Sripad Bhagavata Maharaja: Yes, the questions that were answered by Kavi and Havi.
Srila Gurudeva: What was the first question?
Sripad Bhagavata Maharaja: The first question was, “What is the ultimate good, the ultimate benefit?”
Srila Gurudeva: (To Srauti Maharaja) Can you answer?
Sripad Srauti Maharaja: “What is…” Mmm…
Srila Gurudeva: It takes you so much time to answer?
Sripad Tridandi Maharaja: “What is the process to achieve…?”
Srila Gurudeva: That was not the actual question.
Sripad Damodara Maharaja: “What is the easiest way for someone to become free from the cycle of birth and death?”
"Even ignorant living entities can very easily come to know the Supreme Lord if they adopt those means prescribed by the Supreme Lord Himself. The process recommended by the Lord is known as bhagavata-dharma, or devotional service to the Supreme Personality of Godhead."
"Fear arises when a living entity misidentifies himself as the material body because of absorption in the external, illusory energy of the Lord. When the living entity thus turns away from the Supreme Lord, he also forgets his own constitutional position as a servant of the Lord. This bewildering, fearful condition is affected by the potency for illusion, called maya. Therefore, an intelligent person should engage unflinchingly in the unalloyed devotional service of the Lord, under the guidance of a bona fide spiritual master, whom he should accept as his worshipful deity and as his very life and soul."
"O King, one who accepts this process of devotional service to the Supreme Personality of Godhead will never blunder on his path in this world. Even while running with eyes closed, he will never trip or fall."
If one follows this path, even if he runs with his eyes closed he will not fall down. What is the meaning of this verse?
Sripad Bhagavata Maharaja: For those who are on this path – which has been given by Sri Krsna – practicing sravana, kirtana, and smarana under the guidance and shelter of sad-guru, it does not matter how difficult that path is.
Srila Gurudeva: No, that is not the meaning.
Sripad Sajjana Maharaja: Srila Visvanatha Cakravarti Thakura comments that running with one’s eyes closed means that even if someone is not conversant with all the sastras, but he performs nava-vidhi bhakti (the nine-fold process of bhakti), he will be assured of success. Am I understanding this correctly?
Srila Gurudeva: No. (To Sripad Padmanabha Maharaja) What is the meaning?
Sripad Padmanabha Maharaja: This path of Bhagavata-dharma is directly given by Sri Krsna. All the difficulties and pitfalls that are in the paths of karma-yoga, jnana-yoga, and astanga-yoga will have no effect on the devotee because Bhagavata-dharma is the nature of the soul. The soul’s natural position is to serve Sri Krsna. So if the soul submits to this process of pure bhakti, he is protected. Even if he is not perfect in following, he will still be supported.
Srila Gurudeva: (To Sripad Tridandi Maharaja) Can you tell something more about this?
Dhira Krsna dasa: It has already been emphasized that we should serve Gurudeva as our own atma. In that type of…
"By chanting the holy name of the Supreme Lord, one comes to the stage of love of Godhead. Then the devotee is fixed in his vow as an eternal servant of the Lord, and he gradually becomes very much attached to a particular name and form of the Supreme Personality of Godhead. As his heart melts with ecstatic love, he laughs very loudly or cries or shouts. Sometimes he sings and dances like a madman, for he is indifferent to public opinion."
Sripad Padmanabha Maharaja: Can we say, then, that the entire first answer of Kavi refers to raganuga-bhakti?
Srila Gurudeva: He begins his reply from vaidhi-bhakti, which includes his utterance of the verse beginning “bhayam dvitiyabhinivesatah,” and he concludes with this reference to raganuga-bhakti.
Vrndavana dasa: In regard to what you were saying about the devotee on this path being able to reach perfection while running with his eyes closed, does this support the statement that bhakti is not dependent on anything? Is that the understanding?
Abhirama dasa: Srila Guru Maharaja, is it favorable for our bhakti if we follow Kartika-vrata in Badger? [Kartika-vrata is a one month vow (Oct.-Nov.) to follow certain regulations, restrict the intake of certain foodstuffs, and visit the pastimes places of Krsna in Vrndavana]
Srila Gurudeva: You have not understood, and therefore you cannot ask a proper question. Try to understand what I have just explained.
Padmanabha dasa: I understood a little bit, Gurudeva.
Srila Gurudeva: You cannot understand. You will have to become like them (the sannyasis and brahmacaris present); being without wife and without possessions; always thinking and hearing bhakti subjects, and serving. Then you will be able to easily understand.
Indupati dasa: We see many devotees who go to Vrndavana and simply absorb themselves in chanting. They ignore many limbs of bhakti and simply chant in Vrndavana, but after some time they leave the process entirely.
Indupati dasa: No, Srila Gurudeva.
Srila Gurudeva: One who tries to do so without having Srila Raya Ramananda’s qualification, thus neglecting the regulative principles, is simply lusty. Only persons like Srila Svarupa Damodara and Srila Rupa Gosvami can do such things. They are qualified, and the attainment of their qualification is our life’s aim and object.
Sripad Padmanabha Maharaja: Some persons say, “Srila Gurudeva is preaching raganuga-bhakti. We should therefore only hear rasa-katha, and in that way we can enter into raganuga-bhakti.”
Srila Gurudeva: I am discussing mostly vaidhi-bhakti. I am not discussing anything at all about rasa-lila. Those persons are speaking falsely.
