Sri Vyasa-puja Lecture by Srila Prabhupada, London, August 22, 1973
Prabhupāda: So my dear sons and daughters, I am so much obliged to you that you have become so enthusiastic for offering Vyāsa-pūjā. Now try to understand. Several times we have explained why this function is called Vyāsa-pūjā. I have already explained in the morning. This offering worshiping, one may think that, “This man is teaching his disciples man-worshiping, anthropomorphism.” But it is not man-worshiping. One should not misunderstand. Vyāsadeva is the original spiritual master.
Original spiritual master is Kṛṣṇa. From Kṛṣṇa, Brahmā was initiated, Lord Brahma. Tene brahma hṛdāya ādi-kavaye muhyanti yat sūrayaḥ. It is stated in the Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam that when Brahmā was created, it was all darkness within the universe. He could not understand what is the purpose of his becoming there. Then he engaged himself in tapasya, and he was initiated from within.
Kṛṣṇa is within everyone. Īśvaraḥ sarva-bhūtānāṁ hṛd-deśe ‘rjuna tiṣṭhati (BG 18.61). So He is called caitya-guru, means guru within the heart. And when Kṛṣṇa understands . . . because Kṛṣṇa knows everything, whatever we are willing, whatever we are doing. He is the Paramātmā; He’s sitting within our hearts as witness. Anumanta upadṛṣṭā. Upadṛṣṭā means simply observing what we are doing and what we are desiring. So as we desire, Kṛṣṇa is very kind, He gives us facility. We have many times explained. Therefore, we have got varieties of body to enjoy this material world. So when Kṛṣṇa sees . . .
(child making sounds) (aside) Don’t disturb.
When Kṛṣṇa sees that a living entity is very anxious to understand Him or to revive his Kṛṣṇa consciousness, then Kṛṣṇa gives him all opportunity, especially by manifesting Himself as the spiritual master. Antar bahiḥ. The spiritual master is therefore Kṛṣṇa’s manifestation, Kṛṣṇa’s mercy manifestation to help a person to develop his Kṛṣṇa consciousness. From within He’s helping. Therefore He’s called caitya-guru, and from without, He sends His representative to help how to become advanced in Kṛṣṇa consciousness.
Therefore, to advance in Kṛṣṇa consciousness we require two kinds of help—one from Kṛṣṇa and another from the spiritual master. It is stated in the Caitanya-caritāmṛta . . . you’ll be glad now that Caitanya-caritāmṛta is now published.
Devotees: Jaya! Haribol! Jaya Prabhupāda!
Prabhupāda: Yes. This is the . . . our Paṇḍitjī, Pradyumna, he has presented. Actually, he has worked for it, although I have translated. But I am very much indebted to him that he very carefully edits and makes the thing very perfect. So now we have got translation of Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam, Bhagavad-gītā, and Sanskrit portion . . . because mostly there is Sanskrit portion, so, so my beloved disciple, Pradyumna, I call him Paṇḍita Mahāṣaya, because he is actually doing the paṇḍita’s work. So he edits, and he works very hard. And . . . not only that, his wife is also helps in this connection. So actually, that is wanted.
- kibā vipra kibā śūdra nyāse kene naya
- ye kṛṣṇa tattva vetta sei guru haya
- (CC Madhya 8.128)
I’m sometimes criticized by my Godbrothers that I have become a marriage-maker, because a sannyāsī does not take part in a marriage ceremony, but I get my disciples married. This is also unique in the history. So they criticize me that I have become a marriage-maker. But they, they do not know why I take this risk. I have got many disciples, they are married couples, but all of them, husband and wife, they are helping this movement. Here is Bhagavān dāsa, he’s also married man, children.
So actually, married couples should be paramahaṁsas. Paramahaṁsa means the topmost stage of sannyāsī. Paramahaṁsa. A sannyāsī has got four stages: kuṭicaka, bahudaka, parivrājakācārya and paramahaṁsa. A sannyāsī, in the beginning, he’s supposed to make a small cottage, just on the border of the village; does not go home, but the, his necessities are supplied by his home, but he does not go home. This is called kuṭicaka. Then gradually, when he is practiced, he begs from home to home. He does not anymore depend on his own home.
