PART1 AMAZING KKS LECTURE
SB 2.9.7. “When he heard the sound, he tried to find the speaker, searching on all sides. But when he was unable to find anyone besides himself, he thought it wise to sit down on his lotus seat firmly and give his attention to the execution of penance, as he was instructed.”
“To achieve success in life, one should follow the example of Lord Brahma, the first living creature in the beginning of creation. After being initiated by the Supreme Lord to execute tapasya, he was fixed in his determination to do it, and although he could not find anyone besides himself, he could rightly understand that the sound was transmitted by the Lord Himself. Brahma was the only living being at that time because there was no other creation and none could be found there except himself. In the beginning of the First Canto, in the First Chapter, first verse, of the Srimad-Bhagavatam, it has already been mentioned that Brahma was initiated by the Lord from within. The Lord is within every living entity as the Supersoul, and He initiated Brahma because Brahma was willing to receive the initiation. The Lord can similarly initiate everyone who is inclined to have it.
As already stated, Brahma is the original spiritual master for the universe, and since he was initiated by the Lord Himself, the message of Srimad-Bhagavatam is coming down by disciplic succession, and in order to receive the real message of Srimad-Bhagavatam one should approach the current link, or spiritual master, in the chain of disciplic succession. After being initiated by the proper spiritual master in that chain of succession, one should engage himself in the discharge of tapasya in the execution of devotional service. One should not, however, think himself on the level of Brahma to be initiated directly by the Lord from inside because in the present age no one can be accepted to be as pure as Brahma. The post of Brahma to officiate in the creation of the universe is offered to the most pure living being, and unless one is so qualified one cannot expect to be treated like Brahmaji directly. But one can have the same facility through unalloyed devotees of the Lord, through scriptural instructions (as revealed in the Bhagavad-gita and Srimad-Bhagavatam especially), and also through the bona fide spiritual master available to the sincere soul. The Lord Himself appears as the spiritual master to a person who is sincere in heart about serving the Lord. Therefore the bona fide spiritual master who happens to meet the sincere devotee should be accepted as the most confidential and beloved representative of the Lord. If a person is posted under the guidance of such a bona fide spiritual master, it may be accepted without any doubt that the desiring person has achieved the grace of the Lord.”
So Lord Brahma was trying to seek out the source of his existence; and he tried in various ways in this quest. And just as he became totally bewildered he had tried to go down the stem of the lotus and yet he had not found out the origin of his existence. So, just as he was bewildered as to what to do next- at that time he heard “ta pa”. And in case that he might have thought that he had imagined the sound- he heard it twice: “ta pa”- So it was that he heard it definitely. And so he tried to search out the speaker, but he was unable to find the speaker. So than he thought about the matter; he realized that he was getting instructions from a superior, and he could understand that that superior was the Supreme Lord as Srila Prabhupada is stating. So thus Lord Brahma decided that it was wise to surrender to that instruction. Srila Prabhupada is pointing out that Lord Brahma received the transcendental instruction from the Supreme Lord and than decided to accept that instruction and completely dedicate himself to that instruction. So, this counted as the initiation of Lord Brahma.
So we see that the essence of the initiation is commitment. The more external signs of and entire ritual is also all significant; the exchange of vows, the changing of the name, the fire sacrifice that follows; all have an essential function. Because, within the vows that are taken one makes that commitment. In the name that has being changed one is accepting the new identity within the new commitment that has been made. And in the sacrifice so many blessings, so many blessings are coming upon this commitment. All the blessings of previous Acaryas, of the Supreme Lord, and so on are being invoked. The demigods are present there; their blessings are invoked, the vaishnavas… in this way many, many blessings on the commitment that has being made. So all these things are essential, because each of these things are very much required for maintaining the commitment. But the essence of the whole thing is the commitment to follow the directions.
So Lord Brahma was committed to the Supreme Lord, he took that instruction with fool dedication. Without hesitation he dedicated himself to that instruction. So this is the requirement.
