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Swami Prabhupada
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Taking Shelter   13.09.2010

A lecture given by HH Kadamba Kanana Swami Maharaja, 29 April 2010, Belgium, Radhadesh (Vyasa Puja morning address)

We’re reading from the Srimad Bhagavatam, 4th Canto, chapter 27, “Attack by Candavega on the city of Puranjana,” text number 25:

dvav imav anusocanti
balav asad-avagrahau
yal loka-sastropanatam
na rati na tad icchati

Translation: One who does not give charity according to the customs or injunctions of the scriptures and one who does not accept charity in that way are considered to be in the mode of ignorance. Such persons follow the path of the foolish. Surely they must lament at the end.


(Invocatory Prayers)

Material aspects of the Vedas

Dharmam tu saksad bhagavat-pranitam, that religious principles have their origin in the Supreme Personality of Godhead and thus the Vedic literatures are non-different from the words of the Supreme Personality of Godhead. It is said that the Vedas originate from the breath of the Supreme Lord and thus the Vedas are directly representing the Supreme Personality of Godhead and must be accepted in this way. Of course within Vedic literature there is a hierarchy; there are various Vedic injunctions and we find in the Bhagavad Gita a reference, trai-gunya-visaya veda
nistrai-gunyo bhavarjuna (Bg. 2.45), which mentions that there is a portion of the Vedas which is trai-gunya, within the three modes of material nature. In other words, it is giving instructions to govern material life, to bring one to the mode of goodness. However, even if one is in the mode of goodness and lives a life dedicated to the mode of goodness, that is not enough to attain an eternal destination. Thus we are not truly interested in those Vedic literatures that deal with the material aspects.

For example, in the Harivamsa, which is a supplement to the Mahabharata, specifically describing the lineage from Krsna, just like in the Bhagavatam, you find a reference, a whole list describing the symptoms of the Age of Kali. And it is said that in the Age of Kali, most brahmanas will become astrologers, which I found interesting! Because in the 11th Canto the position of astrology is clearly clarified where it is said that astrology applies to that which takes birth because it is the rasi chart, the birth chart is being made. And since the soul never takes birth then one can exactly know in what light to see that particular aspect of Vedic knowledge. I’m not singling out anything in particular, I’m just giving it as an example that a portion of the Vedas is dealing with the three modes of material nature.

There are others…there are the Upavedas, such as the vastu sastra, dhana sastra…the vastu sastra dealing with architecture, dhana sastra, dealing with the art of fighting. Or the Ayurveda, dealing with health and all these things, are in the mundane realm. Still, we have that part of our life; we have material bodies and we do need a material shelter and there is no harm in taking shelter of Vedic direction because even those material instructions are favourable. They help to create a favourable, material basis but they’re not absolutely essential. Srila Rupa Gosvami says that whether it is Vedic or whether it is just mundane practical, whatever is hari seva anakula, whatever is favourable for the service of Hari, the Supreme Lord. So that is our main concern.

Our focus is pure devotional service

Still, sometimes we find strong statements about scripture. For example, when Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu returned from Gaya, after His initiation, he had become a devotee. It is said that the Lord had first stopped in Kanai Natasala and there in Kanai Natasala, on the way, He was chanting the Gayatri mantra. And as He was chanting the Gayatri mantras, one of the Gayatri mantras is the Gopala mantra. So when He chanted the Gopala mantra, then at the point He had a darsana of Gopala! And then Gopala disappeared! So this was a great shock and from that moment on, He was overwhelmed by separation. And when He came back, He could only think of Krsna! And we remember that He was teaching His students Sanskrit grammar and He explained every word, every word to mean Krsna, and nothing but Krsna. And then, He came home that day and His mother asked Him, “So, from what scripture did you teach today?” And then He said, “Well, what is scripture? I don’t accept anything as scripture that is not describing pure devotional service to the Supreme Personality of Godhead, Krsna!” He said. So there He gave a very rigid definition of scripture.

