The following is a class given by His Holiness Jayapataka Swami Maharaja on September 7, 1981 in Boston Massachusetts.
parāsya śaktir vividhaiva śrūyate
And each energy has got a particular function, but specifically, the energy of Srimati Radharani. Who is Srimati Radharani? Krishna, who is the embodiment of happiness, who is Himself pure happiness, has expanded his happiness energy and that is the Supreme Personality of Spiritual Bliss, Srimati Radharani. In the whole world, it is very rare to find someone who is looking for spiritual bliss. In history, we find there are many great souls. Just like Buddha. He gave up so many things, his kingdom, to go out into the forest to search for spiritual happiness. Maharaja Bharata,,, he was the emperor of world. This planet is known as Bharat-varsha by residents of other planetary systems since his time, because he was a great king; he gave up everything just to achieve that spiritual bliss. Caitanya Mahaprabhu, and so many great sannyasis dedicated everything in search of that spiritual bliss. That spiritual bliss is Srimati Radharani.
The development of appreciation for spiritual life in our realization of spiritual bliss is not very difficult to understand. Just like I am just coming now from India. There we grow sugarcane. Just by growing sugar cane we can understand how we develop our spiritual consciousness.
Sugarcane is grown first grown from a seed or from a piece of sugarcane. So that seed of sugarcane is planted, it grows into the plant. The sugarcane itself contains lots of sweet juice. So we crush the cane and we get the sugarcane juice. So the seed is compared to faith, sraddha. And the juice, that is compared to association with devotees. Association with transcendentalists of the same mentality is necessary. Then as further refined, one cooks down the juice of the sugarcane to get gur, to get molasses--- jaggery, they call it. And that is the process of bhajana-kriya, practice of devotional service--- the actual practice. So, just like... you probably have seen them prepare sugarcane. They have here in Boston? (devotees laugh)) Peurto Rico? There, they have many factories and they take the juice and they put it in bags and it is very convenient, because... you know the fuel that they use to cook it? They crush the cane and get the juice out, then they put it in the sun and that is the fuel.
So devotional service doesn’t require any help from outside. No need for mental speculation, no need for mystic yoga, no need for any other type of bhakti process. Bhakti yoga, the process of devotional yoga, is complete in itself. So we put the sugarcane juice on the fire and we heat it up; then out comes foam, different types of impurities. Those have to be taken and thrown out. Like that, when someone tries to practice devotional service, tries to chant, then different types of mental attachments and things that we didn't even know...we didn't even know were in the mind, they start to come out. So all the impurity has to be taken and discarded, those that are inedible... at least for human beings.
Of course, Srila Bhavananda Goswami... when we use to make sugarcane juice, he had do it far away from the temple because the first two years of we did it next to the temple and the foam gets thrown, although the human beings don't eat it, the dogs... they like it. So all the stray dogs would come and lap it up and they would become intoxicated by eating the foam. Like this, there are different types of happiness.
The happiness for the human beings and happiness for the dogs and animals are a different category. The dogs are satisfied by eating the foam, the impurities, the little pieces of grass and dead bodies, whatever floats up in this foam, and they get little sweet juice mixed with all the foam and dirt and everything else that is enough to make them very happy. Like that in this material world people will get some happiness but it is mixed with so many inebrieties. But they tolerate the inebriety... just like a dog is tolerating, because they don’t have any experience of higher taste. This Krishna conscious movement is to bring an awareness of the higher taste. So like that when one continues to cook sugar cane juice, throws off the impurities, this is called anartha nirvrithi, taking off the unwanted things in our heart. Our consciousness is conditioned with so many associations. We associate constantly with different forms, with different people, with different concepts.
So to get to the transcendental vision, sarvopādhi-vinirmuktaḿ tat-paratvena nirmalam, one has to be free from all types of upadhi, false designations. That I am thin, I am thick or I am American, I am Chinese, I am white, I am black.
