Śrī Śrī Caitanya Śikṣāmṛta & Daśa Mūla Tattva #5

Lecture on Śrī Śrī Caitaya Śikṣāmṛta and Daśa Mūla Tattva #5, given in Bhaktivedānta Academy, Śrī Māyāpura, as part of Śrī Śrī Caitanya Śikṣāmṛta and Daśa Mūla Tattva Course, a Precursor course to the study of Śāstra Cakṣus of Bhaktivedānta Theological Seminary


HH Bhaktividyā Pūrṇa Svāmī Mahārāja: Okay, so, page 20, Bhaktiviṇoda Ṭhākura continues...

Reading from Śrī Śrī Caitanya Śikṣāmṛta & Daśa Mūla Tattva Study Guide: Those who cultivate knowledge and try to see the absolute conclude that the Absolute Truth, which is the opposite of material existence, is devoid of form, change, energy and action. 

HH BVPS Mahārāja: So, this is a very common... It makes sense to the mind, like that. Intelligence just discerns things, but the mind then what is discerned, it has something it prefers or not. So this is something very easy, right? If material is one thing, spiritual, which is opposite, it also then must be opposite. So, therefore, material has form, spiritual has no form. Just like we were discussing yesterday, is that the... In culture then we think, "Okay, dealing nicely with people, then that is material, so then if I am a devotee and I am detached from material life and material culture, therefore I should deal badly." Or, I would see it in the Indian boys, they come from nice families, they all know how to serve prasāda nicely, do everything. But then when they become devotees when they serve prasāda they do so really badly. And I would ask them, it says, "If you were at your house and you are having a wedding, would you serve like this?" He says, "No, not at all." So it says, "Why are you serving like this?" "Because that is material and this is spiritual." [Laughter] Do you understand? So, it is humorous, but unfortunately it is a social disaster.

So this touch of this misunderstanding due to jñāna... Not that jñāna, its knowledge is fine because buddhi-yoga means, it is called after the buddhi, it is not called after the karma or anything else. The buddhi means yoga of intelligence. So that is fine, but the intelligence must be connected to Kṛṣṇa. If it is not then it is a problem. So all it is is, we are people, it is just that what we are dealing in, that we think what we are dealing in is of value, that is the problem. It is not technically the dealings. There may be some problem in the dealings, that can always be improved, but more important is the mentality of what we are doing. Does that make sense? That is the most important. If that is corrected it is easy to correct the detail. Because it is easy to something nice for somebody you like. So if you are doing it for God then you can do things nicely. Does that make sense? Okay...

"Form, change, energy and action." So you have a form, by dealing with it that form can change. Energy, that is what it needs, so there must be enthusiasm, there must be interest and there must be action. So then, so, in other words, whole idea of sambandha, abhidheya and prayojana gets completely messed up because of this, this impersonal concept. So then the tendency is to be very... Not use energy or action in one’s activities, and you don’t like any change. Therefore you see that generally the impersonalists, even though technically they don’t care for material life, they always tend towards being very much stuck on the regulative principles and the traditional culture and Varṇāśrama and all that, when technically they shouldn’t be. Because if it is all Māyā, it is all Māyā. But they pick these things because there is no change, because Brahman doesn’t change, so it is very stuffy. You know, they can appreciate the fineties and the culture and all that because that is for the common people who are more materialistically inclined, so therefore they will have all these things. But the higher thing is that all that disappears. But it still doesn’t completely disappear because they are still conditioned, they still need religion. But they are going to stick to religion in such a way that the form of it is going to be very, very rigid because Brahman doesn’t change, so therefore their lifestyle doesn’t change, which is good for coming to the Brahman platform. But its inspiration is not to get to the Brahman platform, so that you can get out of the material world and go back to Godhead. To them it is taken as, as this is perfection as the Brahman-realization, therefore there is a little bit of a problem in their social approach. Does that make sense? Because the mood of is always what is important. Does that make sense?

Reading from the Study Guide: This they call Brahman. However, they have not discerned the real nature of the ultimate truth.

HH BVPS Mahārāja: So they have understood Brahman but they haven’t understood the real truth. Brahman is part of it. But the real truth is: the Absolute is a person.

Reading from the Study Guide: Those who, using their intelligence, search for the final object, perceive the friend of the soul, Paramātmā, endowed with a form and similar in nature to the individual soul.

