yat karosi yad asnasi
yaj juhosi dadasi yat
yat tapasyasi kaunteya
tat kurusva mad-arpanam
That is one aspect of devotional service, the other aspect of devotional service is: (CC Madhya-lila 19.170)
sevanam´ bhaktir ucyate
Jai Sri Sri Gaura Nitai ki jai! Jai Sri Sri Radha Rasabihari ki jai! Jai Sri Sri Sita Rama Lakshman Hanuman ki jai! Jai Jagadguru Srila Prabhupada ki jai!
So, Srimad-Bhagavatam, time and time again reminds us of this principle. Srimad Bhagavatam and Bhagavad-gita are giving us a very simple
understanding of devotional service. And devotional service means our constitutional activity or our constitutional position. Bhagavad-gita time and time again has pointed this principle out that ultimately coming to the conclusion of “Surrender unto Me. Just surrender unto Me.”
Surrender whatever you have, surrender yourselves, surrender your senses, your activities, everything ultimately. The result will be, “I will take care of you in all respects.”
You surrender, and Krishna will take care. You don’t surrender, Krishna will provide, but He won’t take care in that sense. He’ll provide out of a sense of duty. But when you surrender, then a loving relationship will develop and that love is a source of joy.
So Krishna made all the arrangements through material nature, especially this planet earth and then Mother Earth actually surrendered to Krishna, she actually explained why she did withdraw all the grains and herbs and plants and medicinal plants, herbs, which actually provide for the living entities’ survival. Because she saw that those assets, those gifts were being exploited by the demoniac people.
So from that we can understand that Mother Earth is actually able to provide everything that one needs, but if we are not careful, if we do not offer it to Krishna, if we do not accept them with a sense of gratitude, which is the principle of sacrifice: [ BG 3.10]
saha-yajnah prajah sristva
anena prasavis yadhvam
esa vo ‘stv istva-kama-dhuk
Saha-yajnah, when the prajas, the progeny, was procreated, when the living entities were brought into this material nature, this system has been established. A kind of rapport between the human beings and the demigods. So the human beings are receiving the gifts from the demigods in the form of different necessities being supplied. The demigods are supplying everything that we need. There is a need of water, the demigods are supplying. Indra is supplying water, in the form of rain. Pavandeva is supplying the wind. Suryadeva is supplying the sun rays, rays of the sun, light.
And in this way different demigods are responsible, in charge of different departments and they are providing for us, they’re supplying for us and we are supposed to pay them something in return for the service we are taking from them, the facilities we are taking, and that is called yajna. And Krishna is saying by establishing that relationship you live happily. The living entities are meant to live happily. And it’s a common sense consideration, we see in our day-to-day lives, we get facilities and in exchange we have to pay the price. We get electricity, at the end of the month the bill comes and we have to pay the bill. We get the supply of water, the bill comes at the end of the month and we
have to pay. We get nice facilities for roads, we have to pay the bill. We have an education system, we have to pay the bill. We have the ability to earn money, and we have to pay the tax.
So in this way there are different facilities that we are receiving and in exchange for that we have to pay the bill. In our day to day lives we see… Now if we don’t pay then what will happen? Those supplies will be cut. We won’t get that supply anymore. So that is the primary consideration, initial consideration. In the material nature we are getting different facilities, we are being provided with different facilities, and who are supplying those facilities? The demigods. And we have to pay the price. What is the price? The price is yajna. Whatever you are getting from them, a part of it is given back to them for their pleasure.
It has been pointed out in this chapter that the grains are actually meant to be offered in sacrifice. Not all the grains, part of the grains, with the milk in the form of ghee. These are the two essential things we are getting from Mother Earth: cows’ milk which is ultimately transformed into the essence, the ghee, and the grains. And when it’s offered for the pleasure of the demigods, that is sacrifice.
So in this way we can see that the food grains that are actually provided by the Mother Earth have three aspects, three purposes. One is our personal survival, for our food. The other is in the form of seeds to continue the process of production. And another part is offered to the demigods in the form of sacrifice. And then by getting that the demigods will provide. The demigods means the devotees so here it is pointed out these are non devotees. Mother Earth has pointed out she didn’t say a special demon, she said the non devotees. That means those who do not accept the authority of Krishna and the arrangement made by Krishna.
