The story of the bhakta and the pea plant

May 21, 2020 in Articles by Damaghosa dasa

I was sitting on my bench a couple days ago while chanting, and noticed these pea plants getting themselves attached to the wrong steel. You can see in the foreground of the picture that the pea plant has sent out its tendrils to find support on the tomato cage-instead of the wire mesh I put behind it. The problem is –that when this plant gets taller, growing only on the tomato cage, it wont have the support of the steel mesh behind it (which is 5 feet high) and will be just floating in space-and will then fall down due to its own weight. This is not what we want. We want the plant to grow straight and tall and then produce the peas. So I was noticing, while chanting, similarities between this plant and the bhakta lata bija-the creeper of devotion which when cultivated properly with take one back to the Spiritual world. When this happens there are no more “fall downs”
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BG 2.62-While contemplating the objects of the senses, a person develops attachment for them, and from such attachment lust develops, and from lust anger arises.
BG 2.63-From anger, delusion arises, and from delusion bewilderment of memory. When memory is bewildered, intelligence is lost, and when intelligence is lost, one falls down again into the material pool.
So we can see both from Bhagavad gita and the pea plant that if we attach ourselves to the wrong thing, we will fall down into the material pool. Many times as devotees we will think, “I can still chant Hare Krsna maha mantra AND do what I want in this material world and there will be- “no problemo”. But this is not what Krsna nor our practical experience tells us.
You can see from both pictures below that the pea plant is sending out its tendrils, but they are going down and not up on the steel mesh. They have deviated from natures way of going up, and having no proper support are looking elsewhere-but in the wrong way, so they are “lost” and will fall down eventually. They are “bewildered” and have lost their “intelligence”
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BG 3.39 purport...Advancement of material civilization on the basis of sense gratification means increasing the duration of the material existence of a living entity. Therefore, this lust is the symbol of ignorance by which the living entity is kept within the material world. While one enjoys sense gratification, it may be that there is some feeling of happiness, but actually that so-called feeling of happiness is the ultimate enemy of the sense enjoyer.
June 20 1972 class
So Bhaktivinoda Ṭhākura advises, “Never mind, you are in distress or happiness, but go on chanting this mahā-mantra.” Māyā-jāle baddha ho’ye, ācho miche kāja lo’ye. You are entrapped by the network of illusory energy, māyā-jāle baddha ho’ye, just like the fisherman catches from the sea all kinds of creatures within the network. Similarly we are also within the net of illusory energy, and because we have no freedom, therefore all our activities are useless. Action in freedom has got some meaning, but when we are not free within the clutches of māya, within the network of māyā, then our so-called freedom has no value. Therefore, whatever we are doing is simply defeat. Without knowing our constitutional position, if you are forced to do something by the pressure of the illusory energy, it is simply useless waste of time.
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BG 5.11 purport-…A person acting in Kṛṣṇa consciousness (or, in other words, in the service of Kṛṣṇa) with his body, mind, intelligence and words is a liberated person even within the material world, although he may be engaged in many so-called material activities. …This is the perfect stage of Kṛṣṇa consciousness.
Madhya 19.160-“If one does not distinguish between the bhakti-latā creeper and the other creepers, the sprinkling of water is misused because the other creepers are nourished while the bhakti-latā creeper is curtailed.
