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Live from Sri Mayapur Candrodaya Mandir! HH Bhakti Caitanya Swami

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Darshan arati (Deities new dresses), midnight abhishek (bathing the Deities at midnight, the time of Lord Krishna's birth), huge crowds in the temple, scenes from the temple area, road scene at night.

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

Live from Sri Mayapur Candrodaya Mandir! HH Bhakti Caitanya Swami

Live from Sri Mayapur Candrodaya Mandir! HH Bhakti Caitanya Swami

Date: February 8,2010 Verse: Srimad-Bhagavatam 3.32.25 Speaker: HH Bhakti Caitanya Swami

sa tadaivatmanatmanam nihsangam sama-darsanam heyopadeya-rahitam arudham padam iksate

TRANSLATION: Because of his transcendental intelligence, the pure devotee is equipoised in his vision and sees himself to be uncontaminated by matter. He does not see anything as superior or inferior, and he feels himself elevated to the transcendental platform of being equal in qualities with the Supreme Person.

PURPORT: Perception of the disagreeable arises from attachment. A devotee has no personal attachment to anything; therefore for him there is no question of agreeable or disagreeable. For the service of the Lord he can accept anything, even though it may be disagreeable to his personal interest. In fact, he is completely free from personal interest, and thus anything agreeable to the Lord is agreeable to him. For example, for Arjuna at first fighting was not agreeable, but when he understood that the fighting was agreeable to the Lord, he accepted the fighting as agreeable. That is the position of a pure devotee. For his personal interest there is nothing, which is agreeable or disagreeable; everything is done for the Lord, and therefore he is free from attachment and detachment. That is the transcendental stage of neutrality. A pure devotee enjoys life in the pleasure of the Supreme Lord. [End of Srila Prabhupada’s purport.]

HH Bhakti Caitanya Swami: So Srila Sanatan Goswami in Hari-bhakti-vilas [11.676] gives the definition of surrender to Krishna, which is also quoted in Sri Caitanya-caritamrta - that particular verse. So it is a very important verse and it is a very important concept. And first is anukulyasya sankalpa then pratikulyasya varjanam. These are the first two principles that - anukulyasya, those things that are favorable to Krishna consciousness, to Krishna, to serving Krishna - sankalpa - they are to be accepted. They are to be embraced, not just accepted as opposed to rejected, but they are to be embraced.

We must take those things to our hearts and make them the focal points of our lives but pratikulyasya - those things that are unfavorable to devotional service to pleasing Krishna which do not please Krishna - varjanam or vivarjananm - they are to be rejected. In Bhagavad-gita Lord Krishna says, sarva-dharman parityajya [Bg 18.66] That we must abandon all other dharmas otherthan surrender to Krishna and Srila Prabhupada uses/translates the Sankrit term parityajya as abandon. I read one time that Srila Prabhupada is making it clear that it is not just like we put them aside or we just don’t bother with them but abandon - like abandon ship - get out - out the window, throw them away. We really want to separate ourselves from them, strongly.

And - mam ekam saranam [Bg 18.66] Just take shelter in Krishna. So these first two principles then as given by Srila Sanatan Goswami, who is our great acarya particular in regards to sambanda - our relationship with Krishna or establishing our connection with Krishna. He is the sambanda acarya. So first of all we must accept things that are favorable for devotional service and really embrace them whole-heartedly. And pratikulyasya - those things which are not favorable for devotional service, we reject them. Not that we just don’t accept but we reject them, put them aside, completely aside.

And raksisyatiti visvaso - see that Krishna is our only protector. Nobody else can really protect us, only Krishna. And goptrtve varanam tatha and atma-niksepa-karpanye sad-vidha saranagatih [Hari-bhakti-vilas 11.676] So in that 18.66 in Bhagavad-gita Krishna is referring to surrender. Srila Prabhupada is translating as surrender. The word is sarana in Sanskit and Srila Sanatan Goswami in that particular verse in Hari-bhakti-vilas - sad-vidha - these are the six principles of saranagati. It is the same thing - of surrender to the Lord.

