The following is a lecture given by His Holiness Jayapataka Swami on October 1st, 1984 in New Orleans, Louisiana. The class begins with a reading from the Srimad-Bhagavatam, 10th Canto, Chapter 12, Verse 42 and 43. [Transcribers note, the class actually begins from verse 41.]
Jayapataka Swami: śrī-rājovāca
Jayapataka Swami: brahman kālāntara-kṛtaṁ
Devotees: brahman kālāntara-kṛtaṁ
Jayapataka Swami: tat-kālīnaṁ kathaṁ bhavet
Devotees: tat-kālīnaṁ kathaṁ bhavet
Jayapataka Swami: yat kaumāre hari-kṛtaṁ
Devotees: yat kaumāre hari-kṛtaṁ
Jayapataka Swami: jaguḥ paugaṇḍake ’rbhakāḥ
Devotees: jaguḥ paugaṇḍake ’rbhakāḥ
Jayapataka Swami: “… sage, how could things done in the past have been described as being done at the present? Lord Śrī Kṛṣṇa performed this pastime of killing Aghāsura during His kaumāra age. How then, during His paugaṇḍa age, could the boys have described this incident as having happened recently?”
Kaumara age is up to five and pauganda age is six, up.
tad bruhi me maha-yogin
param kautuhalam guro
nunam etad dharer eva
maya bhavati nanyatha
tad bruhi me maha-yogin
param kautuhalam guro
nunam etad dharer eva
maya bhavati nanyatha
Translation by His Divine Grace Srila Abhay Charan Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada:
“O greatest yogi, my spiritual master, kindly describe why this happened. I am very much curious to know about it. I think that it was nothing but another illusion due to Krsna.”
Translation with repetition:
O greatest yogi
Devotees: O greatest yogi
Jayapataka Swami: my spiritual master
Devotees: my spiritual master
Jayapataka Swami: kindly describe
Devotees: kindly describe
Jayapataka Swami: why this happened.
Devotees: why this happened.
Jayapataka Swami: I am very much curious
Devotees: I am very much curious
Jayapataka Swami: to know about it
Devotees: to know about it
Jayapataka Swami: I think that it was nothing
Devotees: I think that it was nothing
Jayapataka Swami: but another illusion
Devotees: but another illusion
Jayapataka Swami: due to Krsna.
Devotees: due to Krsna.
Krsna has many potencies: parasya saktir vividhaiva sruyate (Svetasvatara Upanisad 6.8). The description of Aghasura was disclosed after one year. Some act of Krsna's potency must have been involved. Therefore Maharaja Pariksit was very curious to know about this, and he requested Sukadeva Gosvami to explain it.
So, this is an example of a attentive disciple. Sukadeva Gosvami, he just went on explaining Aghasura almost killed the devotees but the cowherd boys were brought back to life then, they are going back to their home but they didn’t tell their parents for one year and when they told they said that… as if it just happened yesterday.
So, it is said that… as if, he just said that “Well, when they came back, and a year later they explained it to their friends and parents.” But Pariksit Maharaja is so sharp, he’s listening so attentively immediately he picked up that there’s some discrepancy, there’s something unusual there. If a big thing happens today I don’t tell somebody a year later as if it had happened the day before. But… and especially when it has to do with Krsna, then it means that there must be something mysterious, something wonderful by His own spiritual potencies which has taken place, otherwise why this curious situation, you see.
Normally when we speak in the Bhagavatam, there are many subtle points which come up which if one doesn’t have the proper broad understanding, it may even appear like a contradiction and the very sharp disciples, you see, who are listening attentively, they may be able to pick up some of these uh, curious situations and they are supposed to ask questions. So that later if someone else asks “How is this possible?” or “What is this?” then they will be able to answer effectively.
So, Pariksit Maharaja, he was very attentive and whatever he heard he tried to digest. Srila Prabhupada said that we should take in the knowledge just like eating, then we should digest it. If it doesn’t digest then we should bring it up again by asking questions, and then when it thoroughly understood, digested, then we can assimilate it. Then we should give it to others. No one should leave a half digested… just like you don’t leave a half digested food in your stomach, you shouldn’t leave a half understood knowledge in your brain cause that can cause some confusion in the future. One should be very careful to try to understand whatever is being said and then to clear it up. If there’s any doubt or misgiving or misunderstanding or unclarity, then that should be cleared up through proper submissive inquiry.
