So Prahlāda Mahārāja is recommending how to begin bhakti-yoga. Bhakti-yoga, the first beginning is ādau gurvāśrayam, as Rūpa Gosvāmī recommends. Ādau gurvāśrayam, the beginning, first beginning is to accept a bona fide spiritual master. Ādau gurvāśrayam. Sad-dharma-pṛcchat. So it is not that official accepting a spiritual master, but one should be very much inquisitive to understand about eternal duty or eternal activities. Sad-dharma. Sat means eternal, and dharma means characteristics. Eternal characteristics. What is that eternal characteristics? With this body, we change our characteristics. That is not eternal characteristics. Just like a human body. The standard of living of a human being and the standard of living of an animal, different. As the body changes, the standard of living also changes. Therefore, they are not eternal. They are not eternal. Everyone is trying to live, struggle for existence, but these living conditions are different, according to the body. The body is made according to his destination of happiness and distress by superior authority. I cannot say that I will have such-and-such body my next life. But in one sense, if I am intelligent, I can prepare my next body. I can prepare my body to live in certain planets, in certain societies. Even you can go to the higher planets. And if I like, I can prepare my body to go to the abode of Kṛṣṇa, Goloka Vṛndāvana. That is the function. Human body is meant for that intelligence, that what kind of body I shall have in my next life? Just like a student educates himself with an ambition that “When I am grown up I shall have this standard of life. I shall become a high-court judge, I shall become a military man, I shall become a very good businessman.” As there are different ambitions, similarly, for your next life also you can maintain different ambitions. That is in your hands. That is stated in the Bhagavad-gītā, yānti deva-vratā devān, if you are ambitious to elevate yourself… Just like people are trying to go to the moon planet, that is an ambition. But they are trying to fulfill the ambition wrongly. That is not the way, that we manufacture some machine and by force we enter into the moon planet. That is not possible. You have to undergo certain rules and regulations so that after quitting this body you are allowed to get a particular type of body suitable for a particular type of planet.
yānti deva-vratā devān
pitṝn yānti pitṛ-vratāḥ
bhūtāni yānti bhūtejyā
mad-yājino ‘pi yānti mām
Those who are desiring to enter into the higher planetary system where demigods live, Candraloka, Sūryaloka, Indraloka, Varuṇaloka, Vāyuloka, Brahmaloka, Dhruvaloka, Bhūr, Bhuvar, Svar, there are different millions of…, vibhūti-bhinnam. Yasya prabhā prabhavato jagad-aṇḍa-koṭi-koṭiṣv aśeṣa-vasudhādi-vibhūti-bhinnam [Bs. 5.40]. In the brahma-jyotir of Kṛṣṇa, there are innumerable planets. The spiritual portion, there are innumerable Vaikuṇṭhas. Vaikuṇṭha means… Kuṇṭha means anxiety. Where there is no anxiety, simply pleasure, that is our life. Here also we want a very happy life without any anxiety. That is our tendency. We try to make a very nice comfortable house, a very good bank balance, all secure so that I can live there very comfortably. That competition is going on. But that is not possible here. Here saṁsāra-dāvānala. This saṁsāra, it is meant for suffering. Dāvānala, just like forest fire. Nobody sets in the forest fire, but it takes automatically. So however you may try to live here comfortably, happily, peacefully, eternally, it is not possible. That is the difference between this temporary material manifestation and eternal, eternal Vaikuṇṭhaloka, spiritual world.
So this Kṛṣṇa consciousness movement means to prepare a body, next life, by approaching Kṛṣṇaloka. Kṛṣṇaloka, Vaikuṇṭhaloka, innumerable there are. This material manifestation of universes, here also there are innumerable universes. The one universe we are seeing or one solar system we are seeing, but there are innumerable solar systems. That is admitted by modern science also. So all these innumerable solar systems or brahmāṇḍas or universes, they form only one third manifestation of God’s creation. Only one third. Ekāṁśena sthito jagat. But the Vaikuṇṭhaloka is three-fourth part. That is stated in the śāstras.
