PHILOSOPHICAL DEFINITIONS LECTURE #1, 18th Sep 2008, Bhaktivedanta Academy, Sridham Mayapur
HH BVPS Maharaja: So now we will begin our study of the basic scriptures that Srila Prabhupada had mentioned, what’s known generally in ISKCON in giving a Bhakti-sastri degree. In the Academy here that will give you a different degree. Because we will be studying many, many different aspects or elements. Because in this is that the studying of the Bhagavad-gita, Sri Isopanisad, Nectar of Devotion, Upadesamrta.
These are the basic books Srila Prabhupada had been discussing this since the 60s about this kind of understanding that he wanted devotees to study these literatures and become proficient in the philosophy, philosophy and practices. Prabhupada said if there is any complaint he had about his disciples it was just this one thing: they didn’t study his books. That’s all. Nothing else. Committed, dedicated, preaching, doing so many activities. But studying his books, being knowledgeable of his books – not so strong. So Srila Prabhupada envisioned that by 1975 he’d have disciples that have finished the Bhaktivedanta degree and would already be initiating disciples. As it is to this day no one, only one did up to Ninth, Tenth Canto. So that has only been going for the last couple of years. So that means basically thirty years late. But it happened. Better late than never. The idea is that these things should go on.
So then this is our form we have had Bhaktisastri course, in fact we were one of the first ones to publish actually a Bhaktisastri study guide. Jagadisa Maharaja produced one and we had produced one. The main difference is that for most the chronological study or the overview of the scripture is what they will do. For us that’s half of the study, is that this study should be there and then after that then you go back and study things according to the themes and these themes then are given by the acaryas. There is no need for us to really dream up themes, that is not so important.
The principle is that there is going to be chronological study, in other words, there is an introduction, so you know what’s going on. A chronological study, having studied it chronologically, that means just whatever topic comes and in what order it comes because there is a logical sequence by the method of presentation. The other is then going to be the study of it by also presentation but there is no argument here.
Does that make sense? That means even the preliminaries have to have a preliminary. Means they are part of the discussion. This is discussed in detail in the evening class is that you have two forms of logical presentation. They are based based off of five principles, the pancanga which will discuss the details, but there is two forms of it. They follow the same thing but is for when you are discussing with someone who has a doubt. So you have to establish the principles. So you see Bhagavad-gita, Bhagavatam, you are going with that. Somebody has a doubt, you have to present it that way. So the scripture is always a conversation, there will be that element.
The other one is that you just give a logical presentation because there is no doubt. Any doubt you want to bring up you bring it up yourself. So you are not working with mind here. You are working with intelligence, purely. In other words, you are giving a logical presentation but you are having to deal with someone else’s mind how they accept and reject that. So therefore you take tensions you go this way and that way, you have to backtrack, you have to go to jump to something forward, you had a logical presentation but you have to adjust it for the audience. So that’s a natural form. That’s why all the Vedic literatures basically are discussions because that will come according to the form of people’s presentation.
The other one is you are presenting a philosophical treatise the way you want to do it in its logical order, like Vedanta-sutra. There is no one there arguing. But it will be presented still in that same form of the pancanga-nyaya. So it has slightly different terminology but they are meaning the same thing. But they slightly have imports that are different because they can accommodate other aspects. It’s not that when you are doing the one, you are using one of the forms, you are not doing the other. But it’s just which is prominent. So that will get in detail in the evening.
So therefore the chronological study is to remove all the doubts. Once the doubts are removed, you understand, you agree with that sastra, then you go back and study it very analytically and very logically. So then you very clearly get all the points. Because otherwise because of clearing doubts Krsna will bring up you are not this body in this chapter, and then again in that chapter, then again in another chapter. But when you study it by analyzation, all the elements that show that you are not this body are all put together in one place. So you can see all the different aspects that you are not the body. The other one is presented to remove the doubts that you are not the body. Now it’s a matter of understanding the fine points of it.
So with these two aspects then you know the book. Prabhupada says first you read the book then you study it. This is the same thing. So going through just once is not enough, is going through by reading. Because you have to read it to get the chronological thing, remove the doubts. Then you go back and analyze it. And so we can come up with our own themes by our own intelligence or we can use the themes that are given by the acaryas.
So for Bhagavad-gita Srila Prabhupada himself has written an analysis of Bhagavad-gita. It was done back in the 50s. It was done on his original Gita. And somehow or another devotees have never recognized it. Because it is analyzation, it’s not something that people are very used to. So most devotees that have ever seen the analysis they look at it and go what’s this all about it, it makes no sense. Everybody I have ever shown it to this is what they have said. But if you study it, you understand through these traditional methods of study, how to approach something, it makes perfect sense and you can see what is going there. Then you see it’s basically laid out exactly as Vedanta-sutra, it’s in the same form, it’s that analysis. Because Vedanta-sutra is the analysis of the Vedic literatures. The Sandarbhas are the analysis of the Bhagavatam. So this analysis is the actual study of the Gita. So these two together then make the course complete. So that’s what will make one aspect that makes the course unique.
