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Worshipping the Lord in Vrindavana

By Srila Prabhupada, 1958

I am sitting alone in the transcendental-dhama.
While in this mood of contemplation,
many realizations have been coming to me.

I have my wife along with sons,
daughters, grandsons, everything,
But because I have no money,
I am considered a worthless asset.

Shri Krishna has shown me,
the naked form of material nature,
By the strength of His mercy upon me today,
I have become disgusted with it all.

Krishna says, "I gradually take away all the wealth
of those in whom I show My favor." (Bhag. 10.88.8)
How was I able to understand
this mercy of the all-merciful Lord?

Seeing that I am penniless,
everyone has now abandoned me -
including my own family, my brothers-
relatives, and even my friends.

This situation is indeed miserable,
but it simply amuses me,
I sit alone and laugh,
in this mundane material world,
whom do I really love?

Where have my affectionate,
father and mother gone now?
and where are all my elders
and other relatives,
who were my own folk?

Who will give me news of them now?
I ask you--------tell me who?
All that is left of this so called family
is a list of their names.

As the froth upon the seawater,
arises for a moment and then subsides,
the play of Maya's worldly illusion,
is exactly like that.

No one is factually a mother or father,
a family member or relative,
Everyone is just like the foam on the seawater, remaining in view for only a few moments.

Just as the froth on the seawater,
dissolves again into the sea,
the body made of the five material elements,
merges again with these elements after it dies

How many material forms
does the embodied soul take in this way?
His so-called family members
are only related to the temporary external body.

But all of us are actually relatives,
O brothers, on the platform of pure spirit soul,
These eternal relationships are not tinged
with the temporary delusions of maya.

The Supreme Lord is Himself
the ultimate Soul of everyone,
in their eternal relation to Him,
everyone in the universe is equal.

O brothers! all the millions of spirit souls
are your personal relatives,
In their true relationship with Krishna,
everyone co-exists in complete harmony.

"Forgetting Krishna, the living entity
desires personal sense gratification."
C.c. Madhya 20.1.
Because of this rebellious desire,
the spirit soul falls into the clutches of Maya.

As a result of their accumulated fruitive reactions, all these souls accept various bodily forms.
Then becoming engrossed
in these material disguises,
they forget all about Shri Hari.

Therefore Maya torments the embodied souls
with a great variety of material miseries,
But as they rise and sink
in these waves of suffering,
they mistake their experiences for actual happiness.

A chronically ill person lies upon a bed,
suffering intense pain,
but he smiles and laughs as he states,
"today I am doing fine!"

All this talk about "doing fine"
really makes me laugh out loud,
This is the "fine" of the spirit soul,
who is truly bound up in Maya's illusion.

They make a great many "plans"
to live here comfortably "doing fine"
But material nature smashes
all their arrangements, one after the other.

The Lord's Maya is "divine energy",
consisting of the three modes of material nature
(Gita 7.14))
O brothers! Please try to understand
the reality of this delusion
of supposedly "doing fine.

Although nobody is actually "fine"
in this world they still say the words "I am fine."
In this way, Maya completely cheats
the bound-up conditioned soul.

But, ignoring the fact they are being cheated,
these souls remain perpetually
engrossed in illusion.
Although Maya severely kicks them
during their attempts to enjoy,
they still refuse to give up their forgetfulness.

Again and again they make their "plans."
which again and again are thwarted,
Sometimes they fall on the dry earth,
and sometimes they fall in the wet mud.

In this way, all the fallen souls
wander through out
the egg-like material universe
until eventually, by the causeless mercy
of Guru and Krishna,
they are offered the eternal treasure
of devotional service.

If they reject all other forms of mundane wealth,
upon receiving that divine treasure of Bhakti,
then they can very easily travel,
outside the tempory material sphere.

Beyond the limited world of dull matter,
exist spiritual wonders of limitless varieties,
feeling eternal peace and eternal happiness
living there, all the spirit souls
joyfully frolic about.

Only a mad man ignorantly declares,
"everything in the spiritual world is formless."
He claims that God has no personal qualities,
and that ultimately there is just a void.

But God is the storehouse
of transcendental mellows
"Verily He is rasa itself.' (Taittiriya Upanisad 2.7.1)
The ecstatic devotees who lovingly
relish His mellows render service
in submission to Him.

