If the mind has even a little attachment to materialism, then one cannot be a devotee on the topmost level. If a devotee wants knowledge, he can only attain it by chanting the Holy Name. If a devotee wants money, similarly he can only attain it by chanting. And if a devotee is facing calamity, then by chanting he can get relief from that suffering.
For all these four kinds of devotees, certain qualities are needed; firstly they should be generous. Generosity is such a quality, that Lord Kṛṣṇa has given stress upon this:
teṣāṁ jñānī nitya-yukta eka-bhaktir viśiṣyate
priyo hi jñānino ’tyartham ahaṁ sa ca mama priyaḥ
Of these, the one who is in full knowledge and who is always engaged in pure devotional service is the best. For I am very dear to him, and he is dear to Me.
udārāḥ sarva evaite jñānī tv ātmaiva me matam
āsthitaḥ sa hi yuktātmā mām evānuttamāḿ gatim
All these devotees are undoubtedly magnanimous souls, but he who is situated in knowledge of Me I consider to be just like My own self.
Being engaged in My transcendental service, he is sure to attain Me, the highest and most perfect goal.
The word Kṛṣṇa uses the word, ‘udārāḥ’, magnaminous. Who is magnanimous? One who shares the stories of the Lord. It should not be done out of material aspiration. Just like at our Maan Mandira, so much development is taking place. This is coming from the generosity of our Maan Biharilal. In Braja mandala money is not taken. Things are not being done here because of material ambition. Many of our girls are going for ‘pravacana’, to share knowledge about Kṛṣṇa, because they do not preach with any material motivation, they cannot fall down. So munificence is such a wonderful quality.
For example, after suffering so many calamities, Yamunaji, the mother of Rasa Mandira, tolerated profit loss, fame, defamation; she tolerated everything. So now Rasa Mandira has become such a wonderful house and is famous all over the world. Because Yamunaji was so generous, all the family members became devotees. Through calamity or defamation, she continues to render this seva throughout her life.
So if there is a generous person, the Lord becomes overly obliged. Studying the Vedic scriptures or performing austerities is useless if one doesn’t culture generosity in the heart. Kṛṣṇa says, I love generous devotees more than I love Myself. Kṛṣṇa says in SB 3.16.6:
sadyah punāti jagad āśvapacād vikunthah
so ‘ham bhavadbhya upalabdha-sutīrtha-kīrtiś
chindyām sva-bāhum api vah pratikūla-vrittim
Anyone in the entire world, even down to the candāla, who lives by cooking and eating the flesh of the dog, is immediately purified if he takes bath in hearing through the ear the glorification of My name, fame, etc. Now you have realized Me without doubt; therefore I will not hesitate to lop off My own arm if its conduct is found hostile to you.
This is a very astonishing śloka and a unique promise of Lord Kṛṣṇa.
I have seen this also in my own life. In Maangar, so many misfortunes came; robbers and dacoits, once lived here. One time twelve guns were pointed at me. I cannot even speak about all the calamities that have come to the house of Yamunaji at Rasa Mandir, the whole village was against them. Thieves would visit daily, but the many disasters went away because of the consistent generosity of the devotees.
So in this śloka, Kṛṣṇa has promised, yasyāmritāmala-yaśah-śravanāvagāhah, a person who bathes in the glories of the Lord, who listens to the nectar of the His pastimes and activities, experiences unlimited nectar and becomes immortal. Through such hearing one overcomes all the pollution of maya.
The problem is that in the name of the glory of God, we want money and sense gratification. This is a great mistake. To bathe in the glory of God is one thing, but under this banner, to bathe in money and sense gratification, this is another affair.
There should only be the goal to bathe in the glory of God. Often it happens that greedy sadhus teach in their lectures, “If you do this, you will get such a reward.” Therefore they are taking bath in material amelioration rather than the glory of God. But one should never aspire for these things. Such attentiveness is required; otherwise under the name of serving the Lord, one collects money and keeps it for oneself, engaging in sense gratification and marriage. When materialistic desires are concealed in the heart then one doesn’t immerse oneself properly, taking shelter in the Lord’s glories. If you can attain pure association then the only motive should be to bathe in the glories of God.
