June 23, 2009
[On Śrīla Gurudeva’s indication, the students utter this śloka:]
duḥkha-hatyai sukhāya ca
[Accepting the roles of male and female in human society, the conditioned souls unite in sexual relationships. Thus they constantly make material endeavors to eliminate their unhappiness and unlimitedly increase their pleasure. But one should see that they inevitably achieve exactly the opposite result. In other words, their happiness inevitably vanishes, and as they grow older their material discomfort increases.]
Śrīla Gurudeva: [To Mādhava Mahārāja] Please explain.
Śrīpāda Mādhava Mahārāja: In this world everyone wants to be happy; no one wants distress. For that reason human beings engage in karma. They think they will be happy by this, but due to their conditioned position they do not know that only bhajana will bring them happiness. Males and females combine and try their level best for happiness, but if we look closely we can see that they get only distress after distress.
Śrīla Gurudeva: What is the meaning of mithunī-cāriṇāṁ nṛṇām?
Śrīpāda Mādhava Mahārāja: It means that males and females combine.
Śrīla Gurudeva: It also refers to the United Nations. Those who are supposed to be the most intelligent persons in the world combine together as part of the United Nations. This is also called mithunī-cāriṇāṁ. Males and females also combine together, but this is not the important point in this śloka. The important point is that although all the world leaders try to cooperate in combined effort, they have yet to see happiness. Can you give an example of this?
Brajanāth dāsa: Nowadays there are so many financial problems in the world. Everyone tries their level best to decrease their financial burden, but it is only increases.
Śrīla Gurudeva: An example may be given of Bush’s government. His leaders wanted money, and therefore they wanted Iraqi oil. Overwhelmed by self-interest, they endeavored to improve America’s economic situation. But what happened? There was disaster not only for America, but for all nations of the world.
Why do we marry? We do so to be happy. A male alone cannot be happy, and a female alone cannot be happy. Brahmā has created, or Kṛṣṇa has arranged, that both are equally māyā, illusion, for each other.
[To Sundara-gopāla dāsa] You were a very good brahmacārī, but then māyā came and attracted you in such a way that you could not follow my wish for you. You requested me, “I want to marry.” I said, “Yes, you are not able to remain brahmacārī.” Yet, in the end what will happen? You will lament, “Why did I do this?” This day will come.
Madhuvrata dāsa: Gurudeva, I have a question. Śrī Caitanya-caritāmṛta states that when Śrī Caitanya Mahāprabhu traveled in South India, He met some Buddhists and defeated the nine principle truths of Buddhism. Are these nine truths the original nine truths of Viṣṇu Buddha, or are they of Gautama Buddha, or are they the teachings of disciples? Or, where are they coming from?
Śrīla Gurudeva: There are two Buddhas – Bhagavān Buddha and human (Gautama) Buddha. Bhagavān Buddha is foretold in Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam.
tataḥ kalau sampravṛtte
[Then, in the beginning of Kali-yuga, the Lord will appear as Lord Buddha, the son of Añjanā, in the province of Gayā, just for the purpose of deluding those who are envious of the faithful theist.]
Kīkaṭeṣu bhaviṣyati. Kīkat refers to Gāya, and bhavṣyati indicates that he will take birth in Bihar, Gāya. He did not accept the killing of cows, horses, and other animals in sacrifice, and taught that this was quite violent. He said that if the animal sacrifices are able to give those animals life again, then they can be performed; otherwise not.
“Ahiṁsā paramo dharmaḥ – nonviolence is the supreme religion.” What does ‘nonviolence’ mean?
Brajanāth dāsa: Nonviolence, meaning ‘not causing any distress for others,’ is the best principle of religion.
Śrīla Gurudeva: If someone obstructs us in our service to Kṛṣṇa, that is also violence. Generally people regard the killing of animals as violence, but even the obstruction of another’s bhakti is violence.
Unlike Bhagavata Buddha, Gautama Buddha was not a theist. He took birth in Nepal, in Kapilavastu, as the son of a king. Gautama Buddha was somewhat confused about the origin of the world, who created it, and why was it created, but he was very sympathetic and merciful to animals and others. Once, his brother shot a pigeon with some arrows, and that pigeon fainted but did not die. Gautama Buddha somehow took the arrow from his body, gave him medicine, and nourished him until he became well.
