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Srimad Bhagavatam 3 can'to Chapter 25 Text 18:

"jnana-vairagya-yukte na bhakti-yuktena catmana,
paripasyaty udasinam prakrtim ca hataujasam

In that position of self-realization, by practice of knowledge and renunciation in devotional service, one sees everything in the right perspective; he becomes indifferent to material existence, and the material influence acts less powerfully upon him."

Purport by Srila Prabhupada:

"As the contamination of the germs of a particular disease can influence a weaker person, similarly the influence of material nature, or illusory energy, can act on the weaker, or conditioned, soul but not on the liberated soul. Self-realization is the position of the liberated state. One understands his constitutional position by knowledge and vairagya, renunciation. Without knowledge, one cannot have realization. The realization that one is the infinitesimal part and parcel of the Supreme Spirit makes him unattached to material, conditional life. That is the beginning of devotional service. Unless one is liberated from material contamination, one cannot engage himself in the devotional service of the Lord. In this verse, therefore, it is stated, jnana-vairagya-yuktena: when one is in full knowledge of ones constitutional position and is in the renounced order of life, detached from material attraction, then, by pure devotional service, bhakti-yuktena, he can engage himself as a loving servant of the Lord. Paripasyati means that he can see everything in it's right perspective. Then the influence of material nature becomes almost nil. This is also confirmed in Bhagavad-gita. Brahma-bhutah prasannatma: when one is self-realized he becomes happy and free from the influence of material nature, and at that time he is freed from lamentation and hankering. The Lord states that position as mad-bhaktim labhate param, the real state of beginning devotional service. Similarly, it is confirmed in the Narada-pancaratra that when the senses are purified they can then be engaged in the devotional service of the Lord. One who is attached to material contamination cannot be a devotee. "

