Our brilliant original nature is covered because we've forgotten
our relationship with Krsna
A lecture given in Honolulu, on January 28, 1974
ka va saheta viraham purusottamasya
sthairyam samanam aharan madhu-manininam
romotsavo mama yad-anghri-vitankitayah
"Who, therefore, can tolerate the pangs of separation from that Supreme Personality of Godhead? He could conquer the gravity and passionate wrath of His sweethearts like Satyabhama and others by His sweet smile of love, pleasing glance, and hearty appeals. When He traversed my [earth's] surface, I would be immersed in the dust of His lotus feet and thus would be sumptuously covered with grass, which appeared like hairs standing on me out of pleasure." Srimad-Bhagavatam 1.16.35
KA VA SAHETA viraham purusottamasya. Purusottama. There are two words purusa and prakrti. Prakrti means "enjoyed" or "the energy," and purusa means "the enjoyer" or "the powerful." We living entities are prakrti. That is stated in theBhagavad-gita: prakrti vidhi me param. And Krsna is the purusa, the Supreme Person or the supreme enjoyer.
The purusa has different features: His personal feature, as the Supreme Personality of Godhead, and His expansions. His expansion feature is of two kinds: svamsa, or His personal expansions, and vibhinnamsa, His separated expansions. We living entities are all vibhinnamsa, separated expansions, small particles. We are like particles of sunshine. The sunshine is a combination of very small particles of light. Similarly, we living entities are small particles, part and parcel of God. We are also bright, shining. We are not dull. But on account of our combination with material nature we have been covered. Therefore our shining quality is now stopped. That is due to forgetfulness of our relationship with the Supreme purusa purusottama, or uttamapurusa.
There are three grades of purusa: uttama, madhyama, and adhama. We are the lowest grade, adhama; therefore there is a chance of our brightness being sometimes covered. But we can again revive our brightness and shine with the Supreme Person. As the sun and the sunshine shine together, when we are again posted in our own constitutional position where Krsna is like the sun and we are shining particles then our life is successful. That is wanted.
Therefore Krsna, the Purusottama, comes to take us back: "Why are you now covered? Why has your shining stopped? You are morose. You are suffering the threefold miserable conditions of material existence. Why are you rotting here?" Sarva-dharman parityajya mam ekam saranam vraja.
Krsna comes Himself. He is within everyone's heart. He is ready to instruct, but He'll instruct only persons who have engaged themselves in devotional service. The master may have many workers, but he speaks to the important persons, not to the ordinary person. Similarly, the master Krsna is there in everyone's heart:
hrd-dese arjuna tisthati
Whatever we are getting for our sense enjoyment is with the sanction of the purusa, the Supreme Person. The Paramatma feature is madhyama [the intermediate] purusa. Purusottama [purusa uttama] is the Supreme Person, and the Supreme Person by His expansion as the Supersoul is present in everyone's heart. isvarah sarva-bhutanam. He's guiding as friend, but He speaks directly with the living entity as soon as we are purified by devotional service. Tesam satata-yuktanam bhajatam priti-purvakam. That qualification we have to attain. Then Krsna, Purusottama, will speak from within, just as He spoke from within Brahma (tene brahma hrda ya adi-kavaye).
We have to become qualified to talk with the Supreme Person, and He will give us advice. He's ready to give us advice from within and from without from within as Supersoul and from without as the spiritual master. Therefore it is said, guru-krsna-prasade paya bhakti-lata-bija. Both are required: guru and Krsna. Krsna is within your heart. If you are sincere, if you actually want Krsna, He will help you in meeting the spiritual master, His representative. And by the instruction of the spiritual master you will develop more and more your Krsna consciousness, your original position.
This is called devotional service, or bhakti-lata, "the creeper of devotional service." To grow a creeper one first of all sows the seed and waters it; then gradually the seed sprouts and the creeper grows. It will become a big tree or creeper and give you fruits. Similarly, the bhakti-lata-bija, the seed of the bhakti creeper, is given by the spiritual master in cooperation with Krsna. That is initiation.
Initiation means sowing the seed of devotional service. Now, if after getting initiation you think, "I have become perfect. Now again whatever nonsense I was doing I shall go on doing it," then it will be useless. Suppose you plant a seed. If you don't take proper care and water it nicely, then it will not grow; it will be stunted. So initiation means that by the mercy of Krsna, through His agent, the spiritual master, you get the seed of bhakti-lata, the creeper of devotional service. So you have to take care of yourself by following the instructions. You cannot think, "Now that I have a spiritual master and I have initiation, my business is finished. Let me do all nonsense." No.
At initiation, before the fire we promise, "No illicit sex, no meat-eating, no gambling, no intoxication." The fire is a representation of yajna-purusa, the Lord of sacrifice, and through fire the yajna-purusa, or Purusottama, eats. So during the initiation ceremony the fire is present, the spiritual master is present, sastra, or scripture, is present, and Krsna is present. They are all witnesses.
If you are in court, before the high-court judge you promise, "Whatever I'll speak in this court will be the truth." So the judge knows that promise, and he gives his judgment based on that promise. Similarly, the promises made at initiation must be kept; otherwise the initiation will be useless. By the mercy of guru, by the mercy of Krsna, you get the thing. Now to use the thing properly will depend on you. I can give you a very nice thing, but if you keep it locked up in your treasury and never use it, then what good will it do you? Mali haya sei bija kare aropana. You have to sow the seed and pour water and see that it is nicely growing.
