Chapter Thirty-one

                    Narada Instructs the Pracetas


                                TEXT 1




                            maitreya uvaca

                         tata utpanna-vijnana

                        asv adhoksaja-bhasitam

                       smaranta atmaje bharyam

                       visrjya pravrajan grhat




   maitreyah uvaca--Maitreya said; tatah--thereafter; utpanna--developed; vijnanah--possessing perfect knowledge; asu--very soon; adhoksaja--by the Supreme Personality of Godhead; bhasitam--what was enunciated; smarantah--remembering; atma-je--unto their son; bharyam--their wife; visrjya--after giving; pravrajan--left; grhat--from home.




   The great saint Maitreya continued: After that, the Pracetas lived at home for thousands of years and developed perfect knowledge in spiritual consciousness. At last they remembered the blessings of the Supreme Personality of Godhead and left home, putting their wife in charge of a perfect son.




   After the Pracetas had finished their penances, they were blessed by the Supreme Personality of Godhead. The Lord blessed them by telling them that after finishing their family life they would return home, back to Godhead, in due course of time. After finishing their family life, which lasted thousands of years according to the calculations of the demigods, the Pracetas decided to leave home, putting their wife in the charge of a son named Daksa. This is the process of Vedic civilization. In the beginning of life, as a brahmacari, one has to undergo severe penances and austerities in order to be educated in spiritual values. The brahmacari, or student, is never allowed to mingle with women and learn from the beginning of life about sex enjoyment. The basic flaw in modern civilization is that boys and girls are given freedom during school and college to enjoy sex life. Most of the children are varna-sankara, meaning "born of undesirable fathers and mothers." Consequently, the whole world is in chaos. Actually, human civilization should be based on the Vedic principles. This means that in the beginning of life boys and girls should undergo penances and austerities. When they are grown, they should get married, live for some time at home and beget children. When the children are grown up, the man should leave home and search for Krsna consciousness. In this way one can make one's life perfect by going home to the kingdom of God.

   Unless one practices penances and austerities in his student life, he cannot understand the existence of God. Without realizing Krsna, one cannot make his life perfect. The conclusion is that when the children are grown, the wife should be put in the children's charge. The husband may then leave home to develop Krsna consciousness. Everything depends on the development of mature knowledge. King Pracinabarhisat, the father of the Pracetas, left home before the arrival of his sons, who were engaged in austerity within the water. As soon as the time is ripe, or as soon as one has developed perfect Krsna consciousness, he should leave home, even though all his duties may not be fulfilled. Pracinabarhisat was waiting for the arrival of his sons, but following the instructions of Narada, as soon as his intelligence was properly developed, he simply left instructions for his ministers to impart to his sons. Thus without waiting for their arrival, he left home.

   Giving up a comfortable home life is absolutely necessary for human beings and is advised by Prahlada Maharaja. Hitvatma-patam grham andha-kupam: to finish the materialistic way of life, one should leave his so-called comfortable home life, which is simply a means for killing the soul (atma-patam). The home is considered to be a dark well covered by grass, and if one falls within this well, he simply dies without anyone's caring. One should therefore not be too much attached to family life, for it will spoil one's development of Krsna consciousness.


                                TEXT 2




                        diksita brahma-satrena


                        praticyam disi velayam

                      siddho 'bhud yatra jajalih




   diksitah--being determined; brahma-satrena--by understanding of the Supreme Spirit; sarva--all; bhuta--living entities; atma-medhasa--considering like one's self; praticyam--in the western; disi--direction; velayam--on the seashore; siddhah--perfect; abhut--became; yatra--where; jajalih--the great sage Jajali.




   The Pracetas went to the seashore in the west where the great liberated sage Jajali was residing. After perfecting the spiritual knowledge by which one becomes equal toward all living entities, the Pracetas became perfect in Krsna consciousness.




   The word brahma-satra means "cultivation of spiritual knowledge." Actually, both the Vedas and severe austerity are known as brahma. Vedas tattvam tapo brahma. Brahma also means "the Absolute Truth." One has to cultivate knowledge of the Absolute Truth by pursuing studies in the Vedas and undergoing severe austerities and penances. The Pracetas properly executed this function and consequently became equal to all other living entities. As Bhagavad-gita (18.54) confirms:


                      brahma-bhutah prasannatma

                        na socati na kanksati

                        samah sarvesu bhutesu

                      mad-bhaktim labhate param


   "One who is thus transcendentally situated at once realizes the Supreme Brahman and becomes fully joyful. He never laments nor desires to have anything; he is equally disposed to every living entity. In that state he attains pure devotional service unto Me."

   When one actually becomes spiritually advanced, he does not see the difference between one living entity and another. This platform is attained by determination. When perfect knowledge is expanded, one ceases to see the outward covering of the living entity. He sees, rather, the spirit soul within the body. Thus he does not make distinctions between a human being and an animal, a learned brahmana and a candala.



                        brahmane gavi hastini

                        suni caiva svapake ca

                        panditah sama-darsinah


   "The humble sage, by virtue of true knowledge, sees with equal vision a learned and gentle brahmana, a cow, an elephant, a dog and a dog-eater [outcaste]." (Bg. 5.18)

   A learned person sees everyone equally on a spiritual basis, and a learned person, a devotee, wants to see everyone developed in Krsna consciousness. The place where the Pracetas were residing was perfect for executing spiritual activities, for it is indicated that the great sage Jajali attained mukti (liberation) there. One desiring perfection or liberation should associate with a person who is already liberated. This is called sadhu-sanga, associating with a perfect devotee.


                                TEXT 3




                   tan nirjita-prana-mano-vaco-drso

                   jitasanan santa-samana-vigrahan

                   pare 'male brahmani yojitatmanah

                    surasuredyo dadrse sma naradah




   tan--all of them; nirjita--completely controlled; prana--the life air (by the pranayama process); manah--mind; vacah--words; drsah--and vision; jita-asanan--who conquered the yogic asana, or sitting posture; santa--pacified; samana--straight; vigrahan--whose bodies; pare--transcendental; amale--free from all material contamination; brahmani--in the Supreme; yojita--engaged; atmanah--whose minds; sura-asura-idyah--worshiped by the demons and by the demigods; dadrse--saw; sma--in the past; naradah--the great sage Narada.




   After practicing the yogasana for mystic yoga, the Pracetas managed to control their life air, mind, words and external vision. Thus by the pranayama process they were completely relieved of material attachment. By remaining perpendicular, they could concentrate their minds on the uppermost Brahman. While they were practicing this pranayama, the great sage Narada, who is worshiped both by demons and by demigods, came to see them.




   In this verse the words pare amale are significant. The realization of Brahman is explained in Srimad-Bhagavatam. The Absolute Truth is realized in three phases--impersonal effulgence (Brahman), localized Paramatma and the Supreme Personality of Godhead, Bhagavan. In his prayers, Lord Siva concentrated upon the personal features of Parabrahman, described in personal terms as snigdha-pravrd-ghana-syamam (Bhag. 4.24.45). Following the instructions of Lord Siva, the Pracetas also concentrated their minds on the Syamasundara form of the Supreme Brahman. Although impersonal Brahman, Paramatma Brahman and Brahman as the Supreme Person are all on the same transcendental platform, the personal feature of the Supreme Brahman is the ultimate goal and last word in transcendence.

   The great sage Narada travels everywhere. He goes to the demons and the demigods and is equally respected. He is consequently described herein as surasuredya, worshiped both by demons and by demigods. For Narada Muni, the door of every house is open. Although there is perpetual animosity between the demons and demigods, Narada Muni is welcomed everywhere. Narada is considered one of the demigods, of course, and the word devarsi means "the saintly person among the demigods." But not even the demons envy Narada Muni; therefore he is equally worshiped both by demons and by demigods. A perfect Vaisnava's position should be just like Narada Muni's, completely independent and unbiased.


                                TEXT 4




                        tam agatam ta utthaya

                        pranipatyabhinandya ca

                         pujayitva yathadesam

                        sukhasinam athabruvan




   tam--to him; agatam--appeared; te--all the Pracetas; utthaya--after getting up; pranipatya--offering obeisances; abhinandya--offering welcome; ca--also; pujayitva--worshiping; yatha adesam--according to regulative principles; sukha-asinam--comfortably situated; atha--thus; abruvan--they said.