We have to come to beyond the bodily platform to the actual living force, the spirit platform. Then we will find, now we got the impurities out, and now we are cooking down, we are just cooking down the juice and finally what happens is one should test when it is ready to make into crystal. So we take with the scoop and we lift it up in the air. When it is at the optimum moisture, as we lift it up, then, instead of just dripping down, it drips down and becomes a thin thing like toffee. That means that now it has no excess water in it. Then it is taken and put into another container, generally put into a big earthen vat or wooden vat. But just by putting it, doesn’t crystallize, it doesn’t become into the gur or jaggery. It just stays as a soup. At that time, you know what has to be done? You have to add the crystal. You have to add a crystal seed that can also be manufactured right on the spot. That crystal has to be put into the vat. Once we put one crystal in it the whole thing suddenly transforms and crystallizes. Very amazing to see. But without that it is just a soup. They put that into small containers, sometimes crystallize it and then condense it. In this way, in a 17 kilo gram tin they put about 25 kilo or 30 kilo-- it becomes so condensed! So, in the same way, we practice; we purify, but ultimately we have to get the mercy from Vaishnavas. We have to get special mercy from those who are very close to Krishna. This is what crystallizes everything. This is what makes everything perfect. If we think that we can directly reach the Absolute Truth, we will reach the Absolute Truth with our own effort, there are so many pitfalls that ultimately it doesn’t crystallize.
So the process is that we take the shelter of bonafide spiritual master, take the shelter of a Vaishnavas. In this way we reach very easily. So then we have crystal gur and that is further refined into a candy. So that candy gur is like very nice taste. So that the crystal is like nishta, fixed devotion, very fixed devotion. As one has got the impurities off, has the mercy of the spiritual master, then his devotional service becomes fixed. That means no longer is the mind chanchala.
By nature, the mind is very flickering, goes here and there, everywhere. But when the mind becomes fixed, the spiritual energy is so strong that the intelligence mind and senses are controlled. That is nishta bhakti, the perfectional stage, preliminary perfectional stage.
Then we take that crystal gur, now we refine it to make toffee, gur candy. The gur candy is more sweet than just a crystal gur. Very chewy. You know how they pull a toffee. You pull it and pull it, it becomes sweeter. That sweet has a ruchi, taste. When we are in fixed devotional service we further purify, it becomes more and more intense, more and more refined. Then we get a sweet taste. That taste, when we achieve that taste which is not dependent on anything material, this is very wonderful. Generally we are depending on our six-pack or twenty in a cigarette pack or on something we are dependent. Therefore our happiness is dependent on this supply line. Just like an army, when they have the supply line cut, then they get defeated. Similarly, when the so called happiness in this world, once the supply line is cut by different enemies, then there is a great anxiety. And they have always been cut because there are so many break downs. Of course so called material advancement is that there is one supply line of all the ingredients we are dependent on for our sense gratification. They are very efficient so there is minimum amount of breakdowns, maximum delivery. But actually however you look at it, we are completely dependent. That is simply just scraping the surface. It is not going at all to the real satisfaction that we are speaking.
So when we get the taste from within, when we get the taste from chanting, from serving, then we become independent of all this artificial. We no longer rely upon them for happiness. We have the taste. That is an even greater level of perfection. Then the next stage is if we take the gur and you refine it into sugar, then it becomes very sweet, very refined, very condensed, concentrated. That is compared to attachment asakti.
When one gets the taste, one naturally becomes attached to that taste. Just like everyone is attached; if you try to take away the sense gratification, they become very angry. Here the devotee, he becomes attached to his transcendental pleasure.
