Srimad-Bhagavatam 2.1.7
by His Divine Grace A. C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada
Paris, June 15, 1974

Nitai: “O King Pariksit, mainly the topmost transcendentalists who are above the regulative principles and restrictions take pleasure in describing the glories of the Lord.”


prayena munayo rajan nivrtta vidhi-sedhatah nairgunya-stha ramante sma gunanukathane hareh

So there is a stage which is called paramahamsa stage. At that time, one is not very strictly following the regulative principles. Not that they’re not following, but they’re above all regulative principles. But we should not imitate that, that “Now we have become paramahamsa and we can neglect all regulative principles.” No. The paramahamsa stage is described here. If you simply imitate, that “Now I have become paramahamsa, I do not require to follow rules and regulations”… But you must prove that you are paramahamsa.

Therefore what is that paramahamsa stage? That is nairgunya-stha ramante sma gunanukathane hareh. His only business is to glorify Krsna. He does not do that… Not that “I have become paramahamsa. Let me eat and sleep.” No. The symptom is that he cannot waste a moment without glorifying Krsna. That is paramahamsa. At that time, you can know, that when you cannot remain even for a single moment without describing Krsna, then you can know that you are on the paramahamsa stage. No attachment anything material; simply attachment for Krsna. Then you can give up the regulative principles. Not before that. Don’t imitate. Unless you come to that stage, positive stage… It is not that simply negative. Negative means you must stand on a positive platform. Therefore those who are Sunyavadi, simply negative… The other day, some Zen Buddhist came. He said that “to become desireless.” These nonsense people, they do not know it is impossible to become desireless. They are thinking… Therefore they are disturbed always. It is not possible to become desireless. You… That is negative post, nirvana. That is Buddha philosophy, nirvana. “Stop these material nonsense activities.” But unless he has got positive activities, how he can give up this nonsense? Param drstva nivartate. You must give good engagement. Otherwise, he’ll go on committing all nonsense. Just like you, you have been given good engagement, Deity worship and so many other things. You are engaged. Therefore you have no time to divert your attention for nonsense things. Simply artificially, if you want to stop, no. The U.S. government, they tried to stop this intoxication habit, LSD, millions of dollars. Not a single man was stopped. Not a single man. And here in Krsna consciousness, as soon as they come, immediately… Why? Param drstva nivartate. When he understands that he is better intoxication, “Why shall I go to LSD?” That is required.

So here it is said, prayena munayo rajan, “My dear King,” nivrtta vidhi-sedhatah… Vidhi and nisedha. They are two things. We say, “You chant Hare Krsna mantra,” and prohibit, “No illicit sex,” negative and positive. So vidhi means “do’s” and nisedha, “do not’s.” So this is the beginning of life. Don’t try to become paramahamsa, munayah, from the very beginning. Then you’ll fall flat. That is not required. When you actually be situated nairgunya… Nairgunya means above the material nature. That is called nairgunya. This material nature is called traigunya. Traigunya means three modes of material nature: goodness, passion and ignorance. So when you become above these three gunas, then there is possibility of becoming nairgunya.

Krsna advised Arjuna, traigunya-visaya veda nistraigunyo bhavarjuna. Vedas, they are dealing with these three gunas, Vedas, giving direction according to the guna—the sattva-guna, rajo-guna, tamo-guna. So one who is in the sattva-guna, for them, there are six puranas. Sattva-guna, tamo-guna, rajo-guna. Eighteen puranas there are. Some of them are for the persons who are situated on the modes of goodness, and some of them are for the persons who are in rajo-guna, and some of them are for persons in tamo-guna. Just like in the Vedic sastras, there is also recommendation to worship goddess Kali. That is for the tamo-guna, not for the sattva-guna. For the sattva-guna, the Visnu-Purana, Brahmanda-Purana, Brahma-vaivarta-Purana, Bhagavata-Purana, according to… Because knowledge has to be given to everyone, but according to his capacity. If one is in tamo-guna, you cannot say…, you cannot raise him immediately to the sattva-guna. Tamo-guna is meat-eating, drinking. These are tamo-guna, in the darkness. So the Vedas has given chance to them, “All right, you want to eat meat? All right, you eat meat. But offering to the goddess Kali.” Means restriction. It is not required, but the rascal will not hear immediately. Therefore give him some concession, “All right, you can eat meat by offering sacrifice…, not the cow, but one lower animal which is useless, like goats.” Generally, goat and the chicken. They do that.

