Lord Kṛṣṇa mentions that this forest of Sri Vṛndāvana whose earthly boundary is 60-km (five yojanas) is My very body wherein river Yamuna (Kālindī), the special artery (suśumna) within, plays a significant role. However nowadays those lacking broad mindedness have placed limitations on the boundary of Vṛndāvana to a mere city and have dis-regarded conclusions of the śastra (scriptures) along with the direct statements of the Lord.
Within Vṛndāvana there are many hills such as Nandisvara (at Nandagaon), ashta-kuta (eight hills of eight mahā sakhīs), Sakhigiri in Unchagaon, Ranku of Indulekha at Rankoli, Indragiri at village Indroli, Dhavalgiri at Ghata, Saugandhika (where Krishna had taken an oath), Rohitachala, Kanakachala, Gandhamadana, Vindhyachala, Trikut, Mainak and many others which are all within the boundaries of Vṛndāvana and thus circumference of Vṛndāvana is 60-kms. Many ignorant people commit a great mistake by not even accepting Govardhana Hill within Vṛndāvana. They need to pay more attention to the scriptural proofs than the modern ideologies.
When the mountains, forests and ponds of entire Vṛndāvana witness the loving intimate pastimes of Rādhā-Kṛṣṇa on every single day, isn’t addressing Vṛndāvana to a mere modern city not another form of atheism?
By assuming Vṛndāvana to only five kosas(15-kilometers) i.e. with attention given only to the city precinct Vṛndāvana, the pastime places of Rādhā Madhava have been gradually disappearing.
yatra vrindavanam naasti yatra no yamuna nadi/
yatra govardhano naasti tatra me na manah sukham//
“Where there is no Girirāja, no Yamuna, there is no Vṛndāvana. Here the identification mark of Vṛndāvana is nothing but Girirāja. Vrindaban is very wide and which consists many forests, hills, ponds, groves, and rivers.”
(Garga Samhita Govardhana-khāṇḍa 3.32)
How can a treasure land of hills, water reservoirs, and woods be possible in an inadequate spread of five kosas? Only scriptures can provide the evidence of true Vṛndāvana overriding condescending sentiments. Rest all other concepts are nothing but imaginations and exhibition of mere arrogance!
This is the view of the great rasikā ācāryas, Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam, and other scriptures, providing conclusive evidence regarding Vṛndāvana by extinguishing the obstinacy of a few.
informed him, “That there are three kinds of freedoms from materialism (bhavas).
1)Bhava(freedom from materialism); give up house and becoming a sādhu
2) Dradha bhava (greater freedom from materialism); giving up bodily concept of existence and be free from the six mental faults such as lust, anger, and greed;
3) Sudradha bhava (greatest freedom from materialism); one gives up even sampradāyik attachments and bigotry.
What to speak of liberation, the persons with influence of mundane existence even criticize the great ācāryas in the name of ananyatā (sampradāyik loyalty), which has manifested in the form of forums of analysis, paralysis, and mutual sampradayik conservatism. Therefore ancient saints had to reprimand, out of anger, in striking but abusive language:
jagat me paisan ki hai manda
paisan bina guruko chela khasmeinn chhande randa
japa tapa yoga viraaga jnana ki paisan mari ganda
dharaja dharama viveka sauchata dayi panditana chhanda
santa mahanta gama ke aamila karata praja ko danda
bahagava sanga rasika bina sabaki kinhi kaliyuga bhanda
Add translation :
At the present time, by the influence of Kali-yuga, the true form of the dhama is misunderstood, being viewed in a flawed way.
dharmasya hy āpavargyasya
kāmo lābhāya hi smṛtaḥ
All occupational engagements are certainly meant for ultimate liberation. They should never be performed for material gain. Furthermore, according to sages, one who is engaged in the ultimate occupational service should never use material gain to cultivate sense gratification.
The goal of religion is not to make money and one who considers it to be so is not a religious person. How could then such a person be a Bhāgavata speaker?
krnarthiti dhanarthiti srota-vakta dvidha matah
yatha vakta tatha srota tatra saukhyam vivardhate
Skanda Purāṇa Mahatmya 8.39;
The qualifications with regard to hearing and speaking the Śrīmad-Bhāgavata is mentioned herein; that both listener and the speaker should have hankering and love for Lord Kṛṣṇa thus enabling the lucid flow of mellows from Srimad Bhagavatam.
Presently, in place of rasa, within the pure topics of Kṛṣṇa kathā, a poison is being mixed by undue influence of sampradayik conservationists. With such trendy competitions, fights, and attempts to pose oneself as a great rasikā through deceitful practices.
