Writings

This is a transcript of a class I gave in a house programme the day before Radhastami a few days ago

Bhagavad Gita 14.27

brahmano hi pratisthaham
amrtasyavyayasya ca
sasvatasya ca dharmasya
sukhasyaikantikasya ca

And I am the basis of the impersonal Brahman, which is immortal, imperishable and eternal and is the constitutional position of ultimate happiness.

Srila Prabhupada’s purport:

The constitution of Brahman is immortality, imperishability, eternity, and happiness. Brahman is the beginning of transcendental realization.
Paramatma, the Supersoul, is the middle, the second stage in transcendental realization, and the Supreme Personality of Godhead is the ultimate realization of the Absolute Truth. Therefore, both Paramatma and the impersonal Brahman are within the Supreme Person. It is explained in the Seventh Chapter that material nature is the manifestation of the inferior energy of the Supreme Lord. The Lord impregnates the inferior, material nature with fragments of the superior nature, and that is the spiritual touch in the material nature.

When a living entity conditioned by this material nature begins the cultivation of spiritual knowledge, he elevates himself from the position of material existence and gradually rises up to the Brahman conception of the Supreme. This attainment of the Brahman conception of life is the first stage in self-realization. At this stage the Brahman-realized person is transcendental to the material position, but he is not actually perfect in Brahman realization. If he wants, he can continue to stay in the Brahman position and then gradually rise up to Paramatma realization and then to the realization of the Supreme Personality of Godhead.

There are many examples of this in Vedic literature. The four Kumaras were situated first in the impersonal Brahman conception of truth, but then they gradually rose to the platform of devotional service. One who cannot elevate himself beyond the impersonal conception of Brahman runs the risk of falling down. In Srimad-Bhagavatam it is stated that although a person may rise to the stage of impersonal Brahman, without going further, with no information of the Supreme Person, his intelligence is not perfectly clear. Therefore, in spite of being raised to the Brahman platform, there is the chance of falling down if one is not engaged in the devotional service of the Lord.

In the Vedic language it is also said, raso vai sah, rasam hy evayam labdhvanandi bhavati: “When one understands the Personality of Godhead, the reservoir of pleasure, Krsna, he actually becomes transcendentally blissful.” (Taittiriya Upanisad 2.7.1) The Supreme Lord is full in six opulences, and when a devotee approaches Him there is an exchange of these six opulences. The servant of the king enjoys on an almost equal level with the king. And so eternal happiness, imperishable happiness, and eternal life accompany devotional service. Therefore, realization of Brahman, or eternity, or imperishability, is included in devotional service. This is already possessed by a person who is engaged in devotional service.

The living entity, although Brahman by nature, has the desire to lord it over the material world, and due to this he falls down. In his constitutional position, a living entity is above the three modes of material nature, but association with material nature entangles him in the different modes of material nature-goodness, passion and ignorance. Due to the association of these three modes, his desire to dominate the material world is there. By engagement in devotional service in full Krsna consciousness, he is immediately situated in the transcendental position, and his unlawful desire to control material nature is removed. Therefore the process of devotional service, beginning with hearing, chanting, remembering
– the prescribed nine methods for realizing devotional service – should be practiced in the association of devotees. Gradually, by such association, by the influence of the spiritual master, one’s material desire to dominate is removed, and one becomes firmly situated in the Lord’s transcendental loving service. This method is prescribed from the twenty-second to the last verse of this chapter.

Devotional service to the Lord is very simple: one should always engage in the service of the Lord, should eat the remnants of foodstuffs offered to the Deity, smell the flowers offered to the lotus feet of the Lord, see the places where the Lord had His transcendental pastimes, read of the different activities of the Lord, His reciprocation of love with His devotees, chant always the transcendental vibration Hare Krsna, Hare Krsna, Krsna Krsna, Hare Hare/ Hare Rama, Hare Rama, Rama Rama, Hare Hare, and observe the fasting days commemorating the appearances and disappearances of the Lord and His devotees. By following such a process one becomes completely detached from all material activities. One who can thus situate himself in the brahmajyoti or the different varieties of the Brahman conception is equal to the Supreme Personality of Godhead in quality.

The lecture begins:

Giving classSo, Lord Krsna is brahmano hi pratisth, the basis, foundation of the spiritual nature. Of the spiritual nature and as such this spiritual nature is immortal, imperishable and eternal, and is the constitutional position of ultimate happiness. So that means that Lord Krsna is the foundation of ultimate happiness, which is transcendental. And what is that ultimate happiness? That is Srimati Radharani. Srimati Radharani is the abode of the manifestation of, the very form of ultimate happiness. She is the presiding Deity of the pleasure potency and indeed She is the pleasure potency of the Supreme Personality of Godhead. And all happiness is to be found within Her. We are celebrating Her appearance day on Thursday.

