SB 7.7.29-31 — March 15, 1967, San Francisco

Prabhupāda: [chants maṅgalācaraṇa prayers] 

ayaṁ bhagavatoditaḥ
yad īśvare bhagavati
yathā yair añjasā ratiḥ
[SB 7.7.29]

So in last day meeting we have discussed that we have to crush the seed of this material existence. Bīja-nirharaṇaṁ yogaḥ. Bīja. So long the seed is there, we may practice something for spiritual realization, meditation, or the gymnastic yoga—or there are so many other things—but the seed is there. We may be forgetful of our existence, nirvāṇa, void, or hallucination. But because the bīja, the seed, is there, as soon as the effect of such imperfect method is finished, again you come to that Again. This is the bīja. The same example, just like weeds in the field. They appeared completely dried up. There is no more. But as soon as there are drops of rain, oh, again it becomes green. Because the seed is there. So if you want to wipe out the seed of this material existence, then Prahlāda Mahārāja recommends that tatropāya-sahasrāṇām. There are maybe…, there may be many hundreds and thousands of process for wipe out, not wipe out, just to bring you to some transcendental position, forgetfulness of your material existence. There may be. But Prahlāda Mahārāja says that sahasrāṇām ayaṁ bhagavatoditaḥ. The method of Kṛṣṇa consciousness described in the Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam, yad īśvare bhagavati yathā yair añjasā ratiḥ, this can give you the wiping-out method. If you come to Kṛṣṇa consciousness, then the seed of material existence will be completely stopped. Because there will be no… It is very practical. 

What is this Kṛṣṇa consciousness? We are described several times that ānukūlyena kṛṣṇānu-śīlanam [Cc. Madhya 19.167]. [feedback] [aside:] Why this sound? Ānukūlyena kṛṣṇānu-śīlanam. You have to serve Kṛṣṇa favorably. That’s all. And, in another passage we find Kṛṣṇa consciousness means that this, I mean to say, our senses, at the present moment, they are engaged in material activities. So you have to change the rubber stamp simply. You have to act. Not that by Kṛṣṇa consciousness, you will be a dull stone. No. The activity will be there. Therefore sometimes we are misunderstood that “What sort of Kṛṣṇa consciousness is there? They are also eating. They are also typewriting. They are also going to office. They are also working. And everything is there. They are looking after printing press. And so many things, everything. What is this Kṛṣṇa?” Because it is simply being done on account of Kṛṣṇa. The consciousness is the same. Your consciousness, my consciousness is the same. If you apply to certain objective, that is called “that-consciousness.” Similarly, if you apply your consciousness simply for Kṛṣṇa, ānukūlyena kṛṣṇānu-śīlanam [Cc. Madhya 19.167], just favorably, you, I mean…, engage your senses for the purpose of Kṛṣṇa. As Kṛṣṇa advises in the Bhagavad-gītā, yudhyasva mām anusmara: [Bg. 8.7] “You fight. At the same time, think of Me.” That is the prescription. So Arjuna, he was a fighter. In the beginning, he was a fighter. At the end he remained a fighter. He did not change his position. After hearing Bhagavad-gītā, he did not change his position—he was a fighter, and he become a mendicant, or he become a swami. No. He did not become a swami. He remained as fighter, but the account was changed. Rubber stamp was changed. That’s all. He was considering fighting from his own standard point of view. He was thinking, “Oh, how can I fight with my grandfather? How can I fight with my teacher? How can I…” So he was thinking on his personal account. But when Kṛṣṇa informed him, instructed him, Bhagavad-gītā, that “Your business is to fight for Me,” and he changed his decision. This is Kṛṣṇa consciousness. You have to change your position only. That’s all. This is Bhāgavatam. This is, if you practice acting only for Kṛṣṇa, then that seed of your material existence will be wiped out completely. So that is bīja-nirharaṇam, wiping out the seed altogether. 

guru-śuśrūṣayā bhaktyā
sarva-labdhārpaṇena ca
saṅgena sādhu-bhaktānām
īśvarārādhanena ca