But that is truly the scripture that we are relating to. We are respectful to all Vedic literatures but in particular, we are interested in those scriptures that describe pure devotional service to the Supreme Lord. And Bhagavatam itself is rejecting scripture that is not directly dealing with devotional service as kaitava-dharma or cheating religion. So we take shelter of Bhagavad Gita and particularly Srimad Bhagavatam because Srimad Bhagavatam is the book that particularly describes Krsna in all His glories. There are several scriptures that tell us about Krsna. It is said that there is a Gopala-tapani Upanisad, which describes the glories of Krsna. There is the Mahabharata, which deals with Krsna. And then the supplement, the Harivamsa, which gives us the pastimes of Krsna. But no scripture has completely described devotional service to Krsna as Srimad Bhagavatam. And then there are many scriptures that are derived or many commentaries or supplementary literatures that are derived from Srimad Bhagavatam.

Srimad Bhagavatam is particularly the essence, the essence of Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu’s teachings. In the first chapter of the Adi lila, Caitanya-Caritamrta, it is said that Caitanya Mahaprabhu’s mission is to drive out the influence of ignorance in this world by the means of the two Bhagavatas: one is the person Bhagavata and the other, the book Bhagavata. So Srimad Bhagavatam is essential in our movement. It is the foundation of our movement. And it was for that reason that Srila Prabhupada expressed the desire that Srimad Bhagavatam would be placed in every house on the planet and thus today also, I must stress the importance of taking shelter of Srimad Bhagavatam.

We need to enter into Bhagavatam

I often feel that that is especially the part that is neglected in our spiritual life because chanting, you promise. Or if you haven’t promised, even then you are kind of looking at the magical 16. So that magic number of 16- sweet 16- is on our mind and we know that that’s what it ought to be. But reading is such a thing…it should be there but will it be there? Because life is just so hectic and so passionate and so much is going on and if nothing is going on we make sure that something goes on…and then ya, Bhagavatam is disappearing…! Now it says in Bhagavatam that Krsna disappeared at the end of Dvapara-yuga. When Krsna left for His transcendental abode, dharma or religious principles, and jnana (knowledge) also went with Him, and that was the situation. And therefore, in this Age of Kali, all vision was lost. That means all understanding of the truth, of what is the goal of life, or how to conduct one’s life was lost. But, it will again re-emerge by the transcendental sound from Srimad Bhagavatam.

So we really need to enter into the Bhagavatam and at the moment we are discussing here the pastimes of Puranjana. And Puranjana has tried to enjoy throughout his life and we have gone through many things: Puranjana who was looking for a suitable match in the world and one day in a forest saw this beautiful lady and the said to her, “oh, oh, who has ever seen such beauty, who has ever seen such a wonderful personality? You must be the goddess of fortune personified! But what happened to your lotus flower? I don’t see it in your hand. Have you by chance dropped it in the forest?” We are not sure if Puranjana was serious at that point or if there was flattery in the matter but anyway…Puranjana certainly became overwhelmed by the beauty of Puranjani and then you get that portion of the story that wherever she looked, he looked, when she sat, he sat and so on and so on. They were inseparable and he was always acting as her personal attendant.

That went on for quite some time until his old interests awoke; the interests from outside the relationship. That happens in any relationship between man and woman; when there is love or falling in love, then for a while they are both one hundred percent focused on each other and the world doesn’t exist anymore and it’s only the other person. But then after a while, interests again re-emerge from outside the relationship and in the case of Puranjana, it was hunting since he was a ksatriya. And when he went hunting in the forest and returned home after having really a tough day in the forest- after it wasn’t as comfortable as it was on the throne- and when he returned home, instead of…on the way back he was thinking about his beautiful wife who would be so happy to see him returning but it wasn’t like that…! She was all depressed and hair was all dishevelled and she was like totally…she didn’t look beautiful at that point and she wasn’t happy, she was miserable!

And well, it took a while before she finally revealed the cause but he knew that he was ultimately responsible for the condition. But what he had done was not clear…but it took a while and then she got the point across. That happens a lot in marital relationships. I do remember in my case, two asramas back, there were times when she wouldn’t speak to me (laughter) and if that didn’t work, if I seemed to be oblivious to that, then she wouldn’t speak to me but clean the room around me and start humming, you know, out loud and sing just to drive it in a little deeper! (Laughter) Until you come to a point, as a man, and then you say, (shouts) ‘and now it’s enough!’ (Laughter)

That’s all far behind me now. But these are part of the pastimes. I was a few days ago in the marriage of Rupa Sanatana and his good wife, Mangala Candrika. And Rupa’s father gave a talk and he said, “I hope they’ll soon have a house so that they can argue in peace…” (Laughter) That’s all I remember from the speech but that stood out for me! I thought it was really, you know…his father is off age now and he’s figured it out that you need a place where you can argue in peace! So I thought that was nice.

