Kīrtan Over Japa. From Relative to Absolute.

Kīrtan Over Japa. From the Relative to the Absolute.

Śrīla Bhakti Rakṣak Śrīdhar Dev-Goswāmī Mahārāj. (Undated recording)

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By all of our movements, our affinity towards Kṛṣṇa may increase further and further. That should be the only object of movement.

karmabhir bhrāmyamāṇānāṁ yatra kvāpīśvarechchhayā
(Śrīmad Bhāgavatam: 10.47.67)

By His will, by the divine will, wherever we are to go, the object of our life is one and the same, unchangeable: that our affection and our love, attraction for Kṛṣṇa, may increase further and further.

… ratir naḥ kṛṣṇa īśvare
(Śrīmad Bhāgavatam: 10.47.67)

The Lord as Kṛṣṇa, in the form of Kṛṣṇa. That should be our hearty prayer.

[1:22] [There are two approaches:] rati and yukti. Two things. Yukti means by the faculty of reason, by the exercise of our reason, that “this is mortal, we want eternal substance; this is painful, we want blissfulness”. This is based by calculation of loss and gain. We want to go to Kṛṣṇa, we want to go to the absolute, and this is one way, by yukti: by the application of our knowing faculty, knowledge. But this is not fruitful to fulfill the purpose of our inner heart, which is devotion, bhakti, dedication. That is independent: no jñāna, no karma, no energy, no knowledge, can take us to Kṛṣṇa; [we can reach Him] only through love. That is another department. Just as any amount of energy may not produce knowledge, so no amount of knowledge can produce love. It is an independent plane, bhaktya sañjātayā bhaktya (SB: 11.3.31). That is the most fundamental, and these are all something like coatings.

[3:21] So bhaktya, the unit of devotion is independent of both energy and intellectualism. There is a third thing, and we must acquire *that* thing. That is bhakti, sukṛti, bhakti, ruchi. Ruchi can surely lead us to Vṛndāvan, the land of ruchi, love. The smallest part of love is called ruchi. It is a unit, the smallest unit is ruchi, and ruchi will take us there. Ruchi is the original thing that can produce love. So jñāna-karmādy anāvṛtam (Brs: 1.1.11), that must be independent of both knowledge as well as energy, karma. Ruchi, bhakti, is such.  Śuddha-bhakti is independent of knowledge as well as energy, karma, labour. And these are rather a coating, an overcoat, not reality. Our inner hankering is for satisfaction: we are really in search of satisfaction, of happiness, blissfulness, not knowledge, and not energy. We demand them for some immediate purpose, but they are not the goal. The goal within us is always for blissfulness, and beauty, that love; not knowledge, and not energy. We must analyse that within us and understand: that our inner demand is for blissfulness, happiness, and joy, and that knowledge and energy can never produce that. That is a particular, independent type of thing.

[5:53] Jñāna-karmādy anāvṛtam: they are overcoatings. The real substance is love, is sukha, joy, ecstasy, ānandam, beauty. That is the real substance, and we are also a particle of that. We want to be unified in that plane. That is what is necessary. So neither knowledge or reason can produce bhakti, devotion. That is a plenary thing, fundamental, most fundamental substance, this devotion. Bhaktya sañjātayā bhaktya: only devotion can produce devotion. The unit of devotion has been told as sukṛti, some sort of sympathy acquired from the sādhus. Just as from one lamp another lamp can be lit, as one candle can be lighted by the help of another candle, flame, so from the flame of the devotion that is in the heart of a sādhu, from there my candle can be lighted. In this way, something like this. But no other thing can produce it. It is independent, most perfect and independent, and not interdependent. It is a completely independent thing, bhakti. All else is rather like the spare in the fruit, the cover in the fruit, something like that.

[7:57] So Viśvanāth Chakravartī has said, “Why in Bhagavad-gītā is devotion placed in the middle? In the beginning is karma, and last is jñāna.” Generally they think that first is karma, then bhakti, and then jñāna is the highest. But Chakravartī Ṭhākur has told, there are two covers and between is the book; the book is within, and there are two sides to cover it: one side karma, one side jñāna, and the substance is within.

Ahaitukī, it is causeless, it is its own cause, and apratihatā, none can stop its progress. But what can stop or deteriorate it, that is within her own control. No worldly knowledge or labour [can affect it], but aparādha means pertaining to the bhakti school. That can deteriorate it: offence to the Vaiṣṇava, to the śāstra, to the Lord. That is the only object for our reverence, for our adoration, and if we cannot adore it, do justice to its own honour properly, then of course a setback comes, a reaction comes. The adorable things must be adored, loving things must be loved. What is worshippable, honourable, if I do not honour the honourable, some sort of reaction cannot but come, and that is offence, aparādha.

[10:26] And aparādha is not concerned with other things, but only there, with Guru-Vaiṣṇava, Śāstra, Nāma: all these we must be very much careful about. Other things we may not care for at all. But when we have entered that realm, we must be very much careful there, that our activity may come to this proper standard. Of course through error, that is to be forgiven, but there is degree. There are classes of aparādha. We are to be careful about that, because that will be suicidal. One who has come, who is coming to bless me, to favour me, I am standing against him, that is, I am standing against my own real interest, vital interest. To stand against the Vaiṣṇava is to stand against one’s own vital interest.

