Krishna becomes a Sweeper

0

It is said in the Vaishnava scriptures of the Vedas (like Shrimad Bhagavatam and others) that Krishna is non different from his holy name. We can associate with Krishna personally by chanting purely. Yet it also said that there is one important difference between Krishna and his name.

What is that?

Krishna's holy name is more merciful than Krishna.

How can this be?

He comes in his Nam (name) incarnation even when we are not qualified to be with him personally in his abode, or we can't appreciate his Deity (archa) form. To chant the holy names there are no hard and fast rules as to time and place, or cleanliness, sitting place, posture, dress etc. like in yoga. Of course, there are stages of chanting: the offensive stage, clearing stage, and pure stage. We have to come to the pure or offfenseless stage to really associate with him and receive the ultimate benefit.

Never the less, we can chant the Hare Krishna mantra for whatever reason and still be benefited. If we continue to chant, we will gradually want to improve. Then we will learn to avoid the offences in chanting, practice the regulated principles of freedom in pure association, and eventually come to the perfect stage of pure chanting and Krishna prema (pure love for Krishna).

When we take up the chanting of Krishna's holy name he takes his position in our heart as a sweeper to clean the dust covering our heart. Although he is God, the most worshipable, he also is the most humble and the greatest servant of all.

Our spiritual heart (ceta) is our facility for experiencing our identity. Lord Chaitanya has described in his shikshastakam prayers that our heart in material consciousness is covered with a type of dust which prevents us from seeing ourself as a soul, and as his servant. This dust can't be removed by just being religious and pious. Religion generally means adding something on to our life to make it materially better and more prosperous. Our material identity remains but we color it with a Godly brush. We are a good person, but still ignorant of our soul.

Of course it is good to be pious and religious, yet Shri Chaitanya says we need to go further. We have to cleanse our heart metaphysically or spiritually, which is required to realize our soul. That is what the holy name does.

Material dust on our heart makes us experience our soul as a temporary material body with all its' false designations such as race, color, religion, gender, ethnicity, or as fat, thin, old, young, beautiful, or ugly etc. These material designations are all ignorance for the soul, or our sleeping condition. We are like a person with amnesia, forgetful of our true self and home. So we can wake up and remember our eternal nature through the chanting process.

This is all made possible by the merciful Lord coming as his holy name who acts as a sweeper---and our heart is sooooo dusty and dirty from countless births in the material world. Such love, such compassion, such kindness, to take such a role just to help us be eternally happy and free from material miseries.

We just have to get out of the way and let the Lord do his work of sweeping. Unfortunately, we often prevent the Lord's sweeping by being inattentive in chanting, or committing offenses and sinful activities. After inviting him into our heart we are fighting with him to not sweep our hearts!

In effect the Lord is saying,
"Can I sweep now?" and we say,
"Not now, maybe later."
"Can I sweep now?"
"Not not, my shop is closed, perhaps tomorrow."
And Krishna patiently waits for an opportunity to sweep again to helps us realize our self and the love we yearn for. We have to learn to let him do his merciful work by wanting the goal of Prema or love for him more than anything else. Service is the solace!

Let us not be like the elephant who bathes very carefully, and then comes out of a pond and throws dust all over itself. Let us allow Krishna to sweep our heart clean of all impurities and false conceptions, by learning to chant the holy name of Krishna purely. Then Krishna will always be with us, and our search for the true love of our heart and soul will be over!

Combined comments from old site

Sat, 06/21/2008 - 21:12 — Snehal
Krisna's mercy

Hare Krisna!
PAMHO!
Thank you prabhuji for reminding us about Krisna's mercy. But sometimes I feel why should Krisna be so mercifull towards me? I am not the best of devotees. I am such a conditioned soul that I dont deserve this mercy.
Kindly explain this.


*Reply*

Sun, 06/22/2008 - 00:28 — Karnamrita.das
Pure soul

Hi Snehal. It is a good quality to feel humble, as even the most pure devotees feel themselves unworthy. Although we are just beginners and don't have the realized humility of great devotees, it is a start. The first installment of humility is absence of the enjoying spirit---according to Shrila Prabhupada's guru, Shrila Bhaktisiddhanta---and then the humility of the 3rd verse of shishastakam which gives the example of the humility of grass, the tolerance of trees, with no desire for receiving praise while always appreciating others. For most of us that is a goal to achieve.

At the same time we don't want to disqualify ourself so we don't accept the mercy when it comes, which does happen to devotees with false or unrealized humility.