(aside) Stop this.
That is called bahudaka. Bahudaka means collecting his necessity from many places. And then as he becomes practiced, he becomes parivrājakācārya. He goes from place to place, village to village, preaching the message of Kṛṣṇa, as our Śrīman Revatīnandana Mahārāja is doing. He has now very nice bus. All others also doing. Gṛhasthas are also doing. Because our only business is Kṛṣṇa. It doesn’t matter whether a gṛhastha, vānaprastha, sannyāsī. It doesn’t matter. So when he preaches all over the world, that is called parivrājakācārya. And when he’s experienced, he executes the work by his assistant. That is called paramahaṁsa.
So gṛhasthas are supposed to be paramahaṁsa. Just like Bhaktivinoda Ṭhākura, he was gṛhastha, magistrate, government servant, but he has worked so much for Lord Caitanya Mahāprabhu in writing books. Not only writing books, but also begetting a child like Bhaktisiddhānta Sarasvatī Gosvāmī Mahārāja, my spiritual master. So that is gṛhastha. They should produce children like Bhaktisiddhānta Sarasvatī Gosvāmī Mahārāja. Because we want big, stalwart men to preach this Kṛṣṇa consciousness movement.
So everyone has got duty in Kṛṣṇa consciousness, and this duty is taught by Kṛṣṇa and the spiritual master. Guru-kṛṣṇa-kṛpāya pāya bhakti-latā-bīja (CC Madhya 19.151). Ei rūpe brahmāṇḍa bhramite kono bhāgyavān jīva. Anyone who is coming to Kṛṣṇa consciousness, he’s not ordinary living being. Anyone who is connected with our movement, he’s not ordinary living being. Actually, he’s liberated soul. And I am very much hopeful that my disciples who are now participating today, even if I die, my movements will not stop. I am very much hopeful. Yes. All these nice boys and girls who have taken so seriously . . . Bhaktivinoda Ṭhākura wanted that European and American people may understand the philosophy of Caitanya cult and take part in it. That was his desire.
My Guru Mahārāja, His Divine Grace Bhaktisiddhānta Sarasvatī Gosvāmī Prabhupāda, he also attempted to send his disciples to preach Caitanya cult in the Western world. One of them, he advised me also. First meeting, perhaps you know, he asked me to preach. So at that time I was young man, only twenty-five years old, and I was also householder. So I should have joined and executed his desire immediately, but due to my ill luck I could not immediately execute his order, but it was in my heart that it is to be done. So better late than never, I executed his order at the age of seventy years, not at the age of twenty-five years. So actually I wasted so much time, I can understand that. From twenty . . .
The message was there when I was twenty-five years old, but I began at the age of seventy years. But I did not forget the message. Otherwise, how could I do? That was, that is a fact. I was simply finding out the opportunity how to do it. So anyway, although I began very late, at the age of seventy years, so by the help of my disciples this movement is gaining ground and is spreading all over the world. So therefore I have to thank you. It is all due to you. It is not my credit, but it is your credit that you are helping me in executing the order of my Guru Mahārāja.
So this movement, Kṛṣṇa consciousness movement, that you already know, that this is a most essential, most important movement to the human society. Last night the Ambassador of India, His Excellency Rasgotra, he was present here. He also appreciated that this movement is very important movement, and he was very pleased that I have done so much. So this movement will go on. Nobody can stop.
So this Vyāsa-pūjā ceremony means to offer our thanks to the Supreme Personality of Godhead, because He is the original guru. As we receive this message through paramparā system from Kṛṣṇa to Brahmā, Brahmā to Nārada, Nārada to Vyāsadeva, Vyāsadeva to Madhvācārya, in this way, Mādhavendra Purī, then Īśvara Purī, then Caitanya Mahāprabhu, then six Gosvāmīs, then others, Bhaktivinoda Ṭhākura, Jagannātha dāsa Bābājī, Gaura Kiśora dāsa Bābājī Mahārāja, Bhaktisiddhānta Sarasvatī. Then we have taken.
