Process of Reformation
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© 2004 - Hansadutta das

Out from Delusion

by Hansadutta das
Malaysia, 20 March 1998

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We can surrender to him, because he will not cheat us. He will not take anything away from us. In the material world, everyone is afraid that his wealth or his woman or his prestige may be taken away by someone. The spiritual master has no such motive. His motive is to give Krishna, to give you the opportunity to go home, back to Godhead, to give the opportunity to get out of the cycle of repeated birth and death, to give you the opportunity to render service, devotional service to Krishna with your money, with your wife or husband and with your prestige, to use whatever you have for the service of Krishna.

[Reading from Bhagavad-gita As It Is, Chapter 4, Text 34:]

tad viddhi pranipatena
pariprashnena sevaya
upadekshyanti te jñanam
jñaninas tattva-darshinah
Translation

Just try to learn the truth by approaching a spiritual master. Inquire from him submissively, render service unto him. The self-realised soul can impart knowledge unto you, because he has seen the truth.
And when you have thus learned the truth, you will know that all living beings are but part of Me, that they are in Me and are Mine.
Even if you are considered to be the most sinful of all sinners, when you are situated in the boat of transcendental knowledge, you will be able to cross over the ocean of miseries.
As a blazing fire turns wood to ashes, O Arjuna, so does the fire of knowledge burn to ashes all reactions to material activities. (Bhagavad-gita 4.34-37)
We are in the ocean of miseries, condemned. Just as a citizen is put into the prison of the government for punishment, for suffering, or for being reformed or rectified on account of transgressing the laws and orders of the King or government, similarly, the living entities in the material world are condemned. They are in the prison house of the Lord. The material creation is the prison house of the kingdom of God. It is part of the kingdom of God, but it is where the living entities are undergoing the reactions to sinful deeds. Therefore, in the Bhagavad-gita Krishna describes the material creation as follows: Abrahma-bhuvanal lokah punar avartino'rjuna.
"From the highest planet within this material universe, Brahmaloka, down to the lowest planet, Patalaloka, all of them are places of misery wherein repeated birth and death take place." (Bhagavad-gita 8.16)

Every part of the material creation is a miserable place. But because the conditioned souls are in ignorance or delusion (iccha-dvesha samutthena), born into the delusion of desire and hate, they think that the material creation is a place for enjoyment (Bhagavad-gita 7.27). This thinking, this consciousness is called maya, illusion. The material world is not a place for enjoyment; it is a place for suffering. But because we are mad… nunam pramattah kurute vikarma: when one makes the aim of life sense gratification, he becomes mad. ( Srimad-Bhagavatam 5.5.4) He becomes deranged, deluded. He is in hallucination.

There is no happiness, no enjoyment at all anywhere in the material creation. Why? Because it is so made by the Lord to frustrate our every endeavour, every attempt to lord it over material nature. Every attempt to control material nature, every attempt to exploit the resources of material nature or to possess the things of the material world is destined to be frustrated, disappointed or destroyed, without any exception. There is no exception to this rule. And yet the whole creation, from top to bottom, is competing fearfully or furiously to lord it over and enjoy sense gratification from morning till night.

The whole purpose is to be reawakened to our original spiritual existence as part and parcel of Krishna, as eternal servants of Krishna. We are all by nature servant. Even in the material existence, where everyone is competing with everyone to be the master, the lord of everything, there is nothing but service. After finishing his studies in the university, a person has to go to the employment office or to some place and beg for service. The political leaders go to the voters and beg for votes. The businessman goes to the bank and begs for a loan. There are no exceptions. Everyone is a servant. But in ignorance, because we have become mad, we are thinking we are the master. We are thinking like that, but actually we are the servants. So instead of pretending, instead of remaining in this illusory concept of life, we should accept our position as servants and surrender to Krishna.