Anyway, in the story of Puranjana, we have moved along and we are aware that it is an allegorical story and there is a city with nine gates and there is a five hooded serpent which represents the life airs, guarding the city. And we have come now to the chapter where the city becomes attacked and gradually the life air weakens and weakens and little by little, Puranjana is losing it. And that is a fearful time, it is a fearful time. Yesterday, the purport was dealing with that; with fear and how a devotee is not affected by that fear because of his great faith in Krsna and his eternal destination and so on and that therefore a devotee becomes peaceful about this upcoming end of life.

A spirit of working together

Today then, it comes up on the point of really taking shelter of scripture. And that that’s the only way to make life auspicious. So on this day, well we’re celebrating that time is moving along in my life. And it’s a festive day we’re celebrating; we’re celebrating that we have come to the shelter of this movement, we’re celebrating that we are in the association of sadhus, of saintly personalities. And we are remembering our good fortune. We are making bonds with each other in a sense that it should be possible amongst disciples of the same spiritual master that there are positive relationships. It should be possible that amongst them there is a mood where everyone is trying to accept the other, everyone is trying to help the other…it should be possible, because after all that would be pleasing to our spiritual master otherwise you get the story of the sons massaging the back of the father and getting into a fight and in the process beating up the father! Well, Prabhupada often told that story. I wouldn’t allow such a situation! (Laughter) A few guys massaging? That’s out! One is already difficult enough! But the story stands to illustrate that…

So yes, a spirit of being together is important and not just because we have to because it’s a sort of a scriptural need but rather genuinely, genuinely that would be most wonderful. A spiritual master is a representative of Krsna. So as a representative what power do you really have? Krsna has the real power. He’s omniscient, He’s omnipotent, He is all-knowing, He is all-powerful, He can do anything…and then His representative, what can His representative do? Only so much or so little. So the representative in a way can only desire. The one thing that a spiritual master cannot do is force. If only he could…he would! (Laughter) For sure! If it was possible to force people into Krsna consciousness, oh boy, we would have a field day! But it’s not like that; it’s a voluntary process. So a spiritual master can really only desire, only desire that his disciples would somehow or other take advantage, just take advantage of this very rare opportunity. It is that why Srila Prabhupada used to say, “You’ve had so many lifetimes, and so many lifetimes you have did what you want now please give this one to me! Just give me one lifetime! Just one! You’ve already had so many, just give me one…” So Prabhupada was humbly requesting, humbly asking because although he was a very powerful spiritual master, still, he was also a living being. And as living beings we are infinitesimal; we are small, our power is so insignificant in comparison to the unlimited power of Krsna and the unlimited power of the material energy.

Agitation of mind is holding us back

The living being is the marginal energy of Krsna, tatastha sakti. The spiritual energy is known as the internal energy of Krsna, the antaranga sakti. It has three subdivisions: sandhini, samvit and hladhini. Samvit means the knowledge potency of Krsna; sandhini, the existence potency, which relates to eternity and then the hladhini sakti referring to the pleasure potency of Krsna. That is part of the spiritual realm and the living being is a separate energy, the marginal. And then the external energy is this material energy. It is said,

apareyam itas tv anyam
prakrtim viddhi me param
jiva-bhutam maha-baho
yayedam dharyate jagat

(Bg. 7.5)

that the marginal energy is higher than the external energy. But yet, the external energy somehow or other is more powerful and somehow or other, the external energy can be bewilder the living being and we all become so much covered over and therefore we are always agitated, always. Our minds are never peaceful. Our minds are always agitated either in a positive way by, (dramatic), ‘oh, it’s good, oh it looks nice, oh, I think I want it, oh, I must have it…yes! Now! Or a little later…but I want it!’ or the mind is agitated in the opposite way, ‘oh, not that, anything but that! Oh no!’ So this agitation is constant, is constant, from moment, from place to place. And it is due to this constant agitation of our mind and senses that we are distracted from Krsna and that we cannot seriously take shelter of our spiritual master.

