“Results of disrespecting our superiors”
January 16th 1994
New Delhi, India
parebhyo vah parabhavah
samrddhanam ca yat surah [SB 6.7.22]
Because of your misbehavior toward B?haspati, you have been defeated by the demons. My dear demigods, since the demons were weak, having been defeated by you several times, how else could you, who were so advanced in opulence, be defeated by them?
The devas are celebrated for fighting with the asuras perpetually. In such fights the asuras were always defeated, but this time the demigods were defeated. Why? The reason, as stated here, was that they had offended their spiritual master. Their impudent disrespect of their spiritual master was the cause of their defeat by the demons. As stated in the sastras, when one disrespects a respectable superior, one loses his longevity and the results of his pious activities, and in this way one is degraded.
So, this is yet another incidence from the history which took place long time in the past have been shared with us by Srila Vyasadeva in the form of Srimad Bhagavatam and this takes place here. We are here and history repeats. Meaning what happened in the past could and does happen all over again. So here, what we are understanding from this part of Bhagavatam is what happens when your superiors are disrespected or misbehave our relationship with our spiritual master and our respectable superiors. The results has been given.
We could say that happened in the past, that has nothing to do with us or with the present time. Can we say that? No. This is the rule. The world is governed by different rules, different sets of rules. Big and small rules. They do not change. So we cannot say that one time this had happened and this was the results of the misbehavior or misconduct in the part of demigods, Indra. They offended their spiritual master, Brihaspati, and he left their company disgusted and unsupported of their behavior. Then he walked away but the result was there was a fight which is a normal again – fight between demons and demigods.
Prabhupada is using the term perpetual. This fight is perpetual. Devas are celebrated for fighting with asuras perpetualy. Now there are only two kinds of people in this world,
Two kinds of persons, devotees and demons, and they always fight for their rivalry, one wants to defeat the other one. And who wins ultimately? Demigods always win. This time, they were defeated.
So, Brahma has personally asked them questions, “How come? In the pasts, you defeated the demons so many times, but this time you are defeated! You have been continually defeated these demons, they had become weaker. The strong demons you have defeated. After so many defeats, the demons have become weaker. Those demons you could not defeat. Strong demons you have defeated, but now weak demons you are not able to defeat. Can you think of some reasons? What do you think what is the difference? That time when you defeated the demons and now the demons have defeated you. What is the difference? Just think for a while. There must be some thing.”
Now the demigods had no answers to the questions. Brahma is going to reveal the facts to them as he is going to make it clear that the reason is that in the past you had several of your superiors including Brihaspati, your spiritual master, but now, this time, you are not favoured by your spiritual master. As a result, you lost all your powers and now you are defeated.
We get powers from whom for our spiritual advancement? If we want to make this advancement, we get powers from Krsna. Krsna’s powers come through the previous acaryas and they come to us through our spiritual master, diksha guru, shiksha guru, caitya guru, vartma-pradar?aka-guru – varieties of gurus. One diksha guru, many shiksha gurus, our family – Prabhupada’s family. There are so many gurus. Some are giving us initiation and so many more giving us instructions, sharing their realizations, giving us guidance, inspire us. They are also gurus and by their mercy we are making some progress. It is not automatic.
According to Cakravati Thakur,
yasya prasadad bhagavat prasado
yasya aprasadan nagati ko to pi
You will not make any progress if there is no prasad or the superiors. We thrive on prasad. If there is no prasad or the supply is cut, we will starve. First of all we have to manage to get some food to eat. But there are other kinds of benediction and mercy that we need which is not some material sustains. There are some mercy in the form of plate of prasad that we eat and some other necessities are coming also: devotees care and maintenance, soaps, toothbrush, toilet kit. These things, are they mercy? Are they prasad? These things are healthy in the service of the Lord. So it’s some kind of mercy.
Yet, there is another kind of prasad that you do not even see. It is so subtle. Because it is so spiritual then mercy flows. Mercy flows from high potential as there is the electricity flows. If we keep ourselves at the higher potential or the higher level than the spiritual masters or others vaisnavas, how will the mercy flow? So we bow down at the feet of vaisnavas, spiritual superiors, spiritual master. Where do we touch our hands and head? We touch by their feet or we touch the feet. We bow down or our head goes down. We try to put ourselves at a very lower level. More lower position we take, what will happen? More flow will there be. Is this easy to understand? Yes.
In case we put ourselves like Indra who thinks he has so much opulence and “that makes me superior to my spiritual master or other superiors,” so, immediately, mercy flow is stop. So, one has to be always watchful and always careful so that this mercy is not cut off. We need mercy all the time. We are at the mercy. Just like mercy case, so that is our case. Without the mercy of Krsna, vaisnavas, spiritual masters, we can not make any progress. We need mercy all the time, not that certain time in our life we would not require or need mercy anymore. There are various examples, because they thought, “we are superior, we do not need the superiors.”
There was a mouse and he was always harassed by a cat. He was wondering, “what should I do?” So the mouse went to a sage, some mystic yogi like sai baba. He said, “There’s a cat who is always harassing me. Do something and make me a cat.” He chanted some mantra and “chu-mantra”. So he became a car. You want to become someone superior to you, by position or body you are. Now he was cat but mouse was not harassing. Who was harassing them now? The dog was harassing, always chasing the cat and again he got into trouble.