So we can understand from this sloka that no one should have other desires other than the glories of God. There should no aim for prestige or respect; this is simply a disturbance to progressive bhakti.
Kṛṣṇa promises, yasyāmritāmala-yaśah-śravanāvagāhah, absorbtion in the glories of the Lord drives away all material pollution, even the fear of death. The sad situation is that if someone gets some prestige, respect or acquires money, he loses interest in the glories of the Lord, becoming influenced by materialistic desires. However, if he only takes shelter of the glories of God then he can be victorious over time and death.
Unfortunately, by bad association, a very good sādhaka can immediately fall. There were so many good sādhakas here for eight years, their determination at the time was that they would die rather than leave the holy dhama, but by bad association they immediately fell. If there was no ‘kusanga’ then their train could have continued to move very quickly. If there is association with a person with materialistic desire then one becomes infected and falls. Therefore we should only listen to the glories of the Lord and immerse ourselves in that.
Even the caṇḍālas, from the lowest, most degraded and sinful caste, can become purified of materialistic desires through exposure to the glories of the Lord. Maya is destroyed when one bathes in the glory of the Lord, the illusions of maya cannot entertain, but if one is devoid of sādhana, then mental faults consume one.
The girls here at Maan Mandira are always engaged in learning ślokas to prepare for preaching, but if they get some bad association, that is another thing. A sādhaka will never fall down in life if he is engaged in his sādhana. He falls down when his mind is not filled with Kṛṣṇa consciousness. Krsna says this in the gita, 2.66:
nāsti buddhir ayuktasya na cāyuktasya bhāvanā
na cābhāvayataḥ śāntir aśāntasya kutaḥ sukham
One who is not connected with the Supreme [in Krsna consciousness] can have neither transcendental intelligence nor a steady mind, without which there is no possibility of peace. And how can there be any happiness without peace?
Ayukta means one whose mind is devoid of Kṛṣṇa conciousness. His mind will become influenced with lust and anger, perplexed without Kṛṣṇa consciousness.
SB 11.2.35 also explains this:
yān āsthāya naro rājan na pramādyeta karhicit
dhāvan nimīlya vā netre na skhalen na pated iha
O King, one who accepts this process of devotional service to the Supreme Personality of Godhead will never blunder on his path in this world. Even while running with eyes closed, he will never trip or fall.
‘Yān āsthāya’ means that if one is situated in Bhāgavata dharma, then he will not fall down. ‘Pramā’ means devoid of caution; he can never fall.
I was saying to Mādhavī that when the children are learning about Kṛṣṇa, a moonlight is emanating from their faces, because they do not waste any time and are always engaged in sādhana, then ‘na pramādyeta karhicit’, maya cannot catch them. Maya is insignificant before them. If someone is situated in Bhāgavata-dharma, then maya has no power to be present, maya just runs away. There is so much power in devotion.
Goswami Tulasi das also says this in Rāmacarita mānasa in Uttara khaṇḍa, 116 doha, ‘mohana nari, nari kerupa’, how a man is fascinated by woman and a woman is fascinated by man. Knowledge and detachment are males. They are the sons of devotion, bhakti. But bhakti and maya are both women. Everything has two forms, visible and invisible. Durgā is the visible form and her invisible form is her power, her śakti. Opulence is the visible form and the invisible form is Laxmi.
The world knows only visible form, but there is also the invisible form behind it. In devotion, the invisible form is love and the visible form is Rādhārāṇī. So in this way maya and devotion are both women. Devotion is dear to God because she is ‘sati’, chaste. A woman committing adultery cannot be dear to the Lord. Maya is a dancing woman, a prostitute dancing before everyone, pledging deceitfulness.
So therefore the Lord is always controlled by devotion because bhakti is sati, a chaste woman, loyal to her husband. Before devotion, maya runs away, just like before a chaste woman, a prostitute retreats. Maya herself runs away, maya is nothing. But if a person is not engaged in devotion then maya will capture and give infinite sufferings, not only in this life but unlimited lives.