They serve Him in the mellows of neutrality,
servitude, friendship, parental affection,
and in the rasa that is the greatest of them all,
the quintessential conjugal mellow.

When they are expressed in the spiritual world,
all of these mellows are very relishable,
but in the material world,
being mere reflections,
they are repulsive distortions of the original.

Whoever worships Krishna in devotion,
becomes truly wise;
Whoever worships Maya in illusion,
becomes truly destitute.

Thus becoming destitute, the fallen soul,
attempts to enjoy his fleeting fantasies,
Bereft of the Knowledge of his,
eternal relationship with Krishna,
he is ensnared in the noose,
of his own fruitive activities.

Arjuna fought in the ancient battle
of Kuru-ksetra, and Duryodhana also,
fought in the same battle;
Arjuna was the best of the devotees,
whereas Duryodhana simply perished.

The battlefield was the same,
but the two persons were very different-
one was a friend of Krishna,
and the other was a foe,
Persons who are already
intelligent can understand
the significance of this situation.

Whoever is in knowledge of the spirit soul's
eternal relationship with Krishna,
and fights the battle of life for His sake,
will remain alive in devotional service,
while all others simply perish.

Whoever is not in knowledge
of the spirit soul's eternal relationship with Krishna,
and runs foolishly down some other path,
will never attain live for Krishna,
and simply waists their entire life.

First, properly understand
your eternal relationship with Krishna,
along with the subsequent
transcendental truths;
then. remaining firmly fixed
in your alliance with Him,
go and confidently fight
the battle against maya.

Those who previously deserted the battle
in order to become heroes in the realm
of intellectual knowledge and fruitive activities
had never attained liberation
from the material sphere
but simply remained disturbed
through out their lives.

In name only, these appeared to be
eminent and grave personalities,
but in actuality they were
constantly agitated by Maya.
Hankering after material enjoyment,
liberation and mystic perfection,
all of them thus had uncontrolled senses.

Uncontrolled senses can never be subdued,
even by the power of diligent yoga practice,
How many great munis and yogis in the past
have all been overwhelmed by sexual urges?

Without serving Lord Hrishikesha,
master of the senses,
they can manage to subdue
the senses for a time;
but they eventually return to material activities, ultimately suffering
the punishment of Yamaraja.

The senses can never be
permanently restrained
by the practice of physical yoga exercises,
This is clearly explained in many places,
throughout the Agama and Purana scriptures.

Although the great sage named Visvamitra
was sitting and meditating in mystic trance,
he still fell down from that practice
to unite with Menaka.
begetting a beautiful and pure daughter,
named Shakuntala.

In this way the unsuccessful yogis fall down,
what to speak of the learned jnanis?
As for the degraded karmis,
grossly foolish like asses,
they are perpetually afflicted with suffering.

What to speak of the learned jnanis?
not attached to the Holy Names sound.
As for the degraded karmis

In this way the unsuccessful yogis fall down,
when not fixed up on bhakti's ground,
ssly foolish like asses,
they perpetually suffer, samsara bound.

When Lord Krishna shows His mercy
by personally giving instruction to someone,
then that individual becomes equally fortunate
as the great devotee Arjuna.

But whoever fights the battle of life
for the sake of his own selfish pleasure,
then that individual perishes
along with his family,
just like the foolish demon, Duryodhana.

Whoever daily fights the battle of life,
but only for Lord Krishna's sake,
finds prosperity, mystic perfection
and transcendental knowledge
appearing automatically within his grasp.

O brothers, take care properly to understand
the transcendental message
of the Bhagavad-Gita.
Then you will attain Lord Krishna's mercy,
and you will be engaged
in the service of Shri Hari.

The Lord's devotees are richly endowed
with all transcendental qualities!
They have nothing to do with worldly concepts
ahimsa (non violence),
and akrodha (freedom from anger).

Using His devotees as instruments,
Shri Hari gives instructions to the fallen souls,
One such assistant of His is known as Partha,
the son of Prtha [Arjuna].

Arjuna had taken himself to be
just like an ordinary person bound by Maya;
thus the brother of the Pandavas,
acted as though he was bewildered.

Arjuna expressed his lamentation thus:
"Violently killing my own
relatives and family members,
and afterwards enjoying
rulership of their kingdom-
what kind of happiness would that bring me?".

