Hari-katha Gurudeva Katha Whom Can You Trust?

Whom Can You Trust?

In this world we trust various persons. In the transcendental world – in other words, regarding transcendental subject matters – whom should we trust? We cannot see the transcendental world by our eyes, and we cannot touch it with any of our senses. So how can we have an idea of the transcendental world, and how can we decide who the Supreme Personality of Godhead is? We have seen the body, but we have not seen the soul.

How can we trust that there is a God from whom this creation has come, and that is He controlling the entire world? We cannot control the world, and we cannot see our soul. Even though God is here in this world, we do not see Him.

Srila Jiva Gosvami has explained that all of our senses are imperfect. Therefore, we cannot believe the information given by our senses regarding anything we see before us. Our eyes cannot see our own eyes nor can they see what is inside our body. Our eyes cannot see the soul inside the body. Our material senses have some power, but they are limited. Therefore, especially regarding to transcendental subject matters, we cannot trust our senses.

We see that so many people take birth daily, and thousands upon thousands are dying daily. Who is controlling this? Sea waves are coming on time, the sun is rising at the exact time, and new days come regularly, on time. So, everything is controlled. We are not controlling this, so who is controlling?

God is called the Creator: G-generator, O – Operator, and D – destroyer of this world. We do not see Him, so what is the proof that there is a God? What is the proof that there are unlimited souls? These senses cannot help us regarding transcendental matters. Our seeing, our touching, and all of our sensory information are defective.

Srila Jiva Gosvami states that only transcendental words are to be trusted. They can show the real path and what they tell is the truth. These transcendental words have been discussed in the Vedas (the most ancient of all revealed scriptures), Upanisads, and especially the Srimad-Bhagavatam. Transcendental knowledge is present there, so we must trust the words of the Vedas.

Suppose a man says that we can trust what we can see. He may say, “We cannot believe anything that we cannot see.” But there are so many things we trust that are beyond our seeing power.

Once, when my Gurudeva was riding with me on a train, an officer approached and asked him, “Do you believe in God?”

Guru Maharaja replied, “Yes.”

The officer said, “Why? I don’t believe in God because I don’t see Him. I can only trust something if my eyes can see it.”

Gurudeva at once replied, “This is not true. You believe so many things that you have not seen. Can you say who your father is?”

The officer said, “Yes,” and the man told the name of his father.

Gurudeva asked, “How do you know that this person is your father? Do you have any proof?’

The officer began to look this way and that, realizing that he had no proof. At the time his father and mother were meeting, he had not taken birth, so he had not seen his father then. His mother had told him, “He is your father.” On this proof he could say, “He is my father.” If our mother tells a lie, we have no other recourse. We trust that our mother will not lie.

The words of the Vedas are more trustworthy than those of our mother, father or anyone else. A mother can tell a lie, but transcendental words cannot tell lies. Everything has been told in the Vedas, especially in the Srimad-Bhagavatam, so it is the supreme evidence.

Sometimes we can only speculate about what the eyes are seeing, but if the eyes see according to the Vedas – if they follow the words of the Vedas – then there may be some trust. Otherwise you cannot trust them.

For example, from a distant place we might see someone coming, and we think that person is our father. But then, as he comes closer, we may see that it is not actually our father, but a person who resembles him. So the eyes are not evidence. Srimad-Bhagavatam is the evidence, as well as the Vedas and Upanisads.

Then the officer asked, “Who is God?”

Gurudeva replied, “Krsna is the Supreme Personality of Godhead.”

The officer asked, “Why?”

Guru Maharaja replied, “Somewhere it is said that God has no form, no attributes, and no qualities; but the Vedas tell us that He has form and so many qualities.

