Saturday, September 5, 2015

Janmasthami Lecture Aug 1968

Janmastami; Lord Sri Krsna’s Appearance Day Lecture
By His Divine Grace A. C. Bhaktivedanta Swami
Montreal, August 16, 1968
So today, is the birth appearance ceremony of Lord Krsna. In the Bhagavad-gita the Lord says:
janma karma me divyam
yo janati tattvatah
tyaktva deham punar janma
naiti mam eti kaunteya
[Bg. 4.9]
“My dear Arjuna, any person who simply tries to understand about My transcendental birth or appearance and disappearance and activities, janma karma…” The Personality of Godhead is not niskriya, without activities. So anyone who can understand that what kind of activities the Lord has and what kind of birth He accepts, simply by understanding these two things one gets wonderful result. What is that? Tyaktva deham. By quitting this body, tyaktva deham punar janma naiti [Bg. 4.9], he does not take any more birth in this material world. Tyaktva deham punar janma naiti. Some of us may think that punar janma naiti means he becomes vanquished. No. Punar janma naiti, but mam eti, “He does not come to this material world, but he comes to Me.” Mam eti. Mam eti means, then… [break] …abode where we can go. Simply by understanding the nature of His appearance and activities.
So today is that auspicious day, Janmastami, when Lord Krsna appeared five thousand years ago in India, Mathura. Those who are Indian ladies and gentlemen present, they know very well where is Mathura. It is about ninety miles south of New Delhi. Mathura is still existing and it is eternally existing. Krsna appeared in Mathura in His maternal uncle’s house in a very precarious condition. That birthplace, Lord Krsna’s birthplace, is now maintained very nicely. One who goes to India, they see.
So anyway, Lord Krsna appeared on this planet five thousand years ago. Now Krsna says, janma karma me divyam [Bg. 4.9]. Divyam means “not ordinary.” It should not be understood just like we take our birth. Krsna does not take his birth like us.
That is also explained in the Bhagavad-gita. When Arjuna inquired from Krsna, “My dear Krsna, You are speaking that formerly You spoke this yoga system of Bhagavad-gita to the sun-god. That means it is millions and trillions years ago You spoke. How can I believe it?” Because Krsna was contemporary to Arjuna, so he was thinking that “Krsna is my friend, is my cousin brother. How it is possible that He spoke this Bhagavad-gita yoga to sun-god?” So what was the reply?
The reply was this, that “You also appear many, many times; I also appear many, many times. The difference is that I can remember. You cannot remember.”That is the difference between God and ordinary living creature, that we are also taking birth after birth. There are 8,400,000 species of life, and so long we are in this material world, we are cycling round this birth after birth. So Krsna’s birth is not like that. Therefore Krsna says, janma karma me divyam yo janati tattvatah [Bg. 4.9]. Tattvatah means in truth. Not superficially. Scientifically, one who knows, he can get immediately liberation.
And how one can understand the same truths? That is also explained in the Bhagavad-gita. Bhaktya mam abhijanati yavan yas casmi tattvatah [Bg. 18.55]. Again the same thing, tattvatah, in truth. If anyone wants to know God, or Krsna, in truth, not superficially, then he has to undertake the process of devotional service. Bhaktya.
In another place Krsna says, patram puspam phalam toyam yo me bhaktya prayacchati [Bg. 9.26]. “Any person who gives Me a little fruit, little flower, little water, but with devotion, bhaktya…” That is the only qualification. So Krsna says, taya bhaktya upahrtam asnami. “Because he brings it with devotion and faith and love, I eat.” Krsna eats. We are offering in the temple prasadam. So He eats because He says “I eat.” How you can say that He does not eat?
Some gentleman asked me that “Swamiji, you offer prasadam in the temple, but do you think Krsna or God eats?” I answered, “Yes, why not? He says, ‘I eat.’ How you can say He does not eat? But you do not know how He eats.” Due to poor fund of knowledge, you think that God does not eat. But eat…, His eating process is different. That is answered in the Brahma-samhita. Brahma-samhita, it is said angani yasya sakalendriya-vrtti-manti [Bs. 5.32]. God’s senses, Krsna’s senses are as powerful as other senses. Just like I can see with my eyes, but Krsna can eat also with His eyes. That is… Angani yasya sakalendriya-vrtti-manti. Just like…
There is many examples. Krsna or Visnu, the first creation is that Garbhosayi (Garbhodakasayi) Visnu lying on the ocean and Brahma was created from His navel. There was a lotus stem grown from the abdomen of the Lord, and Brahma was born. Now Laksmi, the goddess of fortune, was just sitting. But as we understand that if we beget child, we require the cooperation of wife, but here we see that wife was sitting, but He begot Brahma from the navel. This is called sarva-saktiman. He does not require anyone’s help. He can beget child. Not exactly as we beget child. Therefore janma karma me divyam [Bg. 4.9].