Now he’s describing what is Kṛṣṇa consciousness, how to practice it. The practice is, the first thing is, Prahlāda Mahārāja recommends guru-śuśrūṣayā. Guru-śuśrūṣayā. Guru-śuśrū… means that you have to first of all select a spiritual master. Without a teacher, without guidance, nobody can make any process. Even if you have passed M.A., and if you want to put some theses and if you want to get yourself doctorate degree, then it is the system that the theses should be guided by three expert Ph.D.'s. This is the system. So similarly, if you want to be purely Kṛṣṇa conscious person, then you must select a person who can give you instruction, who can guide you in the matter of Kṛṣṇa consciousness. So Bhagavad-gītā also teaches us the same thing: tad viddhi praṇipātena paripraśnena sevayā [Bg. 4.34]. If you want to understand that transcendental science, then you have to understand from an expert, upadekṣyanti tad jñānam. The expert who is in, expert in that knowledge, he will instruct you, upadekṣyanti tad jñānaṁ jñāninas tattva-darśinaḥ. One who has actually realized, he will teach you. Therefore you have to go to such a person. And in the Kathopanisad, Vedas, it is also stated, the same thing: tad-vijñānārthaṁ sa gurum eva abhigacchet [MU 1.2.12]. If you want to learn that science, the transcendental science, then you have to approach a bona fide spiritual master. Who is bona fide spiritual master? That is also mentioned. Samit-pāniḥ śrotriyaṁ brahma-niṣṭham. That spiritual master, there are two signs. What is that? Śrotriyam. Śrotriyam means he’s coming in disciplic succession by hearing process. This is very important. One has to hear from the superior, not to manufacture. One must hear. Because the subject matter is transcendental, beyond our senses. Simply the same example: if you want to know something about India, and because I have come from India, you can ask me, “What is the Indian condition?” I can present perfectly. But you cannot imagine. Or you have to read some books of India. 

So this is the process of knowledge. So in the Bhagavad-gītā also it is stated, evaṁ paramparā-prāptam imaṁ rājarṣayo viduḥ [Bg. 4.2]. That paramparā, by disciplic succession. So guru means śrotriyam, who has heard nicely, perfectly from his spiritual master. And his spiritual master must have heard from his spiritual master. In this way, you go on, ultimately, Kṛṣṇa becomes the spiritual master. Just like Kṛṣṇa instructed Arjuna. And if you follow the principles of Arjuna, as he heard, as he understood, then you also hear from Kṛṣṇa. What did he do, Kṛṣṇa, uh, Arjuna, after hearing Bhagavad-gītā? He said, “O my dear Kṛṣṇa,” naṣṭo mohaḥ, “my illusion is over,” tvat-prasādāt, “by Your kindness.” That means, “You have so kindly instructed me. Now my illusion is over.” Then what you are going to do? Your illusion is over? Ah, kariṣye tad vacanam: “Oh, I shall act as You are advising me.” That means, “I shall fight. I shall fight.” So evaṁ param… If Arjuna understood Kṛṣṇa in this way That is a fact. You’ll find in the Bhagavad-gītā. Now, if you follow the principle or the footprints of Arjuna, that Arjuna understood Bhagavad-gītā in this way Now, if you follow the principles of Arjuna, then you understand Bhagavad-gītā. It is not very difficult. That is stated, how, what, what Arjuna understood. That is stated in the Bhagavad-gītā, in the Tenth Chapter: paraṁ brahma paraṁ dhāma pavitraṁ paramaṁ bhavān [Bg. 10.12]. He accepted that “You are Supreme Personality of Godhead. Nobody knows about Your personality.” These things are described there. 

So you haven’t got to labor very hard. If you simply follow mahājano yena gataḥ sa panthāḥ [Cc. Madhya 17.186], if you follow the footprints of great personalities like Arjuna, like Nārada, like Brahmā, like Śaṅkarācārya, like Rāmānujācārya, oh, they are there. Their precepts and their injunction is there. But you have to select a person, a bona fide spiritual master. You have to see that whether he’s actually in that disciplic succession. And how you can test it? You’ll test it that a bona fide spiritual master will instruct you the same thing as Kṛṣṇa instructed. How it is that? That Kṛṣṇa said that sarva-dharmān parityajya mām ekaṁ śaraṇaṁ vraja: [Bg. 18.66] “You give up all engagements and you just surrender unto Me,” the spiritual master will say the same thing, that “You surrender to Kṛṣṇa.” He’ll not say, “Not to Kṛṣṇa, but to something else, nonsense.” He’s not a spiritual master. Just try to understand. This is paramparā system. There will be no difference between the instruction of Kṛṣṇa and the spiritual master. The same thing. Kṛṣṇa said that “You surrender unto Me,” and the spiritual master will say, “You surrender unto Kṛṣṇa.” Not that “Not to Kṛṣṇa, but to me.” Just… This is the point. Therefore a bona fide spiritual master means there is no difference of instruction from the original instructor and down to this point. He’s bona fide spiritual master. So therefore you have to select. If you actually want to make progress in Kṛṣṇa consciousness, then you have to select. It requires some labor, or it requires some intelligence. That’s all. It is not very difficult. There are, there are still in this world direct disciplic succession. But you have got…, you must have got some intelligence. Then you can understand. 