The process of surrender begins by approaching Krishna's representative, the bona fide spiritual master in the disciplic succession. We approach the representative of the Lord, and in this way we surrender to the Lord by surrendering to His agent. Just like a criminal, when he is tired of hiding and running away from the law, from the king, he surrenders to the agent of the king, the police officer, and then the process of reforming begins. Similarly, we surrender… Tad viddhi pranipatena. (Bhagavad-gita 4.34) How do we surrender? We approach the spiritual master in a humble attitude, inquisitive, to inquire, and prepared to render service. Inquiring from him submissively—not challenging, like "How do you know? Why should I accept?" No, but in a submissive mood. Inquiry, submission and service. The inquiry must be accompanied by service attitude. We must be prepared to do what the spiritual master orders us to do. Otherwise, it is pointless to approach him. Just as a man with disease approaches the physician with submission and inquiry and is prepared to serve the physician. Whatever his physician orders him, he will do—to be restrained from certain eatables, to take certain medicines and so on. He will follow some prescribed course of treatment. Similarly, tad viddhi pranipatena pariprasnena sevaya. Sevaya means to be prepared to accept the treatment for my condition.

We are in the conditioned existence. We are living under the conditions of birth, old age, disease and death. These are the conditions. How to get relief from these four undesirable conditions? I don't want birth, I don't want old age, I don't want disease, I don't want to die. The spiritual master can impart knowledge unto you, because he has seen the truth. Not because he is a learned philosopher or mental speculator or a magician—but because he has seen the truth. How so? Because he has himself received the truth from his spiritual master, through the same process of submission, inquiry and service. It is not that the spiritual master is a self-made entrepreneur for capturing a following and improving or increasing his prestige for personal sense gratification. He is a transparent medium or messenger, and he is acting as a servant of the Supreme Personality of Godhead to deliver the fallen souls. That's all. He has no motive. He has no agenda for improving his material prestige or wealth or sense gratification. The conditioned souls all have three interests: they are after wealth, after women and after prestige, to be honoured. The spiritual master is not a conditioned soul with these motives, the three material aspirations or ambitions. He is a person free from the illusion of material conception of life. He is a pure devotee. His pure motive is to please Krishna. That's all. It's not even to please you, or rather us. He's not here to please us. He's here to please Krishna. That is his first and foremost motive: to satisfy his spiritual master and to satisfy Krishna thereby. Therefore, we can surrender to him, because he will not cheat us. He will not take anything away from us. In the material world, everyone is afraid that his wealth or his woman or his prestige may be taken away by someone. The spiritual master has no such motive. His motive is to give Krishna, to give you the opportunity to go home, back to Godhead, to give the opportunity to get out of the cycle of repeated birth and death, to give you the opportunity to render service, devotional service to Krishna with your money, with your wife or husband and with your prestige, to use whatever you have for the service of Krishna.

Actually, we have nothing, and whatever it appears we have, it belongs to Krishna. But falsely, artificially, we are claiming it as our own. This body is given by Krishna. The wealth is given by Krishna. And whatever prestige we may have is also Krishna's grace. Therefore, to use everything for Krishna is Krishna consciousness and is the way to actual prosperity, both spiritual and material. Whatever you have, if you give it to Krishna, if you use it to glorify Krishna, Krishna will give you more. But if foolishly we refuse miserly… brahmana kripana… brahmana means very generous—Brahman. He knows everything is from Krishna, so he has no problem. He's giving freely his time, his energy, his intelligence. And kripana is the opposite. He's keeping everything, thinking, "It is mine." So if you become or remain kripana, miserly—"No, I won't give. Why should I give?"—then inevitably everything will be lost, because whatever we have has been given to us for one reason only: to serve Krishna. Krishna has given to us so that we can serve Him, but if we refuse, then He will take it away. Just as a government servant is given facility—he is given an office, he is given a car, telephone and secretaries and other paraphernalia so that he can serve the government. But if he refuses and utilises these gifts for his personal advantage, then everything is taken away. Even if you want to enjoy material life, that's fine. Krishna says, "Worship Me." Either you want to go home, back to Godhead, or you want to remain and enjoy material life, you have to worship Krishna, because Krishna is the master of everything. It is His world—not our world. It is His energy. Krishna says,

Know that of all that is material and spiritual, I am both its origin and dissolution. There is no truth superior to Me. Everything rests upon Me, as pearls are strung on a thread. (Bhagavad-gita 7.6-7.7)
The secret to success is to worship Krishna. This is the secret.