Then another aspect is that, there will be so many other aspects of the technical points of our philosophy what will be there, how it falls, how it expands, how other sampradayas look at it, how the six schools of Vedic philosophy look at it, how the other derivatives of that and your world religions or world philosophies, apa-sampradayas deal with all that. Because there is only the philosophy given by God. There is the Veda, it is knowledge, everything is based on that. Whether people understand it or not, whether they understand the personal or not, whether they even know it’s connected to Veda or not, that’s another point. So that is also given by the acaryas how this breaks down so you end up basically with 26 different kinds of mentalities, that you end up with all the various religious processes and philosophical processes that there are in the world.
So we start with this concepts and definitions, means this class will begin with that. We’ll go through all that. Then that will make everything very clear. Then we’ll get into the introduction of the Bhagavad-Gita, and then we’ll go through the Gita, supported by the small books that Srila Prabhupada had mentioned. In other words, whatever Prabhupada mentioned at any time that went into Bhaktisastri that we are using. Because at different times he gave different books. And sometimes he emphasized one and sometimes he wouldn’t. So we are using the accumulation of all that. So he mentioned the little books because they are all on Bhagavad-gita, different chapters. But these little books are all the books that were either written by Prabhupada or commissioned by Prabhupada during his presence. So there is 12 books. 4 of them he wrote, 8 of them Hayagriva put together. So they are all these known books. Easy Journey to Other Planets, Topics of Spiritual Science, Beyond Birth and Death, Message of Godhead, Knowledge of the Supreme, Perfection of Yoga, On the way to Krsna, Science of Devotion, Path of Perfection, Raja-vidya, Renunciation through Wisdom, The Diluted Thinkers, Highest use of Intelligence. No, this has got all of them in there. This has got ones that Prabhupada didn’t do. Some of those we don’t do.
Easy Journey to Other Planets, Prabhupada wrote, Beyond Birth and Death, Message of Godhead, he wrote, it wasn’t published by us, I think Bhakti Gaura Nrsimha Maharaja he published it. BBT will publish it, it’s just a matter of working out with him details of the editing. Then Perfection of Yoga, On the way to Krsna, Path of Perfection, I think he wrote, Raja-vidya, Renunciation through Wisdom, he wrote, that was in Bengali, that was the Vairagya-vidya. Elevation to Krsna consciousness, and the Matchless Gift, Srila Prabhupada wrote that also. And one that is not in here, Reservoir of Pleasure, that will also be included, the other ones we won’t use.
They will be studied along with the chapter, in other words, they are either books he wrote on those chapters of Gita or his lectures. And so then that will bring out some other points that are there, just some highlights.
Then having done that, also we will study the Deity worship, Pancaratra-pradip. Probably also along with an overview of the Narada-pancaratra. So we understand what is the pancaratrika scriptures. So we understand how our Deity worship books are not just another book. Because otherwise you just take, oh it’s just some things of how you do some puja. Rather than understanding what is Pancaratra. As it is now probably very few devotees could even explain it what Pancaratra is. So how it fits into our line. So all this one should know.
Then after that then we’ll conclude with books of the acaryas that are the conclusions, that basically deal with all the topics of the Gaudiya-Vaisnavism in its basic form. So that will be this class, at this time of day. For this class then would be where any work that you are doing, any study, essays to be written. All that will come out of this class. And that will all be coordinated by Pandava Bandhu Prabhu. He is the one coordinating here just as Santi Prabhu is coordinating for the Bhagavatam study.
And then in the class in the evening that will be dealing with technical philosophy. That will be more discussion and only occasional essays and stuff to be written. That will be more listening, but you need to listen because there won’t be as much study. And so any time you have to write essays, it has to be based off of that. In other words, because it’s technical points it will keep going through it until it’s understood. There is less matter to deal with but it will be more discussed. In the morning there is more matter to deal with. But it’s more straight-forward. We are more familiar with the Bhagavad-gita. So then these books we should go more simply.
Devotee (1): Vedanta-sutra…
HH BVPS Maharaja: Because I didn’t get into too much detail, means in the evening class from 4 to 5. This is our first study, is on the nyaya, establishing how we are going to study. Because the evening is more on the Vedic concepts of philosophy, how it works, why we use it, becoming proficient in it, how the different acaryas and sampradayas do use it, how derivatives of this are used in the modern.
