10th May 2019
I offer my respectful obeisances unto Sri Chaitanya Mahaprabhu, Lord Nityananda, Sri Advaita, Gadadhara Pandit, Srivasa Thakur, and all the devotees of Lord Chaitanya.
We want to hear the spiritual sounds, the truth because we are surrounded by untruth and falsity. We are surrounded by falsities and we need to reach out at the real sound and select “not this, not this, this one.” This is the truth that I want to hear then we will become free from illusion
satyaṁ paraṁ dhīmahi(SB 1.1.1)
-the supreme ultimate reality of the Lord. This subject matter is presented by one of the Navayogendras, called Hari. He is talking about the different gradations or kinds of devotees or bhagavats. They are described elsewhere in Bhakti Rasamrita Sindhu.
kaniṣṭha-adhikārī, madhyama-adhikārī and uttama-adhikārī. Briefly the symptoms of those three categories of devotees are explained here.
King Nimi asks, please explain me the symptoms of different categories of devotees. What are the qualities of a devotees; how do they act, behave or feel? By understanding the symptoms belonging to each of the levels, we can then understand on which one we are. Am I a kaniṣṭha-adhikārī, 3rd class or a little more evolved – at the madhyama-adhikārī level or Am I a top-notch devotee evolved at the top level? Am I a first-class devotee (uttama-adhikārī)?
Of course, our goal is to become uttama-adhikārī, and he is only eligible as the first class to go back to Krishna and enjoy the past times of Krishna. There is a good chance that many of us are at the lower level of kaniṣṭha-adhikārī, and we need to be honest because honesty is the best policy.
Srila Prabhupada used to say that we should expect at least to come to the level of 2nd class devotee, not to remain at the 3rd level. The goal is to become a first-class devotee of the Lord. I was thinking we will talk of uttama-adhikārī and understand the symptoms of the different levels every day and also to discuss how when somebody is stuck, can become free.
Sarva-bhutesu means all living entities. It is not that God is not situated in the cat's heart or dog's heart. A pure devotee sees everyone and everything in relation to the Lord. This is his speciality – everyone is part and parcel of the Lord and then he loves them because they are related to Krishna and he is kind to all of them. He is the pandit who is fully knowledgeable and is a bhagavat. When he looks around, he sees everyone as souls, not just human beings and these belong to the Super soul or Supreme soul. He does not see the bodies, he sees the souls within these bodies. He loves and cares for them just because they are attached to Krishna. And he is kind to all others.
mātṛvat para-dāreṣu para-dravyeṣu loṣṭravat
ātmavat sarva-bhūteṣu yaḥ paśyati sa paṇḍitaḥ
One who sees that is a real pandit. As its said in Bhagavad Gita,
brāhmaṇe gavi hastini
śuni caiva śvapāke ca
When he looks around, he sees everyone as souls. Not only humans have souls but everyone has souls. They are not the body they are souls and that soul belongs to the Super soul. He does not see the body but the soul in the body. He also loves and cares for them also.
There used to be one Italian Saint Francis, the patron saint of the environment and animals because he loved all creatures and allegedly preached to even the birds. He would address the tree as “sister tree and brother moon, or sister hen.” That was his vision and that was his understanding.
An uttama-adhikārī, is free from the dual nature and is pervasively beyond the bodily concept and he is fixed in the soul – this soul is in a black body, American, Christian, or this Congress party. He transcends these conditionings and relates with the soul directly.
Chaitanya Mahaprabhu acted like an acarya and in the Jharkhand forest, He made all the souls chant and dance. In the Chaitanya charitamrita theamazing pastimes of the Lord in that jungle is described:
“When the Lord passed through the jungle in great ecstasy, pack of tigers, elephants, rhinoceros and boars came, and the Lord passed right through them. Balabhadra Bhattacharya was very much afraid to see them, but by Sri Chaitanya Mahaprabhu’s influence, all the animals stood to one side. One day a tiger was lying on the path, and Sri Chaitanya Mahaprabhu, walking along the path in ecstatic love, touched the tiger with His feet. The Lord said, ‘Chant the holy name of Krishna!” The tiger immediately got up and began to dance and chant, ‘Krishna! Krishna!’