So this . . . as we are come to this Kṛṣṇa consciousness understanding through this long paramparā, similarly, in the Vyāsa-pūjā ceremony, whatever respect, honor and presentation you give, that goes to Kṛṣṇa through that paramparā system, from down. As it is received through the paramparā system, so similarly, your offerings also goes through this paramparā system to the Supreme. The connection.
Our system is gopī-bhārtur pāda-kamalayor dāsa-dāsānudāsaḥ (CC Madhya 13.80). It is sometimes called bureaucracy. If you apply something, at least in India, to the President, you’ll have to submit to the local collector. The collector will submit to somebody else, somebody else, then secretary, you go—then to the President. So our system is that. So it is not that I am training my disciples to worship me, man-worship, I’m getting some honor from them for nothing. No. It is not that. Whatever honor, whatever respect, whatever presentation you are giving to your spiritual master, it will go to Kṛṣṇa by paramparā system. This is Vyāsa-pūjā. Therefore, it is called Vyāsa-pūjā.
Vyāsa-pūjā means Vyāsadeva is the original guru. After Brahma, Nārada, then Vyāsa. And Vyāsa is original guru, because from his literature we understand spiritual knowledge. All these literatures, whatever we have produced, they are actually originally from Vyāsadeva. The four Vedas, Brahma-sūtra, Upaniṣad, Purāṇas, they are called Vedic literature. And whatever is written with the conclusion of this Vedic literature, that is also Vedic literature. Just like our books. All our books, they are not mental speculation. Whatever I have learned from my Guru Mahārāja, I am presenting. That’s all. It is not mental speculation—this philosophy, that philosophy. We kick out all these things. Unless we get the knowledge from the authorized source, we don’t accept. Because how we can accept? A so-called philosopher, scientist, according to . . . why according? Everyone can understand that however great philosopher, scientist one may be, he is imperfect. He’s imperfect. Every man.
I have several times recited this example that in our country Gandhi was very big politician. You know Mahatma Gandhi. He committed so many mistakes. At last he committed such a great mistake that he was killed. That’s a long history. So even a great person like Mahatma Gandhi, he commits mistake. Therefore, the śāstra says any conditioned soul, he must commit mistake, however great he may be in the estimation of fools and rascals. Sva-viḍ-varāhostra (SB 2.3.19). He must commit mistake, he must be illusioned, his propensity is to cheat, and at the end, all the senses are imperfect. We have several times described. So, so much imperfectness, how he can give perfect knowledge?
Therefore, a so-called philosopher, scientist’s knowledge is always imperfect. The perfect knowledge can be received through this paramparā system—from Kṛṣṇa, Kṛṣṇa to Brahmā, Brahmā to Nārada, Nārada to Vyāsa, Vyāsa to Madhvācārya. In this way, from Caitanya Mahāprabhu, six Gosvāmīs, then our Guru Mahārāja, in this way. And our business is just to present whatever we have heard. This is very important point.
And because we do not speculate mentally, just like so many svāmīs comes from India, they make their own presentation by speculation. So whatever little success I have got, it is due to this process, that I do not present anything which is created by me. That is the secret of success. All these rascals, I say, declaring this. All these rascals come, they manufacture. A spiritual thing cannot be manufactured—as God cannot be manufactured. God is always God, and the words of God is also God. If we present as it is, then it will be effective. That is said in the śāstra:
- satāṁ prasaṅgān mama vīrya-saṁvido
- bhavanti hṛt-karna-rasāyanaḥ kathāḥ
- taj-joṣaṇād āśv apavarga-vartmani
- śraddhā bhaktir ratir anukramiṣyati
- (SB 3.25.25)
Everything is there. Satāṁ prasaṅgān. From a bona fide spiritual master you receive knowledge, because he will present as he has received from his spiritual master. He’ll not adulterate or manufacture something. That is the bona fide spiritual master. And that is very easy. To become spiritual master is not very difficult thing. You’ll have to become spiritual master. You, all my disciples, everyone should become spiritual master. It is not difficult. It is difficult when you manufacture something.