He is within your heart, He is everywhere, so He can appear from everywhere. Just like sun rises from the eastern side. It does not mean that eastern side is the mother of sun. We simply see that sun is rising from the eastern side. In this way, if we try to understand in truth, then we can understand what is God. Superficially, if we try to understand by our experimental knowledge, then it is not possible to understand God.
panthastu koti-sata-vatsara-sampragamyo
vayor athapi manaso muni-pungavanam
so ‘pyasti yat prapada-simny-avicintya-tattve
govindam adi-purusam tam aham bhajami
The Brahma-samhita said that if one starts on the chariot of air and makes progress on the speed of mind, still one cannot understand what is God. Vedesu durlabham adurlabham atma-bhaktau [Bs. 5.33]. He cannot be understood simply by studying Vedas. Traigunya visaya vedah nistraigunyo bhavarjuna. One has to transcend the position of Vedas also. Then one can understand what is God or what is Krsna.
So that process is explained in the Bhagavad-gita, that bhaktya mam abhijanati yavan yas casmi tattvatah [Bg. 18.55]. So this bhakti, devotional service of Krsna, is so nice. And under that bhakti category, this Janmastami… Of course, this Janmastami ceremony is observed by all Hindus. Irrespective of becoming Vaisnava or not, this ceremony is observed in India every home. Just like in your Western countries the Christmas is observed in every home, similarly Janmastami is observed in every home. Today is a great ceremonial day. So our program is, at twelve o’clock night the Lord will take birth and we shall receive Him. And just now it is ten o’clock. For two hours our program will continue in kirtana. Kirtana means sometimes chanting with music, and sometimes speaking. Both of them are kirtana. Kirtayati iti kirtanam. Whenever we glorify the Lord, that is called kirtana. The Srimad-Bhagavatam reading is also kirtana. Abhavad vaiyasaki kirtane. Vaiyasaki, Sukadeva Gosvami, he achieved the highest perfection, liberation, simply by reciting Srimad-Bhagavatam. Sri-visnu-sravane pariksit. Pariksit Maharaja, he simply heard. There are nine processes of devotional service. Sravanam kirtanam visnoh smaranam pada-sevanam. Chanting, hearing. First hearing, then chanting. Without hearing, nobody can chant. Sravanam kirtanam. And what sort of sravanam kirtanam? Visnoh, of Visnu. Not anything else.
sravanam kirtanam visnoh
smaranam pada-sevanam
arcanam vandanam dasyam
sakhyam atma-nivedanam
[SB 7.5.23]
These are nine processes of devotional service, of which sravanam, hearing, is most important. Without hearing, nobody can understand the science of God. Therefore the Vedic mantras are called sruti. Sruti means it is to be heard. It is not to be experimented in the laboratory. It is simply to be heard. Therefore it is called sruti. So sravanam kirtanam visnoh smaranam pada-sevanam, arcanam vandanam dasyam. Vandanam, offering prayer. We also offer prayer. The other religious sect, just like the Christians, they offer prayer; the Muhammadans, they offer prayer. So prayer, offering prayer is also one of the items of bhakti. Chanting, hearing, meditating, offering prayers, arcanam, worshiping the Deity in the temple, all of them are together devotional service. So out of the nine… If you can execute all the nine, it is very good. But it is not possible. So even if you can execute one item, you become perfect. It is so nice. Sri visnu sravane pariksit. Just like Maharaja Pariksit, he simply executed the function of hearing, he got perfection. Similarly, abhavad vaiyasaki kirtane. Vaiyasaki means Sukadeva Gosvami, he simply glorified the Lord. Prahladah smarane. Prahlada Maharaja, he was simply meditating. There are many examples. Simply by following one principle of this devotional service, they got the highest perfectional life, liberation, back to home, back to Godhead.