So because they are exploited and today’s world situation is like that, that’s why we can very easily conclude that what’s going to happen to this earth planet in a few years’ time and if we do not rectify the situation. Like we are seeing there are so many natural calamities taking place. One natural calamity is the weather pattern is changing. Then there is excessive heat, the heat waves, all the climactic conditions are changing so much. The places which were hot, they’re becoming extremely hot. The places that were cold, even they are becoming hot. And although we have not seen, we are seeing the rain is becoming scarce, the water is becoming scarce.
I remember when we used to travel in India, even twenty, thirty years back we used to see the rivers even in winter, even in early summer, they were full and rivers didn’t become dry the way they are becoming now. Yamuna, the way Yamuna changed the last thirty years. I remember when I used to come to Vrindavan in the seventies, the Yamuna was full, nowadays it is becoming dry. Most of the rivers are becoming dry. When we travel we see, we are going over a bridge, but we are not actually going over a river, we are going over some dry riverbeds.
So rivers are becoming dry, the sky is not generating rains. So what is going to happen? It is probably only a matter of a few years when the earth planet can actually become a desert. And then on top of that they are doing so many things, like hybrid seeds. Then such intense, heavy fertilizers are being used, they’re burning out the soil. And this civilization is a very, very destructive civilization. And what they are doing? They are causing these calamities for themselves. Due to their reckless activities, the human society today is causing such a calamitous situation for themselves in the near future.
They are simply concerned about their temporary pleasure. That is what materialistic was of life is. Just for a momentary pleasure, we are prepared to sacrifice anything which begins with sex life. Just for a momentary pleasure, they are prepared to undergo any kind of damage and loss. And in the broader scale, the human society is running after a similar kind of attitude, “Let us enjoy, even if it is for one day, one month or one year, doesn’t matter. Just have it. What will happen? We don’t care.” They are not concerned with… At least they may survive, they may go through their generation but what about their children? How they are creating the future for their children? What kind of future they are creating for their children? Their children will probably not have any food to eat, they won’t have any water to drink, they won’t have any pure oxygen to breathe.
It’s happening, like thirty, forty years back no one could even think that water could be polluted so bad that we have to drink only bottled water. We won’t be able to drink tap water, nobody ever thought of that. Prithu Maharaja simply wanted the grains and seeds. And he used Svayambhuva Manu to become the calf. Mother Earth in the form of a cow, she admitted that, “You come, you present me a calf and I will provide.”
Because the cow gives and provides for the sake of the calf but everyone else benefits. The cow gives milk for the sake of the calf, the calf only drinks a little bit but the rest of the milk is used for human beings. So that is the nature of the cow and that is the nature of Mother Earth. She said, “Present a calf, approach me in the proper way, I will provide.” So then Prithu Maharaja made Svayambhuva Manu into a calf and he got the grains and seeds and all the wealth of mother nature. That was his need, to establish the principle of sacrifice, yajna. And then different living entities, different creatures came and fulfilled their needs. Like Brihaspati was made a calf by the sages because he is the best of the sages. So best of the community was made into a calf and they fulfilled their needs. And what was their [the sages'] need? Their need was to control their senses. The demigods made Indra into a calf. And what was their need from Mother Earth? Soma-rasa, nectar.
And this verse is describing the demons, what is their need? Their need is intoxicants. The demigods, the devas, thrive on nectar and the demons thrive on intoxicants, and Mother Earth provided those intoxicants for them, like alcohol and other such intoxicating beverages, that comes from the earth. So in this way, Prithu Maharaja established the proper standard of receiving things, the gifts from Mother Earth for the sake of prosperity of different communities. The needs are not the same. The needs are according to one’s nature. Those who are in the mode of goodness, the demigods and their need is in the mode of goodness. Those who are in the mode of passion… Rather I should say that the demigods are not exactly in the mode of goodness, the rishis are in the mode of goodness, the sages are in the mode of goodness
and their need was according to their nature and it was provided by Mother Nature.
