“How to Use Intelligence in Krishna Consciousness?” Srila B. S. Goswami Maharaj. 16 January, 2012. Gupta Govardhan



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English

Śrīla Bhakti Sudhir Goswāmī Mahārāj 

How to Use Intelligence
in Krishna Consciousness?

(16 January 2012, Gupta Govardhan)

https://mahamandala.com/en/audios/73

 

Goswāmī Mahārāj: [Jaya Dhvani.]

#00:02:48#

[Premānanda Prabhu asks the question in Russian.]

Amiya Sindhu Prabhu [translates]: So, and… is it possible in our spiritual life to rely on intelligence? Can intelligence help us in the spiritual life and if it can, to which stage we can use it and what intelligence can conceive and what it cannot conceive? And he is asking, is it possible to use it at all and to which stage, to which degree? So, it’s basically what Kant was writing and working on?

#00:03:49#

Goswāmī Mahārāj: This is good question. We have to have some basis to approach this to understand it properly, because how we define intelligence? So, interestingly, when it came to prākṛta-sahajiism, imitationism, Guru Mahārāj, used, he quoted one verse from the Bhagavad-gītā, I was really surprised. To show what is the floss in their thinking, because it’s just, I never thought it in this way, but once he mentioned it and explained, what it meant, then I could understand its relevance. So, he quoted this verse from the seventh chapter of Bhagavad-gītā, it says,

#00:04:48#

bhūmir āpo ’nalo vāyuḥ khaṁ mano buddhir eva cha
ahaṅkāra itīyaṁ me bhinnā prakṛtir aṣṭadhā

(Bhagavad-gītā, 7.4; Chaitanya-charitāmṛta, Madhya, 6.164)

#00:04:58#

It seems, here Kṛṣṇa’s analyzing, these are material elements: earth, water, fire, air, ether, mind, intelligence and ego. It says, “bhūmir āpo ’nalo vāyuḥ khaṁ mano buddhir eva cha / ahaṅkāra itīyaṁ me bhinnā prakṛtir,” this is the divisions of prākṛti and here prākṛti in the sense of meaning what is mundane. Then there’s another śloka, there it says,

#00:05:36#

apareyam itas tv anyāṁ prakṛtiṁ viddhi me parām…

(Bhagavad-gītā, 7.5; Chaitanya-charitāmṛta, Madhya, 20.116)

#00:05:41#

But, there’s another type of prākṛti, which is superior to this, jīva-śakti, the jīva-soul is superior to each one of these things. Why is he using this śloka? That has this list of earth, water, fire, air, ether, mind, intelligence, ego, because, in relation to sahajiism and you’ll see, how it’s relevant to his question.

#00:06:14#

They’re thinking that by reconditioning these elements, whatever they are, that, so, recondition mind, reconditioned intellect will deliver spiritual substance. But what Śrīla Guru Mahārāj is saying, quoting Kṛṣṇa here, all of these things are below the plane of jīva, including intellect. So, the jīva plane or ātmā begins above all these things. But in Guru Mahārāj’s Subjective Evolution of Consciousness, he also gives an interesting parallel. So, he will say, that… introduces the concept of chayābhāsa, chidābhāsa, chayābhāsa. Meaning that the mind, intelligence, ego, these are shadows representations of the self, of the soul, or the spiritual plane.

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So, the mundane mind, the sahajiyā will think, if we can infuse the mundane mind with images of Kṛṣṇa, the sound of Kṛṣṇa’s names, that it will generate spiritual identity, spiritual substance, spiritual self. Whereas Guru Mahārāj’s saying, “No, these are all mundane things. No amount of the finite will generate the infinite, nor in any particular configuration or in any particular magnitude or quantity of finite will give you the infinite. Whether it’s you know fifty micrograms of a particular substance from Sandoz Pharmaceuticals or any other thing, it won’t deliver this, because even in its most base position ātmā, the soul is above that. That’s why, ‘apareyam itas tv anyāṁ prakṛtiṁ viddhi me parām’.

#00:08:26#

He tells Arjun, but beyond these things there is another substance above them and that’s jīva-bhūta, that’s the jīva plane. So, he ends there. But when Guru Mahārāj introduced the concept of chidābhāsa saying, “A shadow like representation of consciousness allows you to operate and navigate in this world.” That’s what he’s saying. That the soul, we hear it in kind of obscure esoteric Vedic reference ‘asaṅgo hy ayaṁ puruṣaḥ’. Saying the soul is never actually infected, infested, contaminated by the modes of nature. It’s a, we’ve told the other day, there is this wonderful śloka in the Bhāgavatam, “na rarājoḍupaś channaḥ…” [Śrīmad Bhāgavatam, 10.20.19].

#00:09:29#

I, there is another one, that should be committed to memory. But in that śloka it says, when you see the clouds, then you can’t see the moon, but it’s hidden by clouds, those clouds, what’s visible to you is being illuminated by the very moon they are covering. So, they appear to be the substantial thing, but actually there is a moon in the background that’s illuminating them, the very thing that you can see. So, the very thing you can’t see, this is the point here, what you can’t see is illuminating what you can see, just as that moon, what you can see over clouds..., can’t see the moon, but it’s the moon, that’s illuminating the clouds.

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So, this example gives the same, what you can see is the body, some hint of mind, intellect, ego, these things, but what cannot be seen, which is the soul, brahma, is illuminating what you do see, it the thing that’s illuminating the earth, water, fire, ether, mind, intelligence, ego, the body you see before you, and the mental intellectual abilities you perceive. So, it’s the soul on the background, even in the mundane situation. So, Guru Mahārāj said, “Then how does that take place? Just one man, it’s soul, it’s soul mixed with, navigating the mundane world?” No. So, he introduces this concept of chayābhāsa, chidābhāsa, a shadow-like interim stage, here is the soul, that’s in the chit world, here is the achit, jagad, means the unconscious, non-chit world. Here is the chayābhāsa, in the middle, shadow-like stage. And what is that? When the soul is covered by body, mind and intellect.

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So, now, but to give more on the point of this question, but first you have to deal with that. These things ended up themselves; we have to be clear about that, they cannot generate spiritual substance, the mind that the rūpa of Kṛṣṇa, the form of Kṛṣṇa is not an image in our mind, like when you see a poster or an artist representation. Like, I may told this before, once, some devotees, who, they wanted to have these Kṛṣṇa-Balarām deities, but then like Subal and Śrīdām, on the set. So, they’re asking Śrīla Guru Mahārāj, “How should Subal be seen?” I mean that Subal, mentioned by Rūpa Goswāmī in the Bhakti-rasāmṛta-sindhu, that in this after you know,

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(ādau) śraddhā (tataḥ) sādhu-saṅgo (’tha) bhajana-kriyā
tato ’nartha-nivṛttiḥ syāt tato niṣṭhā ruchis tataḥ…

(Bhakti-rasāmṛta-sindhu, 1.4.15–16)

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Then it goes, prem, no, bhāv, then it comes, ma…, rāg, anurāg, I forget the sequence, but it goes form bhāv and culminates in mahābhāv. So, generally it’s mentioned this bhāv is only, and this is not bhāva-bhakti, but this is after prem, this only achievable by Vraja-gopīs, or Subal, the highest rang of cowherd. So, when Guru Mahārāj answers this question, “How should Subal be shown?” He said, “Ready to fulfill the inner desires of Kṛṣṇa,” and that was kind of esoteric, ‘nikuñja-yūno rati-keli-siddhyai’ [Gurvvāṣṭaka, 6].

#00:13:39#

And they are, “No, but we mean like, how should he be shown?” And Guru Mahārāj said, “Ready to fulfill the inner desires of Kṛṣṇa. That’s who he is, that’s how he should be represented.” They go, “Oh, we’re talking about his gestures,” but he said, “That an artist will decide.” That’s an artist conception. So, I’m not going to give you an artist conception.