HH BVPS Mahārāja: So here is the next group, so using their intelligence. The others who cultivate knowledge, so technically it should be intelligence. But here it is that there it is not so much of cultivating knowledge; they are using their intelligence to discern the difference. Because the other one is their speculation is there. In the aṣṭāṅga-yoga there is no speculation, it is a very set process. So they just use their intelligence and go through. They try to get themselves off the bodily platform, they get in control of it, right? Control of the body, control of the senses, control of the mind. So they’ll have to use their intelligence. So then they see is that here is the friend of the soul, the Paramātmā. There are two birds in the tree. The problem is is then once they... Only after coming to that point of realizing the Supersoul, then will they take up bhakti? So that means so much time and endeavor has been made when they could have started that earlier and made the process much quicker. Because to control the mind and the senses without devotion is very, very difficult. Arjuna said it is more difficult than catching the wind, right? So he wasn’t too enthusiastic about this process. So, therefore by bhakti then the process will work much earlier and much quicker. Does that make sense? Okay?

So you get the difference here? Because it says, "those who cultivate knowledge" and "those who, using their intelligence." This is the whole idea of this course, is to be able to discern the fine points, to be able to tell the difference between them. To understand it, to be able to explain it, because then that will be useful in one’s practice of devotional service. And one won’t get confused because you can tell the difference between things. Then,

Reading from the Study Guide: Those who see the Absolute Truth by means of bhakti-yoga, whose vision is without obstacles, understand the Lord as He is, as Bhagavān...

HH BVPS Mahārāja: [Referring to the typos in the Study Guide] There is now small lord, small he and small bhagavān... Oh no, bhagavān can stay like that...

Reading from the Study Guide: ...full of all energies, all sweetness and all opulences.

HH BVPS Mahārāja: No, because we are not using it as Sanskrit, so it should be capital B.

Is that okay? So now by bhakti then there is no obstacles. The intelligence is not getting in the way, the mind is not getting in the way – so one can directly see the Lord, right? So then here is a quote, Kaṭha Upaniṣad 1.2.23:

Reading from the Study Guide: "One cannot understand the Supreme Soul by studying the Vedas or by hearing many scriptures or by one's mental energy. The Lord reveals himself to the person who accepts the Lord as his master. That person alone attains the Lord." [Kaṭha Upaniṣad 1.2.23]

HH BVPS Mahārāja: So one who accepts that the Lord is His master then he will understand the Lord, no one else. Because the Lord being beyond the material and the spiritual, then He is in His own category. So He is not assessable by anyone except through devotion. Does that make sense? He stands on His own, He has expanded His energies, they are dependent upon Him, so He is beyond them. God includes His energies but at the same time He is beyond that also, it is simultaneous one and difference. So this being able to... What you call it? Being something beyond, that means He is not... You can’t by your own intelligence, or own endeavour actually know Him. You can only know Him when He allows you to know Him, and that is done through devotion because that attracts the Lord. Anything else doesn’t. If it is use of your intelligence, you think our intelligence is going to impress His intelligence? Or our endeavors are going to impress His endeavors? You know, so it is not by that, it is by devotion.

The child pleases the mother by going out in the yard and picking her like a dandelion, which is generally called a weed, but whatever it is, and gives it to the mother. The mother is impressed because of the intent, the mood. Does that make sense? Now if her husband brought home a dandelion, now you got some problems. Does that make sense? Because then why would he bring a dandelion? Unless there was something else connected with it, but otherwise then he, it is more sophisticated so he has to do, bring home something else. Does that make sense? Yes? So, that is the whole point, God is, understand, means, no one is equal to Him. So therefore it is that endeavor, when you see Him as Master, that surrender, that’s what conquers Him. Then you can know the Lord. Does that make sense? Straightforward enough? Yeah? Yes?

Prabhu (1):  Mahārāja, that devotion can be obtained only after very disciplined performance of sādhana, or...?

HH BVPS Mahārāja: Bhakti?

Prabhu (1): Yeah, devotion...

HH BVPS Mahārāja: No, means, see, it is the association of devotees by which we then gain that devotional service. In other words, in the association of devotees then we pick up the mood that they have. Sādhana is a way of practicing that devotion. Because if you want a skill then you have to through intelligence practice it. If you don’t use the intelligence then you might not be applying it properly. And even if you have applied it properly, to see the results and see how you can improve it and develop it. If you are not aware of what you are doing and you don’t have knowledge of the skills to do something, then how will you get any result, right?

