click on image to enlarge
The Nectar of Devotion Lecture
By His Divine Grace A. C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada
Vṛndāvana, October 19, 1972
Pradyumna: (reading) “…happiness immediately terminates with his body as long as his life, as soon as his life is over. Death is therefore taken as the representative of God for the atheistic class of men. The devotee realizes the presence of God by devotional service, whereas the atheist realizes the presence of God in the shape of death.”
Prabhupāda: Yes. This point we have discussed last night that everyone can see God. To see God is not very difficult job. There are so many points described in the Bhagavad-gītā. For the devotees, those who are serious about seeing God, they can see God. God is present everywhere. And God Himself, Kṛṣṇa, is describing, raso ‘ham apsu kaunteya prabhāsmi śaśi-sūryayoḥ [Bg. 7.8]. So everyone drinks water. Now Kṛṣṇa says, “The taste of the water, I am.” So who has not tasted the water? Everyone drinks water at least four times, five times. So as soon as you drink water, the taste of the water is Kṛṣṇa. Kṛṣṇa says, “I am this.” Kṛṣṇa has described Himself in so many ways. “Amongst the trees, I am this. Amongst the aquatics, I am this. Amongst the nonmovable, I am this.” So why not see God in that way? The atheist class of men, they say, “Can you show me God?” So why don’t you see God? Why you close your eyes? If you have got eyes to see, you can see God everywhere.
Those who are saintly devotees, they are seeing God, Kṛṣṇa, in every moment. Premāñjana-cchurita-bhakti-vilocanena santaḥ sadaiva hṛdayeṣu vilokayanti [Bs. 5.38]. If you become saintly person by your austerities, penances, then you can see God in every step. Otherwise, if you think that “I cannot become saintly person,” yes, nobody can become saintly immediately. It requires time. But so long you are material person you can see God also in the water. You drink water. You can see God. You can see sunshine. God is there. Prabhāsmi śaśi-sūryayoḥ. So who has not seen the sunshine? Who has not seen the moonshine? So therefore if you have seen moonshine, if you have seen sunshine, you have seen God.
But especially those who are impersonalists, they can see God in that way. Śabdaḥ khe pauruṣaṁ nṛṣu. There are descriptions in the Seventh Chapter, how you can see God in your common dealings. Still, if you do not see God, then you can see, you must see one day God at the time of your death. Mṛtyuḥ sarva-haraś cāham [Bg. 10.34]. Death is God. So the atheist class men, just like Hiraṇyakaśipu, who always challenges God, in spite of so many things wherein we can see God, they deny to see God; therefore God comes before them as death. So everyone has to meet death. So God is there. And you are seeing. But because we are atheist class of men, we are denying, “There is not God.” So Bhakti-rasāmṛta-sindhu says that, “After all, you have to meet with God at the time of death. So before death, why don’t you see God in so many ways?” That is Bhakti-rasāmṛta-sindhu. The science of devotional service which is giving you indication how to see God always and everywhere. Go on reading.
Pradyumna: “Death is therefore taken as the representative of God for the atheist class of men. The devotee realizes the presence of God by devotional service, whereas the atheist realizes the presence of God in the shape of death. At death everything is finished, and one has to begin a new chapter of life in a new situation, perhaps higher or lower than the last one. In any field of activity, political, social, national or international, the results of our actions will be finished with the end of life. That is sure. Bhakti-rasa, however, the mellow relished in the transcendental loving service of the Lord, does not finish with the end of life. It continues perpetually and is therefore called amṛta, that which does not die, but exists eternally.”
Prabhupāda: Yes. Rasa. Rasa means mellow. Everything we have, there is a rasa. Without rasa, we do not deal in anything. So this material rasa or mellow, which we relish in our daily dealings… Suppose our dealings with wife, children, friends or others, enemy also. There is a rasa. When we kill our enemy, there is also some pleasure rasa. When we see something ghastly… In European and Western countries, they want to see some ghastly things in the television. So they enjoy rasa. There is some rasa, relishment. Otherwise, how they are all day, practically, they are sitting before the television and seeing?