So, Srimati Radharani is the abode of ultimate happiness. And She is in all respects, as the presiding Deity of, the form of, the manifestation of, the controller of ultimate happiness. So,Srimati Radharani is very important then to all of us, to everyone. Everyone’s looking for happiness. Unfortunately, some are looking in the wrong place. They’re looking to this material world, as Srila Prabhupada explains in the purport, trying to find happiness and that’s the three modes of material nature. These are the indirect manifestations of the spiritual potency of the Lord. Sac-cid-ananda, eternity, consciousness and bliss. They are manifest indirectly or in perverted reflections in the forms of tama-guna, raja-guna and sattv-guna. Tama-guna is the form of the temporary nature of this material world. Raja-guna is the pleasure and mode of goodness is consciousness. Consciousness is more manifest there. But happiness, material happiness, what does it mean? Generally, to people it means the mode of passion. We will gratify our senses. Eat, drink and be merry.

In the mode of passion, people are looking or happiness, looking for pleasure, and generally speaking, in material life that means some sense gratification. To eat something. Drink something, enjoy the company of the opposite sex. To see, to hear, to touch, to taste, to feel – these are all sensory experiences. And, through undergoing these types of experiences some stimulation is there to the senses. And there is of course some sensation or some pleasure to some degree. And, the materialistic people, they do not really know anything else, and therefore they think : “This is it.” “This is it.’ This is where we will find our happiness, this is where we will find our pleasure. But it is not so wonderful. And, here Lord Krsna is saying that Bramhan or the spiritual natureis the source of ultimate happiness.
Transcendental happiness, which is above and beyond the material experience of happiness, of sense gratification. That spiritual happiness is in another dimension. And it far eclipses the different experiences of happiness that people have in ordinary, everyday experiences in this material world. Some intoxication or whatever it may be. Contact with the opposite sex and so on.Yes, spiritual happiness far eclipses that.

Carying Srila PrabhupadaJust like, Srila Prabhupada made the point. Actually he made the point, it can be applied in this respect, that relative experiences of happiness – spiritual verses material but Prabhupada applied this point, this concept in terms of knowledge coming from the Lord or the Lord’s representative – bonafide representative- and knowledge coming from some pseudo-intellectual, pseudo-spiritualist, which is like cheating knowledge. So, Srila Prabhupada said: “In the absence of the sun, people may think that the glow-worm gives very nice light. In the absence of the sun, if you see a glow-worm you’ll
be: “Oh! Look! Let there be light.(Laughter).and then there was light. But actually it’s a glow-worm. But in the absence of the sun, even a glow-worm and it’s little bit of light which may extend over hardly a few feet. Maybe a few inches. But in the absence of the sun people may think, “Ah, just see.Here we have light. So, Srila Prabhupada gave that example in relation to knowledge given by the Lord, such as here in BG, Krsna is explaining the reality of life. What is life? Who are we? What are we to do? And what are we not to do. And how we can actually perfect our lives. This makes life complete. Just like when the sun rises, then you can completely see everything. There is no doubt about what is what.

Whereas, if one is unfortunate enough to fall under the influence of some pseudo-teacher, who is teaching some foolishness in the name of knowledge, and leading one down the wrong path. Leading one deeper into the ignorance of material life. Then, if one is so ignorant oneself then when such a person comes along, if he can speak cleverly and (use)a few, you know, catchy little sayings, and if he can look the part and so on, then people may think, “Ah, just see. An enlightened soul. But it may be just like the glow-worm, really. And, yes, the glow-worm in the dark, you cannot even see yourself. You cannot even see your hand in front of your face. Let alone see what is reality, and everything be(comes) clear. Its not like that at all.

It cannot. So also, in regards to happiness. The happiness which is there when one is situated on the spiritual platform, under the shelter of Srimati Radharani, who is the presiding Deity of happiness. That happiness is practically unlimited compared to what people have experience of, in their day-to-day lives. Their eat, drink and be.whatever.experiences. Compared to that, the happiness of Krsna Consciousness under the shelter of Srimati Radharaniis so great that you cannot really quantify it. You cannot really say twice as much, five times, ten times, even up to a hundred or a thousand times. You cannot really say that because it is much more than that, actually.