But what is most important in this is that you are making the endeavor to know the Lord. So that is one of the mediums through which you can impress Him. Does that make sense? So that is why you have a sādhana-siddha, arcana-siddha, kṛpā-siddha: different ways that one can perfect one’s devotional service.

So the sādhana-siddha means, he is so focused and fixed in his sādhana in connection with the Lord that he impresses the Lord that he will do everything… You know, nothing else counts as much as his sādhana, so therefore then the Lord is impressed. Because he is doing it to please the Lord.

Or arcana-siddha, he does so nicely with the Deities and everything like that, that that way he attains his perfection. The Lord is pleased through his worship.

Or kṛpā-siddha, his surrender, his mood, his prayers to the Lord, like this, that that then makes the Lord pleased and then... Like that.

So of all of them kṛpā-siddha is the most direct, most easy, like that. But it is recommended because one may not stay on that platform that one is using the other systems. So that combination of practice of sādhana, worship of the Deity and offering prayers, then this is then what is... This is the recommended process. Through all of these one can please the Lord. Does that make sense? Because the point is, you are trying to please the Lord. It is not that the sādhana gives the result - that is karma. Karma: I perform the activity, I get the result. So that we are leaving, karma and jñāna we are leaving. Or "By my intelligence I have understood the Lord." No, it is neither of these. Neither by your action nor by your intelligence can you understand the Lord. It is only by devotion. You apply that devotion through karma and jñāna. Do you have some other option? Right? Using your body and senses and mind, or using intelligence? You know what I am saying? So anything left? There is one thing left, what is left?

Prabhu (2): Bhakti.

HH BVPS Mahārāja: Bhakti is there, but what is left of the mundane facilities you have to work with?

Prabhu (3): The mind.

HH BVPS Mahārāja: No, we already mentioned the mind. The body, the senses...

Prabhu (4): Possessions.

HH BVPS Mahārāja: No, that is an aspect of the mind. It is gotten in its subtle form, but there is something else that could be brought about to be made more clear here.

Prabhu (2): The words.

HH BVPS Mahārāja: The words is the intelligence. But the senses are already engaged through the mind, but they can also be engaged through words, through the intelligence.

Prabhu (1): The ego?

HH BVPS Mahārāja: The ego, yes. So that is "I am servant of the Lord," that is that surrender, that is the kṛpā-siddhi. Does that make sense?

So, in other words, all the five gross elements, the three subtle elements, because that is what we have to work with. And when we say "the mind" that includes the senses, the sense objects and the tan-mātras, you know, the sense of smell, touch, taste. You know, like this. Okay? So those fifteen go with the mind. At the same time the senses are connected to intelligence, that is why you say "words" - that indicates intelligence. Because by words, that means you have to use your intelligence to speak the right thing.

But in any case, by body, mind and words you have covered everything. Because the body is a gross manifestation of the false ego, so then you have the false ego there and the body. Then the mind, means you have the mind and all the senses and sense objects, and then the intelligence, then that means it is your words. So then through proper prayers, proper studying, preaching and discussions, so then everything is engaged. You don’t have something else. So there is action and intelligence and your attitude, these are what you have to work with. So then that being used in the Lord’s service, that is what then pleases Him. Does that make sense? That is why these are complete. You don’t need something else other than sādhana-siddha, arcana-siddha, or kṛpā-siddha, because everything is engaged. You are going to be engaged in activities anyway. So those activities are connected to the Lord, your needs and emotions and perceptions, that is engaged in the Lord’s service. Your intelligence is engaged in the Lord’s service. Your identity is engaged in the Lord’s service. These are the mediums, there isn’t something else. So it is complete. Does that make sense? Okay, someone had a hand up?

Prabhu (5): Yeah. Could we see the attitude as connected to the desire, what we want. It's like in the... We want to see the Lord in form of Brahman so then Kṛṣṇa is the one who gives the knowledge by which we can see Him that way? Or we want to see Him as Paramātmā, surrendering intelligence. But if we want to see Him in the original form, then He is the one who can put us with the devotees and who can give us the sādhu-saṅga and surrender through... Through our attitude we can then perform but it is the Lord who supplies actually?