So there are twelve kinds of rasas. Five kinds of rasa, we generally experience. The dealings between servants and master, dealings between friend and friend, dealings between mother and the child, dealings between lover and the beloved, dealings between the enemy and enemies. So many ways, there are, on the whole, twelve kinds of rasa. And the, all the rasas are there in Kṛṣṇa. Akhila-rasāmṛta. Akhila-rasa. He’s the reservoir of all pleasure. Even in ghastly behavior, a man is killing another man, there is some enjoyment by killing. Just like Bhīma. When he killed Duryodhana, he immediately sucked the blood of Duryodhana’s heart. So there was some pleasure. Because Duryodhana insulted them so many ways. And they were, especially Bhīma was finding out the opportunity when he’ll, he would enjoy the rasa by killing Duryodhana. So all, in all our dealings, directly or indirectly, there is some rasa.
Now, in our material dealings, the rasas are temporary. They’ll be finished. As soon as this body is finished, the rasa is also finished. Just like we love somebody, any way, either as friend or as child or as husband or as lover, friend, so many ways. But these rasa will be finished as soon as this body’s finished. I have got some affectionate dealings with my sons. But as soon as the son dies, or I die, the rasa is finished. But if you deal in the same way with Kṛṣṇa, who is the reservoir of all rasas, it will continue. If you love Kṛṣṇa as a friend in this life, if you develop your consciousness, Kṛṣṇa consciousness, as friend of Kṛṣṇa’s, then tyaktvā dehaṁ punar janma naiti mām eti [Bg. 4.9], when you go to Kṛṣṇa, tyaktvā deham, giving up this body, then you go there as Kṛṣṇa’s friend.
Just like Śrīla Śukadeva Gosvāmī’s described in the Bhagavad-gītā, Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam: itthaṁ brahma-sukhānubhūtyā dāsyaṁ gatānāṁ para-daivatena, māyāśritānāṁ nara-dārakeṇa kṛta-puṇya-puñjāḥ [SB 10.12.11]. The boys who were playing with Kṛṣṇa, Śukadeva Gosvāmī says that after many, many births accumulation of pious activities… Because you cannot develop devotional service without pious life. Yeṣām anta-gataṁ pāpam. If you want to become associate with Kṛṣṇa, then you cannot act as a sinful man. Just like a criminal is not allowed to come out of the jail. He has no freedom. Similarly, if we act sinfully in this life, then we’ll have to remain within this material world, one body after another. So we, we have to give up sinful activities. Therefore we forbid our students, no illicit sex, no meat-eating, no gambling, no intoxication. Because these are the pillars of sinful life. So we have to give up these things to accelerate our promotion to devotional service. We cannot go on doing this and that at the same time. It is something like that, you ignite fire and pour water. It will be useless attempt. If you want to burn the fire blazing, don’t put water on it. Keep it dry. Similarly, if you want to advance in Kṛṣṇa consciousness, then you cannot indulge in sinful activities. And when you are proved that you are no more sinful, yeṣām anta-gataṁ pāpam, one who has become freed from the reaction of sinful life, yeṣām anta-gataṁ pāpaṁ janānāṁ puṇya-karmāṇi…
You have to do something. So if you engage yourself twenty-four hours in pious activities, pious activities in goodness, that is also tainted. But when you actually engage yourself in the devotional service of Vāsudeva, as we were discussing this morning, the verse, vāsudeve bhagavati bhakti-yogaḥ prayojitaḥ, janayaty āśu vairāgyam… [SB 1.2.7]. So even if we are accustomed to sinful activities on account of bad habits, still, we can engage ourself in devotional service of Vāsudeva. So those who are sincerely devotee of Vāsudeva, sometimes due to their past habits, may commit something sinful, not knowingly, but habituated; that is excused by Kṛṣṇa. Api cet su-durācāro bhajate mām ananya-bhāk. But not wilfully. Wilfully, if we commit some sinful activities, that can be excused once, twice, but not thrice. then you’ll be punished. Therefore a devotee should not commit wilfully any sinful activities in order to keep himself always fit in devotional service. He should try to keep himself steady, without committing any sinful actions. The primary sinful activities are described, and we try to follow. And if we chant sixteen rounds and keep ourself always aloof from the sinful activities, then it is certain, niścayāt, utsāhān dhairyāt, niścayāt tat-tat-karma-pravartanāt, sato vṛtteḥ sādhu-saṅge ṣaḍbhir bhaktiḥ prasidhyati.