Therefore in SB 11.2.35 it is stated, ‘yān āsthāya naro rājan’, being situated in devotional service, na pramādyeta karhicit, there is no chance of falling down. On this path, whether his eyes are opened or closed, dhāvan nimīlya vā netre, he cannot slip.
Some people say to me, “At your āśrama there are mainly young men and women.” Seven or eight days ago an officer from outside came here and questioned me of this; “There is so much dancing of young men and women here. Why do you allow this? ”
I said, “There is no such materialistic dancing at our place. That is only for those who are not connected with the Lord in sādhana.” Here most of the devotees are not ‘ayukta’, they are ‘yukta’. From early in the morning they go for satsaṅga and sādhana. Devotees who fall down never sit in kathā and never join in sankirtan. They only act according to their whim; engaging gossip here and there, doing this and that engaged in sense gratification. Such people are ayukta and therefore they fall down.
But Bhāgavatam says: ‘na skhalen na pated iha’; whether one goes with closed or open eyes, his legs cannot slip, what to speak of falling down. If a sādhaka falls down, it should not be considered as really falling down, because in a short time he will progress again.
Kṛṣṇa says this in the SB 11.13.8 that when rājas and tamas are generated, then one may fall down. But in goodness, one doesn’t fall. In rājas one identifies with the body, the mentality that “I am young and beautiful”, and in tamas abominable things look very good:
vidanti martyāh prāyena vishayān padam āpadām
tathāpi bhuñjate Krishna tat katham śva-kharāja-vat
Śrī Uddhava said: My dear Krishna, generally human beings know that material life brings great future unhappiness, and still they try to enjoy material life. My dear Lord, how can one in knowledge act just like a dog, an ass or a goat.
A man in sexual intercourse becomes like a dog, ass, or goat. How is this possible? Without the tendency of a pig, it is not possible to engage in sexual intercourse. Pigs enjoy eating stool and urine, the penis enjoys similarly. Without the tendency of a pig, one cannot engage in sexual intercourse. At the time sexual intercourse stool and urine appear very attractive. As a pig relishes stool, so sexual intercourse involves only stool and urine and a person accepts it like nectar. Without the tendency of a pig, a person cannot have sexual intercourse.
So Uddhava, states, ‘vidanti martyāh prāyena vishayān padam āpadām’; that everyone knows that sexual intercourse and prostitution is the pathway to future suffering, disease and sorrow. Therefore he asks how is it that a human becomes absorbed like a pig, donkey, male goat or a dog? When a dog approaches a female with his tongue he licks the genital organ. In the same way donkeys and humans do this. So how does a human become like this?
Kṛṣṇa replies in SB 11.13.9:
aham ity anyathā-buddhih pramattasya yathā hridi
utsarpati rajo ghoram tato vaikārikam manah
The Supreme Personality of Godhead said: My dear Uddhava, a person bereft of intelligence first falsely identifies himself with the material body and mind, and when such false knowledge arises within one’s consciousness, material passion, the cause of great suffering, pervades the mind, which by nature is situated in goodness.
When the soul forgets himself and identifies with the body, then illusion increases. This is because he was not cautious, for an idle mind is a devil’s workshop. So first there was ‘pramada’, Yamarāja himself says this in SB 6.3.26:
evaḿ vimṛśya sudhiyo bhagavaty anante
sarvātmanā vidadhate khalu bhāva-yogam
te me na daṇḍam arhanty atha yady amīṣāḿ
syāt pātakaḿ tad api hanty urugāya-vādaḥ
Considering all these points, therefore, intelligent men decide to solve all problems by adopting the devotional service of chanting the holy name of the Lord, who is situated in everyone’s heart and who is a mine of all auspicious qualities. Such persons are not within my jurisdiction for punishment. Generally they never commit sinful activities, but even if by mistake or because of bewilderment or illusion they sometimes commit sinful acts, they are protected from sinful reactions because they always chant the Holy name.
