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721001 - Lecture SB 01.03.26 - Los Angeles

His Divine Grace
A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada

721001SB-LOS ANGELES - October 01, 1972 - 41:19 Minutes

Prabhupāda: (sings along Govindam) Govindam ādi-puruṣaṁ tam ahaṁ bhajāmi.

Devotees: Jaya.

Prabhupāda: (leads singing of Jaya Rādhā-Mādhava) (prema-dhvani) Thank you very much.

Devotees: All glories to Śrīla Prabhupāda. (devotees offer obeisances) (break)

Prabhupāda: Recite.

Pradyumna: Oṁ namo bhagavate vāsudevāya. Oṁ namo bhagavate vāsudevāya. Oṁ namo bhagavate vāsudevāya.

Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam, Canto One, Chapter 3, verse 26. (leads chanting of verse) (Prabhupāda and devotees repeat)

avatārā hy asaṅkhyeyā
hareḥ sattva-nidher dvijāḥ
yathāvidāsinaḥ kulyāḥ
sarasaḥ syuḥ sahasraśaḥ
(SB 1.3.26)

Prabhupāda: Ladies. (ladies chant) That's all. So, word meaning?

Pradyumna: (leads chanting of synonyms)

avatārāḥ—incarnations; hi—certainly; asaṅkhyeyāḥ—innumerable; hareḥ—of Hari, the Lord; sattva-nidheḥ—of the ocean of goodness; dvijāḥ—the brāhmins; yathā—as it is; avidāsinaḥ—inexhaustible; kulyāḥ—rivulets; sarasaḥ—of vast lakes; syuḥ—are; sahasraśaḥ—thousands of.

Translation: "O brāhmins, the incarnations of the Lord are innumerable rivulets, flowing from inexhaustible sources of water."

Prabhupāda: So incarnation of God, there is no limit. The example is given, just like there is no limit of waves in the ocean, similarly, there is no limit of incarnation. Sattva-nidheḥ. Nidhi means ocean, and sattva means existentional. And sattva means also goodness. Sattva-nidheḥ.

So goodness, here in this material world there is the modes of nature: goodness, passion and ignorance. But real goodness is in the spiritual world. Here in the material world the goodness is, of course, taken as the highest quality, but such goodness is liable to be infected by the other two qualities, passion and ignorance. It is exposed. And here also, goodness is also the cause of bondage in this material world. As passion is cause of bondage, ignorance is also cause of bondage, similarly, the material goodness is also cause of bondage.

So we have to transcend the material goodness also. Then, when we get stability of goodness, that is spiritual life. When it is disturbed by passion and ignorance, that means it is not yet perfect. Therefore, sometimes we find a student is doing everything nice, goodness, but he is attacked by passion and ignorance, and he becomes entangled.

So real goodness means without being attacked by the other modes, passion and ignorance. That goodness is in God. Hareḥ sattva-nidheḥ. When you go to the spiritual platform, sattvaṁ viśuddham . . . that spiritual platform is called goodness unaffected by other qualities. Sattvaṁ viśuddham. Viśuddham means complete pure. No adulteration. So long we are in the material platform, the goodness is liable to be adulterated. Just like we purchase milk from the market, or anything, there is adulteration. Although there are so many laws by the government, "You cannot adulterate, you cannot do this, you cannot . . ." but people, propensity is to adulterate.

So you cannot get pure thing. The whole atmosphere is so polluted. Therefore here the so-called goodness also is the cause of bondage. "Now I have become a Vaiṣṇava. I have become now learned." And God is so clever that "Now you fight with this passion and ignorance, if you are so good." And he fails, falls a victim. You see? So by pure devotional service only, you can remain in pure goodness. Otherwise it will be adulterated. Pure devotional service.