But it is not meant for the sattva-guna. Sattva-guna’s prescription is different. Rajo-guna’s prescription is different. On the whole, we are always mixed up with the sattva-guna, rajo-guna, tamo-guna. That is our material position. Therefore sometimes we come to Krsna consciousness when we are in sattva-guna. Again sometimes fall down. The tamo-guna attacks, rajo-guna attacks. So we have to become above these gunas. Traigunya-visaya veda nistraigunyo bhavarjuna. Arjuna advised, Krsna advised him that “You become above these three gunas.” So how it can be done? It can be done simply by hearing about Krsna. This is nairgunya-stha ramante sma gunanukathane hareh. If you simply engage yourself only hearing about Krsna, then you are nistraigunya. This is the process, simple, no other business.

So we have given you so many books. Don’t sleep. Don’t waste a single moment. Of course, you have to sleep. Reduce it as much as possible. Eating, sleeping, mating and defending—reduce it. Nidrahara-viharakadi-vijitau. That is the example given by the Gosvamis. Nidra, ahara and vihara. Ahara means eating, and vihara means sense enjoyment, and nidra means sleeping. Nidrahara-viharakadi-vijitau: “Conquered over.” That is spiritual platform. No more sleeping, no more eating, no more sex life. That is perfection. And one who can conquer over these three things, eating, sleeping and sex life, he’s fearless, automatically. There is no requirement of defense because they can meet any situation. That is paramahamsa stage. Nivrtta. Munayah prayena munayo rajan nivrtta vidhi. For them, there is no regulation. Don’t imitate, that “I have become…” Some of our students exhibited that “There is no need of regu… We are all paramahamsas.” Paramahamsa not; rascal number one. Here is the test. When you’ll not be influenced by the material qualities, rajo-guna, sattva-guna, tamo-guna. And the test is that nidrahara-viharakadi-vijitau, that conquering over the sleeping, nidra. First thing is mentioned here. Sleeping and eating and sense enjoyment. Sri-caitanya-mahaprabhu-gunanukathane.

These Gosvamis, they were always writing books. Gunanukathane. Guna. What is the writing books? When we write these books, what is that? We are simply describing the different activities and attributes of Krsna. Anukathane. Anu means not whimsically. Following the superior authorities. You cannot write anything which is not approved by the superior authorities. Therefore, we have to give examples, quotation from the sastra, that “What I am speaking, it is supported by the sastras. Not that I have inventive power—I have, I can do, I can write anything I like.” That is nonsense. Anukathane. Anukathane means you must hear from the authority perfectly. Then try to write. Not that you write whimsically, whatever you like. That is not allowed. And that will not be accepted. Therefore, in the beginning, in this chapter, we learned this word, that variyan esa rajan…,

variyan esa te prasnah krto loka-hitam nrpa atmavit-sammatah pumsam srotavyadisu yah parah [SB 2.1.1]

Atmavit-sammatah: “It is approved by the realized souls.” Not that whimsically I do something or you question something. No. It must be… The question must be approved by atmavit, self-realized person, and the answer should be given by the self-realized person, atmavit-sammatah. This is wanted.

So we have no independence. As in materially also, we have no independence. In… There is no independence, either materially or spiritually. But we’re falsely thinking to become independent. That is called illusion, maya. The rascals do not know that there is no independence at all, either materially or spiritually. Just like the outlaws, they have no independence, either criminally or civilly. When he’s a civil citizen, good citizen, there is no independence, and when he’s criminal, there is no independence. So why he’s thinking that “I shall act this work criminally and become independent”? That is not possible. And because they cannot understand it, they are rascals. What he’s thinking, independence, that is illusion. Where is, where is your independence? Illusion. Maya. When you are under the strict rules and regulations of the material nature, how you are independent? Daivi hy esa gunamayi mama maya duratyaya [Bg. 7.14] They think that to surrender to Krsna, this is slave mentality. “I shall remain free.” But where is your freedom, sir? That is illusion.