If he falls down, his bhajan will destroy his sins. By passion or ignorance a sādhaka may fall down, but again he will rise when he starts his sādhana again. He will feel bad about his fall down and not be attached to the sinful act. In this way it is not really a fall down. When a sādhaka falls down one should never laugh at him because if he rises back to sādhana, his sin will be quickly burnt.
This is also confirmed in SB 11.5.42:
sva-pāda-mūlam bhajatah priyasya
tyaktānya-bhāvasya harih pareśah
vikarma yac cotpatitam kathañcid
dhunoti sarvam hridi sannivishtah
One who has thus given up all other engagements and has taken full shelter at the lotus feet of Hari, the Supreme Personality of Godhead, is very dear to the Lord. Indeed, if such a surrendered soul accidentally commits some sinful activity, the Supreme Personality of Godhead, who is seated within everyone’s heart, immediately takes away the reaction to such sin.
A person who is rendering service from the core of his heart, the Lord Himself will go there and destroy his sins. If he commits sin, the Lord will personally destroy it. Therefore there should be attachment to bhajan. If he falls down, not a big concern, if he is engaged in sādhana, this is the topmost thing, let him fall down, do not worry.
But he should always engage in sādhana. If he is not engaged in sādhana, then his sin will further entangle him, every time he falls, it is like a piece of clay embedded on the ground, however when a serious sādhaka falls down it is like a ball that bounces back up again. So in that way there is no concern for the falling down of a sādhaka. Ok, he falls down, but then again he rises.
Kṛṣṇa says in SB 11.14.18
badhyamano ‘pi mad-bhakto vishayair ajitendriyah
prayah pragalbhaya bhaktya vishayair nabhibhuyate
My dear Uddhava, if My devotee has not fully conquered his senses, he may be harassed by material desires, but because of his unflinching devotion for Me, he will not be defeated by sense gratification.
One should never be discouraged. When his devotion is fully ripe, then sense objects will no longer cause him to fall down, in fact, maya will go elsewhere. The Rāmacarita mānasa says in Uttara khaṇḍa, 116 doha, that maya is ashamed to come before one who has devotion in the heart, and time will come when maya herself will run away.
Therefore I don’t fear. Many people say, “Young boys, young girls live in your place.” So what can I say to them? How can I instruct them? It is ok because they are engaged in sādhana. Time will come when maya will run away from them. Somebody says, “Oh they will fall down.” But when I learned to ride a bicycle, I fell down many times. But does that mean I should never have tried to learn how to ride? When somebody begins to drive they may have an accident, but does mean they should not learn?
Persons who are devoid of understanding the importance of devotion have so many doubts, “Oh they will fall down, they will fall down.” In the beginning when I came to Varṣāṇa, I was a young boy. Many people would say to me, “You are the only son of your mother, you will go to hell. ” I would say, “Just think about yourself; I am better than you, I am chanting the holy name, what are you doing, you are doing nothing.”
Suppose someone says these boys and girls will fall down. But they are better than that person who says that, as they are engaged in sādhana. There is the old example of a Brajabāsī chanting mala sitting upon a cot. One temporary sādhu came there and said, “Oh this is not good you are chanting mala sitting on a bed.” The Brajabāsī said, “Oh idiot, I am better than you, you do not chant a single mala, but I am at least chanting.”
So the importance of udara, generosity, is seen in devotees as they use their time in bhajan. They devote their time to serving the holy name.
A person came yesterday from Nandagaon. He was asking about the Yamuna yatra, he wanted to go. I have said that anyone who wants to go should come here to Varṣāṇā. I will give them money so they can participate, because this is a historical Yatra, a very difficult task, but we will certainly win in cleaning up the Yamuna! [everyone claps]
In Gokula the pujaris have said that they will stop the pūjā early to welcome the Yamuna yatra. This has been written in the local newspaper. They desire that Ramesh Bābā’s Yamuna yatra will be successful [more clapping]. So these Brajabāsīs are blessing me, therefore, I will not only win this battle to purify the Yamuna, but I have already won! [applause]
Yamuna Mahārāṇī ki jaya !
For 45 days on the bank of the Yamuna we will do sankirtan. Yamunaji will observe this and definitely show mercy on us.
Jaya Sri Radhe !