What is that pure devotional service? Anyābhilāṣitā-śūnyam (Brs. 1.1.11). No material desire. Because desire is the cause. If I think . . . I am brahmacārī, but I am thinking of always sex or woman . . . they have been described in the Bhagavad-gītā as cheater. Therefore we have to think of Kṛṣṇa always. Otherwise, as soon as there is little loophole, māyā will enter immediately and make your goodness adulterated. Māṁ ca 'vyabhicāreṇa bhakti-yogena yaḥ sevate. Avyabhicāreṇa bhakti-yogena. Without any adulteration. Anyone who is engaged in devotional service without any adulteration:

māṁ ca 'vyabhicāreṇa
bhakti-yogena yaḥ sevate
sa guṇān samatītyaitān . . .
(BG 14.26)

Guṇān, plural number. Guṇān means this material world: goodness, passion and ignorance, three kinds of qualities. He can surpass these three qualities of material. Sa guṇāṇ samatītya etān brahma-bhūyāya kalpate. At that time he becomes completely spiritualized. He is spirit soul.

Every one of us, we are spirit soul, part and parcel of God, but we have been now covered by the material qualities. So the example is given . . . I think I have several times recited this example: When the spirit soul is separated from God, just like a small sparks is separated from the whole fire, falls down . . . (knocking sound) What is that sound?

So the sparks falls down on the ground. So there are three possibilities. If the sparks falls on dry grass, then immediately there is little fire, because grass is dry. And if it falls down on the green vegetation, then it is not immediately extinguished; there is little heat. But if the sparks falls down in the water, then immediately extinguished.

So as soon as we are separated from God . . . we are all parts and parcel of God. Separation means when I want to imitate God. I want to become exactly . . . because enviousness, due to enviousness . . . icchā-dveṣa samutthena (BG 7.27). When we become envious, "Oh, God is enjoyer, so why not I become an enjoyer?" "Yes," God says, "you become enjoyer." So then he falls down in this material world.

So if he falls down or contacts the mode of goodness, that is considered the fire spark falling on dry grass. Dry grass means . . . goodness means one who is situated almost on the spiritual platform. Just like the brahminical qualification: truthfulness, controlling the senses, controlling the mind, simplicity, full of knowledge, practical application of knowledge in life, and completely faith in God. That is brahminical qualification. Satyaṁ śamo damas titikṣā ārjavam, jñānaṁ vijñānam āstikyaṁ brahma-karma svabhāva-jam (BG 18.42).

And passion means strong desire to enjoy this material world. Generally, the kings, the politicians, they are very much passionate to encroach upon others' property, other nations, like that. And ignorance means they are neither passionate nor good. "All right, let me eat something and sleep." That's all. That is ignorance. They are satisfied if they get good opportunity for sleeping. That's all. That is ignorance.

So these three qualities are there within this material world. And one has to transcend these three qualities. And that can be done . . . anyone can do that. Kṛṣṇa does not say that only the person who is in goodness, who has the brahminical platform, he can be engaged. Actually, he can be engaged, not in the passion. But if you be engaged in devotional service, then immediately you transcend all the qualities. You become more than brahmin—Vaiṣṇava. Vaiṣṇava means he is transcendental to the brahminical qualities also. But if you do not maintain even brahminical qualities, then where you are a Vaiṣṇava?

So to become a Vaiṣṇava is not so easy thing, because it is transcendental to the brahminical quality. But it is very easy. Lord Caitanya has made it easy, provided you stick to the principles. If you simply chant regularly Hare Kṛṣṇa . . . this is the special facility for the people in this age. You can remain steady in transcendental position. Ceto-darpaṇa-mārjanaṁ bhava-mahā-dāvāgni-nirvāpaṇam (CC Antya 20.12). As soon as you remain in the offenseless chanting platform, immediately you become transcendental to these material qualities. Very simple. You don't require to study Vedānta. The Vedānta is there. It reveals.

yasya deve parā bhaktir
yathā deve tathā gurau
tasyaite kathitā hy arthāḥ
prakāśante . . .
(ŚU 6.23)

The Vedānta philosophy will reveal automatically. You haven't got to study. But provided you have got unflinching faith in God and spiritual master, all this Vedānta knowledge will be revealed within you.

Yasya deve parā bhaktir yathā deve tathā gurau. Guru-kṛṣṇa-kṛpāya (CC Madhya 19.151). Caitanya-caritāmṛta, it is said that you can make advancement in spiritual life by the mercy of Kṛṣṇa and guru. You don't try to overlap guru and get Kṛṣṇa's mercy immediately. That is not possible. That is not possible. You have to go through the proper channel.