[11:50] So the śāstra, and the other things pertaining to the bhakti school, we must be careful about. Chakravartī Ṭhākur said, “The mahābhāgavat, they do not care for the offence against them,” but he says, “the feet dust of those mahābhāgavat, they do not, can’t tolerate the dishonour of their Master.”

[12:49] Just as a labourer, if he fails to labour the product may not be achieved; just as a research scholar is going researching, but if he commits any error in his process, the desired end is far off. So here is also the question of fault. If there is any defect in that process, automatically we will be the loser. Everywhere, in his own department, there is possible setback. But: na hi kalyāṇa-kṛt kaśchid durgatiṁ tāta gachchhati (Bg: 6.40): sincerity will be our real friend on this path. Duplicity, that is bad, and sincerity, simplicity, that is the capital.


sarala hale gorāra śikṣā bujhiyā la-ibe
(Śrī Prema-vivarta: 8.3)

yadi bhajibe gorā sarala kara nija mana
(Śrī Prema-vivarta: 8.2)      

Become simple. To become a devotee is to become cent per cent simple. Simple means unprejudiced. The prejudice, the foreign poison or dust is coming, and dispossessing us of our own wealth. So, simple, sahaja: from that sahajiyā has come. Sahaja: innate. Sahaja means innate, which is born within my own self, which is co-born with oneself. Sahaja, my innate nature, that is devotion. And foreign things have come and covered, modified our nature, and we are in the midst of karmi, jnani, yogi, all these things.

[15:27] So sahajiyā, sahaja, prākṛta-sahajiyā śata dūṣani. Sahajiyāism has not been blamed, but prākṛta-sahajiyā: that is satisfied with the pratibimba, the reflection, not the thing but with the reflection here. That is prākṛta-sahajiyā. What is in the realm of ātmā, spirit, soul proper, and the reflection that is in the body, and the mind here, and to go on with the exercise, cultivation of this body, mind, and to think that I am doing that thing, that is prākṛta-sahajiyā, imitation. That is transaction with the pratibimba, reflection, transaction with the reflection, and to think that I am handling the reality. And then they will have to start.

[16:56] Question: Guru Mahārāj, very humbly I’d like to ask you a question concerning your book which I had a good opportunity to read yesterday for the first time. In the book I was very much surprised to see that the emphasis for spiritual enlightenment was in preaching, primary to japa. Japa was secondary to the preaching, the potency of preaching. And this very much surprised me because my spiritual master says that japa is the potency, the potency lies in the chanting of the Holy Name. How should I approach this?

[18:35] Śrīla Śrīdhar Mahārāj: You have heard that Mahāprabhu laid stress on kīrtan. He recommended five, this sādhana,

sādhu-saṅga, nāma-saṅkīrtana, bhāgavat-śravana
dhāma-vāsa, śrī-mūrtira śraddhāya sevana
sakala sādhana śreṣṭha ei pañcha aṅga

(Śrī Chaitanya-charitāmṛta: Madhya-līlā, 22.128129)

[“One should associate with devotees, chant the holy name of the Lord, hear Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam, reside at Mathurā and worship the Deity with faith and veneration. “These five limbs of devotional service are the best of all.”]

tāra madhye sarva-śreṣṭha nāma-saṅkīrtana
niraparādhe nāma laile pāya prema-dhana

(Śrī Chaitanya-charitāmṛta: Antya-līlā, 4.71)

[“Of the nine processes of devotional service, the most important is to always chant the holy name of the Lord. If one does so, avoiding the ten kinds of offences, one very easily obtains the most valuable love of Godhead.”]

[19:19] Nām-saṅkīrtan, kīrtan, means to preach. The real principle, the real underlying meaning of kīrtan is to preach, to propagate. So kīrtan, and everything, whatever is done, any form of devotion, that must be devotion proper; and that is sevā, service. So our Gurudev said,

ataḥ śrī kṛṣṇa-nāmādi na bhaved grāhyam indriyaiḥ
sevonmukhe hi jihvādau svayam eva sphuraty adaḥ
(Śrī Bhakti-rasāmṛta-sindhu)

We want a connection with the subjective, super subjective area. So only our hankering, sincere hankering for Him, and our attitude of surrender to His cause can attract Him to our level. That is transcendental; how can I come in connection with the transcendental? When I offer myself for His cause, His service. Then He will care to come down to give connection to me. So whatever transcendental affairs we are going to connect ourselves with, the sevonmukhata, this sort of spirit, attitude, must be there. Otherwise it will be only a repetition of mundane feats. So, sevonmukhata, to practise to dedicate one’s own self, that is mainly necessary. Whether we do kīrtan, śravaṇ, smaran, or vandan, everywhere this common factor must have to be present: that I want to dedicate for the cause of the higher, and not that I want to use the higher principle for my lower purpose. This tenor must be observed first.

