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Awakening Our Hearts to Eternal Joy

Om Visnupad Srila Bhakti Sundar Govinda Dev-Goswami Maharaj
[Canberra, Australia, 19th June, 1992]

    Actually, we have come here to give something of the essence of what is already present in your heart.

uttisthata, jagrata, prapya varan nibodhata

    This is Upanisad-vani—the Message of the Upanisads: "It is your property, take it. It is not the property of any human body. Actually it is the property of the jiva (soul). That is Krsna consciousness. Uttisthata—you are sleeping. You do not know who you are. It is necessary to give some consciousness to you—you are sleeping, and you must wake up. You are sons of the nectarean ocean, and there are many beautiful jewels within the ocean; and that is your own property. You take it!" The Upanisads, Veda, Vedanta—every Scripture helps to remind us of this truth.

uttisthata, jagrata, prapya varan nibodhata
ksurasya dhara nisita duratyaya
durgam pathas tat kavayo vadanti (Kathopanisad 1.3.14)

    There is no doubt that everyone is sleeping in the illusion of this environment. Actually, we are jiva-souls, but now our position is that of conditioned souls. The existence of the jiva-soul is always in freedom, and with willing, feeling and thinking. He is not dead matter at all, but, he is sleeping. If someone sleeps and dreams that a tiger has come to attack him, or some robber has come to attack him, in that state he is very disturbed, and he cries, "Save me, save me!" But no intelligent person will take up any weapon or defence. He will only try to wake him up. "You are only dreaming. This is not your actual position, get up! See where you are." So this is the necessity. Upanisads, Veda, Vedanta—everywhere we see that they make us ready for the service of Krsna. That's the attitude of all the Scriptures. In Vedanta-Darsan we see the first two phrases:

athato brahma-jijnasa, janmadyasya yatah (1.1.1,2)

    This is the first question, and the answer is also given. The question is, "What do you need? You need Brahma-conception. You are living here, and you have seen many things here. You have much experience about this world. Maybe you cannot remember your previous life, or you cannot know your future life, but in the present life you have seen many things. What have you seen?"

ahany ahani bhutani gacchanti yamamandiram
sesa-sthiratvam icchanti kim ascaryyam atah param

    Many questions were asked by Dharmma, Yamaraj [lord of final judgement], to Yudhisthir Maharaj in the Mahabharata. There, it is told that one day Yudhisthir Maharaj and his brothers were feeling very thirsty. He sent his brothers to a lake to fetch some water. But present there in the form of a bird was Dharmmaraj. That bird said to Sahadev, "Before taking any water, answer my questions, otherwise you will die." Sahadev thought, "Oh, he is just a bird, and he's trying to control me?" He ignored it and took water. Immediately he fell dead there. In this way, the four Pandavas—Sahadeva, Nakula, Arjjuna and Bhima—all ignored the bird. They were all laid down dead. Yudhisthir was waiting, but nobody came. He was very disturbed, and anxiously he went there. He was also very thirsty. When he reached he found his four brothers lying down as corpses. He proceeded to the lake, and the bird made a sound, "Oh, Yudhisthir, please wait! First answer my questions and then take water. Your brothers did not pay me any heed, and so they have died. You will also die if you don't listen to me." Yudhisthir thought, "My brothers are very powerful. This is no ordinary bird. Maybe he's some demigod taking the form of a bird before me." Then he asked the bird, "What are your questions?" One by one the bird asked his important questions to Yudhisthir Maharaj, who gave him the answers. Lastly, there were four questions that are especially famous.

ka ca vartta, kim ascaryyam, kah pantha, kah sukhi?

    The first question was, "What's the news?" Anyone will say to read the newspaper, but Yudhisthir Maharaj knew that this bird was no ordinary bird. He thought, "If he were ordinary, how could he have killed my brothers?" So he replied, "Yes, this is the news—

masarttu-darvvi parighattanena suryyagnina ratridivendhanena
asmin mahamohamaye katahe bhutani kalah pacatiti vartta

    "This is the real news: with the rising and setting of the sun, the jiva-soul is like uncooked food, and that food is being cooked by Kala or Yamaraj. How does he do this? Through the months and seasons he cooks that food; fire is necessary for cooking, and the sun is like the fire, and the days and nights are like the wood; and this world is like the big pot in which the living beings are being fried by Kala. This is the news."
    The bird was satisfied. The next question was, "What is the wonder of this world?" Yudhisthir Maharaj could have named the seven wonders of the world; but he didn't. What he described as miraculous was this:

ahany ahani bhutani gacchanti yamamandiram
sesa-sthiratvam icchanti kim ascaryyam atah param