Like an example would be Upanisads. Upanisadic knowledge means you know what is God, what is your concept of God, what is your concept of the jiva, what is your concept of the material world, what’s the relationship between these three. The fourth point is then what is then your process of elevation. And your fifth point is what is the nature of the soul once he has become perfect. So everybody can fall into that. So we can see from the Upanisads it’s very great. God is a person, Bhagavan Krsna, Vraja Krsna for us. The jiva, tatastha-sakti, His servant. The material energy is Brahman, but it’s inferior, but to be used by the jiva in the Lord’s service. The process of sadhana is going to be that and the direct service will be chanting of the holy name. The position of the soul having obtained that is eternal servant of Krsna, and so then eternally it goes on.
The impersonalists will have a different view. And then you take modern religion, what’s God, He is some guy that’s very terrible to behold. No one can look at Him and if you do you burn your eyes out. So therefore don’t bother. The soul, the soul is the body. The material world, that if dealt with in a pious way is heaven. The method of sadhana, be nice, be good, turn the other cheek. And the perfection once you get there, you are the enjoyer. So it puts any religious or philosophical system very plainly in view.
Otherwise if we say please discuss Christianity. We will come up with all kinds of stuff that might sound very different than what I just said. But what I just said is basically what is being preached. A few will go beyond that. But generally if you push a little bit, they can’t. Because you say what is God, they say He has no form. So ultimately they are impersonalists. But at the same time they want to get to heaven. So they got this mix, it’s very obvious, that there is some mixed thing. Their philosophy and their religion are two different things. They don’t even know that. So this is what we will study in the evening class so that we are aware of this, so that will enhance our study in the morning. But you can’t do them both at the same time.
Devotee (1): …regarding on commenting on Vedanta-sutra, it doesn’t care about the flow.
HH BVPS Maharaja: No, it cares about the flow. Who is arguing? There is only Badarayani, he is only writing. In the commentaries then they’ll deal with the opposition. And he’ll even deal with it there. He’ll say Jaimini says this, that one says that, but it’s on his terms. It’s not on their terms.
So that’s the difference is if the presentation is on our terms it follows one line of definition. If it’s on, depending on the audience, it follows the other. So the point is the evening class is discussing according to our going through. The morning class the first half of it is according to working out all the doubts. The second half of it then is according to then straight our presentation.
So in other words, everything is going to be based off of this what we will discuss in the evening, this pancanga-nyaya. Because that’s just the way the scriptures work. It may not be very well known. But by dealing with the first lesson here then it will be clear.
So in the evening the first lesson is establishing the educational objectives of the Vedic scriptures, how you are dealing with sambandha, abhidheya and prayojana, the pancanga-nyaya. You are dealing with anubandha-catustaya. So there is all these different technical terms that we come across all the time, we see them always but we just don’t know what they are, and don’t necessarily appreciate the technical aspect of them. Because every book has a mangalacarana, but what’s in that mangalacarana we may not have caught. So all these things that will be discussed.
Devotee (2): Can you say something about the different levels of involvement and how long the course is going to go?
HH BVPS Maharaja: You have two levels of involvement. One those who actually want to get credit for this. Means we are trying to move through it in the proper paste. Once the introduction is there, so by next week it will be more clear on that. Today and tomorrow we’ll basically be doing more the introductory, and from next week then we’ll see how it goes from there, is that there will be the study, means you do the study, you do the essays, then at the end of the course, you get a degree for that. From this there is actually because there is two courses running, there will be two degrees for it. They are connected but there is two different degrees. Then there is on the second course, the evening one, it actually has two parts, so it actually has two degrees in it. One part we’ll deal with on one year, the other we’ll deal on two years. So that also answers there.
Our course will run for three years. Otherwise this is not a three months crash course. This is three years, you want to absorb all this, so that you are actually able to study Bhagavatam. We went through it was a year and a half on the Second Canto, that should have been done in four months. But because we are answering questions based on this Bhaktisastri level therefore we couldn’t. It wasn’t a problem, we understood it, because this wasn’t ready, we were happy to do it like that. But the idea is once you finish this then to be able to go through one of those chapters in the Bhagavatam will take two days. So that means you do 150 chapters or have of the Bhagavatam in 3 years, two chapters a week with no problem. Because you are already understand all the foundation and basis what the Bhagavatam is because the Bhagavatam is the conclusion of all the Vedic literatures so everything that’s there anywhere else is there. So it will be the most deep and most difficulty to understand. So the idea is through this course then one has the eyes to look at it.
Previously when it was developed this course from ’84 then it was called sastra-caksus, the whole thing. So that one can see through the eyes of sastra. that’s the idea. Then one gets into the next level which was the darsana-caksus, when one sees actually the different darsans, or the philosophy that the Bhagavatam is giving. Then vedanta-caksus when one is understanding the conclusions. And then Caitanya-caritamrta, prema-caksus where one is able to understand that the whole element of rasa. Because otherwise you are dealing mainly with the philosophy though rasa is introduced in the Bhagavatam in a very serious way. But the analyzing is done in Caitanya-caritamrta.