HH BVPS Mahārāja: Yes, but in here it is more important…I mean intelligence is there, He gives the... Dadāmi buddhi-yogaṁ taṁ, He gives that intelligence by which… But... Yeah, so you can say it is intelligence, but more important... Or let's say, that would be how you would apply it. But you are only going to apply your intelligence to something that you are committed to, right? So what is that commitment? What is that based on? That is the essential point. He also mentions this in Gītā, that He gives this so that the worshipers of the demigods can be enthusiastic to worship. What is that? Faith. Yeah.

In other words, you have the faith, so therefore you are committed to action. So then Kṛṣṇa gives the intelligence for the action. When He is saying, "I give the intelligence," that means already the faith is there and the commitment to action is there. So now you use your intelligence how to best perform the activity. Because then intelligence in this case comes into the… Means, it would come into... Means, it can be in both positions of Pradyumna and Vāsudeva. Because Pradyumna means intelligence is being used or knowledge... You could say more it is in knowledge, that aspect. Oh, no, knowledge is Saṅkarṣaṇa. Intelligence is Pradyumna because then it connects with the senses, you are interested to use them. But the actual use of them, that is Vāsudeva. Right? So that means the action is going on with intelligence. The other one is, the action is not going on but the intelligence is being… You can see, "Oh yes, this is a good thing to do." At the same time is the mind is involved. So the mind is more of active... How you say? Would be the driving principle there. But then when it comes to action then it is the senses. Intelligence is making it work, but it is still based on the need of the mind. So it is always... Means, it is just different positions of the same thing. Does that make sense? 

So, therefore is that faith is there, therefore then one has the identity in that capacity and you are committed to obtain that as a result. Then you get the intelligence to perform the action. Does that make sense? So you need the faith, you need the intelligence. So Kṛṣṇa is giving them both. Right? Does that make sense?

Prabhu (5): Yeah.

HH BVPS Mahārāja: Like that. Yes?

Prabhu (6): Mahārāja, Kṛṣṇa gives this intelligence, this faith to the demigods. Can we say that He gives also the faith to do so many other things, something like…?

HH BVPS Mahārāja: Yes, it is an example. Because here the demigods, because they, there is 33 million, so that kind-of like covers everything that a human being could be interested in. So if you give the example of the demigod worshipers then you basically give the example for any materialist. Because here the demigod worshippers are the ones that know how the material energy is functioning, at least mechanically, and approach the demigods to get their result. So they are much more intelligent, they are doing it through śāstra. So they are pious, so they are going to get a better result. So their sense gratification is going to be way better than the person who doesn’t know this. So then as far as being a materialist, you can say they are doing a better job with it. So if you have that then it includes the person standing on the corner and has other small little ideas of how they are going to please themselves in a much more temporary fashion. Does that make sense? Yeah, so it would be, it covers all of that. Because you have to have faith.

You have to have faith that by going and climbing to the top of some mountain you are going to be happy, or if I go and ride this huge Tsunami wave then I am going to be happy, and also some faith that I will probably survive, you know. So all these different things you have to have faith. I am going to jump out the air-plane and by doing that and pulling, you know, I am going to have fun. You have to have faith in that. Or that I get on this bus, it says on there that it is taking me to the city center, so it is going to take me to the center of the city, won't take me out into and drop me off at Ayer's rock or something. So it's... Okay, I had to make it Timbuktu? I mean, okay, you get on the bus for central London, and then it drops you off at Timbuktu, that might be a little bit disheartening, right? So you want to... 

That faith, that Kṛṣṇa is giving because that is what you want. You have to... You can’t function without faith. When there is no faith, no one can function. So then because the living entity desires this, therefore Kṛṣṇa appears in that form. He gives that faith. Then one goes on that way. But if one starts to wonder why this is not working and actually sincerely inquires, then Kṛṣṇa will put one in contact with the devotees by which one will get the faith in Him as the Supreme Lord. Right? Does that make sense? So we see that, of course, through association of others, but basically Kṛṣṇa is giving that intelligence, He is giving that faith to perform all these other activities. But when it comes to Himself then He does that through the devotees. You are going to have faith, you want to deal in material energy, that He will arrange. But you want to actually interact with Him, then He puts you in contact with the devotees. By the grace of the devotees one knows Kṛṣṇa. By the grace of Kṛṣṇa one gets the devotees. That was that Upaniṣadic verse before. By the grace of Śyāma then one knows His energy. By the grace of His energy then one knows Śyāma. So that's... Here, "Śyāmāc chavalaṁ prapadye śavalāc chyāmaṁ prapadye. In surrendering to Śyāma I take shelter of the essence of the pleasure-potency. Taking shelter of the pleasure-potency I surrender to Kṛṣṇa." So then he applies that there.

