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The Choice; Krishna or Maya?

Posted: 15 Jul 2012 06:23 PM PDT

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…So Krsna and maya are side by side. As soon as you forget Krsna, or as soon as you want to utilize Krsna for your sense gratification, it is immediately maya, darkness. And as soon as you want to serve Krsna, immediately it is light. So if we keep ourself on this side, light side, always serving Krsna, then there is no possibility of our being in contact with maya.

“The Choice; Krishna Or Maya”
Srimad-Bhagavatam 1.2.18
August 21, 1972, Los Angeles

Pradyumna: (leads chanting, etc.)

nasta-prayesv abhadresu
nityam bhagavata-sevaya
bhagavaty uttama-sloke
bhaktir bhavati naisthiki
[SB 1.2.18]

Translation: “By regularly hearing the Bhagavatam and rendering service unto the pure devotee, all that is troublesome to the heart is practically destroyed, and loving service unto the glorious Lord, who is praised with transcendental songs, is established as an irrevocable fact.”

Prabhupada: So here it is said bhagavata-sevaya, not bhagavan-sevaya. Bhagavan is Krsna, the Supreme Personality of Godhead, and bhagavata means in relation with Bhagavan, who has got relationship with Bhagavan. So here it is recommended bhagavata-sevaya, not bhagavan-sevaya. The idea is that you cannot approach Bhagavan, God, directly. That is not possible. First of all, you have to serve bhagavata, the devotee bhagavata.

There are two kinds of bhagavata: book bhagavata and devotee bhagavata. So in the Siva Purana, there was a question by Parvati to Lord Siva. Lord Siva and Parvati, husband and wife. Parvati means the material nature. Srsti-sthiti-pralaya-sadhana-saktir eka chayeva yasya bhuvanani bibharti durga [Bs. 5.44]. Durga-devi. Durga-devi is in charge of this material world. It is called durga, durga, just like fort. And the superintendent of this fort is Durga. You cannot go out of this fort; you are imprisoned. So such Durga-devi, who is so powerful energy — she can create, annihilate, maintain, srsti-sthiti-pralaya-sadhana — she is always sitting by the side of her husband, Lord Siva, and questioning about spiritual enquiries. Just see. Such powerful deity is also ignorant about spiritual life. So the husband, Lord Siva, is Vaisnava, and she’s always asking, and sitting down underneath a bael tree. She can create so many universes, but for her, no building; only underneath a tree.

So the question was, “Which worship is best?” So Lord Siva replied, aradhananam sarvesam visnor aradhanam param: “My dear Parvati, of all methods of worship, Visnu worship is the topmost.” There are many demigods’ worship, even Lord Siva’s worship, but Lord Siva says, “Visnu worship is the best.” Then he says again, tasmat parataram devi. “My dear Devi, better than that Visnu worship is tadiyanam samarcanam.” Tadiya. Tadiya means those who are in relationship with Visnu, tadiya. Just like His devotee, tadiya. Tulasi-vrksa. Tulasi is tadiya. Or temple tadiya. Preaching tadiya. Tadiyanam samarcanam. This is bhagavata. So Lord Siva recommends that “Of all methods of worship, Visnu worship is the best, and better than Visnu worship is to worship His devotee or things in relationship with Him.”

Tadiyanam, that is bhagavata. Here it is also said, tadiyanam, bhagavata-sevaya. This book bhagavata, spoken by the devotee bhagavata, this should be taken very seriously daily. Otherwise you…, we do not understand what is Bhagavan. Therefore it is recommended here: nityam, daily, or constantly, twenty-four hours. We have to mold our life in such a way that twenty-four hours, not a single moment leaving aside, we should be engaged in bhagavata-sevaya, in the service of Lord’s relations. The Srimad-Bhagavatam, Bhagavad-gita, the spiritual master, tulasi-devi, the temple, the preaching, the books — these are all bhagavata. So nityam bhagavata-sevaya. Nasta-prayesu. If we engage ourself in this bhagavata-sevaya… Just like we are doing daily, trying to read one verse of Srimad-Bhagavatam, discussing amongst ourselves. This is bhagavata-sevaya. Nityam, daily, regularly. By this process, when the dirty things within the heart, nasta-prayesv abhadresu [SB 1.2.18].