Here it is being explained pure devotional service, the pure devotee is completely situated in this consciousness and of course Srila Prabhupada discusses this pint on many occasions that the devotee even though something appears favorable to the devotees personal interest but if it is not favorable for devotional service then the devotee will not accept it. And if something appears unfavorable to the devotee’s personal interest but if it is favorable to devotional service then the devotee will accept it and embrace it. This is how the devotee discriminates and this is how the devotee identifies things and acts. This is the orientation of the devotee. Yes this is very important.

Of course there are many examples, there are so many examples - here Srila Prabhupada gives the example of Arjuna in Bhagavad-gita. We are all very familiar with that example, that initially Arjuna, the great, great warrior was completely rejecting the idea of fighting on the basis of personal interests - I may have to kill people who are dear to me and what will my future be if I do things like that? Or on the basis of personal interest even as the great, great ksatriya he had said, “If anybody tells me, ‘put down your Gandiva bow.’ I will kill them.”

There in Bhagavad-gita he put down the Gandiva bow himself of his own volition! And he was crying. He was deeply distressed by that situation from the personal point of view. So of course we know very well Lord Krishna explained things to him, preached to him. And Lord Krishna is BIG preacher. He preached to him and He changed his mind completely, totally turned it around.

So by the end of Bhagavad-gita Lord Krishna asked Arjuna or He told Arjuna, “Now you have heard all these things now you do what you like to do.” And at that point Arjuna picked up his bow and he was ready to fight. And he fought. And Srila Prabhupada explains elsewhere that Arjuna when he was fighting - previously he was crying even though he is in the sort of material sense of manliness he was a real man. He was a really tough man but he had been crying like a sissy - you could say, but when he was fighting there on the battlefield by the inspiration of Krishna all on the inspiration of Krishna and accepting that. He had embraced that so much.

Srila Prabhupada explains elsewhere he was in such ecstasy fighting that it was if he was dancing on the battlefield, like we dance in kirtan. It was just a spontaneous display of joy and celebration. So Arjuna was on the battlefield, he was extremely happy. He was celebrating with his head and so on - but really it was actually like that. Not that he became a sadist or something, just a violent person but it was all Krishna conscious. It was all in terms of his service to Krishna. All in terms of what Krishna wanted. So he embraced like that. Whereas previously he had rejected the idea on the basis of personal considerations and so on like that. So there are many examples. There are many examples!

In the first canto of course there is very good example - Queen Kunti,

vipadah santu tah sasvat tatra tatra jagad-guro bhavato darsanam yat syad apunar bhava-darsanam [SB 1.8.25]

“That I wish that all those calamities would happen again and again because then we will see Your lotus feet again and again. And when we see Your lotus feet then - apunar bhava-darsanam, then we don’t have to see again apunar bhava - repeated birth and death. We just see Your lotus feet and that is Oh the most wonderful.”

So Srila Jiva Goswami in Priti-sandarbha quotes that verse of Queen Kunti as an example or cites her and quotes the verse. She is the example of someone on the level, which is called raga. In this context raga is not exactly that raga of raganuga-sadhana-bhakti but raga is a sub division of prema.

There are as Srila Rupa Goswami explains quiet early in Bhakti-rasamrta-sindhu,

adau sraddha tatah sadhu- sango ‘tha bhajana-kriya tato ‘nartha-nivrttih syat tato nistha rucis tatah athasaktis tato bhavas tatah premabhyudancati [Bhakti-rasamrta-sindhu -

There are these different stages in the process of devotional service. As devotional service develops, as the devotee develops in devotional service there are these nine stages from sraddha to prema but once a devotee reaches prema it is not just that, that is it, but there are stages within prema. There are stages within prema all the way up to bhava - another bhava - not just the same bhava, which is the beginning of prema but another higher level of bhava and ultimately maha-bhava. (Aside - Sri Nrsimhadev Bhagavan Ki. Jai!)

Lord Nrsimhadev is worshipped in the process of approaching Radha and Krishna because He clears away the impediments to the manifestation of bhava and prema. So there are different stages - sneha and mana and different stages, and then raga, anuraga, bhava and maha-bhava. These are subsets within prema.