When I accepted my spiritual master, sincerely speaking I didnt know much about him. I accepted him very intuitively, like being guided from within and because of the generous sympathy which I was feeling for where he was coming from and who he was associated with, like George Harrison for example. After years of reading his books, just like we are reading today his Bhaktivedanta purport, I can only consider myself very fortunate, or anybody who has made the same decision to accept Srila Prabhupada as the captain of the ship. Why ? Well I guess after 30 years you could say it is not blind following, even if the danger is there in this material world, but after reflecting 30 years upon his teachings, upon the insight he is giving on the respective shlokas, seeing the focus he takes, the approach, I can only say that this is very praisworthy, it is amazing, it is a pricewining way of explaining something which is not easy to explain to those who are materially attached. I mean look at this purport, Srila Prabhupada is smashing materialistic attached consciousness, he is really wiping it, but he does it in such a way that you don't really get so offended. He reasons, he reasons in a very subtle and in a very touching way. He reasons that: "what you are doing it wont be too good for you, right ? Can you see the point here ? That is something you want to achieve, self-realization, but you are always lamenting, arent you ? Why are you lamenting ?" he says: "Well very simply, because you are weak. But why you are weak ? Because you are involved in sense-gratification, so thats why you are in the world of hankering and lamentation, wake up ! , Lord Caitanya is calling, cmon come over to this side, I have some nice Prasadam for you, I have some nice books for you, I have some nice kirtan for you," and he accomplished that, not only in theory but also in practice. He practically captured the mind of his listeners to the point of realizing that: "I am wasting my time, I am foolish, I am going the wrong way, I am in a big danger". So Srila Prabhupada purports, his approch to the Srimad Bhagavatam is not boring, at least I have never been bored reading the purport of Srila Prabhupada. Even though when we read Srila B. R. Sridhar Deva Goswami Maharaja we are getting another angle of view, of the same subject. It is just like the lotus flower, it looks great, wether you look from this side or form the top. Anyway you look to the lotus flower, it always looks great. So in the same way the Supreme Absolute truth it's always great and it's just the most wonderful thing that there are so many angles or vision you can take on it. So this is a peculiar thing, the approach, the revolutionary. Like yesterday I had a conversation with a gentleman and he was saying: "Yes, there is the relative and the absolute in the conversations as well." The relative is that you deal with the problem, like if we are coming here and it's a big mess we have a problem and we start wondering about it why there is a big mess, how we will solve the big mess but if tomorrow it's totally cleaned up and you come in the room you wont bother your mind with the mess because you don't see any big mess. So the relative consideration of life, the relative things we go through preaching in Germany, preaching in France, preaching in South America, thats very relative. It is very important to the ones who are there, what they have to do deal with right now. But for another person it doesn't appear so relevant or so important. And maybe even in the same place for you yourself you may look about things different, circumstances may change. So the relative and the absolute. But our transcendental philosophy, the Srimad Bhagavatam, thats on an absolute platform, we are talking about constitutional position. And constitutional position is something which goes deeper then just the relative, momentary situation. Just recently I read a very interesting subject. There was one devotee who was writing an article about sex-life, and he was writing: "Well you know, controlling the senses, it's really tough, you know, and when you say illicit sex, that means to only have sex life for procreation, then you are really driving a very tough line, so to speak, you are really ultraorthodox and you are saying: this is the way, and if you don't practice it this way youre gonna go nowhere." So what he was saying was that he was considering it unfair, when you marry, it is very hard to controll your senses in such a strict way and if you then feel immediately traumatised because you fell down and you didnt do your devotional service as you have promised to your spiritual master at the moment of initiation. So he was arguing in favour of that, that really one should relax it and say: "Hey, illicit sex means no sex life outside of marriage" He was pleading his case for that. He said that he recognised that on a high level of achievement a devotee should transcend this altogether and just become a pakka renunciant. Anyhow then another devotee he wrote an answer (to that), actually he inverted it very nicely (the first devotee), but the second devotee he took up the same mood and inverted also very nicely defeating him, and he said: "Yes, you are arguing very nicely but at last what do the scriptures say ? Are we supposed to control the sex-life ? Are we supposed to come into the right perception of understanding or not ? Or are you gonna cut a corner and say: yes I wanna get self realized and I want the highest benefit, but don't get to heavy on me on that subject." And then the other devotee he was writing: "But you know, that is it what it is all about, and Srila Prabhupada also said it, what is the meaning of the process," I can't quote the particular case right now, he says: "The human form of life is meant to overcome the sexual attraction" But when and how, how to handle it, thats very tough. Because when we say the one devotee was arguing that there is a lot of traumatized conditions, people maintain themselves as brahmacharis heavily, but then they become very angry. Like one devotee, he got remarried after being married before his wife left him, so I said: "Why you did that ?, why did you get remarried ? whats the need" and then he said: "Because I don't want to be an angry Sadhu" (laugher), I had to laugh, that was so nice the way he said it, it is true that sometimes you find those people they do control their senses but they become so angry and you think: "Maybe they should have get married rather" of course that is a private thing, everybody has to decide for himself. As a matter of fact, anger is an obvious sign of frustrated lust. It is not a sign of great spiritual peaceexperience within himself, it is not. I mean he is angry. Or is he angry because the conditioned souls are going the wrong way ? Well you can also express it in a loving way that you want them to come to the lotus feet of Krishna. But just the mood of anger and dealing roughly with each other, ohh this is very nasty. As a matter of fact nobody likes it. Even the rough people don't like it when you deal rough with them, you may have noticed. They are extremely sensitive of not being treated roughly by others while they are very rough. It is very strange, but that is exactly the point, self realization is something that will come naturally as you take shelter, as you really come in the mood of taking shelter, you take shelter of your spiritual master, you need the figure of the spiritual master, the father-figure, the servicegiving figure, the one you report to. Because actually we are all accountable before God. The root disease of our material existence is that we don't want to be accountable to anybody. Thats why the impersonalism is such a great philosophy, people love it: "You mean I am not accountable to anybody ? Gee, thats great ! You mean I am finally going to be all the way on the top ? I can merge ? I will renounce anything for that, even my individuality" Of course then they do not know what they are really talking about. Basically, if I can renounce everything and I will never ever be accountable to anybode, thats great ! Is it great ? NO, you loose, you loose out on love. Because if you are not accountable to anybody, you also wont love anybody. Because as soon as you love somebody you are accountable to that person. You can see that when people get married, before they get married they can smile at everybody, they can talk to everybody, do anything they want, as soon as they get married the wife of the husband is going to ask: "Hey, where were you ? 