If God has no form, then from where did this world come? The world is full with so many forms. ‘Something’ cannot come from ‘nothing’. Therefore God must have a form, and His form is the most beautiful. There is no one as beautiful as Him. Krsna has all varieties of good qualities. For example, He is so merciful. If God is not merciful, how can He know our difficulties, sorrows and sufferings and how can He help us? God is the embodiment of love and affection. If He were not so, then what is the use of such a God? If He cannot help us in our miseries and love us, then what is the use of that God? There would be no use. God can generate and regulate everything and destroy the whole world in a moment, and He can create millions of worlds, suns, and moons in a second. Therefore, He must be so powerful. We cannot do as He does.

Srila Jiva Gosvami tells us that: we are not this body, we are the soul inside the body. We are captured in a jail; in a cage. Although we do not want to become old and die, we are bound to become old – if we don’t die in youth. Our hair will be white, our eyesight will become weak, and the day will come when we are not able to walk without a stick. Then, one day we will have to give up this body.

Within this body there is a transcendental person who is never born and never becomes old or dies. He never becomes a child, a youth or an old person. He is the controller of the entire world and all other souls. He is God. He never dies. He never changes His position. He is almighty, He knows past, present and future. He is omniscient. He can do anything He likes, and He is also very merciful – causelessly merciful.

Srila Jiva Gosvami has explained that God is omnipotent. All powers or potencies are eternally invested in Him.

When He is with His supreme intrinsic internal potency (svarupa-sakti) – His power who lives within Him, He can create millions of worlds, He can play anywhere and He can do anything. That svarupa-sakti is also called antaranga-sakti (internal potency). By the arrangement of that svarupa-sakti and all His qualities, He manifests as plenary portions and parts of plenary portions of Himself, and those expansions are called svamsa. Svamsa means ‘plenary expansion’ and some examples of such plenary expansions or incarnations are Rama, Balarama, and Nrsingha.

When He is with His marginal energy (tatastha-sakti), that part of Him is called vibhinamsa-jiva, or the soul within us.

We are part and parcel of God, but now we have forgotten Him, and that is why another of His potencies, maya, has taken us to this world and has covered our souls. We have forgotten who we are and who is God, and we are now in an endless chain of birth, death, sorrow and suffering. Because of this forgetfulness, no one in this world is happy. We are not serving God or desiring His mercy, and we are not coming out of His deluding potency maya. That is why we are always suffering.

In this world you can scrutinize and see that even emperors, chief ministers and presidents are all suffering. Even if you have some happiness in youth, still there are so many
problems. One day we will surely have to give up this body. Even if we are not able to say whether God is real or not, we can very easily say that death is true. No one can deny this – even people who do not believe in God. Everyone is bound to say, “Death is sure”. All sufferings are real, but we don’t know why we are suffering. We are like animals – always quarreling, always eating, sleeping, mating and defending. We think that we will be happy by this, but we cannot.

Srila Jiva Gosvami tells us that all those in all species, such as humans, demigods, animals, birds, fish, trees, creepers – those who have sense of feeling sorrow and happiness – all are souls like us, although other species are somewhat more covered by the material modes of nature.

Among all these species, a human body has special qualities. If someone calls you, you hear and come. You can see your future. Animals don’t see their future. Or, they can see very little.

Some animals, like monkeys, donkeys, and cows, can see their very near future; not more. Suppose there are many cows or goats being taken to a slaughter house. As they are approaching the moment of death, if you give them grass, they will quarrel over it: “I will take it!” “No, I will take it!” They cannot understand that they are about to reach the slaughterhouse. In this human body, we can think about these things. We can think further into the future.

Thinking about the future, some humans make bombs. They think, “We will destroy others and control others, and then we will be happy.” Others are thinking, “No, this will not make us happy.” How can we become happy? Only by realizing who we are as spirit souls, where we have come from, and where we must go after death.

We may wonder why a person takes birth as a daughter or son of the prime minister of Australia and, at the next moment, another person is taking birth in a very poor family. Why is one born very beautiful and another is born lame? Why will a particular poor man later become a prime minister or president? A wise, intelligent man realizes the reasons, and thus the human form is supreme among all species. In this human body, if we are not thinking about topics such as: “Why am I suffering?” “Why am I moving toward death?” “Who am I,” and “Who is God?” then we are no better than a two-legged animal. In this case, there is no difference between an animal and a human birth.