But when people do not have that, and they have never experienced that. And they are here trapped here, locked into the material world. And there is nothing available for them to experience, which can give them very much pleasure at all. It’s just a very lowly level of pleasure. But then they think, just like the people with the glow-worm, they think “There’s light.God is light. See? Here He is. The glow-worm.” (laughter)

So, in the absence of the sun, what else can they think? It is very difficult for them. And in the absence of the real happiness, that is there by mercy of Srimati Radharani through engaging in devotional service under Her shelter. In the absence of that, all people have is these very paltry experiences of different types of sense gratification. Even it comes to the point where their sense gratification, the pleasures they are getting in their different ways are so insignificant that they look forward to sleeping. They look forward to sleeping. Because there’s some pleasure there, although it really.Now we are scraping the bottom of the bottom of the barrel, in terms of pleasurable experiences.

You must know that if a person thinks that “sleep is very nice and a really pleasurable experience for me”. Then we must know that a person who really, sincerely feels like that, they have no happiness. If that looks like happiness then they have no happiness. Just as a person in darkness sees a glow-worm. Ah! It means he has no light. That’s what it means. So this is material life. Practically they have no happiness and particularly like in that case we mentioned, a person in the mode of ignorance, he sees the people in the mode of passion running around, trying to eat, drink and so on, and he thinks: ” Why bother?” Now some people may think that this is a symptom of the mode of goodness. Seeing the people rushing around in the mode of passion, then you think: “Why bother? Why take the trouble?” which is true, actually. They’re wasting their time. But then, that person that person in the mode of ignorance he says, “Huh. What a waste of time! How useless! I’m going to sleep.”(laughter) A person in the mode of goodness may think, “How useless! How foolish!” .about the people rushing around in the mode of passion.”let me go to some pleasant, sattvik place and meditate or something something.
This is mode of goodness.

But even that is very significant. Not very significant. But there is the transcendental experience, and that is under the care and protection of Srimati Radharani, as the presiding deity of the hladini sakti. And not just the presiding deity as if it were the energy and She was in charge, like They are two separate things, but She is the hladini sakti. She is that pleasure.She is the embodiment. Her existence is the existence of pleasure, but spiritual pleasure not just material pleasure. Material pleasure is like the perverted reflection of that. Like you look in a mirror. There is your perverted reflection. Your left side, your actual left side.in the mirror is your right side. In the mirror. Your actual right side, in the mirror, is your left side but stand there looking at your mirror-image, thinking: “Oh yes, there I am.” But it doesn’t even look like you. Its perverted. Switched around.

But if on top of that . Well sometimes the example is given: Sometimes may want to marry another person but that other person may say “No. Don’t marry me. I’m already committed. You can. But you can marry my mirror image or you can marry a photograph of me. So, you know, I mean its bad enough having to get connected with people just on the material platform anyway in terms of bodily relationships but if it is just the mirror image then there’s no chance. So, that material happiness is like the perverted reflection of the happiness which is there when one is under the shelter of Srimati Radharani and engaged in devotional service. That is coming. That is the internal potency, spiritual potency. Its described in Nectar of Devotion how the internal energy, which is called suddha sattva, pure goodness, when the devotees becomes very advanced, that internal potency descends into the heart of the devotee, and then pervades the entire existence of the devotee. And stimulates the different parts of the material body of the devotee.

When the internal potency, the spiritual energy contacts the element of water in the body, then the ecstatic symptom of crying manifests. But that crying is not like the crying we do or may have done in our childhood. Yeah, its not like that crying. When Lord Caitanya.of course, He’s Lord Caitanya, so He’s also special, but still He gives some idea. When Lord Caitanya was dancing at Ratha Yatra, He was crying tears. So profusely it was like water coming from a syringe or like from a hose even, and all the people surrounding Lord Caitanya watching His amazing dancing, they all became saturated completely. Saturated completely. So, we can understand, this is a different form of crying.

And when the suddha sattva internal potency contacts the material element of air in the body, then the body becomes stunned. Yes. And contacting these different elements then the asta sattvika bhavas manifest. Crying, standing of hairs, fainting and so on and so forth. There are specifically eight specific reactions from the eight material elements in the body of the devotee, when that internal potency descends into the devotee’s heart, pervades the devotees body and contacts the eight constituent elements of the material body. So, this is a whole higher experience, higher dimension of experiences of happiness. Of course, you may be aware that Madhumangal, Lord Krsna’s funny bramhana friend, he has his own perspective on this. I don’t know if you’ve heard about that. Madhumangal. Krsna was explaining to the cowherd boys this very subject. How suddha sattva contacts the air in the body, the body becomes stunned like rock, or contacts the water and then water is just pouring out of the body. Not a few little tears. Something something. But the body is just exuding liquid, even from the different parts of the body.

