Masterminding the Escape
His Divine Grace Om Vishnupad
Srila Sanatan Goswami asked Mahaprabhu five questions: "Who am I? Why do I suffer? What is my benefit? What is the goal? How to attain that goal?"
"Who am I?" What did Mahaprabhu reply? We say, "I am such-and-such Maharaj"—we say this is my head, this is my skin, these are my ears, these are my eyes—but who am I? This is what we do not understand. My body and I are not one and the same thing.
জীবের 'স্বরূপ হয়'—কৃষ্ণের 'নিত্যদাস' ।
jivera 'svarupa' haya—krsnera 'nitya-dasa'
"By its intrinsic nature, the soul is an eternal servant of Krishna; the souls comes from the marginal energy of Krishna and are simultaneously one with and different from the Lord."
(Sri Chaitanya-charitamrita, Madhya-lila, 20.108)
We have light here in the temple, but it comes from a power house. The power house gives electricity to so many places, but a single bulb's capacity is very small. In the same way, the sun gives light to the entire planet, but a single sun ray can give light to only one room, for example. The Lord is like a great sun and we are like rays of that sun. How small are we? If you take a tip of a hair and divide it ten thousand times, this is the size of the soul—but we are so proud—we think we are so great. It is all useless.
"Why do I suffer?" Why do we suffer the agony of the three-fold misery?
কৃষ্ণ ভুলি' সেই জীব অনাদি-বহির্ম্মুখ ।
krsna bhuli' sei jiva anadi-bahirmukha
Having forgotten Krishna, the soul wanders throughout the universe. Being thus covered by illusion, the soul goes through all kinds of material suffering.
(Sri Chaitanya-charitamrita, Madhya-lila, 20.117)
As a result of forgetting Krishna we struggle with three kinds of miseries—adhibhautik, adhidaivik, adhyatmik (miseries caused by one's body, by the nature, and other souls). What must we do to get relief from all this? We must take shelter of the lotus feet of the Lord. Where can you find the Lord? You can find the answer to this question in Srila Bhaktivinod Thakur's kirtan:
তব নিজ-জন কোন মহাজনে
tava nija-jana kona mahajane
"You have sent a great soul, Your associate (to rescue me)."
The Lord has sent His own associate to save the low and fallen souls like us and Srila Vishvanath Chakravarti Thakur wrote:
"I offer my obeisance unto the lotus feet of Sri Guru, who is said by all the scriptures to be the Lord Himself, and considered to be so by the sadhus, yet is also the Lord's beloved devotee."
(Sri Sri Gurvastakam, 7)
Guru is the Lord Himself or His very associate, i.e. Srimati Radharani. Nityananda Prabhu is Guru-tattva. I tell you all the time, "Nitaiyer karuna habe Vraje Radha Krsna pabe(নিতাইয়ের করুণা হবে ব্রজে রাধাকৃষ্ণ পাবে): when Nitai bestows His mercy, you will reach Radha-Krsna in Vraja." If you get mercy of Nityananda, you will get mercy of Gauranga Mahaprabhu, a combined form of Radha and Krishna who came to this world and went door to door saying,
জীব জাগ, জীব জাগ, গোরাচাঁন বলে ।
jiva jaga, jiva jaga, gorachanda bale
Sri Gorachand says, "O souls, awake! O souls, awake! How much longer will you sleep in the lap of the witch Maya?"
পিশাচী পাইলে যেন মতিচ্ছন্ন হয় ।
pisachi paile yena mati-chchhanna haya
"When someone is possessed by a ghost, they become bewildered. This condition overtakes souls bound by Maya."
(Sri Sri Prema-vivarta, 6.3)
As a result, we become covered by the feeling, "My house, my children, my wife, my sister, my family"—while we think about all this, our life comes to its end. We have no time! We can leave at any moment. That is why Prabhupad said,
উঠরে উঠরে ভাই আর ত সময় নাই
uthare uthare bhai ara ta samaya nai
Wake up, wake up, brother, there is no time! Worship Krishna!
We must worship Krishna, we must loudly chant the Name of Krishna, then we will get the greatest benefit. Mahaprabhu ordered everyone to chant the Holy Name of Krishna. This is not Satya-yuga (you do not have 100,000 years of life)—no scripture says that you can get the Lord through meditation in Kali-yuga.