Anyone who is thinking that, "I shall make spiritual advancement without guru," he is wrongly thinking. It is not possible. Just like if you want to see a big man, you have to go through the servant of that man. You have to take permission. The servant may say, "Sir, such-and-such man wants to see you. He is very nice man, appears to be a good man." "Oh," the master says, "he is good man? All right, bring him." By the recommendation of the servant.

Therefore we sing daily, yasya prasādād bhagavat-prasādaḥ. By the mercy of guru, immediately we become . . . get the mercy of God. Yasya prasādād bhagavat-prasādo yasyāprasādān na gatiḥ kuto 'pi. Yasyāprasādāt. By . . . if guru is not satisfied, then na gatiḥ kuto 'pi. He has no gati. Gati means advancement. He has no advancement.

Dhyāyaṁ stuvaṁs tasya yaśas tri-sandhyam. Therefore this Gurvaṣṭaka, saṁsāra-dāvānala, we have to sing. So God's incarnation, here it is said, "There are many incarnation." So guru is also incarnation of God, mercy incarnation of God. Guru means that . . . God is within you, caitya-guru, the guru, or the spiritual master, within your heart. Īśvaraḥ sarva-bhūtānāṁ hṛd-deśe 'rjuna tiṣṭhati (BG 18.61).

So this Paramātmā is also incarnation of God. And the same Paramātmā, when He comes before you, being very much merciful upon you, to teach you from outside, that is guru. Therefore it is said, sākṣād-dharitvena samasta-śāstraiḥ: guru is the mercy incarnation of God. Sākṣāt, direct; hari-tvena, he is Hari, God. Samasta-śāstraiḥ. It is not that somewhere it is stated, somewhere it is not stated. No. In all Vedic literature. Sākṣād-dharitvena samasta-śāstrair uktaḥ. Uktaḥ means "It is said." And tathā bhāvyata eva sadbhiḥ. Sadbhiḥ, those who are real devotees, they accept this: "Yes, guru is exactly representative of Kṛṣṇa, mercy representative."

But from the guru's side, a disciple may respect—may respect; must respect: it is not "may"—must respect guru as God. But guru should not say that "Now I have become God." Then he is immediately fallen. If guru says: "I am incarnation of God, so you simply worship me . . ." So many things are going on, Māyāvāda philosophy, "There is no difference between God . . ." But a real guru says that "I am servant of the servant of the servant of the servant of God." Gopī-bhartuḥ pada-kamalayor dāsa-dāsa-dāsānudāsaḥ (CC Madhya 13.80). Real guru will never claim, although he is given the honor of God, but he does not claim, never claims that he is God. He always claims that "I am the most fallen servant of God." This is the position.

So as there are incessantly waves of the ocean . . . you have seen when you go to the beach, always wave; twenty-four hours, there are wave. Similarly, incarnations are also coming. Why not? There are innumerable universes, not one universe. We have studied in the Brahmā-saṁhitā, yasyaika-niśvasita-kālam athāvalambya jīvanti loma-vilajā jagad-aṇḍa-nāthāḥ (Bs. 5.48). Jagad-aṇḍa-nāthāḥ. Jagad-aṇḍa means universe. So in each and every universe there are the nātha, the controller. Nātha means controller. The Brahmā, Lord Brahmā.

So just imagine, through the inhaling and exhaling of Mahā-Viṣṇu in the Causal Ocean, so many universes are coming out. And each and every universe there are so many planets, and it requires to preach the glories of the Lord. So just imagine how many incarnations are required to enlighten the people in each and every universe. As we are trying to forget Kṛṣṇa, or God—we are all sons of God—but God cannot forget us, because we are sons. God is trying to reclaim us. He is coming. Kṛṣṇa is coming personally to canvass that, "Why you are rotting here? Why don't you come? You just surrender and be happy." "No. I shall work here." "That's all right."