But if you simply present whatever you have heard from your spiritual master, it is very easy. If you want to become overintelligent, to present something, to interpret something, whatever over you have heard from your spiritual master you can make some further addition, alteration, then you’ll spoil whole thing. Then you’ll spoil whole thing. Don’t make addition or alteration. Simply present as it is.
Therefore we have begun Bhagavad-gītā As It Is. Don’t try to become over spiritual master. Then you’ll spoil. Remain always a servant of your spiritual master and present the thing as you have heard; you’ll be spiritual master. This is secret. You should know it. Don’t try to become overintelligent. That will spoil. Evam paramparā prāptam imaṁ rājarṣayo viduḥ (BG 4.2). This is the . . . so . . .
(child talking) (aside) You can stop.
So Caitanya Mahāprabhu says:
- āmāra ājñāya guru hañā tāra ei deśa
- yāre dekha, tāre kaha, ‘kṛṣṇa’-upadeśa
- (CC Madhya 7.128)
Just see. It is very nice. You’ll find in Caitanya-caritāmṛta—now it is published—Caitanya Mahāprabhu says—He is the Supreme Lord, Kṛṣṇa—He says āmāra ājñāya, “Whatever I say, āmāra ājñāya, by My order, you become a spiritual master.” Caitanya Mahāprabhu. So one may be very illiterate, no education or no scholarship, may not be born in brāhmaṇa family, or may not be a sannyāsī. There are so many qualification. But one may not have all these qualification, he may be rascal number one, but still he can become spiritual master. How? Āmāra ājñāya. As Kṛṣṇa says, as Caitanya Mahāprabhu says, if you follow, then you become spiritual master. One may be rascal number one from material estimation, but if he simply strictly follows whatever is said by Caitanya Mahāprabhu or His representative spiritual master, then he becomes a guru.
So it is not very difficult. One may not think that “I am not qualified to become guru.” No, you are qualified if you follow strictly the paramparā system. Then you are qualified. That’s all. Āmāra ājñāya guru . . . and where is the difficulty? Caitanya Mahāprabhu says: “Don’t feel any difficulty.” Because as spiritual master, what you have to do? Yāre dekha, tāre kaha, ‘kṛṣṇa’-upadeśa (CC Madhya 7.128). Whomever you meet, you simply speak to him the instruction which Kṛṣṇa gives. What Kṛṣṇa instruction gives? That is also very easy. What is that? Kṛṣṇa says, man-manā bhava mad-bhakto mad-yājī māṁ namaskuru (BG 18.65). Kṛṣṇa says: “Just become My devotee, always think of Me, offer Me obeisances and worship Me.”
So here is Kṛṣṇa. If you simply think, “Here is Kṛṣṇa, Rādhā-Kṛṣṇa Deity,” you may be fool number . . . rascal number one; that doesn’t matter. But you are getting impression of this Rādhā-Kṛṣṇa, think of Him: “Oh, how nicely Kṛṣṇa is decorated.” This much. No erudite scholarship. Simply . . . Kṛṣṇa says, man-manā bhava mad-bhakto. Here is Deity. Worship Him nicely as it is regulated principle. Even if you are not worshiping, simply think of Kṛṣṇa, “Here is Rādhā and Kṛṣṇa.” Impression. Then what is the difficulty?
