Lecture by Sri Madhu Pandit Dasa on April 12, 2015
Srimad Bhagavatam – 1.6.23
jata mayi drdha matih
hitvavadyam imam lokam
ganta maj-janatam asi
By service of the Absolute Truth, even for a few days, a devotee attains firm and fixed intelligence in Me. Consequently he goes on to become My associate in the transcendental world after giving up the present deplorable material worlds.
In this verse the Lord is telling Narada that – after giving up this material body you will become an associate of Mine in the transcendental world. In this material world even though we are pure souls, we are thinking we are material body, because we want to lead a material life, where Krishna is not in the picture.
Now we are in Bhagavatam class, Krishna is in the picture, we are discussing His glories, so Krishna is the enjoyer in this situation. After class you will have prasadam, who is the enjoyer? Krishna. But you are also enjoying. In Bhagavatam class, you enjoy hearing His glories, this is Absolute enjoyment. Krishna enjoys, devotee enjoys. Other types of services, you won’t enjoy – it is tapas. Full day fasting on Janmashtami, Krishna is the enjoyer, you are suffering. As a neophyte, first time when you tell somebody thinks: Oh, I have to fast, suffer for Krishna. But after sometime he will tell: I enjoy making the body and mind suffer in this particular way for Krishna – so you separate your body and mind from yourself. But if you want to think my soul is my body and mind, then there is no guarantee you will enjoy devotional service.
With the intention to serve the Lord, devotees go through a lot of ups and downs with their mind and body. Prabhupada says that you need not take another birth in this material world of birth, death, old age and disease. You can get your permanent spiritual status by becoming an associate of the Lord in the spiritual world. Our enjoying spirit should go and serving spirit should come. For a neophyte, when he is taking prasadam, Krishna is not in the picture, only – very tasty, very tasty. That is why training is given to chant the prayers, maha-prasade govinde, etc. so that you remember Krishna while taking prasadam, it is His remnants, and you honour prasadam. When you take Krishna prasadam then the relationship is gratitude to the Lord for mercifully giving you prasadam.
Everybody’s attitude in this material world is how to increase enjoyment – either for oneself or for one’s extended family members. With that spirit you cannot go back to Godhead. Spiritual enjoyment comes from the enjoyment of sat-sevaya, hrsikena hrsikesa-sevanam bhaktir ucyate, with my senses I want to serve the Lord. In the material world giving and taking happens, if that getting is zero, giving will also become zero. The attitude in the spiritual world is giving and not getting because the devotee has firm faith that – I have to work to give Krishna pleasure, and it is Krishna’s business to give or not to give.
Everybody in the material world is walking with ahankara and the real aham, that is sleeping. If your material body is unconscious, you cannot enjoy. Similarly, atma, the soul is unconscious now and therefore you do not taste seva. For ahankara, seva is a punishment. Ahankara always wants – serve me, glorify me, I am the centre. Atma’s nature is opposite. When you do one seva there is enjoyment in it.
Let us say you want to help a young boy, he is dirty, has no home. You may decide, let me bring him into our family. Now the first thing you do is clean him up. Prabhupada is like that, he is compassionate, how to take all these people back to the family. Unless you become clean you cannot go there. Suppose you bathe that boy and next day again he starts rag picking. Old habits die hard, 2-3 times you will tell him to stop and then you and your family will send him out saying, “when you are ready, we will take you again.” Same thing here also, the spiritual master has given us instruction on how to clean our soul, how to experience higher taste of seva. Therefore, no intoxication, meat eating, illicit sex or gambling, all these are unclean for the soul, atma nasana. You give up this and serve Krishna; you will get everything, higher taste.
So by associating with the spiritual master, by reading his books, we will understand what his standard is. When a child is learning to walk, it will fall many times, but eventually it will walk because the walking tendency is already there in the child. It has to practice. Similarly the nature of the atma is seva, seva is already there. Sometimes you may fall from seva for sense enjoyment, don’t give up, stand up again. You don’t have to separately fight to control your senses, you have to understand I have to do more seva, then this fighting will decrease, higher taste will come. The Lord is pavitram, completely pure. Unless you are also pure you cannot stand before the Lord. So our personality has to become like Krishna, to go to Krishna. The spiritual master’s business is to shape your atma to become a personality like Vishnu. Therefore you are called a Vaishnava.
You may be having many complications in life, that is why you get up in brahma-muhurta and finish your 16 rounds, then nobody will disturb, mind is also fresh when you wake up. So before office problem, house problem, get up and chant your 16 rounds and the whole day that Krishna shakti will be there. For chanting Hare Krishna mantra there are no rules and regulation, because this Hare Krishna mantra is food for the soul, not for the body. 100% you will feel fresh – that freshness is something extraordinary. If you hear properly, it will go and touch the soul. So at that moment when you are chanting you will feel freshness. Don’t allow your mind to think of anything else. If you are able to continuously be in touch with the nama, freshness is guaranteed. That is the power of Hare Krishna maha mantra. That is why we always tell people – chant and see, but we tell them how to chant, hear the shabda, don’t think of anything else.
(The above transcripts have been edited for better readability. However they have not been verified and confirmed by the original speaker.)