[21:42] And then again kīrtan, that means to preach. Saṅkīrtana tāra madhye sarva-śreṣṭha (“Of all practices of devotion, saṅkīrtan is the best”): it is difficult to control the mind, the inner [aspect], but when we challenge some other person’s preaching, we cannot but be all-conscious, we cannot talk irrelevantly, so we can easily have concentration when we talk about Him. That is kīrtan. And when engaged in japam, then I may begin with some japam, and my mind may wander here and there, everywhere. But when I am engaged in kīrtan, I must be all attentive, so we can control the mind which is very difficult to capture and to utilise. So kīrtanaṁ tu tato varam. Oṣṭha-spandana-mātreṇa kīrtanaṁ tu tato varam (Vaiṣṇava-chintāmaṇi), special stress has been put into the kīrtan by Mahāprabhu.

[22.57] Kīrtan means to preach. The environment has come and is prepared to attack me, so I rather, ‘offensive for offensive’, I shall attack the environment. Kīrtan means that. The whole environment is surcharged with the spirit of offensive, they are coming and attacking me from different directions, through different ideas that are already like spies within us, their agents. So, I shall take the offensive, attack the environment with the power that I received from Gurudev; it shall generate within me, and I shall attack the environment. That means kīrtan. We are told, we have heard from our Gurudev, Bhakti Siddhānta Saraswatī, in this way, and we are trying to preach that thing to others. This is the tenor of his preaching.

Preaching means to attack the environment. Not to lie down passively and allow others—and the japam is very feeble, a weak thing: you begin japam, and your mind will, whenever you will awake you will find that your mind is marketing in some other place.

[24:39] But when you are talking about Kṛṣṇa, Mahāprabhu, to others, you cannot but be all attention. You can’t talk irrelevantly; automatically you can control your attention there when doing kīrtan, when preaching. That is the advantage of kīrtan, preaching.

And also our Vṛndāvan Dās Ṭhākur, he has given another point. One who is [doing] japam he is feeding himself, but one who is making kīrtan he is feeding so many others. And that reaction he will receive, so your cause will be enhanced more and more. In this way we have understood it.

So this is for the justification of what is told in Search for Kṛṣṇa about kīrtan. Now you are to choose. I gave my explanation.

[26:10] Sevonmukhe hi: our Gurudev laid stress in practising what is sevā. Not only disinterested, but must be Kṛṣṇa-interested, Guru-interested. Guru is the agent representing Kṛṣṇa’s cause, and I must, setting aside all my tendencies within, I shall surrender to the dictation of Gurudev. I shall ignore my inner impressions, and their suggestions, and indent[?] only what is coming from high, through my Gurudev, I shall do that. That is to practise and acquire the habit of service there. Self-abnegation, and to invite some higher tendency to work within me. Thereby we can acquire, we can know, we can understand what is service proper, sevonmukhata. Self-abnegation, and inviting[?] the higher tendency to work within me with all my efforts. Transformation, total transformation, that is necessary through the agency of the higher world. And with that attitude I shall take the Name. Whatever I shall do, that attitude, that life must be present there, of sevonmukhata: what I am doing is not for me, but for the centre, for Kṛṣṇa. And the guarantee is Gurudev, the agent. This is the explanation.

Devotee: So japa is rather a prayer that we want to do kīrtan.

[28:10] Śrīla Śrīdhar Mahārāj: It is within. Japa is within, and the disturbance is allowed to attack. And also others are not being benefitted there. What Mahāprabhu did? He is the pioneer of saṅkīrtan, not of japam. Saṅkīrtan: kalau saṅkīrtanādyaiḥ sma kṛṣṇa-chaitanyam āśritāḥ (Bhāgavat-sandarbha, verse 2).

kṛṣṇa-varṇaṁ tviṣākṛṣṇaṁ sāṅgopāṅgāstra-pārṣadam
yajñaiḥ saṅkīrtana-prāyair yajanti hi sumedhasaḥ
(Śrīmad Bhāgavatam: 11.5.32)

[“In the Age of Kali, intelligent persons perform congregational chanting to worship the incarnation of Godhead who constantly sings the name of Kṛṣṇa. Although His complexion is not blackish, He is Kṛṣṇa Himself. He is accompanied by His associates, servants, weapons and confidential companions.”]

Mahāprabhu came for saṅkīrtan. Japam, that is, sevā mānase karibe. Mahāprabhu is giving instruction to Raghunāth Dās:

[grāmya-kathā nā śunibe, grāmya-vārtā nā kahibe]
bhāla nā khāibe āra bhāla nā paribe

amānī mānada hañā kṛṣṇa-nāma sadā la’be
vraje rādhā-kṛṣṇa-sevā mānase karibe
(Cc: 3. 6.236–237)

[“Do not talk like people in general or hear what they say. You should not eat very palatable food, nor should you dress very nicely. “Do not expect honor, but offer all respect to others. Always chant the holy name of Lord Kṛṣṇa, and within your mind render service to Rādhā and Kṛṣṇa in Vṛndāvana.”]

Vraje-sevā, that is not for the public. If you are in that stage, you will continue that within yourself, within your mind, and not publicly. And the other things, before we reach that stage, all we shall do publicly. Amānī mānada. And our nature will be the spirit of toleration, and also without causing any disturbance to the environment, as much as possible, unnecessarily.

