Switching Focus

His Divine Grace Om Vishnupad
Srila Bhakti Nirmal Acharya Maharaj
21 February 2017, Tarakeswar
Bengali evening class, part 1

 

Tomorrow is ekadasi day, Hari-vasar tithi. I told you yesterday that it is necessary to observe Hari-vasar tithi (auspicious days favourite to the Lord). There are two ekadasis every month, and it is necessary to follow these two ekadasis. The Lord is pleased with those who observe it, so we do it out of love for the Lord, out of love for Krishna.

There are some rules in the scriptures, according to them on the day when you observe a (fasting) vow you must not take rice. If you take rice, you commit a sin. I told you yesterday what sin it is when you eat rice on ekadasi (the sin is equal to eating cow's meat). That is why you must observe ekadasi—it is a duty of every human being.

If you want, you can come tomorrow to the temple and observe it here, you can bring some fruit for the Lord.

There are five things prohibited on ekadasi (rice, wheat, barley, pulses, mustard/sesame oil). Do not take rice (it includes flat rice and muri), if you cannot do a full fast on ekadasi, you can take some potato. You must not use sesame or mustard oil—you can use ghee, peanut oil or sunflower oil instead; buy some sunflower oil at the market and use that. You can take peanuts also—if you have a problem with your stomach you can boil some peanuts and take that. You can also take all kinds of fruit, milk, paneer, home made sweets. Do not use turmeric from the store—if you can get some turmeric root and make the powder or paste yourself, then can you use it, otherwise do not because during the production they use the same equipment to produce everything else. (I remember when I went to some village, I saw what people do—they inject some chemicals into eggplants and cauliflowers and the next day the vegetable becomes so big. This is the situation in this world now.)

In Satya-yuga, the duration of life was 100,000 years. Do you know about it? There are four ages (yugas), four ashrams, and four varnas. The four ages are Satya, Dvapar, Treta, Kali, the four ashrams are brahmacharya, grihastha, vanaprastha, and sannyas, the four varnas are brahman, ksatriya, vaisya, sudra.

In Satya-yuga, people used to meditate, and by meditation they attained the Lord. In Treta-yuga, people did fire-sacrifice (asvamedha yajna, rajasuya yajna, etc.), the lifetime was 10,000 years at that time. In Dvapar-yuga, the lifetime was 1,000 years and people did puja, archan. In Kali-yuga, the lifetime decreased to 120 years only. Now there are not many people who live to even a hundred years old, most people die at 60-70. So, in Satya-yuga people practised meditation, in Dvapar-yuga sacrifice, in Treta-yuga Deity worship, and in Kali-yuga people chant the Holy Name, practise Harinam sankirtan. Tell me, was it Mahaprabhu who brought Harinam sankirtan to Kali-yuga? No. It is written in Srimad Bhagavatam that Kali-yuga's religion is chanting the Holy Name—Mahaprabhu came just some 531 years ago and the Bhagavatam was written many thousands years ago. There, it is written:

krsnavarnam tvisakrsnam sangopangastra parsadam
yajnaih sankirtana prayair yajanti hi sumedhasah

(Srimad Bhagavatam, 11.5.32)

Hiding His own colour and taking Radharani's colour, Krishna appeared as Gaura. "Why does Radharani cry when She takes My Name? What kind of happiness does She get when She does My service?"—to taste this sentiment, to know what kind of joy a devotee of the Lord gets when serving the Lord, Lord Krishna appears in the form of a devotee in this age of Kali.

কলিকালে নামরূপ কৃষ্ণ-অবতার ।
নাম হৈতে হয় সর্ব্বজগৎ-নিস্তার ॥

kali-kale nama-rupe krsna-avatara
nama haite haya sarva-jagat-nistara

"In the Kali-yuga, Krishna appears in the form of the Name. The entire world is delivered through that Name."

(Chaitanya-charitamrita, Adi-lila, 17.22)

The Name, form, qualities, associates, features of the Lord are completely non-different from the Lord, and no one except the devotees of the Lord can distribute these. The Holy Name is an incarnation of the Lord in this age of Kali, there is no difference between the Lord and His Name. Where is Krishna, there is the Name; where is the Name, there is the Lord.

In this age of Kali, Gauranga Mahaprabhu comes to this world and goes house to house telling everybody (we sing about it in a kirtan every morning):

জীব জাগ, জীব জাগ, গোরাচাঁন বলে ।
কত নিদ্রা যাও মায়া-পিশাচীর কোলে ॥

jiva jaga, jiva jaga, gorachanda bale
kata nidra yao maya-pisachira kole

Sri Gorachand says, "O souls, awake! O souls, awake! How much longer will you sleep in the lap of the witch Maya?"

ভজিব বলিয়া এসে সংসার-ভিতরে ।
ভুলিয়া রহিলে তুমি অবিদ্যার ভরে ॥

bhajiba baliya ese samsara-bhitare
bhuliya rahile tumi avidyara bhare

"You came into this world saying, 'O Lord, I will serve You', but, having forgotten this promise, you have remained in ignorance."

"Avidya" (ignorance) means material knowledge. I told you the other day that there are two Saraswatis—one is suddha (pure) Saraswati and the other one is Devi (goddess) Saraswati. Who is suddha Saraswati? Bhakti Siddhanta Saraswati Thakur, and Devi Saraswati is the one who gives knowledge, education, who makes an ass out of you.

vidyara gaurave, bhrami' dese dese,
dhana uparjana kari'
svajana-palana, kari eka-mane,
bhulinu tomare hari!

"Then on the strength of my learning, I travelled from place to place, earned money, and maintained my family with undivided attention. I forgot You, O Lord!"

(Saranagati, 2)

When we take birth we promise the Lord, "I will serve You! I will see Your Deity form with my eyes, I will hear about You with my ears," but all of a sudden Krishna creates maya,

দৈবী হেঽষা গুণময়ী মম মায়া দুরত্যয়া ।
মামেব যে প্রপদ্যন্তে মায়ামেতাং তরন্তি তে ॥

daivi hy esa gunamayi, mama maya duratyaya
mam eva ye prapadyante, mayam etam taranti te

"My alluring, 'trimodal,' illusory potency is practically insurmountable. However, those who take shelter in Me can overcome this powerful obstacle."

(Srimad Bhagavad-gita, 7.14)

 

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Spiritual Reinforcement
'If somebody tells you something, will you believe that or will you believe what your Guru says? You must ask yourself this question. A strong faith means a strong foundation—if you do not have a strong foundation, there will be no devotion.'

 

Sri Sri Damodarastakam
'O Lord, Your lotus face, which is encircled by locks of soft black hair tinged with red, is kissed again and again by Mother Yasoda, and Your lips are reddish like the bimba fruit. May this beautiful vision of Your lotus face be ever manifest in my heart. Thousands and thousands of other benedictions are of no use to me.'
শ্রীশ্রীদামোদরাষ্টকম্

Why do we not get energy to chant the Holy Name? What is the problem? The only problem is that we use our time, we use our tongue to speak about other things.

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