27 July 2020
Attentiveness reaps unlimited rewards!
Hare Krsna! Today there are 830 participants. Now I will do kirtan, and you all will be doing sravan. Sravanam kirtanam That was the way it was done in the forest of Naimisaranya Suta Goswami was doing kirtan and the sages assembled there were doing sravan. Suta Goswami said this in Canto 1, Chapter 3, Verse 44:
tatra kīrtayato viprā viprarṣer bhūri-tejasaḥ ahaṁ cādhyagamaṁ tatra niviṣṭas tad-anugrahāt so 'haṁ vaḥ śrāvayiṣyāmi yathādhītaṁ yathā-mati
Translation O learned brāhmaṇas, when Śukadeva Gosvāmī recited Bhāgavatam there [in the presence of Emperor Parīkṣit], I heard him with rapt attention, and thus, by his mercy, I learned the Bhāgavatam from that great and powerful sage. Now I shall try to make you hear the very same thing as I learned it from him and as I have realized it. ( SB 1.3.44)
What did Suta Goswami say? Although I cannot explain it in detail, but the one thing I want to draw your attention to, is ahaṁ cādhyagamaṁ, understand the things which Sukadev Goswami was narrating to Pariksit Maharaja. “I realized those things which I had heard.” How was it possible? This is very important to understand. Vinistaha “I heard all the things narrated by Sukadev Goswami with rapt attention, with full concentration, that is why I understood and realized it so well.” He explained two things. First, “I heard it by being ekagra ( in full concentration). Ek - agra means stabilizing the mind, pin pointed on one point. When full concentration is added with bhava, it is 'Dhyan purvak'. We also call this 'prem-purvak'.
We should chant with full concentration. Attentive chanting! Dhyan-purvak japa ( with full concentration) or prem-purvak japa ( with love for the Lord). As I was reading the purport of Srimad Bhagavatam 1.3. 44 yesterday, I realised that Prabhupada has stressed this concentration aspect immensely. He has written that simple hearing is not all, we should hear with full attention. Here they are talking about the hearing of Srimad Bhagavatam. Suta Goswami said this about the hearing of Bhagavatam and Srila Prabhupada has also expanded on the same thing. But we have to understand, whether we are hearing Srimad Bhagavatam or we are chanting Harinama, it is the same thing. Bhagavatam is the literary incarnation of the Lord. Harinama is also an incarnation of the Lord. Then hearing of Bhagavatam or hearing of Harinama is the same thing. All of the above instructions are applicable to both sravan as well as kirtan. Then it may be kirtan of the form or kirtan of the name or of His qualities and pastimes or about His Dhama. How should we do it? Prabhupad writes, "Simple hearing is not all.” Not with little attention, where the mind is running about here and there. In English they say, 'spaced out'.
vyavasayatmika buddhir ekeha kuru-nandana bahu-sakha hy anantas ca buddhayo 'vyavasayinam
Translation Those who are on this path are resolute in purpose, and their aim is one. O beloved child of the Kurus, the intelligence of those who are irresolute is many-branched.( BG 2.41)
Not focused, not concentrated, our attention is distributed everywhere. This won't help according to Prabhupāda. One must realise the text with proper attention. It is like when the army or policemen are at leisure, they are chatting and moving around and when they are ordered "Savadhan" by their superiors, when it's time for the parade, they suddenly become alert with rapt attention. I was also in NCC while in school. We also got this “Savadhan!" order which meant whatever we were doing should be left as it is and with a steady mind, give attention to the parade. Move forward, go back, to the left or right, like that. That was - Savadhan!
The world nivistaha means Suta Goswami drank the juice of Bhagavatam through his ears. Suta Goswami became Savadhan! Then with the steady mind he drank the nectar of Bhagavatam through his ears. We also have to chant, Hare Krishna Hare Krishna Krishna Krishna Hare Hare Hare Rama Hare Rama Rama Rama Hare Hare by hearing with our ears, with full concentration of the mind.
Prabhupad further writes, “This is the real process of receiving the Bhagavatam. One should hear with rapt attention.” Here Prabhupada is explaining further by elaborating on rapt attention, as fixed attention. "Then at once one can realize the presence of Krsna in every page." When one hears Bhagavatam with full concentration then it will give the experience of the pastimes of Krsna in the pages of Bhagavatam. Harinama will also give us darsana.
Realize abhinnatvat nam namino: realize that Krsna’s name is not different from Krsna.
"The secret of knowing Bhagvatam is mentioned here". Prabhupada is mentioning here that the secret of how to approach Bhagavatam has been mentioned. What is the word that he has mentioned? - Attention - with rapt attention. Further he writes about the tools. We keep saying that we have to chant attentively with concentration, but how should one achieve that concentration? How should we become dhyani. For that Prabhupada is giving some tips over here which are very, very important, which I realised when I read it yesterday. So I thought of sharing that with you.
Make a mental note of it, write it down or you can always go to the purport of SB. 1.3.44. "No one can have rapt attention who is not pure in mind." If we don't chant or hear or do kirtan with concentration, our mind is not pure. He further writes, "No one can be pure in mind who is not pure in action." If one's mind is impure , his actions cannot be pure. Further he writes, " No one can be pure in action who is not pure in eating , sleeping, fearing and mating". Your lifestyle can't be purified till the time you are not pure in your eating, in your sleep patterns, or mating. One should follow according to the rules and regulations set for mating for Grhastas. There should not be illicit sex. Grhastas are permitted to have sex, but under certain rules and regulations. If they follow those rules and regulations then that action will also be pure.
balam balavatam caham kama-raga-vivarjitam dharmaviruddho bhutesu kamo 'smi bharatarsabha
Translation I am the strength of the strong, devoid of passion and desire. I am sex life which is not contrary to religious principles, O Lord of the Bharatas [Arjuna] ( BG. 7.11)
The Lord explains, “Sex life which is not against the principles of religion is Me.” Such sex life is pure. It is said that one should be pure in eating, sleeping, mating and defending. If our actions are pure, then our mind will also be pure. When the mind is pure, then our mind can concentrate on Harinama chanting or hearing it attentively. Have you all noted? Prabhupada has mentioned that if our mind is pure, then our chanting will also be pure. How to purify the mind? If our actions are not pure, then the mind will not be pure.
