PHILOSOPHICAL DEFINITIONS LECTURE #2, 19th Sep 2008, Bhaktivedanta Academy, Sridham Mayapur

HH BVPS Maharaja:

Name, form, qualities and pastimes.

The name establishes the form, creates the attraction. Then the qualities one becomes attached to because of this one will engage in pastimes. That will bring about your sambandha, prayojana and abhidheya. Or you take turn it where the name and form is sambandha, and the qualities are the abhidheya because it is through that that you will perform activities and then the activities themselves are your goal that you are trying to get or that’s where the love of God will be experienced. In other words, you are performing the devotional activity but the experience of it the love of it that will be your prayojana.

Principles of Godhead from the position of 1, 2, 3, or 4.

If this is understood this one can move back and forth between them because that can be very important, very useful, is that 1 means we are seeing Krsna as atma-rama, as the original Supreme Personality of Godhead, who encompasses everything, everything is within Him. Nothing is manifest, the creation is not manifest, it is just one. Krsnadasa Kaviraj Goswami mentions this, he says in the beginning Krsna is one and then He expands as 2 - as Radha and Krsna, that means Krsna and His energy, the full form of that the svarupa-sakti will be Radharani – then you have the masculine and feminine principle. For them to interact you have the 3: You have the masculine, the feminine and their interaction.

Krsna is 1, that’s all things, but basically you are dealing with sambandha, existence. With Radharani you have the energies, then there is something to obtain and experience – prayojana. There must be a method by which these two can combine – that’s the abhidheya. So then you get the three: sambandha, abhidheya and prayojana.

4 means you have to split for understanding the difference in sambandha between the first part and the second part. Because this will always come up. This comes up in the philosophy, in Vedanta-sutra, it comes up here in rasa. Both in tattva and in rasa it is necessary to split.

Because one is your purposes, your reasons behind something, your attractions – the other is the field itself, the nature of something itself. So then in this for understanding here we use this Sankarsana, Pradyumna, Aniruddha and Vasudeva. That is one form of the four. That would be your major form of the four. Then in this you get Krsna’s different personalities: he has four different main moods that He manifests. The dhirodatta, the dhira-lalita, the dhira-prasanta, and dhiroddhata. In these moods, in Sankarsana that would be similar to the atma-rama aspect.

This atma-rama element, then is there Sankarsana establishes the rules, what is the proper relationship with everything, what is the field of activities, all this will be established there, this is important for creating the field. But in rasa it moves to the next stage where you have Pradyumna, where there is an interest in the field. The name establishes that it is Krsna but the form gives attractiveness, the form is what’s attractive, beauty is the attractive it is the main opulence, when that is there everything else happens. So then therefore because of Madana-mohana it moves into the next: activities.

Pradyumna will be that attraction, still sambandha, but that attraction to work within the field, the interest to work within the field. Aniruddha is the mind, that will be Gopinatha, prayojana, what you want to obtain. Because the mind has to obtain something first, then there is Vasudeva, in the pastimes.

We have gotten into attraction, interest and desire. Means we have attraction is something, so then therefore we will take that interest, that interest or need will become strong, then the desire we want to do. Here we are using the desire meaning it is the active principle. We are not using desire meaning something we want. Many words can be used in many ways. So here we are using it to bring out, means you are going to have an attraction for the field. Then there is going to be the interest in it, that’s what’s going to be important for you, then you are going to have that desire to act in that, so it is the same as thinking, feeling and willing.

The field, the nature, the rules that is your Sankarsana. Your attraction, interest, desire these could all be the same different aspects of Pradyumna. Means you have attraction to the field, or desire to be involved in that, an interest in that. In other words, there is something alive there.

We have discussed the 3, the 1, now we’ll discuss the 2. On Monday we discuss in more detail the 4.

In the 2 we have Krsna and His Creation. The masculine and the feminine principles. The proper mentality is I am the servant of Krsna. Having love expressing my love for Krsna is the goal of life. I am the servant, Krsna is the enjoyer. I am the controlled and enjoyed by Krsna. That is the natural state. Otherwise we get into I am the controller and I am the enjoyer. So all these we are dealing with sambandha and prayojana. The 2 means sambandha and prayojana.

