Nitāi: “By penance only can one even approach the Personality of Godhead, who is within the heart of every living entity and at the same time beyond the reach of all senses.”
tapasaiva paraṁ jyotir
añjasā vindate pumān
From this verse we can understand the Absolute Truth is realized in three features: bhagavantam adhokṣajam, jyoti, paraṁ jyoti, and sarva-bhūta-guhāvāsam. The first realization is jyoti, the next realization is sarva-bhūta-guhāvāsam, and the last, final, realization is bhagavantam adhokṣajam. The example we have given many times, that the sun is there. The first realization is that we come in touch with the sunshine. That is very easy. Anyone can come in light of the sunshine. It is open to everyone. Then the another feature of the sunshine is the sun globe. That is not so easily available. You cannot go to the sun globe. According to the modern scientific conclusion, we can understand that the sun globe is away from us by 93,000,000’s of miles, and still, we cannot tolerate the temperature. And what will be your position if you go to the sun globe? Before reaching sun globe even by some millions of… We are already apart 93,000,000 miles, and suppose when there is three million miles apart from ninety, then the temperatures is so high that we will be finished. We cannot approach the sun globe even, and what to speak of entering into the sun globe? That requires a different body. Of course, there are living entities in the sun globe, within the sun globe. And there is the predominating deity also, the president. You may call. There is a state. Just like you have got here, United State, there is state also. And there is also president, and the president’s name is Vivasvān. Everything is there in the śāstra. We read from Bhagavad-gītā, Kṛṣṇa said, “I spoke to Vivasvān, the president or the predominating deity in the sun globe.” So this is all fact. It is not fiction. You are seeing the sun globe, and you are seeing that the sunshine is coming from the sun globe. So it is a globe; therefore there must be inhabitants. But their body is different. That is… Just like this earthly planet is made of earth or dirt—that is made of fire. This is within these five elements: earth, water, fire, air, ether. So the mixture of these things are there also, but the fire element is there prominent. As here, in this earth, all the mixtures are there, but here the earthly element is prominent. So this is also one of the material worlds.
So there are different varieties of planets. That is God’s creation. This is also God’s creation, that is also God’s creation, but I cannot go there. Land is God’s creation, water is God’s creation, but you cannot live in the water, and the fish cannot live on the land. Similarly, although there are millions and trillions of planets within this universe, you have to live in that particular planet where you are destined to live. That is condition. You cannot go to the sun planet or moon planet. Otherwise what is the meaning of conditioned life? Conditioned life means you are given opportunity to live on this planet, or the other living entities, they have been given opportunity to live in the sun planet. So they cannot come and live here, and we cannot go there and live there. This is called conditioned life. You must live under condition. You are not free. Otherwise they are attempting so much to go to the moon planet. But we are doubtful whether they are actually going. But no benefit has been derived by this excur… Simply you have spoiled your energy, time and money. That is…, means conditioned, that you cannot violate the conditions of the nature. That is not possible. But they are thinking they are free. They can do whatever they like. That is called ignorance, mūḍha, rascal. They are living under condition, but they are falsely thinking that “We are free.” Is it not? Where is that freedom? Prakṛteḥ kriyamāṇāni guṇaiḥ karmāṇi sarvaśaḥ [Bg. 3.27]. This rascal civilization do not admit this. They are so fool that they are conditioned in every step, and still they are thinking they are free. This is called illusion.