Many of us are taking initiation, different initiations, but it is difficult to make that commitment. Again and again we are making commitment and again and again we are realizing that we cannot live up to the commitment, or that the commitment had a deeper significance than we initially thought. Just as when we first make this commitment in the initiation to fully dedicate our life basically to the process of devotional service. To follow the process of sadhana bhakti and that to gradually as one is becoming purified in this process increase the quality of our surrender. But each time, as time is going along we find that we fail in so many ways in fulfilling this vow, in fulfilling this commitment of initiation, or that we thought that it was a simple thing of just I am vowing something quantitatively: 16 rounds and 4 regulative principles. But gradually one begins to understand that that is only the very basis, that much more difficult is to fill it in- more difficult that to simply commit to 4 regulative principles and 16 rounds is to fill in the vows and to make them meaningful to actually fulfill the purpose of the vows- pure devotional service, unalloyed surrender, complete unalloyed commitment.
Everything in relation to the spiritual master who is taken to be the direct representative of Krsna is meant to be taken of great significance- a word, a gesture; just a mood is to be taken with complete seriousness. If the spiritual master simply raises an eyebrow than that is enough for the disciple to understand- oh this is not desired, and than to for a life time never again look in that direction. That is really the level; that is what the commitment is all about.
So it is not a casual thing; there is no argument with the spiritual master. And not only is there no argument there is even no internal sense of difference between a pure devote- the disciple and a pure devotee- spiritual master. Of course we are not pure devotee disciples and in that sense we are not really doing a very good job as disciples. There is constant a gap between us and the spiritual master; in difference in mood, in difference of what we think is important; we may have personal opinions and what not. But truly, the purpose of the scriptures is very clear about the guru-disciple relationship. I know that when we bring it down to practical life in ISKCON that one may think; well, but and that is all fine but could I please make a comment here? That part- I am leaving it aside for a moment, maybe latter in the later we will bring it down to a more social level, but first let us look at the relationship from the absolute perspective; from the perspective of the scriptures, and let us just once again reconfirm what the real purpose is of the relationship.
And Srila Prabhupada, of course is one who said about himself that: “How is it that this miracle happened to me? My spiritual master had many, many qualified disciples. So why is it that this miracle happened to me?” Miracle- referring to all the success in preaching. And Prabhupada said: “I can think of only one thing; that I cent percent followed the order of my spiritual master.” At least in Srila Prabhupada we see that scriptural requirement fulfilled; he actually fulfilled a vow to the fullest extend- Which is there for us clearly as an indication that it can be done and must be done and that we are not doing. And now what? This is the case. So how can we improve?
It is of course one of the functions of the Vyasa Puja offering; Vyasa Puja offering is certainly to glorify the spiritual master, certainly to pray for blessings to the spiritual master and the Vyasa Puja offering is also meant to kind of review to what extend we are really committed to our spiritual master, and to realize our shortcomings in this regards, and than to renew that commitment. So we have this system of annually renewing our commitment.
Of course, as we are renewing the commitment we are doing it half hearted, and then even that halfhearted promise to renew we actually already know; we are not going to make it; we are not going to live up to it. So what to do? This is called lip-service. In the 19th chapter of the Madhya lilla- the teachings to Srila Rupa Gosvami are described. And than it describes that there are 8 400 000 species of life, and of these species so many are in the animal forms and in the plant forms and than 400 000 are in the human forms and of those 400 000 in human forms there are those that are civilized and uncivilized, and the civilized ones are following the Vedic scriptures, and than amongst those there are also different degrees and some are worshiping the Supreme Lord, and out of those who are worshiping the Supreme Lord most are just rendering lip-service; it is said there. So this term lip-service is coming up in the teachings to Rupa Gosvami.
I guess, looking in the mirror, that is what it is, that is what our commitment is; the commitment of, at least to some extend, lip-service. What to do?
Some are already excepting the defeat, even before trying. Some people say: “Well this is just too difficult. I mean, I cannot do it”, and accepting the defeat before trying. But, I guess, when I give lectures everyday, I cannot help to repeat myself a little bit. So in the last few days we also touched upon theme how actually a spiritual life is not; or spiritual progress is not reasonable. One cannot just be reasonable and calculate that: “Logically speaking, reasonably speaking, my capacity goes to this extend.” And than we see our own limits and than if the goal is beyond my capacity, that logically, reasonably speaking; I cannot reach it. Therefore logically, reasonably speaking it makes no sense to even try.
