19 May, 2015
Watch the class here

I have discussed the first part of Sri Sri Brhad Bhagavatamrtam composed by Srila Sanatana Gosvami, and I also explained that in the Brhad Bhagavatamrtam there are two parts, one part glorifies about the devotees of Lord, and that’s the history of Narada Rsi, and the other part glorifies the devotion (Bhakti), and that is Gopa Kumar katha.

I have also told in the previous class that Narada Rsi came in the very super excellent and auspicious place, Prayaga Tirtha, where three rivers meet together Ganga, Yamuna and Sarasvati, and at that time he saw one poor brahman that used to worship his Thakurji Salagram. Narada Rsi told him, “You are the best recipient of the mercy of Lord”, then the brahman told, “I’m not the recipient of the mercy of Lord; if you want to see the best recipient of the mercy of Lord you should go to south India, and you will see that there is a king which worships the Lord with all his wealth and money”, this is called royal seva (rajakiya seva). 

Then Narada Rsi arrived in south India where he saw the king and how he served his Thakurji with all of his wealth and money; this is called raja seva, royal service. Then the king told, “I’m not the best recipient of the mercy of Lord (bhagavat krpa patra), if you want to see the best recipient of the mercy of Lord, then you should go to heaven; Indra is the best recipient of the mercy of Lord”. 

So Narada Rsi went to heaven and saw Indra... [audio problem] you are the best recipient of the mercy of Lord, and Indra said, “I’m not the best recipient of the mercy of Lord, if you want to see the best recipient of the mercy of the Lord, then you should go to Bhramaji in Satya Loka”. Then he came to Satya Loka and Bhramaji told him, “I’m not the best recipient of the mercy of Lord, if you want to see the best recipient of the mercy of Lord you should go to Siva Loka, Kailash”. 

In the previous class I have started here -  Narada came in Kailash and… [audio problem] you are the best recipient of the mercy of Lord. Because Sivaji is always absorbed with his Krsna-katha and Rama-katha.

nimna-gānāṁ yathā gaṅgā
devānām acyuto yathā
vaiṣṇavānāṁ yathā śambhuḥ
purāṇānām idam tathā
(SB 12.13.16)

There are many [audio problem] not to compare with Lord Siva, he is the greatest vaisnava. Nimna-ganan yatha ganga, there are many holy rivers in this material world but the Ganges is the topmost; there are many Puranas but Srimad Bhagavatam is the best and there are many demigods and demigoddess but Acyuta Bhagavan is the Supreme. So in… [audio problem] Narada Rsi glorified Sivaji, “He Siv, you are the topmost devotee of the Lord, because you sacrifice everything for your istadev [worshipable deity], there are many renounced persons, [audio problem] that is spontaneous kind of vairagya, renunciation ... [audio problem, the call hung up].

When Narada Rsi glorified Lord Siva, Lord Siva told, “He Narada, I am not the best recipient of the mercy of Lord”, and in a very humble way he said, “I have no Bhakti, nothing, but Lord mercifully accepted me as His servant; I have no qualities to serve the Lord”. This is the humility (dainya) of the devotee. 

Our Sanatana Gosvamipad, in Brhad Bhagavatamrtam, explains in this context, when Bhakti manifests in one’s heart, at the same time, spontaneous humility manifests in his heart. Because Bhakti and Prema are the same thing as humility. When humility is manifested in one’s heart or Bhakti is manifested in one’s heart, that is the same, but sometimes someone may externally be using the humility, but maybe Bhakti is not manifested in his heart. When Suddha Bhakti (pure Bhakti) is manifested in one’s heart, he will automatically become very humble. So Sanatana Gosvamipad, in this context gave the conclusion, Bhakti and humility are related to each other. 

For this regard, Chaitanya Mahaprabhu explained:

tṛṇād api sunīcena
taror iva sahiṣṇunā
amāninā mānadena
kīrtanīyaḥ sadā hariḥ
(CC Adi 17.31)

Kīrtanīyaḥ sadā hariḥ is the internal symptom of Bhakti, and the other four things, tṛṇād api sunīcena, taror iva sahiṣṇunā, amāninā mānadena are external; that means when Bhakti manifests in one’s heart, that person will automatically become tṛṇād api sunīc – he will become very humble, more than a blade of grass; taror iva sahiṣṇunā - he will automatically become as tolerant as a tree; amāni  - never hankering for his own name, fame and reputation and mānada – he will give respect to others. 