2 hours you werent here, I was missing you, where were you ?", "Oh don't bother me, don't ask me where I was", "What you mean don't ask me ?, I love you ! If I love you then I care where you spend the last 2 hours, or the last two days, I care about it ! Or you don't care about it ?","don't bother me","Then my love will be disturbed". So you see, love means being accountable, but totally accountable, not only like the boss in the job, he may say: "Hey come here, give me the accounts, how did you spend that money" I am not talking about this type of accountability, I am talking about the accountability of your feelings, whats going on inside you. Are you thinking about Krishna ? Are you praying to Krishna ? Are you really begging Him for His mercy ? Do you really care what Krishnas heart is feeling about what you are doing ? Oh, if you do, then you get something very big, if you don't, you don't care. So now you want it, or you don't want it ? It is your decision. So when it comes to that decision then you may say: "For that no price is to high, for that I am even going to renounce my sexual impulse, I even renounce my rascal mentality of my mind, who is always in an enjoynment mentality. It is a principle how you are going to look at things in your life. Do you look upon things on the base of your pleasure principle ? Or do you look upon it on the principle of spiritual advancement which again can be divided into two: Number one: Are you concerned with your moksha, with your liberation really, are you concerned with that ? Than go with Shankaracharya, that means no liberation without sannyas. Forget it. Thats the line of strict orthodox pakka mayavadi philosophy, not like those bogus fellows who are around the world now teaching any nonsense as long as you give them some money. Number two: You may choose to want to give your heart to Krishna, then in that case your priority has to become whats the feelings of Krishna, then you have to go by seeing whats the inside substance of the thing. There is no importance of formalities, there is no importance of rituals, that is what is raga-marga, such a high level were the externals are not anymore significan't. it's all inside, do you really feel that way if Krishna feels that way ? How does that impact you ? What are you getting from that ? That is exactly the approach a lover of Krishna will take. He will be extremely and over and over extremely concerned and in rapture of pleasing his beloved. So in the beginning stages, if we don't have a guru to respond to in that way, we are really lost. It doesn't work without him. He is so important, he is the pillar where I grab to when the storm of material world tries to pull me left and right, just by holding fast to the lotus feet of my spiritual master, I don't care earthquakes or hurricanes. These lotus feet are so solid that they can help me to last over the most difficult things in life. But what after the spiritual master is not there anymore ? Then another aspect starts. And that of course is a lenghty subject, I don't want to get very deeply into that today. But in the separation from your spiritual master your surrender will be crucial wether you make anything any further from that point. Just like when my Godbrothers went to Srila Sridhar Maharaja after the departure of Srila Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada, he received them with the words: "Well, now you really have to surrender" and they resented his comment, they were thinking: "Well if he picked us to be spiritual master, how in the world you may ever consider that we are not surrendered ? We are so surrendered to Prabhupada !" But that mentality is wrong, it is very wrong. Srila Guru Maharaja used to say: "Whoever says he has it, we offer our respect from a far distance", the one who says he hasnt anything, we like him, we like to have his company, it is very soothing because he is not on a trip and he is not doing damage to his own progress either. So as we could see the history went down, the attitude was not right. Yes, after the departure of your spiritual master you really have to surrender, and what does that mean you really have to surrender ? It also means you have to know how to appreciate the other Sadhus. Because when your spiritual master is not there, what does that mean ? automatically you become the topmost ? Just because your guru is not there, automatically you are going to the topmost level and you and your mind is the only criteria of whats right and whats wrong ? Oh, I think this is a suicidal condition, it cannot be that way and it is not that way. Nevertheless by being faithful to the instructions of ones spiritual master and by being deeply remorsed about his separation, if that fortunate feeling comes to you, then the Lord as the supersoul in your heart will guide you. That is the security. Just like how did we meet our guru initial ? By the guide of the supersoul. So it is not such a strange proposal that after the departure of our spiritual master again the supersoul will start intervene to guide us when we are in need. Because Krishna says it: "My devotee will never perish", so in that way, Krishna He will take activity by either guiding you in this way or in that way and now you cannot say what that means, maybe it means He is going to guide you to another Sadhu, maybe it means He is going to guide you in some field of service for your spiritual master where you become so absorbed that you cannot pay any attention to anything else. Like when I started to initiate devotees, I was in Colombia in those days and it was a very tough time, very rough, it is one of the places in the world were you think the wind will make the turn. I was wondering, what is going on here now ? And I felt if I am not going to take responsibility, regardless of my shortcomings, nobody will take care. Nobody is going to come here and do that work I am doing here. This is just simply not going to happen, with all the sympathy to the cause, with all the great devotees who may be present on the planet. But they wont come here to Colombia to stick it out right now and to take care of whats supposed to be taken care of. And when I had that feeling and reading Srila Guru Maharajas Sri Guru and His Grace I could understand that either I take that decision of taking the full responsibility