13 January 2021
Bhagavad Gita - Krsna’s message to us through a devotee postman
Hare Krishna ! Welcome to this Japa Talk. Devotees are chanting with us from 813 locations. Om Namo Bhagavate Vasudevaya !
We must say this at least since because for so many days we are listening to Krsna - Bhagavad Gita. Actually we are relishing Bhagavad Gita.
bahūnāṁ janmanām ante
jñānavān māṁ prapadyate
vāsudevaḥ sarvam iti
sa mahātmā su-durlabhaḥ
After many births and deaths, he who is actually in knowledge surrenders unto Me, knowing Me to be the cause of all causes and all that is. Such a great soul is very rare. [BG 7.19]
Krsna says, “The knowledgeable come to Me.” If he doesn’t come to Krsna then he is full of ignorance. Those who are amateurish don’t take shelter of Krsna, but those who are knowledgeable take shelter of Krsna. This knowledge is full of Bhakti, not the knowledge of the speculators. Knowledge comes from Bhakti or devotional service. This principle is given in Bhagavat.
janayaty āśu vairāgyaṁ
jñānaṁ ca yad ahaitukam
By rendering devotional service unto the Personality of Godhead, Śrī Kṛṣṇa, one immediately acquires causeless knowledge and detachment from the world. [SB1.2.7]
Those who render devotional service acquire knowledge and then develop detachment from material attachments. It is said so many times.
dadāmi buddhi-yogaṁ taṁ
yena mām upayānti te
To those who are constantly devoted to serving Me with love, I give the understanding by which they can come to Me. [BG 10.10]
• teṣāṁ satata-yuktānāṁ - those who are always engaged serving Me
• prīti-pūrvakam - serving Me with love
• dadāmi buddhi-yogaṁ taṁ - I give them intelligence
• yena mām upayānti te - by which they can come to Me
Krsna says, “ One who is engaged in serving Me with love, I give them the intelligence or knowledge to know Me.” And that is very rare. That is why, Krsna says,
bahūnāṁ janmanām ante
jñānavān māṁ prapadyate
When we render devotional service then Krsna gives us intelligence so that we can take His shelter. All knowledge and intelligence comes from Krsna. He gives us knowledge in the form of Bhagavad Gita. In the courtyard of our heart, Krsna is always present.
sarvasya cāhaṁ hṛdi sanniviṣṭo
mattaḥ smṛtir jñānam apohanaṁ ca
vedaiś ca sarvair aham eva vedyo
vedānta-kṛd veda-vid eva cāham
I am seated in everyone’s heart, and from Me come remembrance, knowledge and forgetfulness. By all the Vedas, I am to be known. Indeed, I am the compiler of Vedānta, and I am the knower of the Vedas. [BG 15.15]
He gives us the remembrance to remember Him. If you are remembering the Lord, then it is only by Krsna’s mercy. jñānam apohanaṁ ca means the soul gets remembrance, knowledge and forgetfulness from the Lord. All these living entities who have forgotten the Lord in this material world is actually an arrangement of Krsna. We are not even free to forget the Lord. Only the Lord can make us forget about Him or His Maya does so. Someone says, “ God does not exist”. So the Lord helps one to believe that He doesn’t exist. He makes them believe, “Yes, I do not exist”.
antar bahir avasthitam
Krsna is situated in Arjuna’s heart as well as present in front of him. He is speaking Bhagavad Gita by standing in front of him and also in his heart. There is no difference. Whether Krsna instructs us by standing in front or from the courtyard of our heart. It is same. Krsna is the same in both the cases.
Dhruva Maharaja was reciting om namo bhagavate vasudevaya while performing austerities in Madhuvana in Satyayuga. It was a different age. Now in the age of Kali, the mantra we have to chant, is the Hare Krsna maha-mantra.