#00:14:05#

Like when devotees, they see the pictures of Kṛṣṇa, they ask Prabhupād, “Is that what Kṛṣṇa really looks like?” And Prabhupād said, “No.” He said, “When you see Him, you’ll recognize Him.”

#00:14:18#

So, we get… and Guru Mahārāj took it to the certain level, he said, “Should we think, that image that I have in mind, I heard something, some description about Kṛṣṇa, and I get this mental image, I saw the picture… an artistic gave a representation.” He said, “Is that Kṛṣṇa? Who is the source of all of this, the source of the innumerable Universes, all Vaikuṇṭha worlds and you know, innumerable material Universes are a drop in the chit jagad. That Kṛṣṇa is that image that we’re caring in our minds. So, he means to say, Kṛṣṇa is not made of the mental substance, Kṛṣṇa is nor made of the intellectual substance, so that part we have to be clear about.

#00:15:07#

So, but now it comes back to meanwhile back on earth, where you have a mind and intellect. Can you engage them in service? And on this point, I said once to Guru Mahārāj, I said, “You’re always talking about jñāna-śūnyā bhakti, knowledge free devotion, the glories of jñāna-śūnyā bhakti, and I mean this is like a little bit of a light conversation, and he is like, “Yes.” And I said, “But,” I said, “You know so many things.” And he is like… started that. And I said, “Saraswatī Ṭhākur’s said, ‘śrīdharaṁ sakala veti’, Śrīdhar Mahārāj knows everything. You know so many Sanskrit verses, you know so many scriptures.” I started telling the stories I’ve heard from him. I started telling him the same stories, but I said, “You, who’s always talking about jñāna-śūnyā bhakti, you know so much. So, how do we take that?” So, Guru Mahārāj [laugh]. He had to think for a second.

#00:16:17#

He said, and you know the same person, he said, “Scholarship is poison,” “Knowledge, you know, it’s better to be ignorant,” you know like, many, many things, I’ve been listening carefully to all of these things he was saying, as it though, when I… you know the Upaniṣads, the Vedas, so many. Whether Śrīdhar Mahārāj reads a newspaper or Vedas it’s the same. And he said, “When jñan comes to serve, then it’s in its rightful position.”

#00:16:54#

So, I think that is the answer to the question. That see, if we’re using our intellect, to interrogate Kṛṣṇa, and we’re saying, oh, I’m a very smart guy, and I’ve studied with Academics, some research. And now I am going to apply that great genius brain I have to this Kṛṣṇa idea. That kind of thing is to…, that’s where ‘jñāne prayāsam udapāsya namanta eva’ [Śrīmad Bhāgavatam, 10.14.3], you know, “Leave your brain at the door,” which has a sign, you know like, “Put your coat or your hat.” … So Guru Mahārāj would say, “Leave your brain here,” like “Can I take your brain for you Sir?”

#00:17:43#

In Eastern Russia they still have a co-check and head-check, so some civilization. [Laugh.] But later… “So, you leave your brain at the door,” that’s what it means ‘jñāne prayāsam udapāsya namanta eva’. Don’t try to… you’re going to figure this out by mental power, intellectualism, intellectual analysis, you’re going to analyze this. That we’re told to resist, and there is so many ślokas, talking you know, what’s the famous one, “na me ’bhaktaś chatur-vedī, mad-bhaktaḥ śva-pachaḥ priyaḥ…” [Hari-bhakti-vilāsa, 10.127]. When I told Tīrtha Mahārāj, that, he’s saying, “This vaikuṇṭha vṛtti, I’m still trying after so many years.” And I said, “Yes, Mahārāj, because, you know, you’re brahmiṇ. …We are vaikuṇṭha-vṛtti people. Ok?” This rule exemption is for us to enter. Not… the point of you… so much. In a teasing way. And he said, he quoted this “na me ’bhaktaś chatur-vedī, “Yes, but Lord says, “Even if the brahmin knows the four Vedas and he is not a devotee, I don’t accept him, but if he’s “śva-pachaḥ priyaḥ,” the dog eater, but he’s my devotee, then I accept him. And in the next line he says to what degree, “tato grāhyaṁ, sa cha pūjyo,” as equal to myself, whatever you do for me, you can do for my devotee. That level, not like, you know, “Well, he is Kṛṣṇa devotee, so, something.” No, not something, equal.

#00:19:45#

Later “mad-bhakta-pūjābhyadhikā” [Śrīmad Bhāgavatam, 11.19.21], the worship of my devotees takes precedence of the worship of myself. So, and that mean, so, then he started saying, “jñan, karm... karma” it’s we hear from Rūpa Goswāmī, to find pure devotion,

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anyābhilāṣitā-śūnyaṁ
jñāna-karmādy-anāvṛtam
ānukūlyena kṛṣṇānu-
śīlanaṁ bhaktir uttamā

(Bhakti-rasāmṛta-sindhu, 1.1.11)

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Bhaktir uttamā’ — uttamā-bhakti is the absence of karma and jñāna, not karma-miśrā-bhakti or jñāna-miśrā-bhakti, but jñāna-śunyā bhakti, it’s again as Guru Mahārāj says like oxymoron, knowledge free devotion, where is I told the other day, once said, “Kṛṣṇa, he likes to surround himself with ignorant people.” But then we’re thinking like, “What does that mean?” Or sometimes he said, “The Vraja-gopīs are the half-civilized stupid jungle girls.” Is that what they are really? He’s saying, “that’s they are posing, that’s how they present themselves, but if you start hearing them speak, and how they, when Rādhārāṇī’s playing some game with Kṛṣṇa, and Madhumaṅgal is at the side as a brahmaṇ-adviser, and they realize, they are going to get beat very badly in this game, Rādhārāṇī… see, that they are in trouble… Kṛṣṇa is like, “What are we doing here?” And Rādhārāṇī’s saying, “It takes brains to play this game” [Laugh.] (…looking at the board…).

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So, there is that level, but here he responded by saying, “When jñan comes to be engaged in the service of devotion in its rightful position.” So, we can say that in the same way, our intelligence, when it’s under the influence of devotional tendency, then it can be employed in service. Śrīla Prabhupād, he would say, this is something interesting too, he said, “Wherever there are two intelligent devotees, they can see two different ways to do the same thing.” Because Emerson has the, he says, “Genius is sufficiently the enemy of genius.” Like it’s not going two geniuses at the same place, location, at the same time. So, and Prabhupād… to expressing that, he say, “So, we have like two intelligent devotees. They say, ‘What should we do?’ ‘Well, I think we should do this’, … , ‘I think we should do that. Both of those things are tangible, they’re possible. And according to Guru Mahārāj, if it starts in the mood of service, for not we’re trying to reign the infinite under our control, but we’re offering this in service, then of course it should be there.

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Sometimes we equate intelligence with the discriminating factor, so that means understanding that one thing is superior to another. What is more desirable to… (break)… more favorable than another, many different types or scenarios, but what that, how shall that intelligence be calibrated? This is critical. The calibration of the intelligence. What are the metrics for calibrating your intelligence?

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Sometimes Guru Mahārāj will say, “False ego is like an instrument that’s giving bad readings.” Like, remember, Gurudev, had this wrist, blood-pressure machine, you’ve blood pressure and your heart beat, and you just put it in your wrist and it starts buzzing, instead of doing the thing here. But sometimes, not knowing that, because it was setting for a long time or whatever, batteries are week or whatever, Gurudev would put this on… he gets a reading and… you’d see his face, and his whole attitude is that he got a horrible reading from this thing, and then he’d go like, it put him in anxiety. So, sometimes by ourselves we have to go over and I’d l like try to it on me… I know at least, until recently I am like 120 over 70, like pretty normal, that’s why I see if I don’t get something close to that, then it probably is to be recalibrated, and we can tell Mahārāj, not to worry.

