Our Pious Duty - Part 2

6th Jan 2011
Vaijayantimala devi dasi

Dear Prabhujis and Matajis,
Hare Krishna! Please accept my humble obeisances! All Glories to Srila Prabhupada and Gurudev!

This is in continuation of the previous mail under the same title, transcribing a powerful lecture spoken by our beloved Guru Maharaj. In the last portion of the mail, it was mentioned that we are in search of a correct way to get connected to the concentrated central existence, Krishna. For this, we have to take guidance from the Shastras and Maharaj says that the Shastras are very clear in this regard and Chaitanya Mahaprabhu in His Shikshastakam second verse has clearly mentioned:

nāmnām akāri bahudhā nija-sarva-śaktis
tatrārpitā niyamitaḥ smaraṇe na kālaḥ

The Lord has invested all His energies in His Holy names and there are not even hard and fast rules for chanting these names. Names are very powerful. Lord Ram was not able to cross the ocean from the South Indian tip Rameshwaram to Sri Lanka, but chanting His names, Hanuman jumped. Lord Ramachandra had to have a bridge to cross over, but Hanuman chanted His names and he had the capacity to jump. Hanuman was teasing Lord Ram that His names are more powerful. So the names have got to be chanted lovingly because names are non-different from the complete central existence. We are different from our names. My name is completely different from my body. The same rule does not apply to the anti-material supreme existence and because it does not apply that way, then it is the straightway in kali yuga that kirtanaad eva krishnnasya mukta-sangah param vrajet: simply by chanting the Hare Krishna mantra, one can be freed from the contamination of Kali-yuga and, in his original spiritual body, can return home, back to Godhead. This is the opportunity of Kali-yuga. By only Krishna kirtan, we can get liberated. So that is why the kirtan is very important and in India, there are so many different sects in Hinduism also but somehow or the other, they follow some kirtan system. Every sect follows the kirtan system and ours is the original thing. It is not a concocted thing that we are just chanting the names of Krishna. No. 

In Srimad Bhagavatam, it is very nicely described in the eleventh canto. There is a very nice verse to describe the importance of Krishna kirtana. If we perform kirtana what happens then and why the living entities are attracted to kirtan. Srimad Bhagavatam says in 11.2.42,

bhaktiḥ pareśānubhavo viraktir
anyatra caiṣa trika eka-kālaḥ
prapadyamānasya yathāśnataḥ syus
tuṣṭiḥ puṣṭiḥ kṣud-apāyo ’nu-ghāsam

Devotion, direct experience of the Supreme Lord, and detachment from other things—these three occur simultaneously for one who has taken shelter of the Supreme Personality of Godhead, in the same way that pleasure, nourishment and relief from hunger come simultaneously and increasingly, with each bite, for a person engaged in eating.

This verse describes clearly why we perform the kirtan. The example is given of what happens when we are hungry and the plate of prasadam is in front of us. 

1. When we are hungry and the plate of prasadam comes before us, then we are very happy to see the plate because we know now that I will start eating and my hunger will be satisfied. That is the first effect of seeing the dish. tushtih. We are completely satisfied to see. That is the first effect of seeing prasadam dish in front of us because we are hungry. The hunger is the main thing and because you are very hungry, the sight of the dish pleases us. We are completely satisfied to see the prasadam. Nice Rasagollas and pakoras and samosas. Even now I feel like running away. What is the use of talking? (laughs) so this how we are completely attracted to prasadam because hunger is there. So that is the first effect of prasadam.

2. The second effect is when we start taking the food and putting the morsels in our mouth. The second effect is more important than the first effect. First, by the sight, we are only satisfied but as soon as you take the morsel, and it goes into your stomach through the food pipe, then your body is nourished. The nourishment, the animation of the body, is the effect of prasadam. Otherwise, I can’t move my hand. I can’t see you. I can’t hear you. You can’t hear me. You can’t look at me. All these animation effects is because I am putting morsels in my stomach. The animation is very important. Otherwise, the body is useless if it is not animated. So the second effect of prasadam is more important than the first one. So without prasadam, we cannot animate our body. In order to animate our body, we must have some type of food and prasadam is the best thing. This is how prasadam has the best effect on us. Because of prasadam, we function. Otherwise, we can’t function at all. We may function for a month or two even without prasadam but not for a long time. We have to have something. This is the second effect of prasadam. 

3. The third effect is that you continue taking morsels and your hunger is satisfied. Then the point comes when the whole prasadam is in front of you, but you cannot touch it because you are completely full and that is the third effect that our hunger is fully satisfied.

These three effects are at the same time. Trika eka kaalah. The effects of seeing the prasadam, taking the morsels and getting animated and the effect of hunger being completely satisfied, happens at the same time. It is not that today you are satisfied, after a year you get animated and after next year your hunger is satisfied. No. it is all at the same time. 

In the same manner, three things happen simultaneously when we engage ourselves in Krishna kirtan and Maharaj’s explanation on the same shall be posted in the next mail, Krishna willing.

Thank You very much.
Yours in the service of Srila Prabhupada and Gurudev,
Vaijayantimala devi dasi 
Chennai.