Hare Krsna Hare Krsna
Krsna Krsna Hare Hare
Hare Rama Hare Rama
Rama Rama Hare Hare
He performed severe austerity and showed great renunciation. Krsna was happy with Dhruva’s devotional service. When the Lord appeared in front of Dhruva, he did not open his eyes to see the Lord. He was concentrating on the Paramatma feature of the Lord in his heart. He was not seeing the Lord, so the Lord felt, “Why is he not looking at Me?” The Lord was thinking,“You wanted to meet Me and now I am here”. Then Krsna understood. He is seeing Me, but in the courtyard of his heart. There is no difference between these two situations. The Lord disappeared from the inside.
santaḥ sadaiva hṛdayeṣu vilokayanti
yaṁ śyāmasundaram acintya-guṇa-svarūpaṁ
govindam ādi-puruṣaṁ tam ahaṁ bhajāmi
I worship Govinda, the primeval Lord, who is Śyāmasundara, Kṛṣṇa Himself with inconceivable innumerable attributes, whom the pure devotees see in their heart of hearts with the eye of devotion tinged with the salve of love. [BS 5.38]
Pure devotees can see the Lord in the courtyard of their hearts. Pure devotees like Dhruva Maharaja, Prahlada Maharaja etc. What is the state of a pure devotee? They see the Lord with the eyes of devotion. Dhruva Maharaja was shedding tears of love for Krsna. When he stopped seeing the Lord in his heart due to Krsna’s will, Dhruva Maharaja immediately opened his eyes,”Where is my Lord? Did I lose my Lord?” And then he saw the beautiful form of the Lord in front of him. It is one and the same thing. When we hear Bhagavad Gita, it's difficult to say who is guiding us - the paramatma in our heart or the Guru in front of us. Yes, this knowledge is heard through disciplic succession. It’s one and the same. As the guru is narrating exactly what Krsna narrated to Arjuna.
imaṁ rājarṣayo viduḥ
sa kāleneha mahatā
yogo naṣṭaḥ paran-tapa
This supreme science was thus received through the chain of disciplic succession, and the saintly kings understood it in that way. But in course of time the succession was broken, and therefore the science as it is appears to be lost. [BG 4.2]
Krsna says, “I instructed this imperishable science of yoga to the sun-god, Vivasvān, and Vivasvān instructed it to Manu, the father of mankind, and Manu in turn instructed it to Ikṣvāku.” It is coming through disciplic succession. The knowledge is the same and the one who is giving this knowledge is also same. The instructions are the same. The one who is imparting this knowledge is not saying something different. He is giving the same instructions which are given by the Lord. We should accept it as ultimately the Lord is instructing us.
Do you remember the illiterate brahman of Sri Rangam? Everyone was making fun of him while he would read the Bhagavad Gita in a faulty way. The brāhmaṇa regularly read the eighteen chapters of the Bhagavad Gītā in great transcendental ecstasy, but because he could not pronounce the words correctly, people joked about him. Due to his incorrect pronunciation, people sometimes criticized him and laughed at him, but he did not care. He was full of ecstasy by reading the Bhagavad Gītā and was personally very happy. While reading the book, the brāhmaṇa experienced transcendental bodily transformations. The hairs on his body stood on end, tears welled up in his eyes, and his body trembled and perspired as he read. Seeing this, Śrī Caitanya Mahāprabhu became very happy. Śrī Caitanya Mahāprabhu asked the brāhmaṇ, “My dear sir, why are you in such ecstatic love? Which portion of the Bhagavad Gītā gives you such transcendental pleasure?”
Reading is also hearing in a manner of speaking. The transcendental words of Gita emanate from the lotus lips of Krsna only. The medium can be different.