of whats going on OR I am going to forsake these people who have come here to serve Krishna, I am going to forsake them, I am not going to give them what I got from my spiritual master. It is then that I felt the conviction in my heart that it is a die to live program here. Because if you don't take this totally to heart, well you die simply, but not to live, you just die to die and die again. But we want to die to live, that means we want the false ego and the selfish concerns to die, the comforts, the privacy, the private economy, the: "I decide what I do", this thing has to die. I don't decide what I do. I don't decide whats to be done with my time and energy. My time and energy does not belong to me. It belongs to my master for the rest of my life. And whatever he tells me I will do, wether in union or in separation, that will be the test. I am just telling you what I felt in those days and what came to me. Actually Srila Prabhupada, he explains these things in such a wonderful way, practically you could say undefeatable. Srila Prabhupada had a way of presenting vedic philosophy, I havent heard of Prabhupada being defeated, I havent heard of anybody really attempting it, here and there some materialist maybe, but Prabhupada was so eloquent and so profound in his realization, he was undefeatable and his purports arent defeatable. Now you write thousands of purports and don't commit a blunder, again and again and again touching all kinds of subjects of life, kshatriyas, vaishyas, brahmins, sudras, mlechas, women, man and don't commit any real blunder. And you could say Prabhupada accomplished that because he was an empowered agent of Lord Chaitanya. Even though I now some devotees they don't read much of Srila Prabhupadas books these days, why not ? Because Prabhupada is very tense, he takes you like this: "Now whats your situation ?" But he does it personally which such a smile you can't resist, as he takes you you fall at his feet and then everything is harmonized. But people are not accustomed that you are tough with them, tough, straightforward. People are more in the new age hippie style: "do what you like, be happy, have your own style" Actually devotional service is like that because last not least unless you really want to do what you are doing Krishna does not even like it, Krishna is not recruiting slaves. He is not cursing people by putting mental preasure on them to be His devotees, and they run all around traumatized with a jappa (imitating their chanting), this is not bhakti. Bhakti is a happy decision, bhakti is a maturing after you have seen it all. I mean before we came to Krishna-consciosness, what nonsense havent we seen ? if not in this lifetime then in the previos lifetime, what nonsense we havent gone through ? So at some point to mature and to say: "Hey, I don't want anymore nonsense" thats reasonable, thats a quite reasonable proposal. So therefore it is also a very decent proposal that if you take up Krishna-consciousness that you should take it up very seriously, but because you want to. Because you rejected all that what you have experienced before. If in my material pleasure time, so called, I really missed out something which I don't have now, well nobody obliges me, I can do whatever I want, in parenthesis, but it is not true. There is nothing I want there. If my mind proposes to me: "How was that (enjoyment), [didnt you like it ?]", yeah, yeah, it just shows what a rascal you are, don't you remember how horrible everything was ? Well yes, but you could try again. Aha, you want me to become a trader to the ideals of my life, no, sorry, you shut up and I am gonna take my jappa here and start chanting until you are quite. So in this way, it's a decision, and you make that decision every day again. You don't get to rest on the laurels of the past, you don't. You have to do it every day, every day you have to make that decision again, every day you have to say: "Yes, or no to the ideals of your heart", because this is a treasurous world and there are so many possibilities of deviation, really, so many. SO MANY and very painful ones two, because lust, it bothers a person even at 80, 90 (laughing). Last don't releases the victims until you are in a totally safe heaven of devotional engagement. And thats what Prabhupada points out here. He says: "When you are in the right attitude, you become jivan-mukta, it will not bother you, it will be there, the beautiful young woman will be there, the chance of deviation will still be there, the possibility of thinking about that will still be there, but you will not be affected, because you don't want that, you don't want that, you don't want to cheat anybody, you don't want to utilize somebodys desperateness, anxiousness, you don't. You want the truth, the truth and nothing but the truth and then you have to pay with the price of the truth. And then you get the result and if you have done any mistakes, no problem, Krishna can also forgive, He is extremely kind, but don't twist the truth. Just like in Harinama Chintamani Srila Bhaktivinode Thakur says, there is 3 types of knowledge. One is full complete knowledge, thats very high, only pure devotees have that inside, then there is the partial knowledge, that you don't know everything, but you know something and thats something that keeps you going. And then there is the dangerous one, distorted knowledge, you don't know everything, but what you do, what you know you twist it to adjust it to your lifestyle even though it is faulty, even though it is deficient, even though it is not pure, but you twist the truth to fit in with that. When you practice this type of mentality, this distorted knowledge, then you don't make any progress. Partial knowledge is not a deficiency. Whoever has partial knowledge, then he can gain some more by increasing his knowledge. But when it is twisted, even if you put more, it just keeps the same formation twisted the whole life, it wont really go to your heart. The spota [inner meaning] will not be revealed to you. The spota means the inner meaning of something. I may say this book is wonderful, that is a statement, but whats the real meaning in my heart when I say that and what you hear about it, what you catch from it, thats maybe something totally different. The spota is revealed when you are surrendered to the guru and the scriptures. yasya deve para bhaktir yatha deva tatha gurau, tasyaite kathita hy arthah prakasante mahatmanah - When you have full faith in both the Lord and the spiritual master and the revealed scriptures then all the divine purports they will be revealed in your heart and also causeless detachment from this world will come to manifest. So we have to become strong, that is the note of this verse, we have to become strong. If you become strong then the material world will not influence you very much. And the best way to be strong is to have strong friends, thats the best way. Because how strong are we ? But if we have strong friends who are always absorbed in devotional service, who have a rythim which just goes on, on, on, you stick with them, thats good for you. You are on the safe side. Wether that strong friend is your spiritual master or is some other devotee whom you like very much, whatever, but important is that we have to remain strong so that we will not be destroyed, that we will not be disturbed in our spiritual progress. That is what I feel this morning while reading this book.