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So, Guru Mahārāj says, that the false ego is like that machine, that’s giving you a bad…, it’s giving you reading of the environment, and your place and this, so many things, but it’s giving you a false reading. And if the intelligence is under the influence of the false ego, then even a brilliant man will be deceived, there is a one famous śloka from the fifth canto,

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yasyāsti bhaktir bhagavaty akiñchanā
sarvair guṇais tatra samāsate surāḥ
harāv abhaktasya kuto mahad-guṇā
mano-rathenāsati dhāvato bahiḥ

(Śrīmad Bhāgavatam, 5.18.12)

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The bhagavat akiñchans, those who are real devotees, they have no other interest than Kṛṣṇa, Guru, Vaiṣṇava, Kṛṣṇa service. Why? They know, there is nothing in this world they find, that they can hold their interest and their attention, those type… It’s saying, ‘yasyāsti bhaktir bhagavaty akiñchanā sarvair guṇais tatra samāsate surāḥ…’, you see that gradually all the good qualities are manifested in them, and they’re as a consequence illuminating personalities. And as we alluded this before they may come from the lowest position socially, economically, educationally, so many things are not a factor in their spiritual development. It says,

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Harāv abhaktasya kuto mahad-guṇā, mano-rathenāsati dhāvato bahiḥ, on the other hand, so who was a non-devotee, they may be super intelligent, but really there is no substance there, because it’s not spiritually grounded, they’re not under the influence of the proper spiritual conception. Sometimes we see, even in the, when we give a crude example. Police or detectors, they find some very devious serial killer or something like that. They will point out, “This man is obviously extremely intelligent, when they see what is modus operandi but then realize, yes, his intelligence, the genius level intelligence, but you know devious and evil hearted. So, what kind of intelligence is necessary? Means that gradually has to become dharma-buddhi. And this reminds me of another thing.

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Once, in Bombay, the land, that Śrīla Prabhupād Swāmī Mahārāj got from the Bombay Center there, this is called Juhu Beach, where many Bollywood movie stars live. That was the neighborhood where he got land and then build this giant temple. And in his day, sometimes Bollywood stars would come. There are also life members as you can imagine, and some of them were extraordinary beautiful. And once, one of such star, this beautiful woman, and just by entering the room the whole atmosphere in the room changed, noticeably. And Prabhupād, this wasn’t lost on him and he said, especially among the men, the men were like you know temperature rising, fever is high. [Laugh.]

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So, after she left, the air was like a little thick, and Prabhupād said, “Māyāvādīs, if they, when the beautiful woman like this is entering the room, their way of dealing is to say, ‘She is an illusion. There is nothing really there’, and that’s their approach, ‘It’s just an illusion, there’s nothing there’, that kind of thing. He said, “But not Vaiṣṇavas, they will say, they will recognize, ‘That is the beautiful woman’, because they are very intelligent.” [Laugh.] He said, “Yes [they’ll recognize], ‘That is the beautiful woman’,” he said, “but they will not do anything with that.” And you can interpret that your way. [Laugh.]

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And then he told the story about Yudhiṣṭhir Mahārāj, because we can understand from Mahābhārata, and other places that Kuntī Devī the mother of the Pāṇḍavas, not Draupadī, their wife, no, Kuntī Devī, their mother, she was extraordinary beautiful. She would chant her mantra, and the devas were descending into this world. She is, when they say world-class beauty, she was beyond, like interplanetary beauty, that type of the world-class beauty. And she was a young girl, so if you do the math, she was not so old, when they were, sons in their twenties or something, she wasn’t that old, and she was still beautiful. So, Yudhiṣṭhir is honest to a fault, as a saying goes, because honesty should not be a fault, but honest to a fault.

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As would Śrīla Guru Mahārāj. Śrīla Guru Mahārāj could not lie. And he once said, “I make this vow, form this day forward, I will always and only speak the truth,” he said, “I’ve got a Himalayan courage. And the world became like a ball in my hand,” he said that. And once Gurudev, he needed him to lie. And he knows Guru Mahārāj cannot lie. So he’s like begging him to make an exception this one time. But Guru Mahārāj, he just can’t. Then Gurudev said, because some man is going to come down and maybe, we don’t know, doing some assessment or something. So, then Gurudev was very intelligent, using his intelligence in service, said, “What about, if I say something and you don’t say anything?” [Laugh.] And Guru Mahārāj said, “That I can do.” It is, “I am going to say this in front of you, and you don’t say anything.” [Laugh.] That’s using your intelligence in service. [Laugh.]

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And really it is because when the Gauḍīyā Math, when they were having problems and in the… court one side, ‘saffron vs. saffron’. One man came to Guru Mahārāj and said, “Oh, Swamiji, this is so sad,” …and they’re fighting in the courts. And Guru Mahārāj said, “If you can go …, you can go to court for your purpose, but can’t go to court for Kṛṣṇa? We’re also prepared to go to court.” So, our Guru Mahārāj didn’t make some sādhus who are like in a cave somewhere, you know outside of Ṛṣikeś, waiting for Russian tourists. [Laugh.]

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So, when they were in the court, at one point, they were interviewing who later become Bhakti Vilās Tīrtha Mahārāj, and they say, “Did you lie in this particular instance?” And he said to him, “Yes, I lies.” And then Vasudev’s, Ānanda Vasudev’s, his attendant said, “Yes, we got them!” Like, “great, this is a win for us.” And Gurudev said, “This Ānanda Vasudev said, ‘No, no, no. We are over that issue, we will not take him down over that, because he did that for Prabhupād, for Saraswatī Ṭhākur, for service, we worship that’.” So not over that, even though he could have won, on this point he said, “I won’t fault him for that.” So, that’s a new way to see things.

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So, anyway, back to the story with Śrīla Prabhupād, he said, Yudhiṣṭhir Mahārāj was asked, Kuntī Devī, is this world class interplanetary level beauty and she is still beautiful, and she is…, “Are you ever attracted to her?” And Yudhiṣṭhir Mahārāj cannot lie, and he said, “Yes, sometimes,” he said, “but I control it with my dharma-buddhi.” So, to the degree that Kṛṣṇa Consciousness, Kṛṣṇa conception proper has entered even on that level to the external intelligence, mind etc. it will be more reliable to discriminate and make judgments, assuming that we want something, that has some spiritual color to it.

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Sometimes in the world we’re hiring someone, if we hire someone for their physical powers, we can also hire someone for other types of abilities too, we expect them to use their intelligence, we’ll use ours, but I’m making distinction here between not trying to think that by the exercise of intellect we can penetrate deeper in the Kṛṣṇa Consciousness, no. But we can use and should use our full intellect and intelligence in service to Guru and Gaurāṅga, Rādhā-Govinda that we want to do.

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Remember when Śrīla Keśava Mahārāj was praising Śrīla Govinda Mahārāj, Śrīla Gurudev, many times he was praising, but one particular praise he said, in Gauḍīyā Math Śrīla Keśava Mahārāj had substantial Math, a lot of resources man, as Bhakti Vilās Tīrtha Mahārāj, Śrīla Bhakti Dayitā Mādhav Mahārāj, the others. And at the time Guru Mahārāj, really, what he had, is Govinda Mahārāj, Gurudev. And there were certain things that those with all the resources, man, etc., were trying to do and they couldn’t achieve. But Gurudev did. Without all the resources, financially, man power, etc. And so this are the words of Keśava Mahārāj, he said, “What he is lacking in resources, he’s doing with his intelligence. So, he is using his full intelligence in the service of the lotus feet of the Guru Mahārāj.