So Prahlāda Mahārāja says to his demonic friends that “Stop this life in this material world.” Bīja-nirharaṇam. We are in this material world simply by different desires. We are creating different desires, our material ambition. So Prahlāda Mahārāja says, “Stop this.” But stopping this…, people think that stopping this, then where is our next life? That they do not know. That is the difficulty. But we get information from śāstras, we get information from Bhagavad-gītā that “The place where you go and do not return back, that is My place.” Yad gatvā na nivartante tad dhāma paramaṁ mama. Again, Kṛṣṇa says that tyaktvā dehaṁ punar janma naiti mām eti . There is a process. The process is simply to understand Kṛṣṇa. Janma karma me divyam yo janati tattvataḥ, not knowing superficially, “Oh, Kṛṣṇa is a historical person. Some five thousand years ago, He took birth as the son of Devakī,” like that. Everyone knows—at least every Indian knows—and they observe Kṛṣṇa’s birthday. That is beginning. But Kṛṣṇa is the Supreme Absolute Truth, He is the origin of everything, He is the cause of all causes, that is not known. That one has to know. The brahma-jyotir, impersonal jyoti is bodily effulgence. The brahma-jyotir is resting on Kṛṣṇa. Brahmaṇo aham pratiṣṭha, Kṛṣṇa says. Just like the illumination in this room, prakāśa, is resting on this bulb. Although the illuminating light is spread all over this room, that is not original. The original is the bulb. Similarly, and from the śāstra we find, yasya prabhā prabhavato jagad-aṇḍa-koṭi-koṭiṣv aśeṣa-vasudhādi-vibhūti-bhinnam, tad brahma niṣkalam anantam aśeṣa-bhūtaṁ [Bs. 5.40]. That brahma ananta aśeṣa-bhūtam, unlimited. Yasya prabhā. This brahma-jyotir is only effulgence of Kṛṣṇa. Therefore, we have to understand what is Kṛṣṇa. Brahmeti paramātmeti bhagavān iti śabdyate , Bhāgavata says. The Absolute Truth is one, that is Kṛṣṇa, advayam[?], but He is known in different features, brahmeti paramātmeti bhagavān iti. One who is trying to understand the Supreme Absolute Truth by dint of his sensual knowledge, by , I mean to say, exercising different knowledge, neti neti, they can approach up to the impersonal Brahman. And those who are yogis, those who are trying to find out the Absolute Truth within this body, they can realize up to Paramātmā. Brahmeti paramātmeti. And those who are on the highest planet, on the supreme platform of understanding, tattvataḥ, they realize that the Supreme Absolute Truth is the person, exactly a person like us.
Just like in the Bible it is said, “Man is made after the form of God.” Not that God is made after the form of man. Somebody imagines that his formation of Kṛṣṇa is a painting of an artist who by imagination they have painted very nice form of Kṛṣṇa, very good-looking. No, that’s not the fact. Kṛṣṇa is originally vibhus[?] Śyāmasundara. We get this information from Brahma-saṁhitā.
santaḥ sadaiva hṛdayeṣu vilokayanti
yaṁ śyāmasundaram acintya-guṇa-svarūpaṁ
govindam ādi-puruṣaṁ tam ahaṁ bhajāmi
He is Śyāmasundara. But He can be seen not by exercising our brain, our senses, our mind. He can be seen only by developing our dormant love for Kṛṣṇa. Premāñjana-cchurita, not by other ways. Kṛṣṇa also says in the Bhagavad-gītā, bhaktyā mām abhijānāti. By devotion, by love one can understand Him, not by sensual exercise or mental exercise, no. He does not say that “By jñāna, by cultivation of knowledge I can be known.” No. He never says that cultivation of yoga. Yoga, by cultivation of knowledge, by cultivation of yoga you can understand Kṛṣṇa partially, not fully. Just like by cultivation of knowledge you realize Kṛṣṇa’s bodily effulgence, brahma-jñāna. That is [?]. Brahma-jñāna means Kṛṣṇa is sac-cid-ānanda vigrahaḥ [Bs. 5.1], the original form of eternity, bliss, and knowledge. So Brahman realization means eternity realization. And Paramātmā realization means cit, or knowledge. But God realization, Kṛṣṇa realization means sac-cid-ānanda. Ānandamayo ‘bhyāsāt [Vedānta-sūtra 1.1.12]. The Supreme Lord is by nature full of bliss. You will see, therefore, Kṛṣṇa always blissful. Kṛṣṇa has no anxiety. Kṛṣṇa is killing a very big, big demon and He is taking pleasure and smiling. You have seen all these pictures in our Kṛṣṇa book, how He is killing the Aghāsura, Bakāsura, Dhenukāsura, Keśī, and so many asuras. Just like a child is playing with toys. And similarly, He is enjoying with His cowherd boyfriends, with girlfriends, gopīs, with His mother, everywhere Kṛṣṇa you will find ānandamayo. Ānandamayo ‘bhyāsāt [Vedānta-sūtra 1.1.12].