How to purify our actions? We keep doing various activities.
'śraddhā'-śabde—viśvāsa kahe sudṛḍha niścaya kṛṣṇe bhakti kaile sarva-karma kṛta haya (CC Madhya 22.62)
Whatever devotional activities we do throughout the day should be done by observing the do's and don’t's of devotional life. There are innumerable activities that we do which can be classified by using various verbs (Kriyapad). Kri is one dhatu, from where various verbs come. In Sanskrit there are around 2000 dhatus, which explain various foundational activities. From that 2000 it expands further to thousands and lakhs of activities which we keep doing. But Prabhupada mentions the four basic activities which the Lord has also mentioned in Bhagavad-GIta - āhāra-nidrā-bhaya-maithunaṁ ca. Other activities are related to these.
Srila Prabhupada has mentioned here that if an activity is correct according to scriptural injunctions then our mind will be pure. When the mind is pure, we can chant attentively. Then we will chant with love.
nitya-siddha kṛṣṇa-prema ‘sādhya’ kabhu naya śravaṇādi-śuddha-citte karaye udaya
Translation Pure love for Kṛṣṇa is eternally established in the hearts of the living entities. It is not something to be gained from another source. When the heart is purified by hearing and chanting, this love naturally awakens. (CC Madhya 22.107)
nitya-siddha kṛṣṇa-prema ‘sādhya’ kabhu naya
This love for the name of the Lord is then achieved. What is this kirtan? - Oh! This is Prem-kirtan. This is the way in which it was explained to King Prataparudra.
How can we do this Prem-kirtan? śravaṇādi-śuddha-citte karaye udaya When our mind is purified, then our activities will also be purified. Our hearing and doing kirtan will also be purified. When it is purified, then we can chant attentively. This is the connection. When there is purity, then we can chant attentively, with rapt attention and with love. This was some food for thought for the day. Contemplate on it, because our goal is - Attentive chanting.
There are no announcements today. I am aware we all have a tendency to write something. When we listen to something, we want to talk about it. We want to express our thoughts or it generates some questions in the mind. This must have happened with you all, is it not Aravind Locana? For that we are giving you some minutes to write. Oh! I got it! I understood this! Then you must have thought in your mind. This action of mine - eating mating sleeping defending - was not happening in a pure manner. Like that if you have made up your mind about some such thing which you will not do from now on. In this way if anyone wants to write, they can write. Others can continue chanting.
Today is Sanket’s birthday. Prerana is not chanting. We are wishing your brother a Happy Birthday and you are not chanting? Oh, is there a party? Have a good day! Happy day! Chant Hare Krsna and be happy every day. Make some determination to chant a certain number of rounds everyday. Perform some religious activities.
If you have any questions, answers to those questions are being given. Haridas Thakur has written some answers. Well done! Do read the answers to those questions on Facebook. Now you have understood something, then share your realisations with others. Do some bodhayantaḥ parasparam. Share things with family members and among counsellor and counselees. When you are preaching online or otherwise, then whatever you hear and understand in the session, share with others.
so 'ham vah sravayishyami - that’s what Suta Goswami said to Saunak and the other munis. He said, “Whatever I have heard and understood I will explain to you.” Suta Goswami heard attentively from Sukadev Goswami. He also has written - anugrahat which means, “ Whatever I could hear is not only due to my endeavours. I have done my efforts, but it is also the result of your mercy.” God helps those who help themselves. This way Suta Goswami is explaining. Two factors are required, our endeavours and your mercy. The way mother Yasoda attempted to tie Krsna to the mortar. Although she was failing to do so she kept endeavouring with enthusiasm and determination. Then the Lord showered His mercy and allowed to be tied up. We learn from that pastime , devotees try to achieve the Lord by doing Sadhana and when the Lord sees his efforts, then He showers His mercy, then
kṛṣṇa-prāpti hoy jāhā ha'te
When you shake hands, one person forwards his hand and then other one also does the same. Only then is some union possible. There are two parties. Guru and Gauranga is one party and we, sadhakas are another party. Actually we are not the other party, but the same party. The other party is Maya.
Pandavas vijayastu pandu-putranam yesham pakshe janardana
Janhavi Ganga, have you heard this before? That party, who is in Krsna’s party is undoubtedly victorious. You should also be in Krsna’s party. Follow the opinion of the Lord. Aapali mate konala? ( Whom do you vote for) This is Marathi. We vote for Krsna. Don't get entangled in different thought processes. Follow the Lord's guidelines, then you are from His party. At the end of Bhagavad-Gita it is said,
yatra yogesvarah krsno yatra partho dhanur-dharah tatra srir vijayo bhutir dhruva nitir matir mama
Translation Wherever there is Kṛṣṇa, the master of all mystics, and wherever there is Arjuna, the supreme archer, there will also certainly be opulence, victory, extraordinary power, and morality. That is my opinion. ( BG 18.78)
Bhagavad-Gita is completed with this concluding verse.