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Live from Sri Mayapur Candrodaya Mandir! HG Ravindra Svarupa Prabhu

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Sri Krishna Janmastami @ ISKCON Baroda, Gujarat, India 2009 -2

Live from Sri Mayapur Candrodaya Mandir! HG Ravindra Svarupa Prabhu

Date: February 13th, 2010 Verse: Srimad-Bhagavatam 3.32.29-30 Speaker: HG Ravindra Svarupa Prabhu

Lord Kapiladev is speaking. We are doing text 30. It is on the board but I was asked to do text 29 because we took a break for Siva-ratri from Bhagavatam class so we will go back and also do text 29.

etad vai sraddhaya bhaktya yogabhyasena nityasah samahitatma nihsango viraktya paripasyati

TRANSLATION: This perfect knowledge can be achieved by a person who is already engaged in devotional service with faith, steadiness and full detachment, and who is always absorbed in thought of the Supreme. He is aloof from material association.

PURPORT: The atheistic mystic practitioner of yoga cannot understand this perfect knowledge. Only persons who engage in the practical activities of devotional service in full Krsna consciousness can become absorbed in full samadhi. It is possible for them to see and understand the actual fact of the entire cosmic manifestation and its cause. It is clearly stated here that this is not possible to understand for one who has not developed devotional service in full faith. The words samahitatma and samadhi are synonymous. [End of Srila Prabhupada’s Purport to SB 3.32.30]

HG Ravindra Svarupa Prabhu: It starts with, etad - this, which then Srila Prabhupada calls-this perfect knowledge. So that is the previous verse. We can go back now and check out this perfect knowledge. What it is that we understand by the process that is given in verse thirty. So in twenty-nine,

yatha mahan aham-rupas tri-vrt panca-vidhah svarat ekadasa-vidhas tasya vapur andam jagad yatah [SB 3.32.29]

TRANSLATION: From the total energy - yatha mahan the mahat-tattva - the total energy, I have manifested the false ego - aham-rupas - the form of the I - the false ego, the three modes of material nature - tri-vrt, the five material elements - panca-vidhah which interestingly enough is svarat which here is the individual consciousness, the eleven senses - ekadasa-vidhas and tasya vapur - the material body. And then andam jagad yatah - similarly, the entire universe is andam jagat yatah - has come from the Supreme Personality of Godhead.

So no we will see in the purport - I have some notes on this computer. So lets go through the purport here because this is the knowledge that you can understand. [Purport within inverted commas.]

“The Supreme Lord is described as mahat-pada, which means that the total material energy, known as the mahat-tattva, is lying at His lotus feet. The origin or the total energy of the cosmic manifestation is the mahat-tattva. From the mahat-tattva all the other twenty-four divisions have sprung, namely the eleven senses (including the mind), the five sense objects, the five material elements, and then consciousness, intelligence and false ego.” So it has already been explained by Kapiladev - that is the pradana - the primordial, undifferentiated material energy. It gets energized by the glance of the Lord then it is called the maha-tattva and then it starts to undergo changes and false ego appears.

It is very interesting that ahankara or aham-rupa as is here is the first thing because really everything else comes out of this false ego which means it’s the whole universe is meant for the living entities with their different identities or idea of themselves. This aham krtyah or aha rupa. So there is false ego and there is false ego in goodness, passion and ignorance. And then from false ego in goodness comes the mind, the powers of the controlling devattas. False ego in passion is buddhi plus the knowledge acquiring senses. Then in ignorance are the sense objects and the mahä bhuttasa, the five material elements. It all comes out of ahankara. So that has already been explained.

There is the Sankhya system of how the twenty-four elements plus contaminated consciousness. The Supreme Personality of Godhead is the cause of the mahä-tattva. And therefore in one sense because everything is an emination from the Supreme Lord there is no difference between the Lord and the cosmic manifestation. Notice Srila Prabhupada says in one sense - in one sense nothing is difference. It is all one and yet it is not all one.

So this is a acintya bheda-and-abheda-tattva, that you cannot think of the Lord and His energies as simply one or as simply different. Prabhupada has summarized this philosophy very neatly. At the very end of the Bhagavad-gita I will paraphrase a little bit - nothing is different from Krishna yet Krishna is different from everything. Just like a zim cohon (?) - you just put in your head and when you look around you think nothing is different from Krishna yet Krishna is different from everything.