The action will be based on that mentality. Whatever is your mentality that’s what it will become. If your mentality is that of I am servant of Krsna I want to please Krsna then the abhidheya is going to be service to Krsna. If I am the controller and enjoyer then the abhidheya is going to be something mundane for your own benefit. So there is a lot of these terms based on these two. Controller and enjoyer is there.

I and mine

I is your identity and mine is what you are attached to. Depending on how you see yourself then that is what you are identifying as yours. You change how you see yourself you change how you deal with what’s yours or what you consider yours. Also in the inverse: If something is yours that means you have to be the support of it. You can’t have something as yours and then not take care of it. Otherwise you can’t say I. It is mine but then what’s the point of what’s I. Because mine is always based on I. The feminine is always dependent on the masculine. You say this is my house then you have to be one that is taking care of it. Otherwise how can it be your house? Otherwise how is its identity going to be there? We like to see that way but not the other way, the inverse – but they go both ways. If you want to be the enjoyer then you have to be the controller. You can’t just sit back and think that I am going to enjoy. No, you have to be controlling the situation then only can you enjoy. We expect the other person to control the situation and to create my enjoyment but that is not going to work.

Attachment and fear

Fear means because we are fearful of our actual identity. We are fearful that I am servant of God. We are fearful that I am not this body. Therefore then there is a problem. And then that other side then manifests as attachment. Means if there is control there is enjoyment, if there is fear there is attachment. That’s why the impersonalists then they focus so much on attachment because they are fearful. They fearful that God is God and I am His servant. That is not exactly of how they like it to go down.

If you are attached then you are going to be fearful. If you are attached to something then something might happen to it because that is your connection then you become fearful, because the fear is in the sambandha-category. So your position is there because of that. So that’s why if there is attachment then there is fear. When you say the devotee is fearless means that he is not attached. They go together. You can’t be fearless if you are attached.

These are the same principles but different views then give us entrance into so many aspects of the human psyche, human activity.

Gain and safety

That is also the same. Safety is your sambandha and gain is your prayojana. I have something then it must be safe. If we have attachment then there is fear. If we have gain then there will be the anxiety that comes with it and therefore we want safety.

Here is also the point that the masculine will look at prayojana, the feminine – the feminine will look at the sambandha. The masculine is looking for gain and the feminine is looking for safety. Men get upset when they don’t gain what they want and women get upset when their security is lost.

Means you make some comment, humiliate the man, then he may just feel humiliated but he’ll think I’ll get back this way that way, he maintains his identity. He doesn’t necessarily become angry. But the woman will. Therefore if a woman gets upset then something in her security has been reduced. So if you know what you did wrong look at what you said or did how that is connected to here security. Otherwise it doesn’t make any sense, it makes perfect sense. You don’t know where to look. Because you are looking at gain. No, you should be looking at safety. Man has safety - woman has gain. Their field is gain and the men’s field is safety. Just as the man can go on and on creating a safe environment, the woman can go on and on gaining things. The man wants to protect it the woman wants to buy it. Man is thinking how can she shop all day, and she is thinking how can he sit around and take care of the house all day

Security and facility

Facility means security. Security means having something that can be used as a medium for the relationship. So the house is facility but the house means you are secure in now the activities that you want to do in the house you can do they are secure, you have the house. And experience is what you are going to get from that facility or that security.

Desire and attraction

These are different aspects of sambandha. Need and goal. They are same thing. Means your need and goal that would be the same thing. If you are thinking I want to get this, it is a need. Happiness in the material world is removing a pain. The pain is the need for something. When you get it you remove the pain of that need and then you call yourself happy.

Devotee (1): All the principles can be connected to always remember Krsna and never forget Krsna

HH BVPS Maharaja: Yes. Means you always remember you never forget, then your action will be correct. If you mention 1, He always means He has His creation. God means His creation and everything. We don’t think of Him separately. If God were in His position as 1 now we wouldn’t be here thinking about it. Therefore God means His creation. That person who is 1 expands so that He is 2. Because of that He will interact because He has expanded for rasa for increasing the taste of happiness, therefore He interacts. When you say 2, 2 means that there will be interaction.

