jananivas prabhu


Brahmacari Class by His Grace Jananivas Prabhu, ISKCON Chowpatty, 9 March 2007

Brahmacarya is not an external factor.  It is the first asrama (stage of life in spiritual society).  Thereafter, we progress through the others. We shouldn’t identify with these external designations (eg. student, householder and renunciate).  They are useful for social dealings.  The word asrama is from the Sanskrit word asraya which means ‘shelter’ – shelter according to one’s consciousness.  Brahmacari asrama is a very simple asrama for students.  You can remain brahmacari (celibate student) if you are tolerant.  In this way we can overcome material desire.  Of course, we have to be tolerant in all asramas, but here we are talking about brahmacarya.  

Today’s society is not Krishna Conscious.  Therefore, it is best to remain brahmacari.  By developing tolerance one can remain fixed.  Devotees have to face the material world.  They have to face Maya (illusion) directly.  It is, therefore, difficult to be a strict and true brahmacari.  Consciousness is, therefore, more important than varna and asrama.  We have to identify ourselves as eternal servants of Krishna and see that everything is the property of Krishna.  Over-identification with one’s asrama is also not healthy.  We act according to our asramas, but we identify ourselves as eternal servants of Krishna.

Our first business is to establish a relationship with Madan Mohan, the attractor of Cupid (or lust).  ‘We are trying, now, to turn our attraction from Cupid to Madan Mohanji.’  When Krishna and His devotees bestow this attraction upon us, we make advancement.  One is awarded by one’s devotional attitude.  Even Brahman (impersonal) realization is attractive.  The Bhagavad-gita mentions how, upon gaining this, one thinks there is no greater gain.  This comes after anartha-nivritti, when the dirty things in the heart are gone.  Brahman is so attractive that the jnanis and the mayavadis are prepared to sacrifice their own identity to achieve it.  Krishna is always attractive – in any of His features.  Unless you realize aham brahmasmi – ‘I am spirit’ – you cannot understand Krishna’s pastimes.

The Bhagavad-gita further explains that for one who has controlled his mind, the Paramatma (the Supersoul, the Lord within everyone’s heart) is attained.  Ceto darpanam marjanam.  This is where Caitanya Mahaprabhu’s Movement begins. Give up the dirty things in your heart and engage in Krishna’s service.  We must strictly follow the rules of sadhana bhakti so long as we have a material  body and so long as we identify with it.  First, get your spiritual legs.  Understand what is spiritual ground.  Then you can make progress.  Realization of nama (the Lord’s Holy Name) enables us to realize Krishna’s presence.  Later He will reveal His rupa (form), guna (qualities) and lila (pastimes).  Srila Prabhupada taught that we should just surrender to the sound vibration and depend on the Holy Name to reveal Himself.

We should not jump prematurely.  We should first approach Madana Mohana.  There is a progression that has been given by the acaryas.  We come to the point of Madana Mohana by strictly following sadhana (practical spiritual activities, particularly chanting God’s name),  This cleanses the heart.  We should remember that we can’t get Krishna by sadhana.  Persons who are part of the hladini-sakti (the Lord’s spiritual energy) like Rupa Goswami can give it.  Krishna is only achieved by love.

The following is a class from the Srimad Bhagavatam, Canto 6, chapter 9, text 52, given by His Grace Jananivas Prabhu on the 9 March 2007 at Sri Sri Radha-Gopinatha Mandir, Chowpatty, Mumbai.

Indra is probably the most desirable position in the material world.  The position of Indra affords the most material enjoyment because Indra is king of the heavenly planets.

The Hari Bhakti Vilas provides a beautiful meditation on Krishna.  It describes how His shark-shaped earrings reflect on His shiny cheeks; the masses of His black, curly hair; how He is lying on a couch, playing His flute.  The demigods appear before Krishna (in his majestic feature).  They are offering prayers to Him.  The Gandharvas are there also.

There are 8,400,000 different types of bodies in this world – all based on different combinations of material desires.

The bulls and the cows come and see Krishna.  That is called santa rasa (love of God in neutrality).  There are also the babies, with bells on their ankles, the cowherd boys and the elder gopis.  The gopis faces are half-covered and their eyes are half-closed.   They are trying to see Krishna.  They are trembling uncontrollably.  They try to suppress their trembling, so the bells around their waists and ankles won’t ring. 

These are meditations for pujaris (priests of the Deity).

The neophyte devotee’s objective is to see the Deity form of Krishna in the Temple.  Ideally, we should also see Krishna in everyone’s heart.

