Saffron Particles

Lotus Feet

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This following verse reminds me of the importance of reading Srila Prabhupada’s books every day. Hearing from the pure devotee of the Lord, is so powerful that it can revive the living entity’s memory of his eternal relationship with the Supreme Personality of Godhead.

My dear Lord, You are glorified by the selected verses uttered by great personalities. Such glorification of Your lotus feet is just like saffron particles. When the transcendental vibration from the mouths of great devotees carries the aroma of the saffron dust of Your lotus feet, the forgetful living entity gradually remembers his eternal relationship with You. Devotees thus gradually come to the right conclusion about the value of life. My dear Lord, I therefore do not need any other benediction but the opportunity to hear from the mouth of Your pure devotee.

Reading the books of His Divine Grace A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada is hearing from the mouth of the pure devotee.

Book distribution 3

Srimad Bhagavatam
By His Divine Grace A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada
Canto Four, Chapter 20, Text 25 & 24

TEXT 25

sa uttamaśloka mahan-mukha-cyuto
bhavat-padāmbhoja-sudhā kaṇānilaḥ
smṛtiṁ punar vismṛta-tattva-vartmanāṁ
kuyogināṁ no vitaraty alaṁ varaiḥ

saḥ—that; uttama-śloka—O Lord, who are praised by selected verses; mahat—of great devotees; mukha-cyutaḥ—delivered from the mouths; bhavat—Your; pada-ambhoja—from the lotus feet; sudhā—of nectar; kaṇa—particles; anilaḥ—soothing breeze; smṛtim—remembrance; punaḥ—again; vismṛta—forgotten; tattva—to the truth; vartmanām—of persons whose path; ku-yoginām—of persons not in the line of devotional service; naḥ—of us; vitarati—restores; alam—unnecessary; varaiḥ—other benedictions.

TRANSLATION

My dear Lord, You are glorified by the selected verses uttered by great personalities. Such glorification of Your lotus feet is just like saffron particles. When the transcendental vibration from the mouths of great devotees carries the aroma of the saffron dust of Your lotus feet, the forgetful living entity gradually remembers his eternal relationship with You. Devotees thus gradually come to the right conclusion about the value of life. My dear Lord, I therefore do not need any other benediction but the opportunity to hear from the mouth of Your pure devotee.

PURPORT

It is explained in the previous verse [below] that one has to hear glorification of the Lord from the mouth of a pure devotee. This is further explained here. The transcendental vibration from the mouth of a pure devotee is so powerful that it can revive the living entity’s memory of his eternal relationship with the Supreme Personality of Godhead. In our material existence, under the influence of illusory māyā, we have almost forgotten our eternal relationship with the Lord, exactly like a man sleeping very deeply who forgets his duties. In the Vedas it is said that every one of us is sleeping under the influence of māyā. We must get up from this slumber and engage in the right service, for thus we can properly utilize the facility of this human form of life. As expressed in a song by Ṭhākura Bhaktivinoda, Lord Caitanya says, jīva jāga, jīva jāga. The Lord asks every sleeping living entity to get up and engage in devotional service so that his mission in this human form of life may be fulfilled. This awakening voice comes through the mouth of a pure devotee.

A pure devotee always engages in the service of the Lord, taking shelter of His lotus feet, and therefore he has a direct connection with the saffron mercy-particles that are strewn over the lotus feet of the Lord. Although when a pure devotee speaks the articulation of his voice may resemble the sound of this material sky, the voice is spiritually very powerful because it touches the particles of saffron dust on the lotus feet of the Lord. As soon as a sleeping living entity hears the powerful voice emanating from the mouth of a pure devotee, he immediately remembers his eternal relationship with the Lord, although up until that moment he had forgotten everything.

