Srimad-Bhagavatam 3.25.36
by His Divine Grace A. C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada
Bombay, December 5, 1974

Devotee: “Upon seeing the charming forms of the Lord, smiling and attractive, and hearing His very pleasing words, the pure devotee almost loses all other consciousness. His senses are freed from all other engagements, and he becomes absorbed in devotional service. Thus in spite of his unwillingness, he gets liberation without separate endeavor.”


tair darsaniyavayavair udara-vilasa-haseksita-vama-suktaih hrtatmano hrta-pranams ca bhaktir anicchato me gatim anvim prayunkte

So sri-vigraha-darsanam. This temple is situated to give people the facility as it is described here. Tair darsaniya avayavaih udara. We have to see the Deity beginning from the lotus feet, not jumping over the smiling face. That is the way. First of all you try to see. And when you are practiced… Try to see the lotus feet of Krsna, and when you are practiced to this habit, even after visiting the temple if you go home, if you are practice to see the lotus feet of Krsna, that is meditation. So darsaniya avayavaih: “Different limbs.” First of all feet, then the thighs, then the belt, then the chest, then you reach the smiling face. Krsna and Krsna’s form… If you meditate on Krsna’s form, that is Krsna. So we associate with Krsna, His smiling face, His flute, His hand, His dress, His consort, Srimati Radharani, or any other, gopis, surrounded by. In this way, practice this habit of observing the Supreme Lord. Therefore He has appeared, arca-vigraha, so that we can see Him.

In our present eyes even Krsna comes, but we have no eyes to see. Therefore for the kanistha-adhikari… There are three kinds of devotees: kanistha-adhikari, madhyama-adhikari, and uttama-adhikari. Uttama-adhikari means first class, most advanced, and madhyama-adhikari means in the middle stage, not very advanced, not very lower, and kanistha-adhikari, just the neophyte, beginning. So for the beginners it is recommended that you see the Deity daily or always. Beginning from the lotus feet, as you are practiced, then go up to the smiling face. And hear also Srimad-Bhagavatam. Simply if you try to see and if you don’t hear, then it will not stay very much. Therefore we see practically in many temples, because there is no discussion about Krsna, simply a Deity is there, people go for some time. Then gradually, especially those who are educated, so- called educated, they do not feel very much interested. And it has actually happened so. Many temples, they are not visited even by the devotees, because there must be also hearing about. Two things must go on: The Deity must be worshiped—this is called pancaratriki-vidhi—and to hear about the Supreme from Bhagavad-gita, Srimad-Bhagavatam, Vedic literature, that is called bhagavata-vidhi.

So the pancaratriki-vidhi and bhagavata-vidhi must go parallel. Then one, even one is a neophyte, gradually he will come to the intermediate stage between the neophyte stage and to the advanced stage. And of course, it is very difficult to find out one in very advanced stage. But there are. There are many advanced stage. At least, the spiritual master is supposed to be in the advanced stage, but for preaching purpose he come down in that intermediate stage, for preaching work. Because the advanced stage, there is no discrimination that “Here is a devotee, and here is a nondevotee.” Because advanced devotee sees that everyone is devotee except himself. The advanced devotee sees that he is not a devotee, but all others are devotees. This is advancement. But in the kanistha-adhikari, in the neophyte stage, they simply concentrate on the Deity. Arcayam eva haraye yah pujam sraddhaya ihate. That is required in the beginning. According to the prescribed duties as they are mentioned in the scriptures, one must take care of the Deity. But that unless a little farther advanced, he does not know who is a devotee and what is his function with others.

In the madhyama-adhikara, when one still farther advances, he has got four kind of visions:

isvare tad-adhinesu balisesu dvisatsu ca prema-maitri-krpopeksa yah karoti sa madhyamah

Madhyama-adhikari is not only interested in Deity worship, but he knows who is a devotee and who is innocent and who is Bhagavan. Isvare tad-adhinesu balisesu. Balisa means innocent. There are many innocent men. They… Actually, they do not know what is to be done, who is God. They are innocent. They are not offender. But there are other others who are offenders, dvisat. Dvisat means envious. They are immediately envious as soon as they hear of a devotee of God. They are called envious, dvisat. So madhyama-adhikari, he knows God, Krsna. Krsnas tu bhagavan svayam. So he wants to develop his love for Krsna. Avyartha-kalam vasati, nama-gane sada rucih. The madhyama-adhikari, he wants to see that not a moment is wasted without Krsna consciousness. That is madhyama-adhikari. Avyartha-kalatvam [Cc.Madhya 23.18-19]. He’s always careful that “Whether I am spoiling the valuable time of my life?” That is the first qualification of madhyama-adhikari. Avyartha-kalatvam. Because we have got very short period, living period. We do not know when we shall die. There is no certainty. Foolish people may think that “I shall live forever,” but that is foolishness. Life is very transient. At any moment we can die. Therefore those who are advanced devotee, they want to see that “I have got very short period of life at my disposal.” Therefore, he is very anxious to utilize every moment for advancing in Krsna consciousness. That is madhyama-adhikari. Avyartha-kalatvam.

