Apr 12

Dear Devotees and Friends:

Please accept our humble dandavats.

Hare Krsna.

Here is the recording for 06 April 2008 satsanga.

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Satsanga focus is about ‘What is Pure Devotion?’

A brief transcription is presented below:

nama on visnupadaya krishna preshthaya bhutale
srimate bhaktivedanta swamina it namine

sri-caitanya-mano-bhistam sthpitam yena bhu-tale
svayam rupah kada mahyam dadati sva-padantikam

vancha-kalpatarubhyas ca kripa-sindhubhya eva ca
patitanam pavanebhyo vaisanavebhyo namo namah

sri-krsna-caitanya prabhu-nityananda
sri-advaita gadadhara srivasadi-gaura-bhakta-vrnda

hare krsna hare krsna krsna krsna hare hare
hare rama hare rama rama rama hare hare

Srila Sridhar Dev Goswami Maharaja says in Gradations of the Holy Name, “Hankering In Surrender Is Our Wealth.”

When we reach the highest position of disappointment, then sometimes, somehow or other, from the core of our heart we pray, “Oh Lord, I am helpless, save me! I am under the control of so many enemies in the form of friends. Such a hopeless position I hold, my Lord. From time immemorial I am serving all these masters, but they are not satisfied with my service. Now I find myself in this helpless position, my Lord. You should only come on Your own accord, and assert Yourself. Then they will fly away in fear of You. Otherwise I have no hope. This sort of ardent prayer from the core of the heart towards the Savior, that is what is necessary for us.

When we reach the highest position of disappointment, then sometimes, somehow or other, from the core of our heart we pray, “Oh Lord, I am helpless, save me! I am under the control of so many enemies in the form of friends. Such a hopeless position I hold, my Lord. From time immemorial I am serving all these masters, but they are not satisfied with my service. Now I find myself in this helpless position, my Lord. You should only come on Your own accord, and assert Yourself. Then they will fly away in fear of You. Otherwise I have no hope. This sort of ardent prayer from the core of the heart towards the Savior, that is what is necessary for us.

With our faith and earnestness we can aspire after that mercy. If we increase the quality of our negativity, the feeling that we are so low, the positive will be automatically attracted. We must try to increase the power of our position as a negative unit.

Trnad api sunicena (feeling lower than the grass), dainyam (humility), atmanivedana (surrender). Hankering in surrender is our wealth. We are the sakti, the potency, and potency refers to the negative unit of the Positive, the Potent. We should increase our negative side, our hankering. The Positive will be automatically attracted to us.

Whatever beautiful and valuable things we come across, we cannot but surrender ourselves to them. That is the criterion. If we find anything higher in our vicinity, our appreciation means surrendering unto that. According to the degree of our surrender, we have to measure what degree of quality of truth we have found. That can be measured only according to the degree and intensity of surrender, how much we can surrender to what we have found, to the point of no return. And the true devotees know no satisfaction or fulfillment. They feel no trace of satisfaction that they have achieved anything. Never. The inner sweetness of the truth and its infinite characteristic are such. The truth attracts. It can attract to the highest degree and magnitude.”

Devotee: Maharaja here it is mentioned that, “they feel no trace of satisfaction that they have achieved anything. Never.” So maharaja how can a devotee develop such attitude, not hankering for any achievement.

HH Bhakti Madhava Puri Maharaja: By the grace of Krishna . Generally people don’t attempt to become depressed. They do not attempt to put themselves in situations, where they will be depressed. We have an inherent hankering for happiness. That is our nature. We want to be happy. Only problem is we are finding ourselves in a foreign environment. An environment in which, we cannot really become happy.

Because everything is being taken away from us, and ultimately whatever we endeavor for, that is temporary. So what kind of happiness can we have? Also here so many defects, i.e., birth, death, old age and disease are inflicting persons of this world. Achievement of happiness is very difficult here, impossible to achieve. So basically how to get depressed? So how to feel so depressed with this world so that we don’t want to do anything with it but only want Krishna’s mercy, to be in connection with Krishna through his mercy. How do we come to that position? That will depend on Krishna . One who is sincere, situation will be arranged such that the whole environment will feel in a negative way. Negatively influencing the devotee. And if we have no attraction for that, and only attraction for Krishna , and with a sincere heart praying dear Lord, “Kindly take me, Kindly take me to Your lotus feet. I have no desire to be here in anyway with any other being, any other person other than You. You, Your service, Your lotus feet is all that I desire. Your service is all that I desire. All other things are secondary, of secondary importance.”