Not only has narrow mindedness created havoc amongst the sampradāyas, but disunity is amongst these local detractors. How can they question their own sampradāya for deviations from sastra and still be called loyalists? They are too busy developing their own prestigious positions.
What is required today is lawful literature that creates a transcendental reality, spreading Vaiṣṇavasism without sampradayik conservatism. In this way, the prestige of the Vaiṣṇava acaryas will be preserved, self-salvation made possible, and a progressive welfare of the country.
Therefore it is our humble request to all the lovers of Braja that please beware of such predators, who are engaged in annihilating the divinity of the dhāma and who neither have any basis of worship of dhāma nor authentic evidence from the scriptures. One thing is for sure, that they are busy making their livelihood by somehow presenting what they think is right, deceiving others in the garb of being loyal, attracting those of a similar nature, and misguiding the innocent.
Political ideologies used by British rulers in India
These two aspects had surprised British rulers:
• Ancient Gurukula system of education
• Indian agriculture
British ruler Robert Clive further investigated into Indian agriculture and found that:
• Cows play the key role and that without cows India will fail in its produce.
• The root of good agriculture is the cows and their presence needs to be removed.
Thus the first slaughterhouse was opened in 1760 and 30,000 cows were butchered; within one year almost 1-crore cows were killed.
• The number of cows in Bengal is more than the population, a similar scenario existed in many other states.
• In order to create social imbalance many many slaughter houses were opened with great pomp knowing that once cows were eliminated, there would be less fertilizer made from cow dung and urine to subdue diseases. This was his scheme before leaving the country.
Just imagine the agricultural growth of India had the slaughterhouses not been opened!
During 1740, just in one acre of land 54-quintal of rice was produced by natural fertilizer made from cow dung and urine.
Prahlāda described this same mood for shelter in the Bhāgavat.
Hiraṇyakaśipu asked, “Prahlāda, by whose power have you become so impudent? When I become angry, the three worlds tremble in fear. The demigods, Brahmā, and Śiva, also tremble with fear and before someone as powerful as I, you are standing fearless. You are not only standing fearlessly before me, but you have violated my rule, and you even sing the glory of my enemy, what power do you have?”
na kevalaṁ me bhavataś ca rājan
sa vai balaṁ balināṁ cāpareṣām
pare ’vare ’mī sthira-jaṅgamā ye
brahmādayo yena vaśaṁ praṇītāḥ
Prahlāda Mahārāja said: My dear King, the source of my strength, of which you are asking, is also the source of yours. Indeed, the original source of all kinds of strength is one. He is not only your strength or mine, but the only strength for everyone. Without Him, no one can get any strength. Whether moving or not moving, superior or inferior, everyone, including Lord Brahmā, is controlled by the strength of the Supreme Personality of Godhead.
na kevalaṁ me bhavataś ca rājan; Here without addressing him as father, Prahlāda spoke to Hiraṇyakaśipu, the king of demons, “This question is wrong, the power one has, a devotee of God does not try see the power in anyone, but acknowledges the Source, this is the real surrender to God.”
We people think that we are a singer, a musician, a Bhāgavat kathā speaker, “Oh I am a good lecturer”; all these things are wrong. A devotee thinks not only within, but of any powerful personality of this world; everyone, the inanimate creatures, mountains, rivers, and animate creatures, seas, living entities, human beings, animals, and birds, have but one power and are controlled by the all powerful God. Therefore one who is a devotee does not contemplate any power within.
Hanumānji replied in the same way to Rāvaṇa as was spoken by Prahladji.
Hanumān said this to Rāvaṇa Sundara-khāṇḍa doha 21st doha. Meghnada, son of Rāvaṇa, arrested Hanumān and carried him into the court of Rāvaṇa. In service to Lord Rāma, Hanumān was suddenly bound. He was violent himself, all the demons came and brought Hanumānji to the court of Rāvaṇa. Rāvaṇa had so much opulence that you could not even describe. All the demigods were standing there with folded hands and they were careful to not ever make Rāvaṇa’s eyes twist in anger.
The father of Hanumānji, the Wind god, Pawana deva, was also standing there respectfully. They were all looking toward Hanumān. He saw that the demigods were suffering here, and with a signal he indicated, ‘Have patience, even today I will destroy your suffering.’ Hanumānji had no doubt. To see Hanumānji, Rāvaṇa laughed. He abused Hanumān and said, “Who are you? By whose power did you destroy my Ashok vatika garden? Don’t you understand my power; do I see that you have some doubt? You have killed many demons, why did you kill them? You have no fear of death.”