    "The embodied souls are day by day going to the house of Yamaraj, that is, they are always advancing towards death. We see maybe father, or mother, or grandmother, grandfather or neighbour—every day many are dying in the hospital. In front of me many insects are dying, many trees are dying, many animals are dying, many humans are dying. Practically every day this is happening in front of us. But we are thinking we will stay so long. We are making many nice plans for ourselves, and that is the real wonder! It is so mysterious. The jiva-soul cannot understand that 'at any moment I may die, and after death what will be my fate?' They don't think about this. They think, 'Maybe grandfather or grandmother died, maybe this or that died, but I shall stay forever.' And they are making many preparations for that stay. That is the wonder of this world. They cannot understand that at any moment Yamaraj can take them."
    The answer to the second question was given. The third question was, "What is the way?" Yudhisthir did not give any vague direction. He said,

veda vibhinna smrtayo vibhinna nasav rsir yasya matam na bhinnam
dharmmasya tattvam nihitam guhayam mahajano yena gatah sa panthah

    Yudhisthir answered in this way: "In the Vedas you will see several kinds of advices for the jiva-souls—do fire sacrifice, do Candrayana-vrata [eating regulated according to the phases of the moon], etc., etc. We see that many things are advised in the Vedas. And the interpreters or the rsis are also showing the path of their own realization. Some advise to do karmma, some advise to do yoga, some advise the line of jnana and some advise us to take the line of Bhakti-marga. But the real path of life, we do not know. 'What is the way?', we cannot understand."
    Yudhisthir Maharaj said, "There's no need to proceed haphazardly like that. You must proceed on the real path of the Mahajan who is firm in consciousness and properly practising Krsna consciousness. You follow that. That is the only way." Mahajan means one who is firm within his spiritual consciousness and proceeding to his destination. So Yudhisthir Maharaj said, "Follow the saints. Really, by reading the Veda, Vedanta, Upanisad, Puranas Mahabharata etc., we cannot understand. We will only spend our time without understanding the thought within; we can know that only with the help of an expert person."
The last question was, "Who is happy?" Yudhisthir Maharaj said,

divasasyasthame bhage sakam pacati yo narah
arni apravasi ca sa nara hi sukhi bhavet

    "One who can work the whole day, but doesn't take much for his maintenance. One who gains something, but won't borrow money from others; and he has some place to reside. He practises Krsna consciousness within his own zone. He doesn't disturb others, himself, or his family. He is a very happy man. This is the happy man in the world."
    Yudhisthir Maharaj answered that bird in this way. Then the bird showed his original form of Yamaraj, Dharmma who had come to examine them. Being pleased, he offered Yudhisthir a boon. Then Yudhisthir said, "My brothers are not ordinary men, but by your influence they have now fainted—lost all consciousness; you please give life to them." Yamaraj gave life back to the four brothers, and Yudhisthir Maharaj happily took the water and went his way.