So Lord Krsna was explaining this to the cowherd boys and Madhumangal interrupted Lord Krsna and said, “You know, for a vaisya, You’re giving quite a good description. You’re doing quite nicely. It’s not bad, for a vaisya. But, You know me. I’m a brahmana. I know about these things. So let me just explain.”

And he said, “When I smell the prasadam is offered, then.(smell means air).then my body shakes.”(laughter) (The element air, you see, smelling.) “My body shakes. Uncontrollably. When I see the prasadam, tears flow from my eyes. uncontrollably.(laughter) And Madhumangal he has his sweetrice. He doesn’t want to take a chance that his mouthful may be too small. You know sometimes if we’re having a meal with cutlery, we may only have a teaspoon instead of a full-sized spoon. So, how to have sufficient-sized mouthfuls to really get the experience. So maybe you have to put two mouthfuls.(laughter) in at a time. So sweetrice. So, when he has his sweetrice, he likes to just pour it. And it runs down his chin, down his chest. And he has like a protuberant belly. (laughter) You know, curvaceous. And a large navel. The navel fills up with the sweetrice. (laughter) So he explains, “When I see my navel fill up with sweetrice, I become stunned.(laughter) And when I’m just full of the sweetrice, then I faint on the ground.”(laughter)

So he told Krsna, “You see? This is the real understanding of the ecstatic symptoms and how they’re caused.” (laughter) Yes. Anyway, be that as it may, or may not or whatever, but it is a fact. And it’s a very important fact.
Lord Krsna saying here that “I am the basis of the spiritual nature, which is the basis of happiness.”

That means that Krsna is the basis of the basis of happiness. This is very fundamental. And what is that happiness? That happiness is manifest outside of Krsna as Srimati Radharani. We all have our pleasure potency, very limited, but we have. Means someone tells us a joke, we laugh. Our pleasure potency has been stimulated, inside of us. Some people, you know, if they have had very hard lives, then their pleasure potency may be destroyed. So, even if you tell them a funny joke, they just can’t.because they don’t have a pleasure potency. (laughter) Actually, its like that. Even you may tell them some hilarious joke.

Prahladananda Swami was telling us.just some days ago.we were in Ukraine. He said he went to the Phillipines, many years ago. More than twenty years ago. And there they have no.there is no sarcasm. They have no experience. And he would tell them sometimes some sarcastic joke. They would just look at him, like.(laughter) .life is normal, completely.like you were just talking about the weather. Anyway, anyway that’s another thing.

The point is about pleasure potency. Krsna has a pleasure potency. We have a pleasure potency. And Krsna also has. How do we have? Because He has. But His pleasure potency is placed outside of Him as Srimati Radharani. And not that He becomes bereft of pleasure internally. That’s still there. But everything is enhanced when Srimati Radharani, when His pleasure potency, is manifest externally to Himself as Srimati Radharani. And the pleasure and all the experiences, all the different happenings and the feelings that are aroused. Krsna eventually becomes amazed. Krsna becomes amazed. “How is it that I am getting so much pleasure? I cannot even understand how I am getting so much pleasure.” But it is His pleasure potency. Its part of Him, but by being placed separately from Him, everything becomes increased and magnified. So, yes. So we worship Srimati Radharani and devotional service is going on under shelter of Srimati Radharani, and because when we engage in devotional service.

When we perform devotional service under shelter of Radharani, then She offers that to Krsna, Krsna feels pleasure, we share in that pleasure. We share in that pleasure, by the mercy of Srimati Radharani. This is why devotional service is so nice, because if we do it nicely, then it is offered to Krsna, Krsna enjoys it, we share in His enjoyment, therefore we become very happy. And this is all going on under the shelter of Radharani, and by Her mercy, we also experience some of that pleasure potency. So, day after tomorrow is Her appearance day. Let us participate in it very nicely. You all have permission to not go to work or school.(laughter) But don’t tell your boss or your parents that I said that.

You can all fall sick, desperately ill. (laughter).with a spiritual disease.
And, yes, we will have a wonderful festival, for the pleasure of Radharani.
And everything will be offered to Krsna, and He will be very pleased. And if we share in all of this, we will be very pleased. And it will just be a most wonderful experience. Yes. Hare Krsna. Srila Prabhupada ki jaya! Sri Madhumangal ki jaya! Srimati Radharani ki jaya! Hare Krsna!

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