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But when we talk about dharma-buddhi, I’ve mentioned, that this is another point I want to make that we’re constantly hearing the scriptures every day, like we say kīrttan and pāṭ, means the songs the Gauḍīyā canon of Narottam Ṭhākur, Bhaktivinod Ṭhākur, and other, but principally from them, and from Śrīla Guru Mahārāj, so we’re hearing from this and the pāṭ means, we say, “Oh, class?” that’s a meaning, but another meaning is ‘recitation’. Because really if someone is not giving explanations really what we to do in the daily basis, is to have recitations of the Scriptures, that’s what parāyaṇa means. You read it is, go back to the end, do it again. So there is always a recitation of Charitāmṛtam, Chaitanya-bhāgavata, Śrīmad Bhāgavatam, Bhagavad-gītā, Bhakti-rasāmṛta-sindhu. It’s always going on. And part of what’s happening it’s accumulative effect where consciously or otherwise some impressions are being made within us. That’s why you’ll see in the Math, even if you’re… they are doing many different things, the recitation is going on, this is Divine vibration is being made in the form of the songs, the Scriptures, śastra. So even if someone isn’t in this sense, a hundred percent focused on it, there it’s like, what do you call it, is it osmosis... We’d like, by being in particular environment it’s just like enters your system. Something like that.

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That’s like… spiritual center. It’s important also. Guru Mahārāj would say get the example if someone has a respiratory problems, like in America they’ll say, “Oh, move the Arizona.” And what they mean by that is there is no humidity there. It’s very hot and so just being in the environment you’ll, just by walking around whatever it is you’re doing, you get better on some level.

#00:41:52#

Like once I was in Saint Petersburg and had a discussion with Pṛthu, and he was saying something about atmosphere there and environment, and he said, “You know, it in Soviet times they were sanding people here.” And I said, “Oh, you mean like Arizona, just by being here you’ll be cured.” He said, “No, just by being here you’ll die.” [Laugh.] That’s the opposite idea. They’re sending you there hoping that you know like. [Laugh.] Is there anyone I haven’t offended? These are true stories. I am not making this up. But in other words, the environment and we could have taken that example and think, “Some environment [is] very good for you know, it’ll help. Maybe you have some problem just be there, it will help you. Another environment will exacerbate the problem, and make it worse.

#00:43:12#

So, by there is a word ‘center’ or whatever, so, you have this place where this divine vibration is being made and even if you just go, you know, downstairs and doing whatever you’re doing it’s infused in the atmosphere and gradually the cumulative effect will be there. It’s to our betterment. That’s what I mean to say. And on the high level something I found really inspiring and also charming, that’s… Once I’ve seen Śrīla Guru Mahārāj speak the Chaitanyāṣṭakam of Śrīla Rūpa Goswāmī. So we know Śikṣāṣṭakam of Mahāprabhu, how the position that it occupies. But then we think, “If Rūpa Goswāmī is the Mahāprabhu’s mouthpiece, this Chaitanyāṣṭakam is extraordinary, by any metrics it’s just extraordinary, and there is more than one. There are maybe three.

#00:44:23#

But, and all of them. The first one, and it’s quoted by Kṛṣṇadās Kavirāj Goswāmī in Chaitanya-charitāmṛtam, just in any way you measure it, it’s extraordinary, it’s substantial. So, but there were some things that I were unclear to me many things, but that’s another statement. But I just meant literally of what I am like doing, and so I came out of my room in Gurudev’s veranda and he was there and he said, “I am listening to this one part, I am not sure what Guru Mahārāj means by this particular śloka or part of how he is referring rendering the śloka and then Gurudev, he starts explaining it beautifully, wonderfully and I was just like stunned, just stunned. That so it came out of him so easily and in the midst of so many other things going on he could just give this. And then I took that opportunity and asked, “When did you memorize, or have learned this?” He said, “Oh, I never did.” Then I was a little bewildered, “But you was like giving your… quoting it, giving this extraordinary explanation, and you’re saying you never took the time to learn it.” He said, “No.” And I said, “Then how?” He said, “Every day, when Guru Mahārāj was bathing, he is taking off his clothes and put, I am coming to get his laundry, and I am cleaning his veranda, and Guru Mahārāj he is taking the ladle at the water, and pouring on his head, you know,

#00:46:27#

rasoddāmā kāmārbuda-madhura-dhāmojjvala-tanur
yatīnām uttaṁsas taraṇikara-vidyoti-vasanaḥ
hiraṇyāṇāḿ lakṣmī-bharam abhibhavann āṅgika-ruchā
sa chaitanyaḥ kiṁ me punar api dṛśor yāsyati padam

(Prathama-Chaitanyāṣṭaka, 4)

#00:46:47#

And so, I am hearing this and he said, “And by serving Guru Mahārāj, I am just serving Guru Mahārāj, that’s my purpose there, and he is doing this and it’s transferred from Śrīla Guru Mahārāj’s heart into my heart. That’s how it came to me.”

#00:47:12#

So, that’s our aspiration. That by serving Vaiṣṇava that… we have some estimation of our own position, we know that, we don’t have to, now going to a litany of our disqualifications, but our hope is that we serve to the lotus feet of Guru and Vaiṣṇava and what’s in their heart if a little particle of that can be transferred in our heart then, “sat-saṅgaḥ śevadhir nṛṇām… saṁsāre ’smin kṣaṇārdho ’pi, sat-saṅgaḥ śevadhir nṛṇām,” [Śrīmad Bhāgavatam, 11.2.30].

#00:48:02#

Here ‘śevadhir’ means treasure, the treasure to be got in this world is the association in service of the Vaiṣṇava, then the treasure is transferred from their heart to our heart. So, doing that service? Yes. Kāya, mano, vacha — body, mind, words, intelligence, the famous śloka in the, it’s from the Bhāgavatam, but it’s quoted in the Ādi-līlā of Chaitanya-charitāmṛta, trying to remember, but it says how each person should engage their body, mind, their money, their intelligence, saying on different levels, I can’t remember that. That, so, everything. And when those things serve the higher, then they gradually achieve their rightful position.

#00:49:26#

And when Guru Mahārāj talks in his Bhagavad-Gītā about it there is a section and all of this will be the teaser for he talks how the buddhi-yoga is higher than bhakti-yoga. But when Guru Mahārāj was like buddhi like in his gāyatrī explanation. The ‘dhī’, ‘dhiyo yo naḥ prachodayāt’. Dhī — which is generally rendered as meditation, to meditate. Guru Mahārāj, this is so beautiful, he said, “Dhī, here means buddhi, intelligence, said what is meditation, it’s not tell you of like engage in abstract meditation, meditation on the sound of one hand clapping.

#00:50:24#

I was there on the academic conference once; maybe I was in a bit of whimsical mood or something… anyway the person before me he spoke, so at the end his lecture I went like… [Laugh.] So, he was talking about the emptiness, everything was about emptiness, emptiness that concept, when you meditate you’ll realize, that you’re empty and this and that empty. Then we were in the bathroom in front of the urinals with this other scholar, and one of them goes, “What do you think about this talk?” and the other, “Uh, it lets me feeling empty.” [Laugh.] And both were like laughing because they know this was an absurd. [Laugh.]

#00:51:25#

But why did I say that? Oh, meditation, dhī, so, Guru Mahārāj said, “Dhī means buddhi, but it didn’t mean abstract, he said means using your intelligence in service. That’s what it means, ‘dhiyo yo naḥ prachodayāt’. And that…, if you can do that, then you’ll really be absorbed. Your mind will be controlled, your senses would be subdued, everything, when you’re fully engaging your intelligence in service, sevā, saying, that’s what he was telling him.

Hare Krishna!

Transcribed by: Nalina Sundari Devi Dasi
Edited by Kamala Devi Dasi, Tradish Das




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English

Śrīla Bhakti Sudhir Goswāmī Mahārāj 

How to Use Intelligence
in Krishna Consciousness?