PURPORT-If one chants the Hare Kṛṣṇa mantra while committing offenses, these unwanted creepers will grow. One should not take advantage of chanting the Hare Kṛṣṇa mantra for some material profit. As mentioned in verse 159:
‘niṣiddhācāra’, ‘kuṭīnāṭī’, jīva-hiṁsana’ ‘lābha’, ‘pūjā’, ‘pratiṣṭhādi’ yata upaśākhā-gaṇa
The unwanted creepers have been described by Śrīla Bhaktisiddhānta Sarasvatī Ṭhākura. He states that if one hears and chants without trying to give up offenses, one becomes materially attached to sense gratification. One may also desire freedom from material bondage like the Māyāvādīs, or one may become attached to the yoga-siddhis and desire wonderful yogic powers. If one is attached to wonderful material activities, one is called siddhi-lobhī, greedy for material perfection. One may also be victimized by diplomatic or crooked behavior, or one may associate with women for illicit sex. Others may make a show of devotional service like the prākṛta-sahajiyās, or one may try to support his philosophy by joining some caste or identifying himself with a certain dynasty, claiming a monopoly on spiritual advancement. Thus with the support of family tradition, one may become a pseudo guru or so-called spiritual master. One may become attached to the four sinful activities-illicit sex, intoxication, gambling and meat eating, or one may consider a Vaiṣṇava to belong to a mundane caste or creed. One may think, “This is a Hindu Vaiṣṇava, and this is a European Vaiṣṇava. A European Vaiṣṇava is not allowed to enter the temples.” In other words, one may consider Vaiṣṇavas in terms of birth, thinking one a brāhmaṇa Vaiṣṇava, a śūdra Vaiṣṇava, a mleccha Vaiṣṇava and so on. One may also try to carry out a professional business while chanting the Hare Kṛṣṇa mantra or reading Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam, or one may try to increase his monetary strength by illegal means. One may also try to be a cheap Vaiṣṇava by chanting in a secluded place for material adoration, or one may desire mundane reputation by making compromises with nondevotees, compromising one’s philosophy or spiritual life, or one may become a supporter of a hereditary caste system. All these are pitfalls of personal sense gratification. Just to cheat some innocent people, one makes a show of advanced spiritual life and becomes known as a sādhu, mahātmā or religious person. All this means that the so-called devotee has become victimized by all these unwanted creepers and that the real creeper of bhakti-latā-bīja has been stunted.
the picture below is what we want-attachment to the steel tomato cage or the Lotus feet of our spiritual master without which we will become attached to so much maya in this world. If we stick to his lotus feet then our bhakti lata bija, or creeper of devotion will grow and penetrate the universal shell and attach itself to Lord Krsna In Vaikuntha.
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July 11 1976 lecture….
Prabhupāda: Cittete kariyā aikya. Now this is the determination. We must approach the real guru, empowered guru, with power of attorney. Then if we take his word... Guru-mukha-padma-vākya, cittete kariyā, āra nā kariyā mane… **. Don’t try don’t manufacture ideas. Then if you take up that seriously, then your life is successful. Guru-mukha-padma, cittete, āra nā kariyā mane. Don’t spoil yourself by manufacturing ideas. Take word from him. You carry it out. Don’t bother whether you’ll be spiritually advanced or not, but take the word of the spiritual master and carry it. Then everything is guaranteed. Guru-mukha-padma-vākya, cittete koriyā aikya, āra nā koriyā mane āśā **. Then?
Dhṛṣṭadyumna: Śrī-guru-caraṇe rati…
Prabhupāda: Śrī-guru-carane rati, ei sei uttama-gati. You want advancement in spiritual consciousness, but it is possible only—śrī-guru-caraṇe rati. If you keep your faith only on the lotus feet of your guru, then you’ll make advance. There is no doubt about it. Then?
Dhṛṣṭadyumna: Ye prasāde pūre sarva āśā.
Prabhupāda: Ye prasāde pūre… We have got so many desires, but if we have got strong faith at the lotus feet of guru, everything will be fulfilled automatically. Ye prasāde pūre sarva āśā. Then?
Dhṛṣṭadyumna: Cakhudāna dilo yei…
Prabhupāda: Cakhudāna dilo yei, janme janme prabhu sei. Guru’s business is cakhudāna. We are kept in the darkness of this material existence, and guru’s business is to open it, bring him to light. That is guru, not to keep him again in the darkness. Cakhudāna dila yei janma janma prabhu sei. Prabhu means master. Then?
Dhṛṣṭadyumna: Divya-jñāna hṛde prokāśito.
Prabhupāda: Divya-jñāna hṛde prokāśito. What is that divya-jñāna? Divya-jñāna is that we are all servant of Kṛṣṇa, and our only business is to serve Kṛṣṇa. Divya-jñāna. This is divya-jñāna. It is not difficult at all. Simply we have… We have become servant of so many things—servant of society, servant of community, servant of country, servant of wife, servant of children, servant of dog and so many. “Now let me become servant of Kṛṣṇa.” This is divya-jñāna. Dīkṣā. Dīkṣā means from this divya-jñāna. That is dī. And kṣā means kṣapayati, expands. Then?
Dhṛṣṭadyumna: Prema-bhakti yāhā hoite….
Prabhupāda: Prema bhakti yāhā hoite, avidyā vināśa yāte.