If you want to advance in devotional service, then you should be enthusiastic, utsāhān, dhairyāt, with patience, and niścayāt, you should be assured that “Because I’m following strictly the direction of my spiritual master and śāstras, certainly I shall meet Kṛṣṇa.” Tat-tat-karma-pravartanāt. By following the rules and regulations, sato vṛtteḥ, always trying to be honest and sādhu-saṅga… [Cc. Madhya 22.83]. The sādhu-saṅga is very important. Therefore we have created this internal society, International Society so that actually it is happening. People are coming to our society, in our centers, and after one week, automatically he takes a bag and beads and shaves himself. Automatically. Sādhu-saṅga is very… Association of sādhu. Solitary bhajana, executing devotional service in a solitary place, is not possible for the neophyte devotees. It is meant for the advanced devotees. If, from the very beginning, without executing the regulative principles, if one wants to execute devotional service in a solitary place, it will be simply disturbing, and he must fall down. There are so many examples, even in this Vṛndāvana. So we should not imitate. We must, vidhi-mārga. The regulative principles must be followed. Then when you are mature, then we can sit down in a solitary place. Otherwise it is not possible. Then. You read.
Pradyumna: “This is confirmed in all Vedic literatures. The Bhagavad-gītā says that a little advancement in bhakti-rasa can save the devotee from the greatest danger, that of missing the opportunity for, of human, for human life.”
Prabhupāda: Svalpam apy asya dharmasya trāyate mahato bhayāt. Just like Ajāmila. Ajāmila, when he was young, he was executing devotional service just like a pure brāhmaṇa under the direction of his father, but when he was young, he was captivated by prostitute and fell down, became a thief, drunkard, and cheater. So many ways his life became sinful. But at the end of his life, when he was just going to die, he simply chanted “Nārāyaṇa”. His youngest son’s name was Nārāyaṇa. So when the Yamadūtas, the messengers of Yamarāja… [break] …carrying him. So he thought that his youngest son, because he was beloved, would save him. So he chanted, not chanted, he called his youngest son, Nārāyaṇa. Immediately he remembered Nārāyaṇa. Because in the beginning he was a devotee of Nārāyaṇa. So immediately, because he remembered Nārāyaṇa, Nārāyaṇa immediately sent His messengers to take him back to Vaikuṇṭha. So therefore this is the instance. Svalpam apy asya dharmasya trāyate mahato bhayāt. Go on.
Pradyumna: “The rasas derived from our feelings in social life, in family life or the greater family of altruism, philanthropism, nationalism, socialism, communism, etc., do not guarantee that one’s next life will be as a human being.”
Prabhupāda: Yes. They do not know that. The so… There are so many welfare workers. But they do not know even that there is next life. This is the position of the present civilization. Because I may be a great philanthropist, but my next life will be according to my karma. Just like by becoming philanthropist I may do so many sinful activities. Because when one is mad after something… Kāmais tais tair hṛta-jñānāḥ [Bg. 7.20]. When, then his knowledge becomes bewildered. They do not care to do anything, either sinful… Generally, they act sinfully. But according to our acts, karmaṇā daiva-netreṇa [SB 3.31.1], the superior authority will examine your karma. Not so-called philanthropism. Actually philanthropism has no meaning because, according to the law of karma…
Suppose you are suffering with some disease. So because you are being supplied first-class medicine, there is no guarantee that your disease will be cured. We have seen many cases. Similarly, according to Vedic conclusion, the happiness and distress, they’re destined.
Tasyaiva hetoḥ prayateta kovido
na labhyate yad bhramatām upary adhaḥ
tal labhyate duḥkhavad anyataḥ sukham
Duḥkhavad anyataḥ sukhaṁ labhyate. Just like nobody tries to become distressed. Everyone tries to become happy. So why distress comes? I try for happiness. Suppose happiness comes. But I do not try for distress. Why distress comes? We cannot explain why distress comes. You take care of all possibilities. Still, there is distress. Why? Now, this is the destiny. If you have to suffer some distress, you must suffer. That is called distress. So Bhāgavata says therefore that as you don’t try for distress and it overcomes you, similarly if you don’t try for happiness, if you have got some happiness, it will overcome you. It will come automatically. Therefore we should not try either for happiness or for distress. We should simply try to develop our Kṛṣṇa consciousness. That is our business. Tasyaiva hetoḥ prayateta kovidaḥ. A learned man should try for that only. That means this Kṛṣṇa consciousness.