(16 January 2012, Gupta Govardhan)

https://mahamandala.com/en/audios/73

 

Goswāmī Mahārāj: [Jaya Dhvani.]

#00:02:48#

[Premānanda Prabhu asks the question in Russian.]

Amiya Sindhu Prabhu [translates]: So, and… is it possible in our spiritual life to rely on intelligence? Can intelligence help us in the spiritual life and if it can, to which stage we can use it and what intelligence can conceive and what it cannot conceive? And he is asking, is it possible to use it at all and to which stage, to which degree? So, it’s basically what Kant was writing and working on?

#00:03:49#

Goswāmī Mahārāj: This is good question. We have to have some basis to approach this to understand it properly, because how we define intelligence? So, interestingly, when it came to prākṛta-sahajiism, imitationism, Guru Mahārāj, used, he quoted one verse from the Bhagavad-gītā, I was really surprised. To show what is the floss in their thinking, because it’s just, I never thought it in this way, but once he mentioned it and explained, what it meant, then I could understand its relevance. So, he quoted this verse from the seventh chapter of Bhagavad-gītā, it says,

#00:04:48#

bhūmir āpo ’nalo vāyuḥ khaṁ mano buddhir eva cha
ahaṅkāra itīyaṁ me bhinnā prakṛtir aṣṭadhā

(Bhagavad-gītā, 7.4; Chaitanya-charitāmṛta, Madhya, 6.164)

#00:04:58#

It seems, here Kṛṣṇa’s analyzing, these are material elements: earth, water, fire, air, ether, mind, intelligence and ego. It says, “bhūmir āpo ’nalo vāyuḥ khaṁ mano buddhir eva cha / ahaṅkāra itīyaṁ me bhinnā prakṛtir,” this is the divisions of prākṛti and here prākṛti in the sense of meaning what is mundane. Then there’s another śloka, there it says,

#00:05:36#

apareyam itas tv anyāṁ prakṛtiṁ viddhi me parām…

(Bhagavad-gītā, 7.5; Chaitanya-charitāmṛta, Madhya, 20.116)

#00:05:41#

But, there’s another type of prākṛti, which is superior to this, jīva-śakti, the jīva-soul is superior to each one of these things. Why is he using this śloka? That has this list of earth, water, fire, air, ether, mind, intelligence, ego, because, in relation to sahajiism and you’ll see, how it’s relevant to his question.

#00:06:14#

They’re thinking that by reconditioning these elements, whatever they are, that, so, recondition mind, reconditioned intellect will deliver spiritual substance. But what Śrīla Guru Mahārāj is saying, quoting Kṛṣṇa here, all of these things are below the plane of jīva, including intellect. So, the jīva plane or ātmā begins above all these things. But in Guru Mahārāj’s Subjective Evolution of Consciousness, he also gives an interesting parallel. So, he will say, that… introduces the concept of chayābhāsa, chidābhāsa, chayābhāsa. Meaning that the mind, intelligence, ego, these are shadows representations of the self, of the soul, or the spiritual plane.

#00:07:13#

So, the mundane mind, the sahajiyā will think, if we can infuse the mundane mind with images of Kṛṣṇa, the sound of Kṛṣṇa’s names, that it will generate spiritual identity, spiritual substance, spiritual self. Whereas Guru Mahārāj’s saying, “No, these are all mundane things. No amount of the finite will generate the infinite, nor in any particular configuration or in any particular magnitude or quantity of finite will give you the infinite. Whether it’s you know fifty micrograms of a particular substance from Sandoz Pharmaceuticals or any other thing, it won’t deliver this, because even in its most base position ātmā, the soul is above that. That’s why, ‘apareyam itas tv anyāṁ prakṛtiṁ viddhi me parām’.

#00:08:26#

He tells Arjun, but beyond these things there is another substance above them and that’s jīva-bhūta, that’s the jīva plane. So, he ends there. But when Guru Mahārāj introduced the concept of chidābhāsa saying, “A shadow like representation of consciousness allows you to operate and navigate in this world.” That’s what he’s saying. That the soul, we hear it in kind of obscure esoteric Vedic reference ‘asaṅgo hy ayaṁ puruṣaḥ’. Saying the soul is never actually infected, infested, contaminated by the modes of nature. It’s a, we’ve told the other day, there is this wonderful śloka in the Bhāgavatam, “na rarājoḍupaś channaḥ…” [Śrīmad Bhāgavatam, 10.20.19].

#00:09:29#

I, there is another one, that should be committed to memory. But in that śloka it says, when you see the clouds, then you can’t see the moon, but it’s hidden by clouds, those clouds, what’s visible to you is being illuminated by the very moon they are covering. So, they appear to be the substantial thing, but actually there is a moon in the background that’s illuminating them, the very thing that you can see. So, the very thing you can’t see, this is the point here, what you can’t see is illuminating what you can see, just as that moon, what you can see over clouds..., can’t see the moon, but it’s the moon, that’s illuminating the clouds.

#00:10:16#

So, this example gives the same, what you can see is the body, some hint of mind, intellect, ego, these things, but what cannot be seen, which is the soul, brahma, is illuminating what you do see, it the thing that’s illuminating the earth, water, fire, ether, mind, intelligence, ego, the body you see before you, and the mental intellectual abilities you perceive. So, it’s the soul on the background, even in the mundane situation. So, Guru Mahārāj said, “Then how does that take place? Just one man, it’s soul, it’s soul mixed with, navigating the mundane world?” No. So, he introduces this concept of chayābhāsa, chidābhāsa, a shadow-like interim stage, here is the soul, that’s in the chit world, here is the achit, jagad, means the unconscious, non-chit world. Here is the chayābhāsa, in the middle, shadow-like stage. And what is that? When the soul is covered by body, mind and intellect.

#00:11:31#

So, now, but to give more on the point of this question, but first you have to deal with that. These things ended up themselves; we have to be clear about that, they cannot generate spiritual substance, the mind that the rūpa of Kṛṣṇa, the form of Kṛṣṇa is not an image in our mind, like when you see a poster or an artist representation. Like, I may told this before, once, some devotees, who, they wanted to have these Kṛṣṇa-Balarām deities, but then like Subal and Śrīdām, on the set. So, they’re asking Śrīla Guru Mahārāj, “How should Subal be seen?” I mean that Subal, mentioned by Rūpa Goswāmī in the Bhakti-rasāmṛta-sindhu, that in this after you know,

#00:12:34#

(ādau) śraddhā (tataḥ) sādhu-saṅgo (’tha) bhajana-kriyā
tato ’nartha-nivṛttiḥ syāt tato niṣṭhā ruchis tataḥ…

(Bhakti-rasāmṛta-sindhu, 1.4.15–16)

#00:12:44#

Then it goes, prem, no, bhāv, then it comes, ma…, rāg, anurāg, I forget the sequence, but it goes form bhāv and culminates in mahābhāv. So, generally it’s mentioned this bhāv is only, and this is not bhāva-bhakti, but this is after prem, this only achievable by Vraja-gopīs, or Subal, the highest rang of cowherd. So, when Guru Mahārāj answers this question, “How should Subal be shown?” He said, “Ready to fulfill the inner desires of Kṛṣṇa,” and that was kind of esoteric, ‘nikuñja-yūno rati-keli-siddhyai’ [Gurvvāṣṭaka, 6].

#00:13:39#

And they are, “No, but we mean like, how should he be shown?” And Guru Mahārāj said, “Ready to fulfill the inner desires of Kṛṣṇa. That’s who he is, that’s how he should be represented.” They go, “Oh, we’re talking about his gestures,” but he said, “That an artist will decide.” That’s an artist conception. So, I’m not going to give you an artist conception.

#00:14:05#

Like when devotees, they see the pictures of Kṛṣṇa, they ask Prabhupād, “Is that what Kṛṣṇa really looks like?” And Prabhupād said, “No.” He said, “When you see Him, you’ll recognize Him.”