So Prahlāda Mahārāja said, tatra, uh, guru-śuśrūṣayā. So you have to begin your spiritual, your Kṛṣṇa consciousness by accepting a bona fide spiritual master in the disciplic succession. And your first business will be guru-śuśrūṣā. Ṣuśrūṣā means to please the Supreme, this is spiritual master, by service, sevayā. In the Bhagavad-gītā also it is said, tad viddhi praṇipātena paripraśnena sevayā [Bg. 4.34]. If you want to learn that transcendental science, then you have to adopt three processes in the beginning. You have to select one, a bona fide spiritual master. Then you have to surrender. The same surrender process. You have to select such a spiritual master that you can surrender there. If you think, “Oh, this, this swamijī or the spiritual master is less intelligent than me or less educated than me or less in so many ways,” then you cannot select a spiritual master. You have to select another person where you will find that “Here is a mind, here is man where I can surrender. Yes, he is greater than me in so many respects. Therefore I can surrender.” This is called praṇipāt. So selection of spiritual master means first of all you must agree that “Here is a personality where I can bow down my head, yes.” Everyone is proud. Why shall he bow down before a person unless he understands that “Here is a personality who is greater than me”? So this is the first condition, praṇipāt. Praṇipāt means prakṛṣṭa-rūpeṇa nipāt. You have to become blank slate: “Now, sir, whatever I have learned, oh, I forget. It is now blank slate. Now you write whatever you like.” This is the first condition. Praṇipātena, and sevayā. Sevayā means service. So because the service is wanting, so one has to serve the spiritual master. It is indicated that even if you are the greatest personality, you have to approach and serve the spiritual master just like ordinary menial servant. Menial servant. If the spiritual master says, “My dear boy, you just cleanse my shoes,” or any, I mean to say, abominable, oh, he’ll be ready. This is called sevayā. And praṇipātena, sevayā. Praṇipātena…, paripraśnena and sevayā. Paripraśna means when you cannot understand, you must place, “Sir, I cannot understand this portion.” This is the process. 

So this is called śuśrūṣayā. Prahlāda Mahārāja says, guru-śuśrūṣayā bhaktyā. And with devotion, with love and faith, not officially, “Because I have kept a pet spiritual master, so officially I have to…” No. With faith and devotion. And sarva-labdhārpaṇena ca. The brahmacārī system means he should live with the spiritual master and collect fund. Of course, in India still, the system is there that in the four kinds of social orders, the brahmacārī, gṛhastha, vānaprastha and sannyāsa… There are four divisions in the social order. First the righteous, pious students-students with purified life and a spiritual education. That is called brahmacārī. Then gṛhastha, family life, living with wife and children. Then vānaprastha, retired life. Then sannyāsa, renounced life. So these gṛhasthas are meant for maintaining three other āśramas. A gṛhastha, a householder, because he’s given the license for sense enjoyment, therefore he has to compensate his sensual gratification by giving charities to other three āśramas. Brahmacārī, vānaprastha and sannyāsa. So the system is any brahmacārī or any sannyāsī goes to a householder, “Mother, give me some alms. I am brahmacārī,” [s]he will at once give. At once give. So this is the system. 

So… So brahmacārī, brahmacārī’s business is that he will collect, he’ll earn everything, but it is for his spiritual master. Everything given. “Sir, I have given you.” He doesn’t possess anything. This is brahmacārī. Even there is injunction that even if the spiritual master forgets to call the brahmacārī—“My dear boy, come and take prasādam,”—oḥ, he’ll not touch by his own accord. Because Guru Mahārāja has forgotten to call him, oh, he’ll fast on that day. There are so many restrictions. Of course, in the Vedic scripture… So brahmacārī means that he has no personal profit. And do you mean to say that the spiritual master will take from the brahmacārī everything and he’ll, I mean to say, grab the whole thing for his personal sense enjoyment? No. He, whatever he receives, he offers to Kṛṣṇa. For Kṛṣṇa. So therefore Kṛṣṇa, offering is to Kṛṣṇa through the transparent via media of spiritual master. Because directly I do not know Kṛṣṇa. Directly I do not know how to offer Kṛṣṇa. Therefore my business is to offer it through the agent. Just like if you want to pay something to the government, you have to pay to the treasury, not directly to president. You have to pay through the treasury. Similarly, this is the process of understanding Kṛṣṇa consciousness. 