Srila Prabhupad explained once that in his life he had a business, he had a family and had so many children and at one point he had gone to see his spiritual master, Srila Bhaktisiddhanta Saraswati Thakur and felt so much attraction for him. But anyhow he had to do his work and raise money for supporting his family and so forth. But after some time so many things began to happen, family problems and business problems, and finally he wanted to give that all up. It was not giving any pleasure, any satisfaction to him. He was not getting any success in this. He wanted to give up all of it. So he finally took sannyasa and he thought this is a great opportunity Krishna has given me to simply meditate, on the order of my spiritual master and carry that out. I don’t have to do anything with these any other type of attachments. So that type of depressive situation comes in the life of a devotee.

And Srila Prabhupad explains that, when Krishna takes everything away from his devotee, then he has received the mercy of Krishna . That is the direct mercy of Krishna. When Krishna takes everything away, then we are receiving the mercy of Krishna. Some people are thinking if I have everything, then I am receiving the mercy of Krishna. That I have a nice job, nice family, nice house, nice this, nice that, got nice car, I am successful in my life, then they think I got so much mercy. No! That may not be the real mercy of Krishna as much as one who is put into difficulty, great difficulty. He is giving up; he is forced to give up all that attachment. All material things, the sensuous objects of our existence, they are not that necessarily going to make us happy.

There are some deeper things in reality that we have to reach for. And the deepest thing is what Vaishnava is interested in. He is not interested in the superficial thing. He is interested in the deeper things. Those things, which cannot be attained by, the mere senses, sense satisfaction. They are far deeper than that. And the spiritual domain lies in there, in that region. What is beyond this world! This world, world of Mahamaya, this is one small portion, one universe out of countless millions of universes. And all these countless million material universes are like, each one is like a small mustard seed, in a bag of mustard seeds. How small is that seed, you can imagine this universe is like that. So even this whole universe is an insignificant thing from the higher perspective. And then beyond all this, bag of mustard seeds, there are the Vaikuntha planets. And there is much more extensive, the paravyoma, and yet beyond the paravyoma, there is the Krishnaloka, and all the sections, various provinces of that plane. So there is far more to understand than just this world and what is going on in this world and devotees are diving into that ocean. And that because is so far above our conception, our ability to conceive, our ability to deal with, that is over our head, far over our head, that has to come down to us only. We can’t go, expect to penetrate into that plane, unless it comes down and reveals itself to us.

And then whatever comes to us, we can only consider that as but a drop. Srila Rupa Goswami has written all those beautiful books on Rasa, Rasa-tattva. But he considered it to be only a drop of the nectar that is truly available, the highest plane. So like that. Devotees is characterized by extreme negativity, and Srila Sridhar Maharaja points out that this is the quality that distinguishes a real devotee from a so called Devotee who thinks ‘he has everything’, that we do not consider true devotion. True devotee thinks, “I have nothing”, that is the true devotee. That is the true symptom of the devotee. Who feels I am completely bereft of any taste, even taste for love of God.

Even Mahaprabhu has given that example:

namnam akari bahudha nija sarva-saktis
tatrarpita niyamitah smarane na kalah
etadrisi tava krpa bhagavan mamapi
durdaivam idrsam ihajani nanuragah

na anuraga means, I have no taste even for your holy name, although your holy name, your form, they are so full of so much energy. Beautiful, wonderful, magnificent, unimaginable energies. But na anuraga, I have to attraction for that. Mahaprabhu is teaching how the mood of a devotee is. I remember Srila Sridhar Maharaja would tell us, “If someone comes bragging, I have some taste, I have some taste for that”, he would say never. We don’t accept that. We don’t accept anyone who says I am experiencing Krishna . That is not the mood of a genuine devotee. Because why? This is because we are dealing with the infinite. And as much as you think, you have some connection with the infinite, that finite has some grasp of infinite, then we can understand that is all bogus. You are finite, what kind of infinite you can grasp. How much of that infinite you are grasping is only an infinitesimal portion. That is not infinite, what you are having is only infinitesimal. That is not what we mean by the infinite. Infinite is above our grasp, beyond our grasp. If you have real connection with the infinite, you must recognize that. He does recognize that. More he recognizes, I have no grasp of that, then he has some grasp of it. That is the real infinite. We have no grasp of it. Then he is in touch. How much he can recognize that the infinite is too vast to have any, even meager touch of that, grasp of that, that is the infinite, we are talking about that.