Kṛṣṇa is never morose or full of anxiety. Why? Why God should be full of anxiety? Kṛṣṇa, you will never find that He is in meditation. Whom He will meditate? He is the Supreme Personality of God Himself. You will find Lord Siva is in the pose of meditation, but you will never find Kṛṣṇa in meditation. Therefore, He is the Supreme Lord. And He says personally that mattaḥ parataraṁ nānyat kiñcid asti dhanañjaya. “Dhanañjaya, Arjuna, just take it from Me. There is no other superior authority than Me.” And that’s a fact. So when Kṛṣṇa was present on this planet, He showed that nobody in the history of the world is superior than Kṛṣṇa. He showed as much as possible you can understand. Otherwise, still He has got immense power, unlimited power. So the point is Prahlāda Mahārāja is trying to convince his demon… The demons cannot understand that the God can be a person. That is demoniac. They cannot… Because they cannot understand, the difficulty is a demon tries to understand God, comparing with himself.
Dr. Frog, that the story of Dr. Frog. Dr. Frog is trying to understand Atlantic Ocean comparing with his three-feet well, that’s all. When he is informed that there is Atlantic Ocean, he’s simply comparing with his limited space. It may be four feet, or it may be five feet, it may be ten feet, because he is within the three feet. His friend informed, “Oh, I have seen a reservoir of water, vast water.” So that vastness, he is just conjecturing, “How much the vastness may be? My well is three feet, it may be four feet, five feet,” now he is going on. But he may go on millions of millions of feet it is still it is greater. That is another thing. Therefore, atheistic persons, demons, they think in their own way that God, Kṛṣṇa may be like this, Kṛṣṇa may be like this, Kṛṣṇa may be like this. Generally they think that Kṛṣṇa are I. How they say? Kṛṣṇa is not great. They do not believe that God is great. He thinks that God is as good as I am, I am also God. This is demonic.
So this demonic principle, Prahlāda Mahārāja is trying to demolish this demonic mentality of his friends that “Don’t try to be falsely puffed up to understand God. Take the process of bīja-nirharaṇaṁ yogaḥ.” This material world means we have got a seed of ambition that I want to become greater than everyone. I want to be the greatest businessman, I want to be the greatest personality, I want to be the greatest leader, the greatest, greatest, greatest, and there is comp… Everybody is trying to be greater than his friend so therefore, there is competition. But in Vaiṣṇava philosophy… Actually that is the philosophy, because we cannot be greater or greatest. Mattaḥ parataram. Nobody can be greater than God or equal to God, that is not possible. Even if he is Brahma, Lord Siva, or any other. Therefore, śāstra says that anyone who thinks such demigods, paratena. Yas tu nārāyaṇaṁ devam, there is a verse like that, anyone who thinks Nārāyaṇa equal to Brahma or Lord Siva, then he…, that type of thinking is called pāṣaṇḍī, sa pāsaṇḍī bhaved dhruvam[?]. Pāṣaṇḍī means atheist. Never, that is also one of the ten offenses in chanting Hare Kṛṣṇa mantra, you know that. One of the offense is when you think that any name will be as good as harer nāma. No. Otherwise, why śāstra says harer nāma harer nāma, three times stressing? Nāma, Holy Name means harer nāma, not any other name. Harer nāma harer nāma harer nāmaiva kevalam . There are many foolish persons, they say, “No, any name. You chant Durgā’s name, you chant Kali’s name, you chant Siva’s name, you chant Kṛṣṇa’s name, they’re all the same. But no, they’re not all the same. That is pāṣaṇḍī. That is pāṣaṇḍī. Kṛṣṇa or God is supreme.
