently put out, then after putting it out for two weeks they have to take it back, bugs, not the ones that crawl out… had so many years and they dint foresee, this is the material situation, that our intelligence, no matter how developed it is, just like Hiranyakasipu, he had tried to figure everything out but it never comes up to the intelligence of the Supreme Personality of Godhead, because our intelligence is the part of fraction of His intelligence.
So the fraction can never equal the whole, by definition the fraction has to be less than the whole. So by definition we are, we are just the spark, a part of Krishna, therefore we can never equal the whole, but if we are in surrendered to Him, if we are in complete harmony with Him then we can get the unlimited potency coming through us, but if we try to compete with Krishna off course we will lose. So in this material world people are trying to compete with Krishna's external energy and they are getting defeated, what to speak of those who want to directly compete with Krishna, their situation is very precarious.
You see, so the devotees they stop this completion business against Krishna, they stop the enjoying attitude of trying to exploit the material world for their sense gratification and rather they use their intelligence, their faculties, their senses everything for the service of the Lord. In this way they become atmarama, they become completely self satisfied, they become completely nirgrantha, freed from all kinds of material bondages, the munis, the devotees, not those Mooney’s , this is the Sanskrit muni, munayah, silent means, the devotee, doesn't mean he just becomes mauna babas, the mauna babas in India, they have these mauna babas, they take a vow they won't speak for two three four years, something like that, they don't speak, so then we won't talk to them, so then they write. So in this way, they are still thinking so many things, but they just take a vow they won't speak, it's like there are people born in that way, they can't speak, in Mayapur there is one man, he can't speak, he just grunts and if he want to say something he has to write it down and show you, they are called bulla, deaf and dumb, what do they call here? Deaf mute, they can't speak.
So to be a mauna babas, or deaf mute, by choice, it's not a very transcendental situation, so muni doesn't mean that kind of silence. But a devotee is muni that he only speaks about Krishna, doesn't speak nonsense, doesn't speak materialistically neither does he just becomes silent like a deaf mute, but he speaks only transcendental subject matter. So here in Murari Sevaka this reminded how that verse in Bhagavatam, that Murari he saves us, protects us from all kinds of dangers of life, that Murari's lotus feet are the boat by which we can cross over this ocean of the material world. So Prabhupada, he has given us Murari sevak, in order that we can serve Murari's lotus feet and thus cross over the ocean of material world, crossing over all of the dangers which the material world holds out at every step.
samāśritā ye padapallava-plavaṁ
mahat-padaṁ puṇya-yaśo murāreḥ
bhāvambudhir vatsa-padaṁ paraṁ padaṁ
paraṁ padaṁ yad vipadāṁ na teṣām.
So that same point was referred to here in the purport as it was reminded when Prabhupada said that… Om tat sat. “Transcendental bliss in the realisation of impersonal Brahman becomes comparable to the scanty water contained in the tip made by a cow's hoof, it is nothing compared with the ocean of bliss of the vision of the Personality of Godhead.”
So here by becoming a sevak or a servitor of Murari, then we can transcend the ocean of material birth and death which is reduced just like there’s a small scanty hoof print of water we can transcend the boring impersonal bliss of Brahman and transcend to the unlimited transcendental qualities of Krishna, of Murari, by taking shelter of Murari's devotional service. For those who don't take shelter of the lotus feet of Murari, who instead try to take shelter of their own intelligence of this material world, you see for them that the munis the intelligent devotees of the Lord, they never do that because they never know that padam padam yad vipadam that at every step, padam padam, step by step there is yad vipadam, there is the possibility of danger, but when we take shelter of Murari or Krishna then we cross over the ocean of danger, we become fearless. bhaja huṅ re mana śrī-nanda-nandana, abhaya-caraṇāravinda re, completely fearless in devotional service.
hare kṛṣṇa hare kṛṣṇa
kṛṣṇa kṛṣṇa hare hare
hare rāma hare rāma
rāma rāma hare hare
Devotee: Acaryapada ki Jaya!
Transcribed by Bhaktin Nivetha
Revised by Jagannatha dasa Brahmacari