Dhṛṣṭadyumna: Vede gāy yāṅhāra…
Prabhupāda: Vede gāy yāṅhāra carito. You should understand this. So by the mercy of guru, by the favor of guru, we get prema-bhakti. There are vidhi-bhakti. In the beginning we have to discharge devotional service according to the rules and regulations of the śāstra, the instruction of guru, śāstra-vidhi. Yaḥ śāstra-vidhim utsṛjya vartate kāma-kārataḥ, na siddhim avāpnoti [Bg. 16.23]. Kṛṣṇa says, “This śāstra-vidhim, the vidhi-mārga, if one gives up the śāstra-vidhi and manufactures his own way,” na siddhiṁ sāvāpnoti, “he does not get success,” na sukham, “neither happiness,” na parāṁ gatim, “and what to speak of going back to Godhead?” Forget all this. Śāstra-vidhi. So this is minimized. So when we are practiced to vidhi-mārga, then we gradually get love of Godhead. That is ultimate. Premā pumartho mahān. Just like in India formerly they… Very small, minor-aged boy and girl are married, especially the girl, ten, twelve years, married. So how she can love her husband? She does not know. But there is vidhi-mārga. Vidhi-mārga, the elderly people of the—”Now, just to give your husband this refreshment.” So she gives. In this way, gradually, when she’s grown-up, she does not require any instruction; she knows how to serve her husband. That is prema. That is the bha… But the beginning must be regulative principle. Prema, vidhi prema. Prema-bhakti yāhā hoite, avidyā vināśa yāte. Prema-bhakti, avidyā… Unless we are free from this nescience of material existence, there is no question of Kṛṣṇa prema. Two things cannot go. Viraktir anyatra syāt. If you actually advance in Kṛṣṇa consciousness, then naturally you’ll be averse to this material enjoyment. Viraktir… Bhaktiḥ pareśānubhavo viraktir anyatra syāt [SB 11.2.42]. Just like if you are eating, naturally you are satisfying your appetite. So kṛṣṇa-bhakti means we are satisfying automatically all our desires. That is Kṛṣṇa-bhakti. The more we advance in Kṛṣṇa-bhakti, you’ll have no more material desires. Then?
Dhṛṣṭadyumna: Śrī-guru kāruṇa-sindhu.
Prabhupāda: Śrī-guru kāruṇa-sindhu, adhama janāra bandhu.
Dhṛṣṭadyumna: Lokanātha lokera jīvana.
Prabhupāda: Lokanātha lokera jīvana. Narottama dāsa Ṭhākura’s guru’s name was Lokanātha Gosvāmī. You have seen, those who have gone to Vṛndāvana. There is Lokanatha Gosvāmī’s tomb. So, then?
Dhṛṣṭadyumna: Hā hā prabhu koro dayā…
Prabhupāda: Hā hā prabhu koro dayā.
Devotees: …deho more pada-chāyā.
Prabhupāda: So this, the one, that… We should seek the shelter of the lotus feet of guru. Then everything… And vede gāya yāṅhāra carita. It is not that it is sentiment that one has to become very strong devotee of guru. Therefore Narottama dāsa Tha…, vede gāya yāṅhāra carita. Not that I am talking something nonsense. It is because… Śruti-pramāṇam. Whatever we talk, it must be supported by Vedic injunction. Then it is right. Just like we sometimes challenge these big, big scientists and others, and what is our strength? I am not a scientist, but how I can challenge? The Veda gāya. We have got evidence from the Vedas. Just like so many people are thinking that the moon planet is first. We are challenging, “No, moon planet is second.” What is the strength? The strength is Vedic knowledge. We cannot accept it. So vede gāya yāṅhāra carita. Vedic knowledge is so perfect that you can challenge so many scientists. Yes. If it is not in accordance to the Vedic knowledge, then it is… We do not accept. If it is not to the Kṛṣṇa’s instruction, we reject immediately. Na māṁ duṣkṛtino mūḍhāḥ prapadyante narādhamāḥ [Bg. 7.15]. As soon as we see that one man is not Kṛṣṇa conscious, then we immediately group him in four classes: duṣkṛtina, mūḍha, narādhama, māyayāpahṛta-jñānā. Finished, that’s all. “No, I am learned, and you are nothing. You have not… You have no degrees of university. I have got degrees.” “Yes, that is all right, but your degrees and knowledge have been taken away by māyā. You remain in darkness. Ye timire jeti (?). You remain in the darkness.” That’s all.
Hare Krsna
damaghosa das