‘Yes, yes, yes, yes, yes, I want to surrender…’ and today I’m sure many words will be spoken and we are already defeated before we even try to realise them. That is the situation. So what to do, what to do…well, it is said,

durgame pathi me ‘ndhasya
skhalat-pada-gater muhuh
santah santv avalambanam

(Cc. Antya lila 1.2)

It is said that, “my path is very difficult; my feet are slipping again and again…” So this is referring to again and again my consciousness is drifting away, overwhelmed by maya and again and again I forget Krsna, again and again I forget Krsna…that’s what it means. But, it is said that one can stay on the spiritual path by the stick of the mercy of the vaisnavas association as our support. So it is for that reason that I’m speaking about bonding and you know, long ago, long before Krsna consciousness, I was someone who had many friends and I had one problem, that my friends couldn’t get on with each other. If my friends would meet each other, they would go like (dramatic)…but I hope that this time it’s going to be different! I hope so, I really hope so. That would be nice, that would be truly nice because yes, at this stage of my life, I am no longer looking for impossible challenges. When I was young, I had a sailing yacht and I would go on the North Sea or other seas, in storms, just to face a challenge! Now I don’t need to look for storms anymore; it’s okay if it’s peaceful. That’s all right; there are storms on their own, without asking!

When Srila Prabhupada was engaged with Hayagriva and Syamasundara in discussing Western philosophers, at one point Syamasundara presented that they were coming now to the modern times and that the modern philosophers were much more complex than the classical philosophers. That was their point. And Prabhupada responded to it and Prabhupada said, “Why? Why have the philosophies become more complex when nothing has changed?” He said, “the rising and the setting of the sun is still the same, nothing has changed! So why has the philosophies become more complicated, more complex?” He said, “It can be for only one reason- that life under the sun has become more complex!”

So it is a fact that we’ve made spiritual life more complex, we’ve made it so complex whereas…I’m remembering Tribuvanatha Prabhu, who was very simple by nature. He had grown up as an orphan in an orphanage and as a result he didn’t get a very good education. But that was Krsna’s perfect arrangement because it suited his nature, because he was so simple. And Tribuvanatha tells a story, which is not recorded anywhere in writing but he told me personally, he said that he was there when Srila Prabhupada came in the room and they were all waiting to receive him. Prabhupada sat down and Prabhupada spoke and Prabhupada said, “Krsna consciousness is so simple, Krsna consciousness is so simple, you might just miss it!” And I liked that, I really liked that! I think, if we could only be simple…I’m not so simple, but it’s something to aspire for and it is something to keep in mind and if only we could just keep life simple and just take shelter of the basics.

Whatever we think is right and wrong, let it just be secondary to what our spiritual master says is right and wrong. That’s very simple; it’s a very simple formula in spiritual life! So difficult to do because we just have a different opinion of what is right and wrong but as soon as we have that different opinion, then we are always wrong! Always, automatically…So one must be very careful to not even internally enter into competition with the spiritual master. Externally of course, it’s not allowed but internally means in our mind, in our thoughts. Just to disagree or even more subtle, ‘well I don’t disagree but I changed the emphasis,’ that means that ‘I agreed on the point but I give it less importance’ because a spiritual master may stress a point and it’s not only that he would say…like in this case, the example of today was ‘read Srimad Bhagavatam’ as a basic instruction and build a lecture about that instruction. So only that there is that instruction but what also counts is how much importance is he giving to it. You say, ‘ya you should read Srimad Bhagavatam,’ or you might say, ‘READ SRIMAD BHAGAVATAM!’ Okay, there is a difference there! And then as a disciple one could say, ‘well, he said read Srimad Bhagavatam,’ but one should not only take the words but one should also take the emphasis, the stress and how much importance is given.  The word ‘emphasis’ means how much of importance is given to a particular point.