He once told his father, “I want to go out of the palace.” He then left the palace, for the first time, on the chariot with his chief minister. Outside the city he saw a baby coming from the womb of his mother, crying, “Ah, aahh,” and thought, “What is this? A baby boy is taking birth.” He understood the baby was suffering pain, and that was why he was crying. Then, after some distance he saw a bride and groom with their very large wedding procession, with horses and abundant paraphernalia, thus creating a very good festival. He asked, “What is this?” “A marriage party.” “What is a marriage party?” “A young lady is given to a young man for the rest of her life; this is called marriage.”
After some time he saw an old person and thought, “Oh, after some time that very baby boy will become old like this person who cannot walk.” Then he saw a funeral, with many people carrying a dead body and shouting, “jagat mitya rāma nāma satya hai – this world is false, Rāma’s name is truth.” He thought, “What is this? Oh, after some more time that baby who took birth became big and then married, after that he became old, and now he is dead. Oh, what is this?”
After seeing these things, he left his home and went to Gāya. He heard that buddha, meaning ‘realized knowledge,’ was present there, and he thought, “I want to know what is this world, who created it, and where I came from.” He did not go to a guru or Vaiṣṇava for the answers to his queries. Rather, he sat down in meditation, alone, and nothing came – zero. Thus he concluded, “This world is zero, it has come from zero, and in the end it will be zero.”
He began to preach that there is no God, and that the world was manifest automatically. A cow makes cow dung, and after one or two days worms ‘automatically’ come out of it.
Similarly, he speculated, this world manifested automatically, out of nothing, there is no prakṛti, or material nature, working under any higher supervision, and there will be nothing in the end. He refused to accept the authority of Veda and the existence of God.
This is his theory, not the theory of Bhagavān Buddha, Kṛṣṇa’s incarnation. There is so much difference between them.
Madhuvrata dāsa: Did Bhagavān Buddha ever mention what is sādhana or sādhya?
Śrīla Gurudeva: He left that to others, and He personally only preached ahimsā, non-violence.
Sundara-gopāla dāsa: Śrīla Gurudeva, was Emperor Aśoka a follower of Gautama Buddha or Bhagavān Buddha?
Śrīla Gurudeva: Initially he was like other general people, in that he had faith in God. Once he went to war and saw the death of thousands of soldiers. He thought. “Why did I do this? I will also die in the end, so why am I doing this?” In the meantime, Gautama Buddha met him and said, “Do not worry about anything in this world. This world is zero, it comes from zero, and the end will be zero.”
It is said that one becomes like those with whom he associates. The king was consoled, and by the association of Gautama Buddha he accepted atheistic Buddhism.
Vṛndā-devī dāsī: Today is also Guṇḍicā mandira-mārjana.
Śrīla Gurudeva: Oh, yes. We should try to clean our heart. The first thing to clean out is aparādha (offenses to Vaiṣṇavas, to the holy name, to the holy dhāma, and to other living beings), which are represented by huge stones. After that is kuṭināṭī (hypocritical behavior), jīva-hiṁsana (violence to any living entity), lābha-pūjā (the desire to be worshiped), and pratiṣṭha (the desire for honor and fame); these are represented by dust.
Even after big grasses and stones are cleared away, dust remains, and merely sweeping with your broom will not be able to fully clear away the dust. That dust must be washed with water. In fact, water alone will not suffice. We must take a wet cloth and rub it on that area, after which the area will become clean.
In this way we have so many anarthas, unwanted and unhelpful habits and thoughts, which must all be cleaned out.
Committing aparādhas is considered greater in degree in terms of its inviting severe reactions, and other sins are less in degree. Being a thief or beating a person is considered relatively less in degree, in comparison to vaiṣṇava-aparādha. The results of all other sins can be eradicated, but it is very difficult to become free from the grave reaction to vaiṣṇava-aparādha.
Śrī Caitanya Mahāprabhu has said that if we want to bring Kṛṣṇa (Jagannātha) into our heart, we will have to clean it as He Himself cleaned the temple. Who will clean our hearts? Vaiṣṇava and guru will do so, but we must try to follow their instructions to us. The performance of bhajana will not suffice without taking full advantage of sādhu-saṅga.
It is essential to take care against offenses. Śrīla Bhaktivinoda Ṭhākura has written that merely chanting, remembering, and reading will not suffice in the development of bhakti unless it is accompanied by avoiding vaiṣṇava-aparādha and engaging in any other sinful activity or activity that is unfavorable for bhakti.
Gaura premānande, hari haribol!
[Excerpted from the Gaudiya Vedanta Publication “Walking With a Saint 2009”]