"Everyone must perform sacrifice," Lord Krsna says. And He comes
as Caitanya Mahaprabhu to show us how easy it can be.
A lecture in London on September 5, 1973
na tyajyam karyam eva tat
yajno danam tapas caiva
"Acts of sacrifice, charity, and penance are not to be given up; they must be performed. Indeed, sacrifice, charity, and penance purify even the great souls." (Bhagavad-gita 18.5)
There are four stages of spiritual life: brahmacarya [celibate student life], grhastha (householder life], vanaprastha [retired life], and sannyasa[renounced life]. From the beginning of student life, brahmacarya, one must be trained how to satisfy the Supreme Personality of Godhead. Thebrahmacari is trained to rise early in the morning, offer fire sacrifice, study the Vedas, and then perform sankirtana, preaching the glories of the Lord. There are so many routine duties for brahmacaris, and these must be executed.
For grhasthas [householders], the first duty is to give charity. And who will accept this charity? The brahmacaris and sannyasis [renunciants]. Thebrahmacari may accept charity on behalf of the spiritual master, and thesannyasi may accept just enough charity for his maintenance, but no more.
A householder cannot accept charity, unless he is a brahmana. Then he may accept charity, but he cannot accumulate money. Whatever he gets, he must use as much as he needs for his maintenance and then give any extra money in charity. There is a Bengali proverb that says. "Even if a brahmanagets 100.000 rupees, he remains a beggar." Why? Because he immediately distributes it all in charity.
And for the sannyasis and vanaprasthas [retirees], tapasya is most important. Tapasya means voluntarily accepting all kinds of inconveniences. In material life one tries to avoid all inconveniences, but spiritual life means to accept many different kinds of austerities for the sake of Krsna, even at the risk of all inconvenience.
So, here Lord Krsna says, yajna-dana-tapah-karma na tyajyam:"One should never give up sacrifice, charity, and austerity." These things must be continued under all circumstances.
Now, the impersonalistic, Mayavadi sannyasis strictly follow the principles of austerity at least those who are genuine, not false. Three times a day they take a bath. even in the severest cold; they lie down on the floor to sleep; and they always study Vedanta and Sankhya philosophy. But in spite of all these austerities, they do not approve of the worship of the Deity, the transcendental form of the Supreme Personality of Godhead. Because they are impersonalists, they do not worship the form of God. So the sastra [scripture] says, ye 'nye 'ravindaksa vimukta-maninas tvayy asta-bhavad avisuddha-buddhayah: "Although the Mayavadis think themselves liberated, they are averse to worshiping the lotus feet of Krsna, and so their consciousness is impure."
The Mayavadi sannyasis address one another. "Namo-narayanaya[Obeisances to Narayana]." This means that they think every one of them has become Narayana, the Supreme Lord. This is their philosophy. And from this namo-narayanaya principle. Vivekananda Swami manufactured the word daridra-narayana, "poor Narayana."
So, for the Mayavadis Narayana has become a very cheap thing: "Everyone has become Narayana; everyone has become God." And then the rascal God goes to the hospital and has an operation. They have no shame. They never think, "If I am God, why can't I cure my bodily pains? What kind of God am I?" No, this thought never occurs to them. Rather, these rascals proclaim that they are God, and there is another set of rascals who accept them as God. Vivekananda said, "Why are you searching for God? Don't you see so many Gods loitering in the street?"
No. We do not accept such a God. Our God is different Our Narayana is the real Narayana the exalted Supreme Personality of Godhead. He cannot be compared even with such demigods as Lord Brahma and Lord Siva, what to speak of these rascal Mayavadls. As it is said,
yas tu narayanam devam
sa pasandi bhaved dhruvam
"Any person who thinks that Lord Brahma or Lord Siva is equal to Lord Narayana is a rascal." So the Mayavadis are rascals. They say, "Any demigod is as good as Visnu. You can worship any god and get the same result; it doesn't matter." They believe that ultimately the Absolute Truth is impersonal. And so you can imagine any form and meditate on that, and ultimately you will merge into that impersonal Brahman. This is their philosophy, but this is not the fact.
In the ultimate issue, the Absolute Truth is Krsna, Bhagavan, the Supreme Personality of Godhead. Brahmeti paramatmeti bhagavan iti sabdyate: The Absolute Truth is realized in three phases the impersonal Brahman; the localized Paramatma [Supersoul; and Bhagavan, the Supreme Personality of Godhead, Lord Krsna (krsnas tu bhagavan svayam).Ultimately the Absolute Truth is Bhagavan, and there are many expansions of Bhagavan (advaitam acyutam anadim ananta-rupam). Krsna has millions and trillions of expansions. One of them is the Paramatma, the Supersoul in everyone's heart (isvarah sarva-bhutanam hrd-dese 'rjuna tisthati). And the Paramatma also resides in every atom: andantara-stha-paramanu-cayantara-stham.