Prabhu (6): Then that means that if someone has a problem being with the devotees…

HH BVPS Mahārāja: He has got a lot of problems. That is the whole point. If you have problems dealing with devotees you are not going to like spiritual life because it is unfortunately, it is a lot of devotees. Vaikuṇṭha we know is packed with devotees, and that is Nārāyaṇa. Then it says Kṛṣṇa has a special quality that He is surrounded by unlimited devotees. So your problem is only going to increase. [Laughter] It is not going to get less.

If one says, "Well, that is because all these people are conditioned, they don’t behave right," but actually it is more that we don’t behave right, we don’t have that perception. Because Yudhiṣṭhira Mahārāja, he is saying that this forgiveness, that is very important for the living entity. Because by anger, if you do any action through anger it will always have a mis… be wrong because anger is based on ignorance. So that has to be given up. But that person who controls his anger then he conquers the angry person. Someone has done you wrong, that is out of anger. But you are controlling your anger, don’t retaliate, then you are actually in control of them. So the mistake is made by the ignorant people that anger is energy: he gets fired-up, he is going to do something. But it is not. Means, the controlling of the anger, then you can direct that energy. But the anger just manifests and go and do something, the ignorant think this is something very special, but it is not. Emotional yes, but not… Does that make sense? Yeah? Okay.

Reading from the Study Guide: In the Bhāgavatam it is written:

"O Lord, only those who attain a particle of mercy for your lotus feet can understand your glory. Those who search for you by studying the scriptures using logic cannot understand you at all." (ŚB. 10.14.29)

HH BVPS Mahārāja: So here, "studying the scriptures using logic." Do you understand?

Prabhu (5): There is no faith.

HH BVPS Mahārāja: In other words, you are studying the scriptures to know Kṛṣṇa as service to Kṛṣṇa. So it is part of pāda-sevana, studying the scripture. Then that will be because it is already with faith, it is already in the association of devotees, knowledge coming from paramparā. But if you are just using logic and by logic you think you will catch the Lord then you will never catch Him, like that.

Reading from the Study Guide: Realizations of Brahman and Paramātmā are covered by Māyā. Brahman realization has a covering of Māyā by negation, and Paramātmā realization has a covering of material energy directly. When a person is able to see the Lord with uncovered, spiritual eyes, he sees the spiritual form of the Supreme Personality of Godhead. This form is the highest truth, and His energies are His manifestations. If a person realizes the Lord devoid of energies, he has realization of Brahman. Some, according to their inclination, think that He is the final realization. Actually, realization of Bhagavān without energies, without qualities, is Brahman; Brahman with qualities and energies is Bhagavān. Thus Bhagavān is the real truth, Brahman is only His impersonal effulgence, and Paramātmā is the Lord's expansion who enters into the material universe. Though He appears to be Brahman through the impersonal quest, the Lord is eternally existing in an inconceivable form with qualities, separate from both matter and the living entities.

Therefore Bhāgavatam says:

vadanti tat tattva-vidas tattvaṁ yaj jñānām advayam

brahmeti paramātmeti bhagavān iti śabdyate

"Learned transcendentalists who know the Absolute Truth call this nondual substance Brahman, Paramātmā or Bhagavān." (ŚB. 1.2.11)

HH BVPS Mahārāja: Okay, let' see... Going through this again... Okay, then...

Okay, so we see here is that by negation, means you have removed everything that there is, all the qualities and action, and then you have come to Brahman. So you have negated the material and come to Brahman. Therefore it is covered by material, right? In other words, the impersonal realization only works because you have used negation of the material to get to it. That means your Brahman realization is dependent upon your material negation. Does that make sense?

And Paramātmā then he is saying here "has a covering of material energy directly," in that you just see Him as the Lord of the material energy. He is just dealing with it here. So then it is going to be, you don’t see Him as separate with all His qualities and His pastimes and all this. Means, the elements of eternal and all this that the impersonalists have, you apply that to Paramātmā, but He has a form, He is eternal, He is the origin, He is... Does that make sense? But still that covering is there because He is just the Lord of the material energy. He has entered into everything, He is in-between everything, that means He is covered by material energy. Does that make sense?

