The Fundamental Basis

Your own realisation, your own research, everything, you leave it. What you are doing through your knowledge, that you leave. It may be your knowledge and it may be others’ knowledge that you are eating and vomiting, that is not a factor. But what is the fundamental basis? Namanta eva jīvanti: to fully surrender and live with sravan-kirtan.

You can find a full transcript and audio recording of this talk here. 

jñāne prayāsam udapāsya namanta eva
jīvanti san-mukharitāṁ bhavadīya-vārtām
sthāne sthitāḥ śruti-gatāṁ tanu-vāṅ-manobhir
ye prāyaśo ’jita jito ’py asi tais tri-lokyām

[“In whatever position they may be, those who give up the endeavour for knowledge, surrender to the sadhus, and dedicate their lives bodily, verbally, and mentally to their talks of the Lord, can conquer the Lord, who is otherwise unconquerable.”]

At this sloka Mahaprabhu said, “Eho haya, āge kaha āra. Yes, it is in the line and the fundamental basis is here.” What basis? Jñāne prayāsam udapāsya: first, what property you have, leave that. That is knowledge. Your own realisation, your own research, everything, you leave it. What you are doing through your knowledge, that you leave. It may be your knowledge and it may be others’ knowledge that you are eating and vomiting, that is not a factor. But what is the fundamental basis? Namanta eva jīvanti: to fully surrender and live with sravan-kirtan. That is the main thing. San-mukharitāṁ bhavadīya-vārtām means kirtan and sravan. Sthāne sthitāḥ: anywhere. Śruti-gatāṁ tanu-vāṅ-manobhir: kaya, physically; mana, mentally; vākya, verbally. That is the main fundamental basis.

This type of question came when Guru Maharaj was searching for his Guru, “Where is my Guru, where is my Guru?” He went to Pranavananda Swami at the Bharat Seva Ashram Sangha and he asked him, “I know that you are not my Guru, but can you say where my Guru is?” And Pranavananda told to Guru Maharaj, “First go to Shankaracharya in jnana-marga; then yoga marga; and then go to bhakti-marga. Bhakti marga is superior, no doubt, but first it is necessary to follow karma, jnana, yoga—and then bhakti. That is also indicated in Gita externally. Then you do that.”

Guru Maharaj told Pranavananda, “But Mahaprabhu did not say, ‘First become a karmi, then become a jnani, then become a yogi, and then go to bhakti-yoga.’ Mahaprabhu did not say that and scripture also did not say that. Then why are you saying this? Bhakti-yoga is the starting point and bhakti-yoga is end. There is nothing in the middle.” Guru Maharaj gave this answer to Pranavananda, who is the founder president of Bharat Seva Ashram Sangha.

Sri Chaitanya Mahaprabhu said the instruction sarva-dharmān parityajya Mām ekaṁ śaraṇaṁ vraja (“Give up all dharma and surrender to me exclusively”—Bg 18.66) was external, bahya, and told Ramananda Ray, “I want to hear the deeper and deepest conception about Krishna consciousness from you.” One by one Ramananda gave different conceptions and Mahaprabhu rejected them. Then when Ramananda said the verse Jñāne prayāsam udapāsya namanta eva Mahaprabhu said, “Eho haya, āge kaha āra: yes, it is okay, but say more than that; you proceed on.”

Bhakti-yoga starts with the mood of surrender and immediately starting practising life with sravan and kirtan. That is Mahaprabhu’s line: immediately you surrender and get up and do sravan and kirtan.

jīvanti san-mukharitāṁ bhavadīya-vārtām

Jīvanti san-mukharitāṁ bhavadīya-vārtām means, hear the divine glories of Lord Krishna from the proper channel. Not everyone is expert in glorifying properly. According to their mentality persons can glorify in a particular way, but proper glorification will come from the proper personality. And if you are fortunate, then you will get the opportunity to hear from them. We will hear from the great saints, sadhus, but here is a question: does sadhu means saffron cloth? That is not mentioned in the scriptures. Sadhu means sat, and sat means who can understand sachchidananda. He is a sadhu. Only sat is not good. Good, but not good. It is sufficient. But where there is chinmayananda, where there is the transcendental feelings and transcendental joyful presentation, there you will feel that this is a sadhu. That may be a brahmachari, may be a grhastha, may be a vanaprastha, may be a sannyasi, may be an antyaja, may be a mlechcha.

In this material world we make some standard for peace: “You will not disturb my family, and I shall not disturb your family.” These are the rules and regulations. Scriptural rules and regulations are like that, but they are always mixed with some religious theistic mentality. They are not atheistic in any way, they are always theistic. But the proper guideline is that devotion to Lord Krishna is final. Guru Maharaj said very clearly in Prapanna-jivanamrta book what is saranagati, what is surrender. What I said just now: first surrender, and then come out with your practising life.

Srila Guru Maharaj gave the meaning of surrender:

bhagavad-bhaktitaḥ sarvam ity utsṛjya vidher api
kaiṅkaryaṁ kṛṣṇa-pādaikāśrayatvaṁ śaraṇāgatiḥ
[“Having faith that everything is attained by devotion to the Supreme Lord, abandoning subservience to even scriptural injunctions, and taking shelter of Sri Krishna’s feet exclusively is known as saranagati.”]

This is written in Prapanna-jivanamrta. “Everything will be fulfilled, even scriptural advice you can avoid, but everything will be fulfilled by surrender to Sri Krishna. If you keep this knowledge fully with you everything will be successful through that.”

This kind of faith is described with an example given in Srimad Bhagavat:

yathā taror mūla-niṣechanena
tṛpyanti tat-skandha-bhujopaśākhāḥ 
prāṇopahārāch cha yathendriyāṇāṁ
tathaiva sarvārhaṇam achyutejyā
(4.31.14)

When we put water at the root of a tree, the whole tree is getting nourishment through that water. Like that, when we are putting our devotion to Lord Krishna then everything becomes very peaceful and happy. There is no question of who is Indra, who is Chandra, who is Varun, who is Brahma—it is not necessary to search because when I give my devotion to Krishna everyone gets that, in the same way that if the root of tree gets water then the whole tree gets nourishment. Krishna-bhakti is supreme. We must have devotion to Lord Krishna with full faith: full faith, this is the main thing. It is not necessary to calculate how much percentage I shall give here, how much percentage I shall give there.

I remember when I joined in this mission I came to Srila Guru Maharaj’s lotus feet and Guru Maharaj was happy to see my activity. But Guru Maharaj questioned me: “You joined my mission, that is okay, but can you follow me?” And I said, “Yes.” At that time my habit was to say, ‘Yes.’ In my life I did not say, ‘No’, but always ‘Yes.’ So when Guru Maharaj asked me, “Can you follow me?” I said, “Yes.” “No, no, not like that. What I shall tell you, you will follow, and what you know, you will leave that knowledge. Can you do that?” I said “Yes.” With the service of Guru Maharaj so many questions come, but I don’t care for that. What Guru Maharaj’s order is, I am doing that. That was my nature at that time. I had that inspiration and I have got a very, very good result with that: “If Guru Maharaj wants it, bas, sufficient, no question is there.”

Related reading:

Surrendered Service