Srila Prabhupada was on Juhu beach with one of his disciples, Dravida Maharaja.  They were looking at the ocean.  Srila Prabhupada asked, ‘What do you see?’  Dravida replied, ‘Krishna.’  Srila Prabhupada asked, ‘How?’  Maharaja answered, ‘I am the taste of water.’  Prabhupada looked a the salty water, ‘See.  This is the energy of Krishna.’

Sometimes you look at Radha-Gopinath (the Deities at the Mumbai Temple) and you see it’s Krishna.  You don’t have to analyze.  The gopis see a black tamala tree.  Radharani embraces the tamala tree.  All Her friends laugh at Her.  It’s not that they don’t see a tree – but they see Krishna (the tamala tree is black like Him).  They see things, but they see Krishna present in them.

The demigiods are not pure, unalloyed devotees.  Even in Vaikuntha.  In Vaikuntha they are pure, but they are not unalloyed.  The residents of Goloka Vrindavan are unalloyed.  The devas or demigods are devotees, but they are thinking of their desires.  Pure, unalloyed devotees only want Krishna’s pleasure.  Caitanya Mahaprabhu came to teach that.

Indra will kill Vritrasura with the bones of Dadici.  Vritrasura knows this.  When Indra drops his weapon, Vritrasura says, ‘Pick up your weapon and kill me.  It is Vishnu’s will that you kill me.’

The demigods fear death because they do not want to lose their position.  Srila Prabhupada, ‘Do you believe in reincarnation?’  The devotees, ‘No.  We are going back to Godhead.’  Prabhupada, ‘Lord Caitanya’s waiting for the devotees with a Sankirtan party.’

The Srimad Bhagavatam will bring out the particular relationship we have with Krishna.  The Bhagavatam gives all the different relationships you can have with Krishna.

The devotees do not want anything.  For example, Hanuman.  If Lord Rama wants Hanuman to have liberation, he’ll take it.  But, if it interferes with his service, he’ll reject it.

Who has come to give this essence of what Caitanya Mahaprabhu came to give? Krishna came 5,000 years ago.  He performed divine pastimes.  He left instructions, sarva-dharman parityajya – just surrender unto Me.  People couldn’t follow such a high standard in the Age of Kali.  So, Caitanya Mahaprabhu came – with no demands.  Just giving.  Freely giving vraja-prema.  Mahaprabhu’s our hero.

There is a prediction.  All the different sampradayas (disciplic traditions in India) will fall under Caitanya Mahaprabhu’s Sankirtan mission.  Caitanya Mahaprabhu declared, ‘I will give them the opportunity to taste vraja-prema.  This is the maha-mantra.’

We are eternal.  We have an eternal relationship with Krishna.  Simultaneously, we have come from Krishna – aham sarvasya prabhavo.  ‘Make an eternal change!’   You can change your eternal relationship.  There is the example of Shymananda.  He had a relationship of friendship with Krishna, but obtained a relationship in the conjugal rasa.  He changed his attitude in the association of Jiva Goswami, Narrottama and Srinivas.  His guru beat him with a stick, ‘Why are you crying in ecstasy hearing the pastimes of Radha and Krishna?  You don’t know what pleasure you’re missing in sakhya rasa.  You’re taking something lower!’

You cannot change you eternal position as servant of God or Krishna – jivera svarupa haya krisnera nitya das.  Bhaktivinoda Thakura explains different relationships.  If you want material relationships – even with your own family.  When you’re realized, you can even have an eternal planet with your own family!  This is called satya sankalpa.  When you are pure, everything you desire becomes manifest. If you want to be a friend of Krishna, you can take birth in a family of gopas (cowherds), where their association will draw that relationship out.  You will get the association of nitya-siddhas (eternally perfect souls) and take birth as a gopi with gopis – if that is your pure desire.  The mood has to be empowered by devotees.  Thereafter, you go to the Spiritual World or the Kingdom of God.

You can change your body in the material world, so why not spiritually?

Jananivas Prabhu, Srimad Bhagavatam Canto 9.5.7, Sri Mayapur Dhama, 4 April 2002

‘Without illumination, nothing can be seen’. The sun, the moon and fire are ‘illuminating principles’. Discrimination is coming from Sudarshan. Sudarshan is ‘The Lord’s effulgence personified’.

Krishna contacts the material energy in the form of Siva, who is visuddha sattva. How is Krishna the seed-giving father of all living entities? He is the father of all living entities in the form of lord Siva. Siva impregnates Parvati ‘on a universal scale’. There are three creators. Behind the union of Siva and Parvati is Visnu’s desire. Mother and father are the cause of the child, but behind that is the desire to have a child.