But that is overlooking one factor- the Krsna factor. Because Krsna is also present in the whole thing and Krsna is actually adding to our own endeavors, and because Krsna is adding to our own endeavors, suddenly it becomes possible.Just recently, before I came here, in Amsterdam, there was a verse in Bhagavatam which gave many qualities; 30 qualities that a devotee should try to attain; and one of the topics that came up was charity, and that one should be charitable. And we discussed than vaishnava charity. The vaishnava charity as being more than just giving some of our possessions. But that vaishnava charity means- one must give himself. One must fully give himself- that is vaishnava charity. And in vaishnava charity there is no question of calculating; well logically I can give so much. No. One should just give and trust that Krsna somehow or other will do the needful. This is the principle.
So also in surrender in spiritual life this is the principle; that we must trust that Krsna will somehow or other make the necessary arrangements even if I am now giving up some of my material security, I need not worry. Krsna will; He will somehow or other be there and He will take care. He will take care. So I need not fear. That is Bhagavad-gita sarva-dharman parityajya mam ekam saraaam vraja aham tvam sarva-papebhyo moksayisyami ma sucah The last word ma sucah means “Do not fear”, Krsna says. Beginning: “Just surrender unto Me, abandon all varieties of activities. Just surrender unto Me. I will deliver you from the reactions from all sinful activities. Do not fear.” Do not fear”.
We fear like anything, there is no doubt about it- we fear a lot, we do, if we get honest. Therefore Krsna needs to say it: “Do not fear” Because He knows very well. So it is not that we may act as if we do not fear-…….we do.
Surrender is the most scary thing, it is the most scary. Giving up ones own arrangements and starting to rely upon different solutions is very, very scary. Accepting a spiritual master and he can just any time step into our life and say: “No. Please edit this- This part out. We scrap this.” But, but… It is just like a writer who has written his essay and he is attached to every word, because he placed every word on a gold scale and measured it carefully, thought about it a hundred times, and thought- This is the word. And than the editor, the insensitive editor, who does not consider at all how much heart you put into choosing that word, just comes in and scraps it in a moment, totally overlooking; overlooking how much of your life went in there. The insensitive butcher has just entered into your text, right. And of course, you argue with him. And he is like a rock. Everything you say is just, just cuts the answer back. I know, I live with editors, And I guess you do too, at least around here in BBT. And editors are people; they always have an answer to everything you say. They are just really too much. They have always checked the dictionary, and they never casually scrap a word; and that is the disturbing factor; that when they take out the word, they have already looked it up in the dictionary, and then when you just complain, they say: “Yes, but in the dictionary…” So, the spiritual master equally so, when we start arguing… “The scriptures, the scriptures… “, and there we go.
So one has to come to this point of trust and allows this editing. Without rebottle without rebellion; this is very, very difficult. This is interfering with our spirit for freedom- The horse broke lose and was galloping freely on the prairies- this kind of thing is sort of something relating to our mentality- We wish to be free, we wish that total freedom; just to go in any direction that we feel like going. And surrendering our freedom- well you better present good arguments- Very, very good arguments; all right; than inch by inch I will surrender a little of my freedom. But this is not the right attitude in relation to the spiritual master. The spiritual master has no time, he has no time to deal with this inch by inch card game; and for each card that we surrender he has to thaw a better number on the table, right. Maybe he can do, but does he have the time to play such card games with every disciple. It is too much, it is too much, if he has to play a card games. It will not work. There are too many conditioned souls- too few spiritual masters. It is not possible.
Therefore the disciple that piece meal cuts himself in the fingers. That disciple is simply damaging his own spiritual advancement and nothing else. Because, one has to do a lot himself in Krsna consciousness. It is not that the spiritual master at the time of initiation says: “And now I solemnly swear that I will carry this disciple on my back back to the spiritual world.” And that the spiritual master is like a donkey who is carrying disciples up the mountain; that is not the case.
If we look at Brhad-bhagavatamrta, there we find the interesting information about the guru-disciple relationship. Gopa-kumara, he is sometimes meeting his spiritual master, he appears from time to time. The spiritual master of Gopa-kumara is almost like the spiritual masters in ISKCON, in the sense that he is not there most of the time, it is just as if he is flying in with some plane and there he is, and then before you know it, he flies out again. It is exactly like that, the spiritual master of Gopa-kumara, sometimes he is there, and then he gives an instruction to Gopa-kumara, but sometimes the spiritual master really does not make it very clear at all. He gives this instruction and Gopa-kumara is sort of not a hundred percent clear of what he really meant, but anyway, it happened really fast and there was this instruction, and Gopa-kumara is sitting with this instruction and than the spiritual master is already gone again, before he could really explain it. These situations appear in the Brhad-bhagavatamrta which I think is very interesting, because there is really a parallel with the modern day jet-age parivrajakacarya, as Satsvarupa Maharaja sort of coined the phrase. So, very interesting. And what does Gopa-kumara do with these instructions? Well he tries to implement these instructions as good as he understood them. Sometimes he gets it wrong, but then that gests corrected latter. But anyway, Krsna also as he is trying to follow that instruction to the best of his ability, Krsna from within, begets to help him to understand the instruction better, in that way somehow or other it works. It works without that with each instruction there has to be a manual.