   As soon as the Pracetas saw that the great sage Narada had appeared, they immediately got up even from their asanas. As required, they immediately offered obeisances and worshiped him, and when they saw that Narada Muni was properly seated, they began to ask him questions.




   It is significant that all the Pracetas were engaged in practicing yoga to concentrate their minds on the Supreme Personality of Godhead.


                                TEXT 5




                            pracetasa ucuh

                       svagatam te surarse 'dya

                       distya no darsanam gatah

                      tava cankramanam brahmann

                         abhayaya yatha raveh




   pracetasah ucuh--the Pracetas said; su-agatam--welcome; te--unto you; sura-rse--O sage among the demigods; adya--today; distya--by good fortune; nah--of us; darsanam--audience; gatah--you have come; tava--your; cankramanam--movements; brahman--O great brahmana; abhayaya--for fearlessness; yatha--as; raveh--of the sun.




   All the Pracetas began to address the great sage Narada: O great sage, O brahmana, we hope you met with no disturbances while coming here. It is due to our great fortune that we are now able to see you. By the traveling of the sun, people are relieved from the fear of the darkness of night--a fear brought about by thieves and rogues. Similarly, your traveling is like the sun's, for you drive away all kinds of fear.




   Because of the night's darkness, everyone is afraid of rogues and thieves, especially in great cities. People are often afraid to go out on the streets, and we understand that even in a great city like New York people do not like to go out at night. More or less, when it is night everyone is afraid, either in the city or in the village. However, as soon as the sun rises, everyone is relieved. Similarly, this material world is dark by nature. Everyone is afraid of danger at every moment, but when one sees a devotee like Narada, all fear is relieved. Just as the sun disperses darkness, the appearance of a great sage like Narada disperses ignorance. When one meets Narada or his representative, a spiritual master, one is freed from all anxiety brought about by ignorance.


                                TEXT 6




                        yad adistam bhagavata

                         sivenadhoksajena ca

                        tad grhesu prasaktanam

                       prayasah ksapitam prabho




   yat--what; adistam--was instructed; bhagavata--by the exalted personality; sivena--Lord Siva; adhoksajena--by Lord Visnu; ca--also; tat--that; grhesu--to family affairs; prasaktanam--by us who were too much attached; prayasah--almost; ksapitam--forgotten; prabho--O master.




   O master, may we inform you that because of our being overly attached to family affairs, we almost forgot the instructions we received from Lord Siva and Lord Visnu.




   Remaining in family life is a kind of concession for sense enjoyment. One should know that sense enjoyment is not required, but one has to accept sense enjoyment inasmuch as one has to live. As confirmed in Srimad-Bhagavatam (1.2.10): kamasya nendriya-pritih. One has to become a gosvami and control his senses. One should not simply use his senses for sense gratification; rather, the senses should be employed just as much as required for maintaining body and soul together. Srila Rupa Gosvami recommends: anasaktasya visayan yatharham upayunjatah. One should not be attached to sense objects, but should accept sense enjoyment as much as required, no more. If one wishes to enjoy the senses more than required, he becomes attached to family life, which means bondage. All the Pracetas admitted their fault in remaining in household life.


                                TEXT 7




                      tan nah pradyotayadhyatma-

                      jnanam tattvartha-darsanam

                         yenanjasa tarisyamo

                        dustaram bhava-sagaram




   tat--therefore; nah--for us; pradyotaya--kindly awaken; adhyatma--transcendental; jnanam--knowledge; tattva--Absolute Truth; artha--for the purpose of; darsanam--philosophy; yena--by which; anjasa--easily; tarisyamah--we can cross over; dustaram--formidable; bhava-sagaram--the ocean of nescience.




   Dear master, kindly enlighten us in transcendental knowledge, which may act as a torchlight by which we may cross the dark nescience of material existence.




   The Pracetas requested Narada to enlighten them in transcendental knowledge. Generally when a common man meets a saintly person, he wishes to get some material benediction. However, the Pracetas were not interested in material benefit, for they had enjoyed all this sufficiently. Nor did they want the fulfillment of their material desires. They were simply interested in crossing the ocean of nescience. Everyone should be interested in getting out of these material clutches. Everyone should approach a saintly person in order to be enlightened in this connection. One should not bother a saintly person to get blessings for material enjoyment. Generally, householders receive saintly persons to get their blessings, but their real aim is to become happy in the material world. Asking such material benedictions is not recommended in the sastras.


                                TEXT 8




                            maitreya uvaca

                         iti pracetasam prsto

                        bhagavan narado munih

                        bhagavaty uttama-sloka

                        avistatmabravin nrpan




   maitreyah uvaca--Maitreya said; iti--thus; pracetasam--by the Pracetas; prstah--being asked; bhagavan--the great devotee of the Supreme Personality of Godhead; naradah--Narada; munih--very thoughtful; bhagavati--in the Supreme Personality of Godhead; uttama-sloke--possessing excellent renown; avista--absorbed; atma--whose mind; abravit--replied; nrpan--to the Kings.




   The great sage Maitreya continued: My dear Vidura, being thus petitioned by the Pracetas, the supreme devotee Narada, who is always absorbed in thoughts of the Supreme Personality of Godhead, began to reply.




   In this verse bhagavan naradah indicates that Narada is always absorbed in thoughts of the Supreme Personality of Godhead. Bhagavaty uttama-sloka avistatma. Narada has no other business than thinking of Krsna, talking of Krsna and preaching about Krsna; therefore he is sometimes called bhagavan. Bhagavan means "one who possesses all opulences." When a person possesses Bhagavan within his heart, he is also sometimes called bhagavan. Srila Visvanatha Cakravarti Thakura said, saksad-dharitvena samasta-sastraih: in every sastra the spiritual master is accepted directly as the Supreme Personality of Godhead. This does not mean that the spiritual master or a saintly person like Narada has actually become the Supreme Personality of Godhead, but he is accepted in this way because he possesses the Supreme Personality of Godhead within his heart constantly. As described here (avistatma), when one is simply absorbed in the thought of Krsna, one is also called bhagavan. Bhagavan possesses all opulence. If one possesses Bhagavan within his heart always, does he not automatically possess all opulence also? In that sense a great devotee like Narada can be called bhagavan. However, we cannot tolerate when a rascal or imposter is called bhagavan. One must possess either all opulences or the Supreme Personality of Godhead, Bhagavan, who possesses all opulences.


                                TEXT 9




                             narada uvaca

                        taj janma tani karmani

                       tad ayus tan mano vacah

                        nrnam yena hi visvatma

                        sevyate harir isvarah




   naradah uvaca--Narada said; tat janma--that birth; tani--those; karmani--fruitive activities; tat--that; ayuh--span of life; tat--that; manah--mind; vacah--words; nrnam--of human beings; yena--by which; hi--certainly; visva-atma--the Supersoul; sevyate--is served; harih--the Supreme Personality of Godhead; isvarah--the supreme controller.




   The great sage Narada said: When a living entity is born to engage in the devotional service of the Supreme Personality of Godhead, who is the supreme controller, his birth, all his fruitive activities, his life-span, his mind and his words are all factually perfect.




   In this verse the word nrnam is very important. There are many other births besides human birth, but Narada Muni is herein especially speaking of human birth. Among human beings there are different types of men. Of these, those who are advanced in spiritual consciousness, or Krsna consciousness, are called Aryans. Among Aryans, one who engages in the devotional service of the Lord is most successful in life. The word nrnam indicates that lower animals are not expected to engage in the devotional service of the Lord. But in perfect human society everyone should engage in the devotional service of the Lord. It does not matter whether one is born poor or rich, black or white. There may be so many material distinctions for one who takes birth in human society, but everyone should engage in the Lord's devotional service. At the present moment civilized nations have given up God consciousness for economic development. They are actually no longer interested in advancing in God consciousness. Formerly their forefathers were engaged in executing religious principles. Whether one is Hindu, Muslim, Buddhist, Jewish or whatever, everyone has some religious institution. Real religion, however, means becoming God conscious. It is particularly mentioned herein that birth is successful if an interest in Krsna consciousness is taken. Activity is successful if it results in serving the Lord. Philosophical speculation or mental speculation is successful when engaged in understanding the Supreme Personality of Godhead. The senses are worth possessing when engaged in the service of the Lord. Actually, devotional service means engaging the senses in the service of the Lord. At the present moment our senses are not purified; therefore our senses are engaged in the service of society, friendship, love, politics, sociology and so on. However, when the senses are engaged in the service of the Lord, one attains bhakti, or devotional service. In the next verse these matters will be more clearly explained.