Then of course Srila Rupa Goswami - most of Bhakti-rasamrta-sindhu is discussing that actually and the Ujjavala-nilamani is discussing the intricacies, the great intricacies of conjugal - madhurya rasa - the conjugal relationship with Krishna. So anyway, Srila Jiva Goswami in Priti-sandarbha, he is talking about different devotees who are on the level of prema but in different ways. [Aside - Sri Sri Radha-Madhava Asta sakhi vrnda Ki Jai! Sri Giri Govardhana Ki. Jai! Sri Sri Panca-tattva Ki. Jai!]

So Queen Kunti then, Srila Jiva Goswami quotes this verse to establish she is on the level of raga. Raga of course means attachment. And in this context, extremely elevated context Queen Kunti, a devotee on the level of raga is so attached to Krishna that anyway to get Krishna’s mercy is a good way. Anyway! Even if it hurts it is good if it brings that nectar - not just the nectar in the sense of how nice it is. Of course it is nice anyway! But to get that mercy of Krishna to get connected with Krishna, to get the shelter of Krishna like that it is just so incompatibly wonderful that whatever it takes the price is a small price. You don’t even notice it really!

So she says, “Let those calamities come again and again and again. Just let them come because through that we see Your lotus feet again. And when we see Your lotus feet it is just the superlative of all superlatives! And everything else pales to total insignificance.” So any price is worth the price. Just like in material life everyone is purchasing things practically everyday, even for that matter people are purchasing money by working. They are paying a price of working and they are buying so many commodities and so many people are looking for a good price.

A few days ago I was in Kuala Lumpur staying with one devotee from a Sindhi business background. I think it is something like a Jewish background - perhaps I shouldn’t say that! But extremely concerned about getting the best price and it was amazing. We had to buy a ticket to Singapore and he went to great lengths to get the best price by a few Malaysian ringgit. He was just so focused. So we want to get the best price and if we pay an excessive price.

Srila Prabhupada when he arrived back in India having been in America. He paid to high a price for the taxi as I recall from the airport - something like that - and he apparently really expressed dissatisfaction at having paid to high a price. So yes when you pay a good price if you get it for free, oh! the materialistic person, it is just a festival. Let us celebrate! It is like a high point, major high point. So Queen Kunti is feeling like that. “Let those calamities come again and again because then we will see Your lotus feet again.” And we must know of course that those calamities were not small - those specific calamities which they faced.

They almost died. They were almost killed on numerous occasions. And they were living in extreme discomfort - literally living under the trees! You know you can try it for a week and see how it goes or a month and really is no comfortable. But they were there for years and people would come and inconvenience them from time to time. Then they had to go incognito. So they really went through some calamities! And now at that point when there in the eight chapter of the first canto when Queen Kunti is saying, is peaking that verse they have just solved all their problems completely. All their enemies are dead. The kingdom is theirs. And the kingdom means the whole planet is theirs, at their disposal and everyone is basically their servant. So talk about a polaric reversal! It is just from the most unfortunate to the most materially fortunate. And you know the opulence of Bill Gates compared to what was at their disposal is just nothing. Nothing! Fifty billion dollars compared to the worth of the whole planet and all its resources is simply a drop in the bucket! But she is not celebrating that, “Just see! We have killed all those rascals. We got the kingdom. Now we are going to have a good time.” No.

“Please let those calamities come again and again because then we will see Your lotus feet again and again.” So she is on a very advanced level of Krishna consciousness where that big price of all those calamities seems like nothing. Just imagine how good would something have to be to make you feel that paying a heavy price was nothing and you do it again and again any time!

So this is Krishna consciousness. This is krsna-prema actually and this Krishna consciousness actually. That really it is so wonderful that any price you pay for it is a mall price. It is worth it! Well worth it. Don’t worry about it! Just take it! As Rupa Goswami says and Srila Prabhupada mentioned on many occasions that enthusiasm - if Krishna consciousness is available in the market place just go and get it. Just go and get it! That is all! And don’t ask them - you know - how much? Can I get a discount? Just get it before you loose the opportunity.