[30:09] Devotee: So that means we are attacking the environment, but we can’t disturb the environment.

Śrīla Śrīdhar Mahārāj: But our attitude should be passive, cool, that of a master, a master-like attitude. We shall attack our enemy, but the process must be grand, not like a weak man. With dignity, with a dignified attitude we shall attack our enemy. That is, at heart, well-meaning, “I want his good, and my cause is infinite, and he is within a teeny shell taking shelter.” Dignified position.

tṛṇād api sunīchena taror api sahiṣṇunā, amāni

[31:26] And inviting in my attack, it will be of such nature that it will invite universal force for my backing, support.

Rāmānuja had a discourse with a māyāvādī for fourteen days, a strong fight. But Rāmānuja could not crush him. Then he came and prayed to Varadarāja, “What is this? You have accepted me as the Āchārya of the particular group, and I cannot defeat that māyāvādī. So what Varadarāja? Then it is a very insulting position I have created for You. I am now nothing, nowhere.” Anyhow, the  engagement was there, Rāmānuja had to go and face his strong opponent; and as soon as he went, he fell at his feet, “Yes, what you told, I have recapitulated in my mind, that is true; and what I have told, that is false. I could understand.” Just he came and fell at [Ramanuja’s feet].

[33:10] So, our power is above. The Varadarāja willed, and he at once fell at the feet. So, always we must be conscious of our Gurudev, Mahāprabhu. We are teeny persons, what power we have got? All our capital, the source of our success, is above our head with the Vaiṣṇava, with Guru, with Vaiṣṇava. With this attitude we are to fight. Not to create our own egoism, to develop our own egoism; not for that, but for His cause, in this way, with all sincerity. My nature was, when fighting with others, if I came to such a position that I can’t follow things properly, I used to ask myself, “Why am I here? What is my cause? I am supporting this?” Then I got answer from within, “For this reason I am here.” So in that way I could cross the layer of the oppositionist, many places like that.

[34:59] Have I come here with some ulterior motive, or with some sincere and higher motive? Then to analyse that, it will come out why I have come. Why I have not gone to attend the māyāvādī school? Not the karmi school, not the patriots, nor others, why I have not joined them? And exclusively I have joined Mahāprabhu, why? What attracted me? In this way.

[37:55] Devotee: Now I have understood, but at the same time I’m much more in a turmoil, because I raised this point with my Gurudev and he said we are bhajanānandī, we are not goṣṭhyānandī…

Śrīla Śrīdhar Mahārāj: You may ask your Gurudev, and he may explain you further, what is more private instruction for you: “I came to read this book, and there the stress is laid on the kīrtan, and the service, and you say japam. How can we harmonise, adjust?” You may ask him. And as he will tell, you do.

Devotee: There is one other question I would like to raise Mahārāj. When does one come to the understanding that one is serious? When do we come to the point when we are taking Harinam seriously?

[40:11] Śrīla Śrīdhar Mahārāj: The Harinam, it begins from the lowest position and goes up to the highest. Even the most fallen can get Harinam with only the connection of the sadhu. It is for all; at all possible stages, Harinam can help us, all possible of fallen state. And at the same time, it goes to the highest position. But the meaning will change through the taker, the development in the Name. By the devotee’s taking the Name of Kṛṣṇa, the whole nerve is getting jerked. And ordinary people, what will get? Wholesale will be attracted; extract, it will draw the extract and take to Kṛṣṇa. The sound, the sound will squeeze your existence and take to Kṛṣṇa, our dedication. The result is different, but anyone can take the Name. Rādhārāṇī is taking the Name of Kṛṣṇa. So many things to be: it is infinite. It is not finite that we shall draw a line, so far and no further. All infinite: the sound is infinite, the figure, rūpa, colour, all infinite, different aspect of the infinite.

[42:18] Rādhārāṇī says, “My life is sure to meet disaster and despair.” Why? She is saying to Her friends: “I have heard the Name of Kṛṣṇa, and I have surrendered fully there. I have seen the portrait of Kṛṣṇa and I have surrendered.”  She does not know, still now, that the Name of Kṛṣṇa and the portrait are one and the same. So She is representing it in this way: “I have heard the Name, and I surrendered completely there. Again I found a picture, and I surrendered to that picture. And another, I heard the flute sound, and I surrendered there. So I have surrendered in three places, My friends, how can I get peace in My mind? So My life is finished, gone, I am expecting for a disastrous end, final, wholesale spoiled.”

But when those three come into one, the Name, and the flute, and the portrait, what degree of joy! The Name has attracted Her to be empty. So what is there and that Name to us, what is it? So the degree of love and affection with which we do the work, do the Name, or do service to the Deity, or whatever form outside, the inner spirit will be the be-all and end-all, everything is there. With what attitude I am approaching? Self-giving, ātmā-nivedan, sarva-svātma-nivedane, is the very criterion: how far one has surrendered himself, to what degree, for the cause? It will depend, all other functions will depend on this truth, that with how far intensity he has dedicated to take the Name, or to the service of Guru, or to the Deity, or whatever, to preach, whatever—but what is the intensity of the dedication for the satisfaction of the Lord.