   When one great devotee of Lord Caitanya Mahaprabhu saw the Lord, he said that all his desires were fulfilled. He said, "Today everything is auspicious. Today my birthplace and neighborhood are completely glorified. Today my senses, from my eyes down to my toes, are fortunate. Today my life is successful because I have been able to see the lotus feet that are worshiped by the goddess of fortune."


                               TEXT 10




                      kim janmabhis tribhir veha


                     karmabhir va trayi-proktaih

                        pumso 'pi vibudhayusa




   kim--what is the use; janmabhih--of births; tribhih--three; va--or; iha--in this world; saukra--by semen; savitra--by initiation; yajnikaih--by becoming a perfect brahmana; karmabhih--by activities; va--or; trayi--in the Vedas; proktaih--instructed; pumsah--of a human being; api--even; vibudha--of the demigods; ayusa--with a duration of life.




   A civilized human being has three kinds of births. The first birth is by a pure father and mother, and this birth is called birth by semen. The next birth takes place when one is initiated by the spiritual master, and this birth is called savitra. The third birth, called yajnika, takes place when one is given the opportunity to worship Lord Visnu. Despite the opportunities for attaining such births, even if one gets the life-span of a demigod, if one does not actually engage in the service of the Lord, everything is useless. Similarly, one's activities may be mundane or spiritual, but they are useless if they are not meant for satisfying the Lord.




   The word saukra janma means "taking birth by seminal discharge." Animals can take their birth in this way too. However, a human being can be reformed from the saukra janma, as recommended in the Vedic civilization. Before the birth takes place, or before father and mother unite, there is a ceremony called garbhadhana-samskara, which must be adopted. This garbhadhana-samskara is especially recommended for higher castes, especially the brahmana caste. It is said in the sastras that if the garbhadhana-samskara is not practiced among the higher castes, the entire family becomes sudra. It is also stated that in this age of Kali, everyone is sudra due to the absence of the garbhadhana-samskara. This is the Vedic system. According to the pancaratrika system, however, even though everyone is a sudra due to the absence of the garbhadhana-samskara, if a person has but a little tendency to become Krsna conscious, he should be given the chance to elevate himself to the transcendental platform of devotional service. Our Krsna consciousness movement adopts this pancaratrika-vidhi, as advised by Srila Sanatana Gosvami, who says:


                        yatha kancanatam yati

                       kamsyam rasa-vidhanatah

                        tatha diksa-vidhanena

                        dvijatvam jayate nrnam


   "As bell metal, when mixed with mercury, is transformed to gold, a person, even though not golden pure, can be transformed into a brahmana, or dvija, simply by the initiation process." (Hari-bhakti-vilasa 2.12) Thus if one is initiated by a proper person, he can be accepted as twice-born immediately. In our Krsna consciousness movement, we therefore offer the student his first initiation and allow him to chant the Hare Krsna maha-mantra. By chanting the Hare Krsna maha-mantra regularly and following the regulative principles, one becomes qualified to be initiated as a brahmana, because unless one is a qualified brahmana he cannot be allowed to worship Lord Visnu. This is called yajnika janma. In our Krsna consciousness society, unless one is twice initiated--first by chanting Hare Krsna and second by the Gayatri mantra--he is not allowed to enter the kitchen or Deity room to execute duties. However, when one is elevated to the platform on which he can worship the Deity, his previous birth does not matter.


                      candalo 'pi dvija-srestho


                        hari-bhakti-vihinas ca

                       dvijo 'pi svapacadhamah


   "Even if one is born in the family of a candala, if one engages in the devotional service of the Lord, he becomes the best of brahmanas. But even a brahmana who is devoid of devotional service is on the level of the lowest dog-eater." If a person is advanced in devotional service, it does not matter whether he was born in a candala family. He becomes purified. As Sri Prahlada Maharaja said:


               viprad dvisad-guna-yutad aravinda-nabha-

               padaravinda-vimukhac chvapacam varistham


   (Bhag. 7.9.10)


   Even if one is a brahmana and is qualified with all the brahminical qualifications, he is considered degraded if he is averse to worshiping the Supreme Personality of Godhead. But if a person is attached to the service of the Lord, he becomes glorified even if he is born in a candala family. Indeed, such a candala can deliver not only himself but all his family predecessors. Without devotional service, even a proud brahmana cannot deliver himself, and what to speak of his family. In many instances in the sastras it is seen that even a brahmana has become a ksatriya, vaisya, sudra, mleccha or non-brahmana. And there are many instances of one's being born a ksatriya or vaisya or even lower and, in the eighteenth year, attaining elevation to the brahminical platform by the process of initiation. Therefore Narada Muni says:


                      yasya yal laksanam proktam

                       pumso varnabhivyanjakam

                        yad anyatrapi drsyeta

                        tat tenaiva vinirdiset


   (Bhag. 7.11.35)


   It is not a fact that because one is born in a brahmana family he is automatically a brahmana. He has a better chance to become a brahmana, but unless he meets all the brahminical qualifications, he cannot be accepted as such. On the other hand, if the brahminical qualifications are found in the person of a sudra, he should immediately be accepted as a brahmana. To substantiate this there are many quotations from Bhagavatam, Mahabharata, Bharadvaja-samhita and the pancaratra, as well as many other scriptures.

   As far as the duration of life of the demigods, concerning Lord Brahma it is said:



                       ahar yad brahmano viduh

                       ratrim yuga-sahasrantam

                       te 'ho-ratra-vido janah


   (Bg. 8.17)


   The duration of one day of Brahma is one thousand times greater than the four yugas, aggregating 4,320,000 years. Similarly, Brahma's one night. Brahma lives for one hundred years of such days and nights. The word vibudhayusa indicates that even if one gets a long life-span, his life-span is useless if he is not a devotee. A living entity is the eternal servitor of the Supreme Lord, and unless he comes to the platform of devotional service, his life-span, good birth, glorious activities and everything else are null and void.


                               TEXT 11




                        srutena tapasa va kim

                       vacobhis citta-vrttibhih

                       buddhya va kim nipunaya





   srutena--by Vedic education; tapasa--by austerities; va--or; kim--what is the meaning; vacobhih--by words; citta--of consciousness; vrttibhih--by the occupations; buddhya--by intelligence; va--or; kim--what is the use; nipunaya--expert; balena--by bodily strength; indriya-radhasa--by power of the senses.




   Without devotional service, what is the meaning of severe austerities, the process of hearing, the power of speech, the power of mental speculation, elevated intelligence, strength, and the power of the senses?




   From the Upanisads (Mundaka Upanisad 3.2.3) we learn:


                    nayam atma pravacanena labhyo

                     na medhaya na bahuna srutena

                    yam evaisa vrnute tena labhyas

                  tasyaisa atma vivrnute tanum svam


   Our relationship with the Supreme Lord is never advanced by simple study of the Vedas. There are many Mayavadi sannyasis fully engaged in studying the Vedas, Vedanta-sutra and Upanisads, but unfortunately they cannot grasp the real essence of knowledge. In other words, they do not know the Supreme Personality of Godhead. What, then, is the use in studying all the Vedas if one cannot grasp the essence of the Vedas, Krsna? The Lord confirms in Bhagavad-gita (15.15), vedais ca sarvair aham eva vedyah: "By all the Vedas, I am to be known."