What is important to me…

So like that…on this day, I will say, I’ll try and say, some of the things that I honestly think that are very important from whatever I’ve learnt from the vaisnavas. Somehow or other, I got a lot of mercy this lifetime from a lot of vaisnavas who…for example Brahmananda stood on my hand! That was a lot of mercy! (Laughter) I’ll never forget that! That made quite an impression! That was in the year that the murti of Srila Prabhupada was being installed in Srila Prabhupada’s Samadhi. They had made big arrangements for building the murti and they had built a special table for it, but somehow or other they had made a miscalculation; they put some support bars at the legs and as a result, the drum that was planned to go under the table to catch all the bathing substances, didn’t fit! And it was found out last minute…! So, what to do! I volunteered and said, “no worries, I have a team and we’ll go under there with buckets and we will do it.” So I remember that abhiseka very well. It’s a very big Deity of Srila Prabhupada and we caught some in the buckets, but I also got the full abhiseka that time! (Laughter) and I still remember the honey! (Laughter) I don’t know…there was also cow dung- lots of it- and cow urine and all the other bathing substances and I got it all! And then there was a few hundred litre Yamuna water, which I also remember. And then yes, at that time many vaisnavas kicked me as I was under the table and Brahmananda stood on my hand, which of course was a great blessing because he’s very dear to Srila Prabhupada.

So I got the mercy in so many ways. I got the mercy in the form of instructions from various vaisnavas; Tamal Krsna Maharaja invited me for lunch and I was wondering, ‘hmm…why is he inviting me for lunch?’ And then he served personally, with his own hand, and then he came to the fresh cauliflower pakoras and they were piping hot, and he said, “please take, take, take…” and I take a bite and I have the hot cauliflower in my mouth and I take the water glass and I realise it’s empty (Laughter) and I realised that he arranged the whole thing! (Dramatic) And I was sitting there with this hot pakora in my mouth! (Laughter) And then he spoke some words of correction…and there was nothing I could say! (Laughter) So I’m grateful to Tamal Krsna Maharaja for his kindness upon me and his cauliflower pakoras…

Many devotees have helped me so much. There was a devotee whom I haven’t seen for so many years but who played a big role in the early part of my spiritual life. Well, he was a devotee from an Afro-American origin. When I first joined in the Vrndavana temple but stayed for a short time because I had to go back to Europe because Visas, tickets and everything else, and then after some time I moved again into the Amsterdam temple. And in the Amsterdam temple in those days, it was a well-oiled sankirtana machine and there was only one question: ‘how much?’ And it wasn’t like ‘how much Krsna prema?’ it was ‘how much?’ So I found that impersonal and Mahaveria, this devotee I was speaking about, was the only one who would ask questions like, ‘how are you?’ Just the human touch, you know. So for me that made all the difference. Without the human touch I would not have survived. And yes it was tough and even at one point, it got so tough that I decided to take a little vacation from Krsna consciousness…but it was difficult. Yeah, it’s a long story; I have to leave a few details out because of time constraints…

But I remember that in those days of vacation, I went to the movies and in the movies there were Hare Krsnas, but the tilak was wrong; there was no Tulasi leaf on their nose! So I could see, ‘these are fake!’ and then the next moment, these fake ‘haris’, they went into the bar, sat down at the bar, some girls came in- and they were brahmacaris- sat on their lap, and they ordered some beer and they said, ‘it’s good to have a drink after a hard day’s work!’ And I was so upset but still, I went to the movies- a little bit in maya- but Krsna was there! And then when I came home there was a message that Mahaveria in the Amsterdam temple was fasting till I would come back! I let him fast for three days! (Laughter) But he brought me back, he brought me back. And then when I came back he told me, “So, and now you have to get more serious about spiritual life,” and he said, “and now, from now on, I want you to chant 32 rounds and I want you to rise 3 ‘o clock the latest- no later than 3…” So I did that. And also every day, before darsana, I’d have to come to his room and he would force me to join him in out-loud chanting a chapter of Bhagavad Gita verses and translations. And actually what I learned from him, is something that is still valuable today. I don’t always do it- sorry Mahaveria- still don’t always do what my superiors have told me to do, but whenever I do it, I must say, that I feel great benefit. Whenever I chant my daily verses of the Gita- Sanskrit and translations- shoo, the Gita comes alive! Whenever I slot back into my 32 rounds program, immediately there is something happening, I kind of rise above the mechanical platform. And if I go beyond that, then even better!