So there is… So long one is rascal, falsely thinking that he’s independent, there must be the regulative principles, he must observe the regulative principles, vidhi-nisedha. In this way, when he’s actually situated in the transcendental platform, that is called nairgunya-stha\ h. Stha means situated. Tisthati iti stha: “One who stays.” Not flickering. Permanently. Nairgunya. This nairgunya means devotional service. This is nairgunya. That is stated in the Bhagavad-gita,

mam ca yo ’vyabhicarena bhakti-yogena sevate sa gunan samatityaitan brahma-bhuyaya kalpate [Bg. 14.26]

brahma-bhutah prasannatma na socati na kanksati samah sarvesu bhutesu mad-bhaktim labhate param [Bg. 18.54]

Everything is there. So nairgunya means one who is twenty-four hours engaged in devotional service, he’s in the nairgunya platform, no more influenced by these material qualities. Mam ca yo ’vyabhicarena [Bg. 14.26]. Avyabhicarena means without any flaw, without any fault. Simply according to the restriction, or instruction of the sastra and spiritual master, one is strictly following and engaged in devotional service. Then he is sa gunan samatityaitan [Bg. 14.26] He can conquer or surpass over the three modes of material nature. And his stage is brahma-bhutah. Brahma-bhuyaya kalpate.

So when you are actually on the Brahman… Now, everyone can say, “I am now in the brahma-bhutah.” The symptom is there. You cannot cheat. What is that? Brahma-bhutah prasannatma [Bg. 18.54]. If you are actually on the brahma-bhutah platform, then the symptom will be prasannatma: Jolly, always. There will be no more moroseness. Always jolly. That is the first symptom. “Oh, I am now free from the material clutches.” Because as soon as you are actually engaged in devotional service, there will be no more, I mean to say, punishment by the material nature. Brahma-bhutah prasannatma na so… [Bg. 18.54]. Therefore he’s always jubilant, prasannatma. What is the meaning of prasannatma? Prasannatma means na socati na kanksati. He does not desire anything, does not lament for anything. That is brahma-bhutah stage. If there is something lost, “Never mind. Krsna desired loss. That’s all right.” And if there is gain, he does not jump over, “Oh, I have gained this. I have gained this.” Like monkey. (laughter) No. Everything Krsna’s. I am engaged in Krsna’s service. Suppose if there is some loss. So it is Krsna’s desire. And if there is some profit, it is Krsna’s money. I don’t possess anything. Why shall I jump? Jump, of course, we can jump. “O Krsna, we have gained so much thing, so many things for Krsna.” That is another… So na socati na kanksati, samah sarvesu bhutesu. Then he’s equal to everyone. He understands that everyone is a spirit soul. Some way or other, he’s entangled in this material body. So because I am now…Mad-bhakti… Prasannatma na socati, samah sarvesu bhutesu mad-bhaktim labhate par… Then he’s fit for transcendental service to the Lord.

After being liberated from these traigunya, three material, one has to be situated in nistraigunya. Here it is stated, nairgunya. Nairgunya, nistraigunya. The same meaning. Nairgunya-stha ramante, enjoys life. As soon as you come to the platform of nairgunya, without being infected by the three material qualities, then ramante, everything is pleasure. Ramante yogino ’nante. Therefore those who are yogis, who are bhaktas, bhakti-yogis, they also enjoy life. It is not that we restrict that “Don’t enjoy senses.” This is not enjoyment. This is bondage. This is bondage. Suppose I am enjoying either illicit or legal sex life. I am become under bondage. Even it is legal sex life, I get children, so many things, I have got duty to the children. So either goodness or ignorance, this is bondage. This is bondage. Therefore one has to become above the traigunya. And that is called nairgunya. Nairgunya-stha ramante. They also enjoy. What is that enjoyment? Ramante yogino ’nante. That is not limited enjoyment, for few minutes. No. Anante, eternal enjoyment. Ramante yogino ’nante. And that is satyanande, that is real ananda. That is real bliss. When your ananda does not stop, it continues, that is real ananda. And the ananda, or the pleasure, which is for few seconds or few minutes, that is not ananda. That is illusion. Real ananda is it will continue. It will never stop. It will never end. Therefore it is said, ramante yogino ’nante. Anante means unlimited. Ramante yogino ’nante satyanande. That is real happiness.