Krishna sees our goodness as who we really are, and takes the essence of our attitude. If it wasn't for his mercy, seemingly undeserved, their would be no hope. Like most things we require a balanced, thoughtful attitude, matured from experience. It is a big and important topic and you need to study the scriptures and develop a service attitude by practicing devotional service regularly. And it is great that you are asking questions!

Your soul is who you are, and is pure by nature. The problem is our conditioned identity. That is also what people don't like about themselves---their story or history in this body, or the bad choices they have made. Chanting uncovers this pure nature.

One of the reasons we accept a guru is to demonstrate the humility that one our own we can't be Krishna conscious. Tow things are required for our advancement: our endeavor, and Krishna's mercy. Krishna says that "one who considers himself my devotee is not my devotee, but only one who is a devotee of my devotee." This is the system which even Lord Krishna and Lord Chaitanya followed to teach us.

So to understand more, chant more, serve more, and pray to develop the attitude of a devotee. Prayer for spiritual advancement is very important. What do you really want? Krishna hears that more than your words! We will increase our desire to be Krishna conscious as we make advancement and see the material world for what it is, and Krishna as our true friend and well-wisher.

Your friend in Krishna,

Karnamrita


*Reply*

Sun, 06/22/2008 - 05:35 — Snehal
Thank you

Thank you for the explaination. But I havent understood what exactly you mean by "The first installment of humility is absence of the enjoying spirit".

Can you please explain this further?

Haribol!

Snehal.


*Reply*

Sun, 06/22/2008 - 06:38 — Karnamrita.das
Levels of humility

There are many ways and perspectives to speak on any subject. Humility is a very rich and important one. The humility spoken of in Lord Chaitanya's prayers is a high level of spiritual humility which well enable us to constantly chant the holy name with some feeling. It is compared to the stage of advancement called "nistha" or steadiness where one is not distracted by other things. One is steady in their practice of Krishna conscious sadhana or spiritual methods like chanting, hearing, kirtana etc.

Shrila Bhaktisiddhanta Sarasvati has pointed out a preliminary goal of humility for those not as advanced to act as Lord Chaitanya describes (most of us!). He referred to the absence of the enjoying spirit as a stage to aspire for before higher levels of humility. That is why I referred to it as a first installment of humility. In the past we often sort of imitated our humility because certain behavior was encouraged, so anything can be done prematurely or without true realization. The desire for humility is laudable, and we may adopt some external practices that appear “humble”, yet to realize it in our heart can take a long time. Our intention is all important.

We all need things to aspire for in terms of our spiritual advancement, and for most of us the humility of grass and tolerance of the trees etc, can seem almost unattainable in our present awareness. Forward progress is generally one step at a time, and we have to be patient and pray and serve like anything!! All things in good time though our sincere chanting, and most importantly the grace of Lord Chaitanya and his devotees.

Shrila Bhatisiddhanta Sarasvati Thakur also said, "Dont try to see God, but act in such a way that he will see you!" Our service to devotees and our desire to help others spiritually attracts Krishna's attention.

Your friend in Krishna,

Karnamrita


*Reply*

Sun, 06/22/2008 - 09:53 — Snehal
Hare Krisna!

Well prabhu, due to lack of intelligence I am still not clear with the stage where there is absence of enjoying spirit.What are the symptoms of this stage? Or may I ask it in this way,how does someone behaves when one is in this stage?

I hope you are not bothered by my questions.

Haribol

Snehal.


*Reply*

Sun, 06/22/2008 - 12:56 — Karnamrita.das
The world is a stage

Perhaps you are confused by the word "stage". It is technically not a stage given like "nistha" (steadiness) or "ruci" (taste), but one way to see how we are progressing. Both the definition of humility by Shrila Bhaktisiddhanta and the 3rd verse of Shikshastam are different ways of seeing the humility we need to aspire for.

The desire to enjoy separately from Krishna is the material disease we all suffer from to different extents, which keeps us in the material world. Being conditioned by the material ego the soul identifies themselves as matter, and material things as mine and as objects to enjoy.

The Gita describes this mentality in the 16th chapter as "isvaro 'ham aham bhogi" or "I am the controller, and I am the enjoyer". Material consciousness means forgetting Krishna's position as the proprietor of everything, as the ultimate enjoyer and dear most friend, and thinking the world should revolve around us and our personal senses or those of our family, society, nation etc.

The desire to enjoy matter is a covering of our true nature. Our soul is by constitution pleasure seeking, but in ignorance we seek to enjoy what is external to us, namely this body, mind, things, and material relationships. Real happiness for the soul is in relationship to God, or spiritual happiness.