And nama-gane sada rucih: “And he has got special taste for chanting the Hare Krsna mantra.” Nama-gane sada rucih. Vasati tad…, pritis tad-vasati sthale: [Cc.Madhya 23.18-19] “And he is very much anxious to live in such places like Vrndavana, Dvaraka, Mathura, where Krsna lived.” Tad-vasati sthale. Vasati means residential. When Krsna appears on this planet, He lives in Mathura, Vrndavana, Dvaraka dhama. So a devotee also, advanced devotee, they want to live in the residential places of Krsna. Krsna, God, has got His residential places everywhere. That’s a fact. Andantara-stha-paramanu-cayantara-stham. He is residing even within the atom. But still He has got special residential places like Vrndavana, Dvaraka, Mathura. So a devotee is anxious to live in those places.

Pritis tad-vasati sthale, nama-gane sada rucih, avyartha-kalatvam [Cc.Madhya 23.18-19] Their business is to increase love of God. To increase love of God means there is also process, how to increase. The process is given by Rupa Gosvami:

adau sraddha tatah sadhu-sango ’tha bhajana-kriya tato ’nartha-nivrttih syat tato nistha rucis tatah athasaktis tato bhavas tatah premabhyudancati sadhakanam ayam premnah pradurbhave bhavet kramah

These are the gradual steps. Sraddha. Sraddha means faith. Faith is the beginning. Without faith, you cannot make…, there is no question of Krsna consciousness. Faith means that faith is created after reading Bhagavad-gita. If you read Bhagavad-gita carefully and if you actually understand Bhagavad-gita as it is, then the faith will be created. Without reading Bhagavad-gita, there is no question of faith in Krsna. So what is that faith? That Krsna says that sarva-dharman parityajya mam ekam saranam vraja: [Bg. 18.66] “You give up all other engagements. You just surrender to Me, and I shall give you protection.” So if we have got faith, if we believe in the words of Krsna, that is called faith. If we don’t believe in the words of Krsna, if we study as a literary thesis and then throw it away, that is not faith.

The faith is explained by Krsnadasa Kaviraja Gosvami. He says, ‘sraddha’-sabde—-visvasa kahe sudrdha niscaya. Faith means one who has got firm faith in the words of Krsna. That is called faith. “I am reading Bhagavad-gita, but I do not accept Krsna as the Supreme Personality of Godhead or He is a person, as He says in the Bhagavad-gita…” He says, mattah parataram nanyat kincid asti dhananjaya [Bg. 7.7]. Mattah, when He says He’s a person… So Krsna says that “There is no more better personality or better superior existence than Myself.” Man-mana bhava mad-bhakto mad-yaji mam namaskuru [Bg. 18.65]. He says, “Me.” Mam eva ye prapadyante mayam etam taranti te [Bg. 7.14]. Aham sarvasya… Aham, “Me,” “I.” He says everywhere. Therefore, Krsna is person. Krsna is not imperson. Klesah adhikataras tesam avyaktasakta-cetasam. It is said that “One who is impersonalist, he takes more trouble to come to Me. He will come later on, but it will take some time.” The impersonal feature of understanding of the Supreme Absolute Truth, it is partial understanding.

Just like we have explained several times that we have got experience of the sunshine. Because sunshine is very easily approached. But that understanding of the sunshine is not real understanding of the sun globe or sun planet or the sun-god. That is not perfect understanding. It is partial understanding that you can understand the sun globe is full of heat and light. That’s all. But how much heat, what is the temperature of heat, how much light is there, and where is the source of heat and light, that is not possible to understand. Everyone will admit this, that simply by seeing, because the sunshine is entering your room from the window, that does not mean you know everything of the sun. Similarly, this impersonal understanding of the Absolute Truth is like that. Just like sunshine is impersonal, but the sun-god is person. If sun-god is not person, how Krsna says, imam vivasvate yogam proktavan aham avyayam: [Bg. 4.1] “This Bhagavad-gita…” He says to Arjuna, that “This Bhagavad-gita, science of Bhagavad-gita, or this yoga system, bhakti-yoga system, I spoke to sun-god. Exactly like that, I am speaking to you.”