The Gopis are not engaged always in japam, or always taking the Name on the beads, but their every activity is attracting Kṛṣṇa towards them. So all our movement will be such that they will attract Kṛṣṇa; they will be meant only to satisfy Kṛṣṇa, and nothing else. All the movement, wholesale conversion, wholesale transformation. Not only the lip, or the mind; mind, body, with all limbs, but everything, wholesale transformation, that is necessary. We shall live and move for Him. Not for anything else. That is what is the desired end. Completely we belong to Him, as His slave, and He can make or mar. Every right He has got over me. He may play with me in any way He likes, as playdough. Our dedication towards Him will be so much, of such quality. Any how to reach there.

[47:23] Devotee: Maharaj, the more intense one becomes in dedication for Kṛṣṇa, the more disappointed also one becomes.

Śrīla Śrīdhar Mahārāj: Dedication is disappointment? Dedication to what?

Devotee: The more dedication to Śrī Kṛṣṇa, the more dedication to my Gurudev,  dedication to the devotees, then more disappointed I become.

[47:58] Śrīla Śrīdhar Mahārāj: Have you heard the name, the philosophy of Hegel, ‘die to live’? So we must not be miser. Die to live! You will have fully to die, what you are at present, if you want a proper life. That will come from within. You are to put yourself into the fire, and the alloy will be eliminated, and the pure gold will come with its dazzling colour. Something like that. Die to live! That Mr Hegel says. This whole, that must die, by dedication of those alloyed things, mind, body, and so many other aspirations they will be reduced into ashes by the fire when we cast us in the dedication.

Devotee: This I know.

Śrīla Śrīdhar Mahārāj: Then, die to live. You will remember.

Devotee: If everyone had that spirit Mahārāj, then there would be no break ups like I see before my very eyes, with ISKCON, different groups here, different Maths here, all representing different paths but all breaking up …

[49:27] Śrīla Śrīdhar Mahārāj: But all may not be normal, with some difference. Those that are engaged in search, they cannot follow the perfect course. Some defect, and hitch. Then there is the līlā, who satisfy Kṛṣṇa, we find difference; in the group of the servants, in the normal position of Vṛndāvan, there is also some fighting. So fighting is not bad. Fighting if to satisfy Kṛṣṇa’s will, sweet will, then that is acceptable to me. What’s the rub, what is the bad there? Satisfaction for Kṛṣṇa. If fighting is satisfaction, we shall do that.

Devotee: But if we are neglecting the fallen souls, if we are only fighting for our own prestige, and we are neglecting Chaitanya Mahāprabhu’s Mission to go out and give prema-bhakti and love to the fallen souls, spread it all over, we only fighting for our own selfishness, then I think there is some bad in that.

[50:40] Śrīla Śrīdhar Mahārāj: It may be. When a patient is in the hospital, for course of treatment, some roga, disease, may disappear, but another disease may come out. That may also be treated and finished, and another disease may come out from within. It may be. When sādhaka not siddha; those that have come to the hospital are all patients, and this is also a hospital, Kṛṣṇa consciousness. ISKCON, that is a hospital, that is not a place where all the normal, healthy persons gather. They are all patients in the course of treatment.

Devotee: Where are the doctors Mahārāj …

Śrīla Śrīdhar Mahārāj: Doctor experts may not be. So many students they also are getting something and doing accordingly. You cannot expect absolute knowledge anywhere. The competition with the atom bomb, whether America or Russia is in the top—it is always progressing, always in the middle stage. There is no final achievement anywhere. We cannot expect to see that. It is always in a relative position. It is all in a relative position. And that does not mean, because it is relative, because it is not absolute, that we must give up the campaign. It is unpractical. Everything is defective, but still we are doing that. We are taking daily food, taking whatever we are dealing with; all is not perfect, but still we are to maintain. The maximum good, whatever we can gather, we can do with that. The absolute position is not so easily got. We are to pass through the relative positions towards the absolute, every one of us.

Devotee: I want to go to the absolute position…

[53:18] Śrīla Śrīdhar Mahārāj: Elimination and acceptance is everywhere. Progress means elimination and acceptance. We can’t avoid that, elimination and acceptance. But elimination should not be done inconsiderately.

sva-dharme nidhanaṁ śreyaḥ para-dharmo bhayāvahaḥ
(Śrīmad Bhagavad-gītā: 3.35)

[“Even death in the discharge of one’s own duty is better, for to perform another’s is dangerous.”]

But at the same time, our main object will be with the higher aim: sarva-dharmān parityajya mām ekaṁ śaraṇaṁ vraja (Bg: 18.66), elimination and acceptance. That means progress. Progress means elimination and acceptance, in every subject. And we are not to blame others; whatever is coming is from within. I am not to blame others: the whole burden of this trouble is with me, and none is responsible for that, because there is the hand and interference of the absolute everywhere. Just as when there is government a hooligan may not have escape, so the absolute government is there, and according to our karma we are giving and taking. It is not anarchy after all.