Therefore, to get that freedom, you have to work for it. Freedom does not come so automatically. Just like you are diseased. You are under the control of fever or some other painful condition, under some disease. So you have to undergo some penance. Just like you are suffering from some boil on the body. It is very painful. Then, in order to cure it, you have to undergo the surgical operation if you want to be cured. Therefore tapasā. That is tapasā. Tapa means painful condition, tapa. Just like temperature. If you are put into high temperature, 110 degree, then it is very intolerable for you. It is very painful. Even for us Indians—we are born in India, tropical climate—still, when the temperature is more than hundred, it becomes intolerable. And what to speak of you? You are born in a different temperature. Similarly, we cannot tolerate lower temperature. If it is below fifty degree, it is intolerable for us. So there are different climates, different temperature. And in Canada they tolerate forty degree less than zero. So it is a question of different condition of life. But we are conditioned: high grade temperature, less temperature, high grade cold. But we can we trained up to any kind of conditional life. That capacity we have got. There is a Bengali proverb, śarīre na mahāśaya ya sahabe taya saya,(?) means “This body is,” means, “it can tolerate any condition, provided you practice it.” It is not that, that you are under certain condition, and if you are changed, it becomes so intolerable that you cannot live. No. If you practice…
Just like nowadays nobody is going. Formerly they are going to the Himalayan mountain, and there is very cold. And the tapasya… There is practice, method: in high scorching heat the saintly person or sages, they will ignite fire all round. Already there is high temperature, and still they will get fire all round and go on, meditation. This is tapasya. These are the items of tapasya. There is scorching heat and they will arrange that. There is pinching, chilly cold, less than hundred degree, and they will go under water and put the body up to this and meditate. These are the items of tapasya. Tapasya. So for God realization formerly people used to undergo such severe type of penances, and at the present moment we are so fallen, we cannot tolerate these four principles? Is it very difficult? We are imposing some tapasya, that “Don’t indulge in these things. No illicit sex, no intoxication, no meat-eating, no gambling.” These are the items of tapasya for advancing in Kṛṣṇa consciousness. So is it very difficult? It is not difficult. If one can practice, go within the water up to the neck in chilly pinching cold, is it more difficult to give up illicit sex and meat-eating and intoxication? We are not advising, “No sex.” Illicit sex. So where is the difficulty? But the age is so fallen that even these primary tapasya we cannot execute. That is the difficulty.
But if you want to realize God, as it is said here, tapasaiva, only by tapasya, only by penance, one can realize. Otherwise not. Otherwise it is not possible. Therefore this word is used, tapasaiva. Tapasā eva: “only by tapasya.” There is no other means. Tapasā eva param. Param means the Supreme. If you want to realize the Supreme, the Absolute, then you must agree to certain type of tapasya. Otherwise it is not possible. The preliminary little tapasya. Just like ekādaśī. That is also item of the tapasya. Actually on the ekādaśī days we shall not take any food, even drink water. But in our society we are not doing so much strictly. We say, “Ekādaśī, you don’t take food grains. Take little fruit, milk.” This is tapasya. So we cannot execute this tapasya? So if we are not prepared to undertake even this very, very easily executable tapasya, then how we can expect go back to home, back to Godhead? No, that is not possible. Therefore here it is said, tapasaiva, tapasā eva. Eva means certainly. You have to. Now, executing this tapasya, penances, are you loser? You are not loser. Now, anyone who will come from outside, they will see in our society, our members, boys and girls. They say, “bright-faced.” Do they not? They see distinction. One priest in plain cloth… I was going from Los Angeles to Hawaii. One priest, he came to me in the plane. So he asked my permission, “Can I talk with you?” “Yes, why not?” So his first question was that “I see your disciples very bright-faced. How it has been done?” He’s sincere. So where is the loss? By undergoing, by denying all these things, sinful activities, we are not loser. We can live very simple life. We can sit down on the floor, we can lie down on the floor. We don’t require much furniture, neither large amount of gorgeous dress. So tapasya required. If we want advancement in spiritual life, we must accept some sort of tapasya. In the Kali-yuga we cannot accept such severe type of tapasya as in the cold, we go underneath, under water, sometimes drowning or sometimes up to this, and then meditate or chant Hare Kṛṣṇa. That is not possible. The minimum. So tapasya must be there.
