This course is part of Sastra-Caksus, Year 1 and consists of 91 lectures, available on:

Given in Bhaktivedanta Academy, Sridham Mayapur, September 2010-April 2011

The following are lecture notes briefly delineating its contents.

  • Treasure chest of Bhagavad-gita
  • Jnana is the cover - through jnana, discrimination, we actually attain bhakti.
  • 18.65-66 are the pair of verses on the cover of the chest.

  • If we think about Krishna, we will become attached to Him, and this attachment will lead to action for Krishna. Professional meditators don't do anything. However, meditation is not incompatible with activity. One may be meditating 24 hrs a day, but still one will act for Krishna.
  • Zen practitioners use activities (e.g. making flower arrangements) to get to the transcendental platform, but their idea is that after being elevated to the platform of 'nothingness' they will give it up. But if the activity is elevating them to transcendental platform, that means, activity is transcendental, so why would it be given up?
  • 13:00 Activity never needs to be given up, if it is connected to proper consciousness.
  • Krishna is the Supreme 'nothing material.'
  • If we always think of Krishna and perform an activity, the activity never needs to be given up.
  • Buddhism and mayavada are actually the same philosophy, only detail is different.
  • Actual impersonalism is that it is an illusion to think that what you see is not Brahman.
  • Brahmavadis can actually take up Krishna consciousness.
  • Mayavadis get close to the absolute truth, but then they make a mistake of perceiving it properly.
  • The first thing to establish is the spirit, the mood, because only one who has a proper mood can approach this knowledge.
  • We should meditate on Krishna and divert our attention on other forms of the Lord - we are only seeing Krishna, but He has appeared as so many different forms, but still He is Krishna. Lord Caitanya also meditated on Krishna, so we should meditate on Lord Caitanya with that understanding.
  • Lord Nrisimhadeva is a special form, because He is Nanda Maharaja's Vishnu Deity. So He is present in Vraja, in a very subtle form.
  • Lord Nrisimhadeva in Mayapur has taken on the merciful mood of the Dhama, but still we should not mess with Him.
  • People of Mathura trick others, but they do not deceive those who are dear to them, especially on who is most dear.
  • One should think of Krishna, but one should also become a devotee, since Kamsa is also thinking of Krishna.
  • 35:00 For Gopis, Ramachandra is Krishna, it's just that Krishna is the form they like the best.
  • 36:45 Salagramas are the Deity that They are worshiped on behalf on. It does not matter which form is Shila, because He is the same Deity. If we worship Radha-Krishna Deities we use Radha-Krishna mantras for Shila. Our Ishta-deva is Vraja Krishna.
  • 39:00 Mathura as a unique place
  • The realms of Vraja, Mathura and Dvaraka etc cannot be nailed down by time and space, it's a question of different moods.
  • In Mathura, they are not using rules and regulations to serve Krishna, at the same time they are not completely absorbed in the spontaneous mood of serving Krishna - therefore it would be hard to trust them. They are acting out of affection, but not out of spontaneous affection.
  • Just surrender to Krishna means that it's just Krishna Who is important.
  • One using niti always quotes dharma to people who are inclined to dharma, but it's not that they are living it.
  • Krishna never said to not follow rules, to give up duty, but dharma actually means doing things that Krishna likes.
  • Krishna can reciprocate trying to please us, if we are trying to please Him.
  • Sinful or pious means still trying to do things for ourselves.
  • The conclusion is that we should perform our activities just to please Krishna.
  • What we know from the Vedic culture is that which Srila Prabhupada has given us.
  • Acaryas have gone through all the Vedic literatures and given things useful to devotees - those dharmas we are not supposed to kick out.
  • The duties don't stand on their own, but we always have to perform an activity to express our devotion to Krishna.
  • The self-help seminars give us a hope that we can be the controller and enjoyer, but the Vedic shows us that we cannot.
  • The process of devotional service will elevate us, even though we may not be free from all sin.
  • Prayascita makes one conscious that one has done something wrong, and it makes others believe that there is perfection in the material world.
  • Service should never be stopped because one might have done something wrong.
  • For devotees, prayaschita is not important. It's devotional service that will remove the problem.
  • 77:00 Lord Caitanya did not say Chota Haridasa could not be a sannyasi, associate with devotees, perform all the activities of devotional service, He just said 'I do not want to see Him,' to set example, so that there would not be a raise of sahajiyas etc.
  • We should not get too involved in issues between senior devotees.
  • We are not doing rules for any other reason than to please Krishna.
  • 90:30 Someone who has never followed any form should not preach to 'give it up.'
  • We have this attachment to being unattached to authority. It's very strong. We want to be independent, we are the authority, we say what's what. That's the weakness.
  • Even intelligence is a dead material element.
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