[54:58] So we are to suffer or enjoy our own karma, the fruit of our own action. That is the law here. And when we will think that, “I am responsible for all my disastrous things”, then there will be a favourable time for me. I will be released. When a criminal says that, “I am taught sufficiently, I shall not go, the punishment that has been dealt on me it has been true, it is justified”, then he may be released, because he won’t commit any nuisance afterwards. So when we shall take patiently:

tat te ’nukampāṁ susamīkṣamāṇo
bhuñjāna evātmakṛtaṁ vipākam
(Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam: 10.14.8)

“I am responsible, I am suffering for my own actions, and none are to be blamed.” Then he will come to the door of release, salvation. Otherwise not. A bad workman quarrels with his stools.

[56:09] It is my own karma that has created for me this environment where I find myself at present. It is my own earned thing; I have earned such atmosphere by my previous karma. So, none are to be blamed. And when I shall understand this truth intact, then my day of liberation will come near. This is advised by Bhāgavatam and Prahlād.

tat te ’nukampāṁ susamīkṣamāṇo
bhuñjāna evātmakṛtaṁ vipākam

[hṛd-vāg-vapurbhir vidadhan namas te]
[jīveta yo mukti-pade sa dāya-bhāk]

[“One who seeks Your compassion and thus tolerates all kinds of adverse conditions due to the karma of his past deeds, who engages always in Your devotional service with his mind, words and body, and who always offers obeisances unto You is certainly a bona fide candidate for becoming Your unalloyed devotee.”]

Sa dāya-bhāk, he can claim to be liberated. Mukti-pade sa dāya-bhāk. Do you follow?

Devotee: I follow Mahārāj, I follow very clearly.

Śrīla Śrīdhar Mahārāj: Not clearly, but haphazardly.

Devotee: I follow clearly.

Śrīla Śrīdhar Mahārāj: Clearly. So no question can come again from you?

Devotee: I’m expressing disappointment Mahārāj, that’s all.

[57:27] Śrīla Śrīdhar Mahārāj: Disappointment? Then where shall you find your prospect? This ISKCON, Gaudiya Math, is disappointing you, and where do you find the peep of your prospect?

Devotee: I am very disappointed in the bickering …

[58:06] Śrīla Śrīdhar Mahārāj: You see, when Einstein came, and he said against Newton, then he was insulted in the beginning. Then again they came when they told that, “Yes, Einstein is above Newton.” So you don’t forget that you are in the infinite. You are in search of an infinite thing. So many different parties, they may have different convictions. According to their own conviction they will say, “This is good, this is bad, this is good, this is bad”, according to their discretion, their capacity to understand things, because they are of variegated nature. So some variety there cannot but be. And for that some external or internal quarrel, difference there must be. Cannot but be.

Devotee: When Einstein came, when Einstein spoke against Newton, you were saying just now, the example of Newton. Einstein spoke opposing Newton, then … ?

[59:30] Śrīla Śrīdhar Mahārāj: First the followers of Newton stood against Einstein, but gradually they could know, “No, this is true, Einstein,” and he was given a higher position. The fourth dimension. What is the gift of Einstein? The fourth dimension, not three. The possibility of the future must be calculated within the present. Otherwise that estimation is not proper. Always changing, things are always changing. So the change, the factor of change must be calculated within the present. Otherwise it is not complete. Something like that is what he told. And many other things also.

So Mahāprabhu came, the Bhāgavat came, the fifth dimension took. Before that the fourth dimension, Vaikuṇṭha. Before that Śaṅkara, three dimension. And Buddha two dimension. In this way.

Devotee: Buddha two dimension?

Śrīla Śrīdhar Mahārāj: Two dimension.

Devotee: This I’ve never studied. I’ve never studied dimensions.

[1:01:01] Śrīla Śrīdhar Mahārāj: It is an example, I tell about example. With the elimination of the subtle body nothing remains. That is the be-all and end-all. Everything a Buddha. Chārvāka, Epicurus, they say that with the dissolution of the physical body nothing remains. Buddha had recognition of the subtle body, and with the dissolution of the subtle body nothing remains. Then Śaṅkara says that this is all a reflection of a third thing; that is true and eternal, and this is all a reflection. And when it is reflecting in somewhere, with the dissolution of that the reflection so dissolves forever, nothing remains.

[1:01:55] Rāmānuja told, “No, there is another world on the opposite side. This is the world of exploitation, and you may merge in liberation, that is the abscissa, and the positive line, plane, is on the other side, pure, subjective, and dedication is the very life there. Here exploitation, and renunciation in the abscissa, and then dedication, that is the plane, true life in dedication, the fourth.” And Mahāprabhu told that calculative dedication, that is one thing, and spontaneous dedication, and dedication not to the power and majesty, but dedication to the beauty, that is the highest. It was given by Mahāprabhu, and from Bhāgavatam clearly it was proved.

[1:02:57] So there are so many differences among the propounders of the main conception of reality. Then there may be differences among their disciples also to a certain extent. Neha nānāsti, there must be nānā. Mahāprabhu told, if there is no variety, then how unity can come?

neha nānāsti kiñchana
(Bṛhad-āraṇyaka-upaniṣad: 4.4.1)

[“There is no variegatedness.”]