Therefore always remember Krsna and never forget Him. Never forget means is your sambandha, you don’t forget your relationship and you don’t forget the position, always remember means that you are absorbed in Krsna, so one develops that love for Krsna. If these are in place then one will act in Krsna consciousness. If you forget Krsna then you are not going to act in Krsna consciousness. You remember Him you will. So it goes together. If you forget Him then you are not going to be interested to remember, then your actions will not be proper.

Devotee (2): Attraction, interest and desire they can all brought back down to Pradyumna?

HH BVPS Maharaja: Yes, just like the field, nature, rules, that is Sankarsana. Desire and attraction we already mentioned that. Need and goal, that would be your prayojana. So can say field, nature, rules, what would be Sankarsana of sambandha. Attraction, interest, desire, that would be praduymna of sambandha. Need, goal, experience, what would be. So the idea is all those ones I, fear, control, safety, security, facility, desire, this is all one thing. In the same way is mine, attachment, the enjoyer, gain, experience, need, goal, that is all your prayojana.

By studying from different angles, this is vicara then you get a more clear picture. Otherwise you see it in one way and that makes sense but then there is so many other aspects of our life we don’t apply it to. So there is all these different ways just so that we will broaden our application of always remembering Krsna and never forget.

Next area: stages of education.

Pranipata, pariprasna, sevaya

If there is service there will be interest, if there is interest you will inquire submissively. Someone who inquires submissively means he wants the knowledge. Someone who doesn’t inquire submissively means he has a doubt. It is a challenge he doesn’t want to know. He sees something with what you are saying. So it is not that he wants to know what you are saying he just sees a fault.

If there is proper interest to learn then he will try to have the knowledge and will then practice it. Pranipata or the submissive inquiry means he will contemplate and apply it as seva. That will then again generate the interest to know. Then the cycle of knowledge will continue. By this process then when one has a desire to know and one is applying this knowledge practically with time that will develop practices, realization, proper good values and qualities, that’s how they are going to come. Good qualities, virtues and realizations come from consistent practice with proper understanding.

That’s why at the core of the system of knowledge is its practice. Otherwise if you just learn so much knowledge after a while it won’t be good for you. You see so many times, professional students all they do is study, they never apply it, very nice people, gentle people but they don’t do anything. The point is this knowledge must be applied that will give you realization.

Devotee (3): So when we study chronologically then analytically increases the absorption in the matter of the prayojana?

Maharaja: That would be your interest and the submissive inquiry. Why don’t we leave your question for the next aspect, that will make it more clear because this is taking on the point is that an interest to know and having the character that you can inquire submissively comes from service. That is the main point of these three approach. Only by applying that knowledge, meaning by performing service then you will know. Therefore in the gurukula-system so much time is spent dong service. The more service that is done the more one can inquire the more one has interest.

This idea by many parents or educators the gurukula system is wasting the student’s time by doing menial service when they could be doing more academics is fallacious. Because it is a known fact in your common general schools, kids have no interest. Private schools maybe, but your private schools none. Why? Because they do nothing. And if you have private schools that do then that’s because they do something at home. They still do not much at the school. They might do more, they might manage a school, do different things, there is an identity with the school. How many kids identify I went to high school ’57. There is not much identity. But if you go to the private schools…schools that are not by the government there is more identity with it, there is more service involved in it so therefore there is a little bit more. But that reflect the people that already came with that mentality. It didn’t generate it, it may be able to maintain it to some degree but it is not generating it.

The idea is that gurukula should generate the interest. So therefore seva has to be done. You can tell how good a student is by watching him doing his service, how he washes the pots, clean with a broom, interaction with others… you can tell this is a good student or a bad student.

Previously I don’t know if we’ll do it here but when we were running the same Bhaktisastri course back in the 80s, means you had all your essays and did all that. So you got graded on that. But the final mark was very interesting. There was a huge big box and all the students were invited over to this box by the teacher. The box was opened and the students all look inside wondering what’s inside. When they look inside they find brooms. Then the teacher gave them each an area in the school to sweep and then watching how they swept and the quality of what they called the work is done they got a mark. If it doesn’t come to sevaya then you didn’t learn anything. This is how the final grades of the previous Bhaktisastri was run. It is very easy you can sit down and watch how someone handles a broom and can tell everything about him: their whole mentality, attitude, how well they can study, their attitude towards others. Everything you can tell by that one thing. Service is very important.