This is the spontaneous nature of Bhakti but this is external, that is called gouna, which means secondary. The primary symptom of Bhakti is kīrtanīyaḥ sadā hariḥ, when one is always absorbed in the remembrance of Lord.This is called navadhā-bhakti, always absorbed [in the remembrance of Lord].

śravaṇaṁ kīrtanaṁ viṣṇoḥ

smaraṇaṁ pāda-sevanam

arcanaṁ vandanaṁ dāsyaṁ

sakhyam ātma-nivedanam

(SB 7.5.23)

The secondary symptoms are automatically related to the primary symptoms, in this way the primary symptom of Bhakti is kīrtanīyaḥ sadā hariḥ, and one who has it will automatically be humble. Some persons may become humble but if they are not chanting the holy names, they are not performing Bhakti and that is not the perfect tṛṇād api sunīc.

Sivaji is a pure bhakta (suddha-bhakta) and for this regard he said, “I have no Bhakti but the Lord accepted me as His servant”. In a very humble way he continued, “Lord made me drink the poison when all the poison came from the ocean, all the demigods, demigoddess and demons ran away. At that time I drank it and I kept the poison in my throat because I thought that if I drink it and keep it in my stomach then the Lord who resides in my heart will feel pain. So because of that I kept the poison in my throat”. For this reason one name of Lord Siva is Nilakantha - nila means blue and kantha means throat.

In this way Lord Siva continued “When the nectar came from the ocean, no demigod or demigoddess, no one asked me to share this amrta (nectar) with me, but when the poison came, at that time, I drank it. I took the poison only for the pleasure of my Lord Krsna and I never desired to drink the amrta”. Lord Siva is always thinking, “Why will I take the material nectar or the heavenly nectar? I am always drinking the sweet nectar of the sweet pastimes of Krsna. Krsna katha is the perfect armta, perfect nectar, so one who drinks the perfect nectar, Krsna katha, has no taste to drink the material nectar. So this proves that when Bhakti manifests in one’s heart he doesn’t want any material thing.

In this way Siva continued, “Lord Krsna even ordered me to preach the impersonalism and cheat people”.

mayavadam asac-chastram
pracchannam bauddham ucyate
mayaiva vihitam devi
kalau brahmana-murtina

(Padma Purana, Uttara-khanda 62.31)

Parvati Devi asked Lord Siva, “O my husband, my prananatha, why did you cheat people and preached the impersonalism?”. Lord Siva replied, “This is not my fault, this is my service because my master Lord Krsna has ordered me, ‘He Siva, you should preach the impersonalism’, so for this regard I am preaching aham brahmāsmi (I am Brahman), tat tvam asi (you are that Brahman), prajñānam brahma (knowledge is Brahman), sarvam khalvidam brahma (everything is in Brahman)”.

In this way, Sankaracarya preached this impersonalism. In Jaiva-Dharma, Bhaktivinoda Thakura explains that this is not the fault of Sankaracarya, because Sankaracharya is non-different from Lord Siva: sankara sankara saksat… Sankaracarya is a direct manifestation of Lord Sankar, so this is not the fault of Sankaracarya, because Lord Krsna gave him the order to preach in this way. Krsna told, “Demons are disturbing Me, if you preach aham brahmāsmi (I am Brahman), the demons will not come in front of Me and sisti rath uta utaram – they commit offences, and for this regard they will be in the cycle of birth and death, wandering in this material world and in this way creation will be increased. So Sankar said, “It is not my fault, I’m just preaching the instruction of my master Krsna”.

Sivaji is a suddha vaisnava, he is always following the renounced order and he doesn’t take anything [for himself], why? Because he knows that if he accepts, then all the devotees will offer many flowers, fruits and etc. So for this regard he doesn’t take anything but he accepts two things: the water of the Ganges and the bel leaf (bel patra) So for this regard people worship Lord Siva with the water of the Ganges and the bel leaf (bel patra). And he doesn’t wear any kind of ornaments in his body, he puts a snake which everybody is afraid of and for this regard he wears it on his body. If Lord Siva would put a garland, then everybody would offer all the garlands to Lord Siva and no one would offer it to Lord Krsna. In this way Lord Siva thinks, “I will not take garlands or flowers, which flowers will I take? Only those flowers that have absolutely no smell”. He takes one kind of flower which has no smell, a white flower. So for this reason in Siva puja, Indian people worship Lord Siva with white flowers. Lord Siva also doesn’t wear any cloth, he just accepts the skin of the tiger, which in Sanskrit is called vyāghracarman, vyāghra means tiger and carman means skin; Lord Siva wears a tiger skin and he thinks, “All the valuable cloth and jewels should be offered to my istadeva Krsna” and for this regard everybody worships Krsna with very valuable jewels, cloths and so forth.