So he is saying here everything is in a sense one because there is Krishna and Krishna’s energies and there is one thing. This is important here because this is part of this knowledge because the previous verse has talked about those who separate in essence, those who separate the Lord from His energies. One the one hand there is this atheistic system of Kapila the atheistic sankhya which just has - there is the material elements on the one hand; there are the souls - the purusa and prakriti, that is all there is and you just have to, and the process is to separate purusa from prakriti and you are liberated, finished! And they also must stay as a plurality of isolated purusas on who prakrti does not act. That is it! And there is no Isvara.

The atheistic view is there is only the energies and there is no Lord. The opposite views are also separating the Lord from his energies is the Mayavada philosophy of Sripada Sankaracarya because according to Sankaracarya the Absolute Truth has no energies. When you tell this to people who think they know Sankaracarya they are often quite shocked because Mayavada philosophy has been misrepresented to people because what Mayavada philosophy does is it devalues the energy of the Lord to nothing or as close to nothing as you can get. Their actual doctrine is that maya cannot be thought of as existing or as not existing. It is [Sanksrit} they are tottering. They got a problem there but anyway really the Absolute Truth has no . Prabhupada makes this very clear in his commentary in Caitanya-caritamrta. This is precisely what Sankaracarya does. There are no energies. Even though Vyasadev says that Brahman is that from which everything comes at the very beginning. Sankaracarya in effect says, “He is wrong!” As Mahaprabhu points out! So that is Mayavada philosophy - there is only Brahman, there is no second thing, there are no energies. That is another way of separating the Absolute Truth from its energies.

And the Vaisnava philosophers, there are four great acaryas - sampradaya acarayas have give different angle or ways of seeing how there are both - the Absolute Truth and His energies and what is their relationship between them. That is really the knowledge that one can understand only by bhakti. That is what he is saying here. So he says here -

“The Supreme Personality of Godhead is the cause of the mahat-tattva, and therefore, in one sense, because everything is an emanation from the Supreme Lord, there is no difference between the Lord and the cosmic manifestation. But at the same time the cosmic manifestation is different from the Lord.” [SB 3.32.29]

So Prabhupada states there fully. this philosophy. Now he comments on the word svarat. He says here, “The word svarat is very significant here. svarat means “independent.”" In the running translated svarat as the individual consciousness. So I just want to explain - there is two meanings. This word svarat - svarat with a ‘T’ cut, cut.. is the normative form of Svaraj. Svaraj as everybody in India knows is independent. It comes from this word raj - with a long ‘A’ The Sankrit verbal root, the dhatu means to rule, to reign, to be king or chief, to rule over, to govern. So Svaraj means that you are independent. The strict English word attabiologically(?) will be autonomous from Greek (?) no more self ruling, autonomous/independent - not dependant, that is svarat. But also the word raj, the verbal dhatu, the verbal root raj means to shine, to be luminous, to be splendid, to glitter and so on. So self-luminous therefore consciousness. So both of these meanings are there.

Very often you may notice Srila Prabhupada as he does here emphasizes the independence of the living entity and you may wander where that comes from. Prabhupada emphasizes it more than maybe many of the acaryas in the past. Where does it come from? This is the word svaraj that is the character. I don’t know what the relationship is myself but it is something I am thinking about between consciousnesses on the one hand and some degree of freedom on the other. They seem to go together. They seem to be two sides of the same coin - so somehow or the other I have to do some thinking about this.

So Prabhupada says here, “Svarat means “independent.” The Supreme Lord is independent, and the individual soul is also independent.” This is very important for bhakti. If we use that independence to surrender to the Supreme Personality of Godhead it is not coerced (?) it is not surrender. The Supreme Lord is independent. Of course we all know He is called in the very beginning, abhijnah svarat. [SB 1.1.1] This characteristic, the Supreme Lord is independent and the individual soul is also independent. Although there is no comparison between the two qualities of independence - lining entity is minutely independent and the Supreme Lord is fully independent. That should be easy to understand.

I have some limited independence. Say for example I am a prisoner in jail. I am going to be executed. So I don’t have much independence. I have got shackles and armed guards. They say, “Okay for your last meal you could either have juice or water.” So that is your free choice. So you have minute independence. That is your freedom. It is constraint but it is there. You have some freedom still. Similarly we are under the superintendent of the Lord at all times. We are being governed by the laws of material nature but we do have some independence. Free citizens in the state have some more independence than the people in jail but still we follow the laws. So we are constrained but there is something more.

