11 June 2019
Austerity: to advance in Krishna consciousness
When we undergo austerities like we do on Nirjala Ekadashi, that means we are minimizing our bodily needs or demands of our mind, body, demands of the family, so many demands, we minimize them. Live simple life with few facilities, bare minimum, most minimum and think high, remember Krishna, chant Hare Krishna, simple living high thinking, that’s the life of tapasya- life of austerity of devotees of Sri Krishna.
We should not be doing one day but we should be doing every day. This austerity, this tapasya is purifying and that’s how we make advancement in Krishna consciousness.
This land of Bharat varsha is land of tapasya, ‘tapobhumi’, rest of the world is ‘bhogabhumi’. There is svarga, heaven or hell, there is some kind of bhoga, enjoyment or suffering. Suffering is also bhoga, there is reaction for sinful activity. But here in Bharat varsha, this is tapobhumi, land of austerity and purification. So, by hearing this the devotees from Ukraine or Russia or from America or Mauritius, they think, oh this does not apply to us. We are not Bharatvasis. We are not Indians, so this is not meant for us. This is wrong thinking. Don’t think like that. By studying Krishna consciousness in different countries or wherever Krishna consciousness has reached and practiced, those lands are Bharat varsha. That is Bharat varsha and those who are practicing Krishna consciousness they are in true sense Bharatvasis, residents of Bharat.
So you are part of Bharat varsha. You are Bharatiyas by the action.
So performing austerities is one and all for us wherever we are. This chanting of Hare Krishna is big tapasya we are doing, and not to think of anything else. And for this to get up early and begin chanting, this is tapasya. And to sit down and chant Hare Krishna is a big tapasya, not running around, walking and going here and there, no, sit in one place. Or sit down and only hear holy name and not to hear other topics, this is tapasya of the body as well as tapasya of the mind. We need our mind very austere in order to chant.
Tapasya for the body, tapasya for the mind, tapasya for the tongue.
Lord Sri Krishna has described tapasya of three kinds, three different levels, bodily, mentally, vocally, ‘kayena manasa vacha’. This world has seen amazing tapasvis, austere practitioners of Krishna consciousness; this was very common like in Treta yuga, Satya yuga, they used to do meditation, sitting in one place, like Valmiki. He was instructed, Okay stop this killing or looting people. Just sit down and chant Rama Rama Rama! Then he practiced like that, followed the instructions of his guru maharaja, Narada Muni by sitting in one place and chanting for long time. He sat down and he was not moving here and there, and of course there was,
sita atapa bata barisana e dina jamini jagi re
[Bhajau re mana by Govinda Dasa]
He kept sitting through winter season and rainy season and all kinds of seasons. And all the attacks, wind was blowing and showers of rain and he just tolerated, just kept chanting in all odd situations. And he was not defending, eating stopped. Sleeping, I don’t know how they manage sleeping. They use to sit down and meditate for years, long time. There is no eating, only air and only Hari nama, only Rama nama he was drinking and no question of mating and no defense. They used to be in the middle of the forest. The tigers and snakes and jackals are all around, but they are not scared. They are not defending, instead depending on the Lord and not defending and just in their business, activity of chanting the Holy name of Lord and remembering the Lord and they have forgotten whereabouts.
vyavasayatmika buddhih ekeha kurunandana [BG 2.41]
Their buddhi, their determination, great determination, fixed determination, it is called vyavasayatmika buddhih ekeha and just fix on the Lord, Lord’s Holy name or Lord’s pastimes, they are fully focused. Of course, the tigers would not eat them up but the ants are coming and crawling all over the body and eating and as a result there was an ant hill around the body of Valmiki Muni. So they are tolerating all the biting of worms and germs and ants and they were fix on the Lord, totally oblivious to the surrounding and what is happening to their body, inconvenience to the body, they are tolerating, they are beyond the body. They are just absorbed in Krishna, in Sri Rama. And doing some pranayam, deep breathe, slowly breathing in, slowly breathing out, long deep breathes also extends one’s life; he lives long one who takes long deep breathe. And this is done in mode of goodness and in passion you will run and fast breathing and that minimizes your life span. So take deep breathe and chant,
Hare Krishna Hare Krishna
Krishna Krishna Hare Hare
Hare Rama Hare Rama
Rama Rama Hare Hare
That deep breathing, pranayam also helps to concentrate. So this yogi, Valmiki Muni is doing this, taking air in, besides the Holy name only the air, surviving on air.
Of course, you know this also that we cannot imitate those yogis of Satya yuga or Dwapar yuga, or we cannot imitate Valmiki Muni, same thing with Dhruva Maharaj.
So yogi, either they sit in padmasan or they stand on one foot, that is also one asana. Stand on one foot means you are not going to move around, because so many demands are arousing in you, oh I want this, I want that, so many desires, so many pushing’s, ashapash and then for that the body has to be sent ‘go there, go shopping, go travel, make money, all these things’ for this run around has to be done.
So the yogis used to minimize all this pushings.
vacho vegam manasa krodha vegam jivha vegam udaropastha vegam [NOI Verse 1]
There are six pushings mentioned in Upadeshamrita, the mind is pushing and anger is pushing and making you run around and belly is pushing and genitals are pushing, all these pushings and then passion is there and then running around, busy with the ugra karma and no time for Hare Krishna Hare Krishna.
So we cannot imitate those yogis from the past, meditaters from the past, but whatever austerities we could manage, whatever type of simple living that can be practiced that we must do. So, we cannot imitate those yogis from past, from Satya yuga, Treta yuga, but at the same time we should not imitate the present day materialists, the way they are busy, in their simple thinking and high living. High livings, but thinking simple or no thinking, just do it!
So we should not imitate or become the followers of the present day materialists or scientists or all those folks.
The materialists are trying to, high living life style, death style, live in a style and die in a style, so we don’t take inspiration from those materialists and their leaders. Some people from west, also coming to senses and they are changing their lifestyle.
Last time I was in America and there was one group of people, they said, ‘Swamiji we follow the formula called KISS formula’. I said, ‘I am a Swami. I have nothing to do with this Kiss. What is this Kiss?’ They said, ‘No, No, not that kind of kiss.’ Then I said, ‘what is this Kiss formula you are following?’ And they said, ‘Keep It Simple Stupid formula! Kiss, so this formula we are following. Simple living high thinking!’ So India is trying to lead smart life and smart cities, they are also saying, ‘don’t work hard, work smart’, like that. But if there are anyone smart, that are the devotees, devotees are smart.
Jeyi Krishna bhaje seyi bada chatur
One who worships Krishna, he is chatur (smart), everyone else is fool number one or number two or number ten or they are all not smart. Devotees are smart.
Okay! so be wise, be smart and chant Hare Krishna and be devotees of the Lord.
Hari Hari! Gauranga!