Srila Jiva Gosvami has explained that all humans, trees, creepers, and animals have some sense of gratification, and they all have some love and affection. Suppose you sweetly call a dog. “Come on, come on,” and show him love, he will come, wagging his tail. If there is love in you and you show and feel that love, then even if a tiger or a lion comes, he will not be ferocious. Everywhere there is love and affection – even in trees. They also have feelings.

Our religion is love and affection, and God is the embodiment of love and affection. He is very merciful, and He has all kinds of powers. We are His parts and parcels. If you realize this fact, surely you will escape the chain of sorrow and suffering.

This is bhakti-yoga.

If you practice bhakti-yoga, the maintenance of your life and family will somehow automatically come, from previous births’ karma. Test it. If you sit in your room for seven or eight days, or one month, chanting, “Hare Krsna, Hare Krsna, Krsna Krsna, Hare Hare, Hare Rama, Hare Rama, Rama Rama, Hare Hare,” you will see that you are being maintained, even though you are not doing anything for it. Even after a hundred years, until death, all your necessities will come. We should trust in this principle. While we are in this human form of life, we should try to know who we really are.

There are persons in this world who know these things, who have realization of the soul and God, and who have some link with God. By their own practice they can show you this path, and by way of practice, you can also have some realization. Such a teacher is called acarya, guru, or holy spiritual master. Such a guru will never fall. We should try to associate with him.

Srila Jiva Gosvami’s spiritual master, Srila Rupa Gosvami, has written that we can thus reach perfection in this human body.

adau sraddha tatah sadhu-
sango ‘tha bhajana-kriya
tato ‘nartha-nivrttih syat
tato nistha rucis tatah

 

athasaktis tato bhavas
tatah premabhyudancati
sadhakanam ayam premnah
pradurbhave bhavet kramah

 

[“In the beginning one must have a preliminary desire for self-realization. This will bring one to the stage of trying to associate with persons who are spiritually elevated. In the next stage one becomes initiated by an elevated spiritual master, and under his instruction the neophyte devotee begins the process of devotional service. By execution of devotional service under the guidance of the spiritual master, one becomes free from all material attachment, attains steadiness in self-realization, and acquires a taste for hearing about the Supreme Personality of Godhead, Sri Krsna. This taste leads one further forward to attachment for Krsna consciousness, which is matured in bhava, or the preliminary stage of transcendental love of God. Real love for God is called prema, the highest perfectional stage of life.” (Bhakti-rasamrta-sindhu 1.4.15-16)]

There is a God, we are parts and parcels of God, and we must serve Him. The desire or tendency to serve Him is called sraddha, and it comes by the association of a pure devotee. If we desire to serve Godhead, but after sometime we have no association with advanced devotees, that desire will dry up. This is going on nowadays. We see so many devotees who had sraddha, and after that came to take initiation and engage in devotional service (bhajana-kriya) and bhajana-sadhana (hearing, chanting about, and remembering the Supreme Lord). However, because there was no good association, their sraddha began to dry up. Although they were approaching the stage of the second-class or intermediate devotee (madhyama-adhikari), and they even entered brahmacarya and the renounced order – from there they began to fall. They can be likened to a tree or creeper; after the sprouts develop some leaves, due to not getting water they will die. Therefore, we should try to always be in good asso ciation.

No mundane society can give Truth. However, if in society there are some good preachers like Srila Bhaktivedanta Svami Maharaja or Srila Bhaktisiddhanta Sarasvati Thakura Prabhupada, we can associate with them. After they left the vision of this world, the disciplic line of spiritual preceptors was still there; but the so-called followers are not true followers. They are hankering after the three W’s – wealth, women, and wine – and they will surely fall down.