-mām ekaṁ śaraṇaṁ vraja_
ahaṁ tvāṁ sarva-pāpebhyo
mokṣayiṣyāmi mā śucaḥ
Abandon all varieties of religion and just surrender unto Me. I shall deliver you from all sinful reactions. Do not fear. [BG 18.66]
This verse is said by the Supreme Personality of Godhead. Then we are reading this in a printed form or we are hearing this from our spiritual masters who are always preaching.
yāre dekha, tāre kaha 'kṛṣṇa'-upadeśa
āmāra ājñāya guru hañā tāra' ei deśa
"Instruct everyone to follow the orders of Lord Śrī Kṛṣṇa as they are given in the Bhagavad-gītā and Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam. In this way become a spiritual master and try to liberate everyone in this land." [CC Madhya 7.128]
There is no difference between the source of Bhagavad Gita. The speaker is always Krsna whether you hear it from someone or read it in the book.
gītā sugītā kartavyā kim anyaiḥ śāstra-vistaraiḥ
yā svayaḿ padmanābhasya mukha-padmād viniḥsṛtā
Because Bhagavad Gītā is spoken by the Supreme Personality of Godhead, one need not read any other Vedic literature. One need only attentively and regularly hear and read Bhagavad Gītā. In the present age, people are so absorbed in mundane activities that it is not possible for them to read all the Vedic literatures. But this is not necessary. This one book, Bhagavad Gītā, will suffice, because it is the essence of all Vedic literatures and especially because it is spoken by the Supreme Personality of Godhead. [Gita Mahatmya verse 4]
The instructions of the Gita are coming from Lord Krsna only. We may think that this person sitting on the vyasa asana is saying this or someone else is speaking this, but they are just a medium.
Like Srila Prabhupada would say,”preachers, siksa gurus, diksa gurus are like postmen.” They deliver the letter as it is from the sender. The postman is there in between, but the letter is still given by the sender only. The message written in that letter is given by the sender and not the postman. The ideal postman never alters or changes the content of the letter as doing so may cost him his job. Then he will not be a good postman. His job is to give that letter as it is. Then we receive it and read it. When the postman doesn’t make any changes in the message of that letter then the source of that letter was, is and always will be the sender. Similarly we are hearing this message of Bhagavad Gita and the siksa gurus never change the message of Bhagavad Gita.
The Brahman of Sri Rangam told Caitanya Mahaprabhu that whenever he reads in the Bhagavad Gītā, he can visualise the scene in Kurukshetra where Madhava and Pandava (Krsna and Arjuna) are present on a chariot.
senayor ubhayor madhye
rathaṁ sthāpaya me ’cyuta
yāvad etān nirīkṣe ’haṁ
Arjuna said: O infallible one, please draw my chariot between the two armies so that I may see those present here. [BG 1.21]
Krsna stops the chariot in between the armies. The scene is mentioned in the first chapter,
tataḥ śvetair hayair yukte
mahati syandane sthitau
mādhavaḥ pāṇḍavaś caiva
divyau śaṅkhau pradadhmatuḥ
On the other side, both Lord Kṛṣṇa and Arjuna, stationed on a great chariot drawn by white horses, sounded their transcendental conchshells. [BG 1.14]
A very special chariot is there which is driven by white horses. Lord Krsna and Arjuna are sitting on that chariot. The brahman is seeing Lord Krsna seated on that chariot and Krsna is giving Arjuna instructions. As long as I read the Bhagavad Gita, I simply see the Lord’s beautiful features. We also read Bhagavad Gita and it is only to remind us of Krsna where Krsna speaks about Himself, like where He resides and all that which we have forgotten about Him. Forgetting Kṛṣṇa, the living entity has been attracted by the external feature from time immemorial. Therefore the illusory energy [māyā] gives him all kinds of miseries in his material existence. The living entity is going from one species to another for so many births. After wandering throughout the entire universe, we came here by Krsna’s mercy.