So don't think that after the official ceremony of initiation your business and my business are finished. No. The business begins. It is not the finishing; it is the beginning. Adau gurv-asrayah. The beginning is to take shelter of guru. Then the student must be very inquisitive sad-dharma-prccha. You'll find all these instructions in The Nectar of Devotion.
Today some of you are going to be initiated. This is the beginning of your spiritual life. But if you don't take care for further development, then that is up to you. You may fall down, because Maya is very strong. Maya will place so many impediments. She does not like that so easily you go back home, back to Godhead. Maya's business is like the police's business. The police's business is to see that the criminal has returned to his original consciousness as a law-abiding citizen. Otherwise the police will go on punishing him. Similarly, Maya is the police agent. Her business is to chastise you. Every moment this is going on. Material life means to be within the jurisdiction of Maya, and she's always punishing us, because we have tried to forget Krsna and that is not good for us. That is explained in the Srimad-Bhagavatam:
ya esam purusam saksad
avajananti na bhajanty
sthanad bhrastah patanty adhah
I'll give you a practical example. This finger is part and parcel of my body, but if it becomes diseased, then it cannot act as my finger. It becomes a source of pain only. Then sometimes the doctor advises, "Unless you cut off this finger, the whole hand will be faulty." And you have to cut off the one finger to save the other fingers. Similarly, we are all part and parcel of the Supreme Lord, and we become disobedient or diseased. To become disobedient to God means we are in a diseased condition, because we always have to be obedient to somebody. Even in our so-called disobedient state when we don't care about God we care about somebody else. That is obligatory. You cannot say, "I don't care about anybody." That is not possible. If you don't care about God, then you have to care about somebody else. If you don't care about the state law, then you have to care about the police department. You cannot say, "I am independent." That is not possible.
Our position is one of forgetting God. We have been kicked constantly by Maya. Maya has given us the senses, and the senses are dictating to us, "Do this, do that, do this, do that." And we become servant of our senses.
So two things are there. You are servant by constitution, but when you forget or give up the service of the Lord, then you become servant of your senses or Maya. That is your position. Now you must voluntarily give up the service of the senses and surrender to the master of the senses, Hrsikesa.
One of Krsna's names is Hrsikesa. Hrsikesa is the master of senses, Krsna. In our present condition we have forgotten the master of our senses and have taken our senses as our master. That is our position. That position has to be purified we have to become not the servant of the senses but the servant of the master of the senses. Then we also become master of the senses. That purificatory process is called devotional service, or bhakti. That is described in Narada Pancaratra: sarvopadhi vinirmuktam tat paratvena nirmalam.
Now, how we have become the servant of our senses? Because of so many designations "I am American," "I am Indian," "I am Hindu," "I am Muslim," "I am Christian," "I am this," "I am that." Accepting designations means becoming a servant of the senses. So we have to forget our designations. At initiation everyone should consider, "I am no longer American," "I am no longer Indian," "I am no longer this or that," "No longer do I think, 'I am Hindu, he is Christian.' Now I must think, 'I am the servant of Krsna.' " When you think in this way, then you become designationless "I am the servant of Krsna." Jivera svarupa haya krsnera nitya dasa. You become designationless and immediately purified.
tat paratvena nirmala
sevanam bhaktir ucyate
Nirmalam means "spotless." When your senses are engaged in the service of the master of the senses, that is called bhakti.
These things are all very elaborately explained in our books.
Those who are going to be initiated should take it as a vow not to fall down again. Catch Krsna's lotus feet very tightly and you'll not fall down. Mam eva ye prapadyante mayam etam taranti te. Be determined. Don't make it a farce "Today I am initiated, and tomorrow I will again give up everything and again grow my hair and then go to hell." No. Don't do that. If you want to be serious, then the path is clear for going back to Godhead.
mam ca yo 'vyabhicarena
sa gunan samatityaitan
As soon as you engage yourself in devotional service you become purified of all material contamination. Sa gunan samatityaitan. We are being troubled by the three modes of material nature, but if we stick to our devotional service we'll be protected. It is not very difficult to follow the four regulative principles. For example, no illicit sex. There is no question of stop-ping sex, but no illicit sex. But people today are so unfortunate that although a man has a wife he goes to another girl and although the girl has a husband she goes to another man. So unfortunate.
These things should be stopped if you want to be serious. Otherwise, make a farce and do whatever you like. I cannot give you protection. That is not possible.
You must follow these rules and regulations if you are serious. Then take initiation. Don't make a farce. That is my request. One has to be very determined bhajante mam drdha-vratah. This word is used in the Bhagavad-gita: drdha-vratah, "strong determination" "Yes, in this life I shall go back home, back to Godhead." This is determination.
And what is the difficulty? No difficulty. Chant the Hare Krsna mantra. You are accepting the beads. You must chant sixteen rounds. You can finish in two or three hours. You have twenty-four hours. Of course, if you want to sleep twenty-three hours, that is another thing. You have to minimize your sleeping. If you cannot finish sixteen rounds, then you must not sleep on that day, you must not eat. Why don't you forget to eat? Why do you forget chanting Hare Krsna? This is negligence, aparadha, offense. Rather, you should forget your sleeping and eating, and you must finish sixteen rounds. That is called determination.
So you are welcome to take initiation. But if you are neglectful, if you want to make it a farce, that is your business. I cannot give you protection.
Thank you very much.