The following is a lecture given by His Holiness Jayapataka Swami on Oct 30, 1986 at New Talavan farm in Mississippi. The class begins with a reading from the Srimad Bhagavatam 7th Canto, chapter 9, text 42.
Translation : "O my Lord, O Supreme Personality of Godhead, original spiritual master of the entire world, what is the difficulty for You, who manage the affairs of the universe, in delivering the fallen souls engaged in Your devotional service? You are the friend of all suffering humanity, and for great personalities it is necessary to show mercy to the foolish. Therefore I think that You will show Your causeless mercy to persons like us, who engage in Your service." (translation with repetition)
Purport : http://www.vedabase.com/en/sb/7/9/42
(6:40)This prayers by Prahlada Maharaj are very important. In these purports, Prabhupada have written very elucidated, very extensive purports because Prahalad Maharaj is one of the great ____ (7:16) preachers in our sampradaya; in our culture. We have to follow mahajan's, ___ (7:34). And Prahalad maharaj was one of the mahajan we have to follow. Actually although he is only a child of five years old, children of five years old , especially Prahalad being a liberated soul; of course it is no comparison. But at that time, are much more than the human beings fully matured of than today ___ (8:12) and of course Prahalad being a liberated soul, he is speaking from the heart inspired by Krishna himself. Lord Narasimha dev touches his head with a conchshell and so he directly speaking in a very inspired way. So the Lord teaches through his devotees. So Krishna is in the heart as 'chaitya guru', and he guides the devotees from within; and from with-out he is the spiritual master, and he guides the devotees externally as 'diksha' and 'siksha' guru.
It is very important to understand the concept of being the servant of the servant of the servant of the Lord. In India the sahajiyas have taken everything very cheap. They say, "yes, i am krishna das anu das anu das". But they do their own, they do not follow the disciplic succession. They act according to their own wimps, according to their own (inaudible) __ (9:44 - 10:15). To do not what the previous acharyas wanted, not what Krishna wants, but what they want to do. In our disciplic succession, even Advaita Goswami had six children, (six sons); and three of them were very sincere, followed him very strictly, headed by Achyutananda. Another three; they deviated from Advaita Goswami. They did after Advaita Goswami left, they wanted to be spiritual masters without following the disciplic succession. So in this way, they were considered to be ___ (11:30) then how can he take so many peoples karma. Lord Caitanya did not appreciate his commentary. If we explain a particular thing, and we are just going to say it a little bit different and so, we are do not generally. We just tell, we preserve ___ (inaudible 12:00); with the proper respect is one thing, but he was kind of just changing the original, or even criticising without the original commentation of Sridhar swami. So as a result, Lord Chaitanya chastised him indirectly to teach him that we should be faithful to our previous acharyas, they are our masters. Even if after subsequent study on the subject, ___ (12:42) Lord Chaitanya and some of the followers of Lord Chaitanya like Jiva Goswami, Rupa Goswami. Of course they had a very profound understanding in many ways much border than what Sridhar swami had commentated upon. Following in the system of Lord Chaitanya they respected the commentation of the previous acharyas and those things which he did not discuss upon, they discussed. Just like in the Chaitanya Charitamrita; Krishnadas kaviraj, he did not bother to again repeat the same things that Vrindavan Das Thakur has mentioned in the Chaitanya bhagavata because it would be disrespectful to duplicate the same work twice if it is right, if it is proper. So he just gave a synopsis, just to give the chronological order and understanding that referred to the other works that gave details on Lord Chaitanya's useful past times. So this is our system in general in our disciplic succession, and of course in ISKCON where Prabhupada has established the International Society for Krishna Consciousness, as a separate branch of Lord Chaitanya's tree.
Lord Chaitanya explains that he is the gardener and he is the tree of the sankirtan movement. And from the main trunk of Lord Chaitanya various other bigger trunks like Nityananda, Advaita, Gadadhara come out. And then so many branches have come and then so many branchlets and twigs and so on. So, Prabhupada explained that we are one of the branches of Lord Chaitanya's tree and under this branch there are so many twigs and leaves are there. But as a branch of Lord Chaitanya's tree founded for satisfying the desire of the previous acharyas. So Prabhupada is our founder acharya. So we are to be completely dedicated to preserving all the things that Srila Prabhupada gave us. And to expanding all of the desires and the instructions which he has given to us. We do not have the mandate to change things he has given us. We should preserve what he has given. Then as the preaching expands and we come into other levels of preaching, then there will be some areas which are in common will have to consider what to do. Like when the whole world is Krishna conscious, they have to consider on a Krishna Conscious government and things, so on and so forth. That falls under Prabhupada's broad instructions to organize the world under varnashrama. But our principle is that we have to follow Srila Prabhupada. This is the attitude of the servant of the servant of the servant.
