Hare Krishna Prabhujis and Matajis,
Please accept my humble obeisances! All glories to Srila Prabhupada and Srila Gurudev!
This is in continuation of the previous offering transcribing the class by our beloved God brother HG Devakinandan Prabhuji in Chennai on Srimad Bhagavatam 2.9.4. In the previous offering we saw that
1. Our first and only business is to please Krishna
2. We have to serve Krishna without deceptive motive (avyalika)
Here we continue with the other points.
3. Penance is natural for non-deceptive devotee: The moment we want to please Krishna and the devotees, we are prepared to perform another feature of devotional service which is very important. Where there is non-deceptive service, there will always be penance and austerity. This is another important qualification of a devotee. A devotee who is avyalika, for him tapas becomes natural. It is second nature to a devotee to be austere. It is not an imposition. But those who are not austere, who pretend to be austere, they want to get name and fame from the people. That kind of devotional service is not avyalika and because it is not avyalika, it cannot please Krishna. Then in the four corners of the walls of our house, we find that we cannot perform penance. But Maharaj always told us that when Brahmaji performed his penance, there was none to see him. It was the most unglamorous time to perform devotional service.
Today with big temples and congregations, nice kirtans and nice deities, it is very glamorous to perform devotional service. Maharaj said when glamor comes in devotional service, kirtan becomes a performance. Bhagavatam becomes a performance. In the Bhagavatam class, there might be sweet language, a joke, a story etc, but after that, does our life change? If life does not change, we are cheating each other. If we have avyalika, non-deception in our heart, then in any condition there will be tapasya. Brahmaji is exalted because at that time, He was the only one born, He was in full darkness and nobody could see him performing devotional service. He had no company. Nowadays we say, "Prabhu, without sadhu sanga, I am finished." What sanga did Brahmaji have? No sanga. The only sanga He had was the great winds that were blowing, darkness all around and water. When He looked down, he could not see the end of the lotus flower either. Krishna was not even giving him darshan. Imagine being created and not being able to see the creator or anything. Very precarious situation. But despite all that, what happened? Immediately Brahmaji started heartfelt prayers in his heart sincerely. Without deceptive motive, he wanted to know, "who is the origin of Me?" That is the beginning of atma-tattva – the science of God and living entity. That is the connection between avyalika and atma tattva.
4. Science of atma tattva and right behaviour: The science of atma tattva is what Sukadev Goswami is speaking and he is speaking it on the platform of how Brahmaji behaved as a devotee. Because atma tattvacannot be spoken as philosophy. It must be spoken on the strength of behaviour, because only behaviour is Bhagavatam. Maharaj said if you read and study Bhagavatam, you will behave yourself. When you behave yourself nicely, then only you can chant Krishna's names. So where there is Bhagavatam, there is behaviour. Where there is behaviour, there is chanting. BBC- Bhagavatam, Behaviour, Chanting.
5. Be serious about the purpose of our existence: Brahmaji prayed, "Whoever is my origin, please guide me to understand the purpose of my existence." That is why Maharaj said very often in lectures, "Please be very serious about the purpose of your existence. Be very serious." There is no point running after the problems of the material world and trying to solve them. No point. We must become serious about our purpose of being here. The solutions that we are trying to find, the pleasure that we are trying to get in pleasing each other, is not going to be the pleasure that Brahmaji derived from pleasing Krishna. There is a difference. If you and I do not put Krishna in the center, our pleasure of pleasing each other, will never last. In fact, within half a day, we will fight with each other. Maharaj relates a very nice story in this regard.
There was the husband and his wife. So wife has been cooking for the husband for twenty years. One day the wife jokingly tells the husband while serving him prasadam, "My dear husband, let me ask you a question. If supposing if there is a big storm and there is a boat I the ocean. You are in the boat. I am there and your mother is there. Suddenly now the boat capsizes. Both I and your mother cannot swim. You can swim. Who will you save first?" Wife was thinking that the husband would definitely say that he will save her first. After all, 20 years she has been taking care of him. The husband tells without hesitation, "I will save my mother first." So wife becomes very upset that he is ungrateful to her. Husband says, "In one life, I can get many wives. But in one life, Krishna gives only one mother. So If I purely go by logic, I should save my mother." The wife becomes very angry. So next day she meets her friend and tells her all that had happened and asks her, "I am very upset. My husband is so ungrateful. What should I do now? How to make him understand my value?" The friend thinks very carefully and says, "The solution to the problem is very simple. You should learn how to swim. Then you need not wait for your husband to save you." Maharaj gave this story to make us understand that our first business is to actually know the purpose of our existence. Please do not forget why we are born. This is the science of atma tattva.
Prabhuji went on to explain the way to understand the science of atma tattva and the same shall be transcribed and offered in the next mail, Krishna willing.
Thank you very much
Yours in service of Srila Prabhupada and Srila Gurudev
Vaijayanti mala devi dasi
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