Lecture on The Nectar of Devotion, January 29, 1973, in Calcutta by A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada
Bhavānanda: (reading) “. . . if someone has desire for material enjoyment or for becoming one with the Supreme, these are both considered material concepts.”
Prabhupāda: Yes. Three kinds of happinesses: bhoga, tyāga and bhakti, sevā. Bhoga tyāga sevā. The karmīs, they are after bhoga, sense enjoyment. And the jñānīs, they are after another side of negation of sense enjoyment. When one is fed up with sense enjoyment . . . just like in your country, the young boys, they are practically fed up with the way of sense enjoyment as their fathers and grandfathers had done. So in the name of tyāga, renunciation, they have taken another kind of sense enjoyment—intoxication, unrestricted sex. So this is also another sense enjoyment. Bhoga and tyāga.
Real enjoyment is devotion. There is a very practical example: Just like if you get all of a sudden a certain amount of money, say, one hundred rupees’ note lying on the street, if you get . . . or lying here. So if you take it, your conscience will beat, because that does not belong to you; you have picked up. You’ll always think, “Oh, I am taking somebody’s money. Whose money it was? I’m doing some sinful.” In this way, your mind will disturb. So that is the taking. And similarly, if you don’t take, if you leave it there, then you’ll also be disturbed. You’ll think, “Somebody has left this money here. So I did not collect it. Somebody will collect it, and he will take it away. This is not nice.” The best thing is that you pick it up and if you deliver to the person who has lost the money or who has left that money. Three things. The one thing is bhoga, if you take yourself. And if you don’t take, that is tyāga. And if you pick it up and deliver to the right person, that is devotion.
So everything belongs to Kṛṣṇa. Kṛṣṇa says, bhoktāraṁ yajña-tapasāṁ sarva-loka-maheśvaram (BG 5.29): “I am the supreme proprietor, mahā-īśvara.” Mahā īśvaraṁ parameśvaram. So everyone īśvara, but nobody is mahā-īśvara or parameśvara. Mahā-īśvara is Kṛṣṇa. Sarva-loka-maheśvaram. Mahā-īśvara. Mahā means the great. So everything belongs to Kṛṣṇa. This is unknown to the nondevotees. The karmīs also do not know. The karmīs think that the resources of the world, that is given by nature for our enjoyment. This is the modern theory of economic development. Everyone is thinking like that, that by nature we have got the gold mine, so we shall take it and use it and enjoy. This is karmī’s view. And . . . but there are many karmīs. Everyone is . . . just like what is that land where there is too much gold, in South America?
Prabhupāda: Brazil. There is too much gold stocked there. And every nation is hankering, how to take it. That will be the effect. What is the struggle in this world? Struggle is the gold is there, the gold mine is there, and everyone is trying to exploit it, “How I can take or my nation can take.” Nationality means expanded selfishness. They are very much fond of nationality, but that nationality is also selfishness—by combined effort. Our, in our country, Mahatma Gandhi is supposed to be the father of nationality. Not only in our country; in many other countries. But what is that nationality? Mahatma Gandhi wanted that “The Britishers must go away. My countrymen shall enjoy.” So this is extended selfishness. In the beginning, I want to enjoy. Then if I . . . I extend my enjoyment family-wise, community-wise or nation-wise, that does not change the quality of selfishness.
People are going on in the name of nationality, big leaders, but from our point of view, that neither as nation or community or person you are the proprietor of things. Kṛṣṇa is the proprietor of . . . so if you expand your selfishness in the name of nationality—”I possess this land”—we do not approve. We say, īśāvāsyam idaṁ sarvam (ISO 1). Everything belongs to Kṛṣṇa. Why you are claiming yourself, as nation or individual or community? That’s not proper.
Just like pickpocket and a gang, gangsters, organized rogues, thieves. It does not change the quality. There was some talk, you know, between Alexander the Great and the robber. The robber proved that, “You are a greater robber, that’s all. Why you are trying to punish me?” Alexander the Great arrested one robber, and he was going to punish him. So the robber explained that, “Why you are punishing me? You are also a robber. You are going under the name of conqueror, and because I am not as great as you are, therefore you are trying to punish me. So why you are . . .?” So Alexander the Great, he was very, mean, highly advanced in . . . he immediately released him: “Yes. I am also a robber. Why shall I punish you?”
So every . . . stenayor sa ucyate. Everyone in this material world, one who has no Kṛṣṇa consciousness, he’s a thief, he’s a rogue, he’s a robber. Everyone. Just like the Americans. They occupied the land of America by killing the Red Indians, and now they are claiming proprietor, and there is immigration department: “Nobody can come here. It is our land.” This is going on. The first thing is stolen property, everyone. There is another story. A group of thieves stolen some things, and when they were dividing, one of them: “Kindly morally divide. Morally divide. Honestly divide.” The thing is taken dishonestly, and they are dividing honestly.
