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Vaishnava Siddhanta Mala
By Seventh Goswami Shrila
Saccidananda Bhaktivinoda Thakura
Chapter 2: Bhagavan Alone Is the
Commentary by His Holiness
BRS Swami Gaurangapada
Q7. What are the obstacles to the attainment of Sri Krsna lila?
A. There are two types of obstacles:
1) material consciousness (jada-buddhi) and
2) beyond the conception of material consciousness, there is impersonal consciousness (nirvisesa-buddhi).
His Holiness Swami Gaurangapada : today we take up the 7th question. So we saw what is Krishna Lila. The Brahama Samhita says that mainly the lila, the pastime of the Lord is to induce smarana, smarana means remembrance, not marana, marana means death
The Lord Gauranga Krishna says to do smarana of the lila, to remember the pastimes
janma karma ca me divyam
evam yo vetti tattvatah
tyaktva deham punar janma
naiti mam eti so ’rjuna
One who knows the transcendental nature of My appearance and activities does not, upon leaving the body, take his birth again in this material world, but attains My eternal abode, O Arjuna.
His Holiness Swami Gaurangapada : Manasu means mind and 1 has to remember the pastimes of the Lord. Above is a beautiful verse in the Gita which describes the purpose of his pastimes, only he himself can say why he performs them, so he himself says in the Gita, that simply it is so the souls can be delivered.
So just like the Holy Name of the Lord is chanted for deliverance, similarly the pastimes deliver us, and if someone understands these pastimes in truth then he will never have to return to the material world again, so he will say you can come and join in his sankirtan pastime of Gauranga and the rasa lila of Radha Krishna, then as you understand that his activities are not due to karma are not due to karma, but due to his free will, unlike souls whose actions are determined by our past activities. And present activities will determine our future situation
So our activities are not lila they are karma as we are forced out of karma and nature, but the Lords activities are from his own sweet will. So the goal is to have faith in those pastimes, if you understand the pastimes as they are you can go back to the spiritual world. Understanding Radha Kishnas pastimes is very difficult, Gaurangas pastimes are easier to understand and lead to the pastimes of Radha and Krishna
Prabhupada did not like people to see drama of Radha Krishna pastimes, because they see them with lust, so we have to first present to the world Nityananda and Gaurangas sublime pastimes
One requires a spiritual master though to understand their pastimes. There are 2 types of obstacles to realising Radha Krishnas pastimes, as above. With too much engrossment in material life the consciousness becomes too dull and dead as consciousness becomes riveted in matter due to its contact with it. Very few people even have a desire to hear about the lila of Gauranga Krishna, what to say of hearing it regularly. This averseness comes because of these 2 obstacles. Too much bodily consciousness, the soul identifies itself with the body forgetting the true identity, and the second, nirvisesa buddhi, those who get fed up with material consciousness, they try to negate the material energy, they say it is all illusory and false and God is formless, as they are so fed up with the forms of the material world, they enter into speculation, this is known as nirvisesa buddhi, speculative, impersonal consciousness, it is even more dangerous than material consciousness. As one can understand ones mistake if one identifies with the body, but nirvisesa buddhi is hard to overcome, it makes the heart so hard. Prabhupada tried to preach in India for 15 years, but as it is so full of impersonal gurus and nirvisesa buddhi speculators, everyone there thinks they know God and they say they are God, and God is formless and they want to hear no more.
Prabhupada was not successful to preach in India because they were steel framed, hard hearted
but in USA the Americans were more engrossed in material consciousness, because they never tried to become god, they never speculated about god as they were so engrossed in materialism
If India wants to spiritually guide the whole world, then all Indian citizens should realise that they must not want to become God . Unfortunately in the name of Hinduism they are propogating oneness with God.
So in that way, Bhaktivinode Thakur said these are 2 obstacles
Just like flies and mosquitoes cannot compete with Garuda , similarly the souls have to give up those endeavours to become God.