Hanumānji said, “Who is this Māyā that creates infinite universes, and by Whose power Brahmā, Viṣṇu, and Śiva, nourish, create, and destroy the universe, by Whose power Śeṣayī, the snake Śeṣa, possesses all the earth? From Whom there are many incarnations to teach the living entities, Who broke the bow of Lord Śiva, Who destroyed the arrogance of all the kings, Who killed powerful demons like Khardushan and Bāli?”
Then Hanumānji said, jāke bal lavles te jiteu charachar jhār; “By obtaining a little power from the same God, you conquered all the world. I am the messenger of that God Lord Rāma, Whose dear wife you kidnapped.
I have no power and neither you any power, no one has any power, and you think that I am powerful. You have been defeated by a very powerful King Sahasrabāhu and also you were defeated by Bāli; this is the truth.”
Listening to this Rāvaṇa laughed. Hanumān said, “I ate the fruits from this garden because I was hungry, this is the habit of monkeys to pluck the trees. But fear that Lord, which is feared by time and death. That God is the Lord of animate and inanimate creatures.” Here Hanumānji taught Rāvaṇa. “Don’t have enmity with this great God and on my request return Sītā to Lord Rāma. God protects each and every one of us, He is the ocean of mercy, you have kidnapped Sītā, but Rāma would forgive you.”
Everybody glorifies himself, “I have done this! This work was done by me.” If somebody does a little sweeping and says, “Baba, alone I have swept the temple.” All these things are wrong. False ego should not come at all; this is humility in shelter.
By false ego, lust and anger generate. When the false ego is not present, what ever you think, you take it as the inspiration of God. What ever you do you is by the desire of God, and all unfavorable things will gradually disappear, and unshakable faith will manifest, even if some one speaks many doubtful things, he will not misguide you.
You will accept God as a protector, not pay any attention to any rich man that comes, and flatter him. One will not consider the happiness of a woman, whether to get her love or some sexual gratification, this is not within the mind of a devotee. This is called surrender to God. A devotee does not possess an undermining mind, intelligence, nor false ego, he has nothing. He just surrenders everything to God.
Even if there is a laddu before you, no desire for eating would come. Before you there is sense gratification, the objects of sexual intercourse, but you have no sensual appetite, our state is such; even if there is no laddu, just by listening to the name of laddu we become greedy. Then where is the surrender? When the ‘contemplating mind’ is not present, the mind, due to habit, would think of sense gratification.
It is an illusion to think; “That these are my sons, my wife, my money, my property, and this is my land.” We have to utilize these gifts through a spiritualized mind; this is called full surrender. When there is full surrender, submitting to God, even though ‘the laddu’ is before you, there is no active attachment. Even though the object of sexual intercourse is before one, which would naturally consume the ordinary mind, detachment is there because the false ego is not present. This is ātma-nivedanam surrender to God. This is my reply.
In the Ramayana, Tulsi Das Goswami has described the essence of the Devi Bhagavat, how such low class persons come in Kali Yuga, unlike Dvapara or Treta. Again, such degraded persons were not on this earthly plain during the Satya and Treta-yugas, but were in hell at that time, for thousands and thousands of years. After 17 lac years(17,000,000), Satya-yuga is 30 million years, 17 million in Treta-yuga, and Dvapara is 12 million, and Kali Yuga is 4 lac 32,000 years(432,000). In Satya, Treta, and Dvapara, we were in complete darkness at that time. [This means for 59 million years we lived in hell and after that Kali yuga comes and then we appear on
this earth] Then we come to fulfil our material and sensual desires. In the Kali-yuga the persons who were in Satya, Dvapara, and Treta , they go to the heavenly planets, the svarga lokas. This is every important to under stand. We should not consider that we are very qualified, or a high devotee.
This Kali-yuga has a very rare quality, which makes it the foremost period, it is ahead of Satya, Treta and Dvapara. What is this special quality of Kali yuga? It is stated in the Ramayana that there is no yuga like Kali-yuga… Why so? Only in the Kali-yuga is there Harinama sankirtan, only by chanting the glories of the Lord can one cross this material ocean. This is the main important feature of Kali-yuga.———–
So in all sampradāyas, this principle of respect for others is followed. But foolish persons like us, thinking only in terms of rules and regulations, consistently commit offenses to other devotees. This kind of bhajan is like offering ashes into the fire, there is no benefit, and everything becomes zero.
In this way Lord Kapila says that if one is trying to worship the Lord but is not paying respect to other living entities, his worship is useless, it is destroyed.
One who gives true respect to others is very rare in this world; Gosvāmī Nabhaji says that such saints are personally empowered by the Lord.
We tend to hanker for our own respect, like a doubly hungry person who wants attention. How can such a person give respect to others when he himself wants respect?