So it’s a three year course that right now we are running two periods during this term because this is a very good term for study, also in the day it won’t be hot. So we have in the morning 7-8 and then in the evening 4-5, and then we’ll see if everyone is comfortable, means depending upon the mood and all that then for the summer after Gaura-Purnima then we’ll either not run the evening class if it’s too difficult and only run the morning class, or we’ll run both classes. But we’ll wait until then and see how everyone feels. So we are making no decisions on that now.
So if you want to take the course then means if you are already registered student, fine, if not then you register. Then you will be supplied with the papers. We do like we did in the Bhagavatam. Until the course is fully written the way we like it then it will be made into a book, then it will be more available. Otherwise it’s only available in bits and pieces as we do, page by page, chapter by chapter, whatever it is that will be done.
Otherwise you can sit and listen, you’ll get benefit, you have heard everything. Just means that unless you do the study and write the essays then you won’t get the degree. You have the knowledge but you won’t have the degree.
And questions also be very careful, it will be preferred for registered students, others then can ask if it is relevant for taking it further. But otherwise it’s mainly being geared for the students. Vrndavana they run like this also but there is two students and 30 people or 20 people who are not, they are just listening, and I think they never do questions. Class ends and that’s it. Since we like to deal with questions therefore those who are students who will be keeping up, they’ll understand what we are talking about, it won’t go back. That was a problem before when we left it open is that Atma-tattva had a difficulty when you would be dealing with later parts of the course then someone will come and listen and ask a question that was already covered last year and so that would disturb the other students. So that’s why we are saying if it is relevant we will take the question if you are not a student but if it’s not then won’t because then it will disturb the actual flow of the course.
Devotee (2): If you can’t attend all of them then by correspondence.
HH BVPS Maharaja: Yes, anybody here, means you are first time now, or you have to go out or anything, then through correspondence then you can just continue. You get what you are supposed to do, study that, write your essays. You can hear the classes. So there is no problem. It’s always an advantage if you are here, you catch the mood. If you here, take advantage of the classes because the interaction is always better than if you just listen on the tape. Because by listening on the tape you get distracted by other things. You are listening to a tape in your environment but when you are at the lecture, the lecture is the environment. So there will be slightly different focus and that, means not much, but it’s still there is an advantage. So that is recommended.
7 o’ clock we start to 7.50. We are using Srila Prabhupada’s periods, his schedules which was specifically for gurukula which is 50 minutes and then 10 minute break. Means for the adults then you just relax a little, do whatever you want. For the kids then they transform back into the natural state and then at 8 o’ clock they become by some variety of artificial means become human again and then are able to hold that together for another 50 minutes. So 50 minutes was basically the time frame that Prabhupada found that people could focus very nicely and everything and then have a 10 minute break. So that’s the same. So 7 to 7.50 and then the evening 4 to 4.50. And then at 5 o’clock, means don’t expect to stay after and ask questions and that because at 5 o’clock then we have other classes, mantra classes with the students. Means if you have questions for others, for Santi Prabhu or Pandava Bandhu Prabhu or Santi’s wife that’s no problem, you can sit with them at that time.
So we have a whole list of philosophical definitions means we’ll get this to you in a day or two. So as we go through this you can remember is that these are things to define so you understand where we are coming from. We are going through them fairly quickly so you are familiar with them because they’ll constantly come up and so by usage then you’ll get comfortable with them. Right now is to acquaint you with them. So that it makes sense.
Sambandha, Abhidheya and Prayojana
The whole idea is basically sambandha, abhidheya and prayojana is the basic formula for everything. Everything can be defined in this. It is the main thing we will work with. There are other forms of it. But we will deal specifically with that. You are dealing with relationship, you are dealing with process, you are dealing with result. Means until you understand relationship means what are the element of the field, what relationship they have with each other, what relationship they have with the goal, what they have with the process, you won’t actually be able to perform the process properly. The process is not performed properly you won’t get the result you want.
Just like they say the famous the end justifies the means. But anybody who has ever used that never got the ends they wanted. They use these bad means to get peace they never got it. It just never happened. Why? Because the process they used was to get a different goal, they don’t know it, the two go together.