Search for the Absolute

    We have seen many things in this mundane world. If we try to realize for ourselves what is good and what is bad, we shall also understand. It won't be necessary to take help from outside. Still, that is not sufficient for our human life. We need even more than that, and that is Krsna consciousness, enquiry after God. This is especially necessary in the human stage of life. We have power for realization and we have the tendency to worship and serve. Amongst jungle-dwellers it has been seen that some worship fire, others worship the sun, or the moon. It is their tendency. Every soul has the tendency to give honour to what is greater than himself. That tendency is coming from their own heart.
    A goat or any animal has no need to be taught how to reproduce in this world. They are automatically involved in propagating their species. Similarly it is natural for every jiva-soul to search for what is superior to themselves. Ultimately, they must try to find out the Supreme Power. But because they don't find it directly before them they search haphazardly, and their only reward is death and birth.
    The Lord is very merciful to every jёva-soul. From time to time He comes to this mundane world Himself or sends some saint on His behalf to awaken the residents back to their senses; they are all sleeping, dreaming. He Himself gives them back their sense, or sends His ambassadors, and they also give something to help them awaken from that dream. That is the real matter, and that is reality.
    Reality is the Beautiful, and we need Him. Now, the second sutra of Vedanta-Darsan says, janmadyasya yatah—"From Him everything emanates, by Him everything is maintained, and by Him all is annihilated."
    If you could search throughout this whole universe you would find that there is One who creates the whole universe. There is the sun, moon and stars—many manifestations in the universe. Millions of bodies are in outer space, yet they never suffer any collision. All run their own orbit. There must be some power for this to happen. Who has created that power? We need to realize this, and we have the capacity to do so. Without some power in control millions of planets cannot continue their orbits at high speed without colliding. And when one day there is a collision, we call that the maha-pralaya, the annihilation. That time is selected—by someone. Who is that person? We must search. In our search we find many searchers comment about that creator, but they cannot actually touch His Lotus Feet. Only when that upper level comes down to us is it possible for us to understand that Infinite Power.
    An ant is walking. He has no power to know himself; yet, I have the power to touch that ant. When I touch him, he feels something from the 'upper level' upon himself. When I remove my hand, he feels the absence. Again, I can touch him. In that way, when the power of knowing Him comes from the upper level, only then can we understand that Infinite Power. Scriptural experts have tried in many ways, and some have had a revelation of that Power; and immediately, for the benefit of others, they noted their findings in their books. But through that knowledge, everyone cannot understand everything.
One who wishes to know the theory of mathematics can gain that knowledge through a mathematician. In all fields, whether mathematics, literature, etc., we need to contact an expert in that line. Similarly, if we want transcendental knowledge, we must follow one who is proficient in that line. Then we can understand what ultimate form that Supreme Power possesses.
    Through the Scriptures such as Srimad Bhagavad-Gita, Srimad-Bhagavatam,
eighteen kinds of Puranas and the Mahabharata we can learn that He is the Originator, Sustainer and Annihilator of everything. In many places in the Scriptures His Qualities are also expressed as satyam, sivam, sundaram. Satyam means that His existence is eternal; sivam means mangalam—He can always do good for others; and sundaram means that He is the Supreme Beautiful. And reality is the Beautiful. This is the expression of our Guru Maharaj when explaining satyam, sivam, sundaram.
Search for Sri Krsna—Reality the Beautiful. We need beauty, love, happiness, joy; and we can find all these things in the Supreme Personality of Godhead, Krsna. The Snmad-Bhdgavatam says,

ete camsa-kalah pumsah krsnas tu bhagavan svayam
indrari-vyakulam lokam mrdayanti yuge yuge

    That Krsna is the Supreme Personality of Godhead is openly declared by the Bhagavatam. And Krsna Himself says in the Gita (9.24),

aham hi sarva-yajnanam bhokta ca prabhur eva ca
na tu mam abhijananti tattvenatas cyavanti te

    "I alone am the Enjoyer and Rewarder of all sacrifices; those who cannot know Me as such again undergo birth, disease, infirmity and death."
    "I am the Personality of Godhead—take shelter in My Lotus Feet and I shall protect you from any offence or sin, don't worry. Take shelter under My umbrella, then no rain of mundanity can ever disturb you. My Lotus Feet are like a big umbrella—take shelter there." This is the way of the expression of Srimad Bhagavad-Gita. The Upanisads (Kathopanisad 1.2.23) are showing us:

nayam atma pravacanena labhyo na medhaya na bahuna srutena
yam evaisa vrnute tena labhyas tasyaisa atma vivrnute tanum svam

    "You cannot capture that Supreme Lord—by speaking and speaking, or preaching and preaching, you cannot get His mercy; you may have much intelligence, but you will not get Him through-that; and you may have great Scriptural knowledge, but that won't get you His mercy. Then how can you get Him? Only if He wants to come into your heart can you understand Him. If He comes willingly—that is, mercifully—then you can understand Him.
    This is our position. So the Lord said, mam eva ye prapadyante mayam etam taranti te. "If you want liberation from this illusory environment you must take shelter unto My Lotus Feet." sarva-dharman parityajya—leave what you know as religion or non-religion. Leave the bad, but also leave the good. You cannot digest all the good, so it is not necessary to try to digest everything. So leave good, bad, and everything. Sarvva-dharmman means this. But mam ekam saranam vraja—I have previously given you many guidelines; maybe you can follow them, maybe you cannot. Now leave both ideas and take shelter in Me.