Another story about the sage and the mouse. Prabhupada used to tell this story quite frequently because, tendency of the conditioned soul is to become puffed up and then consider himself independent. So funny the story how a mouse was being chased by a cat, came to the sage and said; "save me". So he said "alright, become a cat". So the mouse could not be caught by the cat. The mouse was changed to a cat, and was saved from eaten by other cats. So later on the cat was being chased by a dog, so he came to the sage again and the sage blessed him so that he became a dog. So then the dog was being chased by a tiger. So the sage changed him to a tiger. then the tiger came up to the sage some time later and the sage would not allow anyone. And then the tiger said "Rowh!!..." (Guru maharaj making the sound), (Devotees laughter). He was going to eat the sage. The sage said "What?! You want to eat me?" ___ (17:31) back to a mouse (guru maharaj and devotees laugh). So the tiger forgot how he became a tiger. Only because the sage blessed him, otherwise he was nothing but a mouse. He became so big only by the blessing but then he wants to eat up the sage. The sage has the power to make him a tiger, he has the power to put him back again to a mouse. This thing they forget. Where the power is coming from, where the mercy is coming from. If somebody is able to do any service; whether it is any aspect of devotional service successfully, is due to the mercy of Krishna and the previous acharyas. Later they become, someone becomes puffed up and they think that now am a great sage or something, i do not have to strictly follow the principles of previous acharyas. thats a mouse. Where do you think you got your so called great wisdom from? great power. So you see, for serving Krishna is not a material thing. There is never a point when we are independent of the mercy of Krishna and the spiritual. Everyone feels dependent upon Krishna. It is like, independance what brings us to the material world. We think we are independent of Krishna. Therefore we are working here, we are suffering and enjoying according to our karma. The process of devotional service means to completely be always dependent upon Krishna. "I think" or "I feel" or different opinions. The opinions have no value in the absolute sense. It may relatively add some value but in the absolute sense, we simply want to repeat whatever the previous acharyas have said, whatever the shastras say. Everything we say should be substantiated; should be backed up and powered. Otherwise it has no value. Opinions of an individual soul of a conditioned soul have no absolute value. Only the words of the shastras, of the vedas and the previous acharyas and examples of great sages like, great mahajan's like Prahalad maharaj; these are the actual praman. There is a saying, the veda pramana. Whatever you do must be substantiated, or should be backed up by the vedas. Without that we don't have the __ (20:23) others, no value to it at all. So of course there are some people who are so called seekers of the Truth. They want to find the Truth, they want to find God and then, but they are proud. They dont want to surrender to the spiritual master, and then "what is the need of the spiritual master, what is the need of... Oh I can directly achieve God". And because they are also pretentious people. They are pretentious people and because of their offence that Krishna and certain devotees in the material world, so many devotees who are trying to serve him, who are helping in spreading the mission of spreading the glories of the holy name. Because these people neglect such devotees who are very dear to the Lord, and they want to pass over them (devotees) and want to go directly to the Lord with their offence, the Lord does not recognize these pretentious people. That is the impact for their offence. Prabhupada explains even they fall down from whatever very little advancement that they have. So this, It is not like an optional constant, but in devotional service the idea, "Gopī-bhartur pada-kamalayor dāsa-dāsa-dāsānudāsaḥ. " being the servant of the servant of the servant of the Lord is essential "gurum evābhigacchet" (MU 1.2.12). Must have the.... Must be serving a devotee of the Lord, Must be serving through the disciplic succession or guru parampara. So it says one should seek a pure devotee, a servant of the Lord, and engage himself in the service of such a servant. The more one becomes the servant of the servant; the more one becomes perfect. So then one may say, "What is this pure devotee?". A pure devotee; of course Prabhupada says that all the devotees in the Krishna Conscious movement are pure devotees. Basically their intention is to serve the Lord, to achieve love for Krishna, that is pure devotion, that is a pure devotee. A pure devotee may be on different levels of advancement or realization; different levels of faith. Someone may have __ (23:09) I want to love Krishna, but they see that their guru is a devotee, they see that the deities are in the temple, but they can't recognize other devotees. They can't appreciate other vaishnavas. They can't distinguish between Vaishnavas and karmis and materialists and they kind of merges a little bit there. These are kaniṣṭha-adhikārī. They only see the Lord in the temple and they can only recognize Guru. They can't recognize other vaishnavas. So these are kaniṣṭha-adhikārī. Even a kaniṣṭha-adhikārī can be a guru; Prabhupada says if he is serving his guru who is a pure devotee. In this way if he brings his disciples to follow the previous acharyas, simply we teach their words, you can also be a spiritual master. Of course his level of realization and ability to explain things may be a bit limited. As long as he only repeat the words. The idea Prabhupada said, to be a Guru is not a big thing, he said it is being like a postman; you have to deliver the message without changing it. You have to be able to understand the teachings of the previous acharyas and deliver them without adding your own opinions and changing it. You have to follow.. you have to be able to train people to follow those teachings and you have to practice them yourself. So you have to ____ (24:50) , you have to be able to teach, you have to follow and you have to be able to train. Person who can do this, then he is an acharya.