So Arjuna is person, and Krsna is person. Therefore the…, in the sun planet the predominating deity is a person. He is not imperson. So you cannot understand that person simply by seeing the sunshine. That requires better qualification, how to enter the sun planet, how to see the predominating deity. The impersonalists, they simply conclude that, the same way as we foolish persons conclude, that the sun planet is simply a fiery substance, and there is nothing, no… If there is nothing, if there is no sun-god, predominating deity or the president of the sun globe, then how Krsna could speak with him? In the Bhagavad-gita it is said, imam vivasvate yogam proktavan. Just like we talk. We are talking with you. We are not talking in the sky, vacant. We are talking with persons. These are intelligent. These require intelligence. So how we can imagine that “How the sun-god can be person? It is a fiery, big fire substance, and how one can live?” This is also foolishness. “Because I cannot live in the fire, therefore nobody can live in the fire.” That is my foolishness. My body is not so made. Just like you cannot live in the water. It does not mean that there is no living entity in the water. It requires intelligence. Similarly, if you cannot live in the fire, it does not mean that nobody lives there. Yes. There are living entities whose body is so made. Just like the fish and other aquatics, they live. Their body is so made. This is intelligent study. Otherwise, if you simply compare with my intelligence, my position, my circumstances, and we’ll conclude all others like that, that is blindness. That is not… Blindness.

So similarly, impersonal realization of God, that is imperfect exactly like the understanding of the sunshine is not understanding of the sun globe and the sun-god. Everyone can understand. It is not very difficult. If you think that “Because I have seen sunshine, then I have seen everything. I have known everything of the sun…” No. You do not know even how big the sun globe is. And when you read books, when you read scientific books, you can understand it is fourteen hundred times bigger than this planet. So ultimately God is person. He is not imperson. Impersonal understanding is imperfect, partial understanding, that if God, Krsna, is sac-cid-ananda vigraha… Sat, cit, ananda [Bs. 5.1] So impersonal understanding of Krsna means you understand only the sat portion. The two other portion, cit and ananda, you do not know. You do not know.

So if you understand Krsna, then you understand the impersonal Brahman realization and localized Paramatma realization. That is stated in the Vedas. Kasmin tu bhagavo vijnate sarvam idam vijnatam bhavati. If you simply understand Krsna, then you understand the other two features, because Krsna is ananda. You see Krsna’s feature. He is not thinking, taxing His brain, “How to do this? How to do that?” No. He is anandamaya. Anandamaya, He’s playing on His flute, and Radharani is there. He is in ecstatic ananda, hladini-sakti. Radha krsna-pranaya-vikrtir hladini-saktih. It is the transaction of bliss, transcendental bliss, hladini-sakti. Krsna has got many potencies. Out of that, one potency is hladini-sakti, pleasure-giving. He is atmarama. He is full in Himself. When He wants to enjoy, He expands Himself, His pleasure potency. So Radharani is His pleasure potency, and the gopis are expansion of Radharani. Ananda-cinmaya-rasa-pratibhavitabhis tabhir ya eva nija-rupataya kalabhih. Nija-rupa. The forms are Krsna’s, but ananda-cinmaya-rasa, just to taste the mellow of transcendental bliss.

ananda-cinmaya-rasa-pratibhavitabhis tabhir ya eva nija-rupataya kalabhih goloka eva nivasaty akhilatma-bhuto govindam adi-purusam tam aham bhajami [Bs. 5.37]

This is a verse from the Brahma-samhita.

So Krsna is… We are seeing the form of Krsna. That is the ultimate understanding of the Absolute Truth. Brahmeti paramatmeti bhagavan iti sabdyate.

vadanti tat tattva-vidas tattvam yaj jnanam advayam brahmeti paramatmeti bhagavan iti sabdyate [Bhag. 1.2.11]

So sac-cid-ananda. The Brahman realization is sat realization, Paramatma realization is cit realization, and Bhagavan realization means ananda realization. Sat, cit, ananda. And in the Vedanta-sutra it is said that the Absolute Truth is anandamayo ’bhyasat. Anandamaya. He’s always anandamaya. You read Krsna’s lila— He’s always full of transcendental bliss, especially in Vrndavana. Vrndavana, that is His original residence. There, simply ananda. Krsna is playing with His cowherds boys friends. Krsna is dancing with the gopis. Krsna is stealing mother Yasoda’s butter. Krsna is doing… All ananda, transcendental bliss.