   There are many religious systems wherein penances and austerities are greatly stressed, but at the end no one understands Krsna, the Supreme personality of Godhead. There is therefore no point in such penance (tapasya). If one has actually approached the Supreme Personality of Godhead, he does not need to undergo severe austerities. The Supreme Personality of Godhead is understood through the process of devotional service. In the Ninth Chapter of Bhagavad-gita devotional service is explained as raja-guhyam, the king of all confidential knowledge. There are many good reciters of Vedic literatures, and they recite works such as the Ramayana, Srimad-Bhagavatam and Bhagavad-gita. Sometimes these professional readers manifest very good scholarship and exhibit word jugglery. Unfortunately they are never devotees of the Supreme Lord. Consequently, they cannot impress upon the audience the real essence of knowledge, Krsna. There are also many thoughtful writers and creative philosophers, but despite all their learning, if they cannot approach the Supreme Personality of Godhead, they are simply useless mental speculators. There are many sharply intelligent people in this material world, and they discover so many things for sense gratification. They also analytically study all the material elements, but despite their expert knowledge and expert scientific analysis of the whole cosmic manifestation, their endeavors are useless because they cannot understand the Supreme Personality of Godhead.

   As far as our senses are concerned, there are many animals, both beasts and birds, who are very expert in exercising their senses more keenly than human beings. For example, vultures or hawks can go very high in the sky, but can see a small body on the ground very clearly. This means that their eyesight is so keen that they can find an eatable corpse from a great distance. Certainly their eyesight is much keener than human beings', but this does not mean that their existence is more important than that of a human being. Similarly, dogs can smell many things from a far distance. Many fish can understand by the power of sound that an enemy is coming. All these examples are described in Srimad-Bhagavatam. If one's senses cannot help him attain the highest perfection of life, realization of the Supreme, they are all useless.


                               TEXT 12




                       kim va yogena sankhyena

                        nyasa-svadhyayayor api

                      kim va sreyobhir anyais ca

                       na yatratma-prado harih




   kim--what is the use; va--or; yogena--by mystic yoga practice; sankhyena--by the study of Sankhya philosophy; nyasa--by accepting sannyasa; svadhyayayoh--and by study of Vedic literature; api--even; kim--what is the use; va--or; sreyobhih--by auspicious activities; anyaih--other; ca--and; na--never; yatra--where; atma-pradah--full satisfaction of self; harih--the Supreme Personality of Godhead.




   Transcendental practices that do not ultimately help one realize the Supreme Personality of Godhead are useless, be they mystic yoga practices, the analytical study of matter, severe austerity, the acceptance of sannyasa, or the study of Vedic literature. All these may be very important aspects of spiritual advancement, but unless one understands the Supreme Personality of Godhead, Hari, all these processes are useless.




   In Caitanya-caritamrta (Madhya 24.109) it is said:


              bhakti vina kevala jnane 'mukti' nahi haya

             bhakti sadhana kare yei 'prapta-brahma-laya'


   Impersonalists do not take to devotional service, but take to other practices, such as the analytical study of the material elements, the discrimination between matter and spirit, and the mystic yoga system. These are beneficial only insofar as they are complementary to devotional service. Caitanya Mahaprabhu therefore told Sanatana Gosvami that without a touch of devotional service, jnana, yoga and Sankhya philosophy cannot give one the desired results. The impersonalists wish to merge into the Supreme Brahman; however, merging into the Supreme Brahman also requires a touch of devotional service. The Absolute Truth is realized in three phases--impersonal Brahman, Paramatma and the Supreme Personality of Godhead. All these require a touch of devotional service. Sometimes it is actually seen that these Mayavadis also chant the Hare Krsna maha-mantra, although their motive is to merge into the Brahman effulgence of the Absolute. The yogis also at times take to chanting the Hare Krsna maha-mantra, but their purpose is different from that of the bhaktas. In all processes--karma, jnana or yoga--bhakti is required. That is the purport of this verse.


                               TEXT 13




                        sreyasam api sarvesam

                       atma hy avadhir arthatah

                        sarvesam api bhutanam

                       harir atmatmadah priyah




   sreyasam--of auspicious activities; api--certainly; sarvesam--all; atma--the self; hi--certainly; avadhih--destination; arthatah--factually; sarvesam--of all; api--certainly; bhutanam--living entities; harih--the Supreme Personality of Godhead; atma--the Supersoul; atma-dah--who can give us our original identity; priyah--very dear.




   Factually the Supreme Personality of Godhead is the original source of all self-realization. Consequently, the goal of all auspicious activities--karma, jnana, yoga and bhakti--is the Supreme Personality of Godhead.




   The living entity is the marginal energy of the Supreme Personality of Godhead, and the material world is the external energy. Under the circumstances, one must understand that the Supreme Personality of Godhead is factually the original source of both matter and spirit. This is explained in the Seventh Chapter of Bhagavad-gita (7.4-5):


                        bhumir apo 'nalo vayuh

                       kham mano buddhir eva ca

                          ahankara itiyam me

                       bhinna prakrtir astadha


                        apareyam itas tv anyam

                       prakrtim viddhi me param

                        jiva-bhutam maha-baho

                        yayedam dharyate jagat


   "Earth, water, fire, air, ether, mind, intelligence and false ego--all together these eight comprise My separated material energies. But besides this inferior nature, O mighty-armed Arjuna, there is a superior energy of Mine, which consists of all living entities who are struggling with material nature and are sustaining the universe."

   The entire cosmic manifestation is but a combination of matter and spirit. The spiritual part is the living entity, and these living entities are described as prakrti, or energy. The living entity is never described as purusa, the Supreme Person; therefore to identify the living entity with the Supreme Lord is simply ignorance. The living entity is the marginal potency of the Supreme Lord, although there is factually no difference between the energy and the energetic. The duty of the living entity is to understand his real identity. When he does, Krsna gives him all the facilities to come to the platform of devotional service. That is the perfection of life. This is indicated in the Vedic Upanisad:


                    yam evaisa vrnute tena labhyas

                  tasyaisa atma vivrnute tanum svam


   Lord Krsna confirms this in Bhagavad-gita (10.10):


                        tesam satata-yuktanam

                       bhajatam priti-purvakam

                       dadami buddhi-yogam tam

                         yena mam upayanti te


   "To those who are constantly devoted and worship Me with love, I give the understanding by which they can come to Me." The conclusion is that one must come to the platform of bhakti-yoga, even though one may begin with karma-yoga, jnana-yoga or astanga-yoga. Unless one comes to the platform of bhakti-yoga, self-realization or realization of the Absolute Truth cannot be achieved.


                               TEXT 14




                     yatha taror mula-nisecanena

                  trpyanti tat-skandha-bhujopasakhah

                    pranopaharac ca yathendriyanam

                    tathaiva sarvarhanam acyutejya




   yatha--as; taroh--of a tree; mula--the root; nisecanena--by watering; trpyanti--are satisfied; tat--its; skandha--trunk; bhuja--branches; upasakhah--and twigs; prana--the life air; upaharat--by feeding; ca--and; yatha--as; indriyanam--of the senses; tatha eva--similarly; sarva--of all demigods; arhanam--worship; acyuta--of the Supreme Personality of Godhead; ijya--worship.




   As pouring water on the root of a tree energizes the trunk, branches, twigs and everything else, and as supplying food to the stomach enlivens the senses and limbs of the body, simply worshiping the Supreme Personality of Godhead through devotional service automatically satisfies the demigods, who are parts of that Supreme Personality.




   Sometimes people ask why this Krsna consciousness movement simply advocates worship of Krsna to the exclusion of the demigods. The answer is given in this verse. The example of pouring water on the root of a tree is very appropriate. In Bhagavad-gita (15.1) it is said, urdhva-mulam adhah-sakham: this cosmic manifestation has expanded downward, and the root is the Supreme Personality of Godhead. As the Lord confirms in Bhagavad-gita (10.8), aham sarvasya prabhavah: "I am the source of all spiritual and material worlds." Krsna is the root of everything; therefore rendering service to the Supreme Personality of Godhead, Krsna (krsna-seva), means automatically serving all the demigods. Sometimes it is argued that karma and jnana require a mixture of bhakti in order to be successfully executed, and sometimes it is argued that bhakti also requires karma and jnana for its successful termination. The fact is, however, that although karma and jnana cannot be successful without bhakti, bhakti does not require the help of karma and jnana. Actually, as described by Srila Rupa Gosvami, anyabhilasita-sunyam jnana-karmady-anavrtam: pure devotional service should not be contaminated by the touch of karma and jnana. Modern society is involved in various types of philanthropic works, humanitarian works and so on, but people do not know that these activities will never be successful unless Krsna, the Supreme Personality of Godhead, is brought into the center. One may ask what harm there is in worshiping Krsna and the different parts of His body, the demigods, and the answer is also given in this verse. The point is that by supplying food to the stomach, the indriyas, the senses, are automatically satisfied. If one tries to feed his eyes or ears independently, the result is only havoc. Simply by supplying food to the stomach, we satisfy all of the senses. It is neither necessary nor feasible to render separate service to the individual senses. The conclusion is that by serving Krsna (krsna-seva), everything is complete. As confirmed in Caitanya-caritamrta (Madhya 22.62), krsne bhakti kaile sarva-karma krta haya: if one is engaged in the devotional service of the Lord, the Supreme Personality of Godhead, everything is automatically accomplished.