He went back again to the same yogi. “My problem is not from the mice but my problem is from the from the dogs. So please make me dog.” Another mantra was chanted and he became a dog. No problem from cat anymore but now problem from lion. So he goes back again, “could you make a lion?” “Yes, yes, why not? You are approaching, begging me for mercy and no other shelter, just me.” The yogi did a mantra again and he was made a lion. Then he started roaring, “I am the king! There is no creature as powerful as I am.” So he wanted to make someone around him his first target and this was the sage in front of him. So he went wandering in the forest to find someone to eat or scare.
So on whom he was going to try his power on? The sage! Roaring him up. And then what happened? Before he could do something to the sage, the sage chant another mantra and that mantra was meant to make the lion back into mouse. He became mouse again by that mantra. He took all his powers that made him into the cat, the dog and the lion and he was mouse again – back into trouble. He could have let the lion by the mercy of this powerful sage, by his mantras, he could have let him alone but the person who gave him all these powers and vision, he was trying to get him. Ungrateful, “namakharam.” “Namak” means salt. You eat somebody’s salt then you owe him something or you have some obligation towards him as you are eating his “namak”, his salt. You do not eat only salt, it is part of the whole meal. It is not just salt that you are eating. He was someone ungrateful so, he lost all his powers.
This could and this does happen. This has happened, also. We have seen many some of our godbrothers and devotees also. Position is no big thing but losing service or not having desire for serving Krsna anymore or the mantra does not come, or if one does not want to chant mantra anymore, would there be any worse defeat than that? One may think, “oh, demigods had to fight. They were ksatriya and they had to fight, physically, with the demons. We are just simple people. We are not emperors or kings, we do not have army and there is no fight and battle and no victory and defeat. So why should we learn anything from this example? What kind of defeat is no defeat?” But we have enemies.
These demons represent, they are personification of, bad qualities. Demons represent what? “Anarthas.” Which also, broadly speaking, big, big anarthas. Big enemies are in how many numbers? Six enemies are there – kama, krodha, mada, moha, lobha, matsarya. So, who would defeat us? If we do not have the mercy of the superiors, mercy of the spiritual master, who will save us? When the kama is powerful, the lust is trying to devour you, who will save us? When krodha, so much energy. When a person becomes angry, he is losing so much of his power. When you go through this anger thing you become physically weak, you begin trembling, you can not think and lot of energy is drained by this kama. Kama is powerful, it defeats us. Krodha is powerful.
Lobha is powerful. Greed keeps us busy. There are two things. One thing a need yet other thing is a greed. Need is okay. You need somethings, few things. As soon as those things are provided which you need, you should be happy. But if your enemy called greed is very, very strong then there is no end this greed will make you work and work as you will never be satisfied with few necessities of your life. If there is greed then you will have no time for Krsna and you will not chant Hare Krsna. Like that, it is to explain that how kama, krodha, lobha, mada, moha, matsarya defeat us when we have no mercy of the respectable spiritual superiors. So, we have to be very, very careful.
We were talking to one devotee in Melbourne, last week. He was saying, “I rather be careful as I turned up my eyes and I see some senior devotees, some leaders having difficulties and they had to leave and they are no more serving. Am I the next?! That makes me fearful which makes me more careful. Or am I an exception?”
So we have enemies and in order to become victorious, we are in need of mercy. We are a mercy case. But when the superiors become merciless, no more mercy – can you think of that state of existence that you do not get, anymore, mercy? If you are told, now, no more mercy. If you are beginning trembling and will you know what to do and how you would survive? What will happen to you? Because we are not here with our own strength, we are not lively because of our own powers or strength, adjustment or physical strength or material opulence, no. None of these things are called of our present spiritual status. Whatever all we have attained is all simply mercy. What kind of mercy? Causeless mercy.
We do not even deserve it. We do not even talk of our past. Not even take a look to go with the history case. Our own history is so bad and still we are here and around Krsna and devotees. It is amazing. We are amazed that we are here. What is the cause of us being here? It is the causeless mercy. Those who are giving us mercy, even Krsna is giving us mercy through the spiritual master. Krsna is giving us mercy to the association of devotees. Somehow, we deserve that mercy. As soon as you start thinking otherwise, immediately, the enemies are here. It is not the regular demons but our own anarthas. We have not conquer all so there is a remain in our bhajana kriya. The result of bhajana kriya is what? “Anarthas nivrati”. Before bhajana kriya us what? Sraddha, sadhusanga and then comes bhajana kriya. As we begin bhajana kriya, then we become free from our anarthas, conquering our enemies.
So we cannot forget that we have enemies, very powerful enemies. We can conquer or defeat our enemies by mercy of Krsna and the spiritual master and vaisnavas. Arjun and the pandavas were only 5 in number, their army was much smaller in number but they became victorious and what is the cause? They have mercy of Krsna.
esam pakshe janardhanam
“Panduputranam”, Pandu putras became victorious because they were inspired by Janardhana Krsna, inspired of Krsna. That was the cause of their victory. So stay in the side of Parthasarathi, of Prabhupada and the devotees we become victorious by conquering all of our enemies, lust, greed, etc. Being small we have so many enemies, hovering around, just around the corner they are waiting to get us. As soon as you are not alert, immediately, they are going to grab us. So keep serving the devotees and also for protection by the mantra
Hare Krsna Hare Krsna Krsna Krsna Hare Hare
Hare Rama Hare Rama Rama Rama Hare Hare
This is our ISKCON bullets, gulab jamuns. Do not eat too many, otherwise, you will be fat then you will be defeated.
Okay, thank you. Sri Sri Radha Partha Sarathi ki, jai!