mūkaṁ karoti vācālaṁ paṅguṁ laṅghayate girim
yat-kṛpā tam ahaṁ vande śrī-guruṁ dīna-tāraṇam
hariḥ oṁ tat sat
Oṁ namo bhagavate vāsudevāya
Oṁ namo bhagavate vāsudevāya
Oṁ namo bhagavate vāsudevāya
Śrīmad Bhāgavatam: 1.8.22:
namas te paṅkajāṅghraye
Translation: My respectful obeisances are unto You, O Lord, whose abdomen is marked with a depression like a lotus flower, who are always decorated with garlands of lotus flowers, whose glance is as cool as the lotus and whose feet are engraved with lotuses.
Purport: Here are some of the specific symbolical marks on the spiritual body of the Personality of Godhead which distinguish His body from the bodies of all others. They are all special features of the body of the Lord. The Lord may appear as one of us, but He is always distinct by His specific bodily features. Śrīmatī Kuntī claims herself unfit to see the Lord because of her being a woman. This is claimed because women, śūdras (the laborer class) and the dvija-bandhus, or the wretched descendants of the higher three classes, are unfit by intelligence to understand transcendental subject matter concerning the spiritual name, fame, attributes, forms, etc., of the Supreme Absolute Truth. Such persons, although they are unfit to enter into the spiritual affairs of the Lord, can see Him as the arcā-vigraha, who descends to the material world just to distribute favors to the fallen souls, including the above-mentioned women, śūdras and dvija-bandhus. Because such fallen souls cannot see anything beyond matter, the Lord condescends to enter into each and every one of the innumerable universes as the Garbhodakaśāyī Viṣṇu, who grows a lotus stem from the lotuslike depression in the center of His transcendental abdomen, and thus Brahmā, the first living being in the universe, is born. Therefore, the Lord is known as the Paṅkajanābhi. The Paṅkajanābhi Lord accepts the arcā-vigraha (His transcendental form) in different elements, namely a form within the mind, a form made of wood, a form made of earth, a form made of metal, a form made of jewel, a form made of paint, a form drawn on sand, etc. All such forms of the Lord are always decorated with garlands of lotus flowers, and there should be a soothing atmosphere in the temple of worship to attract the burning attention of the nondevotees always engaged in material wranglings. The meditators worship a form within the mind. Therefore, the Lord is merciful even to the women, śūdras and dvija-bandhus, provided they agree to visit the temple of worship in different forms made for them. Such temple visitors are not idolaters, as alleged by some men with a poor fund of knowledge. All the great ācāryas established such temples of worship in all places just to favor the less intelligent, and one should not pose himself as transcending the stage of temple worship while one is actually in the category of the śūdras and the women or less. One should begin to see the Lord from His lotus feet, gradually rising to the thighs, waist, chest and face. One should not try to look at the face of the Lord without being accustomed to seeing the lotus feet of the Lord. Śrīmatī Kuntī, because of her being the aunt of the Lord, did not begin to see the Lord from the lotus feet because the Lord might feel ashamed, and thus Kuntīdevī, just to save a painful situation for the Lord, began to see the Lord just above His lotus feet, i.e., from the waist of the Lord, gradually rising to the face, and then down to the lotus feet. In the round, everything there is in order.
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Jayapatākā Swami: So today’s verse is very beautiful. We understand that although Kṛṣṇa comes amongst us, He is special. He is a person, but He is not like us. He is likened to different types of lotuses. Kuntī devī glorifies Him that His abdomen has a depression like a lotus. And always decorated with lotus garlands. His glance is like that of a lotus, and His feet are marked with lotus symbols. So Kuntī devī is apologizing that being a woman, she cannot really understand all the transcendental qualities of the Lord. So she is showing a great humility. She is the queen mother of the emperor of the world. She is a personal associate of Lord Kṛṣṇa. And she is by external relationship, the aunt of Lord Śrī Kṛṣṇa. According to the Vedic culture, women, śūdras, dvija bhandus, more than śūdras are not able to understand these high philosophical things. Although she was a queen, she was very elevated, but she took a humble position. So that is the situation with us, now we are all lower than śūdras. Vedas say kalua śūdra sambhava. Śrī Caitanya Mahāprabhu came for a special pastime. Every avatāra has a special pastime. Kṛṣṇa came as the Supreme Personality of Godhead and He showed His sweet pastimes. But Caitanya Mahāprabhu descended to preach Kṛṣṇa consciousness. Caitanya Mahāprabhu is Kṛṣṇa but came as a devotee. And in His līlā we see that the entire world is Kṛṣṇa consciousness. And during the pastimes of Lord Kṛṣṇa it was a different situation. Caitanya Mahāprabhu came so that everyone becomes a devotee of Kṛṣṇa. So how that Kṛṣṇa consciousness will be spread all over the world, maybe somewhat unique. In our praṇāma mantra to Śrīla Prabhupāda we say namaste sārasvate deve. He is describing our identity. We are Sārasvata, that is followers of Bhaktisiddhānta Sarasvatī Ṭhākura. Namaste sārasvate deve – and we […] Śrīla Prabhupāda was explaining that he was preaching the message of Lord Caitanya. Śūnyavādi māyāvādī – we are in the midst of voidism and impersonalism, and He preached all over the world.