Tasyaiva hetoḥ prayateta kovidaḥ na labhyate yad bhramatām upary adhaḥ. We are wandering upary-adaḥ. Upary-adhaḥ. Upary means sometimes we are going in the higher planetary systems, Brahmaloka, Janaloka, Satyaloka, sometimes going downward, Tala, Atala, Vitala, Pātāla, Rasātala. Or sometimes higher species of life, sometimes lower species of life. In this way, we are wandering according to our karma. This is material existence. Caitanya Mahāprabhu therefore says,
ei rūpe bhramāṇḍa bhramite kono bhāgyavān jīva
guru-kṛṣṇa kṛpāya pāya bhakti-latā-bīja
[Cc. Madhya 19.151]
A living entity is wandering in this way, sometimes on the higher level, sometimes on the lower level, but he’s changing one chapter, another, one chapter, another. That is not very good, to repetition of birth and death. So a living entity if he’s very fortunately, fortunately he meets some good association, good devotees, then his life changes.
ei rūpe bhramāṇḍa bhramite kono bhāgyavān jīva
guru-kṛṣṇa kṛpāya pāya bhakti-latā-bīja
[Cc. Madhya 19.151]
So this movement, Kṛṣṇa consciousness movement, is a process to give chance everyone. Just like we are holding this meeting. It is a chance given to everyone to hear about Kṛṣṇa, to learn about devotional service. And if it attracts him, if he says, “Yes, it is nice,” then it is called śraddhā. So śraddhā, by repeated hearing, śravaṇaṁ kīrtanaṁ viṣṇoḥ smaraṇaṁ pāda-sevanam [SB 7.5.23]. If we hear repeatedly, then we develop our dormant Kṛṣṇa consciousness. In everybody there is dormant Kṛṣṇa consciousness. So that is also stated in the Caitanya-caritāmṛta: nitya-siddha kṛṣṇa-bhakti sādhya kabhu naya. Kṛṣṇa bhakti is there. It is not artificially we acquire it. It is already there. But we are in the forgotten stage. Therefore, by repeated hearing, it is awakened. Śravaṇādi-śuddha-citte karaye udaya. If we hear Hare Kṛṣṇa Hare Kṛṣṇa Kṛṣṇa Kṛṣṇa Hare Hare/Hare Rāma Hare Rāma Rāma Rāma Hare Hare, then śuddha-citta. Ceto-darpaṇa-mārjanam [Cc. Antya 20.12]. The, the heart, the mirror of the heart, will be cleansed. And as soon as it is cleansed, we awaken, we remember, “Oh, I am eternal.” Jīvera svarūpa haya nitya kṛṣṇa dāsa [Cc. Madhya 20.108-109]. This remembrance comes, that “I am eternal servant of Kṛṣṇa.” And when he understands that he’s eternal servant of Kṛṣṇa and he engages himself in that service, then immediately he becomes liberated.
Liberation, mukti,… Mukti means to be situated in his own constitutional position. That is mukti. So our constitutional position is eternal servitorship of Kṛṣṇa. Caitanya Mahāprabhu has said, jīvera svarūpa haya nitya kṛṣṇera dāsa [Cc. Madhya 20.108-109]. So if we can simply understand that “I am eternal servant of Kṛṣṇa. Let me again engage, be engaged in Kṛṣṇa’s service,” and if he’s actually engaged, then immediately he’s liberated. So devotees are already liberated. Those who are actually serious. Mukti svarūpeṇa vyavasthitiḥ [SB 2.10.6]. Hitvā anyathā rūpaṁ svarūpeṇa vyavasthitiḥ. This is the definition of mukti. Mukti means hitvā anyathā rūpam. We are acting at the present moment anyathā. Anyathā means somebody’s thinking that “I am the maintainer of this family. I am the minister of this state. I am this. I am that.” So many. Upādhis. So when we give up these designations, then that is mukti. Sarvopādhi-vinirmuktaṁ tat-paratvena-nirmalam [Cc. Madhya 19.170]. And so long we are designated, we don’t care for Kṛṣṇa, we care for society, friendship, love, country, philanthropism, this “ism,” that “ism,” that is our bondage.