Srila Prabhupada gave example. Once there was a devotee in the temple. Mother and father came to take him away. He said, “I don't want to go.” I think this is in Montreal. And finally the mother grabbed one arm and the father grabbed around the waist and they were pulling him out the door. So he grabbed on to the door handle. So the mother was pulling down the legs and the father was pulling on the arms, “I won’t go! I won’t go!” “No! Come home! Come home!” Prabhupada said, “this is attachment” (the devotees laugh). When they are pulling, he says he won't go, he has become attached to Krishna. And then when that attachment gets further refined then it becomes sugar candy, misri. That is bhava ecstatic devotional service where one by chanting becomes so overwhelmed in ecstasy sometimes crying, sometimes fainting, sometimes voice choking up.
Different types of transcendental symptoms are there called ashta saktika bhava. These come automatically from the heart. They don’t have to be artificially brought out. It just automatically comes. It is a question of ecstasy. Of course, beyond that the most condensed which is the extremely refined sugar candy, that is pure love or prema. So Srimati Radharani, that prema is one actually is no longer connected at all with this material world, develops a spiritual body even within this body, he develops a spiritual body and his relationship with Krishna is fixed on spiritual platform irrevocably. And these symptoms, the symptoms of prema are so inconceivable and very difficult to understand.
So Srimati Radharani, whose appearance day is today, She is the embodiment of perfection platform of prema or pure love. So Caitanya Mahaprabhu described this prema is actually the perfection of human life. There is no higher perfection one can achieve. It is the perfection of liberation. It makes one completely independent from the material world and it fulfills all the desires and it gives complete knowledge, everything. So in this way we just refine some sugarcane.
Actually even here we refine some sugarcane. This story or this example is not my example. This example was given by Srila Bhakti Vinoda Thakur about 120 years ago. He used the example of sugar cane. It just so happened that we all are so fortunate enough to have our own sugarcane so we can have a practical view of how it is done. Now in India the preaching is going on very nicely. We had a big Rath Yatra festival in Calcutta. We take Jagannath from the southern part of Calcutta to the northern part, 9km route or 6 miles-- takes about 6 hours. And there were practically a million people who participated. Then we take Jagannath up. We have a huge circus tent. We built a temple out of cloth, the whole temple and everything with a darshan and darshan mandap. And Jagannath stays there for nine days, just like in Jagannath Puri. And for seven days we have a public pandal program.
From 4 to 6 devotees sing classical bhajans. We have a disciple trained by this Ali Khan, famous musician and singer of India. And then from after that is some flight shows, kirtans, lectures, two different lectures and drama in the end. Hour and a half of drama, sometimes it goes to 11o’clock to 12o’clock from 9o’clock. They like drama very much. And the drama Prahlad Maharaj put on by the Gurukul boys... they put it on so nicely that I was noticing some other women, there about 12000 to 15000 people at one time sitting and watching the program some of them were crying to see Allahabad Maharaj was being tortured by his demonic father simply because he wouldn’t be an atheist. He wouldn’t denounce Krishna, He would do everything for his father but he wants to chant Hare Krishna. So many ways his father tried to torture him but couldn’t dissuade his son. Finally when he personally went to kill him of course Lord Narasimhadev came and everybody jumps up at the end cheering.
Then we have... like that every night. Then on the return Ratha, going Ratha there was rain. So actually only about a million people came. (devotees laugh) Some of the people walked the whole 9km completely soaked. But on the return Ratha, there was the big soccer game. And so the police were afraid when the soccer fans would come out and Ratha was coming at the same time, the soccer fans... sometimes they are crazy, they couldn’t move them. So they told us to will delay the Ratha Yatra by an hour or two. That actually was very nice. Police cleared the road 45 minutes in front of us and whole road was filled up with people. And there was return Ratha, generally not so big. But because of the perfect weather and the timing there was one and a half times as many people this year. So it was completely packed. This is our ninth year Rath Yatra, next year it will be the tenth anniversary. We are going to have in a very big way.
Transcribed by: Pranasakhi Lasika Devi Dasi, 2 July 2013.
Verse references -
parāsya śaktir vividhaiva śrūyate - Śvetāśvatara Upaniṣad 6.8