Now in India, how many people actually follow the etiquette and behavior of the brāhmaṇas, is doubtful. But in the Western world, they are lower than śūdras. But Lord Caitanya wanted to establish Kṛṣṇa consciousness in every town and village of the world. Bhaktisiddhānta Sarasvatī Ṭhākura Prabhupāda, he gave the brāhmaṇa thread to people of other castes, if they were following Vaiṣṇava principles. Śrīla Prabhupāda did the same thing in the Western countries. Although he did not give the brāhmaṇa thread to the ladies, he gave them the Gāyatrī mantra. In this way, the Kṛṣṇa consciousness movement is spreading all over the world.
So, here in the purport Śrīla Prabhupāda glorifies establishing of the temples. Because we do not have the right or capacity to see Lord Kṛṣṇa directly, that does not mean there is no God. Śrīla Prabhupāda was saying that just as a person has cataract or some eye disease and he cannot see something, but that does not mean that the thing is not there. We can see Kṛṣṇa but for that we have to anoint our eyes with the love of Kṛṣṇa. Therefore, because we don’t have that, therefore we see the deity in the temple. All the ācāryas, six Gosvāmīs, they established these deities. Similarly, we have established deities all over the world. They are not idols, they are not false images. And they are installed according to Vedic system and They are worshiped properly. Actually, Kṛṣṇa is present in the form of His Deity. He accepts worship of His devotees through His deities. Since we are in the level of vaidhī–bhakti, we worship the deities with opulence as Lakṣmī Nārāyaṇa. Gaura Kiśora dāsa Bābājī had two disciples. One was a Bhajanānandī and the other was goṣṭhy-ānandī – That is Bhaktisiddhānta Sarasvatī Ṭhākura Gosvāmī. The bhajanānandī, Vaṁśī dāsa Bābājī, he had a special relation with the deity. So he would take his Deity and bathe in the Ganges. Many things he did. We cannot imitate him. Śrīla Prabhupāda said we should worship the deity opulently in the temple following the rules of the śāstras. Actually, in Vṛndāvana, Kṛṣṇa is worshiped in pure love. But He also externally followed some rules and regulations. Anyway, Kṛṣṇa being the Supreme Person, sometimes He did things like lifting the Govardhana hill. So, this is not possible for ordinary people.
So, Lord Caitanya He came in disguise as an ordinary devotee. But sometimes He did miraculous things. In the Ratha-yātrā He simultaneously expanded Himself into seven forms and He was in each saṅkīrtana party. That time, Rājā Pratāparudra saw Him. Now we have video and all that and catch it, but at that time only the king could see because he was on a raised platform. Also, he had special mercy from Lord Caitanya. And then the ratha stopped. All the ratha pullers they could not pull it. The gauḍas could not pull it, they are the pullers. And the king, he brought big wrestlers, the weightlifters to pull it. They could not move the ratha. And he brought elephants. His one name is Gajapati Mahārāja. Which means King with lot of elephants. He brought all the elephants to pull the ratha. They were goaded with the elephant goads. They were crying out, screaming, ah!!! Ah!!!! Still the ratha did not move! Then Lord Caitanya told everybody to leave the rope and gave the ropes to His associates. Then He put His head on the back of the ratha. And the ratha started to move forward at a great speed. Wheels went gad gad gad gad! So this was a miracle by Lord Caitanya! So like this He did many miracles.
I will take a two-minute break. You can write down your questions and I will come back.
So, we should understand that Lord Caitanya, His pastimes are also unique. Kṛṣṇa, He came with the purpose to decrease the demoniac kings and soldiers in the world. He had the Kurukṣetra war performed and in this way, all the soldiers were all killed. But Kuntī devī, she requested Kṛṣṇa, please save my sons. She was so great, that Kṛṣṇa did it! We can understand that she was a very special devotee of the Lord. Caitanya Mahāprabhu came with a purpose. His purpose was pṛthivīte āche yata nagarādi-grāma sarvatra pracāra haibe mora nāma – in every town and village of the world My name will be spread. So we should not be conditioned to think of things in a stereotype way, we have to present things the way Lord Caitanya wanted. Lord Caitanya wants that people accept the Supreme Personality of Godhead. Not only to accept Him, but to love Him. This was the order of Lord Jesus. He gave the order that everyone should love God. So Śrīla Prabhupāda, he preached in such a way that all the religions could follow this principle. Caitanya Candracaraṇa dāsa, he is my disciple, but he is an initiating guru. And his disciples sent me a video, how he is doing so much preaching.