If you serve Kṛṣṇa, then naturally you serve everything. Yathā taror mūla-niṣecanena tṛpyanti tat-skandha-bhujopaśākhāḥ [SB 4.31.14]. If you serve Kṛṣṇa, then Kṛṣṇa gives you opportunity to serve everyone. That is… Just like Prahlāda Mahārāja, he served Kṛṣṇa. Even his atheist father was delivered. Because he happened to be the father of a Vaiṣṇava. So to serve Kṛṣṇa is the best service to the nation, to the family, to self, to everybody. This is the secret of success. Kṛṣṇe bhakti kaile sarva-karma kṛta haya. If you simply serve Kṛṣṇa, then all other duties are very well performed. You are no longer debtor to any other obligation. Devarṣi-bhūtāpta-nṛṇāṁ pitṝṇām [SB 11.5.41]. We have got so many obligations: to the demigods, to the sages, to the forefathers, to the ordinary human beings, living entities. But if you take to Kṛṣṇa consciousness… Here we get immunity from all the obligations. Sarvātmanā yaḥ śaraṇaṁ śaraṇyaṁ gato mukundaṁ parihṛtya kartam. These are the śāstric injunctions. So simply by discharging devotional service, loving devotional service unto Kṛṣṇa, you become free from all obligations, there is no more obligations. Otherwise why Kṛṣṇa says,
mām ekaṁ śaraṇaṁ vraja
ahaṁ tvāṁ sarva-pāpebhyo
If you take to Kṛṣṇa seriously, if you surrender, then He gives you protection from the reaction of so many obligations. Go on.
Pradyumna: “We prepare our next life by our actual activities in this present life. A living entity is offered a particular type of body as a result of his action in the present body.”
Prabhupāda: Yes. Karmaṇā daiva-netreṇa jantor deha upapattaye [SB 3.31.1]. Our next life means according to the karma, activities, in this life. They’re judged at the point of death. The, our activities are judged and then we are given opportunity by the laws of nature to be carried in another mother’s womb to get another gross body. We have got two kinds of bodies, the gross body and the subtle body. When this gross body is stopped working, the subtle body works. We have got experience every night. When you are lying down on bed, you are dreaming. You have gone somewhere else from your room and you are acting. That means the subtle body is acting. Similarly, when this body’s stopped, nobody works, no more working, or the machine is broken, then, at that time, the subtle body carries you to another machine. This body is machine. Yantrārūḍhāni māyayā [Bg. 18.61]. This is stated in the Bhagavad-gītā. This is yantra. So just like your car, you are driving one car, the car is stopped for some reason. It is no more working. Then what do you do? You get down. You get another car. Similarly, when this body’s not working, then you give up this body; you take another body.
Now, taking another car means as you are paying for it. If you are paying very lump sum, you can a better car. But if you cannot pay, then you have to accept a low grade car. Similarly, the price means according to your karma, you are offered a car. Prakṛteḥ kriyamāṇāni guṇaiḥ karmāṇi sarvaśaḥ [Bg. 3.27]. Prakṛti.
hṛd-deśe arjuna tiṣṭhati
Māyā creates a car for you, a carrying conveyance, this body. So that conveyance is according to karma. So if you act piously in this life, then next life you get good body. Ūrdhvaṁ gacchanti sattva-sthā [Bg. 14.18]. Sattva-sthā. If you are in goodness, then, in the modes of goodness, then you are promoted to higher standard of life. Ūrdhvaṁ gacchanti sattva-sthā madhye tiṣṭhanti rājasāḥ. And if you are in passion, then you remain here. And adho gacchanti tāmasāḥ. And if you are ignorant, then you go to animal life or lower grade of life. This is the law of karma. But instead of improving your karma, karma-kāṇḍīya-vicāra, fruitive activities, if you take to devotional service and simply try to understand what is Kṛṣṇa, then you are no longer within the influence of this good work or bad work. You are transcendental. Immediately after death, tyaktvā dehaṁ punar janma naiti [Bg. 4.9], you are no more subjected to this gross body… [break]
…understand Kṛṣṇa. You can understand Kṛṣṇa simply by chanting Hare Kṛṣṇa mantra. Sevonmukhe hi jihvādau [Brs. 1.2.234]. Simply by your service attitude, to serve Kṛṣṇa, beginning with the tongue. It is very wonderful. But utilizing your tongue, you can achieve Kṛṣṇa very easily. By the tongue. By the tongue, if you simply chant, without any offense, Hare Kṛṣṇa mantra, and by the tongue, if you simply taste Kṛṣṇa prasādam, and by the tongue, if you speak about Kṛṣṇa, yāre dekha tāre kaha kṛṣṇa upadeśa [Cc. Madhya 7.128], you understand Kṛṣṇa. The three business of the tongue. Tasting the prasādam, chanting Hare Kṛṣṇa mantra, and preaching about Kṛṣṇa. By these three things you understand Kṛṣṇa, and as you understand Kṛṣṇa, tyaktvā dehaṁ punar janma naiti mām eti [Bg. 4.9], you are transferred to the spiritual kingdom.
Thank you very much. (end)