The Lord has created very special devotees who are able to offer proper veneration to other souls. These are the real devotees, the pure devotees who are especially chosen by the Lord, they always give respect to others. They never desire their own glorification, even in dreams. In reference to such devotees, Kṛṣṇa says:
maitraḥ karuṇa eva ca
santuṣṭaḥ satataṁ yogī
yo mad-bhaktaḥ sa me priyaḥ
One who is not envious but is a kind friend to all living entities, who does not think himself a proprietor and is free from false ego, who is equal in both happiness and distress, who is tolerant, always satisfied, self-controlled, and engaged in devotional service with determination, his mind and intelligence fixed on Me—such a devotee of Mine is very dear to Me.
“My devotee has friendship with all persons, My devotees treat other living entities with such love and compassion.”
When all three kinds of material desires are destroyed, only then can you truly call upon God, then God will come in your heart, and even if you try to push Him away, He will not leave you. This is the ‘mystery’, which Nāradaji discloses to the Pracetās.
Aug 20 2013 AM Devotion Beyond the Modes of Nature
The last few days discourses have focused on the main theme of devotional life, dīnatā or humility. All obstacles in devotional affairs arise due to mada(intoxication) or moha(illusion). In humility or honesty there is no mada or moha. The root cause of falling from devotional life is mada, creating undermining activity within the mind. That is why, from the very beginning, a person should remain humble; then one can remain peaceful.
Lord Kapila describes that there are various bhavas within bhakti, where varying degrees of mada are present, resulting in an assortment in siddhis(perfections) , and devotional achievements.
Bhakti has various features and persons in the devotional line are called bhakti yogis and fall within distinctive categories. Why is bhava is of so many types?
The various colors of devotion reflect the qualities within us. According to what is within, a bhava(devotional mellow) will manifest. In this context, Lord Kapila elaborates about the process of bhakti yoga.
He instructs, that when there is a presence of a rajas mentality, devotion becomes ‘rajas devotion’, tamas mentality, tamas devotion, and sattvic mentality, sattvic devotion. These are known as guṇamaya, devotions based on the guṇas or the modes of nature.
The fourth type is nirguṇa bhakti, devotion beyond the modes of nature, the true devotional path, where wisdom and renunciation come automatically. Which wisdom allows a darshan(a vision) of the Lord?
janayaty āśu vairāgyaṁ
jñānaṁ ca yad ahaitukam
By rendering devotional service unto the Personality of Godhead, Śrī Kṛṣṇa, one immediately acquires causeless knowledge and detachment.
There is a difference here; wisdom that is causeless will enable devotion beyond the modes of material nature, nirguṇa bhakti, as described by Lord Kapila, ahaituky apratihatā yayātmā(unmotivated and unbroken). Devotion is never for gaining fame and wealth, these are separate grounds.
There are tamas causes like violence etc. External devotion is a manifestation of pride and showing off. Then there are sattvic causes also; we want salvation or liberation. Sattvic reasons are higher than rajas or tamas origins, but causes are causes.
Bg 9. 12
rākṣasīm āsurīṁ caiva
prakṛtiṁ mohinīṁ śritāḥ
Those who are thus bewildered are attracted by demonic and atheistic views. In that deluded condition, their hopes for liberation, their fruitive activities, and their culture of knowledge are all defeated.
The different natures can be demoniac, rājasic, or attracted, dominated by jealousy, envy, and violence; devotion based on these scenarios will be tamas devotion as stated by Lord Kapliladeva. Violence, anger, and pride will invite subordinate devotions.
Those of us who may have the best association but despite the saṅga, remain angry, are known as samgam (attached). Persons who are samgam are prone to commit offenses against other devotees, and commit bhakta aparādhe, which creates obstacles on the path of devotion. Sadly, they commit offenses against other devotees and have to leave. Therefore, from the very beginning persons should strive for pure devotion; then tamas devotion will not develop in them. Who has an envious nature? Who indulges in sensual pleasures? He/She is one who is under the influence of rājas bhakti; a platform that invites many future obstacles.
That’s why only the genuine ācāryas or those who are actually empowered by the Lord can preach. Persons like us we cannot preach.
Rāmānuja’s disciples said to him, “Gurudeva, there are so many people who criticize you.” The same problem came before Caitanya Mahāprabhu. He was accused of being a worshiper of Durgā when he would perform all night kirtana with his devotees in Srivasa angan. Caitanya Mahāprabhu later left Navadvipa.
The disciples of Rāmānuja said, “When we call you an incarnation of Śeṣanāga, people ridicule you by saying that, ‘Yes you are like a snake’. Please show them your mercy by showing them your real power.”