As soon as you see Rādhā-Kṛṣṇa, you get some impression. Think of that impression. Where is the difficulty? Man-manā bhava mad-bhakto. “Worship Me.” If you have got opportunity, worship. If you are initiated, worship here. Or you install Deity at home, as our Kṣīrodakaśāyī Prabhu is doing. Everyone can do it. Where is the difficulty? Now ask him how he is happy. The whole family is happy. Not only he, but his wife, his children, everyone is happy. Practical. Man-manā bhava mad-bhakto mad-yājī māṁ namaskuru (BG 18.65). And if you cannot do anything, simply come and offer your obeisances: “My dear Lord Kṛṣṇa, I am so poor, so unfortunate, I cannot do all these things, but I offer my humble obeisances unto Your lotus feet.” That much also. If you do this, you become spiritual master.
So simply by accepting this principle, and even if you are not learned—illiterate—you are hearing so much from Bhagavad-gītā, you simply repeat that. Simply repeat that. There is no question of becoming very learned scholar. God has given you this ear. Even if you are blind, you cannot read, you can hear. So kṛṣṇa-upadeśa, what is Kṛṣṇa . . .? This is kṛṣṇa-upadeśa. And at last, Kṛṣṇa says, sarva-dharmān parityajya mām ekaṁ śaraṇaṁ vraja (BG 18.66). So if you simply preach this cult, “My dear friend, my dear brother, you surrender to Kṛṣṇa,” you become spiritual master. You become spiritual master.
You go door to door. No other talks. Simply say: “My dear friend, you are very nice, you are very learned.” That was adopted by Prabodhānanda Sarasvatī.
- dante nidhāya tṛṇakaṁ padayor nipatya
- kaku-śataṁ kṛtvā cāhaṁ bravīmi
- he sādhavaḥ sakalam eva vihāya dūrād
- caitanya-candra-caraṇe kurutānurāgam
- (Caitanya-candrāmṛta 90)
The meaning is the preaching, very easy. Dante nidhāya tṛṇakam. According to Indian system, if you put a grass on your mouth, it is a sign of that you have become very humble. If you approach a person with a grass in your mouth, he’ll immediately know that you are coming there with very, very great humbleness. Therefore dante nidhāya. This was the system. Dante nidhāya tṛṇakam, and touching his feet. Immediately, touch his feet. Immediately, even if he’s enemy, he’ll be a friend. Even if he’s your enemy. It is so nice process. Take a grass on your mouth and immediately fall on his feet, padayor nipetya, and with folded hands, much flattering. Dante nidhāya tṛṇakaṁ padayor nipatya kaku-śataṁ kṛtvā ca. All flattering words. Ahaṁ bravīmi. So immediately he will agree, “Yes, what you say I’ll hear. I’ll hear.” Immediately, convert to hear you at least.
Just see how perfect process is, “Then what is your purpose, sir? Why you are becoming so humble, meek? And now say.” “Yes, sir, I’ll say.” What is that? He sādhavaḥ, “You are a great sādhu.” Although he may be rascal number one, still, you call him, he sādhavaḥ. “Yes, I am sādhu, yes. What is your proposal?” “Now kindly forget all nonsense, whatever you have learned. That’s all. I am flattering you because I want that you forget everything, all these yogīs and this and that and that and meditation. Please kick out all these things.” “Then what I have to do?” “Caitanya-candra-caraṇe kurutānurāgam: Just adhere yourself to the lotus feet of Lord Caitanya Mahāprabhu. Then you become spiritual master. That’s all.”
So I hope that all of you, men, women, boys and girls, become spiritual master and follow this principle. Spiritual master—simply, sincerely, follow the principles and speak to the general public. Then Kṛṣṇa immediately becomes your favorite. Kṛṣṇa does not become your favorite; you become Kṛṣṇa’s favorite.
Kṛṣṇa says in the Bhagavad-gītā, na ca tasmān manuṣyeṣu kaścin me priya-kṛttamaḥ (BG 18.69): “One who is doing this humble service of preaching work, Kṛṣṇa consciousness, nobody is dearer than him to Me.” So if you want to become recognized by Kṛṣṇa very quickly, you take up this process of becoming spiritual master, present the Bhagavad-gītā as it is, your life is perfect.
Thank you very much.
Devotees: All glories to Śrīla Prabhupā . . . (cut) (end)