How should the cultivation of activities favorable to KRSNa be
undertaken? One should act only in such a way that bhakti may be
augmented, giving up laukika-abhilASA (worldly desires),
pAralaukika-abhilASA (other worldly pursuits such as elevation to the
heavenly planets and acquisition of mystic perfections in yoga), and any
other kind of aspiration. This same idea has been expressed in
ZrImad-BhAgavatam: bhaktyA saJjAtayA bhaktyA (S.B. 11.3.31)—bhakti is
produced only by bhakti. According to this statement, bhakti (zravaNa,
This is a very popular verse. It's a bit similar to BG 6.9.
SP discusses it in 770424me.bom.
ayam bandhuH ayam neti jJAna laghu cetasAm
udAra caritAnAm tu vasudhaiva kutumbakam
"This is a friend but that one is not," says a simple-minded person. To
a broad-minded person the whole world is a family. (MahA UpaniSad 6.72)
NArada PaJcarAtra 1.12.55-78
translation and notes: CC-BY-SA bh. Jan 2016
Sri Parvati said:
tava vakSasi rAdhAhaM rAse vRndAvane vane |
mahA-lakSmIz ca vaikuNThe pAda-padmArcane ratA ||55||
I am Radha, situated on Your chest, enjoying rasa dance in Vrindavan,
as well as Mahalaksmi taking pleasure in worshipping Your lotus feet in Vaikuntha.
zveta-dvIpe sindhu-kanyA viSNor urasi bhU-tale |
brahma-loke ca brahmANI veda-mAtA ca bhAratI ||56||
At Svetadvipa I am the daughter of the ocean, on the surface of Earth
As I prepared last week to give a Sunday class in Hillsborough (video at the end of this blog), along with researching and thinking of the topic of levels of secrets (from the most mundane to the most sublime) I also contemplated the topic of speaking to others from our Gaudiya Vaishnava tradition. The archetypal “class” is Maharaja Parikshit being instructed by Shri Shukadeva Goswami. Both of them have special qualifications being pure devotees of Krishna, and yet the whole class was fueled by the urgent necessity of Parikshit Maharaja, since he was cursed to die in seven days, and sought the best way to use his remaining time.
According to Shrila Visvanath Chakravarti Thakur, of the three types of people benefited by talks about Krishna—the questioner, the hearer, and the speaker—the speaker is the most benefited. Never the less, without the ardent interest, fueled by an urgent necessity to hear, the speaker won’t be as motivated to speak. In the Shrimad Bhagavatam, which records the conversation between these two great souls, Shukadeva frequently glorifies the questions of his student being enlivened at the opportunity to speak about that which he has such feelings for.
Therefore, as exemplified by this conversation, as well as in many scriptures including the Bhagavad-gita, both speaker and listener have responsibilities. For example, being advanced devotees with the urgency to speak and hear helps make the conversations an inspired one, and takes it to new heights of spirituality and insightfulness. While we may not be on the level of such high devotees, we can none the less be as reverential, attentive and prayerful as possible, whether we are speaker or listener, and be mindful of the sublimity of the process we are following.
Otherwise, out of our familiarity with the process of attending or giving a class, we may minimize its benefit and have a material vision of what it’s about. If we become complacent in our spiritual lives we may skip the class or think it is just for new people. However, if we truly realize our perilous situation in the material world and have an urgent necessity to make spiritual advancement we will do as much as possible to make spiritual progress.
harernAmaiva nAmaiva nAmaiva mama jIvanam /
kalau nAstyeva nAstyeva gatiranyathA // NarP_1,41.115 //
The Origin of Secrets and their Reflection in the World
I am finding the subject of secrets very rich, deep and important. The existence of secrets is all-pervading, and it all begins in the spiritual world, where its true purpose is to facilitate the loving pastimes of Krishna and his devotees. For example, Krishna’s relationship with Radha and the gopis, while suspected by a few, is a secret kept from Krishna’s parents, which intensifies their love and the passion of their meeting. The fear of separation and being found out intensifies the emotions and value of being with one another. Everything in that world is according to Krishna’s desire, even those who appear to create so-called impediments to Krishna’s secret love rendezvous with his greatest lovers.
The distorted reflection of these secrets is found in the tabloids or in rumors and secrets of movie stars and other famous people. Every person has some secret they don’t want others to know, as do families, communities, nations, religious groups or institutions, and ruling powers in any organization or government. Keeping secrets is the business of the false ego which thinks of friends and enemies and endeavors to protect our false sense of material identity from harm or criticism. We also criticize others to protect our secrets and divert attention from ourselves.
In this world there are ordinary, special, and the greatest secrets of all, as hinted about in the Bhagavad Gita, and then expanded upon in the Shrimad Bhagavatam and Chaitanya Charitamrita. While the most secret and confidential knowledge of Krishna’s Godhood and the means to obtain him need to be the basis of our lives, there are other secrets, the ignorance of, or lack of application of, create many problems in our ordinary lives and in spiritual practices. We might know these secrets in theory and yet not apply them in our own lives. One of the most important secrets is widely known, though often difficult to apply, and revolves around our relationship with ourselves.
vAmanas vidhi zeSaH sanako viSNu vAkyataH
dharmArtha hetave caite bhaviSyanti dvijaH kalau
Vamana, Brahma, Ananta Sesa and Sanaka Kumara will appear as
brahmanas by the order of Visnu for the preservation of dharma in Kali
viSNusvAmI vAmanAMzas tathA madhvas tu brahmanaH
rAmanujas tu zeSAMza nimbAditya sanakasya ca
Visnusvami, Madhva, Ramanuja and Nimbaditya will appear respectively
as amsas (parts) of Vamana, Brahma, Ananta Sesa and Sanaka Kumara.
THE IMPORTANCE OF OPPOSITION AND LIFE REVERSES: In the lives of great persons there is always opposition and apparent road blocks in accomplishing their goals or mission in life. Whether through another person, an accident, their own body or mind, or some natural disturbance, what appears on the surface to be an impediment is passed through and the glory of the person is revealed.
Practically we can see that great success in any undertaking or field is not accomplished without passing through many setbacks and even failure. In the personal growth or success literature such perseverance and determination in the face of what seem insurmountable odds are part of any great person’s story.
In Christianity we have Judas who betrayed Christ but was actually a facilitator of his mission to sacrifice his life to benefit others. Haridas Thakur being whipped in 21 market places, or being tempted by a prostitute sent by a envious person, only added to his glory as the great teacher of the holy name.
Without the atrocities of Hiranyakashipu, Prahlad’s glories would not have been revealed, and we would have never heard of him. Dhurva Maharaja’s step mother forbidding him to be favored by his father helped him realize the strength of his determination and his eventual favor by the Lord. What would have happened if Krishnadas Kaviraja, the author of Chaitanya Charitamrita, had not left his brother's home? Without the devastating rains sent be Indra, Krishna would have had no necessity to lift Govardhan Hill.
Imagine Prabhupada easily receiving his first visa and other papers for travel, or if instead of sailing on the Jaladuta he would have just hopped on a plane and was met with instant success in America. We glorify great persons not for the ease of their lives but because of the great odds they overcame. Without Arjuna's dilemma there would be no Bhagavad Gita to light our path out of darkness. Had Emperor Pariksit not been cursed to die, we would have no Shrimad Bhagavatam to lead us on the path of bhakti...and on and on, as the examples are many in scriptures and life....