And the worship of Krishna is very simple. You just chant the name Krishna: Hare Krishna, Hare Krishna, Krishna Krishna, Hare Hare/ Hare Rama, Hare Rama, Rama Rama, Hare Hare. Of course, there are other activities, but this is the primary, this is the basis of Krishna consciousness: to call Krishna: Hare Krishna, Hare Krishna, Krishna Krishna, Hare Hare/ Hare Rama, Hare Rama, Rama Rama, Hare Hare and to see Krishna in the temple, to hear Krishna's words from Bhagavad-gita, to taste Krishna's prasadam, to offer obeisances to Krishna, ultimately to give one's self… atma-nivedanam, whole body… "Take me, Krishna." Therefore we lie down, dandavats before Krishna. "Krishna, this body belongs to You. Take it. It is Your body. Do with my body what You wish. Or tell me what should I do with my body." Krishna consciousness.

BHIMA DAS: Can you explain what is self-appointed and bona fide—

HANSADUTTA DAS: No, I don't want to get into that. Or to make it short… the spiritual master is Srila Prabhupada. He is the founder, the acharya of a great, world-wide Krishna consciousness movement. He is the author of the authorised books, Srimad Bhagavatam, Bhagavad-gita, Chaitanya-charitamrita. He is the inspiration for all the temples and all the devotees world-wide. And he is the one and only spiritual master. He is the one and only spiritual master. There are no other spiritual masters. All others are the servants of Srila Prabhupada. He is the Sampradaya Acharya. He is the leader or the acharya. Acharya means one who teaches by his example the import or the conclusions of the Vedic literature, the siddhanta. By his example, not just by his words. Teaching by words… even in the university we can get it, but that is not acharya. Acharya means his word and his deed are one and the same. There is no difference. There is no duality. He is the divine person, infallible person. We can surrender everything to him. Although he is not present in his physical body, he is present in his instructions, and that is the umbrella or the light of the Krishna conscious world.

Now, what Bhima is referring to is the unhappy occurrence of some disciples having assumed this acharya and spiritual master title, and they advertise themselves as spiritual master. But it is not appropriate. It is an offence, actually. It's an offence.

Prabhupada wanted to have a united, world-wide… One united world, One God, Krishna; One book, Bhagavad-gita; One hymn, Hare Krishna; One work, service to Krishna; and One acharya. Not many acharyas. "A house divided against itself cannot stand." There can only be one acharya. Even… anyway, like emperor. There may be many kings, but there can only be one emperor. Emperor means the king of kings. He is the one to whom all kings submit, and all kings are under his authority. Without the emperor, kings will fight, as we see in the world today. Many kings or presidents all fight. There is no peace, so the citizens are always disturbed. In the Vedic conception, there must be an emperor who rules over even the kings. And in this way there will be peace and unity and one direction. Similarly, in the Vaishnava Sampradaya, the king of kings or the guru of gurus is the acharya. All others are his representatives in different capacities. If they assume the title of the acharya or the guru's title and create their individual camps, it creates chaos. It creates friction. And so the energy of the Vaishnava community will be spoiled. We want to have one unified family, Krishna conscious family, with everyone serving Srila Prabhupada.

Bhima wanted me to comment on this, because as some of you know, there is a constant agitation from ISKCON authorities, and it is very disturbing and very offensive. I don't want to go into it in detail, but you should know it for certain that there is only one acharya, one spiritual master, and all others are his servants. I may be his servant in the capacity to lead you or to point you in that direction. That is a responsibility. I am doing today what I did when Prabhupada was present. I am his representative. I may not be a good representative, but that is my service to Srila Prabhupada. So always understand it very clearly. Do not allow anyone to confuse you by claiming such and such person is a guru. If we take Prabhupada out of the equation, then what are we? We are nothing. We don't know anything. Whatever we say, we heard it or read it in Prabhupada's books. That's all. We, as individuals, have no power or standing or authority to do anything, save and except represent Srila Prabhupada the Acharya as his servants. Hare Krishna.


Hansadutta das
Rittvik Representative of His Divine Grace A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada
Trustee, BHAKTIVEDANTA BOOK TRUST
WORLD SANKIRTAN PARTY


Out from Delusion/ WORLD SANKIRTAN PARTY
©2004-Hansadutta das
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