So only Bhagavān means the Lord with His qualities and energies is uncovered. That is full. Otherwise the others are covered because you don’t see the energies and qualities. So even Bhagavān without the energies and qualities is still a Brahman understanding. This is very important because you see a lot of people in India worship Satya-Nārāyaṇa, means the satya, means truth, Nārāyaṇa. They do Satya-Nārāyaṇa-puja but this is in the pañcopāsanā, so Viṣṇu in the mode of goodness. Because it is the Lord, Bhagavān, but without His qualities and energies. Does that make sense?  So He looks like the Lord, like that, but actually it is Brahman. That is why these people then will say ultimately Brahman is the ultimate. So you wonder, "Well, how is it that they are worshipping Kṛṣṇa in the temple and this and that, but they are basically Brahmavādīs?" Because they don’t actually see His qualities and pastimes and His energies. Does it make sense? So it is subtle. 

In other words, what is the philosophy based on? Here Bhagavān means it is the Lord with His qualities and energies performing His pastimes according to His free will. So that is uncovered. But we know Paramātmā because we know He is in every atom, between every atom, so what is that dependent upon? They are being a material creation. And the impersonal means you are removing the material creation and then that is revealing the Brahman. But what is that based upon? Still your removal of the negative, you still haven’t gotten to the positive. But Īśopaniṣad is saying, "Please remove your effulgence, means You as a person who has all Your energies and Your energies are so effulgent, that they are so bright I cannot see You. So please remove this glare so that I can see You." So, in other words, they are approaching Bhagavān, but they are trying to remove Brahman aspect from it. While here they are trying to remove the material energy so that they can see Brahman. So it is different. Does this make sense? 

Are we comfortable with all this hair splitting? Right? Because one may say, "What does it matter?" But when we think about it, this matters a lot. Because then that means why isn’t someone in pure devotion? Because they want to get out of the material world. Therefore they want to get to the spiritual world. So it is not so much the spiritual world that is important, it is getting out of the material world that is important. It just happens to be the place to get out of here that you can go to is there. Like, you know, I want to get out of this room, and so that means I want to go next door. It is not that you want to go next door, you just want to get out of this room. So that won’t be that dynamic devotion, that won’t be pure unalloyed devotional service. Because pure unalloyed is, I just want to get to the next room, I don’t even notice this room. It doesn’t even exist. So I am just thinking of that room. So for you there is no wall. So even if you are in this room you are in that room. That is no covering, that is no obstacle. While these others, they are dealing with the material covering, either removing it or seeing the Lord within that. But still the covering is there. But bhakti means you see the Lord without any of that covering. Therefore He is in the material world, means He has descended into it. So you see Him and He descends into it, and now He may be here with us. The other one is: they are clearing this away and then seeing Him, but they are not seeing Him in His original form in the spiritual world. So it is ascending. Do you understand the difference? Yes?

Prabhu (1): Mahārāja, that would be then aprākṛta experience?

HH BVPS Mahārāja: Aprākṛta? Aprākṛta, yes, is that. But then how the devotee deals with Him in the material world is through adhokṣaja, He descends into through the understanding as Brahman, and then through the performance of my duties I can connect that with the Brahman. Right? Does that make sense? And then the artha and kāma, I connect that to my duties. Does that make sense? The Supreme Lord is there. He has entered into the material world, His potencies are everywhere, right? That is adhokṣaja. So aprākṛta has come down to adhokṣaja. Not that He changes but we will be able to perceive Him here. I connect my duties, at the aparokṣa, to that. Then my performance of my activities, my lifestyle, everything is connected to seeing the Lord everywhere in everything. But my ultimate point is to understand the Lord in His transcendental pastimes as Bhagavān. Now in that state I connect my artha and kāma to my... How you say? Proper performance of duty, so in that way they become connected, they become Kṛṣṇa-ized. Not that they become Kṛṣṇa-ized on their own, because Kṛṣṇa won’t descend lower than your prescribed duties. Because that is what He says in Gītā: Perform your prescribed duties. So whatever you do, whatever you eat, whatever you offer in charity, but these are all part of prescribed duties. Does that make sense? So as part of prescribed duties then that is there. Does that make sense? Then he is connected. Does this make sense, how it is working, where the mechanics are? 