‘The whole spiritual world is illuminated with this natural knowledge and religious principles’. This is the principle of “light” – om ajnana timirandhasya. ‘The whole process of Krishna Consciousness is illuminating’. ‘Love of Krishna is already in the heart. It’s already there. Only covered. Come out of the darkness and step into the light’. There is nothing before sunrise. When the sun rises, however, you can see yourself. ‘Illumination reveals everything, namely our consititutional position, our relationship with Krishna’.

‘Our endeavour is to remove the ignorance. That’s all’. We do not have to endeavour separately, like in the yoga process. We simply have to serve and love Krishna. Illumination brings us to the point of faith; and more illumination takes us further (sambhanda, abhideya and prayojana).

Srila Prabhupada’s definition of sama darsana: ‘I see everyone having an equal opportunity to serve Krishna’. He makes the unqualified equal to persons who have this knowledge. Bhaktisiddhanta Saraswati Thakur defined sama darsana as ‘seeing every living entity as a manifestation of his guru‘. The living entities are seen as being able to carry out his guru’s work.

When the Cosmic Manifestation ends, the processes of yoga, jnana etc. cease to exist. Only bhakti yoga exists eternally in the spiritual world. ‘Everyone is liberated. Only you don’t understand that. Why? Because of ignorance. Why is ignorance there? Because you are attached to it’.

‘This Krishna Consciousness Movement is eternal. The activities go on eternally. So we can become part of that also when we realize what’s going on here’.

‘Someone said these sunflowers follow the sun as it moves in the day’

Srimad Bhagavatam Class 6.9.52, ISKCON Chowpatty, Mumbai, 9 March 2007

Indra is probably the most desirable position in the material world because his post affords the most enjoyment.  Indra is, after all, the king of heaven.

The Hari Bhakti Vilasa describes meditation on Krishna – His shark earrings reflect His shiny cheeks; He has masses of black, curly hair; He is lying on a couch playing His flute.  The Demigods are before Krishna – in the majestic aspect of Godhead.  They offer Him prayers.  The gandharvas are present too.

In the material world, there are 8,400,000 different types of bodies based on that combination of desires.

The bulls and cows come to see Krishna.  They approach Krishna in santa rasa.  The babies, with bells on their ankles, approach Krishna along with the cowherd boys, and the elder gopis.  The gopis with half-covered faces and half-closed eyes are also trying to see Krishna.  They tremble uncontrollably, trying to suppress this trembling so the bells won’t ring on their bells and ankles.

These are meditations for pujaris.

The neophyte just wants to see the Deity form of the Lord in the Temple.  We should also see Krishna in everyone’s heart.

Srila Prabhupada was on Juhu Beach with Dravida Maharaja.  Looking at the ocean, he asked Maharaja, ‘What do you see?’  Maharaja responded, ‘Krishna.’  Prabhupada asked, ‘How?  Krishna says ‘I am the taste in water’.  That is how you see Krishna – through His energy’.

Sometimes you look at Radha-Gopinath and you see it’s Krishna.  Don’t have to analyze.  The gopis saw the black tamala tree.  Radha embraces a tamala tree and all Her friends laugh at her.  It’s not that they don’t see a tree, but they see Krishna (the tamala tree is black).  So they see things but they see Krishna there.

The devas are not pure unalloyed devotees.  Even in Vaikuntha – they are pure, but they are not unalloyed.  In Goloka, they are unalloyed.  The devas are devotees, but they are thinking of their desires.  Pure devotees only want Krishna’s pleasure.  Caitanya Mahaprabhu came to teach that.

Indra will kill Vrtrasura with the bones of Dadici.  Vrtrasura knows this.  Indra drops his weapon.  Vrtrasura says, ‘Pick up your weapon and kill me!  It is Vishnu’s will that you kill me’.

The demigods fear death because they don’t want to lose their position.

Do you believe in reincarnation?  Devotees: ‘No.  We are going back to Godhead’  Srila Prabhupada said that Lord Caitanya is waiting for the devotees with a Sankirtan party.

Srimad Bhagavatam will bring out the particular relationship we have with Krishna.  Srimad Bhagavatam gives all the different relationships you can have with Krishna.  Devotees don’t want anything.   If Lord Rama wants Hanuman to have liberation, he’ll take it; if not, if it intereferes with his service to Rama, he’ll reject it.