Living entities in different bodies can exercise their independence in different degrees. A human form of life has greater consciousness and with that greater consciousness goes somewhat independence. So by the way the idea that there is fate or karma is compatible with this idea of minute independence. I suppose a dog has some freedom. It can pass urine here on a tree or the fire hydrant for example. That may be his free choice. I mean I don’t know how the details work but something like that!

“Although there is no comparison between the two qualities of independence, the living entity is minutely [that means very small] independent, and the Supreme Lord is fully independent.” By the way in the Bhagavatam you will find that Brahma is called svarat and Lord Indra in other places is called svarat. They have their little areas of were are lord. So if I have a little place where I reign supreme - in the office I am in charge of the supply closet. That means I am svarat. I have my little ruler ship. So that is his discussion on svarat.

Now he goes on to the other big point of this verse - the analogy between the soul individual body and the soul universe of the universal body. So you will see there is this comparison here. “As the individual soul has a material body made of five elements and the senses, the supreme independent Lord similarly has the gigantic body of the universe.” That is the very final words of this verse - andam jagad yatah - as from whom all these other things, the living entities come. So also andam jagad - the universe.

“The individual body is temporary; similarly, the entire universe, which is considered to be the body of the Supreme Lord, is also temporary, and both the individual and universal bodies are products of the mahat-tattva. One has to understand the differences with intelligence. Everyone knows that his material body has developed from a spiritual spark, [the atma] and similarly the universal body has developed from the supreme spark, Supersoul [the Paramatma]. As the individual body develops from the individual soul, the gigantic body of the universe develops from the Supreme Soul.”

That is why for us physics and theology are really the same. “Just as the individual soul has consciousness, the Supreme Soul is also conscious.” Prabhupada said that we are small samples of God and you can understand Krishna by examining ourselves. One time he said in a lecture, “We see that sometimes that people like to play on - little boys like to play on flutes.” Where does this come from? janmady asya yato [SB 1.1.1] The flute playing propensity is there in Krishna. The origin of American baseball comes from Balarama - Dvivida the gorilla for example. Sports are there but not ice hockey. That is a complete illusion. (Laughter.)

So there is a similarity. We are small samples. “Just as the individual soul has consciousness, the Supreme Soul is also conscious. But although there is a similarity between the consciousness of the Supreme Soul and the consciousness of the individual soul, the individual soul’s consciousness is limited, whereas the consciousness of the Supreme Soul is unlimited.”

At least as far as the universal body my consciousness - it’s boundary is pretty much at the skin in this body and so similarly the Supersoul in this case will be Garbodaksayi Visnu, His consciousness is pervading the entire universe whereas Maha Visnu as the Supersoul of all the universes together, Karnadaksayi Visnu.

“This is described in Bhagavad-gita (13.3). Ksetra-jnam capi mam viddhi: the Supersoul is present in every field of activity, just as the individual soul is present in the individual body. Both of them are conscious. The difference is that the individual soul is conscious of the individual body only, whereas the Supersoul is conscious of the total number of individual bodies.”

In other words there are two people at home, me and Krishna. So that is the knowledge. “This perfect knowledge can be achieved by a person who is always engaged in devotional service with faith, steadiness, with full detachment and who is always absorbed in thoughts of the Supreme. He is aloof from material association.” It says achieved this knowledge, Prabhupada refers to this is how you experience the world.

Prabhupada once said in a lecture, “Don’t see a tree see Krishna.” That doesn’t mean the tree is God but on the other hand when you see that tree see it in relationship to Krishna and we have different ways in the Bhagavatam to do that. Analytically to understand that how the tree came about, for example, who’s energies they are, there is a soul in the tree, that soul has karma, this tree is formed by Krishna’s energy in a different way, it exists by Krishna’s mercy and the other way is that from the universal form you may think of the vegetation of the trees like the hairs on the Lord’s body. That is another way. So there are different ways. We do not simply see this object of the tree in isolation from Krishna.

The act of isolating from Krishna, when we see it in isolation from Krishna
- I am the enjoyer of this tree. It is somehow or the other mine to use, mine to enjoy, mine to chop down. So this is maya - not seeing Krishna - separating myself and the senses and the object of the senses from Krishna. And that is done by those people who divide Krishna’s energy from Krishna’s energies. The Mayavadis do it. Actually this philosophy fosters bhakti because bhakti means to engage the senses in the master of the senses, to engage everything in Krishna’s service. Prabhupada calls this the re-spiritualization of matter. It really is spirit but we are now seeing this illusion called matter. The illusion of matter when I have separated the object from Krishna i. e., this object is something for me to enjoy.