Otherwise you make mistake and think anything is the same. So performance of my duties and my sense gratification is the same, but it is a different method. Performance of your duties includes the sense gratification, but the sense gratification doesn’t necessarily include your duties. Does that make sense? So it is like I make an offering to Kṛṣṇa and then I eat, take the remnants. In other words, the human being subsists on sacrifice. So he offers whatever he has to the Lord and he accepts that remnants, right? So in that then the senses are taken care of. But if he just takes something and then eats it, it is not that by engaging the senses that that automatically is your duty. No, your duty is to subsist by sacrifice. So just engaging the senses directly, that is not duty. So how do you connect Kṛṣṇa into that? Does that make sense? That is why there is a difference between those who perform their religious duties and are situated properly in dharma and those who are in artha and kāma, though they may be pious, but they haven’t connected it to dharma. Even if they are following the śāstra, still why are they following that śāstra? Because dharma says you have to have a balance between dharma, artha and kāma. So then that way then the artha-śāstras connect it back to dharma, the kāma-śāstras connect it back to dharma. Then it has meaning, then it is elevating. Otherwise, if you are on the platform of artha, you follow the artha-śāstra there will be no sin, but you still will be implicated, does that make sense? Because you are only interested in economic development.

So here is a difference in… So therefore that motive is important. Yudhiṣṭhira Mahārāja also talks about this, or that was Śaunaka Ṛṣi also talks about this to Yudhiṣṭhira: is that the attitude is very important besides the activity. Means, the activity is important because it should be the right activity. Then the attitude behind it, that is even more important. So you may be having someone who is performing their religious activities, but their mentality is artha or kāma, so that is not so good. But it is better than someone who is in artha for artha’s sake or kāma for kāma’s sake. At leasy they are following a higher principle to get at something lower. But still better to be following dharma because that is what they are supposed to be doing. That is austerity. Does that make sense? So that austerity is going to get more result than austerity that the mentality is not right. Does that make sense? 

Dharma being done with the proper attitude, not for artha and kāma, is going to give you better result then dharma for artha or for kāma. Does that make sense? Like that. So the mentality is very, very important. So, therefore, one is connecting one's duties, one’s prescribed duties to Kṛṣṇa. Through connecting them to… it is His potencies that make it work. Kṛṣṇa says, "I am..." You know, He is... How you say? He is the fire, He is the ghee, He is the mantra, He is the instruments that are used, He is the person offering it, He is the chant, He is the person who is sponsoring the yajña, He is the result. So this we see how His potencies are making everything work within the realm of sacrifice. But in here it is much easier to perceive because it is according to śāstra, according to dharma.

As you drop down, then if it is according to śāstra, and artha or kāma, it is still, that is good, it is connected, but unless it is done as sacrifice then the quality that you are dealing with, it won’t be very great. Does that make sense? So you will be getting very minimal from it. So the the idea is the devotee connects it then he is getting the maximum from that that is able to be engaged in Kṛṣṇa’s service. Does it make some sense? They are fine points. But that is what is the idea of this class, is to be able to appreciate fine points. Because Bhāgavatam is the finest of points. It is written by Vyāsadeva in his maturity. So what we are talking now is these technical points, like Vedānta-sūtra stuff, Upaniṣadic stuff. So this is written in his maturity, so there is so much more… It has this technicality in it, Second Canto Bhāgavatam is like this, you know, but you have the element of the relationship with the Lord. Bhagavān is much more prominent. So if we can distinguish these technicalities then we can keep ourselves very nicely situated on being able to distinguish what is to be done and what is not to be done. Does that make sense?

Prabhu (7): What about... This, like my personal, I was thinking, like for example...

HH BVPS Mahārāja: Your personal, you were thinking?

Prabhu (7): Yeah, for example, I have enough, I have as much as I need. And then with that I thought I wouldn't have a problem to see it connected, because whatever I need then I take, whatever, you know, I give... But if, for example, if I would have a... Instead of apartment in Māyāpura I would have like a villa with a pool in Hawaii, that would create some doubt, you know, how can I connect that, is it just mentality?

HH BVPS Mahārāja: Do you have a villa in Hawaii with a pool?

Prabhu (7): No, I mean...

HH BVPS Mahārāja: But why Hawaii, why not the Bahamas or... Why not in Montecarlo or Riviera?

Prabhu (7): For example, I would have a choice to have like that, or I would...

HH BVPS Mahārāja: Do you have a choice?

Prabhu (7): It's just...

HH BVPS Mahārāja: Do you have an apartment in Māyāpura?