If I say, suppose somebody is sitting here with his subordinate servant. And if I say, “For me, you are all the same.” So the master who is sitting, he will be insulted. Similarly, anyone who thinks that the Supreme Lord and the demigods are on the equal footing, that is offense. Therefore, Lord Caitanya Mahāprabhu warned that don’t hear the interpretation of the Māyāvādīs. Māyāvādi-bhāṣya śunile haya sarva nāśa. Anyone who tries to understand Māyāvāda philosophy, misunderstands, not understands, misunderstands, his future is doomed. Doomed means he will never be able to enter into this bīja-nirharaṇam, nirharaṇaṁ yogaḥ. There are different kinds of yoga. This yoga is called bīja-nirharaṇaṁ yogaḥ. Prahlāda Mahārāja says, bīja-nirharaṇaṁ yogaḥ pravāhoparamo dhiyaḥ. Now he is recommending that how this bīja-nirharaṇaṁ yogaḥ can be practiced. The first important thing is guru-śuśrūṣayā. Śuśrūṣayā means you have to satisfy the spiritual master, guru. Now suppose you are very big man and you have to serve a spiritual master. Therefore, you cannot serve any third-class man or anyone. You must be satisfied that here is a person I can render my service. I can accept as subordinate and I can…
Therefore, what is that guru? Bhagavad-gītā also says, tad viddhi praṇipātena paripraśnena sevayā. Paripraśnena. Paripraśnena means inquiry. Ādau gurv-āśrayam, sad-dharma-pṛcchā. To accept a guru means to inquire from him about spiritual life, about transcendental situation. Not that fashion, “Oh, I have met a guru and he lives 300 miles away, I have no connection, no call for him[?].” No. Why the… The student should be very much inquisitive to learn, because accepting a guru is necessary for a person who is very much inquisitive to learn about the spiritual world. Tasmād guruṁ prapadyeta jijñāsuḥ śreya uttamam. Those who are not inquisitive to learn about the spiritual world, to learn about God, they need not keep a guru as a fashion, there is no need.
tasmād guruṁ prapadyeta
jijñāsu śreya uttamam
śābde pare ca niṣṇātaṁ
So the Vedas and all Vedic literature… Vedic literatures and Vedas, they are all the same, they are called śruti and smṛti. So, they recommend that if you…, tad vijñānārthaṁ sa gurum eva abhigacchet [MU 1.2.12]. If you are actually you are anxious to learn that transcendental science, then you should accept, you should approach a bona fide spiritual master. Prahlāda Mahārāja also says the same thing, guru-śuśrūṣayā. Guru means heavy, or superior. So you can satisfy superior by your service, not by challenging, that is not possible. Guru-śuśrūṣayā. Guru-śuśrūṣayā bhaktyā. And what kind of śuśrūṣayā? Bhaktyā. Just like a paid servant, he is also engaged in satisfying the master very nicely, very faithfully, but there is no bhakti. Why? Because he is after the money the master pays. He does not serve the master, but he serves the money. He is thinking always that “I am getting so much money from this person. If I don’t satisfy him, then I may be dismissed. So I will have no money.” But here it is said bhaktyā. Bhaktyā means without any, I mean to say, material concern. Bhakti is applicable in the spiritual world. Bhakti is transacted, the business of bhakti is transacted in the spiritual world. Or where there is devotional service, there is spiritual world, there is no material world. So guru-śuśrūṣayā bhaktyā sarva-labdhārpaṇena ca.
So it is very difficult [indistinct]. Just like Bali Mahārāja gave everything, everything. Sarva-labdhārpaṇena, labdha means profit. So one should be prepared to sacrifice all profit, all gain to the spiritual master. I had one Godbrother, Professor Sannyal, he showed example. Of course, amongst our students there are many. They have dedicated their life, and what to speak of anything, everything. That is the process here, sarva-labdha arpaṇam. Arpaṇam means delivering, “Sir, I have got this. Here you are, you take this.” Then śuśrūṣayā. So serve him with devotion, with faith, and giving him everything. Guru-śuśrūṣayā bhaktyā sarva-labdhārpaṇena ca, saṅgena sādhu-bhaktānām. And in association with sādhu. Sādhu means those who are engaged fully, fully in the Kṛṣṇa’s devotional service. Sādhur eva sa mantavyaḥ. Api cet su-durācāro bhajate mām ananya-bhāk. Ananya-bhāk, without any deviation. Those who are engaged in the service of Kṛṣṇa, he is sādhu. It is not simply by changing dress. Sādhu means sādhavaḥ sādhu-bhūṣaṇām. Sādhu means honest, sadācārī, good character. But the ultimate aim[?] is, as Kṛṣṇa recommends, that api cet sudurācāro bhajate mām ananya…, not that one has to adopt all these sadācāra. That is secondary. But if one is staunchly devoted to Kṛṣṇa, he is sādhu. Not exactly that he has to observe all the rules and regulations because by practice… Just like these European and American students, sometimes they cannot adopt to the principles of sadācāra, as it is recommended. But that doesn’t matter. Because they have devoted, they have sacrificed their life for Kṛṣṇa, they are sādhu. One has to [indistinct]. They should be given the respect of a sādhu because they have no other business than Kṛṣṇa. That is recommended from Kṛṣṇa.