"In that position of self-realization, by practice of knowledge and renunciation in devotional service, one sees everything in the right perspective; he becomes indifferent to material existence, and the material influence acts less powerfully upon him."

Beautiful verse, Srimad Bhagavatam ki jay ! There arent many books written like that. Nowadays you have those new age philosophers: "Be happy now here" and all this: "don't worry, be happy" and all this kind of stuff. They say: "Positive thinking". They get close to the philosophy sometimes, it's amazing how close they get. But it's on the basis of distorted knowledge, it is not realized in the spirit of surrender to the sweet will of the Supreme Lord. Therefore it is important to really follow a devotee, somebody who has given his life to Krishna, that will be the only thing which will help us.

Any comments or any questions ? Srila Prabhupada ki jay !

from the Audience: May I give a comment ?

Paramadvaiti Maharaja: Yes

from the Audience: Nice class Maharaja !

Paramadvaiti Maharaja: If the mouse can be utilized for something, unimaginable grace. I realize that sometimes you sit and nothing comes to your mind, like blank. Even though you study something for so many years, all of a sudden it's not there. And you say: "Oh my dear Lord, it's continuous, we cannot be sure", and it reminds me of Arjuna, after Krishna left, he couldnt defeat some cowherds, because something was lacking. So this weakness, this understanding of ones weakness, I guess it helps. So in that sense, if you say something which somehow other touches the point, explains it, then it is actually Krishna Himself, it's not us. I hope that Krishna may use us in such a way. Of course if devotees like you say, oh that was something good, then I know it's not me, for sure. it's not something you can memorize, and even if you do memorize it, at a crucial point you may not remember it. I don't know if you have that type of experience, that sometimes you just don't remember anything. Even things which are simple, which you are supposed to really know, verses. The philosophy is so powerful, beautiful, if we always have it present, there is no chance of being sidetracked. But if we are not in the mood of surrender to the Vaishnavas, humbly depending on them, we do forget everything. There was another interesting point here. He says: "When you are in the proper mood, you are very protected", and he says: "You almost have no troubles with the material energy", Prabhupada particularly puts "almost". Just like if you offend a Vaishnava even though you have done everything so perfectly, and everything seem to be so appropriate, hey but there was something, and that something ruins everything, and then you don't get the point, you don't remember it in the right moment. So therefore Krishna-consciousness is a topic depending on the details, spiritual progress depends on so many details, and they all have to be right. And pride is the worst thing we can have, if we are proud for anything we do or anything we have, useless, absolutely useless. Everything is done by Krishna. And if you have any question about that then Guru Maharaja used to say: "It went wrong ? it's due to you, if it goes good it is due to Krishnas mercy," don't turn it around the other way (laugher). If it went right then he says: "I did it right, didnt I ?", and something went wrong: "Well, Krishna you know, that must be some test you want to give me"

 
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