27th May 2019
As we chant, realize Krishna, the Lord as a person
Sri Krishna Chaitanya Mahaprabhu in Jagannath Puri, He was meeting devotees from Kulia, Kulingram. So one year devotees asked,” how are followers to be recognized? What is their identification? What is the expectation?“
So in that year, Sri Krishna Chaitanya Mahaprabhu, Sri Krishna Chaitanya Mahaprabhu ki Jai! He was personally talking to devotees and others; we also should talk and have dialogues. We should have the same mood and imagine and visualize the Lord’s physical presence in Jagannath Puri. Of course, there is nothing physical in the Lord’s form, because He is fully spiritual, and presents a fully spiritual form as He speaks to the assembled devotees.
The impersonalist mayavadis, wish to merge with Brahmajyoti, Brahaman, and are unable to understand the chanting of Hare Krishna. How could one relate or address to Brahaman?
Towards the end of Bhagvad Gita, Lord is asking His devotees to do four things.
man mana bhava mad bhakto
mad-yaji mam namaskuru
Remember Me, become My devotee, worship Me and offer your obeisances unto Me.
So, if you are an impersonalist, how will it be possible to follow the Lord’s instructions? What would they remember about Brahman, because there is nothing much to remember, just light, and nothing more. The Lord wants us to remember Him, but if you are nirakar, nirguna, impersonalist follower of Shankaracarya, what are you going to remember in Brahmajyoti?
When we chant Hare Krishna we can remember so much. There are thousand names by which you can remember Krishna while chanting, and you can think of the meaning of these names of the Lord. Krishna says ‘mad bhakto’, become My devotee. So, how can you become a devotee of brahmajyoti?
In India, there are many impersonalists, like our Muslim brothers. There are also those other religions that subscribe to impersonalism. Unfortunately, you cannot remember and become a devotee of brahmajyoti light.
If you are chanting Hare Krishna you have to be personalist, you have to understand Krishna’s personality, the Supreme Personality of Godhead. He is a person, like you and me, as noted by Srila Prabhupada.
namaste saraswati deve gauravan pracarine nirvisesa sunyavadi pastatya desatarine
(Srila Prabhupada Pranati)
In chanting these words, we offer our most humble obeisances to the lotus feet of Srila Prabhupada who saved us, saved the eastern and western world from this Shunyavad and Nirvisheshvad among so many Vads or isms, theories and philosophies. The predominant is Nirvisesvad, impersonalism, this Brahmajyoti business and Shunyavadi or Buddhadev of Voidism.
We have been saved by Gauranga, Gauravani Pracharine. Gauranga Mahaprabhu’s message, His presence, His lilas, His preaching which Srila Prabhupada presented on behalf of Gauranga. This is what we are now presenting on behalf of Srila Prabhupada, so we are being saved from this onslaught of impersonalism and voidism.
‘Man mana bhava mad bhakto mad yaji’
Worship Me, how can you worship Brahmajyoti? Can you offer a garland to brahmajyoti? Can you offer Chandan to the Brahmajyoti? Where could you smear chandan on the Brahmajyoti? Forget all of this because the Lord says worship Him. Those who understand the Lord as brahmeti paramatmeti bhagavan iti sabdyate.
[SB 1.2.11] sees the Lord as having three features and one of them is Bramhajyoti, but that’s not all, the Lord is more. He is also Paramatma, He is also Bhagavan. So the chanters of the Lord’s Holy name have to understand the Bhagavan or revive their bhagavata as we chant. We have to realize Krishna, the Lord as a person, with His pastimes, His abode, and His associates.
To become an impersonalist means it’s the end of Bhakti, because there is no devotion, nor is there a flow of feeling of emotions unto the Lord. There is no Bhakti, there is no Bhakta, and there is no Bhagavan because as per this philosophy, there just exists just a light -merge into Brahman! This is the last snare of maya, Prabhupada writes, this BrahmaJyoti.
He refers to it as Nirakar which is big maya. “I am that light, Aham Brahmasmi” you forget becoming somebody’s devotee, you want to be the Lord. Not that you are becoming devotee or servant of the Lord, but the idea that “I am Lord”.
man mana bhava mad bhakto
mad-yaji mam namaskuru
The remaining item is namaskuru, we write and we say, “Koti Koti Dandavats” to you or to the Lord. There is no question of offering any dandavats or even one dandavat to the light, He is not a person, just a light. Offering obeisances is not possible, unfortunately they maintain that “I am that Lord”, so to whom is he going to offer obeisances ? Unto whom are you going to offer obeisances, “I am Him” this is big maya. We can say that this Mayavadi philosophy is a big illusion. Sadly, this is going on, being propagated and is continuing to spread.
Chaitanya Mahaprabhu said,
mayavadi-bhasya sunile haya sarva-nasa
If you listen to Mayavad theory or philosophy, everything will be finished, your devotion will be finished, and your bhakti will be finished.
Finally the Lord says in this beautiful statement of Bhagavad-Gita, ‘mām evaiṣyasi satyaṁ te’, meaning that if you remember Me, become My devotee, worship Me, offer obeisances unto Me, then you will certainly, surely, come to Me, come back to home, where I eternally reside, that’s where you will end up if you do these four things.
If you are an impersonalist, those who are, a lot of them out there are, there is no question of them going anywhere. There is no Vaikuntha for them, there is no Goloka for them, there is no going anywhere, even if they believe they are, this activity of going for them is maya. Form is maya, everything is maya only - the light. For them nothing else exists only Brahman, this jyoti, there is no question of going back to Godhead. The Lord wants us to go back to Him, ‘mām evaiṣyas’ meaning, “Come, where I am residing eternally.” So this mayavadi philosophy is all anti- Krishna statement and is anti-Bhagavad Gita.
Lord Chaitanya had been meeting devotees from Kulingram in West Bengal. When asked about how devotees were recognised, He said “One who chants the holy name all the time, Kirtanya sada hari all the time, that is Hare Krishna devotee, that is my devotee.”
The following year the devotees from everywhere met in Kulingram once again with Lord Chaitanya. The devotees raised the same question, “How do you recognize your devotees, Gaur bhaktas, my dear Lord.”
Lord Chaitanya Mahaprabhu said, “As soon as you look at a Hare Krishna devotee, see what he is doing? He will remind you of Krishna, his this act and that act will remind you of Krishna, he will be a big reminder of Krishna, that’s my devotee, that’s a Gaur bhakta.”
Yet again the same question was raised the following year. The Lord said that “as soon as he begins to chants Hare Krishna, all the symptoms of ecstasy manifests, as he chants Hare Krishna you will see tears roll down his cheeks, his body will be trembling and you can read all the symptoms of ecstasy in him, that is my devotee.”
The Lord spoke about devotees from one level to another and another beginning with one who is at least chanting all the time. Then his life is full of devotion, and then he reminds others of Krishna that is another higher level. Then highest, he is fully absorbed remembering the Lord and exhibits all the symptoms of ecstasy in his personality.