Because Lord Siva is a Vaisnava and a Vaisnava thinks, “Everything should be offered to my istadeva.” And Lord Siva does not even want a big temple built for himself, because he knows, “If I want, then all devotees will build a big temple but no one will build a temple for my istadeva Krsna or Ramacandra”. For this regard, sometimes I tell a very nice and beautiful story:

When Sivaji married Devi Parvati, they were staying in Kailash and at that time so much snow was falling, they didn’t have a house or anything. One day Devi Parvati asked her husband Siva, “He Mahadeva my husband, you married me but we don’t have a house, where will I stay? You are a male person, no harm, you can change your cloth anywhere, no problem”. Actually Lord Siva doesn’t wear expensive clothes; he just uses dor-kaupin (loin-cloth) as like a sanyasi and he also wear a tiger skin. Parvati continued, “You can go anywhere and change you cloth very easily, but I am a married wife and I need a private place so I can change my clothes. This is very important and it is called ‘social etiquette’. So you are married with me but you did not build any house for me so what is the meaning of household life? na grham grham na ucyate, only grha (house) does not mean householder; householder means one who has a house and a wife, that is called a house-holder and  the Sanskrit word for that is grhasta. There is grha and grhasta; ghra means ‘house’ and grhasta means ‘one who lives in the house with his wife’. So in the same way Devi Parvati told [Siva], “Now you are grhasta, you are not a person in the renounced order, you are not sanyasi, you are staying with me and you also have four children (two daughters and two sons), Laksmi, Sarasvati, Ganesha and Kartik. We are six persons; wife and husband and four children, but we don’t have a house, so how is it possible to main this life? How long will we be sitting under the sky?”. 

Parvati was speaking in this way every day and one day Sivaji said, “Okay, I will make one house for you”. Then Sivaji brought three pieces of ice, very big pieces of ice, put it on the floor side by side in three places and said, “Okay, this is the house”. But when the sun raised, the ice melted and there was no more house. At that time Devi Parvati asked: “He Sivaji where is the house? No private place, no house, nothing”. Then Sivaji told, “He Devi Parvati, I have no time to build a house or to do these things, I cannot do it because I’m always absorbed in the meditation of the pastimes of my Lord Rama and Krsna”. This is because Lord Sivaji is always meditating (dhyana) on the sweet pastimes of the Lord and he is chanting the sweet holy names. panca mukh nam gan karena tripurari. Sivaji always chants the holy names with his five mouths so he is called Pancanana, and his name is also Tripurari, because there was a demon called Tripur and Sivaji killed that demon. For this regard Shivaji is called Tripurari and Pancanana. Panca-anana; panca means ‘five’ and anana means ‘mouth’, that means Lord Siva always glorifies the Lord’s sweet holy names with his five mouths, and he is also always absorbed in the asta-kaliya-lila [eternal pastimes performed during the eight periods of the day of Radha and Krsna] and also in Rama-lila [pastimes of Lord Rama]. So Sivaji told, “I have no time to build the house and do these things”. Then Parvati said, “Okay, I will do myself, as my best I will do”.

One day, Sivaji’s richest disciple, his name was Dhana-kuvera, which means the presiding deity of wealth, he came and met with Devi Parvati, in a humble way he asked her, “He guru-mata, how can I serve you?”. Then Devi Parvati told, “Listen, your gurudev Sivaji does not want to build a house for me, so if it is possible, can you build a small cottage for us?”. Dhana-kuvera then told, “Why would I build a small cottage for you? I will build a big palace for my guru Lord Siva and you”. Then Dhana-kuvera built a big palace on the top of the mountain for Lord Siva and Parvati, a very beautiful palace that cannot be comparable to any palace of this material world, it was a very huge and beautiful palace. 