Now we revealed this so no one should think that they are getting away and nobody knows what you are like. It’s just how much you clean up, how much dust you leave on the floor because the dustpan is a little curved so it doesn’t hit the floor so that is as good as it gets. I watched somebody spend a lot of trouble pushing down on the thing today to make sure it all and then what dust was left make sure to pick it up and get it off the floor and get it out of there what couldn’t go in the pan. At the same time I watched those that just plank it down and then go like this and one sweep whatever goes inside and the walk off and leave this much stuff on the floor and say what can you do. Like that exactly those students are good in their academics or not, good with others, have a devotional attitude, good sadhana. It’s direct, it’s not indirect. From lack of understanding or knowing the science I would even say lack of faith then people will recommend that kids do more academics and less service and then when they grow adults do service, they do practical work. They spend their whole life never doing anything practical then suddenly you have to, most people don’t like to so they try to find some short-cut. And that is reality.

3 stages of learning

This is Brhad-aranyaka Upanisad. Sravana, manana and nidhidhyasana.

Sravana means hearing knowledge from the teacher, you are going to get this knowledge, so that is based on authority. The main source of knowledge is authority. Then one is going to apply that knowledge that means one has to bring it down to the observable level. It is descending, it starts with authority and comes down to pratyaksa. Ascending means you start with pratyaksa, or the senses and try to take it to authority, it won’t make it. Because when you get to authority then the impersonalists find out they are the authority, I am God. So it is not a very good system.

Manana. You get an intellectual understanding through practice and reflection. There is vicara, you get an understanding and then you see it from different angles and then you practice it. Then by practicing it you get more of an understanding and see it from another angle.

Like you sit there and watch someone cook. For them the cooking is easy they are expert at it. Watching is also very easy. You look at it it looks easy, yeah you just put the ghee in the thing and then throw in a few spices and all that, then throw in a few vegetables and push it around and it cooks for a while and then haribol. I can do that. No big deal. Then when you have to do it then somehow or another I different perception arises. How much ghee do you put, how hot is the ghee, how much spice, how long do you leave it in the ghee, when do you throw in these other vegetables, how much do you push them around…? That’s why practice is important because then you perception starts to broaden. Because before you just saw you just put a few things in and done. But then as you have to do it then you start there is more elements then next time you watch you will be much more observant. Because otherwise you saw ghee was there, spices are thrown in. Next time you’ll look how much ghee, how hot was the ghee, what colour did the spices turn? Because as far as you remember they weren’t black when the other person showed you how to cook them and the vegetable was soft when you ate it what they cooked and yours is not. So you start to get more aware.

Devotee (4): So this sravana it is application of the knowledge that was heard and then after that there is manana.

HH BVPS Maharaja: No, sravana is just the hearing of the knowledge, that would be your interest, that is the pranipata and pariprasna. You have an interest to learn therefore you pay attention and you inquire submissively. Because you want an answer. Because you get the best answer from that way. If you challenge then you are going to get something that is designed to break the doubt but it will only do that because that is all the more you can appreciate. If you want to know more then that question will deal with that and broader. So you get more out of submission than out of challenging. Some think that challenging get their answers but the problem is it does but it makes a rough environment then it starts a very strong discussion between the speaker and that one person and a lot of other people feel left out. Plus depending upon the skill of these persons then you sometimes run the risk of one of them or both of them becoming annoyed or insulted.