This is going on, whole world. Everything is taken dishonestly, and when there is question of division, the United Nation honestly divides it. The association of the honest men, United Nation. All plunderers, rogues, thieves, and they have made an association, United Nation. You see? (chuckles) Basically they’re all rogues and thieves. As soon as there is opportunity, they’ll commit all criminal activities. And they’re doing.
So this is not philosophy. So here happiness by material possession is the happiness of the rogues and the thieves. One who is happy by possessing some material things, he is no better than rogue and thief. And one who is renouncing, brahma satyaṁ jagan mithyā, he is a fool. Because how . . . what you are renouncing? When did you possess it? If you possess something, then you can say, “I renounce it.” But if you do not possess, then where is the question of renouncement? So both of them are wrong.
There . . . there are three kinds of so-called spiritual happiness, brahma-sukha, brahmānanda. Three kinds of ānanda—jaḍānanda, brahmānanda. Jaḍānanda means material. As karmīs are trying to possess more and more, more and more—”Let me possess, let me possess”—this is jaḍānanda. Today I have got, say, one lakh of rupees. Idam adya mayā labdham imaṁ prāpsye punar dhanam (BG 16.13). This is stated, the asuric vicāra. “Today I have got so much money. And tomorrow I am going to increase it to so much.” Ko ‘sti āḍhyo ‘yam. “I am the richest.” This is karmī’s conception. And jñānīs, because they’re fed up, so they say, brahma satyaṁ jagan mithyā: “This world is false.” Grapes are sour.
You know the story, jackal? He wanted to take the grapes, jumping, jumping, jumping. When he could not get it, he says: “Oh, grapes are sour. I have no necessity. I have no necessity.” Similarly, these rascals, they renounce the world. What renouncement? What you had, you are renouncing? This is also wrong. The real happiness is sevā. “This is Kṛṣṇa’s, and it must be used for Kṛṣṇa’s purpose.” That is real happiness. Actual, that is the fact. The same example: If you pick up one hundred rupees’ note, if you pocket it, then you are a thief. If you don’t touch it, then it will be lost; somebody will take it. You pick up and give to the original proprietor, that will be satisfaction. That is Vaiṣṇava philosophy. We do not say anything bad. We do not say. That is Rūpa Gosvāmī’s formula. That is Vaiṣṇava formula.
- prāpañcikatayā buddhyā
- mumukṣubhiḥ parityāgo
- phalgu vairāgyaṁ kathyate
- (Brs 1.2.256)
Phalgu vairāgya. Mumukṣubhiḥ, those who are after liberation, nirbheda brahmānusandhana, their giving up this world, becoming sannyāsī, Māyāvādī sannyāsī, brahma satyaṁ jagan mithyā . . . Rūpa Gosvāmī says, phalgu vairāgya. Why phalgu? Phalgu means insignificant, and phalgu means there is a river, Phalgu, in the Gaya. Those who have gone to Gaya . . . there is a river. The Gaya city is situated on the river Phalgu. This river is got Phalgu because on the bed you’ll find only sand, but if you push your hand within the sand, you’ll find water. Similarly, phalgu vairāgya means the so-called sannyāsīs, they have taken the dress of renounced order, but within the heart they have got all desires to fulfill. Within the heart. If you push your hand within his heart, you’ll find he has got all desires for material enjoyment. That is called phalgu vairāgya. On the surface there is no water; sand. But within, oh, there is flow of water going on.
So this phalgu vairāgya wallas, Māyāvādī sannyāsīs . . . jagan mithyā. They give up this world, so many sannyāsīs. But at heart there is the desire: “I shall become God. I shall become God.” Just see. We are trying . . . the karmīs are trying to become minister, and he’s trying to become God. So how much great desire he has got. And outwardly he appears to be renounced. So brahma, nirbheda brahmānusandhana.
But a devotee, his happiness is different. Just like Caitanya Mahāprabhu said: na dhanaṁ na janaṁ na sundarīṁ kavitāṁ vā jagadīśa kāmaye (CC Antya 20.29, Śikṣāṣṭaka 4). We do not want this. Mama janmani janmanīśvare bhavatād bhaktir ahaitukī tvayi. A Vaiṣṇava does not desire even liberation, what to speak of dhanam, janam, rūpavatī bhāryā. That is real Vaiṣṇava. He wants simply Kṛṣṇa, to serve Him. That’s . . . anyābhilāṣitā . . .