We should try to know all these principles of devotion and gradually practice bhakti-yoga. If we are not practicing bhakti-yoga, we are animals like hogs or asses. Now you see that throughout the world, leaders and others are quarreling with each other like animals. Animals fight with nails and teeth, but these two legged animals create atom bombs and destroy millions of lives. They are more cruel-hearted than animals. They cannot control their senses, but they want to control the entire world.

Somehow maintaining our lives, we should therefore try to follow the doctrines of Krsna Consciousness and be happy forever. We should try for this.

Srila Jiva Gosvami has explained that there are three realms. One is the transcendental world, one is the innumerable souls, and one is the millions of material worlds. Everything is beyond matter in the transcendental world. There is no birth, death or suffering there.

There are two kinds of souls. One kind pertains to those who are liberated and serve God in the transcendental world of Vaikuntha (the spiritual planets where there is no anxiety); and they are all happ
y there. The other kind pertains to those who have forgotten God, and they are called conditioned souls. We are all conditioned souls. Our souls are covered with worldly elements like earth, water, fire, air and ether. Our bodies consist of these five elements. When one dies, then by burning or putting one’s body in a grave, the five elements of one’s body return to their original forms. But the soul never dies or takes birth.

Souls are in some ways the same as, and in some ways different from, God. As God has a beautiful body and so many powers and He tastes and has so many good qualities, souls also have beautiful bodies and so many good qualities. The difference between God and the souls is that God is infinite whereas souls are infinitesimal. The tiny souls cannot create worlds and they cannot control, but God can control everything. He is the master of maya (the deluding energy of this world). We souls undergo so many changes, but the Supreme Lord and His various incarnations are beyond maya. They do not come under control of the deluding energy of maya and are never unhappy.

Conditioned souls, those who forget the Supreme Personality of Godhead and misuse their independence, come to this world thinking, “I am this body, I am the doer of all things, I am the controller, I am the taster.” This is the symptom of conditioned souls. This world is made of five elements; earth, air, fire, water and ether. All souls have come from the Supreme Personality of Godhead, Krsna, and this world has also emanated from His power.

There are two kinds of powers: svarupa sakti or Yogamaya; and Mahamaya. Durga and Kali are the personalities of Mahamaya. They can create this world, but they cannot create souls. Souls are eternal; they are like God in that way. Souls are eternal, but when they forget the Supreme Personality of Godhead and desire their own happiness, they think, “I can do this and that.” They do not admit that they need God, and at that time maya takes them. In this way, there is some difference and some non-difference between God and the souls.

This world has also emanated from His illusory maya, so it also has some difference and non-difference from Him. The ancient Vedic scriptures state: Sakti-saktimator abhedah – there is no difference between the potent and potency. This philospohy is called acintya-bhedabheda tattva, or ‘inconceivable, simultaneous difference and non-difference’.

Srila Jiva Gosvami has explained these principles very well. No other acarya, not even Ramanujacarya or Madhavacarya, were able to give such explanations. How did Jiva Gosvami realize these topics? He did so by the mercy of Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu, who is Krsna, the Supreme Personality of Godhead Himself, in the form of a Guru in this world. Mahaprabhu explained these teachings to Sarvabhauma Bhattacarya, and Srila Jiva Gosvami learned it from Srila Sarvabhauma Bhattacarya’s disciple, Madhusudana Vacaspati He also studied various Vedic scriptures, after which he compiled Sat-Sandarbha. Therein he explained all philosophical truths. We cannot know these truths by reading books alone. We have to hear all these topics from pure devotees.

Srila Jiva Gosvami has also explained that we cannot know or realize the Supreme Personality of Godhead or our own soul by worldly knowledge, or by any knowledge, or by yoga such as astanga-yoga, or by austerities or by giving donations. Only by the practice of pure bhakti-yoga can we know.