So we should note it by this verse that some sort of tapasya must be done if we are serious about God realization. That is wanted. And then the first realization is jyoti, brahmajyoti. Generally, the Māyāvādī transcendentalists, they think that this realization of brahmajyoti is all in all. The yogis, they think that realization of sarva-guhāvāsam, sarva-bhūta-guhāvāsam… Īśvaraḥ sarva-bhūtānāṁ hṛd-deśe arjuna tiṣṭhati [Bg. 18.61]. God is there in everyone’s heart. This is accepted in all śāstra. In the Bhagavad-gītā says, here also it is said, sarva-bhūta-guhāvāsam. Guhā means the heart, core of heart. So He is there. So one feature is brahmajyoti; another feature is sarva-bhūta-guhāvāsam. The Lord is everywhere, not only your heart, my heart or any animal’s heart, beast’s heart, bird’s heart, but He is also within the atom. Aṇḍāntara-stha-paramāṇu-cayāntara-stham [Bs. 5.35]. Paramāṇu means atom. Within the atom there is also. Sarva-bhūta-guhā, within, āvāsa, He is living there. So this is one feature. This is called Paramātmā feature, or Supersoul feature. As it is said in the Bhagavad-gītā, kṣetra-jñaṁ cāpi māṁ viddhi sarva-kṣetreṣu bhārata: [Bg. 13.3] “I am also owner of this body, but I am distributed in everyone’s heart.” In another place, sarvasya cāhaṁ hṛdi sanniviṣṭaḥ [Bg. 15.15]. So God is present everywhere. He is omnipotent, omnipresent. So in our temple He is already there, and still more manifest, He is present here as arcā-vigraha, the form of the body by which He can accept our worship. He can accept. It is not that He is different from the original Kṛṣṇa. No, He is Kṛṣṇa, the same Kṛṣṇa, goloka eva nivasati, who is living in Goloka Vṛndāvana, but akhilātma-bhūtaḥ [Bs. 5.37], He can present Himself in different forms for accepting service for realization.
So the arcā-vigraha is also Kṛṣṇa. Therefore, adhokṣajam. Adhokṣajam, adhah-kṛtaṁ akṣajaṁ jñānam. Our knowledge is what we see. We can see stone. We can see metal. We can see other material elements, wood. So Kṛṣṇa has appeared as we can see Him. Because we cannot see more than stone, wood, metal, therefore Kṛṣṇa has appeared as stone statue. But He is not stone statue. That we have to understand. He is Kṛṣṇa, but He is so kind that He has appeared before us as we can see Him. This is the philosophy, not that stone is Kṛṣṇa. Stone is also Kṛṣṇa in the ultimate sense because stone is the expansion of energy of Kṛṣṇa, material energy. Bhūmir āpo ‘nalo vāyuḥ khaṁ mano buddhir eva…, bhinnā me prakṛtir aṣṭadhā [Bg. 7.4]. This is called philosophy of inconceivable one and different. The same example can be given: just like the sunshine. In the sunshine there is heat and temperature. [break] …say the sunshine has come… (aside:) Why you are standing? If you stand… This side. “If the sunshine has entered my room, therefore sun has entered my room.” This is Māyāvādī philosophy. No. By the entrance of sunshine within your room, the sun has entered and has not entered. This is right philosophy. Acintya-bhedābheda. Acintya, simultaneously one and different. This is Caitanya Mahāprabhu’s philosophy, acintya-bhedābheda. We cannot think, adjust, that how one thing can be the other thing. That we cannot experience due to our little fund of knowledge, poor fund of knowledge. But in case of Kṛṣṇa, God, that is possible, simultaneously one and different. So here, if you think… To the atheist this form is made of stone, and they are thinking that “These crazy fellow, they are worshiping a stone.” In that sense, Kṛṣṇa is not there. If a crazy man breaks the statue, he does not break Kṛṣṇa, but he breaks the stone. This is simultaneously one and different. For the devotee, He is Kṛṣṇa. All the time He is Kṛṣṇa. Because even if you take it as stone, stone is also Kṛṣṇa because it is expansion of Kṛṣṇa’s energy. The same example: the sunshine is also sun. And Kṛṣṇa is, being omnipotent, He can accept your service any way. Provided you want to render service, Kṛṣṇa is ready to accept it.