brahmāṇḍa bhramite kona bhāgyavān jīva
guru-kṛṣṇa-prasāde pāya bhakti-latā-bīja
“According to their karma, all living entities are wandering throughout the entire universe. Some of them are being elevated to the upper planetary systems, and some are going down into the lower planetary systems. Out of many millions of wandering living entities, one who is very fortunate gets an opportunity to associate with a bona fide spiritual master by the grace of Kṛṣṇa. By the mercy of both Kṛṣṇa and the spiritual master, such a person receives the seed of the creeper of devotional service. [CC Madhya 19.151]
First Krsna established our relationship with a devotee. He sends a path pradarshak guru (anyone who shows us the path to self realization) in our life. We met devotees. We establish our relationship with the devotee of Krsna somehow, during the book distribution marathon. When one buys a Bhagavad Gita from the devotee that is the turning point in ones life. After a little discussion, I was convinced and I bought it. Devotees are also very expert in persuading people to purchase a Bhagavad Gita. That moment changed my destiny and my good fortune began. Krsna made us fortunate by connecting us with a Hare Krsna devotee or a Gaudiya Vaisnava devotee. Then the sequence of events start to hasten the devotional life of someone like participation in Ratha-yatra, honouring prasada and so on. Krsna does the arrangement. He is behind everything.
sarva-kāraṇa-kāraṇam [Bs 5.1] - He is the cause of all causes. We are secondary reasons. We are just instruments.
nimitta-matram bhava savya-sacin [BG 11.33]
You, O Savyasacin, can be but an Instrument in the fight.
Even before the battle started Krsna showed Arjuna how everyone was already being killed. Krsna said, “ See all the sons of Dhṛtarāṣṭra, along with their allied kings, and Bhīṣma, Droṇa, Karṇa – and our chief soldiers also – are already rushing into my fearful mouths. Some are trapped with their heads smashed between My teeth. These great warriors enter blazing into My mouths. It is I who is going to kill everyone. I am the one who protects the devotees and re-establishes the principles of religion. Everything is already done by My arrangement, but you, O Savyasācī, can be but an instrument in the fight. You just take the credit. Although it is I who is the cause of all causes.” Arjuna, you just become the medium and get all the fame by My will.
If Arjuna didn’t fight, someone else would’ve fought as the war was inevitable. It is Krsna’s will to make the war happen and establish religion. He wants to establish Yudhishthira as king, but Krsna selected Arjuna as he was Krsna’s pure devotee. If Arjuna fights then he will get all the credit, all the glories. Krsna wants to glorify His devotees.
Similarly Krsna makes us the medium to spread His holy names, the entire team of ISKCON - the spiritual master, the preacher, the initiating spiritual master, caitya guru (the paramatma residing in each jiva's heart). Everyone is trying to make devotees. It’s a team effort. They are bringing everyone to the lotus feet of the Lord. In between all these efforts, one effort that we are all making for the past month is book distribution. We are preaching Bhagavad Gita and hearing japa talks on Bhagavad Gita. Every one is engaged in distribution of Bhagavad Gita -no matter what. Krsna has selected you as the medium to spread His message to other conditioned souls. Krsna is inspiring us “Give Bhagavad Gita to some person.” We are just instruments. He inspires others to sponsor Bhagavad Gita. We are going everywhere. Even matajis with book bags are going to each and every home to distribute Bhagavad Gita. People release their dogs who run behind the devotees, but they don’t care and keep on distributing. Somewhere it is too cold, but still they don’t worry and go on their distribution.
śīta ātapa bāta bariṣaṇa
e dina jāminī jāgi re
Both in the day and at night , the heat and cold, the wind and the rain. [Bhajahu re mana verse 2]
They are transcendental by rising above all the dualities of the material world and distribute books. The Lord is making you an instrument so that you can distribute this message to more and more people. You are connecting everyone to Krsna. This is devotional service. Thank you for kirtan - hearing, preaching the glories of Bhagavad Gītā. Kirtan means to speak whatever you have heard, you meditate on it and then you absorb it in your heart. Then there is realization. It also increases and deepens our faith and then when you preach or speak, it is called Kirtan. So I will stop here.