Therefore a very clear understanding of this sambandha-jnana then makes everything work. As we see in the Upanisads out of five principles three are sambandha. Means God, the living entity, and the material energy and their relationship. So that is sambandha-jnana. Prabhupada mentions in the Gita, you know this, you have knowledge. Because everything comes from there. Because you know the living entity has to perform service, the living entity is trying to develop love of God, these are the other two points. But still you are dealing with theory. So technically it is sambandha. When you apply it then it’s abhidheya, when you get the result that is prayojana, even if you discuss abhidheya technically it is sambandha. It is a discussion on abhidheya, so it is an abhidheya-sastra. Nectar of Devotion is an abhidheya-sastra, the knowledge of it is sambandha. That you are studying it that is abhidheya. That you practice it that is abhidheya. But that you study it that is sambandha. Then you know what is devotional service, you know who you are, what’s devotional service, what is Vaisnavas, because you are discussing the process.
If you are just discussing, Prabhupada mentions Brhad-bhagavatamrita is a sambandha-sastra because Sanatana Goswami is the sambandha-acarya. His book discussing what is God, what is the Vaisnavas, what is the process etc. So based on that Rupa Goswami is taking from Sanatana Goswami’s Hari-bhakti-vilasa and bringing that into the Nectar of Devotion. In other words, all the elements of sambandha are represented in abhidheya, but abhidheya is application of that sambandha. Then prayojana is the result, one is the result that you want to get, it’s the result that you do get. Because prayojana has to be visited twice. For the mind it has to go there first to decide that I am going to actually perform the activity and two, having performed the activity you will reach that spot. In other words, one is a feeling, the other is an actual observable result. But once that result has come then that because more part of sambandha. We will discuss that one when we get to that.
So now different forms of this. So now this was relationship, process and result. That’s generally the terms that Prabhupada uses the most. Then other forms that he used is
Thinking, feeling and willing
Relationship, process and result that is just applying according to the intelligence. That is the second of the two that we were talking about. In the logical presentation there is no obstacles therefore you going sambandha, abhidheya and prayojana. That’s a logical and intelligent way of presenting it. Then for the mind because the mind has to accept it we are dealing here with obstacles, obstacles means the mind, not intelligence. Intelligence just points things out, the mind accepts and rejects. Then you are going thinking, feeling, willing. Then you are going sambandha, prayojana, abhidheya because unless the mind accepts the goal it won’t agree to act because it is in control of the senses. Means by intelligence the senses function, in this way then the intelligence is the lord of the senses because without intelligence a sense doesn’t work. But what work the intelligence is going to do is given by the mind. By intelligence the sense can work because you can tell the difference between a pillar and that is the floor, that is intelligence. But why I am doing that or what I am doing with that knowledge that is a pillar so that I can lean against it that is the mind.
Therefore these two methods are important to understand because these are the two processes. Therefore these are the basis for your two forms of logic, it is the same thing, sambandha, abhidheya and prayojana. It’s just you make some adjustment because you are adding the mind to it. In other words, one you are dealing just with intelligence and the other you are dealing with the intelligence and the mind. In other words, if the mind has accepted it you can do it in one way, if the mind hasn’t accepted then you have to get the mind to accept it so it is slightly different. It still is the same, because we say thinking, feeling, willing, so that you are going to go sambandha, prayojana, abhidheya. But by performing the abhidheya what’s going to happen? You are going to get to prayojana. Basically it is the same thing it is just a matter of convincing the mind. That’s why you touch on the prayojana then it comes.
It’s like in music you touch the higher note and you come to the main note. You don’t hear him just say the note. It’s always aaaaa. You are saying this note, the higher note is not the note. Like when these classical musicians start and you hear them singing they only sing one note you think they are singing so many notes but they are showing how to approach that note. That’s all they are doing. It is one note and then they move to the next note and everything is around that note, and then the next note, so it is always where it ends up then you know that’s where it is. So it is sambandha, then it touches on prayojana, it comes to abhidheya, then you get prayojana. But it is just for the mind you have to throw that in, the goal. So therefore thinking, feeling, willing.
Because if someone is doing something that means they have accepted it. If they are not doing it that means they haven’t accepted it. If the person doesn’t know how to do it means he hasn’t got knowledge. I don’t how to do this that means he doesn’t have sambandha-jnana. I don’t want to do this means he doesn’t have the prayojana. Or he is doing it but he is doing it wrong means he also doesn’t have sambandha. Or he doesn’t know where he is going with it. So by this you can identify what’s going on, what’s wrong, what’s right.
In other words, from all this you are going to understand how the mind and intelligence work, you will be able to understand things for yourself and from that you will be able to use that for others. So it is a vision, it is a way of seeing. You are not going to memorizing verses or this or that. The important verses will be important because they constantly come up but it is not a matter of you can cough up 50 verses with all the word for word and then you pass. Because if I come back two weeks after the test I guarantee if I sat right down all those 50 verses there is a good chance you wouldn’t be able to do it. If I came back after one year you wouldn’t be able to find them at all unless you are using them already in your preaching. So that kind of knowledge we are not looking for. We are looking for this is the basis of how you are going to use it today in your life and for the rest of your life.