Abhadra means dirty things, inauspicious things. What is that inauspicious thing? Inauspicious things means the heart disease for sense enjoyment; this is inauspicious, Different varieties, abhadresu. There are three modes of material nature. And multiply it three, mix it again, it becomes nine, and again multiplied, nine by nine, it becomes eighty-one. So these, this… Originally the three… Just like three colors, yellow, red and blue. These three colors, you mix… Those who are artists, those who know the color display… Simply you mix three colors in different way, and it becomes varieties of color. So our heart disease, dirty thing, varieties of sense enjoyment, varieties. So heart is full with varieties of sense enjoyment. Therefore by nityam bhagavata-sevaya [SB 1.2.18], by daily, regular worshiping Bhagavatam, we become free from the dirty things.

In the previous verse we have read that srnvatam sva-kathah krsnah punya-sravana-kirtanah, hrdy antah stho hy abhadrani [SB 1.2.17]. We have got abhadrani, so many inauspicious things, within our heart. This can be cleansed simply by hearing the message of Krsna from Srimad-Bhagavatam, from Bhagavad-gita, from the lips of devotees. In this way, when almost the dirty things are cleared off — not all… As soon as all dirty things are cleared off, then we are liberated soul. Immediately love of God, the original consciousness. You become mad. Just like Caitanya Mahaprabhu,

yugayitam nimisena
caksusa pravrsayitam
sunyayitam jagat sarvam
govinda-virahena me

“Feeling separation of Govinda.” How? “One moment is equal to twelve years,” yugayitam. One yuga means twelve years. One moment appearing. Sometimes we have got experience, if we want to see something, it is called expectant psychology. I am expecting something, somebody, that my friend or my lover is coming. So on the door, if there is “koot,” “Oh, you have come? No, no. He has not come.” The one moment is twelve years. Such kind of separation, when we feel for Krsna, that means all dirty things are over. And something for Krsna, something for sense enjoyment, that means still the dirty things are there. But the more we engage our time, nityam bhagavata-sevaya, the dirty things becomes cleansed, gradually. Just like when you are hungry, you are given foodstuff, you eat. The more you eat, your hunger is satisfied. You feel strength, you feel satisfaction. Similarly, the more you advance in Krsna consciousness, you feel comfortable, released from the material discomforts. In this way, nasta-prayesu. Gradual process.

So nasta-prayesv abhadresu nityam bhagavata-sevaya [SB 1.2.18]. Not all cleansed, but praya, say, seventy-five cleansed. At that time, you become fixed-up in devotional service, naisthiki. There are different stages of devotional service. That I have explained several times. First of all, sraddha, sadhu-sanga, bhajana-kriya, anartha-nivrttih syat. When anartha-nivrttih syat, all unwanted things are finished, at that time, nistha, firm faith. So bhagavaty uttama-sloke bhaktir bhavati naisthiki. So, so long there are dirty things, our faith and devotion in Krsna is not very fixed up, sometimes we deviate, we go away. But then nasta-prayesu, when seventy-five percent of the dirty things are cleansed, then our faith in God becomes fixed up. Bhagavaty uttama-sloke.

Uttama, uttama means udgata-tama. This material world is tama, ignorance, darkness. And Krsna is beyond this material world; therefore He is called para. Para means transcendental. So uttama-sloka. So when we offer our prayers to Krsna, they are not ordinary words. Therefore those who are not liberated soul, they cannot offer prayers actually. We have to repeat the prayers offered by liberated soul, not by ordinary man. Because he is not yet uttama, he is not yet in the transcendental platform. Therefore we don’t allow songs which are not sung by liberated souls like Bhaktivinoda Thakura, Narottama dasa Thakura. They are liberated souls. We don’t allow any literature which is not given by liberated soul. Literatures, they are always following Vedic principles. Vedas, the original transcendental literature, and any literature which is produced under the guidance of Vedic literature, that is also nice. That is perfect. Therefore whenever we write something, we give immediately Vedic evidence. We give some Sanskrit verse. This means that we are not manufacturing ourself. What we have heard from the parampara system, from higher authorities, we are presenting, simply, in our own language, and the evidence is this Vedic verse. This is perfect literature.