(inaudible 25:00 - 25:30). They are fixed, a madhyama-adhikārī. Even though he doesn't have may be such a expanse knowledge, sometimes may not be able to answer all the situation, but his faith doesn't get wavered. His determination isn't displaced.
Uttama-adhikārī - devotee of the Lord is the one who is able to see Krishna presence, his mercy everywhere and who has a much broader understanding of the Krishna Conscious philosophy, therefore is able to face all kinds of questions and provide answers. Who is very fixed in Krishna Conscious determination, its the basic.
Whether one is a madhyama... kaniṣṭha, madhyama, uttama; The idea is one always the servant of the servant of the servant. That does not change. In the Krishna Conscious movement, the devotees are on different levels. There is point where the devotee stops being a servant. Even if one is a guru, his qualification is he is a disciple. First of all servant, that's always, then any other service, whether temple president, or GBC, sankirtan leader, spiritual master. Whether you have to guide other devotees in your service, or whether you are simply doing your own personal service, you don't have responsibility for other people. In whatever case, we do everything in the attitude of service. For those who have to take leadership position, they always have to check their consciousness that they are in the proper devotional attitude as a servant. As a servant you may also have to control, that is one of the services. But that service of controlling is always dangerous because, the demigods, they control it but sometimes they get so much into their controlling mood that they forget or they think that they are independent. Even like Lord Brahma, he stole Krishna's cows and calfs feeling a little bit independent, or like Indra who started to send so much rain because Krishna did not worship, the inhabitants didn't worship Indra, instead they worshipped Govardhan. But later they were taught by Krishna, that actually they were subordinate and Krishna was the Supreme Lord. And they realised their offense and they begged for forgiveness. You see, generally the devotees of the Lord, the pure devotees those who don't have the desire for material opulence or independance, they are protected from this kind of attitude even though they may be in a controlling position in some cases, they remain in the attitude of being a servant of the servant. But there is a danger that we can loose that attitude, therefore we have to remain there so.
So Prabhupada is very merciful that in the Krishna Conscious movement, when he left that, he gave us a system that was handed down from Bhakti Siddhanta and Bhaktivinoda Thakura, of governing body so that he didn't want that there should be one appointed acharya over the whole movement. He said that, "cream arise to the top", if someone is a good preacher or if they are very sincere then naturally that will become self manifested, there is no need for administratively appointing someone in some kind of exclusive position as over the entire movement. People will be recognized according to their own devotional service, not according to some kind of administrative position. or people will be given different services and it is up to them how they surrender to Krishna and expand in those services by the mercy of Krishna. So in this way it allows everyone to always be in the attitude of servant directly. Of course in any case we should always be in the attitude of the servant, but normally we have seen in the history that, when the spiritual master leaves and then the other disciple becomes the spiritual master, they may always have that there is no physical check on them being in the proper attitude. Its just their own responsibility to be in the service attitude. But here in the case of having a Governing body, the Spiritual master the GBC, who ever there are; they always see that, since Prabhupada said that the GBC is my representative. It is supposed to represent Srila Prabhupada, whatever he have taught us, to represent that. Therefore we can always remain in the service attitude to Prabhupada and to his representative.
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