Therefore our duty is that we should never think of this Deity as something made of stone or metal. We should always think, “Here is Kṛṣṇa personally present.” That is devotion. And we should worship Him like that. We should offer respect, that “Here is Kṛṣṇa. We cannot do anything wrong.” And therefore there is list of offenses of worshiping, sixty-four… Or how many? It is stated in The Nectar of Devotion. Do you discuss this? So we should avoid these offenses, not that “Here is a stone statue. He is not going to see I am doing this offense.” Then that is not very good. We should always feel that “Here is Kṛṣṇa, personally present.” Actually He is personally present. Then are we so fool, that we are worshiping a stone deity? No. “We” means we have installed this Deity under the direction of previous authorities, ācāryas. So it is not whimsical. We have installed the Deity exactly under the direction of the previous ācārya, and therefore the Deity is personally present, Kṛṣṇa. As He is present everywhere, sarva-bhūta-guhāvāsam, similarly, He can live in many millions of temples simultaneously and live at the same time Goloka Vṛndāvana. That is Kṛṣṇa. That is Kṛṣṇa’s omnipotency. So Kṛṣṇa, being very kind, He has appeared in our various temple. So we should very careful that “Here is personally present Kṛṣṇa. Here is… Personally, Rādhārāṇī is there. Personally, Lord Caitanya is there, Lord Jagannātha is there.” But He is keeping Himself is such a way that you can handle in any way. Even if you commit some mistake, He does not protest. But we should not commit any mistake. That is our duty. We should not create such thing as it is offensive. Therefore the direction is there in the śāstra that “You do like this. Do like this; there will be no offense.” And offenseless service will make you more and more advanced in spiritual life.
So Kṛṣṇa has… Bhagavantam. Here it is said, bhagavantam. The Supreme Personality of Godhead is Kṛṣṇa, but He is adhokṣajam, beyond our sense perception. Adhokṣaja. Adhah-kṛtaṁ akṣajaṁ jñānam. Our knowledge is limited within this sense perception. That’s all. We can see so long the light is there. If the light is not there, then our seeing power is finished. Therefore it is limited. And Kṛṣṇa is beyond this limitation. Therefore His name is Adhokṣaja. Adhah-kṛtaṁ akṣajaṁ indriya-jñānaṁ yena. Akṣajaṁ jñānam means “knowledge acquired by sense perception.” Akṣaja. Akṣa means “eyes,” and ja means “generated.” So I see this book because my eyes are seeing it is book. But as soon as the light is off, I cannot see where is the book and where is the table, where you are. Similarly, we cannot see at the present moment by the imperfect senses what is Kṛṣṇa. Therefore it is Kṛṣṇa’s kindness that He has appeared before you in a manner by which you can see Him. This is Kṛṣṇa’s mercy. Not that the atheistic philosophy, “They are worshiping Deity, some stone, some metal,” not like that. He is adhokṣaja. We cannot see Kṛṣṇa with our present eyes, but we can see Him through the scripture. The “through the scripture” is that although we cannot see Him by our present imperfect senses, adhokṣaja, beyond our perception, still, we can see Him. How? Through the authorities. Through the authorities. The same example, as I have given, that I do not know who is my father, but through the authority of mother, I can see him: “Here is my father.” This is called authority seeing. If mother certifies that “My dear child, here is your father,” that is the only certificate, authority, you can understand who is your father. Otherwise there is no… By experimental knowledge, by mental speculation, “He may be my father, he may be my father, he may be my father…” That you go on speculating for many millions of years. Still, you will not be able to understand who is your father. But if you take the authority of your mother, immediately you understand. That is, means, adhokṣaja. You cannot speculate what is God, but if you take the authority, then you can understand God. Otherwise it is not possible.