I just ran across this when I, in Boston, we went to somebody’s house and there was one of these devotees who was around forever and more intelligent than most. Indian so he naturally felt he was already a step ahead of all the Westerners anyway. Well read so he could pull out so many things out of the hat. So he felt to create discussion and all that to bring the classes just from the ordinary day to day into something special he had to ask in a very challenging way. Unfortunately he didn’t notice that people were already asking questions because not so many questions were dealt with and it was coming in from angles he had never even heard of in fact that’s why the challenges came up because he had never even understood that such body of knowledge existed. Then he starts with the challenge and because it is coming in from the particular angle of his false ego that being pointed out to them was very disturbing to him. Because it was pretty obvious that his questions were asked from this angle due to false ego. And he didn’t actually want an answer he was just blabbering. So that pointed out made him feel very bad. And because when they feel bad then it is also the environment was in it was also in an Indian house, Indians don’t like all this fighting, when you have sadhus and spiritual life then you should be pleasant and nice so it unsettled the hosts also. But unfortunately the speaker didn’t let the person of ego run away with the whole class for his own purposes. So then just trying to set them straight it just ruined the atmosphere because that person couldn’t handle it because he had never been defeated by anybody everybody respected his opinion or position or at least that he had questions that are tough to answer. But no one dealt with him as a person. Because him as a person he had problems. Very intelligent the questions were nice but the reasons he asked the questions weren’t right. They weren’t coming from pranipata or pariprasna. You could see he wasn’t applying how much knowledge he had he wasn’t applying it. So therefore he didn’t have realization.

Manana means with understanding you perform the activity, by performing the activity you get more understanding, so they nourish each other.  Nidhidhyasana which is conscious development and application of personal values in one’s life due to realization of what has been learned. In other words, you realize the purpose and its importance and therefore you consciously try to apply it in your life. By manana you develop practices and therefore you take these practices now more seriously. Before they were something you should do but now they are something that you want to do, so that also brings it to the natural, spontaneous platform.

Devotee (5): What does pranipata mean?

HH BVPS Maharaja: Pranipata means the desire to know, or interest.

Four stages of learning which is basically the same thing. But it is just another angle because it is bringing out another aspect. The first one is bringing out that you have to serve, you have to apply it: pranipata, pariprasna, sevaya. Because it is not dealing there with nidhihyasana. If you do that nidhidhyasana will come. It is just like sambandha and abhidheya. Abhidheya the action will give you prayojana. If you say perform this action perform your duties properly means you will get the result that comes from proper performance of duties. Or just like you are saying thinking and feeling, it means willing will be there. If you have sambandha and prayojana because you have a need for that you will act. So here in the same way pranipata, pariprasna, sevaya, it is talking about the aspects of sambandha and abhidheya, it means prayojana will come.

Devotee (3): If your sambandha is proper then it will lead to that desire and need to perform activities

HH BVPS Maharaja: Yes, it will if you bring it to that point of interest. Because you can be rightly situated, that is what we were talking about the different between the sakarsana and Pradyumna. Sankarsana means you are properly situated, you know who you are, you know everything, you know the field, everything is proper in the field. But unless there is an interest to act in that field there will be no action. Once you come to an interest by contemplating that there will be attachment, once there is attachment there will be action.

That’s why some people can be very expert in who they are in their position and all that but have no relationship with anybody else. They are very expert, they do all their work nicely, you can depend upon them, they are always there, they never do anything wrong, they come early, they leave late. But they have no relationship with anybody else in the workplace. Because they are just functioning in Sankarsana. In other words, this is my work I am getting it done correctly. So they have all the abhidheya and prayojana in it but it is within the sphere of sambandha. It hasn’t actually gone to the bigger picture of it. So there is no relationship with anybody else. So unless they are coming to that other thing that they are looking for work with the broader range of the field, have relationships with the aspects of the field.

Or you have the other person who is very efficient but just uses people because they only see him as the element of the field. This person does this for me, I get that from that person, I talk to this person I get this done, but they are not dealing with people. So even so technically that is a person of the field so I need to get something from them, that is prayojana and I go to them and I ask for it that is the abhidheya, I got. But the whole consideration is without actual dynamic relationship. You are dealing with dead matter even though it seems to walk around and talk. But basically it could be an object or a person it doesn’t matter.

While when we go into the element of Pradyumna, then Pradyumna, Aniruddha, Vasudeva they go together but that all happens in the field. That’s why the field must be there. You have to have this knowledge but unless you perform activities you don’t have a desire to work in that area.

Just like devotees would ask Prabhupada I am in the kirtana but I don’t feel like dancing. What should I do? Prabhupada says dance! Even if you artificially dance it will generate the interest to dance because the dancing is service. If you look at some other alternative thing outside the sphere.