The demigods are in the mode of passion, and their needs are rather passion and goodness. Their needs were provided by Mother Earth. The demons are in the mode of passion and ignorance, passion in ignorance, and their needs were also provided, according to their demoniac nature, by Mother Earth. And according to their nature, their activities have also been prescribed. The demigods’ activities are to give and the demons’ [sages’] activities are to restrain their senses.
Jai Sri Sri Gaura Nitai ki jai! Jai Sri Sri Radha Rasabihari ki jai! Jai Sri Sri Sita Rama Lakshman Hanuman ki jai!
So in this way different living entities have their different nature and accordingly their activities have been prescribed and their necessities have been prescribed, just according to their nature. And varnashrama means to be engaged in our activities according to our propensities, and then it becomes easy, it becomes joyful. But when the varnashrama is not there, then people become engaged for other purposes.
In varnashrama, it is according to one’s propensity and tendency. Those who are in the mode of goodness, they act; they are engaged in a certain way and being engaged in that way they feel happy. The people in the mode of passion become engaged in a certain way; they feel happy doing what they are asked to do and so forth. But when the varnashrama system is not there, then some other factor, some other consideration becomes the motivation for the activity and as a result of that, they are not happy, they suffer. Like in today’s society, people are not engaged according to their propensity, not according to their nature, but people are engaged in different activities for the sake of money. The criterion is money, not whether one likes to do or not. The consideration is? How much money I will earn, this job will fetch me more money, let me go for that. And as a result of that, no one is happy. Everyone is suffering, because they may get money but it doesn’t fulfill their inner cravings which is set according to their characteristics, according to their modes.
So this is how the whole society today has become so misguided that… Now to rectify the situation, Prabhupada has given this ISKCON movement, Prabhupada has created the International Society for Krishna Consciousness. So we have to bring in the right understanding and educate people with the right information and engage people according to their right, according to their propensities. And the ultimate objective should be not just sacrifice, the ultimate sacrifice.
The initial concept of sacrifice is yajna, is to please the demigods. But the ultimate consideration of yajna is to please Krishna. This point can be explained in this way that in the yajna, or offering it to the demigods, is like giving the tax, paying the bill to different departments in the
government. The different departmental heads collect the funds, but then what do they do? They offer it to the King, the head of the state. And he decides what’s to be done, because he is the ultimate consideration for collection.
The initial stage of yajna is for the sake of the demigods’ pleasure but when the demigods receive those gifts, what do they do? They don’t keep it themselves, they offer it to Krishna. And that’s a devotee, he’s like a via medium. He is not holding, like the departmental heads they are not…they are collecting the money but not spending it themselves, they are just offering it to the central treasury. And from there they get the budget. They offer everything to the head of the state and then the head of the state gives them the necessary budgets for them to spend, to fulfill their purposes.
So similarly the demigods are actually departmental heads, but the Supreme Personality of Godhead is Krishna. And everything is ultimately meant for Him so when you offer it directly to Him, there is no need to go through the via medium of the demigods, we can directly go to Krishna, especially when Krishna is giving us that opportunity. In other ages, Krishna did not give that opportunity to have direct access, but in Kali-yuga He gives that opportunity: [BG 18.66]
mam ekam´ saranam´ vraja
aham´ tvam´ sarva-papebhyo
moks?hayisyami ma sucah
yat karosi yad asnasi
yaj juhoshi dadasi yat
yat tapasyasi kaunteya
tat kurushva mad-arpanam
That is the ultimate consideration. The ultimate consideration of yajna then again in this age of Kali is sankirtan-yajna. We don’t have to offer grains in the sacrificial fire. If we do it that’s all well and good, but even if we can’t do that, doesn’t matter. A special yajna for this age is:
Hare Krishna Hare Krishna Krishna Krishna Hare Hare Hare Rama Hare Rama Rama Rama Hare Hare
[Kali Santarana Upanishad from the Krishna Yajur Veda]
You just chant the Hare Krishna Maha mantra and everything will be provided by Krishna. And we are seeing that time and time again how it happens. Recently I had an experience. In Ujjain there was an acute water shortage, I mean, it became actually world news. When you go to different countries and you hear, “I’m from Ujjain.”