Prabhu (7): No... [Laughter]

HH BVPS Mahārāja: Okay, so... [Laughter] Why go beyond something you don't have? Why the villa with the pool? What if you bought the whole city, or what if you have your own airplane, or, you know, what if you had your own airline? Or, you know, if you go... You know what I am saying? So why that? You know, that's why I am saying, that seems to be a particular line of thought that might be interesting.

Prabhu (3): Desire.

HH BVPS Mahārāja: Desire, okay. You want to put a pool in your apartment once you get it? [Laugher] You buy two apartments and just turn one of them into a pool, right? That would be interesting [Laugher].

Prabhu (5): In Hawaii the Pacific Ocean is that pool.

HH BVPS Mahārāja: Yes, Pacific Ocean there is the pool. Okay, the point is is, that is going to be there because you are going to engage the elements of whatever is there, connect it to the Lord. The point is, if you see the villa and the pool as sense gratification and that’s all, then yes, then it is a problem. But if you see it as a place where you can live your life and engage your life in Kṛṣṇa’s service, then what is the problem?

Prabhu (7): Yeah, when you go to fitness... Like there is fitness, right, my personal, and sauna...

HH BVPS Mahārāja: And fitness? Okay, yeah... Okay, you go to a sauna?

Prabhu (7): Kṛṣṇa doesn’t need that, right?

HH BVPS Mahārāja: Kṛṣṇa doesn’t need it? No, He doesn't, but He doesn’t have a material body. His body is always in good health. So He doesn’t have to sit, you know, in a hot steam bath to make His bones not hurt. So it depends why you are at the sauna, why you are at the spa? Is it to improve the health so you can properly engage in Kṛṣṇa’s service, or is it just for sense gratification? It is the mentality. Why that? Why not eating? Why do you eat? You don't know? But you know what eating is?

Prabhu (7): I have to.

HH BVPS Mahārāja: You have to, okay. So every bite you take is like a complete burden and disturbance because it is something you have been forced to do? You are laughing, but...

Prabhu (7): No, I have to... [Laughter]

HH BVPS Mahārāja: Hmm? Breathing, what about breathing? The Bhāgavatam mentions breathing. You breathe, but if it is not connected to Kṛṣṇa, then it is like the breathing of the bellows, right? They also, the air goes in and out. So why does it have to be a villa with a pool in Hawaii? A villa with a pool is nice, but if it is not on the ocean... Why be in Hawaii if you are not next to the beach, so you can swim in the ocean?

Prabhu (7): The ocean, sometimes there are high waves.

HH BVPS Mahārāja: High waves, like that... But since you are buying a villa anyway, you can decide which side of the island or which island you are buying it anyway. So you can always get it at one of those ones with the coral reef, they have the nice turquoise place and like that, and if you don't like it there, get in Mauritius or in the Seychelles. You know what I am saying? If you have enough money to do all that, so then, you know, you have your options. You know what I am saying? 

So the point is is, why are you breathing? No answer? You didn't know you were breathing? 

Prabhu (7): I am breathing, it's automatic.

HH BVPS Mahārāja: It's automatic, okay, so you are happy with that? 

Prabhu (7): I would not be happy if I would not be able to breathe.

HH BVPS Mahārāja: That's there, but why do you need to breathe?

Prabhu (7): Otherwise the body would not function.

HH BVPS Mahārāja: Okay, so, so therefore if the body functions...  And what is the advantage of the body functioning?

Prabhu (7): I can chant Hare Kṛṣṇa.

HH BVPS Mahārāja: Okay, so now, if your health is good then you can chant Hare Kṛṣṇa, you know. So, therefore, you breathe, you eat, you do exercise, and whatever it is you need to do to keep in shape that you can do your service. You know what I am saying? Okay, we will end here.

Oṁ Hare Kṛṣṇa Hare Kṛṣṇa Kṛṣṇa Kṛṣṇa Hare Hare Hare Rāma Hare Rāma Rāma Rāma Hare Hare 

Jaya! Śrīla Prabhupāda kī jaya!

[end of lecture]


Lecture on Śrī Śrī Caitaya Śikṣāmṛta and Daśa Mūla Tattva #5, given in Bhaktivedānta Academy, Śrī Māyāpura, as part of Śrī Śrī Caitanya Śikṣāmṛta and Daśa Mūla Tattva Course, a Precursor course to the study of Śāstra Cakṣus of Bhaktivedānta Theological Seminary

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