So we should try atleast in principle - we should try and understand things in this way. And the thing is if we really, the more we absorb ourselves in devotional service the more we will see that it is like that it really is true. And those material things that we have been so attached to for so many years and lifetimes ultimately, they are not worth it. They have no substance. You know what it is like! The alarm clock goes off in the morning and you think - what do you think? Oh, no! I know sometimes some of us think, Oh no! And even we turn it off or we let it just ring itself out and we make some justification in our minds and snooze off again. Why? It is because we think that there is more for me in sleeping on a little further than accepting whatever the adjustment from the horizontal platform to the vertical platform, the adjustment from deep tamo-guna to managal arati and chanting with the devotees. We are actually thinking that there is more for me in sleeping than in to getting into my Krishna conscious program. So well this is obviously not a very high level and whatever vestiges or to whatever degree that may still be there in our hearts we should know that we must really try and do something about it because when as Srila Bhaktivinode Thakur sings,

kabe ha’be bolo se-dina amar, aparadha ghuci’, s’uddha name ruci, kripa-bale ha’be hridoye sancar [Kabe Ha’be Bolo (Vijñapti)]

When oh when will that day come when the alarm clock rings and I think, “Oh how wonderful! I can get up now! My body doesn’t need any more rest. It is not going to let me down by falling asleep during the class ‘cos it has had enough rest. So now I can get into the real nectar of chanting Hare Krishna and Krishna conscious life in general”

So it really is like that and atleast in principle we should accept that in our hearts and really try to embrace that because this is the beginning of surrender. These are the first two steps. If something is favorable for Krishna consciousness, for my Krishna consciousness then I will accept it even though in terms of my material interests and so on it may not look so helpful or it may appear detrimental. And if something is not helpful for my Krishna consciousness I will reject it even though it may look like it could be nice materially for me. These are the first steps in devotional service. The first steps in surrender as Sanatan Goswami says. And there are so many examples.

Look at Lord Caitanya. Five hundred years ago on was it the 18th of January? Something like that! Well on the 14th was the Makar Sankranti. That is the day Lord Caitanya left and then he took sannyasa on the 18th - a few days later in Katwa. And what did He leave behind? He left behind Mother Saci. She is Mother Yasoda. He is Krishna. And He left behind Visnupriya. She is Laxmidevi, an expansion of Srimati Radharani. Talk about, you know, the six opulences! Renunciation is one of them. You know opulences we can appreciate
- wealth, strength, knowledge and things like this. But renunciation as an opulence! Here we see the Lord is displaying it for the sake of His mission in Krishna consciousness, for the sake of giving the whole world, the whole universe Krishna consciousness. He left Mother Saci and Visnupriya. And of course they were not happy. They were not happy!

He swam across the Ganges. The place is just a little bit up the Ganges. There is one ghat there and it is called Nidaya Ghat. He swam across with Lord Nityananda, Chandrasekhara and Mukunda. They swam across the Ganges and at that point and Mother Saci and Visnupriya came running behind them crying, screaming, “Nidaya, nidaya. There is no mercy. Where is the mercy? Where is Your mercy?” But actually on the basis of His mercy - of course it is all in the context of his pastimes that he is showing such renunciation; it is amazing, for the benefit of us ultimately and all the conditioned souls in Kali yuga.

So talk about accepting something which to help us it is very favorable but in another sense it was extremely unfavorable. Leaving behind something, which was extremely favorable in a personal sense. That is what an example!

Advaita Acarya when he heard that Lord Caitanya has left he was also just completely beside himself in separation and he started to run to the Ganges to drown himself. And the devotees stopped him and he told them that, “You know, you can’t stop me! You try and stop me but I will find some time when you are not looking and I will go and I will do it.” And all the devotees said, “Yes. Right!” They said, “Now you mention it we all will go with you and we will drown with you.”

So it was really quite an amazing situation - Lord Caitanya taking sannyasa
- because it is positive, because it is beneficial in a certain sense in Krishna consciousness. And renouncing something which in a certain sense of course in Krishna consciousness also - because it is part of His transcendental lila - but in another sense - what renunciation! What renunciation! It is one thing for a householder to take sannyasa in his ripe old age when the family business is basically completed and the material side of the relationship is all basically - they have got over it, but it is another thing in youth when your wife is not sort of following in the footsteps of Laxmidevi which every chaste wife should be doing but is actually Laxmidevi herself! To renounce that this is truly extra dimensional renunciation.