You should understand that if God has no form, this world and all souls could not exist. It is told in the Bible – not only in Indian scriptures – that God created man after His own image. If God has no shape or form, then how can He create human bodies? It is not only stated in Indian scriptures and the Bible, but also in the Koran: “Inallah kalaka mein suratihi – Hoda (or Allah) has created human bodies similar to His own form.” If this were not so, then why has it been written in the Koran? God has a form and He is very merciful. We should try to trust Him.

We can become attached to God through bhakti-yoga, whereas we cannot do so by knowledge. We can understand this by an example: I may say, “By drinking water, we can quench our thirst.” If we do not drink water, our thirst will not leave simply by this knowledge. We must drink a glass of water, and then our thirst will go. Suppose you are hungry; you need food. I will tell you that by eating chapatis, rice, bread, butter, and some sweets, your hunger will go away. I am telling you this, but this knowledge alone will not give you foodstuffs. So, knowledge cannot do anything by itself. Bhakti is a practical activity, and by practicing it you will realize all knowledge.

What is bhakti? In its beginning it is called sadhana-bhakti, and then it becomes bhava-bhakti. Then, when it reaches its purest state, in its own constitutional form, it is called prema-bhakti.

We all have some affection and love in us. If a beautiful young girl and boy see each other, they will want to love each other. After that they are bound by marriage. Then, if after some time in marriage they quarrel, they will become divorced, and they will try to fulfill their desires again by taking another wife or husband.

If we are not happy in our householder life, we can have a dog. We say, “We can trust dogs.” Wives and husbands may divorce us, but dogs do not divorce. So we think we can trust in dogs.

Still, after some time, we see that the dog is dead. So there is nothing in this world that we can factually love. The only object of love is God. We are asraya, the abode of that love, but at present our love is impure and selfish. We love our very beautiful wife – if she serves and obeys us. If she has a bank account in her own name, if she is always quarreling, and if she is in love with another person, we will be upset.

In this body, our love and affection is not pure. It is amalgamated with selfishness. However, by chanting the name of Godhead, regularly hearing about Him and associating with realized Vaisnavas (devotees of Krsna), these devotees will tell you something about the process of bhakti-yoga and how you can develop this love and affection to Godhead. Vaisnavas are the only persons who are really happy. They know what this world is. They have no attachment to this body. Somehow maintaining their life, they always chant and remember and meditate on God.

The practice of bhakti-yoga is called sadhana. When some transcendental love and affection comes by such practices, but in a crude form, with the mind and intelligence in the mode of pure goodness (sattva), this is called bhava-bhakti. In bhava-bhakti, a soul can somewhat realize Krsna-prema, as well as the way in which he can serve Krsna. Then, after some time, prema will manifest.

Prema (pure love of God) in general is one, but it is divided in five sections: santa, sakhya, vatsalya and madhurya. Santa means love and affection toward God without any speciality of service. In santa -rasa one thinks, “God is great and we are His tiny parts and parcels. We should offer obeisances to Him. He is so merciful.” Santa-rasa is present when there is no worldly attachment. If worldly desires are present then one cannot have santa-rasa. Santa-rasa may come after liberation as was the case with the four Kumaras, Sanak, Sanandana, Sanatana and Sanata Kumara. They had no worldly attachment, but, they also had no special kind of love and affection for God.

Next is the mood of dasya -rasa, serving God as one’s master. A devotee in dasya-rasa thinks about Krsna thus: “You are my master. You are the root of the entire universe, its creation and destruction.” Moreover, in dasya-rasa there is service, as in the case of Hanuman, who is in the ‘servitor’ mood. We can serve God like this.

Next is the mood of sakhya-rasa, serving Krsna as a friend. A devotee in sakhya-rasa thinks thus: “God is my friend.” If you think like this, you ca
n have God as a friend and serve Him as a friend. There are two kinds of friends; friends in Ayodhya (the abode of Sri Krsna’s expansion, Lord Rama) and friends in Vraja (the abode of Sri Krsna Himself). Friends in Ayodhya have friendship, but they have some awe and reverence thinking, “God is superior to me.” Lord Rama’s associates, like Sugriva, Laksmana, and Sita, are in this group. Sri Krsna has friends in Vraja, but these friends are bosom friends. Krsna and His friends always show affection for each other on an equal level. They can sleep on the same bed. They can eat and then share their food with Krsna, and Krsna also eats and then shares His remnants with them. They do not think that Krsna is God. This is a very sweet thing.