“Oh!” Because there has been so much broadcasting on the TV that the scarcity of water which is in Ujjain. And so when that happened, the
district magistrate met with me and told me about the crisis, that there is going to be an acute water shortage because the reservoir of water that they have for the city supply, it dried out, only in April. Not April, say late March it dried out. So rain wouldn’t be there until July, so that meant April, May, June and half of July, or practically end of July. So four months without water. No proper supply of water.
So I told him that the water actually comes by the mercy of the Lord, so if we do the sankirtan-yajna, the Lord will provide. So and then I proposed that, “Let’s have a three day harinama,” and we did that, he arranged, he was very supportive and the newspaper came and we had a press conference and big publicity was there and so we had a three day long sankirtana. Right in front of the temple we made a big pandal, blocked the road [laughs], we had three-day long kirtana, non-stop, 24 hours a day, 72 hour long kirtana. And then some of them were asking, they were expecting that right after the third day there would be torrents of rain. And in the middle, actually some of the press people came and asked me, “Do you think because of that there will be rain?”
I said, “I don’t care. I don’t know whether it’ll come in the form of rain, whether it will come from the top or from the bottom, but the point is the Lord will supply.”
And then the acute shortage was there, and sometimes people came and said, “Oh you said that will happen and this will happen, didn’t happen.” Then my question to them was, “Did you come and participate in the sankirtana? You didn’t.”
Then do you know what the reality was? That everywhere there was a huge shortage. But in our temple there was no shortage. We had three wells. Those three wells were full of water and I literally saw, when we told the press, I kind of casually told them, “Whether the rain comes from the top or the bottom, that’s not the consideration, the consideration is: the Lord will provide.”
And so then not only we had sufficient supply, we had so much water that every day we were giving out twenty to thirty tankards of water to the city. So this is how Krishna actually responds, Krishna reciprocates. And another thing that happened is there was one village, which was about 14km away from Ujjain city, and those village people came, practically the whole village came. That person who led them is a schoolteacher, he’s also like the landlord of that area and he is very well-respected and because he has become a devotee, they’re also following him. And he reported that after the village people participated and when they went back in their village there was rain and their village didn’t have any scarcity of water.
So we see that our temple didn’t have any scarcity, even at the driest condition we had enough water, so much so that we could provide twenty-five to thirty tankards, you know those big trucks with those big tanks? We had been supplying thirty tankards every day to the village. And the water would go down; some tankards would go down to one foot or two feet, just water. And the Temple President, Ganganarayana came and reacted, “Oh, what will happen if the water dries out?” But next morning you see that the water level went up again. [laughs]
So this is how Krishna actually reciprocates and increases our faith. This is the way to do, this is how to act. You render devotional service, Krishna will reciprocate. And as a result of that, our faith will become established.
Thank you very much, all glories to Srila Prabhupada! Gaura Premanande, Hari Hari Bol!
Does anybody have any question or comments? Yes?
[Devotee asks question:] Though Prahlada is born in a demon family, he is a great devotee of the Lord, why did he milk from the earth liquor?
[HHBCS:] Because that is their nature. You see the demoniac nature means those who are in the mode of ignorance, they need that. Just like a tiger needs meat, it’s his nature. And Krishna made that arrangement. According to one’s nature, he will get what he wants, whatever he needs. Just like you know a person in the mode of goodness will act a certain way, a person in the mode of ignorance will act in another way. Right? Like a cow will act in a certain way and dog will act in another way. A lion will act in another way.
So Mother Nature provides. Well, if that is your constitution, fine, take, drink. But don’t stay in that situation, that’s the thing. Become elevated. The purpose of tamasic tantra will actually elevate from ignorance to passion, passion to goodness and from goodness, transcendental goodness. And Prahlada Maharaja, because he is born in a demoniac family, I mean, he has been born for some reason also in that family.
That has been described in Hari Bhakti Vilas. In his previous life, Prahlada Maharaja acted in a certain way, and as a result of that he had to be born in a demoniac family. But although he took birth in a demoniac family, he did something also in his previous life, like worshipping, unconsciously fasting on Narsimha Chaturdashi, cleaned the temple and stayed up the whole night. As a result of that, although born in a demoniac family, he became devotee of Lord Nrisinghadev, but because of ajnata-sukriti.
OK, thank you very much. All glories to Srila Prabhupada! Gaur Premanande, Hari, Hari Bol!