So the point is there that so many benedictions from so many devotees in my life. Also my former wife…I mean I must also give her, her credit for being a strict devotee throughout and also for one time giving me a birthday gift that I was allowed as a vanaprastha to move into the brahmacari asrama. That was like- before sannyasa- that was a sacrifice. I’m sitting here today also because of her sacrifice and that must be acknowledged also. Thus my disciples should be kind upon her in reciprocation. That would be good. So many…Bhavananda has also greatly blessed me because he was very demanding! Super demanding! He would keep you on your toes all the time! But that’s what I wanted; I didn’t want somebody soft and making it easy for me. He made it tough for me and that’s what I needed and what I wanted. And one day I had malaria and when you have malaria, then in one fever attack you can lose 10 kilos! So you get an intense, really high fever and in one fever of like 3, 4 hours, you are transformed into a skeleton! So I had two attacks because usually it’s like the first day you get an attack, second day no attack, third day again an attack- at exactly the same time as the first day! And then you know for sure that it’s malaria. Pop the pills and go…so okay,  I had done all that so I was over it but I was sitting there on a chair, leaning against a column, having lost lots of kilos, and Bhavananda walks past and he said, “you, you are so sinful, you are sinful!” And I knew he was right! I had to admit it! And it meant, ‘don’t start feeling sorry for yourself, you deserve whatever you get, you’re only getting a diminished reaction for everything isn’t it? Isn’t that what the scriptures are teaching?’ He was telling me. So if there was any self pity, at that time it was crushed. And thus, he kept me on a standard of being serious about spiritual life. And he used to say that “the show must go on,” which meant that ‘whatever happens, your service must be done.’ And I took that, I took that, and that helped me actually. I just somehow or other did that; I did my service. That was the standard…And destiny had it that our relationship changed but I mean him sometimes and he still gets on my case sometimes! He said, “Why are you travelling so much?” he told me recently, and he said, “and if you travel, you should travel short distances at a time!” And I think, yeah, from him I can take it! So he’s right. So I’ll do that.

And then of course, my spiritual master, Sripada Jayadvaita Swami Maharaja, is a most generous personality, very, very generous and broad-minded. And he had more faith in me than I had in myself. He had a service for me in my mind which was beyond what I thought I could possibly approach this lifetime. Well, a lot of people are afraid of him because of his karate blow use of language! (Laughter) He’s very good in that cutting function of exposing what is bogus and not sentimental and the truth is the truth and that’s it! But I had faith in him as a sadhu so I approached him. So I though well, I was ready for it and braced myself for possible karate blows, but rather the opposite. He’s always been so kind and patient and rather gentle with me and in that way purchased me by placing faith in me, by requesting me- not trying to force me but humbly requesting me- that works much better. Force…the stubborn Dutch man comes out and even amongst Dutch man I am stubborn and that means I am ultra stubborn! So pushing doesn’t work! But a kind request does, it does.

Anyway, so many great vaisnavas have given me their blessings and that’s my point- I am made of these blessings. I don’t really have such extraordinary personal qualities, but how can I ignore all these vaisnavas who have been so kind to put their faith in me, to give their advice to me, to give their time to me…how can I disappoint them? So it’s that which became the source of my strength- the blessings of all these vaisnavas. If I have any strength, then that is that strength and it is on that strength that I humbly requesting you to just simply take to the process of Krsna consciousness. I don’t care how you want to arrange your life, I don’t care if you want to live high on a mountain or in the middle of the city, I don’t care if you want to be conservative or if you want to be a little freaky…I don’t mind, I can deal with all kinds of people! I don’t have a problem with that, you know. Whatever you want, so be it, but just the simple things, simply taking shelter of the holy name, simply taking shelter of the Bhagavatam and building it into our life and simply staying close to the temple and simply taking the trouble- if you stay away from the temple- to always go the temple and simply not to disagree with the spiritual masters and to simply accept, ‘I must be wrong.’ Whatever Prabhupada says, if you have a different opinion, then the next line should be, ‘I guess, I’m in maya! I guess I must be wrong. How? I don’t always understand, but I must be.’ It’s so simple. So that is my humble request; let us just simply be Krsna conscious then I’m sure that everything would be simply wonderful!