According to the Vedic culture, you have to do the inauguration (grha-pravesa), perform fire sacrifice and chant some vedic mantras with bhramanas. At that time Sivaji asked, “Who will perform this fire sacrifice of inauguration/celebration?” and Siva answered, “My best disciple, Ravana”. Actually Ravana is the best disciple of Lord Siva. Ravana was the son of muni (muni putra), he was also a brahmana, coming from a brahmana dynasty, this is true, but anyhow he associated with the demons and then he became a demon and impersonalist. But before he was a great devotee of Lord Siva, for this regard Lord Siva gave him many benedictions and many things. So Sivaji said, “Ravana should come and perform our inauguration ceremony, grha-pravesa

Ravana also composed a very nice stava-stuti [prayers], if you read Siva’s stava-stuti composed by Ravana then you will become very charmed [by seeing] how beautiful is the stava-stuti recited by Ravana. In this way, when Ravana would recite the glorification of Sivaji, then Shivaji would direct manifest in front of him and start to dance. Sometimes Ravana would lift the Kaylash [mountain] in his hand as like Krsna lifted Giriraja Govardhan, in the same way Ravana lifted Kaylash, doing stava-stuti. (I’m just glorifying Ravana, how he was a great Brahmana and also a great devotee of Lord Siva.)

So for this regard Lord Siva told, “Ravana should come and perform the fire sacrifice and our inauguration ceremony”. So for one month Ravana performed a fire sacrifice, doing many kinds of puja, worshiping this and that, many kinds of grha-pravesa and puja he did. After one month Ravana said, “Now my fire sacrifice is almost finished, I’m just going [to do] purna-hati”. Purna-hati means when all of our sacrifice is finished, you have to offer the coconut and some things in the fire and then you can go; but before offering this, you have to give some donation [to the brahmana], that is called brahmana-daksina, without brahmana-daksina your fire sacrifice will not be completed. 

So for this regard Sivaji asked, “Now we are going to end the fire sacrifice, he Devi Parvati, give some daksina to Ravana”. Parvati Devi told, “O my husband, I have no money, nothing”. Then Sivaji told, “I have nothing, no bank balance, I only have dor-kaupin (loin-cloth), I don’t even have kurta (t-shirt) or pocket, nothing, so what will we do?”. Without giving the donation to the brahmana how is it possible to enter the house for the first time, inauguration, and how will the ceremony be completed? At that time Sivaji said, “Listen, Ravana performed a fire sacrifice for one month, he did so much hard work, I have to give him the best donation, not a small donation”. So Sivaji said, “Ravana, I am giving this palace as a donation to you”. [Gurudeva laughs] In this way Siva gave the palace as a donation to Ravana and then Parvati asked, “Where is your house? Sivaji said, “I have already donated to Ravana”. So we see how Sivaji was very generous and a person completely of the renounced order.

When Bhakti manifests in one’s heart we can see these types of activities. Sivaji also put on his body snake and dust of the cremation, why? Because Lord Siva is thinking, “The essence of this body is that one day it will be transformed in ashes, why will I put other kinds of things on it?” When the sadhaka comes in the stage of prema-dasa, at that time he will be thinking these things, but before coming in prema-dasa, he has to take care of his body, because this body is the way to achieve our perfection. So Tulasi Dasa explains, through our body, material body, we can enter in the door of suddha-bhakti, because without this body we cannot perform bhajan and sadhan and we cannot serve guru and vaisnavas. So in the beginning the sadhaka should take care of his body. 

Tulasi Dasa also explains, “sadhana moksha kara dhara”. This body is the sadhana. Sadhana means to practice how to attain the Lord. But when sadhaka comes in the stage of prema-dasa, at that time he is not thinking, “I am this body”. So before coming in the [stage of] prema-dasa, everybody should take care of his body, as like gopis, they also decorated their body with different kinds of ornaments, why? For Krsna’s pleasure, krsna sukhe hoibena taha jane gopi gana korena alankara dhara, our sastras [scriptures] explain that gopis put many kinds of ornaments in their body for the pleasure of Krsna. For Krsna’s pleasure we should put nice cloth, nice ornaments, not for our own sense gratification, this is very important. jñāna vairāgya nahe kabur bhaktir anga, knowledge and renunciation, these are not limbs of Bhakti, but when Prema manifests in one’s heart, jñāna and vairāgya will automatically disappear from his heart, at that time he is not…[class ended here] 

Transcription: Krishna Kripa Das (Brazil)