So Sanatan Goswami has given these six principles of surrender. What does surrender look like? If you were to see it would you recognize it, would you be able to analyze it in its different aspects and see the degrees and the ways in which they person is actually exhibiting the different elements which make it up. So he is helping us. What does it means to surrender? In the cowboy, the western and the war movies and things they have surrender. It is a very military type of term isn’t it? Surrender. Okay you surrender to the other side. But when you surrender you are in their hands. You are now theirs. And when they tell you, “Pick up the spade and dig a hole!” You cannot say if you are surrendered, you cannot say, “Well look, you know, I am not really the hole digging kind. Can’t you get someone else?” If you are surrendered in that military type of context you got to dig the hole whether you are ready to drop dead or whatever you condition is, you dig the hole.

That is surrender. But in the context of Krishna consciousness Srila Rupa Goswami has given analyzed in these six divisions that make up the picture what it means to actually be surrendered. These are the first two principles
- accept things favorable for Krishna, which will please Krishna even if they don’t please us and reject those things, which don’t please Krishna even if apparently they don’t please us. And to raksisyatiti visvaso, Krishna is my only protector even though someone else offers to protect me or looks like theycould protect me, or something like that, or “I don’t see where is Krishna, I don’t see how He is going to protect me but someone else might protect me.” No!!! Krishna will protect me!

Just like in Mahabharata there is the interesting sequence of incidents where Draupadi - well in different Mahabharatas there are different versions. In one version when Krishna is cutting some fruit He cuts His finger and blood is coming - transcendental blood, and Draupadi immediately rips off the edge, the end of her sari, tore a piece of cloth and wraps it around Krishna’s finger and Krishna is so grateful, “Oh. Thank you. I won’t forget you did that. I will reciprocate when I can.”

Or another version: When Krishna killed Sisupal He whipped out - quick on the draw - whipped out His Sudarsana-cakra and nobody could even practically see what He was doing, but suddenly - Zap! Sisupal’s head was on the ground and the cakra was returning to Krishna’s finger but He was so quick His finger got cut ‘cos that cakra, that is sharp And again Draupadi ripped out that piece of cloth and again Krishna expressed His heartfelt gratitude even for that relatively small gesture. And then later when she was being disrobed in that great assembly and Dusasana was pulling the cloth away from her - and he is a big powerful warrior and she is a woman. What can she do physically? So the cloth was coming and she was trying to hold on but she couldn’t and she let go and called out, “Krishna! He Krishna! He Govinda.” And nothing happened except more cloth was being pulled away. And she let go altogether, surrendered completely understanding completely that, “There is nothing I can do.” And then Krishna manifested as the endless sari in reciprocation for that little piece of cloth. This is how Mahabharata puts it.

So yes, Krishna is our only protector and when He protects, oh! He really protects! And Krishna is our only maintainer. Prabhupada will give the example of the elephant. In some parts of the world there are elephants, that big hefty animals. They eat more than many of us put together in one day but they always get their food. You don’t see skinny ‘Bangaleshy’ refugee elephants! You se these big hulking elephants. Where they getting their food from? They are not going to the factory and working for it. They are not even going to the temple, church or mosque and praying for it! But Krishna is providing it. So why would He not provide for His devotee? Of course He will provide!

And goptrtve varanam tatha. We should accept Krishna program as our program. Whatever is Krishna’s mission, what does He want? Lord Caitanya wants us to chant Hare Krishna and wants us to spread the chanting of Hare Krishna. So this fifth principle of surrender - make the Lord’s interest our interests. It means that we accept, “What is my mission in life?” It is Lord Caitanya’s mission - spread Krishna consciousness and be Krishna conscious.

And atma-niksepa-karpanye - always be very meek and humble. So like this Srila Sanatan Goswami defines what is surrender, what does it actually means in practical terms to surrender. You don’t just stand there and say, “I surrender.” No. It is a way of life. It is a whole lifestyle. It is a whole perspective on reality. So here it is being explained that the pure devotees they are naturally in that frame of mind. It is not that they are struggling. “Should I accept this because it is favorable for devotional service but I don’t really like it myself, but what should I do? Allllll right I’ll accept it.” No they are just embracing these things because they are favorable for devotional service. No struggle. “Should I accept it or not, should I reject it or not?” And the more one can progress in doing like that and really accept that consciousness then the more…[End of recording!!!]

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