                               TEXT 15




                  yathaiva suryat prabhavanti varah

                   punas ca tasmin pravisanti kale

                   bhutani bhumau sthira-jangamani

                    tatha harav eva guna-pravahah




   yatha--as; eva--certainly; suryat--from the sun; prabhavanti--is generated; varah--water; punah--again; ca--and; tasmin--unto it; pravisanti--enters; kale--in due course of time; bhutani--all living entities; bhumau--to the earth; sthira--not moving; jangamani--and moving; tatha--similarly; harau--unto the Supreme Personality of Godhead; eva--certainly; guna-pravahah--emanation of material nature.




   During the rainy season, water is generated from the sun, and in due course of time, during the summer season, the very same water is again absorbed by the sun. Similarly, all living entities, moving and inert, are generated from the earth, and again, after some time, they all return to the earth as dust. Similarly, everything emanates from the Supreme Personality of Godhead, and in due course of time everything enters into Him again.




   Because of their poor fund of knowledge, impersonalist philosophers cannot understand how everything comes out from the Supreme person and then merges into Him again. As Brahma-samhita (5.40) confirms:


               yasya prabha prabhavato jagad-anda-koti-

                kotisv asesa-vasudhadi-vibhuti-bhinnam

               tad brahma niskalam anantam asesa-bhutam

                govindam adi-purusam tam aham bhajami


   Transcendental rays emanate from the body of Krsna, and within those rays, which are the Brahman effulgence, everything is existing. This is confirmed in Bhagavad-gita (9.4). Mat-sthani sarva-bhutani. Although Krsna is not personally present everywhere, His energy is the cause of all creation. The entire cosmic manifestation is nothing but a display of Krsna's energy.

   The two examples given in this verse are very vivid. During the rainy season, the rain, by rejuvenating the production of vegetables on earth, enables man and animals to obtain living energy. When there is no rain, food is scarce, and man and animal simply die. All vegetables, as well as moving living entities, are originally products of the earth. They come from the earth, and again they merge into the earth. Similarly, the total material energy is generated from the body of Krsna, and at such a time the entire cosmic manifestation is visible. When Krsna winds up His energy, everything vanishes. This is explained in a different way in Brahma-samhita (5.48):


                yasyaika-nisvasita-kalam athavalambya

                jivanti loma-vilaja jagad-anda-nathah

                visnur mahan sa iha yasya kala-viseso

                govindam adi-purusam tam aham bhajami


   This entire material creation comes from the body of the Supreme Personality of Godhead and at the time of annihilation again enters into Him. This process of creation and dissolution is made possible by the breathing of the Maha-Visnu, who is only a plenary portion of Krsna.


                               TEXT 16




                  etat padam taj jagad-atmanah param

                 sakrd vibhatam savitur yatha prabha

                   yathasavo jagrati supta-saktayo





   etat--this cosmic manifestation; padam--place of habitation; tat--that; jagat-atmanah--of the Supreme Personality of Godhead; param--transcendental; sakrt--sometimes; vibhatam--manifested; savituh--of the sun; yatha--as; prabha--sunshine; yatha--as; asavah--the senses; jagrati--become manifest; supta--inactive; saktayah--energies; dravya--physical elements; kriya--activities; jnana--knowledge; bhida-bhrama--differences from misunderstanding; atyayah--passing away.




   Just as the sunshine is nondifferent from the sun, the cosmic manifestation is also nondifferent from the Supreme Personality of Godhead. The Supreme Personality is therefore all-pervasive within this material creation. When the senses are active, they appear to be part and parcel of the body, but when the body is asleep, their activities are unmanifest. Similarly, the whole cosmic creation appears different and yet nondifferent from the Supreme Person.




   This confirms the philosophy of acintya-bhedabheda-tattva ("simultaneously one and different") propounded by Lord Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu. The Supreme Personality of Godhead is simultaneously different and nondifferent from this cosmic manifestation. In a previous verse it has been explained that the Supreme personality of Godhead, like the root of a tree, is the original cause of everything. It was also explained how the Supreme Personality of Godhead is all-pervasive. He is present within everything in this material manifestation. Since the energy of the Supreme Lord is nondifferent from Him, this material cosmic manifestation is also nondifferent from Him, although it appears different. The sunshine is not different from the sun itself, but it is simultaneously also different. One may be in the sunshine, but he is not on the sun itself. Those who live in this material world are living on the bodily rays of the Supreme Personality of Godhead, but they cannot see Him personally in the material condition.

   In this verse the word padam indicates the place where the Supreme personality of Godhead resides. As confirmed in Isopanisad, isavasyam idam sarvam. The proprietor of a house may live in one room of the house, but the entire house belongs to him. A king may live in one room in Buckingham Palace, but the entire palace is considered his property. It is not necessary for the king to live in every room of that palace for it to be his. He may be physically absent from the rooms, but still the entire palace is understood to be his royal domicile.

   The sunshine is light, the sun globe itself is light, and the sun-god is also light. However, the sunshine is not identical with the sun-god, Vivasvan. This is the meaning of simultaneously one and different (acintya-bhedabheda-tattva). All the planets rest on the sunshine, and because of the heat of the sun, they all revolve in their orbits. On each and every planet, the trees and plants grow and change colors due to the sunshine. Being the rays of the sun, the sunshine is nondifferent from the sun. Similarly, all the planets, resting on the sunshine, are nondifferent from the sun. The entire material world is completely dependent on the sun, being produced by the sun, and the cause, the sun, is inherent in the effects. Similarly, Krsna is the cause of all causes, and the effects are permeated by the original cause. The entire cosmic manifestation should be understood as the expanded energy of the Supreme Lord.

   When one sleeps, the senses are inactive, but this does not mean that the senses are absent. When one is awakened, the senses become active again. Similarly, this cosmic creation is sometimes manifest and sometimes unmanifest, as stated in Bhagavad-gita (bhutva bhutva praliyate). When the cosmic manifestation is dissolved, it is in a kind of sleeping condition, an inactive state. Whether the cosmic manifestation is active or inactive, the energy of the Supreme Lord is always existing. Thus the words "appearance" and "disappearance" apply only to the cosmic manifestation.


                               TEXT 17




                  yatha nabhasy abhra-tamah-prakasa

                 bhavanti bhupa na bhavanty anukramat

                  evam pare brahmani saktayas tv amu

                   rajas tamah sattvam iti pravahah




   yatha--as; nabhasi--in the sky; abhra--clouds; tamah--darkness; prakasah--and illumination; bhavanti--exist; bhu-pah--O Kings; na bhavanti--do not appear; anukramat--consecutively; evam--thus; pare--supreme; brahmani--in the Absolute; saktayah--energies; tu--then; amuh--those; rajah--passion; tamah--darkness; sattvam--goodness; iti--thus; pravahah--emanation.




   My dear Kings, sometimes in the sky there are clouds, sometimes there is darkness, and sometimes there is illumination. The appearance of all these takes place consecutively. Similarly, in the Supreme Absolute, the modes of passion, darkness and goodness appear as consecutive energies. Sometimes they appear, and sometimes they disappear.




   Darkness, illumination and clouds sometimes appear and sometimes disappear, but even when they have disappeared, the potency is still there, always existing. In the sky sometimes we see clouds, sometimes rainfall and sometimes snow. Sometimes we see night, sometimes day, sometimes illumination and sometimes darkness. All these exist due to the sun, but the sun is unaffected by all these changes. Similarly, although the Supreme Personality of Godhead is the original cause of the total cosmic manifestation, He is unaffected by the material existence. This is confirmed in Bhagavad-gita (7.4):


                        bhumir apo 'nalo vayuh

                       kham mano buddhir eva ca

                          ahankara itiyam me

                       bhinna prakrtir astadha


   "Earth, water, fire, air, ether, mind, intelligence and false ego--all together these eight comprise My separated material energies."