One can also think, “Krsna is my son.” “God is my son.” [In Vraja, Krsna’s parents do not know that God is God. They only know Him as their son.] This relationship (vatsalya-rasa) is superior to even the previous relationships I have described. If we see God as a father, that would not be the same, because it is the father who serves the son. The son does not serve the father. If we want to serve God in a parental mood, we can serve Him as His own parents. The father will take that son in his lap, embrace Him and give Him sweet things. Even if the father has become old, still he will serve his son.

We should not think that the Supreme Personality of Godhead is our father. This idea opposes our desire for loving service, because if God is father He would have to serve us. We tell our father, “Oh father, give me water, give me bread and butter.” On the other hand, if we think that God is our son, then we can serve Him. This mood is called vatsalya-bhava – fatherhood or motherhood. This is even sweeter than friendship.

Superior to vatsalya-rasa is madhurya-rasa (conjugal love). Madhurya-rasa is divided into two separate moods. Those ladies who are married to Krsna as a husband, by Vedic mantra and by law, are in svakiya-bhava. Examples of this relationship are Rukmini and Satyabhama. The ladies in the other mood, unwedded or paramour love (parakiya-bhava), have no cause for their loving relation other than love and affection itself. Their supreme stage of love does not depend on whether or not there is marriage. The gopis of Vraja are the example of this.

In this connection, there was much difference of opinion among the sampradaya acaryas such as Ramanujacarya, Madhvacarya, Visnusvami, Nimbaditya and Vallabhacarya. They did not accept the love of the gopis of Vraja. They only accept the love of those who have married Krsna – the love of Rukmini and Satyabhama..

In Vraja, the gopis are not married to Krsna, but they always think of their love for Him in their parakiya mood. Externally married to someone else, from birth and forever the gopis are always thinking of Krsna as their beloved. Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu and the pure devotees in His line, like Sri Madhavendra Puri, Sri Isvarapuri-pada and others like them, brought the knowledge of parakiya-rasa from Goloka Vrndavana. The other sampradaya acaryas do not accept this.

During Srila Jiva Gosvami’s time, he had two kinds of followers: those who wanted to follow the mood that God can be one’s beloved, and those in the other section who considered that only wedded love is okay. Those in the second section thought, “Krsna is the Supreme Personality of Godhead. How can He transgress the rules of sastra (the scriptures). I cannot accept that. He would not do such a thing.”

These were Srila Jiva Gosvami’s two kinds of disciples.

Sri Krsna has come in the form of Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu, having taken the beauty and intrinsic mood of Srimati Radhika. In that form He has preached in this world through kirtana, the chanting of God’s holy names: “Hare Krsna Hare Krsna Krsna Krsna Hare Hare, Hare Rama Hare Rama Rama Rama Hare Hare.” Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu ultimately came to teach the path of spontaneous devotion (raganuga-bhakti). For those disciples who were high-class Vaisnavas following raganuga-bhakti, Srila Jiva Gosvami wrote one type of literature, and for the other group he wrote another. He wanted to gradually bring those in the second group to the stage of understanding the paramour mood, the love between Krsna and the gopis.