This also shows etiquette. "O greatest yogi, my spiritual master…" Before one speaks to a spiritual master it is a regular principle that one should glorify the spiritual master, one should offer praise to the spiritual master, not some kind of false praise, but praise which is uh, real praise, which is valid praise, and then after, one presents one’s own point.
Just as when we pray to the Deity, first, we offer our respects to the Deity, then we praise the Deity for His transcendental qualities, you see. Just like Sri Krishna Caitanya Prabhu is worshiped by the acaryas. They first offer in a humble way their obeisances to Lord Chaitanya, they glorify Lord Chaitanya, then in the end they pray for His mercy. So Pariksit Maharaja, he’s very perfect in everything that he does, so it’s a very good example. Krishna’s going through these different ages, they add different flavors to the pastimes.
Naturally a small child is completely dependent on the parent, then they become a little bigger they start crawling around , then once they get up to five years of age, up to that point they are very very innocent in one sense I mean maybe some… mischievous, but they are very much dependent upon the parents. But after five, well they… say five to ten, then they start becoming… you know, developing other certain different qualities, different type of activities. Their speech starts to become more articulate. Their… So many different programs are there. Their play becomes more involved. So, in this way now Krishna is going into this pauganda stage.
So pauganda… like this, there’s so many stages of Krishna’s childhood and the different pastimes are glorified by the devotees, especially the kaumara, the very baby kaumara and pauganda stages are very much… they’re very appreciated, they’re very much appreciated by the parents, those in the parental humor, while the kishora age, or the youthful age, say around 16 or so, this is very app… this is well, deeply appreciated by those in the madhurya rasa.
For the friends, well diff… cowherd boys, they probably like this pauganda age very much, because that’s the age where Krishna has so many different types of play. So, in any case Krishna’s pastimes offer variety for everyone and these different changes of form, they’re not under the ordinary… they’re not under any material law that He’s changing… as we in the material world… there’s growth and a change under the dictation of the material world. Here in the purport we should always remember that… parasya saktir vividhaiva sruyate, that the Lord has got many energies. These energies are under His control. And through the agencies of these energies He’s changing His appearance and He’s having various pastimes. While the difference is that we are under the control of one of His energies, the material energy in this material world, and we can, when we surrender unto Him, come under the shelter of the spiritual energy, and be protected from this material energy.
So, but in one… we are always under one energy or another. We’re never independent. We may have some minute independence. That means that within the purview of that energy’s control, there may be some room for movement, some room for going little this way, or a little that way, but that is very limited. Srila Prabhupada said that even a person in the material world, they have some slight independence to move up to the satya-guna, or move down to the tama-guna. Within the three modes, they have some crossroads where they have a choice, but this is very miniscule alternative which is offered because of the conditioning of the fallen souls; on the other hand, the liberated soul, under the shelter of the spiritual energy is actually much more free. He is quite free to move and to do various types of service for Krishna, being free from the laws of karma, they’re not under that strict limitation of the material energy. Still, there’s not complete independence because the living entity has got limitations. We are minute particles of Krishna, even in the liberated state, we’re not at the same level as Krishna in terms of our potency and our ability to do things, but we are at an equal qualitative level. We can relate with Krishna, just as the parents and the cowherd boys, they’re relating with Krishna, so many of them are individual living entities who have taken birth in Vrndavana just to get this opportunity to serve Krishna.
This is the spiritual perfection. When we finish in this life, and we think of Krishna and we’re perfectly Krishna conscious, then when we leave this body, we can go to that universe wherever Krishna is situated and there, we participate in His pastimes, and then from that material universe, we go back to home, back to Godhead. So, Krishna’s actually coming to redeem His devotees.
Some of the pa… associates are His own internal potencies. Some are individual jiva, individual souls. There’s different types of energies. Basically, there’s the external energy, the marginal energy and the internal energy: Bahiranga sakti, tatastha sakti and the uh, antaranga sakti. That tatastha sakti is also known as madhyastha sakti because it’s in the middle.