#00:14:18#

So, we get… and Guru Mahārāj took it to the certain level, he said, “Should we think, that image that I have in mind, I heard something, some description about Kṛṣṇa, and I get this mental image, I saw the picture… an artistic gave a representation.” He said, “Is that Kṛṣṇa? Who is the source of all of this, the source of the innumerable Universes, all Vaikuṇṭha worlds and you know, innumerable material Universes are a drop in the chit jagad. That Kṛṣṇa is that image that we’re caring in our minds. So, he means to say, Kṛṣṇa is not made of the mental substance, Kṛṣṇa is nor made of the intellectual substance, so that part we have to be clear about.

#00:15:07#

So, but now it comes back to meanwhile back on earth, where you have a mind and intellect. Can you engage them in service? And on this point, I said once to Guru Mahārāj, I said, “You’re always talking about jñāna-śūnyā bhakti, knowledge free devotion, the glories of jñāna-śūnyā bhakti, and I mean this is like a little bit of a light conversation, and he is like, “Yes.” And I said, “But,” I said, “You know so many things.” And he is like… started that. And I said, “Saraswatī Ṭhākur’s said, ‘śrīdharaṁ sakala veti’, Śrīdhar Mahārāj knows everything. You know so many Sanskrit verses, you know so many scriptures.” I started telling the stories I’ve heard from him. I started telling him the same stories, but I said, “You, who’s always talking about jñāna-śūnyā bhakti, you know so much. So, how do we take that?” So, Guru Mahārāj [laugh]. He had to think for a second.

#00:16:17#

He said, and you know the same person, he said, “Scholarship is poison,” “Knowledge, you know, it’s better to be ignorant,” you know like, many, many things, I’ve been listening carefully to all of these things he was saying, as it though, when I… you know the Upaniṣads, the Vedas, so many. Whether Śrīdhar Mahārāj reads a newspaper or Vedas it’s the same. And he said, “When jñan comes to serve, then it’s in its rightful position.”

#00:16:54#

So, I think that is the answer to the question. That see, if we’re using our intellect, to interrogate Kṛṣṇa, and we’re saying, oh, I’m a very smart guy, and I’ve studied with Academics, some research. And now I am going to apply that great genius brain I have to this Kṛṣṇa idea. That kind of thing is to…, that’s where ‘jñāne prayāsam udapāsya namanta eva’ [Śrīmad Bhāgavatam, 10.14.3], you know, “Leave your brain at the door,” which has a sign, you know like, “Put your coat or your hat.” … So Guru Mahārāj would say, “Leave your brain here,” like “Can I take your brain for you Sir?”

#00:17:43#

In Eastern Russia they still have a co-check and head-check, so some civilization. [Laugh.] But later… “So, you leave your brain at the door,” that’s what it means ‘jñāne prayāsam udapāsya namanta eva’. Don’t try to… you’re going to figure this out by mental power, intellectualism, intellectual analysis, you’re going to analyze this. That we’re told to resist, and there is so many ślokas, talking you know, what’s the famous one, “na me ’bhaktaś chatur-vedī, mad-bhaktaḥ śva-pachaḥ priyaḥ…” [Hari-bhakti-vilāsa, 10.127]. When I told Tīrtha Mahārāj, that, he’s saying, “This vaikuṇṭha vṛtti, I’m still trying after so many years.” And I said, “Yes, Mahārāj, because, you know, you’re brahmiṇ. …We are vaikuṇṭha-vṛtti people. Ok?” This rule exemption is for us to enter. Not… the point of you… so much. In a teasing way. And he said, he quoted this “na me ’bhaktaś chatur-vedī, “Yes, but Lord says, “Even if the brahmin knows the four Vedas and he is not a devotee, I don’t accept him, but if he’s “śva-pachaḥ priyaḥ,” the dog eater, but he’s my devotee, then I accept him. And in the next line he says to what degree, “tato grāhyaṁ, sa cha pūjyo,” as equal to myself, whatever you do for me, you can do for my devotee. That level, not like, you know, “Well, he is Kṛṣṇa devotee, so, something.” No, not something, equal.

#00:19:45#

Later “mad-bhakta-pūjābhyadhikā” [Śrīmad Bhāgavatam, 11.19.21], the worship of my devotees takes precedence of the worship of myself. So, and that mean, so, then he started saying, “jñan, karm... karma” it’s we hear from Rūpa Goswāmī, to find pure devotion,

#00:20:05#

anyābhilāṣitā-śūnyaṁ
jñāna-karmādy-anāvṛtam
ānukūlyena kṛṣṇānu-
śīlanaṁ bhaktir uttamā

(Bhakti-rasāmṛta-sindhu, 1.1.11)

#00:20:15#

Bhaktir uttamā’ — uttamā-bhakti is the absence of karma and jñāna, not karma-miśrā-bhakti or jñāna-miśrā-bhakti, but jñāna-śunyā bhakti, it’s again as Guru Mahārāj says like oxymoron, knowledge free devotion, where is I told the other day, once said, “Kṛṣṇa, he likes to surround himself with ignorant people.” But then we’re thinking like, “What does that mean?” Or sometimes he said, “The Vraja-gopīs are the half-civilized stupid jungle girls.” Is that what they are really? He’s saying, “that’s they are posing, that’s how they present themselves, but if you start hearing them speak, and how they, when Rādhārāṇī’s playing some game with Kṛṣṇa, and Madhumaṅgal is at the side as a brahmaṇ-adviser, and they realize, they are going to get beat very badly in this game, Rādhārāṇī… see, that they are in trouble… Kṛṣṇa is like, “What are we doing here?” And Rādhārāṇī’s saying, “It takes brains to play this game” [Laugh.] (…looking at the board…).

#00:21:44#

So, there is that level, but here he responded by saying, “When jñan comes to be engaged in the service of devotion in its rightful position.” So, we can say that in the same way, our intelligence, when it’s under the influence of devotional tendency, then it can be employed in service. Śrīla Prabhupād, he would say, this is something interesting too, he said, “Wherever there are two intelligent devotees, they can see two different ways to do the same thing.” Because Emerson has the, he says, “Genius is sufficiently the enemy of genius.” Like it’s not going two geniuses at the same place, location, at the same time. So, and Prabhupād… to expressing that, he say, “So, we have like two intelligent devotees. They say, ‘What should we do?’ ‘Well, I think we should do this’, … , ‘I think we should do that. Both of those things are tangible, they’re possible. And according to Guru Mahārāj, if it starts in the mood of service, for not we’re trying to reign the infinite under our control, but we’re offering this in service, then of course it should be there.

#00:23:24#

Sometimes we equate intelligence with the discriminating factor, so that means understanding that one thing is superior to another. What is more desirable to… (break)… more favorable than another, many different types or scenarios, but what that, how shall that intelligence be calibrated? This is critical. The calibration of the intelligence. What are the metrics for calibrating your intelligence?

#00:24:10#

Sometimes Guru Mahārāj will say, “False ego is like an instrument that’s giving bad readings.” Like, remember, Gurudev, had this wrist, blood-pressure machine, you’ve blood pressure and your heart beat, and you just put it in your wrist and it starts buzzing, instead of doing the thing here. But sometimes, not knowing that, because it was setting for a long time or whatever, batteries are week or whatever, Gurudev would put this on… he gets a reading and… you’d see his face, and his whole attitude is that he got a horrible reading from this thing, and then he’d go like, it put him in anxiety. So, sometimes by ourselves we have to go over and I’d l like try to it on me… I know at least, until recently I am like 120 over 70, like pretty normal, that’s why I see if I don’t get something close to that, then it probably is to be recalibrated, and we can tell Mahārāj, not to worry.