All the animals and birds in the sky revived their spirits and consciousness. He revised their spirits and they all began acting like souls. The deer and the tiger were next to each other and the Lord saw them embracing each other, even kissing each other! Chaitanya Mahaprabhu started saying that “this is Vrindavan” where there is no envy, fear or competition. In this forest all the souls were absorbed in chanting and dancing and here the power of the holy name was exhibited.
Srila Prabhupada warned us that we should not go into the forest and get the snakes to chant and dance but if we can get people of this age of Kali, with animalistic characteristic to chant then we would have achieved our goal to make people spiritual.
If we could not look at these bodies as western, American, man or women, that kind of discrimination. He spread Krishna Consciousness all over the world whether the people were poor Magolians, rich Americans, even a dog, a child – transcending all the body designation, beyond the body seeing all as souls without designation. He made the whole world chant. The maha bhagavat sees everyone as souls, and part and parcels of Krishna. He exhibits kindness and compassion to everyone with the intention to uplift and, sees everything that exists, as Gods property and the Lord as the enjoyer. Whatever realisations, wealth, laxmi, property, land or building he has is all seen as the Lord’s and therefore engages them in the service of the Lord. He sees everything as belonging to the Lord and offers these things in the service to the Lord. He believes that no man is an actual proprietor and that the proprietor is God.
isavasyam idam sarvam
yat kinca jagatyam jagat
tena tyaktena bhunjitha
ma grdhah kasya svid dhanam
“Everything animate or inanimate that is within the universe is controlled and owned by the Lord. One should therefore accept only those things necessary for himself, which are set aside as his quota, and one should not accept other things, knowing well to whom they belong.” (Iso. 1)
The pure devotee or first-class devotee knows that Krishna claims proprietorship over all forms—including American forms, African forms, cat forms, dog forms, tree forms, etc.—for in actuality He is the proprietor and the Supreme Father.
One who is transcendentally realized is equally disposed to every living entity. Thus, Bhagavad-Gita points out that when one sees everyone equally, as part and parcel of the Supreme Lord, one actually begins his devotional service.
The first-class devotee understands that God is our father and “I am not the only son of the Lord. The Lord has many sons and daughters.” If someone claims it as his property – he is a thief – if you claim that it is yours, then you are a thief. The Mahabhagavad says “ no, no my Lord, you are the proprietor.”
Bhakti Vinod Thakur says “my mind, my body my my…, I offer this to You and engage this at your service. I surrender this to You.”
The subject matter of the uttama-adhikārī is deep and vast. The SrimadBhagavatam describes many such uttama-adhikārī personalities. We should study their lives and try to imbibe their spirit within us, and follow in their footsteps.
svayambhur naradah sambhuh
kumarah kapilo manuh
prahlado janako bhismo
balir vaiyasakir vayam (SB 6.3.20-21)
Lord Brahma, Bhagavan Narada, Lord Shiva, the four Kumaras, Lord Kapila [the son of Devahuti], Svayambhuva Manu, Prahlada Maharaja, Janaka Maharaja, Grandfather Bhisma, Bali Maharaja, Sukadeva Gosvami and I (Yama) myself know the real religious principle. My dear servants, this transcendental religious principle, which is known as bhagavata-dharma, or surrender unto the Supreme Lord and love for Him, is uncontaminated by the material modes of nature. It is very confidential and difficult for ordinary human beings to understand, but if by chance one fortunately understands it, he is immediately liberated, and thus he returns home, back to Godhead.
In our lifetime we experienced and encountered Srila Prabhupada – we had the wonderful opportunity to have him, and you should read and study Srila Prabhupada Lila Amrita and become familiar with the characteristics of Srila Prabhupada. In him, we saw and experienced a Maha bhagavat in action. He would say that we are maha bhagavats in the making and we all have to become maha bhagavats.