So that happiness is perfect happiness. That is real śānti. Real śānti. Caitanya-caritāmṛta therefore says, bhukti-mukti-siddhi-kāmī sakali aśānta. Bhukti means karmīs, simply wanting, possess. That, that possessing labor is also another aśānti, to struggle to possess. So he’s aśānta. Mukti, he wants to become God, one with God. And kṛccha sādhana, austerities, penance, so many things he has to do—meditation—just to become God. So that is also troublesome. Where is śānti? Yogīs, they’re also practicing praṇāyāma, so many āsanas—dhyāna dhāraṇā, āsana, praṇāyāma. So where is śānti? He has to keep his head down and, what is called? Śīrṣāsana. That is also another āsana. Then he has to show magic. Otherwise he’ll not be recognized. He has to prepare a rasagullā by magic. These are all troublesome thing.
So bhukti-mukti-siddhi. Bhukti means karmī, mukti means jñānī and siddhi means yogī. Bhukti mukti-siddhi kāmī sakali aśānta. Their process is aśānti. Kṛṣṇa-bhakta niṣkāma ataeva śānta (CC Madhya 19.149). Kṛṣṇa-bhakta does not require to possess anything or to renounce anything or to show some magic power. No. He has nothing to do all these things. Kṛṣṇa-bhakta does not want that, “I shall show some magic and people will be attracted.” If one is kṛṣṇa-bhakta, he attracts thousands without any magic. The only magic is kṛṣṇa-bhakti. That’s all. He doesn’t require to show any yogic magic. It is so nice thing.
Therefore one should concentrate upon devotional service. Everything is there. Sarvārhaṇam acyutejyā (SB 4.31.14). If you . . . one is devotee of Acyuta, everything is complete there. And he’s śānta. He does not require it. He does not endeavor for it. But because he’s kṛṣṇa-bhakta, everything follows him. Everything follows him. That ānanda is nice. There is no need of showing magic or renouncing this world or accepting this world. These things are not required by kṛṣṇa-bhakta. Because if he accepts, it is for Kṛṣṇa. If he rejects, that is for Kṛṣṇa. Ānukūlyasya saṅkalpa prātikūlyaṁ vivarjanam. We advise, “Give up this habit. No illicit sex, no intoxication, no gambling, no meat-eating.” So this is tyāga. Why tyāga? For Kṛṣṇa. Kṛṣṇa wants this. Kṛṣṇa does not want to see us debauchers. Therefore we must give it up. And Kṛṣṇa says, man-manā bhava mad-bhakto mad-yājī mām . . . (BG 18.65). We accept it.
So our business is to accept by which Kṛṣṇa is pleased, and reject by which Kṛṣṇa is pleased. Our central point is how Kṛṣṇa is pleased. So we have nothing to do with acceptance and rejection. We have to see whether Kṛṣṇa or His representative is pleased. Yasya prasādād bhagavat-prasādo yasya prasādān na gatiḥ kuto ‘pi. That is our practical. And if we live in that way, then we shall be happy. That is called happiness by devotional service. Go on.
Bhavānanda: “Because the impersonalists cannot appreciate the spiritual happiness of association and the exchange of loving affairs with the Supreme Personality of Godhead . . .”
Prabhupāda: Because they have no conception of Godhead. Nirākāra. So nirākāra, where is the loving affairs with nirākāra? I cannot love the air. If I want to love, if somebody says that, “You love this air, nirākāra,” oh, where is my love? Love must be there. Just like here we have got Kṛṣṇa we can love. We cannot love this sky. So they have no conception of God; therefore their love of God is all fictitious. Just like Rabindranath Tagore, he has written Gītāñjali, “Tumi.” Who is that tumi he does not know.
All the poetries, “tumi, tomāra,” and who is that rascal, tumi or tomāra? But that he does not know. (Bengali: Isn’t that right?) This is going on. Now if I say, “My husband, tumi,” I know, he’s my husband. Or his form is like that. Then I can say. But he does not know who is that tumi. Everyone. The impersonalists will pray, tam eva mātā tam eva pitā. But who is that mātā, who is that pitā? That he does not know. We say, “Here is your mātā, pitā: Kṛṣṇa. Here is Kṛṣṇa.” That is tangible. Fact. Not fictitious.
(aside) Go on.
Bhavānanda: “Their ultimate goal is to become one with the Lord. This concept is simply an extension of the material idea. In the material world . . .”
Prabhupāda: Our concept is also to become one with God, but not that I become one with the God—I agree with God. Kṛṣṇa says, sarva-dharmān parityajya mām ekaṁ śaraṇaṁ vraja (BG 18.66). I agree, “Yes, Sir. So long I was foolishly conducted. Now I surrender unto You.”