Śaṅkar Āchārya told, “No variety.” But Mahāprabhu said, “If there is no variety then why the question comes of unity? The variety must be there. Variety and unity, and then adjustment. That is what is this world.” That came from Mahāprabhu, neha nānāsti kiñchana.

sarvaṁ khalv idaṁ brahma
(Chhāndogya-upaniṣad: 3.14.1)

“Everything is God.” But everything, so there is everything also, and God also. We cannot sacrifice sarvam, everything, and only God, then why, why we are here? So both sides must have recognition, and the harmony between them, that is the truth proper. This is the argument of Mahāprabhu.

[1:04:26] Plurality and unity. Diversity and unity, and the harmony. That is the whole thing. And proper adjustment is necessary, and dislocation is bad. Māyā means dislocated. Provincial, local interest is clashing within them, and clashing with the absolute also, but they must come into understanding with the absolute wave, then there is harmony. All these things are to be discussed and understood.

[1:05:45] Devotee: I have no more questions Mahārāj.

Śrīla Śrīdhar Mahārāj: No more question? This is not truth.

Devotee: I don’t want to disturb you any more.

Śrīla Śrīdhar Mahārāj: Oh, that is another thing. Then you are disappointed here, that means.

Devotee: Not disappointed Mahārāj, not more disappointed …

Śrīla Śrīdhar Mahārāj: But somewhat!

[1:06:20] Śrīla Śrīdhar Mahārāj: Cannot but be. You speak lie. You can’t tell a lie.

Devotee: When I can see ISKCON and all the Gaudiya Maths dancing in ecstasy, then I will be very happy.

Śrīla Śrīdhar Mahārāj: You have got so many differences. Your hair, your name, and your eye, so many differences.

Devotee: They are material differences.

Śrīla Śrīdhar Mahārāj: This is all drawn from the spiritual. It cannot demand any originality of its own. So many things to be understood. So many things to be understood.

Kṛṣṇa is the cause of Kurukṣetra fighting. Do you know that? And in His presence the whole Yadu-vaṁśa was finished, under His eye. What is that? Can you understand this? Yadu-vaṁśa, in His presence Yadu-vaṁśa was finished. He was a sightseer. How can you adjust?

[1:07:58] Fighting is life, fighting is life. I understand this. I must turn and plead for this. Until and unless I can change my understanding, I cannot be one with them. That is, physical oneness is not one. To maintain physical peace, that is want of vitality. We must be true to our own understanding, I shall say that. You want to mix[?] everything, and jumble together into one mass, and that is matter, all stone, all stonified, fossilized— you want to see a fossilized unity? A fossilized unity.

Devotee: I want to see Sri Chaitanya Mahaprabhu’s unity in harmony.

Śrīla Śrīdhar Mahārāj: Harmony means independent thinking there.

Devotee: Harmoniously.

Śrīla Śrīdhar Mahārāj: Harmoniously. We need to find the plane, the common plane, otherwise you will think, “Oh, they are fighting one another.” But the common plane when we will be able to see, “Oh, they are doing real things.”

[10:09:30] Diversity: the mother has cooked food, and one child will say, “Oh, this is too much bitter, this is too much salt, this is sweet”, in this way there may be variety, that is a question of life, it shows that there is life. There is diversity. There is a plurality in unity, otherwise only unity means a jumble, a dead unity. The Pāṇḍavas are submissive to Yudhiṣṭhira; still, sometimes they revolt against him.

[1:10:14] Devotee: My point was that the more one is dedicated to Kṛṣṇa the more one is disappointed.

Śrīla Śrīdhar Mahārāj: In different rasas, Kṛṣṇa is not representing only one feature. He is of infinite feature to accommodate infinite possibility. That is the Akhila-rasāmṛta-mūrti. Different groups, and even difference among the—in the same group there are so many different elements. Rādhārāṇī and Chandrāvalī are fighting camps, two camps fighting to satisfy Him. We are to understand how it is possible. Very mildly, with humility, we are to try to follow how it is possible. The opposition party is there in the parliament to enhance the work of the main party, in this way.

[1:11:17] Anvaya-vyatirek (SB 2.9.36): direct and indirect makes complete, and if that principle is distributed everywhere then no difficulty to understand the differences there. We are not to create another world, but what is there we are to try to understand that. Why it is so? What is the meaning underlying? What is the difference between Kṛṣṇa and Balarām, why? Balarām is siding Duryodhan, and Kṛṣṇa is siding Pāṇḍava, why? They are one and the same almost.

[1:12:00] What is your answer? All is bogus? Then why have you come to ISKCON, or Gaudiya Math? Unity in variety.

Devotee: I’ve come to Gaudiya Math for Chaitanya Mahāprabhu’s gift, for the gift of divine love.