Actually, we are this uh, madhyastha sakti, or the energy… marginal energy. That means that we are non-different from the spiritual energy in our basic nature, but our quantity, being minute, infinitesimal, we have a tendency to come under the sway of the external energy, which is this material world. So the material world, living entities, and then the higher spiritual energy.
The spiritual energy is never under the control of the material energy, rather the material energy is considered to be a shadow expansion of the spiritual energy. This was uh, revealed in the pastimes of uh, Lord Caitanya. One point uh, Mother Durga, Parvati, she did uh, tapasya, worshipping Lord Caitanya in one of the islands of Navadvipa, chanting His holy name, “Gauranga! Gauranga! Gauranga! Gauranga!” Just chanting and chanting until finally Lord Caitanya appeared to her, you see. Then, at that time, she fell at Lord Caitanya’s lotus feet and begged Him that, “You’re giving Your mercy to all the fallen souls. You’re delivering everyone, and everyone, they’re all chastising me, calling me by derogatory names, ‘Maya’ ‘the witch’. So many different criticisms are there, and in this way, I’m not getting any association with Your devotees. They won’t associate with me, and also, I’m not getting Your mercy, so in this way, I’m suffering like anything, so therefore, I’m begging You to please have Your mercy upon me. Will You deliver the whole world, and only I will be without Krishna prema? Even my husband Lord Siva has Krishna prema, but not me!”
So then, Lord Caitanya benedicted her that, “Here in Navadvipa, you can realize that you’re actually the partial expansion of Radharani, and therefore, here in Navadvipa dhama, you can experience uh, your relationship with Radharani and you can experience that uh… that uh, pure devotional mood which is emanating from uh, Srimati Radharani.”
So, in this way then, Parvati devi took the dust of uh, Lord Caitanya’s lotus feet and put just in the part of her hair where the ladies put the kunkuma, her simanta, and from that day, that island in Navadvipa has been known as Simantadvipa, or the island where Mother Parvati has taken the dust of Lord Caitanya, and put on the crown of her head, her simanta. So… but normally it’s a fact that devotees they’re not very interested in Maya-devi. Of course she’s working on behalf of Lord Krishna, but she doesn’t get to come before Lord Krishna. She has to stay off on the side, on the back, and at best, when Krishna looks at His internal potency, the reflection of that glance manifests as Lord Siva and the reflection of that glance agitates the material world, and that material energy, then starts to create uh… the whole creation is set in motion.
So, actually Krishna has nothing to do directly with… in His Visnu form with His external energy, but she’s a faithful servant, and so Krishna expands uh, as a partial expansion as Lord Siva, so as partial expansion of Visnu, and through Lord Siva uh, directly uh, Parvati gets some association, but directly, she got that benediction from Lord Caitanya in Navadvipa dhama, and she also got that benediction at other times in Krishna’s pastimes she got to appear in different forms.
So, the Lord, or His different energies, they’re actually all under His control. If we think that uh, Krishna is somehow under the control, or He’s bound by the same laws and restrictions as we are, that is considered to be very offensive, you see. He’s always transcendental to all these energies, and if we therefore take shelter of Krishna, chant His holy name, remain connected with Him through service, through surrender, then we also become transcendental to His material energy, and we get His direct spiritual shelter.
There would be no meaning to bhakti-yoga, and to taking shelter of Krishna, if Krishna Himself were subject to the control of the three modes of material nature, you see. The great sages like Lord… or even Lord Brahma, the creator, and uh, Narada Muni, and Vyasadeva, and Lord Caitanya and all of the acaryas in the disciplic succession, and uh, and other successions as well, they have all taken shelter of Krishna’s lotus feet through bhakti, through devotional service, and easily transcended the three modes of material nature.
Even Sankaracarya admits the Narayana is above the three modes, is above the material nature: Narayana paro ‘vyaktat. So, because Krishna is above, because God is almighty, He’s above, you see, from… using those nomenclatures, the whole material world, because Krishna is transcendental, therefore, if we take shelter of Krishna, then we also are able to transcend this material nature, which is causing us so much trouble, as long as we maintain our rebellious attitude.