So whimsically, we cannot write any poetry for Krsna. That is not possible. That will create havoc. Srila Rupa Gosvami says,

sruti-smrti-puranadi-
pancaratra-vidhim vina
aikantiki harer bhaktir
utpatayaiva kalpate
[BRS 1.2.101]

Any devotional sentiment which is not supported by Vedas, sruti… Sruti means Veda, and smrti means corollary to the Veda, or things which are written in corroboration with the Vedic ideas… That is called smrti. Just like Bhagavad-gita is smrti. Bhagavad-gita, the purpose of Bhagavad-gita is the same as the Vedas, but it is not directly Veda; therefore it is called smrti. Sruti-smrti-puranadi [BRS 1.2.101]. The Puranas, there are eighteen Puranas. Puranadi means Ramayana, Mahabharata also. Sruti-smrti-puranadi-pancaratra-vidhim vina [BRS 1.2.101]. Pancaratra-vidhi, given by Narada Muni for worshiping the Deity. We are worshiping the Deity under the pancaratra-vidhi. So Rupa Gosvami says that “Any devotional service which has no reference with sruti, smrti, purana, pancaratra, that is simply a disturbance. Simply disturbance, creating disturbance.” We cannot manufacture. Sometimes we are questioned, “Can we do this? Can we do that?” Of course, it is good. But there is no need of manufacturing some idea. Whatever idea is already there, follow strictly.

So bhagavaty uttama-sloke bhaktir bhavati naisthiki. That fixed up bhakti is required, not oscillating: sometimes this side, sometimes that side. So this can be possible, fixed up devotional service, by nityam bhagavata-sevaya [SB 1.2.18], regularly worshiping the bhagavata-grantha and the devotee bhagavata. Because without hearing about God authentically, how we can fix up? So we should hear, srnvatam sva-kathah krsnah. Sva-kathah krsnah [SB 1.2.17]. Krsna’s word is given by Krsna. Just like Bhagavad-gita. Sva-kathah means “His own words.” So this is bhagavata. And sva-kathah, Srimad-Bhagavatam is also sva-kathah. The Puranas also, sva-kathah. Because all these books are given by Vyasadeva. Vyasadeva is incarnation of Krsna. So that is also sva-kathah. So we have to hear about Krsna which is given by Krsna. Bhagavad-gita is given by Krsna, and Bhagavata and other Puranas and Vedic literature given by Krsna Dvaipayana Vyasa. And the method is taught by Krsna Caitanya Mahaprabhu. So therefore, everything is Krsna’s. Krsna directly, Krsna as Vyasadeva; Krsna as Caitanya Mahaprabhu devotee.

So we have to follow this. Sri-krsna-caitanya prabhu nityananda, sri-advaita gadadhara srivasadi-gaura-bhakta-vrnda. Krsna is teaching how to approach Krsna. That is bona fide. We cannot take any other method. This is the authorized method. The, the person concerned, He is teaching how to worship Krsna, how to become devotee. Krsnaya krsna-caitanya-namne. Rupa Gosvami said,”Lord Caitanya, You are Krsna, but You have appeared as Krsna Caitanya.” Krsnaya krsna-caitanya-namne. Namo maha-vadanyaya krsna-prema-pradaya te [Madhya 19.53]. “You are distributing love of Krsna.” How it is possible for ordinary man? “But Krsna, because You are Krsna, simply You are in the name of Krsna Caitanya. So therefore You can distribute. Your thing, You can distribute.”

So,

srnvatam sva-kathah krsnah
punya-sravana-kirtanah
hrdy antah stho hy abhadrani
vidhunoti suhrt satam
[SB 1.2.17]

Nasta-prayesv abhadresu. A little, maybe; not all. There may be some habitual… But still, even there are some flaws in the beginning, if we fix up our devotion to Krsna… That is also confirmed in the Bhagavad-gita:

api cet su-duracaro
bhajate mam ananya-bhak
sadhur eva sa mantavyah
samyag vyavasito hi sah
[Bg. 9.30]

ksipram bhavati dharmatma
sasvac-chantim nigacchati
kaunteya pratijanihi
na me bhaktah pranasyati

So in the beginning we must be sincere, very sincere, to follow the rules and regulations. But due to our past habits, if there is some flaw, that is excused. Not intentionally. Because I am habituated to something, and I am, although engaged in Krsna consciousness, my past habits sometimes becomes manifest. So Krsna says, “All right, you try your best. It will be rectified.” Ksipram bhavati dharmatma. Ksipram means “Very soon, you’ll be dharmatma, perfect, religious.” Ksipram bhavati dharmatma sasvac-chantim nigacchati: “And you’ll be elevated to the eternal platform of peace and tranquillity.” Kaunteya pratijanihi na me bhaktah pranasyati: “If one is sincere devotee, he’ll be not lost. He’ll make progress.” But if there is any ulterior motive, then he’ll be lost. Maya is there. The maya, just like shadow and light, they’re side by side. A little crossing the marginal line between shadow and light, you are in the darkness. Similarly, a little crossing of the marginal line from the darkness to light, you are in light.