So working, beginning from Brahmā down to the hog, they are trying to be happy by working themselves. But they will not surrender to Kṛṣṇa. But Kṛṣṇa wants them back to home, back to Godhead. Therefore He says in the Bhagavad-gītā that:

sarva-dharmān parityajya
mām ekaṁ śaraṇaṁ vraja
ahaṁ tvāṁ sarva-pāpebhyo
mokṣayiṣyāmi mā śucaḥ
(BG 18.66)

"You have committed so much sinful activities during your material existence. There is no limit. But if you surrender unto Me, I immediately make you immune from all reaction of your sinful life. Immediately." Just like Caitanya Mahāprabhu. When He met Jagāi Mādhāi . . . you know the story. Their life was sinful. What is that sinful? That illicit sex, intoxication, meat-eating and gambling. This Jagāi-Mādhāi. They were born in nice brahmin family, but due to bad association, they became drunkard, prostitute hunters, gambler and meat-eater. So they were simply creating disturbance.

So these people will create disturbance. The whole world is disturbed. Why? Because it is full of these sinful men: drunkards, woman hunters, gamblers and intoxicants. The whole world. And they are expecting peace. Nonsense. Where is peace? First of all educate them to become sinless. Then you talk of peace. There cannot be peace.

So these two brothers were creating disturbance in the . . . on the street, and there was a crowd. Lord Nityānanda saw the crowd and inquired from persons, "What is this crowd?" Lord Nityānanda and Haridāsa Ṭhākura were out for preaching. So people informed that, "There are two brothers, most sinful, and they are creating disturbance. So there is crowd." So immediately Nityānanda Prabhu said: "Why not deliver these two brothers immediately? Then it will be a great credit for Caitanya Mahāprabhu."

This is preacher. He is thinking the credit of the master, not for Himself. He risked His life. And the Jagāi-Mādhāi brothers hurt Him on the head by throwing a stone. So blood also came out, but still, they said: "All right, it is all right. You have hurt Me. Blood is oozing out. That doesn't matter. You chant Hare Kṛṣṇa." That is preaching. Not that I remain safety and chanting Hare Kṛṣṇa. No. We have to go out, meet the Jagāi-Mādhāi. That is Caitanya Mahāprabhu's mission. Because the world is full of Jagāi-Mādhāi.

So when Lord Caitanya Mahāprabhu became very angry because these people, these two brothers, injured Nityānanda Prabhu, so He became firelike. So you should be firelike when a Vaiṣṇava is insulted. Not that at that time tṛṇād api sunīcena, to become straw. No. You should be fire when Viṣṇu and Vaiṣṇava is insulted. So Caitanya Mahāprabhu showed this example. He became very, very angry: "I shall kill these two brothers immediately. Nonsense."

So Nityānanda Prabhu entreated, "Oh, My dear sir, this time You have promised not to accept any weapon. In Your incarnation as Lord Rāmacandra, You took up weapon. As Kṛṣṇa also, You took a weapon. But this time You wanted to deliver these poor souls. So don't kill them. Excuse them. Accept them." This is Nityānanda Prabhu's business, guru's business. So Lord Caitanya simply asked them, "Now if you . . ." They also in the meantime fell down on the lotus feet of Lord Caitanya that, "We are so sinful. We have done wrong. Kindly excuse us."

So Lord Caitanya Mahāprabhu made one condition that, "You . . . your life is full of sinful activities. So if you simply promise that, 'I shall not do anymore,' then I can accept you." So they said: "Sir, I'll not do. We'll not do anymore." This is required. When you are initiated, you promise, "No illicit sex, no intoxication, no meat-eating, no gambling." And if you do privately all these things, then what kind of man you are? Don't be cheater. Be plain. When you promise that, "We shall not do these things," don't do it again. Then you remain in goodness. That's all. Nobody can disturb you. And if you pollute yourself silently, then this goodness will gone.

So this is the warning. Once you are initiated on the promise that you shall not do these all nonsense, then you remain perfectly in goodness. Mām eva ye prapadyante māyām etāṁ taranti (BG 7.14). Māyā cannot do anything. But if you cheat yourself, cheat your spiritual master, cheat God, then you'll be cheated by māyā.

Thank you very much.

Devotees: Jaya! All glories to Śrīla Prabhupāda. (devotees offer obeisances) (end)