Rāmānujācārya, being an ācārya said; “What is the need of showing them a miracle? No-one can see my form of Śeṣanāga.”
The disciples said, “People are saying that just as Śeṣanāga has a thousand mouths, if you are able to answer a thousand questions at once, then these people will be satisfied.”
Rāmānujā Swami accepted this proposal. He said; “Alright, I can do this because you are so anxious to show mercy to these people. Draw a curtain and make 1,000 people sit before me, then they can ask 1,000 questions simultaneously, and instantaneously I will answer those 1,000 questions.”
So the disciples drew a curtain there and 1,000 people were assembled together behind the curtain. They all asked a question simultaneously. Someone asked, “What is the process to achieve Brahman”. Another asked, “What is the symptom of a great saint?”
In this way, 1,000 questions were asked and concurrently Rāmānujācārya gave 1,000 answers. Hearing these answers coming in this way, the people became eager to see how he was able to reply like this, so even without permission they removed the curtain. There they saw Rāmānujācārya manifesting the form of Śeṣanāga. By seeing His effulgence, they fainted.
When he brought them again to their senses, they were all awe struck and realized his actual position. They apologized for their lack of faith and started glorifying Rāmānujā Swami
I narrated this story because it shows how those ācāryas, who are truly great preachers, are not ordinary beings like you and I. We fall down just by seeing some nice laddu or burfi. Before we deliver a lecture we think, “First I should eat some burfi or laddus.”
Or we are attached to the money that may come from our preaching; we are influenced by raga, dveṣa, attachment and hatred. Attachment and hatred is spread throughout society. People find it hard to tolerate it when others are appreciated.
It is stated in SB 4.4.13
SB 6.5.1 describes how Dakṣa, the father of Sati, had produced 10,000 sons. He ordered them to do austerity on the west side bank of the River Sindhu at the confluence with the sea. “There is a great took bath, their minds were purified and they began to perform austerities and engage in Bhagavat dharma.
Then Nāradaji arrived at that place and they told him of their desires to marry, he interjected, “Oh why do you want to marry?” Then in 6th sloka, he asks ten questions to the Haryaśvas. SB 6.5.6-8;
uvāca cātha haryaśvāḥ kathaṁ srakṣyatha vai prajāḥ
adṛṣṭvāntaṁ bhuvo yūyaṁ bāliśā bata pālakāḥ
tathaika-puruṣaṁ rāṣṭraṁ bilaṁ cādṛṣṭa-nirgamam
bahu-rūpāṁ striyaṁ cāpi pumāṁsaṁ puṁścalī-patim
nadīm ubhayato vāhāṁ pañca-pañcādbhutaṁ gṛham
kvacid dhaṁsaṁ citra-kathaṁ kṣaura-pavyaṁ svayaṁ bhrami
The great sage Nārada said: My dear Haryaśvas, you have not seen the extremities of the earth. There is a kingdom where only one man lives and where there is a hole from which, having entered, no one emerges. A woman there who is extremely unchaste adorns herself with various attractive dresses, and the man who lives there is her husband. In that kingdom, there is a river flowing in both directions, a wonderful home made of twenty-five materials, a swan that vibrates various sounds, and an automatically revolving object made of sharp razors and thunderbolts. You have not seen all this, and therefore you are inexperienced boys without advanced knowledge. How, then, will you create progeny?
“Can you answer these questions, and if you cannot then are you not foolish, thinking that you can create in this world?” In 7th and 8th sloka he says “There is a country, only one person is there, there is a small cave, one fool is in there, a women is there who changes into many forms, and the man who is the husband of the adulterous wife. There is strange house made up of 25 elements, a swan with strange stories and a rotating chakra.
Through this medium, he asked ten hidden questions to the 10,000 sons of Dakṣa, probing for answers, these inquiries displayed great-concealed knowledge, and they reconsidered their position as they came to know more about the world.
The first point-question refers to a country, where there is no end. He is referring to the subtle body, which is called the living entity, traveling without cessation, wandering through a myriad of 84 million species of life. Despite the endless journey, if someone awakens to this predicament, then the roadshow can end immediately.
Then there is a person, a small man-god, a glow-worm only, a mad person whose associates are duplicate fools. There is a small hole, if someone enters, he cannot return. The living entity falls into the hole of this material world and forgets to approach God. There is a women who changes her forms, she is the mind, and is ‘buddhi’, intelligence, affected by the illusions of sattvas, rajas, and tamas, and maneuvers within the gross material field, of birds, animals, and human beings, forgetful to the results of activity. In this way, the mind, a very lusty woman, influences the ‘Master Soul’ to wonder here and there.