#00:25:27#

So, Guru Mahārāj says, that the false ego is like that machine, that’s giving you a bad…, it’s giving you reading of the environment, and your place and this, so many things, but it’s giving you a false reading. And if the intelligence is under the influence of the false ego, then even a brilliant man will be deceived, there is a one famous śloka from the fifth canto,

#00:26:06#

yasyāsti bhaktir bhagavaty akiñchanā
sarvair guṇais tatra samāsate surāḥ
harāv abhaktasya kuto mahad-guṇā
mano-rathenāsati dhāvato bahiḥ

(Śrīmad Bhāgavatam, 5.18.12)

#00:26:20#

The bhagavat akiñchans, those who are real devotees, they have no other interest than Kṛṣṇa, Guru, Vaiṣṇava, Kṛṣṇa service. Why? They know, there is nothing in this world they find, that they can hold their interest and their attention, those type… It’s saying, ‘yasyāsti bhaktir bhagavaty akiñchanā sarvair guṇais tatra samāsate surāḥ…’, you see that gradually all the good qualities are manifested in them, and they’re as a consequence illuminating personalities. And as we alluded this before they may come from the lowest position socially, economically, educationally, so many things are not a factor in their spiritual development. It says,

#00:27:21#

Harāv abhaktasya kuto mahad-guṇā, mano-rathenāsati dhāvato bahiḥ, on the other hand, so who was a non-devotee, they may be super intelligent, but really there is no substance there, because it’s not spiritually grounded, they’re not under the influence of the proper spiritual conception. Sometimes we see, even in the, when we give a crude example. Police or detectors, they find some very devious serial killer or something like that. They will point out, “This man is obviously extremely intelligent, when they see what is modus operandi but then realize, yes, his intelligence, the genius level intelligence, but you know devious and evil hearted. So, what kind of intelligence is necessary? Means that gradually has to become dharma-buddhi. And this reminds me of another thing.

#00:28:47#

Once, in Bombay, the land, that Śrīla Prabhupād Swāmī Mahārāj got from the Bombay Center there, this is called Juhu Beach, where many Bollywood movie stars live. That was the neighborhood where he got land and then build this giant temple. And in his day, sometimes Bollywood stars would come. There are also life members as you can imagine, and some of them were extraordinary beautiful. And once, one of such star, this beautiful woman, and just by entering the room the whole atmosphere in the room changed, noticeably. And Prabhupād, this wasn’t lost on him and he said, especially among the men, the men were like you know temperature rising, fever is high. [Laugh.]

#00:29:54#

So, after she left, the air was like a little thick, and Prabhupād said, “Māyāvādīs, if they, when the beautiful woman like this is entering the room, their way of dealing is to say, ‘She is an illusion. There is nothing really there’, and that’s their approach, ‘It’s just an illusion, there’s nothing there’, that kind of thing. He said, “But not Vaiṣṇavas, they will say, they will recognize, ‘That is the beautiful woman’, because they are very intelligent.” [Laugh.] He said, “Yes [they’ll recognize], ‘That is the beautiful woman’,” he said, “but they will not do anything with that.” And you can interpret that your way. [Laugh.]

#00:30:56#

And then he told the story about Yudhiṣṭhir Mahārāj, because we can understand from Mahābhārata, and other places that Kuntī Devī the mother of the Pāṇḍavas, not Draupadī, their wife, no, Kuntī Devī, their mother, she was extraordinary beautiful. She would chant her mantra, and the devas were descending into this world. She is, when they say world-class beauty, she was beyond, like interplanetary beauty, that type of the world-class beauty. And she was a young girl, so if you do the math, she was not so old, when they were, sons in their twenties or something, she wasn’t that old, and she was still beautiful. So, Yudhiṣṭhir is honest to a fault, as a saying goes, because honesty should not be a fault, but honest to a fault.

#00:32:12#

As would Śrīla Guru Mahārāj. Śrīla Guru Mahārāj could not lie. And he once said, “I make this vow, form this day forward, I will always and only speak the truth,” he said, “I’ve got a Himalayan courage. And the world became like a ball in my hand,” he said that. And once Gurudev, he needed him to lie. And he knows Guru Mahārāj cannot lie. So he’s like begging him to make an exception this one time. But Guru Mahārāj, he just can’t. Then Gurudev said, because some man is going to come down and maybe, we don’t know, doing some assessment or something. So, then Gurudev was very intelligent, using his intelligence in service, said, “What about, if I say something and you don’t say anything?” [Laugh.] And Guru Mahārāj said, “That I can do.” It is, “I am going to say this in front of you, and you don’t say anything.” [Laugh.] That’s using your intelligence in service. [Laugh.]

#00:33:36#

And really it is because when the Gauḍīyā Math, when they were having problems and in the… court one side, ‘saffron vs. saffron’. One man came to Guru Mahārāj and said, “Oh, Swamiji, this is so sad,” …and they’re fighting in the courts. And Guru Mahārāj said, “If you can go …, you can go to court for your purpose, but can’t go to court for Kṛṣṇa? We’re also prepared to go to court.” So, our Guru Mahārāj didn’t make some sādhus who are like in a cave somewhere, you know outside of Ṛṣikeś, waiting for Russian tourists. [Laugh.]

#00:34:43#

So, when they were in the court, at one point, they were interviewing who later become Bhakti Vilās Tīrtha Mahārāj, and they say, “Did you lie in this particular instance?” And he said to him, “Yes, I lies.” And then Vasudev’s, Ānanda Vasudev’s, his attendant said, “Yes, we got them!” Like, “great, this is a win for us.” And Gurudev said, “This Ānanda Vasudev said, ‘No, no, no. We are over that issue, we will not take him down over that, because he did that for Prabhupād, for Saraswatī Ṭhākur, for service, we worship that’.” So not over that, even though he could have won, on this point he said, “I won’t fault him for that.” So, that’s a new way to see things.

#00:35:48#

So, anyway, back to the story with Śrīla Prabhupād, he said, Yudhiṣṭhir Mahārāj was asked, Kuntī Devī, is this world class interplanetary level beauty and she is still beautiful, and she is…, “Are you ever attracted to her?” And Yudhiṣṭhir Mahārāj cannot lie, and he said, “Yes, sometimes,” he said, “but I control it with my dharma-buddhi.” So, to the degree that Kṛṣṇa Consciousness, Kṛṣṇa conception proper has entered even on that level to the external intelligence, mind etc. it will be more reliable to discriminate and make judgments, assuming that we want something, that has some spiritual color to it.

#00:36:59#

Sometimes in the world we’re hiring someone, if we hire someone for their physical powers, we can also hire someone for other types of abilities too, we expect them to use their intelligence, we’ll use ours, but I’m making distinction here between not trying to think that by the exercise of intellect we can penetrate deeper in the Kṛṣṇa Consciousness, no. But we can use and should use our full intellect and intelligence in service to Guru and Gaurāṅga, Rādhā-Govinda that we want to do.

#00:38:03#

Remember when Śrīla Keśava Mahārāj was praising Śrīla Govinda Mahārāj, Śrīla Gurudev, many times he was praising, but one particular praise he said, in Gauḍīyā Math Śrīla Keśava Mahārāj had substantial Math, a lot of resources man, as Bhakti Vilās Tīrtha Mahārāj, Śrīla Bhakti Dayitā Mādhav Mahārāj, the others. And at the time Guru Mahārāj, really, what he had, is Govinda Mahārāj, Gurudev. And there were certain things that those with all the resources, man, etc., were trying to do and they couldn’t achieve. But Gurudev did. Without all the resources, financially, man power, etc. And so this are the words of Keśava Mahārāj, he said, “What he is lacking in resources, he’s doing with his intelligence. So, he is using his full intelligence in the service of the lotus feet of the Guru Mahārāj.