So it is a different approach to knowledge. This is the Vedic method. Other methods are based on generally modern academic methods which is to get the knowledge across. But as we see knowledge is one of, it is sambandha, then you have abhidheya and prayojana. So if you don’t apply it in your life what’s the meaning of your knowledge? If you don’t know why you should apply it you won’t apply it. So the people don’t apply it because they don’t know that they should or why they should.
Sat, cit and ananda.
You have eternity, knowledge and bliss. So eternity that is the basis, everything is based on that. Krsna is eternity. He is everything. Everything else expands from Him. So He is the full form of sat. Cit means then your knowledge and your activities. And ananda is the result and happiness you’ll get from having performed an activity. So then sac-cid-ananda. So then in that you also get cit-acit-isvara.
Depending on how you want to put this together. Cit is your knowledge potency means what it is how to perform the activities then your isvara and acit depending upon how you put it then they can switch places, the Lord is the basis of everything in this but the goal of the living entity is acit, in other words ignorance. So then the living entity foolishly is involved in the material energy for gaining material gains so he is using this knowledge that he gains in the material world to get material gains. So you can put it this way.
The other way you can also put it is your acit means your ignorance because that is your basis of material existence and isvara will be your goal that you are trying to obtain to, through cit you’ll get yourself from acit to service at the lotus feet of isvara. The Mayavadis make a mistake and think they are isvara. So that is a problem.
Ignorance, passion and goodness.
When you take sac-cid-ananda and expand it then your sat is your eternal position. That is your basis, the transcendental platform. In the material world ignorance is the basis because you are ignorant of your relationship with Godhead therefore you are in the material world. Then passion is going to be your activity. And passion is always in the future because you want something. So that means it has that touch on the goal. So we see that element is there. Your passion will be your activities. Then goodness will be your goal what you are trying to obtain to. But the passion unless it is touched upon that it can’t act.
This is knowledge and understanding, if you want to apply it then they become switched. Because then goodness is what you have to act on now, it is in the present. If you are dealing with time passion is in the future. Therefore your activities in the present have to be based on goodness if it is being performed with knowledge, with detachment, with devotion, it gets the proper result. Because what is Krsna saying, when He gives conclusion to Arjuna He is not saying, know this Bhagavad-gita very nicely or everything like that. He is saying perform your duties which means activity with knowledge. So activity is done with knowledge so that makes it cit. With detachment then the quality of it goes up. It’s not passion. It has to be goodness. To perform your duties that means it is based on sastra, it’s austerity, so goodness. With knowledge, without attachment. Then you are being performing that thinking of Krsna and for Krsna. So the goal is for Krsna. Unless it is detached how will it be for Krsna? So Krsna is talking about the present. What you are going to do right now. Because the discussion is what is Arjuna going to do right now. It is not what he is going to do later. He is on the chariot and it is time to fight so the question is what is Arjuna going to do now?
So the whole idea is it is all in the present. So therefore mode of goodness comes here. Passion is in the future what you would like. Ignorance is in the past. That’s why persons overwhelmed by passion and ignorance they are never in the present. So therefore they never get good results. They never get anything lasting because only the mode of goodness lasts. Passion or ignorance are fleeting. Or ignorance lasts but it doesn’t get anything done.
We also see this principle that sometimes we can take two things and depending upon their perspective we can move it. Like we have already done that in one thing is that the first thing we did we didn’t bring it out we bring it out now is this knowledge. We are taking knowledge and putting it in sambandha because that is its natural place. But at the same time action is done with knowledge. In other words, learning the knowledge is sambandha, applying the knowledge is abhidheya. That’s why when we were doing elements before in the process is the application but you are using knowledge. When we are dealing with knowledge which is intelligence, the intelligence can be put into the abhidheya category. But other times it will be put into the sambandha. So they can move.
So all these different forms are there of sambandha, abhidheya and prayojana but they have different applications, at different times they will do different things. So we just have to be aware of that which one we are using then we won’t be confused.
Then we Madana-mohana, Govinda and Gopinatha.
Madana-mohana is attraction. Govinda is application. Gopinatha is your goal or your love. So Madana-mohana is the one that attracts us to Himself. He is the most all-attractive one, that’s your sambandha, your relationship, only if you are attracted then there is a relationship. You are not attracted no relationship. Then Govinda, without the instructions there is no application. Govinda is the pastimes, that is the activities. Gopinatha is that goal, developing love for Him.
So there is attraction there is attachment. These are experiences. But the pastime is an activity. The gopis are attracted to Krsna, they are attached to Krsna but nothing is happening. They are feelings. The pastime is action. At the same time you get all the feelings because the knowledge is being used, the action is going on, and that result is coming. So in abhidheya you get the experience of all three. But It is only through action that it is full. If someone only does one or the other it is not full. Someone may be thinking about something but unless one is actually doing it it is not going to be happening.