Thus he displayed
illusory bodily consciousness
by considering the bodies of others
to be his kinsmen,
and the warrior considered
leaving the battlefield
out of affection for his family members.

Seeing his cowardly bewilderment,
Lord Krishna personally chastised him,
Thereafter Arjuna surrendered
and ageed to become Krishna's disciple.

Becoming Krishna's disciple,
Arjuna thus listened to the Lord's recitation
of the Bhagavad-Gita,
the hearing of which surely dispels
ignorance as well as material bondage.

Although Arjuna's material bondage
was dispelled, he never renounced the world externally like a sannyasi does.
Following his example,
those who are householders
can understand the true message
of the Bhagavad-Gita.

"I am now firm and free from doubt,
and am prepared to act
according to Your instructions."
(Gita 18.73) Arjuna spoke
the most perfect of mantras,
and thus he achieved glory
in the fighting of that battle.

[Someone may claim:]
"All the devotees of the Lord
are typically non-violent;
throughout the world they can be seen
peacefully chanting japa on their beads.
How can this warrior Arjuna
be considered a devotee?

A devotee of the Lord
is naturally gentle in disposition
and thus bares no malice
towards other living beings.
But that does not mean he is a weakling
and possesses no valor,
as the common people foolishly think

In two great battles of ancient India
there have been two great heroes,
Both of them were exalted
devotees of The Lord,
and thus they were victorious.

It is said that a Vaishnava never fights a battle
out of desire for personal sense gratification,
This fact is indeed known
throughout the entire world.

Those who have never seen a true Vaishnava mistakenly claim that a Vaishnava is inactive.
Actually a Vaishnava is always active,
but only in the service of the Supreme Lord.

However, the neophyte being bereft of life,
does not engage in such active
service of the Lord.
In hope of earning the reputation
of a so called sage,
he pretentiously lives in a solitary place.

Shrila Nityananda Raya
Who is worshipable by all the devotees
was even physically attacked by the demons
but every time He bestowed love of God.

Lord Gaurahari had even raised
His Sudarshana disk there
to punish the envious offenders of the devotees
but they were then delivered
by the mercy of Lord Nityananda.

Showing the ideal example Himself,
Lord Chaitanya engaged
in preaching to the fallen souls
Those who attempt worshiping
Him in a solitary place
verily cheat themselves.

The whole world has now filled up,
with countless Jagais
and Madhais needing deliverance,
but those in the lineage stemming
from Lord Nityananda (nityananda vamsa)
are simply busy increasing
the numbers of their own disciples.

They eat and sleep nicely, live in luxory,
and thus, remain free
from all personal inconvenience,
But for a Vaishnava, it is inappropriate
to live without actively showing mercy to others.
In His book named Madhurya-Kadambini
Shrila Visvanatha Chakravarti Thakura,
has revealed the truth in this regard,
Just see His learned judgment.

Visvanatha Chakravarti says
that the main feature of bhakti
is that it is causeless,
manifesting of it's own accord.
It has an eternally perfect substance;
however, it lies dormant
until it is awakened.

The middle-class (madhyama-adhikari)
extends his mercy towards others,
Being compassionate to the non-devotees.
he endeavors to awaken their dormant bhakti.

The Supreme Lord Himself
comes under the control
of such a true devotee.
Being enchanted
with the devotee's merciful nature,
the Lord always follows his lead.

The devotee is able to re-awaken
the sleeping material universe.
Indeed, by his causeless mercy,
sinful souls are transferred into devotees.

Therefore the true devotee
never abandons preaching work
to go off and engage in solitary worship.
Such behavior of the neophyte devotee
thus cheats the entire world.

Once I had observed an assembly
of supposedly famous vaishnavas
who were honored
with big big devotional titles.
A Christian missionary
came to Vrindavana
and met with them at their residence.

The Priest asked the devotees some questions about the Vrindavana pastimes of Shri Krishna
But among that entire assembly of so-called devotees,
no one could enlighten him
about such transcendental truths.

None of those neophyte devotees,
could understand the scriptures at all.
Engaging in their pretentious solitary worship,
they simply searched
for dry chapatis and chick peas.

My Guru-deva had once boldly declared
"all these babajis in Vraja are neophytes"
After so long I have finally understood
the resounding truth of what he said.