So here it is stated that if you begin your devotional service as it is prescribed here, simply see the Deity, then gradually realize how Krsna is smiling, how Krsna is playing on His flute, how Krsna is enjoying the company of Srimati Radharani… We have to see simply. Simply by seeing. And if you hear about Krsna, just you are hearing now, these two processes will increase in such a way that one time, anicchato me gatim anvim prayunkte, you automatically become a great devotee, simply if you come to this temple, or any temple where Deity is very nicely worshiped. These are all scientific. It is not imagination. Just like people think that “They are worshiping idol and imagining something.” No, they are stated in this all sastra. It is the prescribed method for developing your God consciousness, or Krsna consciousness. It is a science, vijnana-samanvitam.

jnanam parama-guhyam me yad vijnana-samanvitam sa-rahasyam tad-angam ca grhana gaditam maya

When Krsna advised Brahma after creation, then He said, jnanam me… This is called catuh-sloki-bhagavata, the four slokas which is the basic principle of Srimad-Bhagavatam. Jnanam parama-guhyam me. The knowledge of Krsna is very confidential, guhyam. Guhyad guhyatamam. In the Bhagavad-gita is said, “My dear Arjuna, I have spoken to you so many things, but now, because you are My very dear friend and devotee, therefore I am disclosing the most confidential knowledge.” What is that? Sarva-dharman parityajya mam ekam: [Bg. 18.66] “Just surrender unto Me. That’s all. This is the confidential knowledge. Don’t try to understand many things, or if you have heard, if you could not understand Me here, then I tell you. This is the most confidential part of knowledge, that sarva-dharman parityajya [Bg. 18.66]” Before this verse… Guhyad guhyatamam. Guhyad guhyatamam. Guhya means very confidential. So this guhya, this Brahman realization, is also very confidential. But Paramatma realization is guhyatara, still more confidential. And to understand Krsna is guhyatama, superlative degree. Guhyad guhyatamam.

So to understand Krsna, Krsna has explained in so many ways. Simply to understand Krsna makes you liberated. Tyaktva deham punar janma naiti mam eti kaunteya [Bg. 4.9]. So therefore this is the process of understanding Krsna. These Krsna consciousness centers are being opened all over the world just to give the people the chance how to become liberated simply by seeing the Deity and chanting Hare Krsna mantra. This is the opportunity. But fools and rascals, they think that “It is nuisance.” But actually it’s not. This is a science. So by following this process, then what will be the…? Hrtatmano hrta-pranams ca: “Then gradually, your mind will be fully absorbed in Krsna consciousness, mind and senses.” Hrtatmanah and hrta-prana. Prana, we our prana, life, is at the senses. So if your mind and senses are fully absorbed in Krsna consciousness, that is called bhakti. That is called bhakti. It is not sentiment; it is a practical science when your mind and senses are fully absorbed in Krsna. The senses are engaged in serving Krsna and mind is always thinking of Krsna. Sa vai manah krsna-padaravindayor vacamsi vaikuntha-gunanuvarnane. Just like Maharaja Ambarisa, he was a great devotee, and his business was, although he was a king, very responsible king and ruling over the world, but his mind was always absorbed in Krsna. This is possible. This is possible. That example is given, that a woman or a lady is always busy in his (her) household affairs, but she also takes care of her bunch of hair, how to set it up and very nicely comb it. She does not forget. In spite of her being engaged in so many household affairs, she does not forget to take care of the bunch of hair. Similarly, one who is actually devotee, he may be engaged in so many things, but he does not forget Krsna. That is the example, very good example.

So hrtatmano hrta-pranams ca bhaktih. This is the perfection. “This” means that the gross body and the subtle body becomes digested, no more existence of this gross body. Gross body means sense gratification, and subtle body means speculation, “God is like that, God is like that,” speculation, subtle body. Mana-buddhy-ahankara. And gross body means the senses. So when the senses and the mind, everything, is engaged in Krsna consciousness, that means you are already liberated, already liberated. Therefore it is said, anicchato me gatim anvim prayunkte. The liberated means that you have no more the activities of gross body and subtle body, but there are activities of the soul. This is wanted. The bhakti means the activities of the soul, not of the body, not of the mind. The Brahman realization means stopping the activities of the body. But the activities of the mind is going on, or they do not know. It is not perfect knowledge. Therefore I have said several times that the Brahman realization, those who are Brahman realized souls, they are not in perfect knowledge. Avisuddha-buddhi. They have been described as avisuddha. Visuddha means very purified, and “a” means “not.” Avisuddha-buddhayah. Their intelligence is not yet perfectly purified. Avisuddha-buddhayah. Ye ’nye ’ravindaksa. They are thinking that “Now we have become liberated.” No. That is not liberation. Here is liberation. Why? Hrtatmano hrta-pranams ca bhaktih. When the mind and the senses are all absorbed in Krsna, that is the bhakti state. Mad-bhaktim labhate param [Bg. 18.54]. The people think that bhakti is a sentiment thing. No. It is above liberation. Above liberation. Unless one is not liberated, he cannot stand on the platform of bhakti. That is bhakti. That is called para-bhakti. Apara-bhakti and para-bhakti.

So any devotee who is serious about this Deity worship, hearing about Krsna, chanting the Hare Krsna mantra, following the Vedic principle, or rejecting the sinful activities of life… In this way we can come to the platform of spiritual life, and if we act accordingly, that is called bhakti-yoga or the liberated stage.

Thank you very much. (end)