Śrīla Śrīdhar Mahārāj: So? And love means there is classification amongst the lovers. Rūpa Goswāmī says, he has supplied one general—


aher iva gatiḥ premṇah svabhāva-kuṭilā bhavet

Try to follow this: just as a serpent moves in a crooked way, that is his nature, so the very nature of affection is a crooked thing. He has supplied this main principle. Try to follow that. Aher iva, aher means serpent. Premṇah, the way, the movement of love is generally in a crooked position, just like the movement of the serpent. So, sometimes with cause, sometimes without cause, the lovers differ. For His satisfaction this is designed by Yogamāyā, to remove this sterilisation, the stale position of the līlā. So many things are there. Try to adjust, don’t be eager to create another world.

[1:13:56] So Śaṅkar and Buddha, they preferred that the ultimate goal is non-differentiated, unknown and unknowable. They finished there. You go there, very peaceful position, elimination of all diversity, the deep slumber, their goal is like that, and many are followers of that creed. But there sacrifice is of less degree. Higher sacrifice, living in dedication, toleration, for the centre, central truth, that has been called the higher life of dedication. Just opposite: here exploitation, and that is dedication. And dedication has nectar, and exploitation has poison. And in the middle also what you want, all harmonised into death, that is brahma-nirvāṇa, or prakṛti-nirvāṇa. Their brain went so far: the final peace, no differentiation, no trouble, all in slumber, eternal slumber. If you prefer, you go to that school, follow.

Devotee: I’ve stated my position, Maharaj.

[1:15:18] Śrīla Śrīdhar Mahārāj: But dedication, what you find here, what you find here, it is the reflection. The whole thing is in the original. But only here exploitment and there dedication. And dedication makes beautiful everything—the quarrel also, out of dedication it is beautiful. Try to understand. That is for reality. And this is the quarrel: these peaceful dealings, that is also material for exploitation. What is here, it is in total there. But that is dedicated area, and this is exploited area. This is the difference. Try to understand this general principle, and if you like, you are to:


[upajiyā bāḍe latā ‘brahmāṇḍa’ bhedi’ yāya]
‘virajā’, ‘brahmaloka’ bhedi’ ‘paravyoma’ pāya
tabe yāya tad upari ‘goloka-vṛndavāna’
[‘kṛṣṇa-charaṇa’-kalpa-vṛkṣe kare ārohaṇa]
(Śrī Chaitanya-charitāmṛta: Madhya-līlā, 19.153–4)

[“As one waters the bhakti-latā-bīja, the seed sprouts, and the creeper gradually grows to the point where it penetrates the walls of this universe and goes beyond the Virajā River, lying between the spiritual world and the material world. It attains brahma-loka, the Brahman effulgence, and penetrating through that stratum, it reaches the spiritual sky and the spiritual planet Goloka Vṛndāvana. Being situated in one’s heart and being watered by śravaṇa-kīrtana, the bhakti creeper grows more and more. In this way it attains the shelter of the desire tree of the lotus feet of Kṛṣṇa, who is eternally situated in the planet known as Goloka Vṛndāvana, in the topmost region of the spiritual sky.”]

And Goloka,

kṛṣṇera yateka khelā, sarvottama nara-līlā
(Sri Chaitanya-charitamrta: 2.21.101)

[“Lord Kṛṣṇa has many pastimes, of which His pastimes as a human being are the best.”]

[1:16:23] The aprakṛta [supramundane], means prakṛta-vat [appearing mundane]. Our Guru Mahārāj explained this. These five stages of knowledge: first stage is pratyakṣa, sense perception; second, parokṣa, not direct perception of one’s own sense, but recruited from the perception of another sense; the third, some sort of peaceful zero in the deep slumber—that is samādhi, brahma-samādhi.

[1:16:57] Then next, fourth dimension, adhokṣaja: the knowledge that may come down here to meet us, but when it withdraws we are nowhere. We can’t meet it as our own right, we can’t go; we are more gross, and that is a very subtle conscious substance. That can come here, descend, and then we can feel it, but when it is withdrawn up, we can’t meet Him. That is adhokṣaja. And then aprakṛta: the last stage of experience is aprakṛta, very similar to the mundane. The stealing, telling lies, then trespassing, is there, just like here, prakṛta-vat. But that is the highest conception, [where there is] full freedom of the absolute personality. Not carved by any law, social law, or anything else. The autocrat.

[1:18:08] He is trying to absorb everything, illegally, crossing all possibility of law. That is aprakṛta, that is very similar to this mundane, but it is just opposite to the mundane, the sweetest plane. Because that is meant only to satisfy Kṛṣṇa, the centre. The suicidal squad. Aprakṛta means the suicidal squad. They are up to anything for the satisfaction of Kṛṣṇa. No law, no harmony you can apply there. They are all extremely dedicated to Kṛṣṇa. That is aprakṛta, very similar, no prakṛta, it is aprakṛta. Every possibility of taking it as mundane. But it is not so, it is just the opposite.

So all of a sudden you won’t be able to swallow everything. By a gradual process you are to understand. To hear, and hear, and hear from a proper source. Then you will find adjustment.

[1:19:31] The three planes of life: the plane of exploitation, the plane of renunciation, and the plane of dedication. And dedication is also calculative and spontaneous. When everyone is a dedicating unit, where will you go to have the chance of finding fault? No finding fault is possible there. Everything fully dedicated. No selfish party to draw anything from the bank. All depositing in the bank, but none cutting the check.