- mānasa deha geha yo kichu mora
- arpilūn tuyā pade nanda-kiśora
This is surrender. That is oneness. “Now I have surrendered to You everything.” Mārabi rākhobi yaiche taṅhārā. This is oneness. “Whatever You like, You can do. You kill me or protect me.” Ya icchā taṅhārā nitya dāsa prati tuyā adhikārā: “Because I am Your eternal slave, You can do whatever You like.” Āśliṣya vā pāda-ratāṁ pinaṣṭu māṁ marma-hatāṁ karotu vā, yathā tathā vā vidadhātu lampaṭo (CC Antya 20.47). “Whatever You like, You can do.” Mat-prāṇa-nāthas tu . . . “Still You are my prāṇa-nātha.” This is oneness. I keep my individuality, but I am so surrendered that I have nothing to disagree with Kṛṣṇa. This is oneness. Not that I mix up, I lose my individuality. I have got individuality. I must go on with individuality. And even individuality’s never stopped.
In the Bhagavad-gītā it is said that, “All these kings, you and Me, all of us, we existed in the past, we are now existing, and in the future also we shall exist.” There is no question of intermingling the individuality. The individuality’s there, but individuality sacrificed, full agreement. Full agreement. That is oneness. Just like in our Society, I am the head. So everyone is in agreement with me. That is oneness. Not that my disciples, my students, have lost their individuality. They’re using their individuality to improve the Kṛṣṇa consciousness movement—but sanctioned by me. That is oneness. That is oneness. Similarly, our devotional service is like that. We, varieties of work we are doing, but we must see whether Kṛṣṇa is satisfied. That’s all.
Svanuṣṭhitasya dharmasya saṁsiddhir hari-toṣaṇam (SB 1.2.13). This is our philosophy. Svanuṣṭhitasya dharmasya. Everyone has got individual capacity to do something, but we must see whether that is satisfactory to Kṛṣṇa or His representative. Yasya prasādād bhagavat-prasādo. Just in the office, the clerks are working. The office master, superintendent, if he’s pleased, then the proprietor is pleased. The clerk hasn’t got to show a separate endeavor for pleasing the proprietor.
If the man in charge is pleased, then proprietor is pleased. Similarly, we have to please our spiritual master, and if he’s pleased, it is to be supposed Kṛṣṇa is pleased. And my only aim is, my only success is to see if Kṛṣṇa is pleased. Svanuṣṭhitasya dharmasya saṁsiddhir hari-toṣaṇam. Others may be displeased or pleased—it doesn’t matter. One has to be assured whether Kṛṣṇa is pleased. Then it is all right. That is oneness. Oneness does not mean I lose my individuality. That is not oneness.
(aside) Go on.
Bhavānanda: “In the material world, everyone is trying to be the topmost head man amongst all his fellow men or neighbors. Either communally, socially or nationally, everyone is competing to be greater than all others in the material concept of life. This greatness can be extended to the Unlimited, so that one actually wants to become one with the greatest of all, the Supreme Lord. This is also a material concept, although maybe a little more advanced.”
Prabhupāda: This kind of conception that, “I shall become God,” or “I shall declare myself God,” this is also material conception. This is not spiritual conception. Spiritually, nobody can become God except God. But he has no knowledge of God. He’s thinking that he’s God. Vimukta-māninaḥ. Tvayy asta-bhāvād. Ye ‘nye ‘ravindākṣa vimukta-māninaḥ. Māninaḥ means taking for granted that “I’ve become liberated. I have become God.” And I advertise, and some foolish people, they adore me: “Oh, here is God. Here is Bala Yogi incarnation, God.” So such cheap God we don’t accept. We want to see that Kṛṣṇa, at seven years old, He lifted the Govardhana Hill. So if you are actually God, then show me that you can lift a hill, you can kill a Pūtanā. Then I can accept. What sort of God you are? We don’t accept such cheap God.
(aside) Go on.
Bhavānanda: “However, the perfect spiritual concept of life is complete knowledge of one’s constitutional position, and thus one knows enough to dovetail himself in the transcendental loving . . .”
Prabhupāda: This is called ātma-jñāna. Ātma-jñāna. Parābhavas tāvad abodha-jāta yāvan na jijñāsata ātma-tattvam (SB 5.5.5). This is ātma-tattvam. “I am spirit soul,” that is partial knowledge. And I am eternal spirit soul, but unless I know that I am part and parcel of the Supreme ātmā, Kṛṣṇa, my knowledge is not perfect. Simply brahma-bhūtaḥ, to know that I am spirit soul, that is not perfect knowledge. You have to still go further. Therefore in the Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam it is said, dharmaḥ projjhita-kaitavo atra (SB 1.1.2). Śrīdhara Swami says that kaitava.