Once a devotee surrenders to Krishna, crosses over the threshold of Maya, the ocean of birth and death, the material energy, with folded hands congratulates the devotee for his victory. So, people say the material world is a game and so on, but what the real game is, what the real competition is, is to conquer the material energy, you can never conquer it. She is far more powerful than any living entity. The direct way, you can not conquer her, you see. Just like trying to fight the tar baby, the proverbial, southern USA tar baby. You’ll get more and more entangled. In fact, there’s a an Asian story that just to show that the tar baby story actually comes from India, there’s an Indian story where one prince, he went into the… he hea… he was a very valiant prince, and he would conquer and do so many things. He heard that there was a big demon who had a sticky beard, so much hair, long hair, which was all matted from beer, and he was in the forest, but he didn’t care. He was very brave and chivalrous. So, he went into the forest, and there, he saw this demon.
The demon had hair everywhere, was just like spread all over the trees, on the ground and everything. According to this proverb, this is not like a scriptural story or something. This is just like a folktale. I don’t know the exact origin, but this is a very popular folktale of India, so then uh, this prince, it’s been used by the Buddhists actually as… to show something also in their teachings. So, he took his uh, spear and threw it in the… at the demon, but it got tangled in his hair, and it didn’t stick. So then he took his sword, and went and chopped, but that also got stuck. His whole hair was sticky, matty, some substance. Then finally, he hit the demon and he got stuck and hit again, and finally, he was completely entangled and he couldn’t get out, you see.
So, this same kind of situation, if you try to directly fight the uh, material nature, then you get defeated, but that prince, also he outsmarted that demon. Then he said that, “Listen. Something that I’m very hard. If you eat me, you’ll get indigestion.” So, he made some deal and he got out somehow. So that thing is like that. The way we can escape Maya is we have to become very very humble. We have approach Maya that, “Maya you are so powerful. You are so great. I’m just an insignificant living entity. I just want to serve Krishna. I’m not qualified to enjoy.” And by going deep into the ocean of Krishna’s pastimes, Krishna’s service, devotional service, it’s like a deep fish going down the nets of Maya, they get all the little fish up on top, jumping up like the fisherman, but if you just stay deep down on the bottom, no net, no line, no sinker, they can’t go that far, you see. They… not the ocean depths, you see. Not in the shallow pools, you may get fishermen, but in the depths of the ocean, 5, 6, 7,000, 20,000 I think even in some places feet deep, 5 miles I think it goes actually in some places, but don’t quote me, I’m not exactly sure but anyway, the point is that this ocean of Krishna bhakti is practically unlimitedly deep, you go in that ocean. It is unlimitedly deep, then you are safe from Maya.
But if you want to come up to the top and you feel optimistic that there’s a hope to enjoy in the material world, then you’ll get caught by Maya. We should be material pessimists. We should be spiritual optimists. We should be very optimistic, very hopeful to get Krishna’s mercy by serving Him, and we should be complete pessimists that there’s no hope to be happy in this material world. That this material world is a hopeless place of birth, death, old age, disease, that whatever happiness is here is flickering. It is insignificant. It is not our real happiness that we are hankering for. The optimism we should have is that the only real happiness is in Krishna consciousness, is in serving the Lord, is in spiritual love for Godhead that this material world’s happiness is not at all anything worth thinking about, it’s simply a trap to get us more and more entangled, and if we can absorb ourselves in this way in Krishna’s devotional service, then Maya will admit her defeat, and she’ll be very glad to offer her respects to you as you go back to the spiritual world, or as you enter into Krishna’s eternal pastimes somewhere in this universe, or in any of the universes in the material world.
Jaya Sri Krishna Caitanya
Sri Advaita Gadadhara
Srivasadi Gaura Bhakta Vrnda
So I’ll… today we’re having a preaching program at LSU, Baton Rouge, and therefore, we all have to uh, go quickly. It’s actually a little late.
Transcribed by Jagannatha dasa Brahmacari
Bhaktin Elena contributed to this transcription.