So Krsna and maya are side by side. As soon as you forget Krsna, or as soon as you want to utilize Krsna for your sense gratification, it is immediately maya, darkness. And as soon as you want to serve Krsna, immediately it is light. So if we keep ourself on this side, light side, always serving Krsna, then there is no possibility of our being in contact with maya.

daivi hy esa gunamayi
mama maya duratyaya
mam eva ye prapadyante
mayam etam taranti te
[Bg. 7.14]

This maya is very strong. The same example yesterday we were giving. The sun, little deviation, the whole world, universe, becomes frozen, and little deviation, the whole universe becomes ablaze. This is the position, very… Therefore our position is marginal. We are called marginal energy. We may be dark side or in the light side. So Krsna consciousness means to keep always in the light side. If we always think of Krsna, by chanting Hare Krsna mantra, then we shall keep ourself on the light side. And as soon as we think of sense gratification, immediately we are on the dark side. So our… We should be very cautious that we may not fall down on the dark side. We can keep ourself in the light side by nityam bhagavata-sevaya [SB 1.2.18]. Simply studying Srimad-Bhagavatam, Bhagavad-gita, try to understand, chanting Hare Krsna mantra. Twenty-four hours be engaged in this way. You’ll be on the light side.

Read the purport.

Pradyumna: “Here is the remedy for eliminating all inauspicious things within the heart which are considered to be obstacles in the path of self-realization. The remedy is the association of the Bhagavatas. There are two types of Bhagavatas, namely the book Bhagavata and the devotee Bhagavata. Both the Bhagavatas are competent remedies, and both of them or either of them can be good enough to eliminate the obstacles. A devotee Bhagavata is as good as the book Bhagavata because the devotee Bhagavata leads his life in terms of the book Bhagavata and the book Bhagavata is full of information about the Personality of Godhead and His pure devotees, who are also Bhagavatas. Bhagavata book and person are identical. The devotee Bhagavata is a direct representative of Bhagavan, the Personality of Godhead, so by pleasing the devotee Bhagavata one can receive the benefit of the book Bhagavata. Human reason fails to understand how by serving the devotee Bhagavata or the book Bhagavata one gets gradual promotion on the path of devotion. But actually these are the facts explained by Srila Naradadeva, who happened to be a maidservant’s son in his previous life. The maidservant…”

Prabhupada: There is another Vedic evidence:

yasya deve para bhaktir
yatha deve tatha gurau
tasyaite kathita hy arthah
prakasante mahatmanah
[SU 6.23]

To… Vedic literature, the meaning becomes revealed to a person who has got unflinching faith in God and the spiritual master. Just like Gaura Kisora dasa Babaji Maharaja, he was illiterate, but he became the spiritual master of Bhaktisiddhanta Sarasvati Gosvami. So the purport of the Vedic literature becomes revealed to a person who has got unflinching faith in God and the spiritual master. Go on.

Pradyumna: “The maidservant was engaged in the menial service of the sages, and thus he also came into contact with them. And simply by associating with them and accepting the remnants of foodstuff left by the sages, the son of the maidservant got the chance to become the great devotee and personality Srila Naradadeva. These are the miraculous effects of the association of Bhagavatas. And to understand these effects practically, it should be noted that by such sincere association of the Bhagavatas one is sure to receive transcendental knowledge very easily…”

Prabhupada: So our principle should be not to disassociate ourself from the devotees. Narottama dasa Thakura therefore sings, tandera carana-sebi-bhakta-sane bas, janame janame hoy ei abhilas: “I desire birth after birth to serve the acaryas and to live with devotees.” So our this association, society’s is giving these two opportunity: you serve the purpose or the orders of the acaryas and live with devotees. Then you will be secure in devotional service. Tandera carana-sebi-bhakta-sane bas. Bhakta-sane bas is very important thing. Even there is little inconvenience, still we should stick to live with the devotees. Then we shall be profited. Go on.

Pradyumna: “…with the result that he becomes fixed in the devotional service of the Lord. The more progress is made in devotional service under the guidance of the Bhagavatas, the more one becomes fixed in the transcendental loving service of the Lord. The messages of the book Bhagavata, therefore, have to be received from the devotee Bhagavata, and the combination of these two Bhagavatas will help the neophyte devotee to make progress on and on.” (end)

Text Pasted from; Prabhupada Vani


Amit Teli

Amit Teli is the man behind the Chant Hare Krishna Blog.

He likes ISKCON, Pure Vegan Food and Devotes to Almighty Lord Sri Krishna who is his spiritual Master.

In his free time he mostly blogs, prays to the lord and sleeps.

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