But in other words, performing devotional service will generate the interest to do devotional service. Any action done plants the seed to do the same thing again. That’s the process is, that is why vaidhi-sadhana is there, you don’t necessarily want to do it but you know you should so by intelligence you do. By doing that with the proper knowledge then the actual desire to do it will come, that will mature into a need to perform that.

Devotee (6): There is different levels of need like you were mentioning the need of prayojana. Because the materialists’ need is their desires.

HH BVPS Maharaja: They call it desire because they don’t make the distinction between need and desire. It’s synonyms for them. We are pointing out they are synonyms in certain ways but in certain ways they are not. Because here we are putting attraction, interest and desire that more together. Need is another thing because it’s not really used so much now. But before they used to use, you go way back, 100 years, need would be used much more. People were more in touch with actually their own feelings. They had this terminology must needs. He must needs, is that it’s something he must have. It’s not just a need, it’s  a must need. So it would mean that attachment, he has to work for that. It’s something you have to do. So now it’s just a desire, a feeling which is there but that feeling hasn’t matured, you won’t act. So if you are acting on it that is what we would call prayojana. If you are not acting on it, you just have the desire then that would be what we would call sambandha.

The point is not as important the word because the problem is words can be used in so many ways. It’s the position one is in to do. So if one is saying yes I really like that but is he going to act on that? But when he is willing to act on it then that’s prayojana. If it’s a need to get him to that then you have to point out yeah it’s great with that you can do, you can do that, then it generates the need, then he will act.

Just like a student doesn’t necessarily do something. Like we spoke about he doesn’t sweep the floor properly. That’s because he doesn’t see the importance of it, he doesn’t see the need, he doesn’t have a need to sweep properly. But when he understands what sweeping properly means for you or that position that it generates from having it. Clean environment, auspicious environment, the mode of goodness environment, then they are learning it, it has to be in that kind of environment then he’ll apply himself. So that’s why the most important thing in education of training is education. Somebody does something wrong is due to ignorance. That’s why the first thing is try to explain to him why it’s not to be done. It’s not immediately the punishment or chastisement. If there is a danger then you may have to go to that just to stop it, but explanation has to be there. Then by explanation most of your work is done. So the brahminical field you don’t even have to take it beyond explanation because they’ll work it out, they’ll apply it. And then as you go down depending upon the character of the individual they can work it out themselves or they have to get some correction. And for a person who is not going to be corrected by correction anyway it’s academic still it has to be done because that’s the method, and others will be satisfied they are getting some kind of punishment. But it doesn’t do anything for them so that’s the problem. So they have to get punished rather than once many, many times before they start to figure out that this is a problem.

Devotee (3): So you were saying yesterday that’s why we study philosophy.

HH BVPS Maharaja: Yes, the philosophy will make it clear what you do. At the same time, you have to study the interaction, relationship and rasa so that you know what what you are doing is proper. The philosophy is where its origin is, what its position is, in other words, it is the sambandha-jnana of it which covers everything. When you studying why it is there and the purpose of it that is still sambandha. The application of it and how you apply that is abhidheya.

One should perform devotional service, it will develop one’s love for God, by chanting Hare Krsna you develop love for God, that is all sambandha. But it is sambandha applied on who you are, you are a servant of God, your position is to express your love for God and you get that by chanting. This is all sambandha that we have discussed, sambandha, abhidheya and prayojana. Now how you are going to chant and what is the nature of the experience of love of God that is abhidheya and prayojana.

Sanatana Goswami’s instructions and Rupa Goswami’s the subject matter appears to be the same but the angle of approach is different. One is establishing the field and the other how you operate the field. Therefore the field is considered senior even though the operation is the most important and central, that’s why Sanatana Goswami is seen as the senior, Rupa Goswami accepts him as senior. That’s why Balarama is senior to Krsna because He is the field, Sankarsana. But in actuality the important element is the activity and therefore Krsna is the center of the Vraja-lila and therefore Rupa Goswami is the center of Caitanya Mahaprabhu’s mission.


(Transcription by Uddhava Priya Prabhu, used with permission)

(minor adjustments made by site authors)


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