In the Mayavadi philosophy the object is separated from Krishna. You don’t engage them in Krishna’s service and therefore you just simply become detached and apparently the whole world vanishes. It is not really there. It disappears and in fact as Sankaracarya says that if you are in maya according to Sankaracarya the world of maya is god emanating the world and the individual soul is in that world enjoying. And all that disappears and the worshipper and the act of worshipping becomes one. Even that is gone. That is Sankaracarya. So the world is like useless. It is separated from God and it disappears and the materialists. They are only in the world to enjoy.

So neither of those things foster bhakti. Bhakti means that these things are Krishna, they are Krishna’s energy and they are to be engaged in Krishna’s service and they regain their spiritual qualities when they are so engaged. My senses become purified. The object of the senses become purified. The activities of the senses become purified. So this is bhakti.

This perfect knowledge can be achieved. There is a vision, seeing the world as it is without the layer of maya. We have to reform our senses. So therefore this can be done not simply by studying books but by sraddhaya bhaktya - devotional service carried out with sraddha, trust and faith. By the way when we say, adau sraddha [Bhakti-rasamrta-sindhu 1.4.15-16], it begins with faith.

Then this whole idea that you guys are religious and you have faith and over here in the university we have science. There is no faith. But if you want to undertake any process of knowledge in always begins in faith. If you go sit in you classroom and open you notebook and some guy you have never seen before in your life stands in front of you and starts talking to you about metaphysical entities, i. e. things that are totally beyond any human experience - lets say protons, electrons and neutrons. Those are theoretical entities.

You may have seen in the newspaper here is a picture of an atom. There are three dots on a . and that is an atom. Well if the whole theory is true then yes then it is an indication that something back there that is in principle un seeable. And he tells you about these things and you believe every word of it. You write it all down, you memorize it. That is faith. And you can say, “Well people have used this knowledge and they have achieved certain things. This is a professor with a degree from a certain university. My faith is well placed.” But it is still faith!

Then they say, “Well it is not like religion. It is just not faith. You can do the experiment.” “Okay show me the experiment.” “Well you cannot do this experiment until you understand science. So first of all you need to have at least to understand the experiment, you need to have atleast four years of college and maybe a couple of years at graduate school. Actually we don’t let anybody near that equipment. Go away.” “So you mean I have to wait seven years before I can do the experiment?” “Seven years!” Ladies and gentleman on pure faith!

We demand even less than that because we also say that here is a process. We have our professors; our experts and we have paresanubhavo [SB 11.2.42] direct experience of the Supreme. We have direct experience. This is s science. Prabhupada translated the word vijnaya as science because jnaya, knowledge means information that is contained in the Vedas and its science it is experienced directly by the practioner through his own experience. He calls this realized knowledge. It is experienced knowledge. Just as it takes to get advanced scientific knowledge in chemistry or something you have to go to a university and do all these other stuff otherwise all of us we accept this on faith. Not only just us. If you get the cutting edge of any science there is about ten people that actually do this stuff and maybe another hundred or two hundred that understand it and everybody else accepts it on faith because it is very technical.

So it is all running on faith. Where do you place your faith? For ourselves we have experience - if you do this, if you do this, but our experience is that you have to make your self the proper object of perception. Therefore Krishna states in a preliminary way in the Bhagavad-gita that knowledge depends upon sattva-guna. What university says as a criterion for becoming a student that you have to do the things that makes you sattvic? To enroll in this university you have to do these things so that the modes of passion and the modes of ignorance will not affect you? There goes the system of education!

We say things like we understand the soul, the self, consciousness and the Supreme soul. People say that is just faith. It isn’t. And there is a process of knowledge you can follow. Here it is. If you don’t want to do it that is okay but you can’t say that it is not there because you don’t feel like doing it. It is a fact that you will have to give up cigarettes or beer or whatever to pursue this cause. Well to pursue any path of knowledge you have to give up something. If you really serious about becoming a scientist you have to stay up late night over bubbling test tubes while everybody is out partying or watching the latest television series. You can’t do that. It requires some austerity. This austerity they don’t want.