কৃষ্ণবর্ণং ত্বিষাঽকৃষ্ণং সাঙ্গোপাঙ্গাস্ত্রপার্ষদম্ ।
"Those of sharp intellect will worship Krishna who appears with a non-black bodily hue, who is armed and surrounded by His associates and servants, and who always chants the Holy Names."
(Srimad Bhagavatam, 11.5.32)
The weapons in this age are mridanga and karatals: the Lord's associates fight Maya with mridanga and kartals. Prabhupad said that it is necessary to declare war against Maya. A sannyasi is not someone who goes to the mountains and lives somewhere in a jungle or a cave. A sannyasi means a general—he will declare war again Maya (illusory environment) and with his soldiers he will fight the illusion. This is what Prabhupad said.
"With his first step, he vigorously cut asunder the whole plane of exploitation, and with his second, he put a stop to all the calculations of the different scholars with their different conceptions of liberation. With his third step, he eased the hard rules and regulations by a touch of the Divine Love: he gave us the worship of Sri Sri Radha and Govinda. The real existence of Srila Bhakti Siddhanta Saraswati Thakur Prabhupad is in his divine teachings. May those teachings dance eternally within the core of your heart."
He declared war against Maya and relaxed the rules and regulations (as for example, people fasted for three days on Ekadasi—one day before and one day after; but he told to fast only on Ekadasi and allowed anukalpa at noon).
মায়ারে করিয়া জয় ছাড়ান না যায় ।
mayare kariya jaya chhadana na yaya
"It is not possible to conquer maya by engaging in maya. I see no other way to get relief except for the mercy of sadhus."
('Ki rupe paibe seva', Srila Narottam Das Thakur)
It is impossible to defeat Maya—only if you get the mercy of sadhus and Guru, can Maya be defeated. Otherwise not. We must always be careful. Maya always surrounds us, and as soon as you become weak and become obstructed in your service, Maya will attack you. You know that if your health becomes weak, then different diseases start attacking you. Illusion is also a kind of a disease, and a very difficult kind of disease. If you are obstructed in your service, if you become lax in your service to the Guru and Vaishnavs, then Maya, who is always near, will jump on you and seize you.
কৃষ্ণ-বহির্ম্মুখ হঞা ভোগ বাঞ্ছা করে ।
krsna-bahirmukha hana bhoga vanchha kare
"When souls become averse to Krishna and desire enjoyment, nearby Maya seizes them."
(Sri Sri Prema-vivarta, 6.2)
She will seize you at once. This is Maya's job—she takes you away from service and makes you her slave. You want to be a slave of the Lord, but Maya is always behind you—when will you come to her?
Suppose a man is walking down the street drinking alcohol. You do not drink alcohol, but he will call you, "Hey, listen, come here!" You are scared, but you come to him and he pours alcohol down your throat. Then he will tell everyone, "He also drinks alcohol!" Everyone then will criticise and laugh at you. This is how deceptive Maya is. This can happen at any time; we are fallen souls, we have fallen into this illusory world.
One time, I saw in Nabadwip some man had been drinking alcohol all night and fell into a drain. I tried to wake him up but he would not get up. He said, "What? I am lying on my posh bed! I am the Prime Minister!" I laughed when I heard it. We are also like this. We think, "I am the king, I am the minister, I am the master of this house and you are all my servants!" You must think—who is the Master? The only Master is Lord Krishna.
ঈশ্বরঃ পরমঃ কৃষ্ণঃ সচ্চিদানন্দবিগ্রহঃ ।
isvarah paramah krsnah sach-chid-ananda-vigrahah
"Krishna, who is known as Govinda, is the supreme controller. He has an eternal, blissful, spiritual body. He is the origin of all. He has no other origin, for He is the prime cause of all causes."
(Sri Brahma-samhita, 5.1)
It is by His desire that there is water, by His desire that rain comes, by His desire there is a house, etc. Everything happens and is arranged by His will, without His will, nothing is possible. The Lord Himself says, "I am one." From one comes ten, then hundred, then ten thousand, then one hundred thousand, and so on. But first is one. If someone worship this, that, meditates, does this, that, if someone does not serve the Lord following the Guru, then everything is in vain—such practice, such worship all go in vain, there will be no result. It is necessary to take shelter of a bona fide Guru. Who is called a bona fide Guru? What does mortal material world (mrityu-rupa samsar)? It means coming and going, always suffering from illusion. He who can rescue you from such illusory world and take you to Goloka Vrindavan engaging you in the service of Radha and Govinda, is called a Guru.
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