Devotee: Maharaj there are devotees like Mirabai who have approached Krishna directly. What kind of achievement have they gotten, and how it is different from that of a surrendered devotee, who accepts the path of servant of servant of devotees.

HH Bhakti Madhava Puri Maharaja: Anyhow there are different types of people in this world, achieving so many different levels of so-called happiness. So somehow or other, even by imagination one can enter into a stage of bliss. Here we have seen, people take some pill and they have become very happy. What is that called, hallucinogens. They become very happy, blissful, going here, going there like little fairies wandering around. And all of this is based on this pill. Or we have seen people become very happy, by having a lot of money and they have a big house and pools, and swimming pools and servants and so many things, beautiful gardens and they may think themselves very happy. And they may be happy. So happiness can therefore take many-many forms. It is not that people in this world can’t be happy, they can.  But, we consider that happiness to be like water contained in a hoof print of a cow compared to the ocean of the infinite bliss, that is available for them. And that comes only through surrender to Krishna . So the yogis or persons like Mirabai, they may get their jollies by imaginary absorption in the infinite, thinking they have some connection with that, there may be some bliss in that.

Actually, from in the spiritual plane, there are so many forms of mukti. Sayujya mukti, Sarupya mukti, Salokya mukti – all these different forms of connection with Krishna, even merging in Krishna, other forms of happiness, they are all there, they are all available to any living entity, ye yatha mam prapadyate, tam tathaiyava bhajamamyaham, Krishna rewards them accordingly as they approach. Whatever they are looking for He gives. You want some happiness. Yes, I will give you. What form, whatever form you like, I have no problem in giving happiness. But then he tells Arjuna, “Whatever happiness you want, I can easily supply that.” But then He tells Arjuna, because you are special, because you are a very confidential friend of mine and I have much affection for you, I am telling, you don’t go in that direction of what you want. Don’t look for your pleasure. If you can come to this position, it will be your real thing. You will get real, unbelievable, unimaginable happiness. And that will be based upon your surrender to My desire.

Sure I can fulfill all your desires for happiness, but when you come to the point of surrendering to Me and thinking, “Oh! let me give up all this, my desire for my happiness. And come to the point of thinking, what do You want, O Krishna. You who are giving me all these things, what do you want. How do I please you, how do I serve you, how do I do I make You happy. That is called saranagati. Bhakti begins from there. I will now put my attention on what You want. What is Your desire, how I can serve You. Not that You will serve Me. I know all this time, I have been taking advantage, You are giving me food, shelter, everything. You have given me my body, my mind, my intelligence, all this is coming from You. Now I am realizing that. And I am thinking that all this time, I have been taking, taking and You have been giving without complaint. Without restrain, without restriction, You are giving everything. And now I am realizing that there is something more where from which all this is coming from. And I want to turn my attention there. And the only way I can do that, is as You have told me by surrender.

Krishna gives this hint, this instruction to His genuine devotee who comes by this method. Listen to Me, follow Me. Follow My direction, Follow My pleasure. Then you will understand what is real joy. The source of your joy, that source will have more joy than whatever that you have been receiving up to this point. In that way, surrender first. Means he recognizes, not my position, not my enjoyment, not my selfish position is important, but Your position is important. Your satisfaction is important. That is saranagati. Then he begins, how do I understand, what You want. How do I serve Your desire. That becomes the process of devotional service.

Devotee: Maharaja, a devotee, how can he know what Krishna wants from him?