We are devotees of Govindaji because Rupa Goswami is the acarya of abhidheya – his Deity is Govindaji. Sanatana Goswami is the acarya of sambandha – his Deity is Madana-mohana. Gopinatha is generic for all Gaudiya Vaisnavas – where you take it from there there may be a difference. Therefore there may be a difference in who you take as your acarya. In general we will take it is Gopinatha his devotee is Madhu Pandit, for us our prayojana-acarya is Raghunatha dasa. (end of lecture)
Devotee (3): About relationship…
HH BVPS Maharaja: Whatever a woman wants but according to the nature of a woman. Because she’ll say something and she means something else. Like she says you annoy me, get out of here. That doesn’t necessarily mean that you have to leave. It means that whatever you are doing and annoying her has to stop. Because the point is it’s crooked. So they will be saying this, they mean this. But it can turn into that. Because whatever it is you have come these steps towards, so whatever is the last step you made that was wrong. So that you have to move back to the last one, you don’t do that right, she’ll keep moving back until you are out the door.
So it’s a matter of dealing with the point not, because they have requirements, that has to be fulfilled. You have to know what they are to fulfill them. And then you have to be able to apply time, place and circumstance to what is the necessity of the time and what’s the actual individual nature. Because each individual will be slightly, the detail will be slightly different. The principles will always be the same.
Devotee (3): So it’s not that they are not, …satisfy and they won’t take advantage.
HH BVPS Maharaja: The point is them taking advantage is part of the whole thing is that they have to know that they can’t take advantage. If they can do that then they stop taking advantage. The point is you just say you can do whatever you want but then they’ll try it. They have to be proven that they can do it whenever they want. And if you can handle that then they are comfortable, then they move back into something normal. But they’ll always push it beyond just to make sure what’s there. It’s just when you test the eyes you test here, it’s not just. You put some heavier on it. So if it passes that.
It’s like the king, he wants to check and see if the chandelier will fit because he ordered a chandelier bigger than the one in Buckingham Palace, but they said that’s very heavy, will the roof hold it. Ok let’s check, he brought an elephant, and then… the elephant up, and if the elephant didn’t bring the roof down then haribol, the chandelier is going to fit. So that’s always the thing. That’s just the way they are.
The point is just because they take advantage, the point is they have to do these things, the man volunteers to be involved in this. That’s his independence. The woman has to behave like this. She can’t behave any other way. So many times the men think if I am taken advantage of then that’s this. But the point is it’s being taken advantage of with relationship or without? If it’s without relationship that you want to avoid. But if it’s within a relationship then that’s just the way it is. That’s what makes the relationship more mature, more deep, more intimate.
In other words, the key to what you are looking for is through these things, it is seemingly not what men want. But the point is everything is obtained through austerity. So the things the men would consider austerity are the actual means of obtaining what they are looking for in association with women. They want it without. But that doesn’t work. It’s just you don’t win the Olympics by sitting in the couch and eating chips. You have to do the austerity, then you’ll get the.
Devotee (3): It’s across the border, it applies for spiritual life.
HH BVPS Maharaja: It’s the exact same thing. In other words, it’s equal opportunity. Means the sadhu he goes through so much difficulty, so he mentally has no difficulty as long as he is in the right state of mind. Physically there may be difficulty. The grhastha, because the physical difficulty therefore he uses that to develop the right state of mind. For the grhastha the physical difficulty isn’t there it’s emotional difficulty but he uses that to develop the same state of mind.
But it’s easier to deal with the adhy-atmika or adhi-daivika, it is more difficult to deal with the adhi-bhautika. But that’s the point is the grhastha has chosen the inferior path, that’s why it’s considered second-class. Because you can get the same thing through simply the means of self-realization. But here the grhastha through that inspiration that is there by the association with a woman he is doing exactly the same thing as the brahmacari, vanaprastha, sannyasa. It’s exactly the same thing. But it’s just the medium through which it comes is different, but what he has to learn and what he can’t get from are exactly the same. Therefore the brahmacari can become self-realized, the grhastha can become self-realized if they understand the process. If they don’t understand the process then they won’t. But it’s the same.