Sripad Sajjana Maharaja: Sometimes it is said that this path of bhakti is like a sharp razor’s edge. Is this only said in relation to nava-vidha-bhakti (the nine-fold process of vaidhi-bhakti)?
Sripad Nemi Maharaja: “What are the qualities of the different grades of devotees who are practicing Bhagavata-dharma?” The grades of devotees are uttama-bhagavata, madhyama, and kanistha.
Sripad Tridandi Maharaja: “And what are their activities? How do they speak? What do they do?”
Srila Gurudeva: What is their behavior?
Sripad Bhagavata Maharaja: The first answer is about the uttama-bhagavata, the most advanced, first-class devotee. “Bhagavata bhavam atmana – The uttama-bhagavata sees his own mood of love for Sri Krsna in all living entities. He sees his own bhava (mood of devotion) in all other persons.”
Srila Gurudeva: What is an example of how he thinks?
Sripad Bhagavata Maharaja: He thinks, “Everyone is engaged in Sri Krsna’s service. Everyone has the mood (the bhava) that I have.”
Sripad Sajjana Maharaja: A madhyama-adhikari has four different relationships. He sees the Supreme Lord and worships Him in his heart. He sees the devotees and engages in the six exchanges of love. He preaches to the innocent and ignorant, but he avoids, or neglects, the envious.
Srila Gurudeva: You are not explaining this clearly. Who will explain it?
"An intermediate or second-class devotee, called madhyama-adhikari, offers his love to the Supreme Personality of Godhead, is a sincere friend to all the devotees of the Lord, shows mercy to ignorant people who are innocent, and disregards those who are envious of the Supreme Personality of Godhead."
Srila Gurudeva: What do you mean by ‘maitri’?
Sripad Nemi Maharaja: For the madhyama-adhikari there are three different kinds of friendship with devotees. In his friendship with very advanced devotees, he offers everything – his heart and soul and all he possesses. He maintains friendship with devotees on the same level of bhakti as himself, and friendship with instruction for less-experienced devotees. These are the three different kinds of maitri.
Sripad Madhava Maharaja: And prema?
Sripad Nemi Maharaja: Prema is defined in this verse:
Uttama-bhakti is the cultivation of activities that are meant exclusively for the pleasure of Sri Krsna, in other words, the uninterrupted flow of service to Him, performed through all endeavors of the body, mind, and speech, and through the expression of various bhavas (spiritual sentiments). It is not covered by jnana (knowledge aimed at impersonal liberation) and karma (reward-seeking activity), yoga or austerities; and it is completely free from all desires other than the aspiration to bring happiness to Krsna.
This is prema towards Isvara, the Supreme Lord.
Srila Gurudeva: And then?
Sripad Nemi Maharaja: Balisesu means that the devotee preaches to those who are outside the devotee sanga, and who do not yet understand devotional service. Kanistha adhikaris are also balisesu, and they also need association.
Srila Gurudeva: What are the symptoms of a kanistha-adhikari?
"A devotee who faithfully engages in the worship of the Deity in the temple but does not behave properly toward other devotees or people in general is called a prakrta-bhakta, a materialistic devotee, and is considered to be in the lowest position."
The kanistha-adhikari has sraddha, or faith, in worshiping the Deity form of the Lord. He may also have sraddha in guru and give proper respect to guru. But he does not know how to recognize devotees, nor does he know on what level different devotees are situated. He does not know how to deal with people in general, and he becomes easily influenced by them. His sraddha is komala (very soft and pliable); it can be shaken at any time.
Srila Gurudeva: Okay.
Aniruddha dasa: Can a kanistha Vaisnava preach properly?
Srila Gurudeva: What will he preach? He barely knows anything about siddhanta. He should serve madhyama-adhikari Vaisnavas and hear from them. Then he will be able to preach properly.
Devotee: Didn’t Srila Svami Maharaja Prabhupada use only kanisthas to spread Krsna consciousness all over the world?
Srila Gurudeva: He used to tell them that preaching means distribution of books, reading, and associating with higher classes of Vaisnavas. How can a kanistha Vaisnava preach properly if he only knows arcana and worship of his Gurudeva? What can he preach if he doesn’t factually understand the other limbs of bhakti, if he cannot differentiate between the uttama, madhyama, and kanistha-adhikari, and if he does not properly understand bhakti-siddhanta?
Devotee: Even though we were kanistha, we always said we were madhyama – because we preached.
Subala Sakha dasa: In Vrndavana? Yes.
Srila Gurudeva: When will our Vraja-mandala Parikrama (coffee table size) book be published?
Subala Sakha dasa: It will come out soon. A devotee from Holland is working on the graphics and layout…
Srila Gurudeva: And what are you doing?
Subala Sakha dasa: I am selecting the photos, and then sending them to him so that he can work on them and put them…
Srila Gurudeva: I wanted this book to be published, but Niscintya could not do it and you could not do it.
Subala Sakha dasa: It will get done, Gurudeva. I give a hundred per cent guarantee that it will get done.
Erratum: Please excuse us. We accidently added the word Badger in the text of the Nrsimghadeva lecture we recently sent out from May 10, 1998, Wales. Your aspiring servants, the editors.
TABLA - FUENTES - FONTS
- inbenr11.ttf - 64 KB
- inbeno11.ttf - 12 KB
- inbeni11.ttf - 12 KB
- inbenb11.ttf - 66 KB
- indevr20.ttf - 53 KB
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