We want all the devotees who are qualified to be preaching. Those with the order of the guru, even if the guru is present, they may also be dīkṣā-gurus. Lord Caitanya said that kibā vipra, kibā nyāsī, śūdra kene naya/ yei kṛṣṇa-tattva-vettā, sei ‘guru’ haya. Whether you are a śūdra, or a sannyāsī or a brāhmaṇa, it does not matter if one is conversant in science of Kṛṣṇa consciousness then one is qualified to become a spiritual master. So, we want people to learn the science of Kṛṣṇa consciousness. And they should preach the message. And if they know the science, any man or woman, if they know the science, they can be a guru. This was the teaching of Lord Caitanya. We want to see somehow or another, how this movement is spread all over the world.
In the Dvāpara-yuga the situation was different. In Kali-yuga, the followers of Lord Caitanya, we have to preach in this manner. It says in the second canto of Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam says that by taking shelter of a pure devotee of the Lord even the sinful people can also become liberated. In the Bhagavad-gītā Kṛṣṇa says, striya śūdra tathā vaiśya, they can also be delivered if they take directly shelter of Him. In this Kali-yuga, we are at war. Because people have forgotten Kṛṣṇa they have been forced to suffer in this pandemic of COVID-19. Even our devotees are suffering. The solution is we should make everybody Kṛṣṇa conscious.
Now it is late, I will answer some questions.
Lalita Nārāyaṇa dāsa, Chittagong, Bangladesh: (Bengali) Guru Mahārāja, you said that for seeing Kṛṣṇa we need to anoint our eyes with love of Kṛṣṇa. But a neophyte in the primary stage may not be able to have love for Kṛṣṇa awakened in their heart. What should he do to come to the stage that he can see the Lord?
Jayapatākā Swami: That is why we have to do nine processes of devotional service. And among those, there is one practice which is arcana or Deity worship. Śrīla Prabhupāda said in this purport that worshiping the Deity we can develop dormant love of God. And doing Harināma, chanting the names of the Lord, also love for Kṛṣṇa is awakened. Especially if we chant the names of Nitāi and Gaurāṅga, our love gets awakened. Nitāi Gaurāṅga!
Shobana Rādhikā devī dāsī: What should be the mood as a woman with regard to following the spiritual master’s order on the spiritual path?
Jayapatākā Swami: Try to learn the science of Kṛṣṇa consciousness. By reading the Bhagavad-gītā and Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam as translated and commented with purports by Śrīla Prabhupāda you can easily achieve that.
Yogī Rāmadāsa: (Bengali): We serve, worship Rādhā Śyāmasundara, Rādhā Kṛṣṇa, Rādhā Gopīnātha. Does the Lord accept all these worship as Lakṣmī Nārāyaṇa or as Rādhā Śyāmasundara, Rādhā Gopīnātha?
Jayapatākā Swami: The Deity is Rādhā Kṛṣṇa. But the way we worship is a formal way. Here the worship is performed in an opulent way. But that is accepted by Rādhā Kṛṣṇa. Because we don’t have the pure love that the Gosvāmīs did to worship.
Keya Rāṇī, Śyāmadeśa: We should always depend on Kṛṣṇa’s mercy and go as per His will. But it is said that we should try ourselves than depend on Kṛṣṇa. When should we know to help ourselves and when should we know to completely depend on the Lord?
Jayapatākā Swami: You see, we try our best. But we don’t think that by our effort we will be successful. We think that we depend on the mercy of Kṛṣṇa. So if we are successful we think that it is Kṛṣṇa’s mercy. And if we are not successful, we think that it is our mistake.
Question (Bengali): During the worship of the Deity in the temple what should be our mood? Can we express our personal problems to the Deities?
Jayapatākā Swami: We need to worship the Deities with devotion. We don’t want to make the Lord remove all our material problems. We have to pray to the Lord for devotion to Kṛṣṇa and advance in Kṛṣṇa consciousness. This way if we tell the Lord, we wish that we are able to serve you in complete devotion or surrender but sometimes my mind becomes disturbed or goes elsewhere. Please forgive me for this. This way, we should always keep our focus on devotion to Lord Kṛṣṇa. This way, we don’t desire that the Lord will serve us. So we should serve the Lord this way, that if we have some weakness, we can beg for forgiveness from the Lord and ask for His special mercy.
So now we will visit some of the temples and then we will go to home visits. And they we will go to Melbourne where they are doing the JSSS meet.- END OF TRANSCRIPTION –Transcribed by Jayarāseśvarī devī dāsī