#00:39:17#

But when we talk about dharma-buddhi, I’ve mentioned, that this is another point I want to make that we’re constantly hearing the scriptures every day, like we say kīrttan and pāṭ, means the songs the Gauḍīyā canon of Narottam Ṭhākur, Bhaktivinod Ṭhākur, and other, but principally from them, and from Śrīla Guru Mahārāj, so we’re hearing from this and the pāṭ means, we say, “Oh, class?” that’s a meaning, but another meaning is ‘recitation’. Because really if someone is not giving explanations really what we to do in the daily basis, is to have recitations of the Scriptures, that’s what parāyaṇa means. You read it is, go back to the end, do it again. So there is always a recitation of Charitāmṛtam, Chaitanya-bhāgavata, Śrīmad Bhāgavatam, Bhagavad-gītā, Bhakti-rasāmṛta-sindhu. It’s always going on. And part of what’s happening it’s accumulative effect where consciously or otherwise some impressions are being made within us. That’s why you’ll see in the Math, even if you’re… they are doing many different things, the recitation is going on, this is Divine vibration is being made in the form of the songs, the Scriptures, śastra. So even if someone isn’t in this sense, a hundred percent focused on it, there it’s like, what do you call it, is it osmosis... We’d like, by being in particular environment it’s just like enters your system. Something like that.

#00:41:17#

That’s like… spiritual center. It’s important also. Guru Mahārāj would say get the example if someone has a respiratory problems, like in America they’ll say, “Oh, move the Arizona.” And what they mean by that is there is no humidity there. It’s very hot and so just being in the environment you’ll, just by walking around whatever it is you’re doing, you get better on some level.

#00:41:52#

Like once I was in Saint Petersburg and had a discussion with Pṛthu, and he was saying something about atmosphere there and environment, and he said, “You know, it in Soviet times they were sanding people here.” And I said, “Oh, you mean like Arizona, just by being here you’ll be cured.” He said, “No, just by being here you’ll die.” [Laugh.] That’s the opposite idea. They’re sending you there hoping that you know like. [Laugh.] Is there anyone I haven’t offended? These are true stories. I am not making this up. But in other words, the environment and we could have taken that example and think, “Some environment [is] very good for you know, it’ll help. Maybe you have some problem just be there, it will help you. Another environment will exacerbate the problem, and make it worse.

#00:43:12#

So, by there is a word ‘center’ or whatever, so, you have this place where this divine vibration is being made and even if you just go, you know, downstairs and doing whatever you’re doing it’s infused in the atmosphere and gradually the cumulative effect will be there. It’s to our betterment. That’s what I mean to say. And on the high level something I found really inspiring and also charming, that’s… Once I’ve seen Śrīla Guru Mahārāj speak the Chaitanyāṣṭakam of Śrīla Rūpa Goswāmī. So we know Śikṣāṣṭakam of Mahāprabhu, how the position that it occupies. But then we think, “If Rūpa Goswāmī is the Mahāprabhu’s mouthpiece, this Chaitanyāṣṭakam is extraordinary, by any metrics it’s just extraordinary, and there is more than one. There are maybe three.

#00:44:23#

But, and all of them. The first one, and it’s quoted by Kṛṣṇadās Kavirāj Goswāmī in Chaitanya-charitāmṛtam, just in any way you measure it, it’s extraordinary, it’s substantial. So, but there were some things that I were unclear to me many things, but that’s another statement. But I just meant literally of what I am like doing, and so I came out of my room in Gurudev’s veranda and he was there and he said, “I am listening to this one part, I am not sure what Guru Mahārāj means by this particular śloka or part of how he is referring rendering the śloka and then Gurudev, he starts explaining it beautifully, wonderfully and I was just like stunned, just stunned. That so it came out of him so easily and in the midst of so many other things going on he could just give this. And then I took that opportunity and asked, “When did you memorize, or have learned this?” He said, “Oh, I never did.” Then I was a little bewildered, “But you was like giving your… quoting it, giving this extraordinary explanation, and you’re saying you never took the time to learn it.” He said, “No.” And I said, “Then how?” He said, “Every day, when Guru Mahārāj was bathing, he is taking off his clothes and put, I am coming to get his laundry, and I am cleaning his veranda, and Guru Mahārāj he is taking the ladle at the water, and pouring on his head, you know,

#00:46:27#

rasoddāmā kāmārbuda-madhura-dhāmojjvala-tanur
yatīnām uttaṁsas taraṇikara-vidyoti-vasanaḥ
hiraṇyāṇāḿ lakṣmī-bharam abhibhavann āṅgika-ruchā
sa chaitanyaḥ kiṁ me punar api dṛśor yāsyati padam

(Prathama-Chaitanyāṣṭaka, 4)

#00:46:47#

And so, I am hearing this and he said, “And by serving Guru Mahārāj, I am just serving Guru Mahārāj, that’s my purpose there, and he is doing this and it’s transferred from Śrīla Guru Mahārāj’s heart into my heart. That’s how it came to me.”

#00:47:12#

So, that’s our aspiration. That by serving Vaiṣṇava that… we have some estimation of our own position, we know that, we don’t have to, now going to a litany of our disqualifications, but our hope is that we serve to the lotus feet of Guru and Vaiṣṇava and what’s in their heart if a little particle of that can be transferred in our heart then, “sat-saṅgaḥ śevadhir nṛṇām… saṁsāre ’smin kṣaṇārdho ’pi, sat-saṅgaḥ śevadhir nṛṇām,” [Śrīmad Bhāgavatam, 11.2.30].

#00:48:02#

Here ‘śevadhir’ means treasure, the treasure to be got in this world is the association in service of the Vaiṣṇava, then the treasure is transferred from their heart to our heart. So, doing that service? Yes. Kāya, mano, vacha — body, mind, words, intelligence, the famous śloka in the, it’s from the Bhāgavatam, but it’s quoted in the Ādi-līlā of Chaitanya-charitāmṛta, trying to remember, but it says how each person should engage their body, mind, their money, their intelligence, saying on different levels, I can’t remember that. That, so, everything. And when those things serve the higher, then they gradually achieve their rightful position.

#00:49:26#

And when Guru Mahārāj talks in his Bhagavad-Gītā about it there is a section and all of this will be the teaser for he talks how the buddhi-yoga is higher than bhakti-yoga. But when Guru Mahārāj was like buddhi like in his gāyatrī explanation. The ‘dhī’, ‘dhiyo yo naḥ prachodayāt’. Dhī — which is generally rendered as meditation, to meditate. Guru Mahārāj, this is so beautiful, he said, “Dhī, here means buddhi, intelligence, said what is meditation, it’s not tell you of like engage in abstract meditation, meditation on the sound of one hand clapping.

#00:50:24#

I was there on the academic conference once; maybe I was in a bit of whimsical mood or something… anyway the person before me he spoke, so at the end his lecture I went like… [Laugh.] So, he was talking about the emptiness, everything was about emptiness, emptiness that concept, when you meditate you’ll realize, that you’re empty and this and that empty. Then we were in the bathroom in front of the urinals with this other scholar, and one of them goes, “What do you think about this talk?” and the other, “Uh, it lets me feeling empty.” [Laugh.] And both were like laughing because they know this was an absurd. [Laugh.]

#00:51:25#

But why did I say that? Oh, meditation, dhī, so, Guru Mahārāj said, “Dhī means buddhi, but it didn’t mean abstract, he said means using your intelligence in service. That’s what it means, ‘dhiyo yo naḥ prachodayāt’. And that…, if you can do that, then you’ll really be absorbed. Your mind will be controlled, your senses would be subdued, everything, when you’re fully engaging your intelligence in service, sevā, saying, that’s what he was telling him.

Hare Krishna!

Transcribed by: Nalina Sundari Devi Dasi
Edited by Kamala Devi Dasi, Tradish Das


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