This is described here etad vai sraddhaya bhaktya yogabhyasena nityasah - by the practice of yoga the word abhyasena shows up a number of times in the Bhagavad-gita. It is interesting to track it down. Krishna says in the twelfth chapter, “You should fix you mind completely in Me and if you cannot do that then abhyasena yoga.” Prabhupada translate there as the regulative principles of devotional service abhyasena yoga. And in the eight chapter Krishna recommends, abhyasa-yoga-yuktena cetasa nanya-gamina. [Bg 8.8] That is what the process is all about - cetasa nanya-gamina - without your attention going anyway else by abhyasa-yoga.

In the sixth chapter He describes it very clearly that whenever the mind wanders from the self you bring it back. The mind is restless. It is unsteady but you are going to make your attention like a candle flame in a windless place, steady and fixed on the Lord without any deviation. And so the practice of yoga Prabhupada points out in the very beginning of that chapter that yoga is centered around the mind. Big news for the whole of Manhattan! But it is not about the body! It is about the mind. They don’t ever get to the mind part. They hardly ever do anyway! But it is about the mind. Everything else is preliminary to fixing the mind.

And Krishna says, you fix the mind on Him and when it goes away you bring it back. And then of course Arjuna’s big objection is - this is rough. Try to control the mind sometimes. It is not like that. It is like controlling the wind. You want to make you attention like a candle in a windless room and here is this hurricane coming and blowing it out. What to do? Krishna says which I am very thankful for - I understand the problem! It is hard to control the mind but it can be done. And how? He says by abyasa and vairagya.

Abhyasa means practice. The same word that Krishna uses in the twelfth chapter and the eight chapter - by practice. Practice means - the root meaning of practice as in abhyasa is repetition. When you practice something we want to gain a skill you do it over and over again. You want to learn the piano you have to sit there when everybody else is out playing and you have to play the scales up and down, up and own and you practice. You make a mistake. You start over and you practice. Practice means repetition. When we say practice makes perfect it means there is repetition. Actors practice so they get good. So we also require practice and Krishna describes what that is.

The mind wanders, you bring it back. Especially we have our activity of japa. It means fixing the mind on Krishna. When we discover that somehow it has gone away we bring it back. That is called chanting on the clearing stage. That means that the holy name is not manifest but atleast the dawning light of the holy name is manifest and that destroys all sinful reactions and we make progress. Otherwise if we just let the mind wander and don’t do anything that is nama-aparadha - not effective. Of course if we are pure it is fixed already - no problem.

The default setting of our attention is Krishna. If we have to think about something else as soon as possible it goes back to Krishna. That is the default setting of the perfectional stage - is Krishna. Otherwise we have to practice. Atleast that is practicing! It is not pure nama - it is not suddha-nama butit is nama-abhasa. It is a reflection of the name, which according to namacarya destroys our sinful reaction and the fruit is mukti - not bad! Then you can go on from there. And if we are not making progress we know what we have to do. It is a science. It is a science.

The other thing is that it is also said in this verse as Krishna later says to Arjuna abhayasa and vairagya. Why? Because if you want to make the mind peaceful nothing creates mental storms than material desires and attachments! And so vairagya has to be there. These are the prescriptions. And if we do these things then there will be fully realized knowledge. What Kapila said will also be seen and understood by us. So this is his instruction and we will see Krishna everywhere.

Prabhupada describes this in the Bhagavatam - a pure devotee sees simultaneously Krishna’s pastimes being broadcast in his heart. This is transcendence. He kind of calls it like a transcendental television as they are going on we will find broadcast in the heart at the same time he sees Krishna here in the material world everywhere and in everything. That’s the mission.

We have a few minutes any comments or questions?

Question: In the ninth chapter Krishna says that,… HG Ravindra Svarup Prabhu: Direct experience - pratyaksa is usually used for sense perception because it means in front of the eyes. Pratyaksa - right in front of the eyes! So we have to have the spiritual senses. We also believe in sense perception but the perception of purified persons. Rupa Goswami says sastra comes from vidusa pratyaksa - those who are wise. So there is sense perception everywhere.

In Brahma-samhita we have the record of Lord Brahma’s sense perception when he sees the lord. So these are all sense perceptions. Vyasadev’s vision! This is all their pratyaksa. It is not ordinary pratyaksa. It is vidusa pratyaksa. That is where it comes from.

I was told we have to leave at nine o’clock sharp and he is very scary so I better stop. (Laughter.) Thank you very much. Srila Prabhupada ki jai! [End.]

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