The grhasthas the whole thinking it’s the whole the man woman thing, no it’s uou dealing with, all there is you, God, and His energy, and it’s God’s energy, it works according to God’s laws, therefore means you can attain God by dealing with His energy according to His laws. So in the spiritual world you serve His internal potency according to His rules then you develop love of Krsna. In the same way if you deal with the energies here in the material world according to His laws with the right attitude then you develop your relationship with Him. But from this you develop this on the platform of Brahman, you liberate yourself. The interaction with your wife doesn’t develop prema for Krsna, it develops your relationship with Krsna on the Brahman-platform, that
He is Brahman you are Brahman and you are out of the material world. Then as Brahman serving Brahman then you can take up the Bhagavan aspect, means your sadhana is Bhagavan, your discussions on Krsna consciousness, your services that, but the principle of male-female, husband-wife, you are dealing with Brahman there, because it’s the universal formsince it is all the universal form, the masculine aspect flowing to the feminine and back, like this, that’s what’s going on. So then technically you can liberate yourself through that. So that’s why the science needs to be known.
But some think by knowing the science then ignorance is bliss, so you lose out on it. No, this is actually how you get it. The ignorant man is not blissful. He may think he is. A woman in ignorance may be blissful, that’s ok. But the man can’t be. The man has to be in knowledge. That’s why it says spiritual husband, religious wife. So that means if he is not looking at it from the spiritual point of view, he won’t be a good husband. Only a spiritualist will be a good husband. Even only an advanced spiritualist will be a good husband. Means others you see they are doing a nice job, the family is together, they will never divorce, they have kids, everything is really wonderful. But there is elements of the feminine nature that they are not taking care of, so the women still won’t be satisfied. Therefore the women always have this poker face look on their face. But it is as good as it gets other than that. But you take a step further, they have the spiritual understanding and practice. You never hear of one complaint from Devahuti. Nothing. Because he is like the perfect husband.
Devotee (3): Also you made a comment about when the man has knowledge and doesn’t apply, then it’s supposed to be in relationship with the husband applied, why are you the couch potato, so he doesn’t do anything, he provides a house, he provides everything else, but he doesn’t provide the interaction. So that has to be done. That doesn’t seem to get done in general.
HH BVPS Maharaja: It has to be done constantly, it’s not that you can do it and sit back. The man is used to I do this activity, I got the result, I can sit back. Because as soon as something comes into prayojana it moves back into sambandha. So that can be used to advantage means as soon as it comes back, then your field is bigger then you move forward more. It’s just like money, you have money, it goes out. You sell something , the money comes back. Now you have more. I sent out a hundred dollars, I bought goods, it’s out. I sold the goods, now what comes back is two hundred dollars. It always comes back, then I put out again. So that’s the whole thing it always comes back. So the man the point is he thinks it’s come back because the situation is in sambandha he thinks now it’s fine, enjoyment. But the enjoyment it is on the other side, you want to get to the enjoyment you have to do action again. So it’s constantly you are always acting, always having that knowledge. So therefore then that enjoyment is there. So they’ll think that they’ll just do.
While women they are enjoyment, so therefore you always have to be active. Then to get to them you always have to be active. That’s there the passive point, you have to be the active one. And as you are active then they can act.
Devotee (3): In the same way Krsna is always acting, always engaged in lila by His activities, He is always doing instigating.
HH BVPS Maharaja: At the same time is He engages in the activity according to the nature of the other person. As you surrender He reciprocates. So whatever mood the women is in that’s the way you are going to behave. You are always making the step but you make that step according to her mood. That’s what we mean by always taking the woman into consideration. But taking that step that is the masculine thing. But that’s what’s not understood. Therefore they think if I do it according to woman therefore I am not masculine. No, but doing according to yourself that’s feminine.
Devotee (3): The opposite.
HH BVPS Maharaja: Yes, that’s why there is a problem, because then the packing order has to be done. So as far as laws goes the husband is superior to the wife, he is the boss. But as far as the relationship and all that, the wife is comfortable when she controls it. So then there is always going to be a fight in the packing order. Because the woman needs rasa, so she needs to feel that she is in control. Otherwise if she is not in control, she doesn’t feel that the relationship is solid. Because if you can’t control it how she’ll get any enjoyment out of it. But the man is controlling because it’s his environment, that the woman is controlling him in. She is not controlling him in another environment, it’s his environment. Even she wants to go to the Bahamas, still he arranged to go the Bahamas, it’s his environment. Then she controls, oh let’s go to dinner, oh let’s go to dance, oh let’s go to the beach. But she is controlling within his environment. So that’s the whole thing. So if he is thinking, oh my arranging everything for her I am controlled by her but that he arranged it that makes it his environment. It puts him in control. That’s where his control is. And what will be done with it that’s her control. Just like you are driving the car and the other person is saying let’s go here let’s go there. But you say no I want to go where I want to go but that means then it’s double. So both spots have been taken by you. So where is the relationship? I am the driver and I say where I go. So you want to do that be in the car alone. Then you can do that but then you are alone. You want to have someone else in the car then you go where they want to go. (end)
(Transcription by Uddhava Priya Prabhu, used with permission)
(minor adjustments made by site authors)