We make spiritual progress as this material desire lessens and we desire to please Krishna and his devotees. Thinking we are the enjoyer of the world prevents us from the humility of acknowledging Krishna's supreme position---so we are unable to be absorbed in the holy name which gives praise to Krishna and sees him as the Lord of our life and heart. Therefore Shrila Bhaktisiddhanta has mentioned absence of the enjoying spirit as one meaning of humility. It is still quite high, yet conceivable as we make spiritual advancement.

Another way to see or define humility is the 3rd verse of shikshastam (“One who thinks himself lower than the grass, who is more tolerant than a tree, and who does not expect personal honor yet is always prepared to give all respect to others can very easily always chant the holy name of the Lord.”) which we are encouraged to "String...on the thread of the holy name and wear it on our neck for continuous remembrance.”

I hope this is more clear. If not you are welcome to ask more.

Your friend in Krishna,

Karnamrita


*Reply*

Mon, 06/23/2008 - 00:53 — Snehal
Clear now

Hare Krisna!

Yes, its clear now. Thank you very much and please forgive me for troubling you over and over again.

Snehal.


*Reply*

Mon, 06/23/2008 - 04:29 — Karnamrita.das
No trouble, only service opportunities

At least in principle we can understand that in service to Krishna there are no problems, only opportunities to serve and remember Krishna. That is easy to say, yet it is a realization we will have. When Prahlad Maharaja was asked to accept a benediction from Lord Nrishimadeva he said that personally he had no problems because he was satisfied to hear and chant the glories of the Lord. His only "problem" was he wanted to help others who were suffering due to a lack of Krishna consciousness!

For devotees questions are a gift.

Why?

Because we need to hear the answers also, and we need the opportunity to serve others. We have to think about the KC philosophy from different angles of vision and questions help.

Look at all the scriptures. They are simply questions and answers. Arjuna was put into illusion so he would search out a solution by asking questions.

I have said this before here, though it is worth repeating that in one sense, "Questions are the answer." We learn and grow by trying to understand and asking questions of those who have more experience and knowledge. And we never finish. There is always more to know, lest we become comfortable, complacent, and think we know everything. I have my instructing gurus who I consult with as well. And we are students and teachers of each other!

Your friend in Krishna,

Karnamrita


*Reply*

Mon, 06/23/2008 - 22:20 — Snehal
Thank you for inspiring words

Hare Krisna!


Sat, 06/21/2008 - 19:30 — abhishek108
Question

Dandavats:)
Prabhu, suppose a person (a) is in trouble, but due to his ignorance he doesn't want to chant or remember Krishna, even when he is guided by his friend (b) to chant. In such cases can person (b) on behalf of him chant for removing person (a)'s obstacles?
Hare Krishna


*Reply*

Sun, 06/22/2008 - 00:31 — Karnamrita.das
Our prayers are potent

For some people praying for them is all we can do. They may not want to hear our pleas. Everyone has their own priorities, and not everyone can take up devotional service in this life. Still some can take prasad and be helpful for devotees or at least like the devotees in some way. Remember that our example is more potent than just what we say. We can try to give them mercy that will be good for their spiritual advancement.

Although we are beginners in Krishna consciousness our prayers for others are good for them and good for us. We want to have well wishing for everyone, and Krishna does hear the prayers of devotees to help others. We may not always see the results, yet they will manifest at some point. No desire to help others is in vain. No that for sure!

Your friend in Krishna,

Karnamrita


*Reply*

Sun, 06/22/2008 - 00:41 — abrennan
Hare Krishna Karnamrita

I think prayer is under-rated and under-used. perhaps at some stage you could blog about prayer life : )


*Reply*

Fri, 07/04/2008 - 11:21 — Karnamrita.das
Prayer groups

I have a lot of material about prayer as I was part of a devotee prayer group for 3 years and made a manual to help others set one up. It was online for awhile. Perhaps I should post it again.

Your friend in Krishna,

Karnamrita


*Reply*

Fri, 07/04/2008 - 12:31 — abrennan
JEEPERS CREEPERS

Karnamrita you must, you really must. I am really interested in knowing MUCH more about it.


Mon, 06/30/2008 - 23:55 — shikha
hare krishna

thanx for such wonderful post


*Reply*

Fri, 07/04/2008 - 11:22 — Karnamrita.das
Thanxs for your thanxs

Glad to be of service to you on your exciting spiritual journey!

Your friend in Krishna,

Karnamrita