It is not like that the spiritual master has to write a manual with each instruction. Or when he has to give an instruction he has to give with it 50 quotes from scripture etc with each instruction. No, sometimes just simply a raised eyebrow is enough; OK- understood. And the mood of the disciple is not be grudgingly; “All right, ok, I guess we have to put the breaks on now. Hum, hum what to do. What a bummer, anyway that is spiritual life.” -Nothing like that.
The disciple takes whatever comes from the spiritual master as great mercy and wears it as siromai, as a jewel on the head, as a great treasure; practically worships that instruction. You take the instruction and do puja to it, bow down to it, lovingly accept it and say: “My spiritual master is so kind, he just smashed; he smashed everything I believe in for the last so many years; he is so merciful” Like that.
“Something I have been meditating on now for many, many years, he just sort of puff blew it up as one blows up the balloon with the pin. And for me it was meaningful and a very, very deep thing, and he just popped the bubble.”
Yes I also have and am also experiencing that in the relationship with the spiritual master that he acts in that way- A glance, a look, a remark and there it goes- there go things that may have been in my life for over 20 years- puff- in a flash- out the window, good bye. So it is never cheap. It is not cheap.
If one wants this relationship to be successful; remember, remember- this is not broken pieces of glass- we are speaking about diamonds. We are speaking about the greatest treasure. We are speaking about cent percent surrender. Us. We. Initiation does not just mean- I guess I will join the club. It is not joining the club it means that one is making the commitment to complete surrender, complete. And, all right, it is understood that it will take a little time- that is accepted. That is accepted that we cannot do it even if we try. But we must try. And sometimes the spiritual master will point out that: “Try harder. Not good enough.” “What? After everything I have done, not good enough?” “Not good enough” Sorry.
It is not the “not good enough” of an ungrateful person. It is not to be mistaken for people in this world who always say: “Oh not good enough” And it is never good enough. When the spiritual master says ‘not good enough’, he simple says ‘not good enough’ from the perspective of what Krsna gave. Krsna set the standard, and he is simply representing the standard of Krsna. It is ‘not good enough’ by the standards of Krsna. It a ‘not good enough’ to enter into the spiritual world, it is a ‘not good enough’ to become a pure devotee of Krsna. In that way he is acting in a corrective way.
So Lord Brahma was, as I mentioned before, a extraordinarily pious personality, a most qualified personality, and therefore he received the post of Lord Brahma. So therefore within Lord Brahma, there was a very little resistance, due to his great piety he was able to surrender as Bhagavad-gita point out yesam tv anta-gatam papam jananam punya-karmanam te dvandva-moha-nirmukta bhajante mam drdha-vratah That one who is very pious he can worship me with drdha-vratah with firm determination. So if we detest within ourselves that we have a difficulty to surrender that we should understand that we are lacking piety, that actually we are contaminated. We should not just hold on to this is my nature- this is me. No,no. We should understand that I am contaminated, very much actually, more then I thought I was, and this is one of the points that we have to go through in the process of devotional service, is that we become aware of how much contaminated we are. We must be confronted of how much contaminated we are and that we must accept it that actually”I am fallen. I am insignificant, I though that I knew so much- but now I realize that I do not know anything actually. Today I stand here humbled, and I stand here today corrected, and I stand here simply to be told what to do next. Please try again. Please instruct me again and this time I will try and do better”
This mentality is required and it may take many years before we get there. It may take many, many years. It may take 20,30,40,50 years it may even come at the very end of our life that we finally come to this point where we realize actually; “I am so impious, and therefore I have become so covered and all this time therefore I was so falsely proud, but now I realize that I am actually simply need the shelter of your instruction.” So this is the stage…. CONTD TOMO