athāpi te deva padāmbuja-dvaya-
prasāda-leśānugṛhīta eva hi
jānāti tattvaṁ bhagavan-mahimno
na cānya eko ‘pi ciraṁ vicinvan
This is a verse. It is said, “My dear Lord, Your lotus feet,” padāmbuja-dvaya, “can be understood by a person who has received a little favor of You.” Athāpi te deva padāmbuja-dvaya-prasāda-leśānugṛhīta eva hi: [SB 10.14.29] “One who has received little favor, he can understand.” And what for others? “For others,” na ca anya eko ‘pi ciraṁ vicinvan, “if they speculate for millions of years, still, they will not be able to understand.” Just like in your country Bhagavad-gītā was being read for the last two hundred, three hundred years. So many scholars, so many Indian scholar or American, they have written Bhagavad-gītā. But not a single person understood Kṛṣṇa, not a single person. But now, when they are reading Bhagavad-gītā As It Is, they are understanding by the mercy of God. The mercy is shown if you follow the process, authoritative process. Prasāda-leśānugṛhīta eva hi. One who has received a little, minute quantity of the favor of Kṛṣṇa, he can understand Kṛṣṇa. And others, if they go on speculating for millions of years, they will not be able to. This is a fact. Therefore He is called Adhokṣaja.
So our Kṛṣṇa consciousness movement is the authorized process by which you can understand Kṛṣṇa, the Supreme Lord. By other methods it is not possible. Kṛṣṇa personally says,
kaścid yatati siddhaye
yatatām api siddhānāṁ
kaścin māṁ vetti tattvataḥ
Nobody can understand. Out of many millions and trillions of persons, one is interested how to make his life success. Otherwise they are not interested even. Like cats and dogs they are jumping here and there. That’s all. And out of those persons who are interested, some may understand what is Kṛṣṇa. So Kṛṣṇa is not so very easily understood, but by the grace of Kṛṣṇa we can understand Him if we follow. Kṛṣṇa says in the Bhagavad-gītā, mattaḥ parataraṁ nānyat kiñcid asti dhanañjaya: [Bg. 7.7] “My dear Dhanañjaya, there is no more superior power than Me, or greater than Me.” So if we accept the statement of Kṛṣṇa, then we understand Kṛṣṇa immediately. Otherwise, by speculation, it is not possible. That is the fact. There are so many… Such a person, such a big, who is estimated as very, very big person, Mahatma Gandhi, he could not understand Kṛṣṇa. From his writing we see. He said, “I don’t believe that there was any person Kṛṣṇa living ever.” Just see. He could not understand. Similarly, Dr. Radhakrishnan, Tilak, so many big, big scholars, they have written comment on Bhagavad-gītā, but they, still they have proved that they’re rascal number one. Because they did not follow the process of understanding Kṛṣṇa, therefore they could not understand. And here even a child, our Śyāmasundara’s daughter, (s)he used to go to somebody and ask him, “Do you know what is Kṛṣṇa?” He says, “No, I do not know.” “He’s the Supreme Personality of Godhead.” Just see. And all these boys and children, they are learning so easily Kṛṣṇa, and a person like Mahatma Gandhi, he said that, something different. You see? Just see. This is the position.
So you have to follow the authoritative principles by the paramparā system. Yasya deve parā bhaktir yathā deve tathā gurau [ŚU 6.23]. If you have got faith in God, Kṛṣṇa, and similar faith in the spiritual master and follow his instruction, then you will understand Kṛṣṇa in His different features: jyoti, bhagavān, and sarva-bhūta-guhāvāsam. He is the brahmajyoti just like the sunshine, and He is the Supreme Personality of Godhead Kṛṣṇa, and He is the Supersoul, Paramātmā, in everyone’s heart. The process is tapasaiva, a little tapasya. So whatever little tapasya we have prescribed, you follow. You will understand Kṛṣṇa. And if you understand Kṛṣṇa, then your life is successful.
Thank you very much. (end)