So, Lord Krsna has many expansions, but they are all one, advaitam.For example, if you place millions of pots of water in the sunshine, you will find millions of suns reflected in the water. But although we see that millions of suns are reflected in the millions of pots, we know that the sun is one. Similarly, God is one, but He can expand Himself into millions and trillions of forms. There is no question of counting them.
The Mayavadi philosophy is that because God has expanded Himself into so many forms and is thus all-pervading, He is finished. This is a materialistic conception. Suppose you take a big piece of paper, tear it into small pieces, and then throw the pieces away. Then the original paper is lost; it no longer exists. That is the Mayavadi philosophy: Because God is all-pervading, He has no form.
But this is not the spiritual conception. The spiritual conception ispurnasya purnam adaya purnam evavasisyate: Lord Krsna is the complete, supreme whole, and even though He expands Himself into millions and trillions of complete forms. He still remains complete. Therefore Krsna is described as avyaya, which means He is never diminished in anyway. Suppose I have one hundred pounds in my bank balance. If I take one, two, three, four, five in this way, my bank balance will be finished. But Krsna is not like that He is so complete that although unlimited complete forms expand from Him. He still remains the complete whole. This is the statement of the Isopanisad, and this is the real conception of God.
So, unless you practice yajna [sacrifice], how will you understand this philosophy? It is not possible. In the present age, however, the ritualistic sacrifices recommended in the Vedas are not possible to execute. They are very expensive. You have to acquire so much ghee and grains, along with so many other things. Daily you have to feed so many people. This is all very difficult in this age.
Therefore Krsna has made yajna easy. As recommended in Srimad-Bhagavatam (11.5.32],
yajanti hi su-medhasah
What is the yajna for the present age? Sankirtana, the congregational chanting of the holy names of God. This process was taught by the incarnation of God for the present age of Kali.
Now, one may ask. Who is the incarnation of God for the present age? The Bhagavatam says, krsna-varnam. The word varna means "category." So Krsna-varnam means that the incarnation for the present age is in the category of Krsna, not in the category of the jiva soul. In other words, He is Krsna Himself. Or, krsna-varnam can also mean "one who describes (varna-yati) Krsna." So the incarnation who teaches sankirtanais always describing Krsna or chanting the holy name of Krsna, and He is Krsna because He belongs to the category of Krsna.
The Bhagavatam also describes this incarnation as tvisakrsnam,"having a non-blackish complexion." But we know that Krsna has a blackish complexion. He is described as asitambuda-sundarangam. Asita means "black," and ambuda means "cloud." So His complexion is like a blackish cloud, but very, very, very, very beautiful. Kandarpa-koti-kamaniya: He is so beautiful that many millions of Cupids cannot be compared with Him.
So, although the incarnation who teaches sankirtana is the same as Krsna, His complexion is not blackish. Then may He be any color except blackish? No. There are fixed colors for the Supreme Personality of Godhead. When the greatly learned astrologer Garga Muni performed the birth ceremony for Krsna at Nanda Maharaja's place, he said, suklo raktas tatha pita idanim krsnatam gatah: "Nanda Maharaja, formerly this son of yours appeared three times with three different colors white, red, and yellow. Now He has appeared in a blackish color." Therefore the incarnation for the present age must be either white, red, or yellow.
So, the complexion of Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu is a yellowish golden color. Also. He is always describing Lord Krsna and chanting His name, and He is in the same category as Krsna. Therefore it is understood that He is the incarnation for the present age.
Next the Bhagavatam says, sangopangastra-parsadam: "He is always surrounded by His associates and expansions." Anga means "immediate expansion." and upanga means "an expansion of the expansion," which is also known as a kala. The first expansion is called an avatara, and when there is another avatara from the first avatara. He is called a kala.Lord Caitanya appeared with His immediate expansion, Nityananda Prabhu, and with the expansion of the expansion. Advaita Prabhu, and also with Srivasa Thakura, Gadadhara Pandita, and many other devotees (gaura-bhakta-vrnda). Therefore Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu has all the symptoms of the incarnation for the present age.
There is a very scientific analysis of God in the sastras. It is not that any rascal can come and declare. "I am God." This is not acceptable. We have to understand God according to the sastra. Because Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu appeared like an ordinary man, Nimai Pandita, but was actually shown to be the Supreme Personality of Godhead, so many rascals have imitated Him: "Well, if Nimai Pandita can become an avatara, why not Gadadhara Chatterjee?" Ramakrishna's name was Gadadhara Chatterjee. He imitated Caitanya Mahaprabhu. But where is the reference in the sastrathat he was God? As far as Caitanya Mahaprabhu is concerned, there are innumerable references proving that He is God in the Mahabharata, theSrimad-Bhagavatam. the Upanisads. Therefore we accept Him as the Supreme Personality of Godhead. It is not that by some rascal's vote we can declare some ordinary man as God, and then he becomes God.