"One who is expert in conclusions
of revealed scriptures,
and who has firm faith in Lord Krishna
is classified as a topmost devotee
He can deliver the whole world".
(C.c. Madhya 22.65)

My spiritual master is known
through out the universe
as the savior of the fallen.
If he can deliver someone
as fallen as myself,
then he is surely as glorious
as his reputation.

In this age of Kali-Yuga,
all the souls are fallen and wretched,
Although looking with their eyes,
they still can not see
the actual situation here in this world.

Shri Gaura-Sundara,
the Supreme Personality of Godhead,
is the most magnanimous personality.
His nectarean instructions to us
are sweet and profound to hear.

His instruction was that
who ever has taken their birth
in the holy land of India
should work for the real benefit of others.

One of the Lord's own pastimes
was to remain in solitude,
tasting and relishing
transcendental topics about Radha-Krishna.
But it is never the devotee's practice
to imitate this confidential pastime of His.

When the devotees engage
in the activities of devotional service
they never attempt
to personally relish like the Lord did.
Tasting and relishing transcendental pastimes
is actually impossible for those living
in the dull material body.

One who is deluded
with gross bodily consciousness
identifies with his material body.
While trapped in this tempory covering,
no one has ever relished
transcendental enjoyment like the Lord's.

There are some who boldly judge
the Lord's devotees
in terms of caste or external bodily nature;
but these same critics
consider themselves quite expert.
in relishing Radha-Krishna's
transcendental pastimes.

For example, there was a clerk
at the Post Office
who was a respected caste Goswami.
The local babajis would always go there
and bow down to him again and again.

But even that supposedly exalted soul
was falsely proud of his own caste by birth.
Shri Ntyananda Prabhu, the best of Lords,
smashes such conceptions to pieces.

I have personally seen
all these things going on
in the holy land of Vrindavana-dhama.
Therefore I can understand
that there is some work to be done here.

There are many pretentious prakrta-sahajiyas busily engaged in outright debauchery.
They seduce the wives of others
and try to relish a mundane imitation
of Radha-Krishna's transcendental lila.

These are not the ecstatic devotional
moods of the transcendental abode
of Vrindavana-dhama.
O my dear mind! Please continually remember
the lotus feet of the six gosvamis.

Since the time the six gosvamis
first arrived in Vrindavana
on the command of Shri Chaitanya Mahaprabhu
and preached true religious principles,
the practice of devotional service
has indeed flourished.

All of the Gosvamis are eternally liberated associates of the Lord, and they continually remember
the pastimes of Radha and Krishna.
Their confidential
practice of such remembrance.
vanquishes all the sins of the fallen souls.

If someone simply tries
to imitate those great souls
by artificially adopting
their dress and behavior,
then he is immediately captured by Maya
and is never allowed
to escape the material world.

Just preach the Lord's message
to the fallen souls,
going continually from door to door.
By the grace of that preaching,
your life will become truly successful.

My spiritual master,
Shri Varshabhanavi-Dayita dasa,
has given the following instruction;
"Chant the holy name in a loud voice."
(Dust Mana, verse 19)
This is his foremost commandment.

The purpose of performing
congregational chanting
is not to simply make a loud noise
by beating on drums.
The modern-styled racket
by the devotees nowadays
is not the sweet sound of pure kirtan.

Anything truly useful for the service of Hari,
is non-different from Lord Madhava,
for in actuality the sole enjoyer of everything within the three worlds is Lord Yadhava.

Maya's deluding potency is perfectly expressed
in the sound of the radios
that are loudly heard everywhere.
By performing enthusiastic kirtan continually,
just drown out all that nonsense noise.

All these mundane newspapers
simply represent the trivial
chaotic hashing of Maya.
To counteract such useless distractions, just perform kirtan everywhere in the world.

By sitting in a solitary room
pretentiously calling out to the Lord
you may increase your bile secretion,
but by spending even ten million births
in that way, you will never please Shri Hari.

Shri Hari is not some material asset
to be inherited by anyone's father.
Just come out of your private little pen
and do not make any objection.

Everyone belongs to Shri Hari,
and Shri Hari belongs to everyone.
"Go on chanting kirtan
with loudly raised voices"-
this is my spiritual master's instructions.

By the natural potency of kirtan,
the methods of smarana
or transcendental remembrance
will spontaneously arise.
Only then will the qualifications
for solitary worship
be genuinely attained within the heart

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