Who has come to give the essence of what Caitanya Mahaprabhu came to give?  Krishna came 5,000 years ago.  Performed pastimes.  Left instructions – sarva-dharman parityajya.  People couldn’t follow this in Kali.  Krishna then came as Caitanya Mahaprabhu – with no demands, just giving.  Freely giving vraja-prema.  Mahaprabhu is our hero.

There is a prediction – that all the different sampradayas will fall under the Sankirtan mission.  Caitanya Mahaprabhu – ‘And I will give them the opportunity to taste Vraja Prema- this is the Maha Mantra‘.

We’re eternal and we have an eternal relationship with Krishna.  But, at the same time, we come from Krishna – aham sarvasya prabhavo.  ‘Make an eternal change’.  By association, you can change your eternal relationship eg.  Shyamananda (was in friendship, but obtained conjugal rasa).  In association with Jiva Goswami, Narottama and Srinivas – he changed his attitude.  His guru beat him with a stick, ‘Why is he crying in ecstacy hearing the pastimes of Radha and Krishna?  You don’t even know what pleasure you are missing in sakhya rasa.  You’re taking something lower!’  You cannot change – jivera svarupa hoya krishnera nitya dasa.

Bhaktivinoda Thakura explains that if you want material relationships, when you are realized you can even have an eternal planet – with your own family.

Satya sankalpa.  When you are pure, everything you desire becomes manifest.  If you want to be a friend of Krishna, you will take birth in a family of gopas and their association will draw that out.  Associate with nitya-siddhas eg. take birth as a gopi with gopis.  The mood has to be empowered by devotees.  From there you go to the spiritual world.

Here you can change your body.  So why not spiritually?  You can humbly serve, hear Srimad Bhagavatam.  Or you can aspire and change and develop.

In Puri they follow Shankaracharya’s method of Deity worship.   Ramanujacharya was in Puri.  The Sastra says in Kali Yuga that pancaratrika is more important.  Jagannath said you should leave this place.  Woke up next day in Mayapur.  Jagannath – this is my eternal place…Mayapur.  Krishna has come as Caitanya Mahaprabhu.  He revealed Himself as Laksmi-Narayana.  Then, as Mahaprabhu.  Ramanujacharya heard Caitanya Mahaprabhu mentioned in scriptures.  ‘Now, You’ve revealed everything to me’.  He was fired-up to preach Radha-Krishna worship.  Caitanya Mahaprabhu said, ‘No, no, no.  I will preach it.  You continue preaching dasya rasa to elevate your followers.  Worship Krishna in your heart.  Vraja-prema is now being made available’.

Devotees cursed Akrura for 100 years for taking Krishna.  Pastimes are performed to bring Them together, separate Them, bring Them together…and so on…

Krishna only leaves Vrindavan to satisfy the living entities desire.  The unalloyed devotee – never wants to take Krishna out of Vrindavan.  So does not worship Laksmi-Narayana or Sita Rama.

Jagannatha Ratha Yatra.  Krishhna.  The only reason I’m in Dwaraka and Mathura is to satisfy the desires of the Yadus.  For their pleasure.  But my heart is in Vrindavan.  My pleasure is in Vrindavan.

17 March 2001

I was happy to be in Mayapur after the Gaura Purnima Festival.  Although it is wonderfully auspicious to observe Gaura Purnima (the Appearance Day of Sri Chaitanya Mahaprabhu) in the Holy Dhama, I was happy the crowds had left.  A handful of western pilgrims remained – burnt out after a month festivities.  Padmanabha prabhu and I savoured the transcendental atmosphere of Sri Mayapur Dhama.

We walked out of the brahmacari ashram into the car-park, wearing only gamchas and capalas.  Padmanabha led the way to a pier on the bank of the Ganges where devotees liked to bathe.  I was amazed how soft and smooth her banks were.  We took off our capalas and offered obeisances to Mother Ganga.  Padmanabha covered himself in Ganges mud and wallowed in her shallows.  I reverentially immersed my self in Ganga’s soothing waters.  I felt the deep-seated burdens of my western heart fly away like birds in the sky.  I had the distinct feeling that the Ganga is our Mother – they call her Ganga Mata in India – and that she cares for all living beings and that she is our well-wisher.

We could see the dome of Srila Prabhupada’s samadhi against the blue sky.  I lost myself in the beauty of Mayapur for a moment.  I then heard Padmanabha prabhu’s voice, ‘Come, prabhuji.  Let’s go’.  We got out the water and dried ourselves.  We returned to the brahmacari ashram and changed into fresh cloth.