   Although the material, or physical, elements are the energy of the Supreme Personality of Godhead, they are separate. The Supreme Personality of Godhead is therefore not affected by material conditions. The Vedanta-sutra confirms, janmady asya yatah: the creation, maintenance and dissolution of this cosmic manifestation are due to the existence of the Supreme Lord. Nonetheless, the Lord is unaffected by all these changes in the material elements. This is indicated by the word pravaha ("emanation"). The sun always shines brilliantly and is not affected by clouds or darkness. Similarly, the Supreme Personality of Godhead is always present in His spiritual energy and is not affected by the material emanations. Brahma-samhita (5.1) confirms:


                        isvarah paramah krsnah


                         anadir adir govindah



   "Krsna, who is known as Govinda, is the Supreme Godhead. He has an eternal, blissful, spiritual body. He is the origin of all. He has no other origin, and He is the prime cause of all causes." Although He is the supreme cause, the cause of all causes, He is still parama, transcendental, and His form is sac-cid-ananda, eternal, spiritual bliss. Krsna is the shelter of everything, and this is the verdict of all scripture. Krsna is the remote cause, and material nature is the immediate cause of the cosmic manifestation. In the Caitanya-caritamrta it is said that understanding prakrti, or nature, to be the cause of everything is like understanding the nipples on the neck of a goat to be the cause of milk. Material nature is the immediate cause of the cosmic manifestation, but the original cause is Narayana, Krsna. Sometimes people think that the cause of an earthen pot is the earth. We see on a potter's wheel a sufficient amount of earth to produce many pots, and although unintelligent men will say that the earth on the wheel is the cause of the pot, those who are actually advanced will find that the original cause is the potter, who supplies the earth and moves the wheel. Material nature may be a helping factor in the creation of this cosmic manifestation, but it is not the ultimate cause. In Bhagavad-gita (9.10) the Lord therefore says:


                        mayadhyaksena prakrtih

                         suyate sa-caracaram


   "This material nature is working under My direction, O son of Kunti, and producing all moving and unmoving beings."

   The Supreme Lord casts His glance over material energy, and His glance agitates the three modes of nature. Creation then takes place. The conclusion is that nature is not the cause of the material manifestation. The Supreme Lord is the cause of all causes.


                               TEXT 18




                    tenaikam atmanam asesa-dehinam

                   kalam pradhanam purusam paresam

                   sva-tejasa dhvasta-guna-pravaham

                   atmaika-bhavena bhajadhvam addha




   tena--therefore; ekam--one; atmanam--unto the Supreme Soul; asesa--unlimited; dehinam--of the individual souls; kalam--time; pradhanam--the material cause; purusam--the Supreme Person; para-isam--the transcendental controller; sva-tejasa--by His spiritual energy; dhvasta--aloof; guna-pravaham--from material emanations; atma--self; eka-bhavena--accepting as qualitatively one; bhajadhvam--engage in devotional service; addha--directly.




   Because the Supreme Lord is the cause of all causes, He is the Supersoul of all individual living entities, and He exists as both the remote and immediate cause. Since He is aloof from the material emanations, He is free from their interactions and is Lord of material nature. You should therefore engage in His devotional service, thinking yourself qualitatively one with Him.




   According to Vedic calculations, there are three causes of creation--time, the ingredient and the creator. Combined, these are called tritayatmaka, the three causes. Everything in this material world is created by these three causes. All of these causes are found in the Personality of Godhead. As confirmed in Brahma-samhita: sarva-karana-karanam. Narada Muni therefore advises the Pracetas to worship the direct cause, the Supreme Personality of Godhead. As stated before, when the root of a tree is watered, all the parts are energized. According to the advice of Narada Muni, one should directly engage in devotional service. This will include all pious activity. Caitanya-caritamrta states, krsne bhakti kaile sarva-karma krta haya: when one worships the Supreme Lord, Krsna, in devotional service, one automatically performs all other pious activity. In this verse the words sva-tejasa dhvasta-guna-pravaham are very significant. The Supreme Personality of Godhead is never affected by the material qualities, although they all emanate from His spiritual energy. Those who are really conversant with this knowledge can utilize everything for the service of the Lord because nothing in this material world is unconnected with the Supreme Personality of Godhead.


                               TEXT 19




                         dayaya sarva-bhutesu

                        santustya yena kena va

                        sarvendriyopasantya ca

                        tusyaty asu janardanah




   dayaya--by showing mercy; sarva-bhutesu--to all living entities; santustya--by being satisfied; yena kena va--somehow or other; sarva-indriya--all the senses; upasantya--by controlling; ca--also; tusyati--becomes satisfied; asu--very soon; janardanah--the Lord of all living entities.




   By showing mercy to all living entities, being satisfied somehow or other and controlling the senses from sense enjoyment, one can very quickly satisfy the Supreme Personality of Godhead, Janardana.




   These are some of the ways in which the Supreme Personality of Godhead can be satisfied by the devotee. The first item mentioned is dayaya sarva-bhutesu, showing mercy to all conditioned souls. The best way to show mercy is to spread Krsna consciousness. The entire world is suffering for want of this knowledge. People should know that the Supreme Personality of Godhead is the original cause of everything. Knowing this, everyone should directly engage in His devotional service. Those who are actually learned, advanced in spiritual understanding, should preach Krsna consciousness all over the world so that people may take to it and make their lives successful.

   The word sarva-bhutesu is significant because it applies not only to species of life. The devotee can do good not only to humanity but to all living entities as well. Everyone can benefit spiritually by the chanting of the Hare Krsna maha-mantra. When the transcendental vibration of Hare Krsna is sounded, even the trees, animals and insects benefit. Thus when one chants the Hare Krsna maha-mantra loudly, he actually shows mercy to all living entities. To spread the Krsna consciousness movement throughout the world, the devotees should be satisfied in all conditions.


                         narayana-parah sarve

                        na kutascana bibhyati


                        api tulyartha-darsinah


   (Bhag. 6.17.28)


   It does not matter to the pure devotee if he has to go to hell to preach. The Supreme Lord lives in the heart of a hog, although the Lord is in Vaikuntha. Even while preaching in hell, a pure devotee remains a pure devotee by his constant association with the Supreme Personality of Godhead. To attain this state, one has to control his senses. The senses are automatically controlled when one's mind is engaged in the service of the Lord.


                               TEXT 20





                    aviratam edhita-bhavanopahutah

                  nija-jana-vasa-gatvam atmano 'yan

                 na sarati chidravad aksarah satam hi




   apahata--vanquished; sakala--all; esana--desires; amala--spotless; atmani--to the mind; aviratam--constantly; edhita--increasing; bhavana--with feeling; upahutah--being called; nija-jana--of His devotees; vasa--under the control; gatvam--going; atmanah--His; ayan--knowing; na--never; sarati--goes away; chidra-vat--like the sky; aksarah--the Supreme Personality of Godhead; satam--of the devotees; hi--certainly.




   Being completely cleansed of all material desires, the devotees are freed from all mental contamination. Thus they can always think of the Lord constantly and address Him very feelingly. The Supreme Personality of Godhead, knowing Himself to be controlled by His devotees, does not leave them for a second, just as the sky overhead never becomes invisible.




