Please accept my humble obeisances. All glories to Srila Prabhupada and Srila Gurudev.
The following is my notes from His Holiness Mahavishnu Goswami Maharaj's Srimad Bhagavatam classes 2.3.12 and 5.18.3 given in London on October 26 and 27, 2007. As we know, Maharaja always stresses that we practically apply the Bhagavatam's teachings. Now, by the mercy of the devotees, may that practical meaning also dawn to us.
jñānaṁ yad āpratinivṛtta-guṇormi-cakram
ātma-prasāda uta yatra guṇeṣv asaṅgaḥ
kaivalya-sammata-pathas tv atha bhakti-yogaḥ
ko nirvṛto hari-kathāsu ratiṁ na kuryāt
Transcendental knowledge in relation with the Supreme Lord Hari is knowledge resulting in the complete suspension of the waves and whirlpools of the material modes. Such knowledge is self-satisfying due to its being free from material attachment, and being transcendental it is approved by authorities. Who could fail to be attracted?
Maharaja instructed us to learn this verse, including the translation.
Reading from the purport: "...For a devotee, all mundane activities, social and political, become unattractive, and in the mature state such a devotee becomes uninterested even in his own body, and what to speak of bodily relatives. In such a state of affairs one is not agitated by the waves of the material modes."
Maharaja made the point that we should not artificially struggle to get something. Because that which is already easily available to us by the grace of the Lord, that is all we actually need in life. He made a comparison between what is freely available, like breathing and chanting, versus expensive things like liquor. "That which is required is provided in plenty by the Lord. No charge, because its natural! 'Not necessary' means expensive. That is the temporary nature of this material world. We have to be controlled. It is easy to understand these verses, but we have to also engage ourselves in these topics of Bhagavad-gita and Srimad Bhagavatam and practise them, otherwise we'll be lost to the material whirlpool."
Maharaja quoted from Bhagavatam 1.1.10 purport: "Overeating, over-sense gratification, overdependence on another's mercy, and artificial standards of living sap the very vitality of human energy."
We come together for this (Srimad Bhagavatam), otherwise no need even. This is the way to study Bhagavatam. Getting into the verse and finding the practical meaning. We should always THINK about it. So that we can actually apply the Bhagavatam principles to today's situation. Otherwise, for people in general, the whole thing will be out-dated.
Srila Prabhupada mentions in his purport to Srimad Bhagavatam verse 5.18.3, "Material happiness means to have good facilities for eating, sleeping, sexual intercourse and defense. Within this world, the materialistic person lives only for these four principles of sense gratification, not caring for the impending danger of death. After his father's death, a son tries to inherit his money and use it for sense gratification. Similarly, one whose son dies, tries to enjoy the possessions of his son. Sometimes the father of a dead son even enjoys his son's widow. Materialistic persons behave in this way. Thus Sukadeva Goswami says, "How wonderful are these pastimes of material happiness transacted by the will of the Supreme Personality of Godhead!" In other words, materialistic persons want to commit all kinds of sinful activities, but without the sanction of the Supreme Personality of Godhead, no one can do anything. Why does the Supreme Personality of Godhead permit sinful activities? The Supreme Lord does not want any living being to act sinfully, and He begs him through his good conscience to refrain from sin. But when someone insists upon acting sinfully, the Supreme Lord gives him the sanction to act at his own risk (mattaḥ smṛtir jñānam apohanaṁ ca, Bg. 15.15). No one can do anything without the sanction of the Lord, but He is so kind that when the conditioned soul persists in doing something, the Lord permits the individual soul to act at his own risk."
Maharaja said, "Obedience is very important. For example, when the son is obedient to his father he gets all his needs provided. Therefore, we should always be obedient to the Bhagavad Gita and Srimad Bhagavatam principles (which is non-different from Krishna) - then everything will be provided. But as soon as we are rebelling, everything is destroyed."
Let us be able to realize that materialistic pursuits, which are any undertakings done not for the spiritual master's pleasure, are all unimportant, expensive and a waste of time. The dictionary meaning of the word "Material" is "Of substantial import", but for the devotees of Krishna it is just the opposite. It is not substantial.
Thank you very much.
Yours in service of Srila Prabhupada and Srila Gurudev,
Amogha-drk Krishna das
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