So we shall invite today to speak about Krsna from our students, as well as all the members who are present here. So I shall request Janardana to speak something about his realization of Krsna. (pause) All right. Let him speak.
nama om visnu-padaya krsna-presthaya bhutale
srimate bhaktivedanta svamin iti namine
Krsna, we know, is the ultimate Supreme Personality of Godhead. The name Krsna has a meaning. The meaning of the name Krsna is “the supreme attractive.” Whatever there is that holds any attraction, that attraction is given by Krsna. Krsna explains this Himself in the Bhagavad-gita. So in our life in this material world, we have so many different attractions which we are pursuing in order to build what we think will be our happiness. All this attraction is the attraction of Krsna’s inferior energy. Krsna’s maya holds a great attraction for all the conditioned souls. And by following this attraction of Krsna’s maya, they are continuing in the circle of birth and death. We are born into this world because we desire to enjoy something, so Krsna provides us with a body that is suitable for that enjoyment, and He provides us also the objects of the enjoyment that we desire. However, also to remind us of our highest possible potential, that of the spiritual, unconditioned existence, we have along with these material enjoyments various kinds of suffering. These material enjoyments, although they are temporarily real, come to an end, and then there is feeling of bereavement and regret.So we are now enjoying the maya of Krsna’s external potency in our ordinary life. Unless we realize the personality of Krsna Himself…
We must have personal realization, personal contact with Lord Krsna. So long as we are enjoying these objects of our senses and thinking that these objects belong to us, and so long as we don’t know to whom all these objects belong, to whom belongs the land, the money, the foods that we eat, the clothes that we wear, our families—so long as we do not know to whom all these belong, then we are enjoying in a state of ignorance. Factually we are being thieves. We cannot be happy in such a condition. Krsna is very kind. He provides us with all these objects of enjoyment, as we like them. But we can achieve a far happier state, not only for ourselves but for the whole human kind, if we realize that Krsna, who is the supreme source of all the attractive objects that we are enjoying, is a person who is ready to receive as His loving servants the moment we want to surrender all our false ideas of ownership and come back to the spiritual platform.
So Lord Krsna for this reason has appeared. He wants to call the conditioned souls back to Godhead. He wants us to realize that He is the source of the whole universe, He is the owner of the universe, He is the supreme enjoyer, the supreme knower of everything, and that we are always welcome to associate with Him by the grace of His devotees, by the grace of a spiritual master. And so He has appeared, and we are now celebrating the Janmastami day, the day when Lord Krsna came to this conditioned plane out of His own transcendental power, with His full spiritual potency, in order to reveal the supreme nature of sac-cid-ananda vigrahah [Bs. 5.1], eternal knowledge, consciousness, and bliss, to all the conditioned souls so that they might be attracted to Him, and so that they might come out of the miseries of material existence and of ignorance. At this particular time in the world it is very much necessary that all people hear about Krsna and that they should become attracted to chanting the name of Krsna, to hearing about Krsna’s wonderful pastimes.
So that by this exquisite attraction for Krsna they might forget their lower desires, which are now leading everybody to a hellish condition of life in which it seems inevitable there are going to be wars and pestilences and starvation, diseases, all kinds of social injustice. All these things are unavoidable so long as the world at large does not understand who owns everything, who owns the land, who owns the money, who owns the food. So long as they don’t understand that Krsna is the owner and enjoyer of everything, so long as they don’t understand that it is the highest enjoyment for the living soul to serve Krsna, it is the perfect harmony in this condition to serve Krsna, so long there will be fighting due to ignorance and deluded cross purposes.This International Society for Krsna Consciousness movement is meant for spreading the Krsna consciousness to the whole world so that people might realize their spiritual existence, and so that the whole atmosphere of the world can become spiritualized by chanting the names of Krsna. So we welcome everybody who comes to this temple to inquire about how to make your life perfect by tuning in to the desires of the Supreme Lord Krsna. You’ll find that this is such a pleasant proposition, that all insignificant lower desires will be forgotten. There will not be any need for unnecessary fighting among the people of the world if they can only understand the spiritual plane of Krsna consciousness. The way to realize Krsna consciousness is very simple. Simply chant:
Hare Krsna, Hare Krsna, Krsna Krsna, Hare Hare
Hare Rama, Hare Rama, Rama Rama, Hare Hare

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