Rupa Goswami says in Bhakti Rasamrita Sindhu Bindhu, that the first principal is that we should take shelter of the devotees and the Vaishnavas and practise bhakti under their guidance
Narottama das Thakur says that those who worship Gauranga by taking shelter of devotees and a spiritual master, then Krishna will not leave that devotee, as he is the devotee of his devotee, so he will never abandon him, but of someone tries to directly approach him, then the Lord says that he is not his devotee. As if he loved him he would love those who he loved, those who are sacrificing their lives in devotional service
So Jada buddhi can be compared to a tree that loses its sap in its youth then the tree can never become strong or beautiful like it would have otherwise have done as it lost its juicy sap when it is young, similarly by excessive gross sense gratification, the vital forces of the body are lost and their energies are drained at a young age these days, right from childhood these days, with peer pressure etc, so when one loses ones vital forces like this then it is very diffficult to become spiritually advanced, one remains spiritually weak and non productive, but the Holy Names reverse this trend, they help people to overcome this contamination of Kali Yuga.
Nirvisesa Buddhi people think they are already in knowledge about God and so will not accept knowledge from devotees, and they wont become humble.
Q8. What is material consciousness?
A. Material consciousness is an awareness that is limited to material time, place, objects, aspirations, thoughts and activities. According to material consciousness, one sees the realm of Vrindavana dhama to be a material place. Time is divided into three parts: past, present and future. Objects refer to all perishable things. Aspiration refers to the hopes for impermanent happiness, such as attaining the heavenly planets, etc. In this condition, the soul can think only in material thoughts. Such a soul imagines the following temporary activities to be worthwhile:
- the culture of civilization
- moral ethics
- scientific learning
- industrial development
- and the increase of domestic prosperity.
His Holiness Swami Gaurangapada : So we move on to the next question question 8. Identifying oneself with the body, one thinks that the goal of living is simply to accumulate money or participate in industrial development or be morally ethical, but its all on the bodily platform
The goal of life should not be to make money though, but to make money to advance spiritually, not simply to make material advancement, these days even big executives they are turning to a spiritual purpose, as money is highly impermanent, so we require money, we require facilities, but they are not the goal, but the means to attain the goal of chanting the Holy Names Nityananda Gauranga Hare Krishna Hare Krishna Krishna Krishna Hare Hare Hare Rama Rama Rama Hare Hare
So many millions of people who have died with so much property, but when they die, have they taken that land, that real estate with them, no, they have to go alone at the time of death. The land cannot go with them, the family cant go with thm, relatives cant, so whatever cant go with us at the time of death is imperamnent
We can take only those spiritual things with us at the time of death, so it is only the devotional service , the chanting of the Holy Names, is carried forwrad, the hearing and chanting, the association of devotees is carried forward, all our spiritual sincerity always sticks with the soul life after life, ones spiritual advancement never diminishes, unless one commits Vaishnava Aparaddha.
Tomorrow we will elaborate more on this point.
Questions and Answers
Candrika Gauranga dasi : my question is can you give an example of what it means to want to be God?
His Holiness Swami Gaurangapada : Like a demon Shaktasura entered the cart that Krishna was in in Vrindavan, he came as the wind and he was trying too be over Krishna, to be on top of Krishna, he thought the cart would tumble and fall. So what Krishna did was give one light kick to the cart and the demon was crushed to death, because the kick was so powerful.
So those who try to kill God in whatever way, like in modern day science, scientists want to show that there is no God, they try to logoically prove there is no God, so that is a typical example of tryong to remove God from the picture by specualtive theories. Isaac Newton said to a friend that he was controlling a small model of a universe in his lab, so he said if he could control that then there must be some controller of the whole real large universes. Even behind the geratest super computer in the world there is a man who has designed it, there is always superior intelligence behoind everything, so why cant there be for the whole of creation a superior being in exactly the same way.
So these are some examples of Nirvisesa Buddhi, how trying to become 1 with God is so dangerous, more dangerous than gross materialism. It is like in the hurricane , the grass which always bends with the wind is not effected so much by the huricane as it bends with the wind, but something stiff and solid will be destroyed. Those who are very puffed up and egotistic they want to become God and be like God.
bharati : flies and mosquitoes can sit on Garuda,s back and undertake the journey just like benediction of highly evolved souls,helps ordinary Jivatmas!
His Holiness Swami Gaurangapada : Yes this is a good example of why we need a Spiritual Master, just like when you are cycling on a bicycle by yourself you will go very slowly, but of you grab hold of a truck you will go the speed of the truck without even peddling