So, one may ask. How should we worship Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu? The Bhagavatam says, yajnaih sankirtana-prayair yajanti hi su-medhasah: "Those who are intelligent worship Lord Caitanya by the process of sankirtana, the congregational chanting of the holy names." Those whose brains are filled up with cow dung cannot understand the importance of the sankirtana-yajna. But those who have nice brain substance will perform this sacrifice. In this way they fulfill the Lord's injunction in the Bhagavad-gita: yajna-dana-tapah-karma na tyajyam."Sacrifice, charity, and austerity should never be given up."
Sankirtana is the sacrifice for this age. You cannot give up the performance of sacrifice at any stage of life, but the sacrifices mentioned in the Vedas are not possible in this age of Kali. As the Bhagavatam says,mandah su-manda-matayo manda-bhagya hy upadrutah: In this age people may advertise that they have made so much progress, but they are misguided, lazy, unfortunate, and disturbed. This is the position of the people in this age. How can they perform Vedic ritualistic ceremonies? It is not possible.
Therefore Krsna has given us the opportunity to perform thesankirtana-yajna. In the temple, if you keep a picture of Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu and His associates and perform sankirtana before them, you will become all-perfect, it is so easy.
It is said in the Srimad-Bhagavatam [12.3.52]:
krte yad dhyayato visnum
tretayam yajato makhaih
kalau tad dhari-kirtanat
"The same result one could obtain in previous ages by other means, one can obtain in this age simply by chanting the holy names of God." In the Satya-yuga the process was meditation, in the Treta-yuga, elaborate sacrifice, and in the Dvapara-yuga, Deity worship. But in the Kali-yuga it is simply sankirtana. This is the sastric injunction.
So, I am very pleased that you are keeping this center nicely up to our standard by performing sankirtana. Today is Radhastami, the appearance anniversary of Srimati Radharani. She is Krsna's internal pleasure potency. Krsna can expand Himself. So when He wants to enjoy, He manifests His pleasure potency from His body, and that pleasure potency is Radharani. Radharani is not an ordinary living entity: She is Krsna's personal pleasure potency, ahladini-sakti.
Radharani's only business is to please Krsna. and this should be our only business also. Samsiddhir hari-tosanam: "Your perfection is to please Krsna." And in the Bhagavad-gita [15.15] Krsna says, vedais ca sarvair aham eva vedyah: The whole of Vedic literature is meant for searching out Krsna and satisfying Him.
Krsna personally comes to give you this information: sarva-dharman parityajya mam ekam saranam vraja. "You rascal! Just give up all other engagements and surrender to Me." And what about the demigods? There are so many demigods. Should we worship them? Krsna says, kamais tais tair hrta-jnanah prapadyante 'nya-devatah: "The demigods are worshiped by persons who have lost all intelligence." There is no need to worship the demigods. As Krsna says, mam ekam saranam vraja:"Simply surrender unto Me alone." That is the sastric instruction.
So, Krsna can be worshiped through Radharani. Therefore we don't keep Krsna alone on the altar. No. We worship Radha-Krsna. First you have to worship Radharani. In Vrndavana all the devotees address one another, "Jaya Radhe!" Why? Because they know that if Radharani is pleased, Krsna will also be pleased. Radharani is the original pleasure potency of Krsna and is always absorbed in thought of Him. So when someone comes before Her to serve Krsna, She becomes so pleased "Oh, here is a devotee of Krsna." Immediately She recommends. "My dear Krsna, here is a devotee of Yours. He is better than I am." This is Radharani's mood.
I may not be a devotee I may be the most fallen rascal but if I try to reach Krsna through Radharani then my life is successful. Therefore we should worship Radharani first. Instead of directly offering Krsna a flower, just put it in the hands of Radharani: "O mother Radharani, please kindly take this flower and offer it to Krsna."
"Oh," Radharani says, "you have brought a flower for Krsna. This pleases Me so much." Krsna says, patram puspam phalam toyam: "One can please Me with a leaf, a flower, a fruit, or some water offered with love." But don't offer it to Krsna directly. Just offer it through Radharani. Then She will appreciate it very much, and Krsna will accept your offering.
So, this is our philosophy: to please Krsna through Radharani. And today is the auspicious anniversary of Her appearance. Therefore you should offer flowers to Radharani and pray to Her. "Kindly be merciful and tell Your Krsna about me." Krsna is not independent; He is Radharani's property. So you have to approach Krsna through Radharani. Therefore worship Radharani very nicely and be happy.
Thank you very much. Hare Krsna.