So this Kṛṣṇa conscious society is the society of sādhus. Saṅgena sādhu-bhaktānām, sādhu-bhaktānām īśvarārādhanena, and side by side there should be arcana, Deity worship, īśvarārādhanena, the rules and regulation, how to worship. So one has to accept the spiritual master, try to satisfy him, giving everything to the spiritual master, and in the association of sādhu and bhakta and īśvarārādhanena. So this Kṛṣṇa consciousness movement is comprising all these items. Therefore, it is bona fide, authorized. Thank you very much. [break]
Devotee (1): …Kṛṣṇa knows everything we’re thinking and He knows exactly when each of us will give up the material body, does that mean that everything is predestined?
Devotee (2): Kṛṣṇa knows everything in the past and everything in the future, so can we say it is predestined?
Prabhupāda: Yes, so long within these material laws, it is predestined, but according to karma. Karmaṇā daiva-netreṇa. You are doing work, you are acting, and that is being supervised by the superior authorities. And you get a type of body that this living entity has worked in this way, he should get this type of body. Therefore, it is predestined. Karmaṇā daiva-netreṇa. Prakṛteḥ kriyamāṇāni guṇaiḥ karmāṇi sarvaśaḥ . That is being automatically done because a materialistic person is associating with different types of the modes of material nature. So he is forming a certain type of body, sattvic, rajasic, tamasic. Therefore, it is predestined. But karmāṇi nirdahati kintu ca bhakti-bhājām [Bs. 5.54], those who are engaged in devotional service, they are not under karma. Their destiny is being prepared by Kṛṣṇa. Even though they are supposed to be doing ordinary work, but because he has surrendered to Kṛṣṇa, his destiny is being manufactured by Kṛṣṇa Himself, not by this material nature. He is not under these material laws. Therefore, he is called mukta, liberated.
māṁ ca yo vyabhicāreṇa
sa guṇān samatītyaitān
Anyone who is engaged fully, cent per cent, unalloyed devotional service, he is already Brahman. He is not under the material conditions. Sa guṇān samatītyaitan, these guṇas, the sattva-guṇa, raja-guṇa, tamo guṇa, he has already surpassed, he has already transcended. Sa guṇān samatītyaitan, he is already on the platform of Brahman. Brahma-bhuyāya kalpate. Kalpate, this word is used. Although you find that he is working within this material world, but actually he has become already Brahman. Brahma-bhuyāya kalpate. So any pure devotee, anyābhilāṣitā-śūnyam [Brs. 1.1.11], without any desire than to serve Kṛṣṇa, simply one who has dedicated his life for Kṛṣṇa, he is already on the Brahman stage. So he is not under this destiny-making material world. The destiny-making effect is in the material world everywhere working, so you are [indistinct] your head.
Devotee (2): Suppose Kṛṣṇa knows in so many millions of births I’ll have made a…
Prabhupāda: Not suppose Kṛṣṇa knows.
Devotee (2): He knows.
Devotee (2): But then the individual, he cannot by his efforts or something…
Prabhupāda: But Kṛṣṇa point is that you… Your point is Kṛṣṇa knows your destiny, is that [indistinct]?
Devotee (2): That’s correct.
Prabhupāda: But He can change your destiny. That is Kṛṣṇa’s power. Nobody can change, but He can change. Kṛṣṇa says, ahaṁ tvāṁ sarva-pāpebhyo mokṣayiṣyāmi. Suppose your life is full of sin, sinful actions. So your destiny is already there. But Kṛṣṇa says ahaṁ tvāṁ sarva-pāpebhyo mokṣayiṣyāmi, “I shall give you protection.” So He can change what you [indistinct]. You haven’t got to undergo the result of your destiny. Brahma-saṁhitā also says, karmāṇi nirdahati ca bhakti-bhājām [Bs. 5.54]. Bhakti-bhājām, those who are engaged in devotion, they are karmāṇi nirdahati. [end]