After the disappearance of Jiva Goswami, there was a dispute among his disciples as to whether svakiya-bhava or parakiya-bhava was superior. They saw a difference between the two, although really there was no difference. Jiva Gosvami has taught svakiya mood from the angle of tattva (philosophical truth). By philosophical consideration, everything and everyone has come from Krsna, so there is no one who is parakiya (belonging to another). The gopis are manifestations of His svarupa-sakti, Srimati Radhika. They are not different from Srimati Radhika. So in that sense there is no parakiya – all are svakiya. *[See endnote 1]

Srila Visvantha Cakravarti Thakura and Srila Raghunatha dasa Gosvami accepted and explained parakiya by lila (pastimes) or by rasa-tattva, the consideration of transcendental mellows. So, both are right. Jiva Gosvami has accepted the statement from Srimad-Bhagavatam below, and this has also been explained by Rupa Gosvami:

pati-sutanvaya-bhratr-bandhavan
ativilanghya te ’nty acyutagataù
gati-vidas tavodgita-mohitah
kitava yositah kas tyajen nisi

 

[Dear Acyuta, You know very well why we have come here. Who but a cheater like You would abandon young women who come to see Him in the middle of the night, enchanted by the loud song of His flute? Just to see You, we have completely rejected our husbands, children, ancestors, brothers and other relatives. (Gopi-gita verse 16)]

na paraye ‘ham niravadya-samyujam
sva-sadhu-krtyam vibudhayusapi vah
ya mabhajan durjara-geha-srnkhalah
samvrscya tad vah pratiyatu sadhuna

 

“I am not able to repay My debt for your spotless service, even within a lifetime of Brahma. Your connection with Me is beyond reproach. You have worshiped Me, cutting off all domestic ties, which are extremely difficult to break. Therefore please let your own glorious deeds be your compensation.” (Srimad-Bhagavatam, 10.32.22)]

The mood of parakiya is very distinct and prominent in so many verses of Srimad-Bhagavatam. There must be parakiya in Goloka Vrndavana, otherwise how would it come to manifest in Krsna’s prakata-lila (those pastimes that are manifest in this world) in Vraja? There is only a difference of opinion in the thinking of some of Jiva Gosvami’s disciples, but actually there is no difference. There are so many things to explain, but now it is late.

We should adopt bhaki-yoga; it is very easy to do. You can chant the name of God in the day or in the night, whether you are Hindu, Muslim or Christian, or from any religion. Even animals can hear when you chant loudly, and they can also be liberated. You can chant the name of Hare Krsna if you are poor, and you can chant if you are rich. You can chant after bathing or without having had a bath at all, with or without meals, sitting or standing, or in any condition. There is no dependence on wealth or situation. The Hare Krsna Mantra is the essence of all Vedic scriptures. We should therefore try to chant, “Hare Krsna Hare Krsna Krsna Krsna Hare Hare, Hare Rama Hare Rama Rama Rama Hare Hare.”

We have invented divisions thinking, “This is India, this is America, this is Australia,” and we make passports and visas. But God is one without a second. God is One, and we can chant to Him and pray to Him to be merciful to us. This chanting of the holy name is the supreme process for perfection of life, so we should try to practice chanting.

Tridandisvami Sri Srimad Bhaktivedanta Narayana Maharaja
Perth, Australia: December 27, 1998

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Surya's Pujya – Govinda-lilamrta