For a conditioned soul, therefore, it is very important to hear from the mouth of a pure devotee, who is fully surrendered to the lotus feet of the Lord without any material desire, speculative knowledge or contamination of the modes of material nature. Every one of us is kuyogī because we have engaged in the service of this material world, forgetting our eternal relationship with the Lord as His eternal loving servants. It is our duty to rise from the kuyoga platform to become suyogīs, perfect mystics. The process of hearing from a pure devotee is recommended in all Vedic scriptures, especially by Lord Caitanya Mahāprabhu. One may stay in his position of life—it does not matter what it is—but if one hears from the mouth of a pure devotee, he gradually comes to the understanding of his relationship with the Lord and thus engages in His loving service, and his life becomes completely perfect. Therefore, this process of hearing from the mouth of a pure devotee is very important for making progress in the line of spiritual understanding.

previous verse

TEXT 24

na kāmaye nātha tad apy ahaṁ kvacin
na yatra yuṣmac-caraṇāmbujāsavaḥ
mahattamāntar-hṛdayān mukha-cyuto
vidhatsva karṇāyutam eṣa me varaḥ

na—not; kāmaye—do I desire; nātha—O master; tat—that; api—even; aham—I; kvacit—at any time; na—not; yatra—where; yuṣmat—Your; caraṇa-ambuja—of the lotus feet; āsavaḥ—the nectarean beverage; mahat-tama—of the great devotees; antaḥ-hṛdayāt—from the core of the heart; mukha—from the mouths; cyutaḥ—being delivered; vidhatsva—give; karṇa—ears; ayutam—one million; eṣaḥ—this; me—my; varaḥ—benediction.

TRANSLATION

My dear Lord, I therefore do not wish to have the benediction of merging into Your existence, a benediction in which there is no existence of the nectarean beverage of Your lotus feet. I want the benediction of at least one million ears, for thus I may be able to hear about the glories of Your lotus feet from the mouths of Your pure devotees.

PURPORT

In the previous verse Mahārāja Pṛthu addressed the Lord as kaivalya-pati, the master of the liberation of merging into His existence. This does not mean that he was anxious for kaivalya liberation. That is made clear in this verse: “My dear Lord, I do not want such a benediction.” Mahārāja Pṛthu wanted to have a million ears to hear the glories of the lotus feet of the Lord. He specifically mentioned that the glories of the Lord should emanate from the mouths of pure devotees, who speak from the cores of their hearts. It is stated in the beginning of Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam (1.1.3), śuka-mukhād amṛta-drava-saṁyutam: the nectar of Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam became more relishable because it emanated from the mouth of Śrīla Śukadeva Gosvāmī. One might think that these glories of the Lord can be heard from anywhere, from the mouths of either devotees or nondevotees, but here it is specifically mentioned that the glories of the Lord must emanate from the mouths of pure devotees. Śrī Sanātana Gosvāmī has strictly prohibited hearing from the mouth of a nondevotee. There are many professional reciters of Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam who speak the narrations very ornamentally, but a pure devotee does not like to hear from them because such glorification of the Lord is simply a vibration of material sound. But when heard from the mouth of a pure devotee, glorification of the Lord is immediately effective.

The words satāṁ prasaṅgān mama vīrya-saṁvidaḥ (Bhāg. 3.25.25) mean that glorification of the Lord is potent when uttered from the mouth of a pure devotee. The Lord has innumerable devotees all over the universe, and they have been glorifying the Lord since time immemorial and for an unlimited time. But still they cannot completely finish enumerating the glories of the Lord. Pṛthu Mahārāja therefore wanted innumerable ears, as Rūpa Gosvāmī also desired to have millions of ears and millions of tongues to chant and hear the glorification of the Lord. In other words, if our ears are always engaged in hearing the glorification of the Lord, there will be no scope for hearing the Māyāvāda philosophy, which is doom to spiritual progress. Śrī Caitanya Mahāprabhu said that if anyone hears from a Māyāvādī philosopher preaching about the activities of the Lord, even if it is a description from the Vedic literature, he is ultimately doomed. By hearing such Māyāvāda philosophy one cannot come to the destination of spiritual perfection of life.

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