Okay thank you very much, Srila Prabhupada ki, Jaya!


A few 2-3 minutes for questions otherwise the whole schedule goes off already…does anyone have a question? Ya Haripurush?

Haripurush: I’m sorry to bring it back to the Puranjana story…

Maharaja: No it’s okay, I’ll bring it back to the end…

Haripurush: In the allegory, when he’s hunting…what does it stand for that she is unhappy with Puranjana? (Inaudible)

Maharaja: Okay, so you want to get into the hunting episode. Okay, so in the allegory, in the whole story there is a hidden meaning, a purport to all these things. Well, the point was that Puranjana went into the forest and he went to hunt  and he separated himself from his wife. Now at this point he separated himself from buddhi, from intelligence. Of course there are several levels of meaning in the story. So in one symbolic meaning the wife is take there as buddhi. So if we take that meaning then Puranjana left his intelligence home and the result was that he became involved in so many sinful activities and that was very unfortunate. So that’s one meaning. Another meaning of course is the clear men-women dynamics, which was the part that I highlighted more in the lecture. Both are there.

But yes…and the intelligence, intelligence comes from scripture. This buddhi in astrology- now talking astrology- intelligence is divided over two planets- one is Mercury and the other one is Jupiter. And Mercury is representing the material type of intelligence by which one can- as they say, ‘dice and slice’ or by which one can figure out that the square block fit in the round hole and those kind of things. Or by which one understand how computers work and telephones and so on. So that’s all Mercurian intelligence. And then the intelligence coming from Jupiter is more relating to wisdom. It is the intelligence that is giving us deep insight and leads towards Krsna. So both of these are to be combined. So when we speak buddhi, the word ‘buddha’ is particularly referring to that wisdom. So it’s a Jupiterian type of intelligence that is referred to. So spiritual intelligence. And one must always, always understand that spiritual intelligence comes originally from Krsna and not from us. One cannot think that, ‘I have that intelligence,’ no, it all comes from Krsna. And dadami buddhi- yogam tam, it is given to us and therefore we must take shelter of the Bhagavatam to get that intelligence. And as soon as we turn away from Bhagavatam, we are Puranjana who is like out there hunting in the forest of the material world.

And as Prabhodananda Sarasvati, the sannyasi associate of Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu, says that, “one should either emerge himself in an ocean of devotional service or one will emerge himself in an ocean of unwanted deeds.” It’s one or the other. So if we diverse our self from this buddhi, from this intelligence that Krsna gives in the scriptures and also from within by following the instructions of the parampara, then we’ll get entangled like Puranjana did. Ya, Paramesvara?

Paramesvara: How can we deserve or attract the causeless mercy of the vaisnavas?

Maharaja: (Repeats question) Well, what’s so nice about Krsna consciousness is that everyone has the same purpose. Srila Prabhupada is speaking about the stones that is thrown in the water and that makes rings and if you throw the stones in different places, it creates friction between these waves. But if you throw the stones in exactly the same place that then it would be perfectly harmonious- concentric circles supplementing each other and the second stone would add to the wave of the first stone, and the third one would add…So in this way, when we serve Krsna and the previous acaryas, then automatically the spiritual master is very pleased and all the vaisnavas, all the advanced vaisnavas are very pleased.

You can see sometimes that there are big differences in character between senior vaisnavas and they seem at odds in terms of character and very different and they seem to really disagree because of character. And the next moment they are completely united, completely together. How is it possible? Because, whatever the differences of character are both dedicated to the service of Prabhupada, the service of the previous acaryas, the service of Krsna, the service of Lord Caitanya and thus, when they see that that is coming into the foreground, then immediately they can be together, they can co-operate, they can appreciate each other. And in this way, we can also attract the mercy of the vaisnavas if we serve the paramapara and we serve Sri Krsna Caitanya. Then ah, if you serve so nice, then very nice! That one, yes, that one will get the mercy…that one!

All right we will have more opportunities to talk and talk and talk and talk as is going on in this age. So thank you so much.

Srila Prabhupada ki, Jaya!

Gaura bhakta vrnda ki, Jaya!

Sri Sri Radha Gopinatha ki, Jaya!