In pūrvāhna-līlā, Kṛṣṇa goes to the forest with the cows, calves and His friends. Other animals like peacocks and birds fly above, and deer and other animals follow behind. There are sādhana-siddhas that come in many forms. Kṛṣṇa teaches them how to have a sweet relationship with Him. He teaches them to take shelter of the nitya-siddhas. In the forest there are no restrictions or boundaries. Kṛṣṇa is free in the forest. Although He is the Supreme Godhead, He does not feel as such. He always feels that He is a servant and in the forest He can fulfil His desire to serve the cows. Kṛṣṇa is now the servant of the cows. He teaches how to be a servant. If Kṛṣṇa was proud, and had the mood of being the Supreme God like Nārāyaṇa, Nṛsiṁha, Kalki, or Vāmana, then He could not teach this mood of a servant. Kṛṣṇa strokes the cows and bathes them, dries their bodies and massages them. He feeds them and walks behind them in the forest with bare feet. He collects grass for them and arranges water for their drinking. Anyone who comes to Him will not be able to be lazy and crazy. If the Ācārya of a temple daily cooks, performs arcana, serves prasādam, washes pots and sweeps the temple with his own hands, then all his followers will automatically serve like him. Then they will get benefit. If the leader does nothing, the juniors also will not do anything. Therefore, Kṛṣṇa tells Nanda Bābā and Yaśodā Mātā, “I am not a prince. I am the servant of all. If I don’t practice serving now, when I become older I will not be able to serve. I will practice this service from childhood.” If one takes harināma and dīkṣā from a Guru, but does not perform guru-sevā, then the mercy and power of his Guru will not come to him. When disciples do not take shelter and serve Śrī Guru and the Vaiṣṇavas, or those in the rūpānuga guru-varga, they will not get any mercy or spiritual benefit. Kṛṣṇa tells Nanda and Yaśodā, “I will daily go to the forest and care for the cows. By serving the cows everyone, including all the demigods will be pleased. All My friends will come with Me to the forest and help.” “If You insist on going to the forest, then I will go with You also,” Yaśodā Mātā says. “Mother,” says Kṛṣṇa, “you must take care of the household, worship Śālagrāma and serve the many guests who come.” Nanda Bābā says, “I will go with You then.” Kṛṣṇa smiles at His father and says, “You have served the cows for so long, now it is My turn to serve.” “We have many servants who can take care of the cows for You,” says Yaśodā Mātā. “No,” Kṛṣṇa said. “I must go.” One time, Rādhārānī and the sakhīs said to Kṛṣṇa, “If the sakhās are all going with You to the forest, then we will come also.” But Kṛṣṇa says, “No. Have you not heard this story? Once, when Rāmacandra was preparing to go to the forest, Sītā-devī argued with Him saying, ‘I will come with You.’ Rāmacandra refused again and again but Sita-devī persisted. ‘I will go.’ She repeated firmly. All of Rāmacandra’s elders and family members said that they would go with Him to the forest, but Rāma requested them all to stay and serve His father. Sita-devī however, was stubborn and came with Rāma even after He told her not to so many times. Once in the forest, many tāmasika, cruel, flesh-eating demons made plans to steel Sītā. One after another they came and were destroyed, like moths flying into a fire. In the end, Rāvaṇa came and stole Sītā-devī, not knowing that by doing so he was causing the destruction of himself and his entire dynasty. Therefore, ladies should not go out into forest. You should stay in your homes!” Rādhārānī replied, “We will not stay in our houses. We will go for pūjā at Surya-kuṇḍa!” “I don’t know if that is a good idea,” Kṛṣṇa said, “You should ask Your mother-in-law Jaṭilā. She and her daughter Kuṭilā are Your guardians. They will be sure to keep You safe.” Śrīmatī Radarani immediately went to Yāvaṭa to prepare for sūrya-pūjā. When She arrived there She saw that Jaṭilā had already arranged the paraphernalia for worshipping the Sun. There were flowers, sugar, sweets, incense, ghee wicks and other things ready to bring to Surya-kuṇḍa. “I will perform sūrya-pūjā today,” Jaṭilā said in great excitement. “The brāhmaṇas have told me that if a supremely chaste lady worships the Sun all the area will benefit! Also, the summer’s heat will not disturb her.” “If the Sun is worshiped by an unchaste lady, the results will be very inauspicious,” Jaṭilā went on. “Therefore, I will go with You today. I am famous for being chaste in Vraja-maṇḍala. I never think of any man. Because, I am the most chaste woman in this land, the Sun will be very pleased by my worship and bring, wealth and honor to our family.” “Oh,” Rādhārāṇī said. “This is very good. If you perform the pūjā today, the Sun will definitely give you benediction.” The mantra for worshiping the Sun is brahma-gāyatrī. If anyone impure or dishonest chants the brahma-gāyatrī, they will be burnt and destroyed.

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