   It is clear from the previous verse that the Supreme Personality of Godhead, Janardana, is very quickly satisfied by the activities of His devotees. The pure devotee is always absorbed in the thought of the Supreme Personality of Godhead. As stated, srnvatam sva-kathah krsnah. By always thinking of Krsna, the pure devotee's heart is freed from all kinds of desires. In the material world, the heart of the living entity is filled with material desires. When the living entity is cleansed, he does not think of anything material. As the mind is completely cleansed, one attains the perfectional stage of mystic yoga, for then the yogi always sees the Supreme Personality of Godhead within his heart (dhyanavasthita-tad-gatena manasa pasyanti yam yoginah). As soon as the Lord is seated within the heart of the devotee, the devotee cannot be contaminated by the material modes of nature. As long as one is under the control of the material modes, he desires so many things and makes so many plans for material sense enjoyment, but as soon as the Lord is perceived in the heart, all material desires vanish. When the mind is completely free from material desire, the devotee can think of the Lord constantly. In this way he becomes completely dependent upon the lotus feet of the Lord. Caitanya Mahaprabhu prays:


                      ayi nanda-tanuja kinkaram

                   patitam mam visame bhavambudhau

                      krpaya tava pada-pankaja-

                    sthita-dhuli-sadrsam vicintaya


   "My dear Lord, I am Your eternal servant, but somehow or other I have fallen into the ocean of this material world. Kindly pick me up and fix me as a speck of dust at Your lotus feet." (Siksastaka 5) Similarly, Srila Narottama dasa Thakura prays:


          ha ha prabhu nanda-suta,     vrsabhanu-suta-yuta,

                        karuna karaha ei-bara

           narottama-dasa kaya,     na theliha ranga-paya,

                       toma vine ke ache amara


   "My dear Lord, You are now present with the daughter of King Vrsabhanu, Srimati Radharani. Now both of You please be merciful upon me. Don't kick me away, because I have no shelter other than You."

   In this way the Supreme Personality of Godhead becomes dependent on His devotee. The Lord is invincible, yet He is conquered by His pure devotee. He enjoys being dependent on His devotee, just as Krsna enjoyed being dependent on the mercy of mother Yasoda. Thinking Himself dependent on the devotee gives the Supreme Lord great enjoyment. Sometimes a king may engage a joker, and in the process of joking, the king is sometimes insulted. The king, however, enjoys these activities. Everyone worships the Supreme Lord with great reverence; therefore the Lord sometimes wants to enjoy the chastisement of His devotees. In this way the relationship eternally existing between the Lord and His devotees is fixed, just like the sky overhead.


                               TEXT 21




                   na bhajati kumanisinam sa ijyam

                harir adhanatma-dhana-priyo rasa-jnah

                 sruta-dhana-kula-karmanam madair ye

                   vidadhati papam akincanesu satsu




   na--never; bhajati--accepts; ku-manisinam--of persons with a dirty heart; sah--He; ijyam--offering; harih--the Supreme Lord; adhana--to those who have no material possessions; atma-dhana--simply dependent on the Lord; priyah--who is dear; rasa-jnah--who accepts the essence of life; sruta--education; dhana--wealth; kula--aristocracy; karmanam--and of fruitive activities; madaih--by pride; ye--all those who; vidadhati--perform; papam--disgrace; akincanesu--without material possessions; satsu--unto the devotees.




   The Supreme Personality of Godhead becomes very dear to those devotees who have no material possessions but are fully happy in possessing the devotional service of the Lord. Indeed, the Lord relishes the devotional activities of such devotees. Those who are puffed up with material education, wealth, aristocracy and fruitive activity are very proud of possessing material things, and they often deride the devotees. Even if such people offer the Lord worship, the Lord never accepts them.




   The Supreme Personality of Godhead is dependent on His pure devotees. He does not even accept the offerings of those who are not devotees. A pure devotee is one who feels He does not possess anything material. A devotee is always happy in possessing the devotional service of the Lord. Devotees may sometimes appear materially poor, but because they are spiritually advanced and enriched, they are most dear to the Supreme Personality of Godhead. Such devotees are free from attachment to family, society, friendship, children and so on. They abandon affection for all these material possessions and are always happy in possessing the shelter of the lotus feet of the Lord. The Supreme Personality of Godhead understands the position of His devotee. If a person derides a pure devotee, he is never recognized by the Supreme Personality of Godhead. In other words, the Supreme Lord never excuses one who offends a pure devotee. There are many examples of this in history. A great mystic yogi, Durvasa Muni, offended the great devotee Ambarisa Maharaja. The great sage Durvasa was to be chastised by the Sudarsana cakra of the Lord. Even though the great mystic directly approached the Supreme Personality of Godhead, he was never excused. Those on the path of liberation should be very careful not to offend a pure devotee.


                               TEXT 22




                  sriyam anucaratim tad-arthinas ca

              dvipada-patin vibudhams ca yat sva-purnah

                 na bhajati nija-bhrtya-varga-tantrah

                katham amum udvisrjet puman krta-jnah




   sriyam--the goddess of fortune; anucaratim--who follows Him; tat--of her; arthinah--those who aspire to get the favor; ca--and; dvipada-patin--rulers of the human beings; vibudhan--demigods; ca--also; yat--because; sva-purnah--self-sufficient; na--never; bhajati--cares for; nija--own; bhrtya-varga--on His devotees; tantrah--dependent; katham--how; amum--Him; udvisrjet--can give up; puman--a person; krta-jnah--grateful.




   Although the Supreme Personality of Godhead is self-sufficient, He becomes dependent on His devotees. He does not care for the goddess of fortune, nor for the kings and demigods who are after the favors of the goddess of fortune. Where is that person who is actually grateful and will not worship the Personality of Godhead?




   Laksmi, the goddess of fortune, is worshiped by all materialistic men, including big kings, and demigods in heaven. Laksmi, however, is always after the Supreme Personality of Godhead, even though He does not require her service. Brahma-samhita says that the Lord is worshiped by hundreds and thousands of goddesses of fortune, but the Supreme Lord does not require service from any of them because if He so desires He can produce millions of goddesses of fortune through His spiritual energy, the pleasure potency. This very Personality of Godhead, out of His causeless mercy, becomes dependent on the devotees. How fortunate, then, is a devotee who is thus favored by the Personality of Godhead. What ungrateful devotee will not worship the Lord and enter into His devotional service? Actually, a devotee cannot forget his obligation to the Supreme Personality of Godhead even for a single moment. Srila Visvanatha Cakravarti Thakura says that both the Supreme Lord and His devotee are rasa jna, full of transcendental humor. The mutual attachment between the Supreme Lord and His devotee is never to be considered material. It always exists as a transcendental fact. There are eight types of transcendental ecstasy (known as bhava, anubhava, sthayi-bhava and so on), and these are discussed in The Nectar of Devotion. Those who are unaware of the position of the living entity and the Supreme Person, Krsna, think that the mutual attachment between the Lord and His devotees is a creation of the material energy. Factually such attachment is natural both for the Supreme Lord and for the devotee, and it cannot be accepted as material.


                               TEXT 23




                            maitreya uvaca

                         iti pracetaso rajann

                       anyas ca bhagavat-kathah

                       sravayitva brahma-lokam

                       yayau svayambhuvo munih




   maitreyah uvaca--Maitreya said; iti--thus; pracetasah--the Pracetas; rajan--O King; anyah--others; ca--also; bhagavat-kathah--topics about the relationship with the Supreme Personality of Godhead; sravayitva--after instructing; brahma-lokam--to Brahmaloka; yayau--went back; svayambhuvah--the son of Lord Brahma; munih--the great sage.




   The great sage Maitreya continued: My dear King Vidura, Sri Narada Muni, the son of Lord Brahma, thus described all these relationships with the Supreme Personality of Godhead to the Pracetas. Afterward, he returned to Brahmaloka.




   One has to hear about the Supreme Personality of Godhead from a pure devotee. The Pracetas got this opportunity from the great sage Narada, who told them of the activities of the Supreme Personality of Godhead and His devotees.


                               TEXT 24




                      te 'pi tan-mukha-niryatam

                         yaso loka-malapaham

                       harer nisamya tat-padam

                      dhyayantas tad-gatim yayuh




   te--the Pracetas; api--also; tat--of Narada; mukha--from the mouth; niryatam--gone forth; yasah--glorification; loka--of the world; mala--sins; apaham--destroying; hareh--of Lord Hari; nisamya--having heard; tat--of the Lord; padam--feet; dhyayantah--meditating upon; tat-gatim--unto His abode; yayuh--went.




   Hearing from Narada's mouth the glories of the Lord, which vanquish all the ill fortune of the world, the Pracetas also became attached to the Supreme Personality of Godhead. Meditating on His lotus feet, they advanced to the ultimate destination.