Guru-śuśrūṣayā bhaktyā sarva-labdhārpaṇena ca, saṅgena sādhu-bhaktānām. And you have to live with society who are trying to advance in Kṛṣṇa consciousness. Sādhu-saṅgena. Simply official offering will not help you. You have to contact. Therefore this association required. This Society is necessary to give chance to the people that they may come and live in the Society and they reform their character, their habits. So that is required. These are all recommended: saṅgena sādhu-bhaktānām. Sādhu-bhaktānām. Sādhu and bhakta. Not the karmīs. There are different classes of men. Some of them are called karmīs, some of them are called jñānīs, some of them are called yogis, and some of them are called bhaktas, or devotees. So here Prahlāda Mahārāja does not recommend that you have to make your association with karmīs or you have to make your association with jñānīs or you have to make your association with the yogis. But here it is clearly stated, saṅgena sādhu-bhaktānām. Sādhu means a devotee, and bhakta means who is actually engaged in devotional service. With their association you have to develop, not with the karmīs. Who are karmīs? Karmīs means those who are after sense gratification. They will work hard day and night like any animal and, when they get some result, they engage all the profits in sense gratification. That is called karmī. And jñānī means those who are still not in actual Kṛṣṇa consciousness, but they are trying to understand that this life is not good. This hard life, this working day and night simply for sense gratification, oh, it is not good. They are trying something else. So generally they come to enjoy mental speculation. Just like the karmīs, they are trying to satisfy their senses, similarly, the jñānīs, they want to satisfy their mind. Their mind It is a little more elevated. But still, they are on the material platform because these senses and mind and intelligence, up to intelligence, that is all matter. There is no question of spiritual understanding. Mental speculation, speculators, they are not on the spiritual platform. They are on the material platform. So here And the yogis. Yogis, still more further advanced from jñāna, from the mental speculative platform, when one comes to the platform of finding out the soul within by meditation, they are still elevated. So But the bhaktas, they are already engaged. They have not only found out the Supreme Personality of Godhead, but they are actually engaged in His service. They are called bhaktas, devotees. 

So here Prahlāda Mahārāja, he recommends that first of all you have to engage yourself under the guidance, under the service of a bona fide spiritual master, and then you have to keep yourself in association of the devotees—not with the yogis, not with the jñānīs, not with the karmīs. He specifically mentions. And sādhūnām īśvara-ārādhanena ca. And you, in their association, you have to worship the Supreme Lord, worship. So this, in this age the worship of Supreme Lord is very simple. The worship of Supreme Lord is very simple. That is mentioned in the Bhāgavata, that, 

kṛṣṇa-varṇaṁ tviṣākṛṣṇaṁ
yajñaiḥ saṅkīrtana-prāyair
yajanti hi sumedhasaḥ
[SB 11.5.32]

In this age, in this age, Kali-yuga, there is incarnation of God. What is that, incarnation of God? Now He’s tviṣa-akṛṣṇam, His bodily complexion is not black. Kṛṣṇa is blackish, but He is Kṛṣṇa, that Lord Caitanya. Lord Caitanya, Kṛṣṇa. And what is His business? Now, kṛṣṇa-varṇam. He’s always chanting Hare Kṛṣṇa, Hare Kṛṣṇa, Kṛṣṇa Kṛṣṇa, Hare Hare, Hare Rāma…, varṇayati. Kṛṣṇa-varṇaṁ tviṣākṛṣṇam and saṅgopaṅgāstra-pārṣadam [SB 11.5.32]. He’s associated… You see the picture. He’s associated with four others. And in this picture also you see, associated. So you put this picture or form before you and just go on chanting and dancing. This is worship. Just go on chanting and dancing. This is worship. That we are doing every day. No more, no more going to anywhere. You just keep Lord Caitanya before you and go on chanting and dancing. Your all worship finished. It is very simple. Very simple. We are simply just demonstrating everything. You can do it. You can have a picture like this and you can chant with the tune. If you like, you can play the record and chant. That is very nice. So all worship is concentrated there. Here it is said that sādhu-bhaktānām saṅgena and īśvarārādhanena ca, and you have to worship. So if you make this process, then you become fully in Kṛṣṇa consciousness wherever you live and whatever you are, and your life is perfect. And there is nothing objectionable. This picture, anyone can have. This picture or small picture, whatever you can. Like this way, Caitanya Mahāprabhu’s picture, and offer Him little fruits and little flower and little incense, and chant and dance. Never mind what you are, what is your condition. Everything will come later on. Yena tena prakareṇa manaḥ kṛṣṇe niveṣayet. Somehow or other you engage your mind in this process. Then everything will come automatically. You’ll know. You’ll know what to do. And there is spiritual master guidance. This is the beginning of Kṛṣṇa consciousness. 

Śraddhayā tat-kathāyāṁ ca. He is further explaining. Śraddhayā, with faith and devotion, śraddhā. Śraddha means faith and devotion. So this faith and devotion is the beginning, is the basic principle of Kṛṣṇa consciousness. Adau śraddhā tato sādhu-saṅga tato bhajana-kriyā anartha-nivṛttiḥ syāt. This is the process. So here it is also said, śraddhayā tat-kathāyāṁ ca. When there is a speech about Kṛṣṇa, or about Bhagavad-gītā or Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam. So śraddhayā tat-kathā… [end] 

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