HH Bhakti Madhava Puri Maharaja: That is through a devotee, who has surrendered to Krishna , who has surrendered to Guru. Through Guru he can understand, what is the desire of Krishna . Who has already surrendered to Krishna, Krishna utilizes that devotee for instructing us, how to get to that position. How to come to that direction? He is giving direction. Spiritual master, pure devotee is always going in that direction and he is calling others, you come. You want to go in this direction, here I am giving you the sequel what I have understood from my Gurudev. And you can also follow this direction. Don’t go in the other direction. And he is constantly encouraging us and if we are submissive to that, if we are attentive to that, if we have respect, faith and trust in that, what we are being told, what we are being guided, by the servant of the Lord, the agent of the Lord, then we could go in that direction also. We will be in good hands, we will be going in good direction.

And going in the direction that Krishna has given in scriptures and that even people who are reading scriptures, they cannot understand without this detailed instruction that we are being given through our Guru-Parampara. Otherwise nobody knows. People read these things, and they think O, I can surrender to Krishna , I can chant Hare Krishna. I can absorb my mind in Krishna and my business is finished. Let me feel some happiness from that. That is not all in all. There is more, always more. And only that more, more confidential, most confidential knowledge can come through the confidential servitors of the Lord and if one himself is a confidential servitor, he will enter into the company of those confidential devotees, who have also received that knowledge, also due to their sincere dedication, sincere self-sacrifice and freedom from all self-interest. They are getting that knowledge and they understand that, yes this is the direction I want to go. They are following their Gurudev’s instruction whole-heartedly, cent percent without deviation. They don’t feel themselves that they are free to do as they like.

They always feel that they are under the direction of their Gurudev and are strictly following that as much as they are able. They never feel that I have reached some level of realization. They never feel I don’t need Guru. Not like that. Now I can set up my own centers, my own temples, institutes, whatever they want to setup on their own, NO! Never. I am always under the direction of Gurudev. Under the direction of the saints, vaisnavas. And only if they give direction, then I will do. Otherwise I don’t move. I have no choice, no freedom.

Srila Rupa Goswami has written that anyabhilasita sunyam, jnana karma adi anavrtam, anukulyena krishna anusilena bhaktira uttama. This is a very important verse Srila Rupa Goswami has given in his Bhakti Rasamrita Sindhu. This is the meaning of pure devotion. anyabhilasita sunyam, jnana karma adi anavrtam, anukulyena krishna anusilena bhaktira uttama, Prabhupada calls this as first class devotional service.

So this anyabhilasita sunyam, anyabhilasita means those things that directed away from Krishna consciousness, other than Krishna consciousness, other than Krishna directed activities, for material desires. sunyam means without, without all that, negation of all that. anyabhilasita sunyam, that is what is free from anyabhilasita. What is free from material or activities other than Krishna consciousness, that is the first qualification. In other words, who has no interest in mundane activities. This is the first qualification of pure devotee.

Then jnana karma adi anavrtam. anavrta means covered. And jnana means monistic knowledge. Knowledge of advaita vedanta or knowledge for liberation, that is jnana. And karma means fruitive activity. adi and things like that – who is interested in knowledge that has nothing to do with service, who is interested with fruitive activities that has nothing to do with service, and any other things that have nothing to do with service. Such as other things means renunciation, yoga, study of the samkhya just to acquire knowledge, which is devoid of devotional intent, all activities that are considered devoid of devotional mood, they are considered coverings over the real things that we are after. Which are anukulyena krishnanusilanam. krishnanusilanam means favorable service – cultivation of service relationship with Krishna .

And anukulyena means favorably. Everything other is considered covering of that favorable service of Krishna, that does not have Krishna in the center. And this is called bhaktir uttama. This is what is the highest stage of devotion, which has those characteristics. Srila Rupa Goswami, also gives what is favorable – to associate with devotees, to avoid association of non-devotees. To always consider oneself, meek and humble. To accept everything as mercy of the Lord and to have no interest other than that of the Lord’s, that is considered favorable practices. Translation, “When first class devotional service develops, one must be devoid of all material desires, knowledge obtained by monistic philosophy and fruitive activity. The devotee must constantly serve Krishna favorably as Krishna desires.” So favorably actually means what Krishna desires. And not what other considerations that we may have. What is Krishna ‘s desire, we want to serve with that mood. Not what I want. That will be favorable.

All Glories all Sadhus, Guru and Vaisnavas.

Thanking you.

Your humble servants,

Purushottama Jagannatha Das & Sushen Das

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