Iti rama-padenasau param brahmabhidhiyate. Because when we enter the platform of continuous blissfulness, ananda, that is the connection with, that is the meaning of Rama. The Rama, Param Brahma. That means when one is situated in the service of the Param Brahma, then his life is successful. So here it is said, nairgunya-stha ramante sma gunanukathane hareh. Then not a single moment is wasted without talking about Krsna. Vacamsi vaikuntha-gunanuvarnane. In other, other place it is…: sa vai manah krsna-padaravindayor vacamsi vaikuntha-gunanuvarnane. So practice this. First of all, fix up your mind on the lotus feet of Krsna, and that is called sa vai manah krsna-padaravindayoh. So if your mind is fixed up, then other senses will act because other senses are acting under the leadership of the mind. Mind is your enemy and mind is your friend. When the mind is engaged in Krsna consciousness, that mind is your friend. And the mind, when it is engaged in other consciousness, that is your enemy. So you can create your mind—friend or enemy—according to your desire. If you fix up always… The Deity worship means to fix up your mind on the lotus feet of Krsna, always worshiping Krsna. So therefore I am asking why there is no ankle bell. There must be ankle bell the lotus feet of Krsna. So if you fix up your mind, then immediately, fix up your mind on the lotus feet of Krsna, immediately you are nairgunya-stha, situated in the nairgunya, transcendental platform.

In another place, it is also said,

srnvatam sva-kathah krsnah punya-sravana-kirtanah hrdy antah-stho hy abhadrani vidhunoti suhrt satam [Bhag. 1.2.17]

Krsna is situated within your heart. He’s your best friend. Suhrdam sarva-bhutanam. He’s always willing how your perfect welfare can be done. Krsna is so nice friend. You are… I am taking the body of a hog. There is also Krsna advising me. And when I am in the body of a human being, there also Krsna is advising me. Krsna is so kind. Therefore suhrdam sarva-bhutanam. He’s friend not only of human being, even the hogs, dogs, cats—everyone. Suhrdam sarva-bhutanam. This is the science, one has to know. Bhoktaram yajna-tapasam sarva-loka-mahesvaram [Bg. 5.29] And suhrdam sarva-bhutanam jnatva mam santim rcchati. So everyone is trying to become leader of the society, suhrdam welfare actor, but that is impossible. Because he’s a rascal, how he can become the friend? The, one’s business is that he should make friendship with Krsna and advise others also to make friendship with Krsna. That is real leadership. That is real leadership. And the rascals, what the, he does not know what is his own benefit, and he has become a leader.

Sanatana Gosvami says, apanara hitahita kichui na jani: “Sir, I was minister, and people used to say that I am very learned scholar, and this and that, but… I was also accepting, ‘Oh…’ But actually, since I am come in Your contact, I thought that ‘What kind of leader I am? I do not know what is beneficial for me. I am such a leader. I am such a fool. I do not know my own benefit, and I want to become leader to lead others for benefit of life.’ ” Andha yathandhair upaniyamanah. A blind man, he does not think that he’s blind. How he can lead others, other blind men? But this is cheating. All these leaders, so- called rascal leaders, they are blind themselves. They do not know what is the aim of life, and they’re becoming leader. And the leader, blind leader, and the blind follower, they’re all going to hell. This is the position of the world.

So therefore we should be careful that don’t imitate that “I am now become paramahamsa. I do not require to follow the rules and regulations. Let me do whatever I like.” Don’t do that. The test is there. Test is there, here. It is said, gunanukathane hareh. When you are paramahamsa, then you have no other business than simply to hear about Krsna, and chant about Krsna.

Thank you very much. (end)