   Here it is seen that by hearing the glories of the Lord from a realized devotee the Pracetas easily attained strong attachment for the Supreme personality of Godhead. Then, meditating on the lotus feet of the Supreme Lord at the end of their lives, they advanced to the ultimate goal, Visnuloka. It is sure and certain that anyone who always hears the glories of the Lord and thinks of His lotus feet will reach that supreme destination. As Krsna says in Bhagavad-gita (18.65):


                      man-mana bhava mad-bhakto

                        mad-yaji mam namaskuru

                       mam evaisyasi satyam te

                        pratijane priyo 'si me


   "Always think of Me and become My devotee. Worship Me and offer your homage unto Me. Thus you will come to Me without fail. I promise you this because you are My very dear friend."


                               TEXT 25




                      etat te 'bhihitam ksattar

                      yan mam tvam pariprstavan

                         pracetasam naradasya

                        samvadam hari-kirtanam




   etat--this; te--unto you; abhihitam--instructed; ksattah--O Vidura; yat--whatever; mam--unto me; tvam--you; pariprstavan--inquired; pracetasam--of the Pracetas; naradasya--of Narada; samvadam--conversation; hari-kirtanam--describing the glories of the Lord.




   My dear Vidura, I have told you everything you wanted to know about the conversation between Narada and the Pracetas, the conversation describing the glories of the Lord. I have related this as far as possible.




   Srimad-Bhagavatam describes the glories of the Lord and His devotees. Because the whole subject matter is the glorification of the Lord, naturally the glorification of His devotees automatically follows.


                               TEXT 26




                            sri-suka uvaca

                          ya esa uttanapado


                        vamsah priyavratasyapi

                         nibodha nrpa-sattama




   sri-sukah uvaca--Sri Sukadeva Gosvami said; yah--which; esah--this dynasty; uttanapadah--of King Uttanapada; manavasya--the son of Svayambhuva Manu; anuvarnitah--described, following in the footprints of previous acaryas; vamsah--dynasty; priyavratasya--of King Priyavrata; api--also; nibodha--try to understand; nrpa-sattama--O best of kings.




   Sukadeva Gosvami continued: O best of kings [King Pariksit], I have now finished telling about the descendants of the first son of Svayambhuva Manu, Uttanapada. I shall now try to relate the activities of the descendants of Priyavrata, the second son of Svayambhuva Manu. Please hear them attentively.




   Dhruva Maharaja was the son of King Uttanapada, and as far as the descendants of Dhruva Maharaja or King Uttanapada are concerned, their activities have been described up to the point of the Pracetas. Now Sri Sukadeva Gosvami desires to describe the descendants of Maharaja Priyavrata, the second son of Svayambhuva Manu.


                               TEXT 27




                        yo naradad atma-vidyam

                        adhigamya punar mahim

                      bhuktva vibhajya putrebhya

                        aisvaram samagat padam




   yah--one who; naradat--from the great sage Narada; atma-vidyam--spiritual knowledge; adhigamya--after learning; punah--again; mahim--the earth; bhuktva--after enjoying; vibhajya--after dividing; putrebhyah--unto his sons; aisvaram--transcendental; samagat--achieved; padam--position.




   Although Maharaja Priyavrata received instructions from the great sage Narada, he still engaged in ruling the earth. After fully enjoying material possessions, he divided his property among his sons. He then attained a position by which he could return home, back to Godhead.


                               TEXT 28




                    imam tu kausaravinopavarnitam

                  ksatta nisamyajita-vada-sat-katham

                 pravrddha-bhavo 'sru-kalakulo muner

                  dadhara murdhna caranam hrda hareh




   imam--all this; tu--then; kausaravina--by Maitreya; upavarnitam--described; ksatta--Vidura; nisamya--after hearing; ajita-vada--glorification of the Supreme Lord; sat-katham--transcendental message; pravrddha--enhanced; bhavah--ecstasies; asru--of tears; kala--by particles; akulah--overwhelmed; muneh--of the great sage; dadhara--captured; murdhna--by the head; caranam--the lotus feet; hrda--by the heart; hareh--of the Supreme Personality of Godhead.




   My dear King, in this way, after hearing the transcendental messages of the Supreme Personality of Godhead and His devotees from the great sage Maitreya, Vidura was overwhelmed with ecstasy. With tears in his eyes, he immediately fell down at the lotus feet of his guru, his spiritual master. He then fixed the Supreme Personality of Godhead within the core of his heart.




   This is a sign of associating with great devotees. A devotee takes instructions from a liberated soul and is thus overwhelmed by ecstasy from transcendental pleasure. As stated by Prahlada Maharaja:


                  naisam matis tavad urukramanghrim

                   sprsaty anarthapagamo yad-arthah

                    mahiyasam pada-rajo-'bhisekam

                    niskincananam na vrnita yavat


   (Bhag. 7.5.32)


   One cannot become a perfect devotee of the Lord without having touched the lotus feet of a great devotee. One who has nothing to do with this material world is called niskincana. The process of self-realization and the path home, back to Godhead, means surrendering to the bona fide spiritual master and taking the dust of his lotus feet on one's head. Thus one advances on the path of transcendental realization. Vidura had this relationship with Maitreya, and he attained the results.


                               TEXT 29




                             vidura uvaca

                       so 'yam adya maha-yogin

                         bhavata karunatmana

                        darsitas tamasah paro

                        yatrakincana-go harih




   vidurah uvaca--Vidura said; sah--that; ayam--this; adya--today; maha-yogin--O great mystic; bhavata--by you; karuna-atmana--most merciful; darsitah--I have been shown; tamasah--of the darkness; parah--the other side; yatra--where; akincana-gah--approachable by the materially free; harih--the Supreme Personality of Godhead.




   Sri Vidura said: O great mystic, O greatest of all devotees, by your causeless mercy I have been shown the path of liberation from this world of darkness. By following this path, a person liberated from the material world can return home, back to Godhead.




   This material world is called tamah, dark, and the spiritual world is called light. The Vedas enjoin that everyone should try to get out of the darkness and go to the kingdom of light. Information of that kingdom of light can be attained through the mercy of a self-realized soul. One also has to get rid of all material desires. As soon as one frees himself from material desires and associates with a liberated person, the path back home, back to Godhead, is clear.


                               TEXT 30




                            sri-suka uvaca

                       ity anamya tam amantrya

                         viduro gajasahvayam

                       svanam didrksuh prayayau

                        jnatinam nirvrtasayah




   sri-sukah uvaca--Sri Sukadeva Gosvami said; iti--thus; anamya--offering obeisances; tam--unto Maitreya; amantrya--taking permission; vidurah--Vidura; gaja-sahvayam--the city of Hastinapura; svanam--own; didrksuh--desiring to see; prayayau--left that place; jnatinam--of his kinsmen; nirvrta-asayah--free from material desires.




   Sukadeva Gosvami continued: Vidura thus offered obeisances unto the great sage Maitreya and, taking his permission, started for the city of Hastinapura to see his own kinsmen, although he had no material desires.




   When a saintly person wants to see his kinsmen, he has no material desire to see them. He simply wants to give them some instructions so that they can benefit. Vidura belonged to the royal family of the Kauravas, and although he knew that all the family members were destroyed at the Battle of Kuruksetra, he nonetheless wanted to see his elder brother, Dhrtarastra, to see if he could deliver Dhrtarastra from the clutches of maya. When a great saintly person like Vidura sees his relatives, he desires only to deliver them from the clutches of maya. Vidura thus offered his respectful obeisances to his spiritual master and departed for the city of Hastinapura, the kingdom of the Kauravas.


                               TEXT 31




                        etad yah srnuyad rajan

                       rajnam hary-arpitatmanam

                       ayur dhanam yasah svasti

                       gatim aisvaryam apnuyat




   etat--this; yah--one who; srnuyat--hears; rajan--O King Pariksit; rajnam--of kings; hari--unto the Supreme Personality of Godhead; arpita-atmanam--who have given their life and soul; ayuh--duration of life; dhanam--wealth; yasah--reputation; svasti--good fortune; gatim--the ultimate goal of life; aisvaryam--material opulence; apnuyat--achieves.




   O King, those who hear these topics about kings who are completely surrendered to the Supreme Personality of Godhead obtain without difficulty a long life, wealth, good reputation, good fortune and, ultimately, the opportunity to return home, back to Godhead.


Thus end the Bhaktivedanta purports of the Fourth Canto, Thirty-first Chapter, of the Srimad-Bhagavatam, entitled "Narada Instructs the Pracetas."


                       END OF THE FOURTH CANTO


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