man mana bhava mad-bhakto mad yaji mam namaskuru
mam evaisyasi satyam te pratijane priyo ’si me (18.65)

    "Think of Me, worship Me, offer your very self unto Me, and surely you will reach Me. Sincerely, this is My promise to you because you are My dear friend."
    "Because you are my dear friend, I am telling the very naked truth to you. It is a very stark matter—for others. Nobody can say, 'Take shelter in my lotus feet.' But I am saying it openly. You may not know everything and it is not necessary for you to know everything. Take shelter in Me and I shall do the needful for you." But after that, Krsna said to Arjjuna,

idam te natapaskaya nabhaktaya kadacana
na casusrusave vacyam na ca mam yo ’bhyasuyati (18.67)

    "You should never disclose this hidden treasure to those devoid of sacrificing temperament, the faithless, those averse to My service, or those malicious persons who are envious of Me."
    "It's not necessary to tell everyone this conception. They can't believe it. They have no capacity to receive it in their hearts, so it will incur offence to tell it to others. But I have told you everything because you are my very dear friend, and I want to do good for you." Then Arjjuna said,

nasto mohah smrtir labdha tvat prasadan mayacyuta
sthito ’smi gata-sandehah karisye vacanam tava (18.73)

    "Now I am taking shelter unto Your Lotus Feet, and I have gotten relief from illusion. By Your grace I am firmly set in Your conception. I have no doubt now. I shall do whatever You tell me to."
    That is called surrender and devotion. And this is the final advice of Krsna in the Bhagavad-Gitd. So if we search for someone He must be Reality, and Reality the Beautiful. Otherwise we are attracted by beauty and trying to get happiness and joy. If beauty is not present in the origin, how do we think of these things? It must be within the origin. So the Upanisads (Taittinyopanisad 2.7) have said,

raso vai sah, rasam hy evayam labdhvanandi bhavati

    "All ecstasy, all nectar is within Him, the Supreme Personality of Godhead; and who gets His connection will get that Ananda, Rasa—Divine Ecstasy, Nectar."
    So we are searching. But what are we searching for? We shall first try to realize this. This is the meaning of athato (athato brahma-jijnasa) in the Vedanta-Darsan. First atha (atha-atah, brahma-jijnasa) signifies ’auspicious invocation,’ and following that, atah indicates what is to be known—that is Brahma. What is the Brahma-conception? If we try to realize it we will see, jyotir abhyantare rupam atulam syamasundaram. Brahma or the Supreme God never has the position of nirakara, nirvisesa or nihsaktika—He is never formless, undifferentiated or impotent. We always see power working in everything, and the origin can never be powerless. The origin must be powerful. Further, in this world everyone is searching for love, whether through a relationship with one's father, mother, wife or daughter. This would not be felt in us if it were not in the origin. It is such a simple matter. So the statement of the Upanisads is perfect. "That Supreme Truth is Ecstasy. Attaining Him, the soul attains all joy." This is the Krsna conception.

How and Why Krsna?

    And why Krsna conception? Krsna proclaims Himself the Supreme, but will others believe it? Still, if we try to realize the truth of Krsna's words by going to a master of realization, by his association we can immediately understand that satyam, sivam and sundaram—the full-fledged All-good, Reality the Beautiful—is possible only in the Krsna conception. All other conceptions show some deficiency.
    There are five kinds of Rasas or Ecstatic Divine Relationships with the Lord playing everywhere in the Transcendental World. He is not formless, undifferentiated or impotent. He has form, qualities and power. If we are searching for quality, how can our origin not have quality? It is not possible. If we are searching for beauty, beauty must also be in our origin. In this way, if we try to have some realization, we must ultimately come to Krsna consciousness. There is no other way. This is the advice of the Vedic Scriptures. It is so very good for us if we can spend some time for the realization of Krsna consciousness. We are trying to get it within our hearts. We are chanting the Hare Krsna Mahamantra as given by Mahaprabhu Sri Caitanyadev, and this is the main goal of life. We need all that is good, not bad, and this is possible by coming into the Line of Sriman Mahaprabhu; and Mahaprabhu has taught us humility, tolerance and giving honour to others. This is the process to proceed to our destination. This is the way to proceed to the association of the Supreme Personality of Godhead in the Transcendental World.