When one thinks artificially that he becomes . . . he has become liberated, one with the Supreme, that is also kaitava, cheating. He’s not. How he can be one with the Supreme Lord? Then how he has become insignificant creature if he’s Supreme Lord? Therefore this kind of conception, that “I have become God now,” this is also cheating, another cheating. He’s cheating, self-deception. He’s cheating himself. And what to speak of others? So this kind of oneness, or to become God, they’re imperfect knowledge.
(aside) Go on.
Bhavānanda: “One must know that he is finite and that the Lord is infinite. Thus it is not possible to actually become one with the Lord even if one aspires for this.”
Prabhupāda: Yes. Simply desiring . . . tvayy aviśuddha-bhāva. Ye ‘nye ‘ravindākṣa vimukta-māninaḥ (SB 10.2.32). Māninaḥ. Manliya (accepted) . . . (indistinct Hindi) . . . ne. Not like that. Go on.
Bhavānanda: “Therefore anyone who has any desire or aspiration for satisfying his senses by becoming more and more important, either in the material sense or in the spiritual sense, cannot actually relish the really sweet taste of devotional service. Śrīla Rūpa Gosvāmī has therefore compared possessing these bhukti (material) and mukti (liberation) desires with being influenced by the black art of a witch. In both cases, one is in trouble.”
“Bhukti means material enjoyment, and mukti means to become freed from material anxiety and to become one with the Lord. These desires are compared to being haunted by ghosts and witches, because while these aspirations for material enjoyment or spiritual oneness with the Supreme remain, no one can relish the actual transcendental taste of devotional service. A pure . . .”
Prabhupāda: There is said that so long . . . bhukti-mukti-spṛhā yāvat piśācī hṛdi vartate (CC Madhya 19.176). Rūpa Gosvāmī. Bhukti-mukti-siddhi piśācī. It is . . . they are compared with piśācī. What is called, piśācī? Witch? What is that? Witch? What does it mean by “witch”?
Tamāla Kṛṣṇa: One who flies around bewitching people.
Prabhupāda: What is that witch?
Tamāla Kṛṣṇa: Puts a spell on people.
Devotee (1): Black magic.
Devotee (2): Black . . .
Prabhupāda: Black, yes. Witch.
Tamāla Kṛṣṇa: Black, yes. Flying around. Ghosts.
Prabhupāda: So bhukti-mukti, they are considered as witch. Bhukti-mukti-siddhi . . . bhukti-mukti piśācī yāvat hṛdi vartate, tāvad bhakti-sukhasya. So long this piśācī will be within heart . . . just like if a man is ghostly haunted, he cannot have healthy condition. He’s in a troubled condition, ghostly haunted. Bhūte pavana. So this is bhūte pavana, bhukti-mukti. That is the . . . piśācī hṛdi vartate.
Tāvad bhakti-sukhasya atra katham abhyudayo amale. So long these two piśācīs, witches, are there within the heart, how he can relish the transcendental bliss of devotional service? That is not possible. Bhukti-mukti . . . bhukti-mukti piśācī yāvad hṛdi vartate tāvad bhakti-sukhasyātra katham abhyudayo ‘male . There is no possibility. One must be freed from these desire. Anyābhilāṣita-śūnyaṁ jñāna-karmādy-anāvṛtam (Brs. 1.1.11). Then one can relish. So long one is overpowered by bhukti-mukti-siddhi, he cannot become a devotee.
(aside) Go on.
Bhavānanda: “A pure devotee never cares for liberation. Lord Caitanya Mahāprabhu prayed to Kṛṣṇa, ‘My dear son of Nanda, I do not want any material happiness in the shape of many followers, nor immense opulence in wealth, nor any beautiful wife, nor do I want cessation from material existence. I may take birth many times, one after another, but what I pray from You is that my devotion unto You may always remain unflinching.’ ”
Prabhupāda: This is . . . I’ve already explained. Caitanya Mahāprabhu’s prayer:
- na dhanaṁ na janaṁ na sundarīṁ
- kavitāṁ vā jagadīśa kāmaye
- mama janmani janmanīśvare
- bhavatād bhaktir ahai
- (CC Antya 20.29, Śikṣāṣṭaka 4)
This is pure prayer. So pure devotional service is another great science. One has to learn it. Then his life will be successful.
Thank you very much. Hare Kṛṣṇa.
Devotees: Haribol. Jaya Prabhupāda. (end)